isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter i (the church)

“Verily the “Christs” of the pre-Christian ages were many. But they died unknown to the world, and disappeared as silently and as mysteriously from the sight of man as Moses from the top of Pisgah, the mountain of Nebo, (oracular wisdom), after he had laid his hands upon Joshua, who thus became “full of the spirit of wisdom”, (i.e., initiated). Nor does the Mystery of the Eucharist pertain to Christians alone.

Godfrey Higgins proves that it was instituted many hundreds of years before the “Paschal Supper”, and says that, “the sacrifice of bread and wine was common to many ancient nations.” Cicero mentions it in his works, and wonders at the strangeness of the rite. There had been an esoteric meaning attached to it from the first establishment of the Mysteries, and the Eucharistia is one of the oldest rites of antiquity. With the hierophants it had nearly the same significance as with the Christians.

Ceres was bread, and Bacchus was wine; the former meaning regeneration of life from the seed, and the latter – the grape – the emblem of wisdom and knowledge; the accumulation of the spirit of things, and the fermentation and subsequent strength of that esoteric knowledge being justly symbolized, by wine.

The mystery related to the drama of Eden; it is said to have been first taught by Janus, who was also the first to introduce in the temples the sacrifices of “bread” and “wine” in commemoration of the “fall into generation” as the symbol of the “seed”. “I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman”, says Jesus, alluding to the secret knowledge that could be imparted by him. “I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day that I drink it new, in the Kingdom of God.”

The festival of the Eleusinian Mysteries began in the month of Boedromion, which corresponds with the month of September, the time of grape-gathering, and lasted from the 15th to the 22nd of the month, seven days. The Hebrew festival of the Feast of Tabernacles began on the 15th and ended on the 22nd of the month of Ethanim, which Dunlap shows as derived from Adonim, Adonia, Attenim, Ethanim; and this feast is named in Exodus, (xxiii., 16), the feast of ingatherings. “All the men of Israel assembled unto King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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