By John Harper

Part 1

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This work reveals the physical reality of three ancient miracles 12,000 years ago the sacrificial inducement of these phenomena ignited a spiritual revolution that triggered the Neolithic revolution and gave rise to civilisation The Jewish Historian Josephus omitted certain Biblical passages from his “Antiquities of the Jew’s” because they exposed a (now disturbing) religious philosophy that had evolved about these ritual phenomenon In light of these ritual phenomena it is now possible to identify “Solomon’s Key” and the ritual “wisdom” that is encoded within the Bible The evidence indicates that knowledge of these phenomena forms the basis of a hierarchical conspiracy both within and without the Church The Biblical allegory appertaining to these ritual phenomena permeates the Rennes-le-Château and Holy Grail mysteries

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Introduction Wrath of God – ancient testimony to the first of these ritual phenomenon Ritual Revolution – historical, cultural, and archaeological evidence of this phenomenon Josephus’ Omissions – a Biblical metaphor that exposes a secret ritual knowledge Solomon’s Key – the Grail and its Keeper, i.e. the second and third of these ritual phenomena Conspiracy – evidence of this “ritual trinity” being secretly venerated within the Church Conclusion

This enquiry takes the unprecedented step of examining an area of antiquity that has been off limits to most modern academics… the analysis of ancient miracles! The miracles in question are quite distinct from those religious revelations that Marx and Freud categorised as psychosomatic. Although undeniably odd, these ancient wonders did affect material objects, and with their occurrence still being reported today, one cannot but acknowledge their reality! The evidence indicates that in the distant past these strange phenomena were deliberately induced using the most barbaric activity, blood sacrifice. Despite the mass of evidence left behind by this curious practice, blood sacrifice remains one of antiquities greatest unexplained mysteries.

Whilst the written testimony to these ritual phenomena is veiled in layers of religious interpretation, it is possible to strip this away and observe the events that took place. Even where this testimony is hostile, like the Churches vilification of these sacrificial events as “demonic manifestations”, one is forced to ask why the same events are deemed acceptable, just because they were manifested by the patriarchs of the Bible! This in turn prompts us to ask why the Jew’s described these same so-called miracles as “false revelations”… just because their neighbours produced them! If like me, you find this evidence convincing, then you too will find yourself asking why, despite the readily available evidence, anthropology insist on describing this universal ancient testimony as myth!

Ritual Trinity
The Churches of the Rennes-le-Chateau region abound with this symbol of the trinity, a symbol that clearly represents the three miracles under scrutiny here. At its centre is the triangular fire sign of Solomon, itself indicative of the trinity. This is always depicted surrounded by billowing smoke and a light burst. I have yet to determine how widespread this particular symbol is, and so I would ask the readers of Arcadia for any information they may have on this symbol.

Trinity from Church of St Andrews in Alet les Bains

The first of these so-called miracles is a horrific sacrificial-fire that ignited spontaneously within the bodies of both sacrificed animals and some priests. Previously assumed to be an event confined to the Old Testaments, I am now able to reveal the universal nature of this ancient sacrificial phenomenon; i.e. that it was a product of blood sacrifice! Incredibly, the wealth of written testimony to this fiery phenomenon is actually supported by a surprising large amount of historical and scientific data. When combined with reports of its continued occurrence today in the form of Spontaneous Human Combustion, one is forced to conclude that our ancient ancestors were once capable of ritually inducing this horrific event.

The second of these supposed wonders is a bodily-radiance whose surprisingly long history stretches back to the ancient kings of Persia. Moses and Jesus are amongst those who have exuded this bodily-radiance, as have many Christian saints, including a few modern individuals. Whilst the ritual inducement of this supposed miracle is surrounded in the deepest religious secrecy, I do believe it is possible to distinguish its cause. The third of these sacrificial miracles is a sanctuary-radiance; a phenomenon that I believe is related to the above bodily-radiance. This phenomenon does not have a known modern counterpart as its appearance was ritually contrived in antiquity. This sanctuaryradiance consists of a mysterious light or glory that once illuminated religious icons housed within especially darkened sanctuaries, sepulchres, and caves. This light was perceived to be a spiritual or a divine radiance. It was this mysteriously manifested glory that provided the impetus for the construction of temples and tombs with especially darkened sanctuaries. The activity at the altar was essentially a prelude to the manifestation of either this bodily-radiance or the sanctuaryradiance; in most sophisticated cultures this altar-fire was very much an unwanted side effect of the sacrificial process. The evidence would suggest that the manifestation of these ritual phenomena was once prolific, but that they slowly subsided until in the last millennia BC they reached a level comparable with today’s occurrence, i.e. they became extremely rare. Once you recognise the ritual inducement of these phenomena it becomes possible to analyse their repetitive circumstances and analyse their cause. My

findings suggest a single biochemical cause for all three events which was triggered by certain environmental factors. This paper is but a brief synopsis of my findings and ideas, their cause is a subject I shall return to when I publish my hypothesis in full.

