The African Origins of the Holy Grail and the Witch's Cauldron
“The prenda is like the entire world in miniature, a means of domination. The ritual expert places in the kettle all manner of spiritualized forces. There he keeps the cemetery and the forest. There he keeps the river and the sea, the lightning-bolt, the whirlwind, the sun, the moon, the stars—forces in concentration.”
“All powers are concentrated in the Nganga, which is charged with aniministic magic. Everything in the Nganga, the Nganga itself, is a magical and telluric force. Everything in the Nganga has a level of energy, and this will vary according to the amount of time it has resided within it as part of its message… these contain good and evil spirits, just like the sacred stones of the Lucumi. An old Nganga saying dating from the time of the colony is a priceless trophy for the Palero who owns it… without the Nganga there is no Regla de Palo, no Mayombe; ‘There is nothing.’”
- Miguel Barnet
“Like the Arabian brotherhood of the Hashishim, the legendary Knights Templar waited for the desired knight, or madhi, to rescue the world from tyranny and establish the benevolent rule of the grail.”
-Barbara G. Walker
In the medieval occult traditions the Holy Grail was believed to be the chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper. The Holy Grail was first conceived as the cup of Christ’s Last Supper by the Burgundian Poet Robert de Borron between 1180 and 1200 in his story “Joseph D’Armathie.” Borron described the Holy Grail as a jewel that fell from the devil’s crown when the rebellious angels were kicked out of heaven. During his descent into hell the jewel fell to Earth and was used as a sacred vessel by the faithful. Joseph is said to have traveled to England with a group of monks where they built the temple of the Holy Grail in Glastonbury.
Within this Christian story is to be found traces of the original Grail mysteries and spiritual bloodlines. But it is incomplete and based on much older esoteric teachings which have been passed down through the ages and can still be found in various places in the world where Shaitan and the Djinn are fervently honored. The only part of Borron’s story that seems to be based on older myth cycles is the notion that the Holy Grail is somehow connected to Shaitan and the Fallen Angels. Because of the Grail’s occult connection to the fallen angels, it was believed to be endowed with ancient extraterrestrial powers that only the chosen ones could properly channel. As Barbara G. Walker points out in her book The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, “The myth wasn’t heard in Europe until the 12th century. The real origins of the Holy Grail were not Christian but pagan. The grail was first Christianized in Spain from a sacred tradition of the Moors.”
The Holy Grail mysteries cannot be properly discussed without some understanding of the medieval Knights Templar. Like many other aspects of medieval European culture, the modern white Christian oppressors have led the people to believe that the Knights Templar were a band of white Christian warrior-monks who strongly believed in the tenets of white supremacy and globalization. New Age conspiracy theorists add even more confusion to an already muddy pool of water. All the popular information about the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail are so far from the truth! Holy Blood, Holy Grail is one of the few books with good information about the Templars, but in my opinion it too fails to address some very vital points. The true mysteries of the Holy Grail are to be found in the Hermetic traditions that were passed to the Knights Templar from the Sufis and Djinn sects of the Black Moorish orient and the royal witchcraft systems of the ancient Black Celts. Unfortunately, there are very few English books in print that reveal the true identity and occult workings of the medieval Knights Templar. Furthermore, all the modern Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) movements that claim Masonic descent from the medieval Knights Templar also do not reflect the inner teachings of the Grail nor the ultimate Sufi sex rituals of P.B. Randolph, the African-American Rosicrucian that revived some of the Templar secrets in the mid-1800s as a result of his travels in the Black Moorish orient. Like Barbara Walker states above, this medieval secret society of warrior-monks has much to do with the Black Africans the Romans called the Moors, often referred to in many mainstream books about the Templars as Arabs, Saracens and Hashishim.
