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By John Harper

Part 1

Synopsis
• 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
Contents
• 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

Introduction
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 sanctuary-
radiance 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 sanctuary-
radiance; 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 idol-
temples 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 ritual-
revolution! 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 city-
states, 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 re-


evaluated 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.

Christianity
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 pre-
Christian 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 sanctuary-


radiance 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

Conspiracy
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!

Conclusion
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 johnharper@fastmail.co.uk

Copyright © John Harper 2007

Footnotes
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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