The Rennes-le-Château Connection
The readers of Arcadia will be interested to know that this work may help explain the Holy Grail and Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. I made my first visit to Rennes-le-Château last summer expecting to find evidence of these so-called miracles being secretly venerated there, and I wasn’t disappointed. On full view within the churches of this region is iconography containing secret symbols relating to these ritual phenomena. There are also indications of this secret symbolism in some of the other regions once controlled by the Templar’s. Unfortunately, a computer crash has meant the loss of many of the photographs taken during that trip. However, I have managed to retrieve some, and the attached photograph is one of these. It shows the lower portion of a large painting of the crucifixion hung in the Church of St Polycarpe, a small hamlet north of Rennes-le-Château. Below the cross is a bible with a sword lying across an open page. As you read through the evidence below see if you can work out the significance of these symbols?

Open Bible and Sword – St Polycarpe

Wrath of God
I first came across this strange altar-fire in the Old Testaments of the Bible, where I found accounts of horrific flames spontaneously igniting during the sacrificial rites of Moses etc. I was not only intrigued by the consistent relationship between this supposed supernatural fire and the physical act of blood sacrifice, but also its unique resemblance to the modern phenomenon Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC). My first job was to determine whether this strange sacrificial fire was not simply a myth unique the Jew’s. Space limits the amount of ancient testimony that I can present here, so please excuse the brevity. I shall start by examining some of the Old Testament accounts of this fiery phenomenon then briefly explore its corroborating cultural and scientific data.

James Tissot’s painting: Fire from Heaven consumes the sacrifice

In the “Talmud” translated by Frederick Warne, P13; we find a version of the Cain and Abel story that explains how Cain’s “offering was unheaded, while the fire of acceptance fell from heaven, consuming the gracious gifts” of Abel. This is the first of many allusions to this strange fire, some obscure, others more explicit, which illustrate how ancient people were provided with seemingly supernatural evidence of their communion with god. Leviticus 9:23, When Moses establishes the Ark in its tented temple, a seven day sacrificial binge ensued, and on the eight day: “… the glory of Yahweh appeared to the entire people” then “a flame leapt out from Yahweh’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and fat on the altar”. When I came to examine Josephus’ rendition of this account in his “Antiquities of the Jew’s”, [1] I was surprised to find no mention of the flames leaping “out from Yahweh’s presence”, but this more specific statement, “as the sacrifices lay upon the altar, a sudden fire was kindled from among them of its own accord”?

Leviticus 10:1 “And Nadab and Abidu, the sons of Aaron, took either of his censor, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the lord, which he commanded them not to”… “And there went out a fire from the lord, and devoured them, and they died before the lord”… “So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp as Moses had said”. Once again Josephus’ rendition did not match the original. Instead of stating that the brothers had offered “strange fire [in their censors] before the lord”, he wrote that “they did not bring those sacrifices which Moses had bade them bring, but which they used to offer formerly”? Once more he is keen to stress the horrific appetite that these flames had for flesh; “Now when the fire rushed upon them, and began to burn them, nobody could quench it”. The evidence would suggest that this incident where Corah challenged for the priesthood was preceded by an earthquake. Numbers 16:4, Corah and his followers are “offering burnt incense” and that “the glory of the lord appeared” and that “there came a fire out of the lord, and consumed the two hundred fifty men that offered incense”. Once again, we find Josephus account at variance with these O/T stories as he stresses the abnormality of these flames, “…and they all offered incense, in these censers of theirs which they brought with them, before the tabernacle. Hereupon so great a fire shone out as no one ever saw in any that is made by the

hand of man, neither in those eruptions out of the earth… nor in such fires as arise of their own accord in wood… all the company, and Corah himself, were destroyed, and this so entirely that their bodies left no remains behind”. Nor does Josephus mention the next passage 17:1, where Moses tells Aaron to collect their censors from their “smouldering remains” and hammer them into sheets for the altar. I recall being puzzled by Josephus’ treatment of these events, but it going to be a few years before I managed to sit down and examine anew Josephus’ rendering of this sacrificial miracle. See “Josephus Omissions” below. 2 Chronicles 7:1, recounts how during the dedication of his temple, Solomon was finishing his lengthy prayer to Yahweh when suddenly, “fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifices; and the glory of the lord filled the house”. 1 Kings 18:31, by far the most telling of these incident is where Elijah challenges to the priests of Baal to see whose respective god can spontaneously ignite a sacrificed bull. As expected, Elijah wins the contest when the, “fire of the lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice”. The most significant aspect of this story is the confidence that both Elijah and Baal’s priests had in their ritual ability to cause their respective bulls to spontaneously burst into flames!

