A Psychological Approach to Zoroastrian Cosmogony

Donald Kalsched’s Theory on the Traumatized Soul in the Battle of Ohrmazd and Ahriman


  • Farânak Mirjalili University of Amsterdam




Zoroastrian cosmogony, Ahriman , Ohrmazd, Donald Kalsched, Analytical Psychology, Carl G. Jung, psychoanalytical theory


Creation stories at times intertwine cosmogonic narratives of both creation and destruction, grounding the human psyche in its origins and providing cultural or faith-based meaning to the workings of the universe. The Zoroastrian creation story stands out with its unique dance between opposites, reflecting the stark dualities in Zoroaster’s teachings. Noteworthy is the place of ‘evil’ as Ahriman, the Zoroastrian evil twin of the truthful God Ohrmazd, is not only destructive but becomes the catalyst for the transfiguration and regeneration of earthly life. This article explores a new perspective on this cosmic drama by drawing on the insights from analytical psychology (psychoanalysis C. G. Jung) and its symbolic and introverted approach to ancient mythology. The work of Donald Kalsched, a contemporary Jungian author and clinician, offers a compelling psychological lens for interpreting these archetypal dichotomies that have captivated humanity for millennia through integrating recent studies on trauma and developmental psychology.

Author Biography

  • Farânak Mirjalili, University of Amsterdam

    Farânak Mirjalili is a Jungian analyst in private practice and an independent researcher and educator on esotericism, mythology, and Jungian psychology. She earned a Research Master’s degree in Western and Islamic Esotericism from the University of Amsterdam’s Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy (HHP). Her thesis focused on the intersection of laboratory and psycho-spiritual alchemy, revising Carl Jung’s theory on the subject. Her research interests also include the religious traditions of Zoroastrianism and Sufism.


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How to Cite

Mirjalili, F. (2024). A Psychological Approach to Zoroastrian Cosmogony: Donald Kalsched’s Theory on the Traumatized Soul in the Battle of Ohrmazd and Ahriman. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 37(1), 89-107. https://doi.org/10.1558/jasr.28593