So who really were the Knights Templar and what were their Grail mysteries really all about? In spite of all the watered-down theories out there, mainstream history still must be consulted in order to properly answer this question. According to almost all accounts the Knights Templar were a very powerful economic and spiritual organization sanctioned by the Vatican and forced underground when the Pope accused the leaders of the secretive crusader order of the most horrific white Christian heresies of all times. When the Knights Templar were disbanded they were accused by the Vatican of practicing sex magic, Thelema-like orgies, animal and human sacrifices, conjuring Kabbalistic demons and Djinn, denouncing all forms of white Christian law and order in midnight Satanic Black Masses, and worshiping alongside of the Holy Grail a mysterious idol called Baphomet. Many of these accusations may very well have been based in truth, but very few Eurocentric historians seem to really understand the cultural implications behind them. The best description of the real Knights Templar is without a doubt to be found in the writings of the Indian Sufi master Idries Shah. In his book The Sufis Shah states that “Probably relying upon the contemporary eastern sources, western scholars have recently supposed that ‘Bafomet’ has no connection with Mohammed, but could well be a corruption of the Arabic Abufihamat. The word means ‘Father of Understanding.’ In Arabic, ‘Father’ is taken to mean ‘source,’ ‘chief seat of,’ and so on. In Sufi terminology, Ras El-Fahmat (‘Head of Knowledge’ means the mentation of man after undergoing refinement—the transmuted consciousness[)]... it will be noted that the word ‘knowledge, understanding’ used here is derived from the Arabic FHM room. FHM, in turn, is used to stand both for FHM and derivatives, meaning man. The Black head, or Negro head, or Turks head which appears in heraldry and in English country-inn signs is a crusader substitute word for this kind of knowledge.”
When we add Shah’s information to the esoteric teachings I have received from several Afro-Caribbean Martinist lodges and Palo Mayombe secret societies, the true identity of Baphomet and the secret Templar order becomes quite apparent. All the information I have gathered suggest that the Negro head the Knights Templar worshipped as Baphomet was the primeval ancestor, blacksmith (coalman), and shamanic warrior that founded the Moorish Masonic order the Templars were initiated into while visiting the Holy Land. Long before Jesus Christ was associated with the mysteries of the Holy Grail, this sacred jewel that fell from the crown of Shaitan was the dark hermetic property of the Maribou and all Afro-Islamic ancestors and Djinn that manifest through this sacred vessel of light.
It is interesting to note that when Aleister Crowley became head of the OTO he assumed the name Baphomet, while all of his writings suggest that he was not aware of the true meaning of the word. Nor was he in a spiritual position to reintroduce to the occult community of his times the essence of the Black head always described in medieval folklore as al-Aswad and the devil Shaitan. The one who The Book of the Law prophesized would appear at the end of time and teach the Obeah and the Wanga shall reveal it all and revive in the new Aeon the true Templar tradition of the Royal Negroes and Turks. Like Shah has shown, the coalman Baphomet (or rather Abufihamat) is the spirit of the Afro-Islamic blacksmith, the alchemist who turns raw iron into Masonic tools and the instruments of war. This ancient blacksmith and alchemist is always represented by a dark-skinned Black man and warrior-king. Professor John G. Jackson sheds a lot of light on this matter. In his book Introduction to African Civilizations Jackson quotes the following words by Professor Franz Boas: “Neither ancient Europe, nor ancient western Asia, nor ancient China knew iron,” and Boas declares, “and everything of the blacksmith was found all over Africa, from north to south and from east to west with his simple bellows and a charcoal fire he reduced the ore that is found in many parts of the continent and forged implements of great usefulness and beauty.”