Elsewhere in Antiquity

The Greek historian Pausanias in his “Descriptions of Greece” 1.16.1, informs us that the future prosperity of Seleucus (he became King of Babylonia in 306BC) “was foreshadowed by unmistakable signs. When he was about to set forth from Macedonia with Alexander, and was sacrificing at Pella to Zeus, the wood that lay on the altar advanced of its own accord to the image and caught fire without the application of a light”. I cannot explain the prior movement of the wood, but the key feature of a sacrificial offering spontaneous bursting into flames is recorded in this historical document! In her book “Dying for the Gods”, P141, the anthropologist Miranda Aldhouse Green, recounts another such story regarding the Greek King Themistocles who was sacrificing after a great victory against the Persians, when “a great bright flame shot up from the [animal] victims awaiting sacrifice at the altar”. The fact that the animals were “awaiting sacrifice” implies that were alive when the flames shot up from their bodies; which probably explains why Miranda resorts to questioning whether this incident was “not simply a figment of the author’s fertile imagination”. Many anthropologists cite the fact that the ancient Greeks believed it auspicious when an altar-fire suddenly flared up, because they associated it with a god’s presence at the sacrifice. The evidence presented here would suggest that they had good cause to believe that this was so.

Celtic writing did not appear until the 6th century and so the search for any references to this sacrificial fire is confined to the verbal myths that were later recorded for posterity in extremely obscure tones. Never-the-less, it is possible to recognise the features of this spontaneous sacrificial fire in the few references to “Druid’s fire” and “Mystic fire”. One such legend that displays the necessary sacrificial ingredients concerns the legendary Irish Druid, Mogh Ruith at the “Siege of Drom Damhghaire”. Mogh Ruith is asked to make a “Druids fire” against the enemy. His pupil then creates a “seven doored heap of faggots” and states that “the fire is read, all but to light”. Taking a shaving from the men’s spears Mogh Ruith mixes it with butter and begins to chant. He then throws the ball into the fire where it explodes? He then “blew his Druids breath up into the sky whereupon it became a threatening black cloud which came down in a shower of blood”. The number seven, the spear, the blood, and the supernatural lighting of the fire, are all indicative of sacrificial activity and this spontaneous fire. In the Persian Bundahishn, chapter 17, we find an explanation of the five sacred fires, one being the fire “Vohu-Fryan” which is “in the bodies of men and animals”. Another fire called “Adar Gushnasp” aided king Khosraw when he “was extirpating the idoltemples of lake Chechast it settled upon the mane of his horse, and drove away the darkness and gloom, and made it quite light, so that they might extirpate the idol-temples”. It would appear that Kay (King) Khosraw (a contemporary of Zoarostra?) had ridden his horse into the temple whereupon its

mane had suddenly burst into flames! The custom of smearing the neck of a horse with the blood of your foes might be significant here, but more of this in a subsequent paper. In India, the most important sacrificial offering was the horse. Once chosen, it was left to wander the land for a year. In Donald A Mackenzie’s book “Indian Myth and Legend”, he recounts how Bhima was given a scimitar with which he severed the horses head, “which immediately ascended into heaven and vanished from before the eyes of all. Great was the wonder and joy of the assembled multitude. Krishna and other Rajahs and sages then cut open the horses body, from which a bright light issued forth”. In the epic saga “The Ramayana” we find that the Jewish “angel in a sacrificial fire” has been replaced by “Vishnu in a sacrificial fire Much of Chinese history has been lost to us but I did discover this intriguing story that mirrors the surviving extremities of SHC victims. It concerns the god Tsao Jun who was previously a mortal who cheated on his wife. He was so ashamed that he jumped into a stove and was burnt to death. His wife managed to grab one of his legs, the only portion of his body to survive the flames. He was later deified, and tellingly became the god of sacrifice! This Roman reference comes from Suetonius’ “The Twelve Caesars” P122, where he recounts how when Tiberius was marching through Macedonia, “the altars consecrated by the victorious Caesarians at Philippa, twenty-two years previously, were suddenly crowned with spontaneous fires”.

A Ritual Revolution
Let us pause for a moment to consider the impact that this extraordinary ritual fire would have had upon the lives of ancient people. Is it simply a coincidence that we find the first clear evidence of blood sacrifice and ritual cremation together amidst the first settlements of the Neolithic revolution! Anthropologists have long insisted that this momentous social revolution was triggered by agricultural developments, but archaeological evidence now indicates that its actual trigger was a ritualrevolution! The following quotation is from a 1999 publication compiled by 29 eminent historians and archaeologists – “The earliest changes visible in the archaeological records relate not to food production, but to social relations, indicated not only in the tendency to reside in one location over longer periods and in the investment in labour in more substantial and more permanent structures, but also in the growth of ritual, an important factor in social cohesion. Indeed, it is possible that this “symbolic revolution” was of greater immediate significance than the economic changes we associate with the origins of agriculture. [2] Unfortunately, the anthropological term “ritual activity” is used profusely to describe any act they deem to be symbolic. Whereas I see much of this ancient ritual activity as having been peripheral to the act of blood sacrifice which I claim produced these strange phenomena. Based upon the evidence I have, I would suggest that

