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.
Christmas Eve is supposed to be three nights after the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, when the sun’s arc across the sky reaches its lowest trajectory. The sun keeps the same orbit for three days before reversing upward and that was considered the return of the sun. In ancient times, an astrological and mathematical awakening in Bactria spread east and west, and the leaders of this enlightenment were known as the Magi, the Zoroastrian braintrust. The same figures who attended the birth of Christ.
Although based on a real person, Zoroaster evolved into a myth with great magic powers. He toppled the warrior-in-armor model in favor of a monk-in-robes model and defeated his enemies with a magic stick instead of a sword. Zoroaster also deployed a magic elixir to heal the blind and lame and all who were sick. This elixir provided insight, wisdom and creative inspiration. Although immense effort has been deployed over millennia to cast doubt and confusion on what Zoroaster’s elixir really was, thanks to modern science we now know for sure it was cannabis and milk, with spices and sometimes poppies and ephedra. These residues can be found in ancient fire temple urns along the Silk Road.
Pythagoras led the Greek enlightenment and he studied with the Magi and brought higher math and sun worship back to Greece. The first Zoroastrian king of Persia, Cyrus the Great, conquered Babylon and freed its slaves, including the Jews, whom he commanded to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Cyrus provided the funds, having recently adopted the Lydian invention of coin currency. Initially, the image used on coins was a Lydian bull-and-lion, but changed by Darius to the reigning king. After Alexander conquered Persia he melted down all darics in the royal treasury, replacing them with coins minted with Heracles on one side and Zeus holding an eagle on the other.
But one coin minted in Gaza by Phoenicians during the fourth century BC displays a figure seated on a winged wheel holding a bird with the letters “YHW” in Aramaic (see above). Wings were the central symbol of Zoroastrian iconography and YHW could be a reference to Yahweh.
In gratitude to Cyrus, the Jews fashioned themselves a version of Zoroaster when they wrote down their Exodus myth shortly after returning to Jerusalem. As their biggest achievement, both Moses and Zoroaster go to the top of smokey mountain and come back down with God’s official rulebook. Various clues as to the identity of their sacrament still exist in the Torah and Christian Bible, most notably the burning bush speaking with the voice of God.
Yahweh started out leading a pantheon as in Vedic, Nordic and Roman mythologies, but around 800 BC he became the one god, and people were forbidden to make representations of him or even say his name. Yahweh and Santa Claus are the same person. The magic eagle morphed into an elf while the flying wheel became a magic sleigh.
Maybe you fell for the hoodwink Santa was a mushroom. I know I did for years. It took me decades to figure out R. Gordon Wasson was seeding disinfo. Same thing for the theory Jesus was a mushroom. Yes, Siberians used mushrooms during ceremonies (and so did some Templars). But Siberian shaman don’t worship reindeer and don’t travel in sleighs. Others try to assert Santa was invented by Madison Avenue, when, in fact Santa emerged all over Europe during the Middle Ages.
Santa was built on top of Scythian ceremonies, which predate Zoroastrianism. Originally, a father god, as in Indra/Odin/Zeus/Jupiter, the Zoroastrians dispensed with the pantheon after Zoroaster had a revelation that one great spirit ruled the entire universe.
Scythians wore red outfits and Santa’s hat is phrygian with a puff ball, similar to a Scythian hat. Scythians worshiped a golden deer with antlers. In the beginning, the Scythian god rode a magic horse with eight legs. His eagle (or raven) morphed into Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands and magic elves in England. The primary intoxicant of the Scythians was cannabis. No mushrooms nor mushroom iconography can be found in their kurgans, although cannabis abounds in the form of hemp clothing, hemp flowers and hemp seeds, and often a couple of cannabis kolas crossed on top of the corpse’s chest. Not to mention the elaborate golden Scythian chalices have been found to contain residues of cannabis and opium. So where do you think Santa really came from? A mushroom? Or our Scythian ancestors? It’s worth noting that like the Native Americans, Scythians believed the ancestors emerged from the north.
Since Yahweh was inspired by cannabis, one wonders how and why cannabis disappeared from world history, and why such an elaborate hoodwink was created to misdirect toward mushrooms.
