The origins of the Holy Grail, Philosopher’s Stone and Elixir of Life have been traced back 5,500 years to a cult in Mesopotamia that worshipped snakes and drank their venom and blood
The quest for the meaning of the Holy Grail has been one of those great open questions of history. By using the most current historical and scientific information, researchers Philip Gardiner and Gary Osborn say they have untangled the truth behind the origins of the Holy Grail, and it is far from traditional Christian beliefs and the alternative interpretation made popular by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code.
Could it be that the much maligned serpent ought to be venerated instead of feared? Is it possible that the combination of snake venom and blood creates a potent medicine? What if this concoction, the evidence for which researchers Gardiner and Osborn discovered throughout the world, is really what the ancients meant as the Holy Grail, the Elixir of Life and the Philosopher’s Stone?
Gardiner and Osborn believe they have found irrefutable evidence that not only does snake venom have healing properties but is also a doorway to spiritual enlightenment. Their findings, based on a wealth of detailed research on three continents, are revealed in the book The Serpent Grail: The Truth Behind the Holy Grail, the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life.
According to Gardiner and Osborn, the origin of the grail legend has its roots centuries before Parsifal, King Arthur, Christ’s crucifixion and even the story of Genesis. Their account begins in ancient Sumer, located at the southern tip of what is now Iraq, in the era 3500 – 2000 BCE, with a seemingly bizarre cult. This cult both worshipped the serpent as a deity with awesome powers and drank a mixture of its venom and blood from a ‘sacred’ ceremonial chalice. By drinking this mixture the cult’s initiates were cured of disease and, it is claimed, their lives were prolonged.
The authors of The Serpent Grail believe this ancient cult spread from Sumer to the West and beyond, and that this is the root source not only of the Holy Grail, but also of the Elixir of Life and the legend of the Philosopher’s Stone.
The Serpent Grail uncovers evidence — often hidden in plain sight — to show the presence of a prehistoric serpent cult which spread from Mesopotamia to Egypt, Greece, and China to the West and demonstrates how legends borne out of serpent worship became absorbed into Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The book draws on archaeological sources from around the world as evidence to demonstrate that the knowledge regarding the benefits of drinking a mix of snake venom and blood was inculcated into the religious symbolism on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the surprising yet important sites featured in the book is the ancient city of Yaxchilan in Mexico where Gardiner discovered ceremonial images with remarkable similarities to the Christian Eucharist (The Serpent Grail pp 188-9.)
The Serpent Grail also offers a unifying theory regarding snake imagery and symbolism that is present throughout the history and religions of the world. It demonstrates an alternative reading of myths and fables such as St. Patrick’s driving the serpents from Ireland and shows how the shadow of the serpent cult can still be seen in both Christian architecture and the celebration of the Eucharist. As Philip Gardiner said after a research trip to Italy, “Rome, and especially the Vatican, is littered with serpent imagery. Inside the Vatican statues and sculptures link the serpent to both the grail and the Ark of the Covenant. Even the name Vatican bears the etymological imprint of the serpent: Vati = place; can = serpent.”
Finally, The Serpent Grail looks at modern scientific research to provide the proof for its historical theories. Research scientists in labs all over the world are discovering healing and life-extending properties in the complex proteins that make up snake venom — from treatment for tumors and cancers to relief from high blood pressure.
Dr. Zoltan Takacs, a herpetologist at Yale University, discovered in a research project of the Egyptian Cobra exactly why snakes are not susceptible to their own venom when they eat their prey. Takacs has discovered an amino acid present in the cobra’s blood molecules that prevents the venom from latching on to its target. Indeed this amino acid is evident in the blood of most venomous snakes which prevents them from poisoning themselves.
“It may be that the dilution of the venom with blood — especially the blood of the same snake, which itself acts as an antidote by protecting the snake from its own venom — produced a virtual cure-all for the ancients. This would explain why the blood element in all the mythical stories we looked at was so important, especially in those myths involving the snake or serpent.” (The Serpent Grail p 280.)
Philip Gardiner has spent sixteen years reading, researching and re-evaluating the historical evidence of the history of mankind, science, religion and philosophy. He believes much of orthodoxy is based on propaganda in one form or another. He is also the author of The Shining Ones.
Gary Osborn has been a writer on mysticism and esoteric traditions for over ten years. His articles cover subjects related to ancient mysteries, alchemy, mysticism, ancient shamanism, and the nature of human consciousness.
The Serpent Grail: The Truth Behind the Holy Grail, the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life
by Philip Gardiner and Gary Osborn, ISBN: 1842931296 Distributed 2006 by Publishers Group West, Berkeley, CA.