the Neolithic revolution was triggered and sustained by a “sacrificial revolution”. Historians and anthropologists are right to err on the side of caution when considering new evidence, but I do believe they need to review again the work of anthropologist Charles Keith Maisels, [3] who in 1993 presented a similar argument against the agricultural origins of the first cities in Mesopotamia. Whilst not exactly stating that “ritual activity” was responsible for these citystates, he does argue that these conurbations crystallised about the temple complexes found in their midst! In addition to this, historians need to address the problem of anthropologies inability to explain the origins and universal spreads of sacrifice, [4] something that makes their assertion that the act of sacrifice was purely symbolic, rather presumptuous! They also need to review the work of the German geographer Eduard Hahn, whose findings indicate that animal husbandry resulted from a need to supply sacrificial victims. And intriguingly, they need to review the work of archaeologists Richard Bradley and Julian Thomas who have suggested that the initial imports of grain into Neolithic Britain, were for ritual purposes only!

Temple Conflagrations
Further evidence of this sacrificial fire may also be found in some of the stories told about odd temple conflagrations. Pausanias in his “Descriptions of Greece” was keen to record such events. One such account concerns a temple built for Zeus, 2.5.5 “… that suddenly fire from some quarter fell on it and destroyed it”. Archaeologists are puzzled by the strange conflagrations that the

Woodhenges of Europe were subjected to as soon as they were built, which has prompted one archaeologist to suggest that they were ritually torched as part of some inauguration ceremony? Archaeologists have recently discovered evidence of similar ritual conflagrations atop the huge pyramids of the Lambeyque civilisation in Central America. The Erechtheum on the Acropolis in Athens was also subjected to a conflagration that badly damaged its wooden ceiling. In Lebanon the great temple at Baalbek was mysteriously burnt down during the reign of the emperor Justinian in 866 AD; a sudden “fire from heaven” flamed up in the temple and consumed it, destroying its beams, bronze, and lead, and the idols inside”.

Ritual Cremation
In the same vein, one has to explain the sudden appearance of human cremation alongside the practice of sacrifice during the Neolithic revolution? Of course, the full picture is somewhat distorted by the fact that burnt animal deposits are always treated as the remains of ritual meals, not ritual cremations. Of the 390 stone circles described in Audrey Burl’s “A guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany”, some 110 of these have been found to contain human cremations! Mike Pitts informs us in his book “Hengeworld” P121, of the reevaluated archaeological evidence that now reveals some “sixty cremation burials” found within the excavated portions of Stonehenge. The forensic archaeologist Jackie Mckinley P120, stresses the degree of burning to these and other cremated burials; “these features, a high degree of cremation, and a lot of

bone collected – are typical of burials found in the centre of round barrows”. How these cremated individuals died will never be known, but some have been found with arrowheads in their burnt remains which suggests the practice of human sacrifice at a safe distance. Confirmation perhaps of Strabo’s claim that the Druids practiced human sacrifice by shooting arrows into their victims… and burning them wicker-man style! Just before we leave Mike Pitts “Hengeworld”, P251, we find this tantalising bit of information from Papua New Guinea recounted by the anthropologist Miriam Kahn. She tells of a legendary figure called Tauaribariba who is represented by “one of several stones in a circle about 5m across. He watches over the taro gardens and walks about at night. Whenever you see a column of smoke rising into the air, there goes Tauaribariba, for he can make fire from nothing”! The association of a stone circle with spontaneous fires acquires new significant in light of the above evidence; as does the association of these standing stones with deceased ancestors, but more of this in another paper.

Awareness of this spontaneous sacrificial fire enables one to examine afresh the conversion myths of the Church in order to identify the ritual activity they wished to overthrow. Most of these legends involve fiery dragons and demons; beasts that I would argue encapsulate the qualities of these ritual phenomena, their guardianship features especially important as you will see. One such legend tells of the apostle John, who after Christ’s crucifixion, went to live out his life in Ephesus. After going to pray

in the nearby pagan temple of Artemis, a fire from heaven killed 200 men who worshipped before the idol there. He is then said to have raised them from the dead and baptised them into the faith. He is also said to have driven out a demon from the temple that had lived there for 249 years.

George and the Dragon

The later legend of St George and the Dragon tells of a knight embarking upon a missionary quest. Inevitably, he comes across a village under constant threat from a fiery dragon who demands a regular supply of sacrificed maidens. The villagers have to draw lots in order to choose the next victim, and one year the inevitable princess is chosen; cue St George, who appears on the scene to slay the fiery dragon and convert the villagers from paganism to Christianity. St Patrick is another missionary who converts the pagans. During the spring New Year fire festival of Beltane when all fires were extinguished and the High King’s fire was ceremonially lit so that every other fire in the land might be ignited anew. St Patrick

countered this rite by lighting an Easter fire on a nearby hill. The High King sent chariots to vanquish Patrick and put out his fire, but they failed to prevail against the holy fire, and so St Patrick converted Ireland. The legend also informs us that he used a three leafed clover to teach them about the Christian version of the trinity – their pagan trinity being these three ritual miracles discussed here!