Now that we have taken the time to examine the word Baphomet, let us take a closer look at the true identity of the Holy Grail, then see how these two occult concepts relate to each other. Contrary to what most have heard, the Holy Grail is not a cup. The Moors who introduced the Grail to medieval Europe brought it in the form of a medium sized iron pot, which was the alchemical vessel the Afro-Islamic blacksmith used to communicate with his ancestors and the Djinn. Amongst the Moors, Picts and Danes (who evolved into the Black Celtic tribes of Ancient Britain) this iron pot came to be known as the witch’s cauldron. Please recall that in Arabic “witch” means both “black” and “wise,” and is definitely connected to the the word “Baphomet,” which you will recall is derived from another Arabic word that means “black,” “head of wisdom” and “knowledge,” concepts that can also be found in many forms of Gnostic Christianity. Black Celtic folklore is full of tales of the witch’s cauldron, its connection to the invisible world of the dead, and to the black dwarf spirits that were believed to live in the sacred mounds and caves of the European countryside. A Templar and Black Celtic connection also explains why the Knights of the Holy Grail took refuge in Ireland, Scotland and Wales when under attack from the Vatican. The Holy Grail and the witch’s cauldron were also connected to the legendary magickian Merlin. There is reason to believe Merlin was a Black Englishman with Moorish ancestry. In the middle ages, the Welsh described Merlin as a painted wild man from the woods, which is also how the Roman Catholic commentators described the militant Moors they encountered and fought bloody wars with in ancient Scotland and Ireland. Merlin was also associated with the Devil and Lord Anti-Christ, the arch-enemy of the white Christian empire. In other myth cycles Merlin was a blacksmith and Masonic builder of magical nations which connected him to the original Moorish Masonic builders of medieval Europe. Merlin is believed to have forged King Arthur’s magick armor and created with his craft the Holy Grail and its secret society of wizards and witches. In the original myth cycles Merlin was a real Black messianic figure in many of the occult traditions of ancient Moorish Britain. During the Middle Ages, the poor and the down-trodden prayed for the apocalyptic return of Merlin’s Holy Grail magick, and the destruction of white Christian tyranny and intense suffering. Out of this cultural matrix was born the noble spirit of the Knights Templar and Baphomet, their version of the Holy Grail and the Black Heads of Wisdom that spoke through it. When the so-called Christian Templars arrived in the Holy Land, the folk traditions of the Moorish orient must have seemed very familiar to them, which explains how Christianized Moorish and mulatto monks would come to associate with such radical and hysterical Islamo-occult movements as the criminal sects of the assassins, Sufi and Gnawa. Also the Black man Satan or Shaitan with his Holy Grail or witch’s cauldron were also very popular in the folklore of medieval Spain and Portugal, which is where the occult writer Barbara G. Walker suggests they all originate. The Holy Grail or the witch’s cauldron was the same thing as the Afro-Islamic pots of the Djinn found throughout the Black Moorish orient and Africa. It is an Afro-Shamanic practice that definitely entered medieval Spain by way of Morocco and Senegal, and is still a part of some of the dark Sufi, Maribou and Gnawa cults found in certain parts of these two Muslim countries.
When the Knights Templar were banished from Europe, the Holy Grail mysteries went underground and became a part of medieval romance and folklore. However, the shamanic practices the Templars inherited from the Black Celtic witches, Merovingian princes and militant Black Islamic and Black Jewish tribes of the middle east continued to flourish in secret guilds and covens in Spain and Portugal, all the way up to the great exodus of heretical Blacks out of western Europe and the advent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. These medieval Black Europeans and the Holy Grail cults were banished to Sao Tome and Angola, both of which were at that time Portuguese colonies. There is also reason to believe that as the slave trade picked up momentum the creolized children of these banished Black Jews and Black Muslims returned to Europe in chains with a new shamanic tradition that was a blend of the ancestral religions their Black and mulatto European grandparents and the dark animistic beliefs of the Kongo basin. This is part of the tragic history of the Black European, and I can do no better than quote the famous Cuban writer Fernando Ortiz as his words appear in Dr. Sertima’s book African Presence in Early Europe. In this book Ortiz informs us that “The Negro first came to the West Indies from Spain, not from Africa… in one city like Evora, Portugal, the Negroes undeniably exceeded the whites. Several thousands of Wolof, Mandingo, Guinea and Congo slaves entered Lisbon and Seville each year and were sold for the cities and fields of Iberia… the Negroes and mulattos were frequently emancipated and both rose to prominence by the virtue of knowledge, art, valor or love.”
