Enough of Putin (The Antichrist), Zelensky (The Hero), NATO, and a pending world war. Enough of those chilling comparisons of Putin’s war crimes to Bush and Cheney’s war crimes in their preemptive war of death and destruction in Iraq and the slaughter of civilians, including children.
I need a break from all that. It makes me sick.
Today let us contemplate the sacrament of holy communion—specifically the blood of Jesus if you’re Catholic, grape juice if you’re Presbyterian. I recently learned that those fluids are a placebo compared to what early Christians partook of. The chalice once contained hallucinogenic wine.
That possibility never crossed my mind.
According to Brian Muraresku, author of The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, evidence has been found—on ancient pottery and in the Vatican secret archives—suggesting that for 300 years Christians got high on eucharistic wine. One sip and they lost their fear of death just as Greek pilgrims to Eleusis, the epicenter of the mystery religions, had for nearly a thousand years before Christianity. In case you missed it, Homer tells of such magical potions in The Odyssey.
Christianity arose in the eastern Mediterranean where mystery religions touting secret rites flourished and where Dionysus—son of god (Zeus) and god of the vine—was exceedingly popular. After all, he could turn water into wine.
The gospel of John was intended for a Greek audience. The first miracle depicted is the wedding at Cana where Jesus changed 180 gallons of water into very fine wine (John 2.1–11). After which, the gospel says, his disciples believed in him. (WOW. He’s another Dionysus!)
Archaeo-chemists (yes, there are such people) have analyzed residue in unearthed ancient chalices indicating the presence of mushrooms, ergot, and laurel leaves. Restored murals show women pinching leaves into chalices. Other clues suggest that for a thousand years women had brewed spiked beer and prepared wine concoctions that stimulated psychedelic experiences. Communicants experienced immortality. Some saw ineffable light.
And then men took over the church, denigrated such women as witches, and spread the word that communion with the divine could only be obtained through the male priesthood.
I don’t know how true all of that is.
But if you need a bit of a digression from all the sobering news these days, there you go.