Fire Festivals
I cannot leave this section without briefly mentioning the sacrificial origins of the many festivities that we celebrate today, and principal amongst these is the New Year fire-festival. This seeming innocuous and surprisingly universal festival involved the fires of whole nations being extinguished whilst they awaited the lighting of a sacred flame. Once lit, this sacred flame would then be disseminated throughout the land. To understanding the roots of this festival one has to be familiar with the existence of this spontaneous altar-fire. How else do you explain the ignition of these divine flames via an act of sacrifice! A gruesome example of this comes from the ancient Aztec’s who during their New Year festival would tear the heart out of a man chest and ignite a fire in the blood filled cavity? Frazer’s classic book the “Golden Bough” documents many of Europe’s preChristian festivals including the Bonfires (bone-fires) of our ancient ancestors.

By John Harper

Part 2

The “Josephus Omissions”
Some years after first discovering Josephus’ odd transliterations of the Bible I finally found time to sit down and examine them anew. As I began to read his works once more it quickly became apparent from this statement in the preface to his book what he was doing; “those that have a mind to know the reason of everything, may find here a very curious philosophical theory, which I now indeed shall waive the explication of; but if god afford me time for it, I will set about writing it, after I have finished the present work”. There is no record of him ever writing this exposé of Jewish religion, which is a great pity. Whether he was retaining these passages for inclusion in this forthcoming work, or simply hiding them from his Roman masters is uncertain. As I carefully examined and compared his recounting of these sacrificial incidents I discovered that he had omitted to mention one incident entirely? This was where King David made sacrificial offerings on mount Ornan after purchasing the site for the temple. 1 Chronicles 21:26, “There David built an altar to Yahweh and brought burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Yahweh, and Yahweh answered

him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offerings. Then Yahweh ordered the angel to sheath his sword”. This is followed a few lines later by this telling statement... 21::29, “The Dwelling which Moses had made in the desert and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon, but David could not go there to consult god because he was terrified of the angel’s sword”. It is abundantly clear that the angel’s sword was a metaphor for this horrific sacrificial-fire and that David feared it. I think it is important to note here that only those with knowledge of this spontaneous sacrificial fires existence would recognise the importance of this metaphor. I immediately checked to see whether this angel’s sword had been mentioned anywhere else in the Old Testaments prior to David and discovered just three passages that mentioned both an angel and a sword. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that Josephus had omitted the sword from one of these accounts, and completely excluded the other two from his “Antiquities of the Jew’s”! The first of these accounts concerns the prophet Balaam and his donkey. In the King James Bible, Numbers, 22:23 “… the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand”. Balaam eyes are eventually opened by Yahweh, “and he saw the angel of the lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face”. Josephus rendering of this story, Book IV Chap’ VI, P162, is less cluttered and whilst he does mention the angel, he omits any mention of the sword?

Josephus excludes this second incident of a Theophany completely. Joshua 5:13, As Joshua neared Jericho “he looked up and saw a man in front of him, “grasping a naked sword”… “Joshua fell on his face on the ground, worshipping him”. Joshua is told to take the sandals off his feet, “for the place you are standing is holy”. It was common practice to sacrifice to the gods in order to seek an omen before proceeding into battle, and the O/T’s do mention that Joshua set up the twelve stones from the Jordan and that he celebrated the Passover just to the east of Jericho. Josephus, Book V, Chap 1, additionally informs us that Joshua constructing an altar from the twelve stones, and “upon it offered sacrifice to god”; “and in that place celebrated the Passover”. The Passover lasts for seven days, and it was after this period that Joshua attacked Jericho. Now that we can recognise the angel’s sword as a metaphor for this spontaneous fire, we can see that both Balaam and Joshua’s theophany are reminiscent of Moses encounter with the burning bush, but instead of seeing Yahweh in a sacrificial fire, they see an angel with a sword! I believe this third story holds the key to the philosophy that Josephus intended to explain in a future philosophical work. King James Bible, Genesis 3:24, Yahweh, “drove out the man [Adam]; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. This placement of the angels and the flaming sword “at the east of the garden” is repeated in both the Jewish “Tanakh” and the Greek Septuagint. I emphasize this point because as I read this story