During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, thousands of Moorish-Bantu slaves from Europe and Central Africa were brought to the Caribbean, and they carried with them the black art in all its various syncretic forms. In a foreign land medieval African and Black European history repeated itself. The colonial Americas helped give birth to the return of the militant spirit of the Black Celt and his infamous witch’s cauldron or Holy Grail. This witch’s cauldron resurfaced in Cuba in the early-1700s under the Zarabanda cults. This cult revolved around a Moorish-Bantu inspired ancestral pot made of iron, and the dark shamanic tradition that, according to some of the elders of the Briyumba Kongo branch of Jewish Palo Monte worship, was conceived by the medieval Black Europeans that joined forces with the Ba-Kongo witch doctors in the early days of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Zarabanda was the tribal spirit believed to inhabit the big black iron pot of the west African Moors and Black Celts, and in the age of Cuba’s African cabildo was syncretized to the Orisha Ogun, the god of blacksmiths, amongst the medieval Dahomey and Yoruba tribes. Zarabanda was believed to be the cult’s primeval African ancestor, first blacksmith and militant witch-man of the woods much like the original Moorish Merlin. Many a slave looked to the Zarabanda cauldron the way the Knights of the Round Table and the conquered Black Celts looked to the Holy Grail and the return of Merlin. It is also interesting to note that throughout Cuban history some of the most famous Palo Mayombe families have carried Irish and Scottish last names, and is evidence of the Black Celtic or Islamo-Irish influences that exist in Bantu-Caribbean based mystery cults. What I am revealing to you is one out of a number of interrelated reasons why the Palo Mayombe greeting has been “salam malekum” for centuries and why many of the pictures o the Mayomberos from the late 1800s are photos of Black men dresser very similar to the Gnawa and Sufi masters of Morocco and Senegal. Please also recall that the Holy Grail and witch’s cauldron was thought of in the middle ages to be the jewel that fell from Shaitan’s crown when he rebelled against God and became a demonic spirit action. Believe that I tell you in the New Aeon, for I am the one that came to teach the Obeah and the Wanga. The Afro-Cuban Prenda or Nganga is the same witch’s cauldron that gave birth to the Knights Templar and the royal witchcraft traditions of the Black Celts.
Now that it has been established that the witch’s cauldron the Cubans call Nganga Zarabanda is of Moorish origins, let’s take a closer look at what this Nganga really is so you can fully start to see how it relates to the occult traditions of West Africa and Medieval Black Spain and Portugal. In her book Santeria Migene Gonzalez-Wippler has the following to says “The Mayombero waits until the moon is propitious and then he goes to a cemetary with an assistant. Once there, he sprinkles rum in the form of a cross over a pre-chosen grave. The grave is opened, and the head, toes, fingers, ribs and tibias of the corpse are removed… the bodies of white persons are also greatly favored, as the Mayombero believes that the brian of the mundele (white person) is easier to influence than that of a Black man and that it will follow instructions better… the Mayombero writes the name of the dead person on a piece of paper and places it at the bottom of a big iron cauldron, together with a few coins… after the human or animal blood has been sprinkled on the remains, the Mayombero adds to the cauldron the wax from a burnt candle, ashes, a cigar butt and some lime. Also added to the mixture is a piece of bamboo, sealed at both ends with wax, and filled with sand, sea water and quicksilver… the body of a small black dog is also added to the cauldron to help the spirit ‘track down victims.” Next to the dog, a variety of herbs and tree barks are placed inside the cauldron. The last ingredients to be added are red pepper, chili, garlic, ginger, onions, cinnamon, and rue together with ants, worms, lizards, termites, bats, frogs, spanish flies, a tarantula, a centipede, a wasp and a scorpion.” The description of the making of Nganga does not seem to have its origins in Central Africa. The Afro-Cuban Nganga has more in common with the witch’s cauldron until the time of the Spanish inquisition and the Moorish occultists that were banished by the Catholic Church to Sao Tome, the Canarie Islands and colonial Angola.