Because the Scythians who started this didn’t have a written language beyond runes, they left no explanation for the evolution of Yahweh into Santa Claus. In fact, the only thing they did leave us were the kurgan tombs, most of which were easily located and plundered because as soon as people in Russia realized the tombs were filled with golden objects, most kurgans got raided and all the priceless gold artifacts were melted down, a tremendous tragedy because of the quality of the craftsmanship, and also because the golden cups (chalices) were employed to drink cannabis and hot milk (with a tad of opium and/or ephedra if available).
In 1716 Peter the Great was given sixty gold artifacts from a recently uncovered kurgan and issued an edict that he would pay far more money for any Scythian gold artifacts left intact and not melted down. The most common artifact in the tombs were golden deer with elaborate antlers, leading me to believe the deer was an important source of food, even though the Scythians had horses (which they ate), sheep, goats, oxen and hornless cattle. The two world wars ended kurgan exploration for a time but in the late 1940s, large-scale excavations took place around the Black Sea, and in the 1950s, kurgans were uncovered as far north as Siberia. But the first exhibition of Scythian artifacts wasn’t held until 1975.
In 2002, Time-Warner published Jeannine Davis-Kimball’s Warrior Women, which detailed many females found in kurgans, most of whom were buried with armor and weapons because the Scythian women were the source of the Greek Amazon myth. Strangely, you won’t find a single reference to cannabis in her book. Instead, the author makes only one reference to a nameless hallucinogen, which she claims was either smoked or consumed orally. Now ask yourself why the most important sacrament can’t even get a proper ID. Why is our mainstream culture so resistant to giving cannabis its proper place in world history? I’d like to ask Davis-Kimball why she chose to leave the words “cannabis” and “hemp” out of her book entirely, and whether that was something encouraged by the editors at Time-Warner.
While it’s true Coca-Cola and Madison Avenue crafted the modern image of Santa, their version is not that far from Santas found all over Europe in the Middle Ages. Here’s the ancient Dutch version, where Santa’s Scythian-style hat has morphed into a Mitre like those worn by Popes and Bishops, all in an attempt to Christianize the holiday cerebrating the benevolent father god of our ancient ancestors. And, of course, the clincher in this debate is the fact that Santa emerged in Europe with a partner named Krampus, who was part demon, and part goat-man, and who carried a birch switch for punishing the wicked. Krampus was obviously the devil, but nothing like our current incarnation, for his job was punishing the evil ones, not creating them. It was a good-god, bad-god routine, with Krampus scaring kids into being good while the Santa provided the comforting embrace of the universal father figure.
The word “cannabis” was invented by the Greeks, who claimed they acquired it from Scythians (Saka) around the Black Sea, who first discovered the psychoactive effects of inhaling the smoking flowers of the hemp plant. The Khotan-Saka word for cannabis was kamha.
When Darius wanted to subjugate the Scythians, he identified three separate tribes spread out from the Ukraine to India: The Saka Tigraauda (pointed-hat Sakas), Saka Haumavarga (haoma-drinking Sakas) and Saka Tayaiy Paradraya (across the [Black] Sea Sakas).
Their ancestors had been the first to domesticate horses and invented the wheel, along with chariots and war wagons. They were the greatest warriors of their time, having mastered bow and arrow and combat on horseback. They spread horse culture all across Europe and Asia, and wherever the horse appears, so comes hemp and cannabis.
Scythian horses wore bronze armor and most of their weapons were bronze, but their body armor and jewelry was all gold. The armor shown above is dated from the 4th century BC, and was worn by a prince or princess, the scientists were not able to tell the sex, as women fought alongside men. I don’t know about the red fabric, although, perhaps that color was reserved for royalty as this is the armor of a very rich person who died young around age 18, perhaps in combat. Golden crowns are just one of the Scythian creations that Greeks ended up taking credit for, and a word from which we derive the words “king” and “coronation.”
I did come across an interesting tidbit from the Greek geographer Strabo:
“The mountaineers themselves live on wild fruits, but they have sheep also, though only a few, and therefore do not butcher them, sparing them for their wool and milk, and they variegate the color of their clothing by staining it with dyes of colors that do not easily fade.”
If you go to the Syr Darya River valley (the area Strabo is discussing), it’s called Fergana today and the markets are filled with splendidly colorful fabrics. Is this evidence of cannabis culture’s long affair with psychedelia?