again and again I found myself presented with the image of a temple! Guided by this metaphoric angel’s sword I was now able to discern the placement of this sacrificial-fire at the east of the Garden, just where you would expect to find the altar in a temple. If there was one universal constant that applied to sacrificial worship it was that the altar faced the rising sun in the east. The many ritual and theological aspects to emerge from this story have convinced me that Eden was a metaphor for a temple. For example, it suddenly becomes glaringly obvious that in antiquity, the altar was perceived as a gateway between this world and the next, its spontaneous fire not only judgmental, but a guardian. This guardian concept was not only applicable to the netherworld, it was clearly an ever-present threat for the priest in the temple who would see this sacrificial-fire as guarding the way to god’s presence… in the sanctuary! With this view of a temple firmly fixed in my mind I turned to address the question of Adam and Eve in this new setting. Placing Adam in a temple would mean that he was a priest, and so it made sense to see him tending the altar as the first man to communicate with his creator god. Adams transgression has however been a controversial issue ever since the Church claimed that he had stolen the fruit from the tree of knowledge and thus tainted humanity with an “original sin” which would forever prevent us from entering heaven. It is telling that this sin can only be cleansed by the Church here on earth; a final check being made by the angel Gabriel at the gates of heaven! What we are looking at here is a metaphor that has been distorted in order to convey a

restrictive social message to the masses; its original meaning retained and accessible only by the initiated. The key to this allegorical message is Adams transgression; whatever it was it had put him and the rest of humanity at risk when entering god’s presence, initially in the temple, and then by theological extension at the gates of heaven. If we quickly turn to Eve and examine her role in this parable, we find her in the center of the garden along with the serpent by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life. Eve is tempted by the serpent and so is the first to taste the fruit and found it “enticing for the wisdom that it could give”. She then offers the fruit (wisdom) to Adam, and their eyes are opened. Their new found wisdom lets them see their nakedness, and so “they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons”. The relevance of the aprons (elsewhere loin-cloths) is ritually significant as priests were required to wear aprons or breeches “to cover their bare flesh” (Exodus 28:42) when in the presence of god in the temple. The wider evidence suggests that one risked being attacked by these spontaneous flames if one exposes oneself “befouled” before a fire, i.e. contaminated with sexual fluids or blood, especially menstrual blood. Temple hygiene was certainly rigorous, with depilation, circumcision, and regular bathing in cold water, being regimes that priests eagerly adhered to. Such hygiene restrictions were I would suggest, related to the widespread blood taboo’s of antiquity; a series of extremely odd social practices aimed at achieving precisely what these ancient priests were doing, avoiding sexual contamination, with special

emphasis upon avoiding menstrual blood. In a temple scenario therefore, it is not out of place to see Adams sin as a sexual transgression. This suggestion has been made by other scholars but it involves Satan and the promiscuity of woman and so goes nowhere. The result of Adam’s transgression is telling in that he and Eve have to leave Yahweh’s presence and cover their genitals. Henceforth, humanity would forever risk the angel’s fiery sword (this sacrificial-fire) in order to enter the presence of god, either in the temple or in heaven! Scholars have long equated Eve with the goddess Asherah who was associated with serpents and who was represented by wooden Asherah poles placed alongside the altars in high places. An Asherah pole was also placed in the temple sanctuary by the Jewish King Manasseh. We shall explore her relationship with Yahweh and his sanctuary below, but what is now clear from this interpretation of the Garden of Eden story is that she provides Adam with wisdom. The sexual element is obvious, but how does one square this with the acquisition of wisdom? This is a question I shall explore in my forthcoming work.

Solomon’s Key
Research into the writings attributed to David and his son Solomon left me pondering the meaning of this curious assertion from first David in Psalms 111, “the root of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh, those that attain it are wise”, and from Solomon in Proverbs 1:7,

“The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools spurn wisdom and discipline”. I had already equated David’s “fear” with this terrifying altar-fire; a relationship that is confirmed in Exodus 23.20, where Yahweh sends an angel (the Ark) to precede the Hebrew’s and declares “I will send fear before thee”. We know that that this spontaneous fire sprang forth from the Ark. We also know that David would not go to worship before the Ark because he was “terrified of the angel’s sword”; so the “fear” that David and Solomon allude to must refer to this spontaneous altar-fire. In the Vedic “hymns to the Mystic Fire” we learn that “When a man firmly establishes this fire, he echoes the words of knowledge and comes to know that; for he embraces all seer-wisdom as the rim surrounds a wheel”. This certainly confirms the existence of an ancient belief system that saw the production of this sacrificial-fire as being the key to some form of wisdom; but what was it? In Proverbs we find Solomon referring to “wisdom” in feminine terms. Scholars believe that “she” was Yahweh’s mysterious consort Asherah, and that she was related to the goddess of wisdom Sophia. Sophia as the goddess of light was seen as the divine radiance of Yahweh, his glory that rested upon the Ark between the angel’s wings. The “sanctuary radiance” that I believe provides the basis for the Holy Grail mystery.