There is also reason to believe that the New World mysteries of Zarabanda and the witch’s cauldron may be pre-Columbian in origin. Even Christopher Columbus seemed to believe that Black European exiles had made it to the West Indies before him. On his fourth voyage in 1502 he records two very shocking discoveries. On the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe he and his crew discovered a witch’s cauldron and an old ship’s mast in a native hut. Columbus was able to recognize the design and contents of the witch’s cauldron and came to believe it was brought to the Caribbean long ago from the Canarie Islands. The Canarie Islands were an early-15th century Portuguese dumping ground for the Black Jews and Black Muslims who became the refugees of the racist witch trials the white Christian oppressors called the Holy Inquisition. Hence, the marriage of the medieval Black European and the pre-Columbia Mandingo mysteries probably already existed when the first white settlers arrived. Perhaps fundamental aspects of the witch’s cauldron existed in the ancient Americas long before the time of the iron pot Columbus believed Black European exiles brought with them from the Canarie Islands. In other words, aspects of the Palo Monte Mayombe cult seems to have been a native Black religious movement that was in no way a part of the Black diasporic culture that emerged during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This seems to explain how and why Zarabanda’s witch’s cauldron in some branches of the Palo Kongo faith such as Changani Ntoto have a strong pre-Columbian Black Moorish and native Taino and Arawak vibe. Also, the Taino and the Arawak are two native tribes out of dozens in the so-called New World Dr. Ivan Van Sertima has shown blended with the Egyptian-Olmec and the pre-Columbian Mandingo centuries before the coming of Columbus.
The Zarabanda cult and its native Black Moorish flavor seems to have also had a great impression on white Spanish culture in general, which explains why the most radical dance of the early Spanish colonies came to be known as the Zarabanda. The Zarabanda dance may also be related to the Haitian banda dance and the Vodou spirits of death, sex and black magick. Take a look at the Zarabanda dance and see how it relates to the Moorish-Bantu mysteries of colonial Cuba and most likely other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America where Central African and Black European slaves were found in large numbers. Wikipedia has the following to say about the Spanish Zarabanda dance: “The Zarabanda is an old Spanish dance related to the Sarabande especially popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is believed to have originated in Native American dances. In its time it was rather controversial since it was thought too indecent—Miguel de Cervantes once said it was ‘invented in hell.’ It was banned several times, but it was still performed by many people and even by clerics during mass.” The Zarabanda dance was first popular in colonial Panama, the home of the pre-Columbian Mandingo, Wolof and Fula. Some paleros believe this dance’s connection to Native American dances links it to the pre-Columbian Black Indians that lived in Central America and the Caribbean. This is a further reflection of the primeval pacts and treaties certain branches of the Zarabanda cults have with the native Black Taino and Arawak spirits and these spirit relation to the Black Moorish orient. There is also the possibility that the Zarabanda dance was first popularized by the Barbary Coast pirates and criminals that dominated the West Indies from the late-1600s to the mid-1700s the way they had centuries ago in the Mediterranean Sea. These Moorish freedom fighters consisted of runaway Black Celts, Black Muslims and Black Jews originally from Portugal and Spain, and the pre-Columbian Mandingos and Fulas. And was not the rebel flag of these pirates and criminals the skull and crossbones? The skull and cross bones is one of the primary symbols of the dark spirit Zarabanda and his sacred pot of iron! Hence, in the magick cauldron that re-surfaced in the colonial Caribbean is to be found a continuation of the Holy Grail mysteries that in medieval Black Celtic folklore was called the witch’s cauldron, the jewel of Shaitan the fallen one. Look at the similarity of traditions. Take as another example this: in Afro-Cuban black magick the witch’s cauldron is called la prenda or the jewel, no doubt a spillover from the medieval Black Europe and the idea that the Holy Grail was formerly a jewel in the devil’s celestial crown. And just like the witch’s iron pot of Black Celtic folklore and magick, la prenda is the vessel that has the power to raise the spirits of the hellfire worlds. I have revealed to you in this article the foundation upon which some of the oldest lines Palo Kongo worship stand. When we see Jewish Prenda Zarabanda and others like it we are without a doubt looking at a system of Afro-Caribbean shamanism that is one of the purest and most potent faces of the real medieval black art that has survived the test of time.