The Zoroastrian priestesses of Iran

Viewed from the air, Tehran appears as a pool of scattered bricks and fragments. Near Ferdouzi street, in the south of the capital, sits one of the largest and most emblematic religious complexes of the Zoroastrian minority scattered across Iran. Daily services are held in the fire temple and a ceremony hall, where the Council of the Mobeds (Zoroastrian priests) meets.  Founded by the Prophet Zoroaster around 3,500 years ago, the religion claims around 190,000 followers. The official religion in Iran for 1,000 years, its adherents are now a dwindling minority within the Islamic Republic.  Middle East Eye paid a visit to their fire temple (or Agiary), the site of daily services led by Zorastrian priests. MEE’s visit coincided with the third Gambahar, one of the six annual festivals designed to celebrate the creation of the Earth.



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Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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