The Holy Grail

Holy Grail in Mary Magdalene Church Rennes-le-Château

I believe that Sophia’s wisdom concerned her manifested spiritual light, the soul said to reside within all life; this radiance was also manifested atop the Ark of the Covenant! Following the advice of David and Solomon, I focussed my attention upon the altar and the procedures that surrounded it. I know it will surprise many people to learn that the sacrificial process did not end with the liberation of the victim’s blood and the burning of the victims. This was merely a prelude to the real mystery which involved the blood of the sacrificed victim’s being collected from the altar in a variety of vessels such as skulls, bowls, and chalices, etc, wherein it was conveyed into the darkness of a sanctuary or sepulchre. It didn’t matter whether these dark places were a cave, temple, pyramid, or mound. It also didn’t matter who was being venerated, divinity, royalty, or deceased ancestor; they all received the same sacrificial offerings and rites. It was in the darkness of these sanctuaries that this strange radiance was manifested to be perceived of as either a divine spirit or a

deceased soul. It is this strange ritual phenomenon that provides the basis for the legend of the Holy Grail!

The Keeper of the Grail
I wasn’t until I began to examine evidence of the Human Glow Worm phenomenon that I received one of those fabled Eureka moments and realised that this was yet another ritual phenomena, the third miracle in this sacrificial trinity. The majority of researchers who have examined this phenomenon have all indicated its longevity. The earliest mention of this phenomenon that I have found comes from the oldest story written on earth, the Sumerian “Epic of Gilgamesh” where we find the Hero Bilgames manifesting an “Aura of Terror”. Later, the Jewish Talmud recounted that in Sumaria, “Enoch Became so holy, people feared him” because “the glory of heaven rested upon his face”. The ancient kings of Persia exhibited their divine authority in the form of an “awful kingly glory” which they called a Farr, the “Glory of God”. In the Zoroastrian Pahlavi scriptures we discover that the mother of Zoroastra was afflicted with this bodily radiance; and of course, one cannot fail to mention Moses’ facial radiance, which also had the effect of terrifying the Jew’s when he came down from Mount Sinai after his meeting with god. By far the most significant person to have ever been afflicted with this strange bodily radiance was Jesus. His transfiguration provides us with a few clues as to its ritual inducement, Matthew 17:1, Jesus took “Peter and James, and his brother John and led them up a high mountain”, and 17:2, “there in their presence he was transfigured: his face did shine as the sun”.

Going up a “high mountain” was synonymous with attending a sacred high place, so we can deduce that his transfiguration took place at a primitive stone altar and that it involved an act of sacrifice. The next statement in this story is especially intriguing; Matthew 17:4, Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias”. In recording this commentary, I believe it is possible that Matthew was indicating a relationship between the radiance of Jesus and the radiance of the tabernacle? I wasn’t until I read about an Italian woman who became known as the “luminous women of Pirano”, that things finally fell into place. One evening in 1934 she experienced one of her asthma attacks and started to emit a blue glow from her chest. Her symptoms persisted and she was eventually recorded on film. Then are some intriguing aspects to this incident, such as her religious zeal and the fact that she practiced fasting and flagellation, but I shall explore these events in my book where I deal with the cause of these phenomena. As I continued reading, I discovered that one of the many doctors to examine her had proclaimed that the glow she was emitting was coming from her blood! I didn’t exactly shout eureka, I just received a metaphoric slap in the face as I realised that if blood was somehow capable of emitting a radiance when inside the body, then why not outside the body, in a Grail chalice, in a darkened sanctuary!

This research suggests that the “Keeper of the Grail” was a “keeper of holy blood”, i.e. his body was seen to contain holy blood. As such he can be seen as a composite figure based upon those prophets and saints etc, who manifested this bodily radiance. The premise being that they were linked to the contents of the Holy Grail by the contents of their bodies, i.e. their Holy blood, indeed, he may well have supplied the contents of the Grail vessel, his blood! This would certainly explain his injury and sickness, a theme that has much deeper ritual significance than the annual passage of summer to winter. The association between this bodily-radiance and this sanctuaryradiance is supported by the appearance in these medieval romances of the most prominent keeper of them all, the “fisher king”, whom many researchers believe is a depiction of Jesus. This body-sanctuary relationship is not only supported by Jesus’ Biblical transfiguration and Peters comments, but by the spelling of GRAAL in the Church of Rennes-le-Chateau! Take a look at the attached photograph and ask yourselves whether it is merely a coincidence that Jesus is depicted standing next to the Ark of the Covenant?

Altarpiece from St Polycarpe Church

Remember the sword lying across the bible symbols at the base of the crucifixion which I asked you to interpret during the course of this paper? No prizes for noting that the sword was a metaphor for this spontaneous altar-fire, but how many of you discovered the meaning of the bible? If you examine the photograph closely it is possible to see that the bible is open at page L 01, = the book of Leviticus; page one “The Ritual of Sacrifice”; first paragraph, “The Burnt Offering”! There can be little doubt that whoever commissioned and painted this picture was fully aware of this sword/altar-fire metaphor. However, this does not explain the insertion of this symbolism at the base of cross; they must be conveying some additional information linking this spontaneous fire to Jesus’ crucifixion? I suspect that they indicate the extraordinary intention of Jesus to ascend to heaven… directly from the cross! This may explain his agonising cry from the cross; Matthew 27:46, “My god, my god, why have thou forsaken me”! It also explains the comment from below the cross - “the man is calling for Elijah”, because Elijah rose to heaven in a whirlwind of fire!

