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 Saka, 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 Saka 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 Saka absorbed elements from both east and west. Saka 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.