The Scythians are a bloodthirsty, slave-trading, warrior tribe and males and females use bows and arrows from birth with great accuracy. They travel in hemp-covered wagons, are fantastically tattooed all over from a young age, and wear golden armor. This is the tribe that invented the wheel, domesticated the horse, and forged the Silk Road from Europe to China.
Their coming-of-age ritual is to kill an enemy in battle and drink his hot blood from his skull cap. Not so difficult when you understand the enemy is on foot and carries a battle ax, while the Scythian rides a horse and shoots with a recumbent bow, the tommy gun of the steppes.
The skull cap is encased in gold and used for future ceremonies. The Scythians especially love sweat lodges fumigated with cannabis flowers. Herodotus documents their ritual of drinking blood from their enemy’s decapitated skull cap. Much later, this same grisley ritual will be observed in Italy, practiced by the pagan Lombards.
The Scythians blind slaves they keep and send any offspring they produce to live with other clans. Children are raised in groups and do not know their actual parents, but treat all adults in the tribe as their parents. Anyone can make love with anyone, and a bow and quiver on the door of a wagon signifies copulation in progress.
One day, a young gay Scythian, who does not participate in battle, and who abhors the slave trade, discovers ground cannabis flowers mixed with hot milk has a greater effect than inhaling cannabis fumes in a sweat lodge, which is what everyone else is doing. He shares this concoction with his blind father and his father’s sight miraculously returns.
Golden cups are soon filled with cannabis and milk and not blood, thanks to revelations achieved through this new sacrament. The gay Scythian becomes the head Enaree, or shaman.
Act Two: The Year is 5,000 AD
The secrets of the young gay Scythian have long been lost, and the kingdom has been in perpetual war ever since. The king assembles his best knights and commands them to find the secret that will bring peace to the kingdom, which according to ancient legends is a golden grail held captive in a blackened forest.
The black forest is surrounded by a vast oil-drenched wasteland, guarded by a custodian called the Fisher King, who suffers from poisonous fumes emanating from the wasteland. One of the young knights manages to cross the wasteland alive without succumbing to its effects and gains entrance to the mysterious estate and soon discovers a princess bringing a golden cup to the ailing king in order to keep him alive. He discovers it is not really the cup that is important, but the medicine that goes inside.
The knight returns with the recipe for the sacrament and the concoction soon brings peace to the kingdom, while inspiring great creativity and frivolity.
Strange the Holy Grail remains our central myth, yet few pay attention to its origins. Probably because those origins are steeped in cannabis.
Herodotus, the father of western history, first documented the three sacred golden gifts (plow/yoke, axe and cup) bequeathed to Greece’s ancient northern neighbors, the Scythians, who had divided into a caste system based around those three gifts.
Herodotus also documented the culture’s great affection for cannabis sweat lodges. By his time, they had already built the (poorly-named) Silk Road. (In truth, it was cannabis that built their highway; silk came along later in the game.)
Another myth is the Scythians conquered cultures with brunt force, when in reality, despite their superior weapons and highly militarized society, their culture was so incredibly advanced it was readily absorbed into the many cultures they traded with. And because they traveled from Europe to China and India, the Scythians absorbed elements from both east and west. Scythian priests (many of whom were transsexual) had best magic because their primary sacrament was the greatest medicine on earth.
A few hundred years after Herodotus, Quintus Curtius Rufus documented those same three sacred gifts as essential to the Zoroastrians, although the weapon had morphed into a spear and arrow.
In later Nart versions, it became a golden sword.
However, throughout history, the golden cup retained its importance in Zoroastrian and Gnostic traditions, and this cup was a symbol of spirituality long before the arrival of the cross.
Interestingly, the grail appears on Templar tombstones as well, indicating the powerful secret society had an early association with the grail.
In fact, issues with the Templars may have originated with their defense of the Cathars, and there is speculation that two of the original nine Templar knights were Cathars.
It’s worth noting that the Cathar grail was called “Mani,” leading me be believe the Persian prophet Mani, who lived around the year 200, was the source of their dualistic beliefs. Mani attempted to unify all known religions and his followers built temples throughout the Silk Road, all of which were destroyed or absorbed by other religions.
Unfortunately, the version of the grail told today has been completely sanitized from any association with cannabis, when in fact, it’s the substance in the grail that carries the magic, and not the metal itself. I find it interesting Southern France became a center for mysticism, launching many occult societies, and the greatly persecuted Cathars were undoubtedly the inspiration behind much of that.
Meanwhile, the growth of Islam displaced the Zoroastrians, but the haoma cup was easily morphed into Islam’s Cup of Jamshid, said to contain the elixir of immortality. In early European mythology the grail contains the key to bringing peace to the kingdom. In reality, both claims are true: cannabis is the key to long-life, and it has a soothing effect that helps tamp down rage and violence.