Open Bible and Sword – St Polycarpe

Further evidence of this ritual knowledge surviving comes from the Grail legends themselves, where we discover that these medieval tales actually incorporate many of the Biblical discoveries that I have just outlined. The Grail chalice for instance is carried by a woman in a castle that was originally called Eden! Remember how David and Solomon stressed that “fear” was the route to wisdom; “fear” being code for this sacrificial-fire, which as we have seen, was symbolised by a sword. Is it merely a coincidence that in a Grail legend it is David’s sword that enabled the knights to comprehend the mysteries of the Grail? In the Vulgate tale “Queste Del Saint Graal” the sword is broken and the hero has to mend it in order to understand the secrets of the Grail. Once the knight mends or acquires this sword, he can then locate the castle (temple) and learn the secret of the Grail! I

haven’t the space to highlight all of the Biblical symbols relating to these ancient ritual phenomena that permeate these Grail poems, I am sure you will have picked them out as you read this article. Certainly I have more research to do in this area, so any discoveries you make will be more than welcome. We now know why the Church especially venerates those prophets and saints who have exhibited this bodily radiance, they are spotlighted throughout Jewish and Christian history. My tentative research suggests that this veneration is especially prominent in the Languedoc region where the Cathars and knights Templars held power. The Templars themselves especially venerated St Roche; a rather obscure saint whose statue Sauniere used to spell out the word GRAAL in his church at RENNES-LE-CHÂTEAU. Thus far I have determined that three of these saints manifested this bodily radiance, St Germaine, St Roche, and St Anthony of Padua; I have yet to analyse the lives of the last two saints. I believe that Sauniere was highlighting a relationship between this “bodily radiance” and the Grail; just as the person who commissioned the works in this side chapel of St Andrew’s Church where he included the statues of St Anthony of Padua and St Roche together with the symbol of this ritual trinity.

Church of St Andrews in Alet les Bains

Just to tease you further, have you ever wondered why the selection of a new pope is signalled by fire from a chimney turning from black to white? It is an antithetic symbol of sacrificial smoke which turns from white to black when offerings are placed on the altar-fire! Note: there are indications from the Vatican that they are preparing to drop this smoking portent from the next papal election. The endowing of divine authority by this portent is claimed by the prophet Muhammad who asserts in the Koran, Sura 3:183, “… verily, god hath enjoined us that we are not to credit an apostle until he present us a sacrifice which fire out of heaven shall

devour”! Note that in some modern versions of the Koran this passage has been changed!

I guess the key question here is have I proved the existence of these ritual phenomena? There can be little doubt that the two principal phenomena continue to occur today, albeit extremely rarely. The first of these is spontaneous human combustion. But as we have seen, this ritual ancient fire also consumed animals, and there does not appear to be any modern event that mirrors this, or is there? Given that my research identifies a haematological cause for these phenomena, it is intriguing to discover the same ingredient being repeatedly highlighted in the so-called Animal Mutilations phenomenon. The other ritual event, this bodily-radiance, is another enigma that continues to occur today in the form of the Human Glow Worm phenomenon. As we have seen, this phenomenon has also been associated with the blood of the people afflicted. It surely cannot be a coincidence that the other ancient phenomenon, this disembodied radiance, is also associated with the ritual manipulation of blood! In reality then, we already possess a great deal of evidence for these strange ritual events; my research simply makes sense of them! This prompts the next and equally important question of whether our view of these ancient ritual phenomena and their modern counterparts is being obscured by a hierarchical conspiracy. This

question has shaped the course of my future enquiries with a visit to Rennes-le-Château and a brief analysis of the Grail legends. Whilst my initial findings are tentative, they do suggest that this ancient knowledge persists within the Church. Not a surprise really as the Church has the most to gain by obscuring this knowledge from view, but in doing so it has obscured a crucial aspect of human history. Of course I am going to need help progressing the different strands of this research, hence this synopsis. I would therefore like to appeal for a partner or partners to assist me, as well as any information that people might have on these phenomena and their symbols. I can be contacted here on the “Arcadia” forum or you can email me direct at Copyright © John Harper 2007

1. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jew’s, Book 3 Chap’ 3: 6-7, Translated by William Whiston, 1825 2. David Lewis-Williams & David Pearce, Inside the Neolithic mind, 2005, P140 3. Emergence of Civilisation, Charles Keith Maisels, Routledge 1993 4. Encyclopaedia Britannica online, 8th April 2007, “Theories of the origins of sacrifice”

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