The central cult image of each Mithraeum, in most cases made in relief, but sometimes also in full plastic or in the form of a fresco, is the image of Mithra killing the bull. This image is always placed centrally at the end of the central nave, directly opposite the entrance. In this image, Mithra is – as always – depicted in Persian dress: trousers, tunic, cape around the shoulders and a Phrygian cap on his head. With his left knee he kneels on the back of a lying bull, with his left hand on his snout he raises his head violently, and with his right he stabs a dagger into his shoulder. A dog, a snake and a scorpion suck the life force – liquid (blood, sperm) from the dying bull. On both sides of the bull and Mithra stand two young men dressed in the same Persian garb – Cautes and Cautopates, with a raised and lowered torch in their hands. Cautes is usually on the left and Cautopates on the right. Above this scene, the sun (Sol) is depicted on the left and the moon (Luna) appears on the left. A raven appears between the Sun and Mithras, perhaps the Sun's (Sol’s) messenger.
The arrangement of the altars and painted statues undoubtedly served the rite of initiation into the Mysteries of Mithra, of which we do not really know anything unequivocal, as we can only infer them on the basis of other similar and simultaneous rites of the time. Given the understanding that mithraeums depicted the universe, however, the contents of them are undoubtedly related to the understanding of the composition of the universe, its laws and man’s place in it.
Mithra, born from the rock being wrapped around by a snake – NATURAE DEI. Exhibited in Mithra's Garden (atrium) in Hotel Mitra – enlarged copy of the original statue. The original statue of Mithras, born from the rock, exhibited in the 1st Mithraeum in Ptuj. View of the entire 1st Mithraeum in Ptuj with the marked position of the statue of Mithra, born from the rock.