The ancient Greek writer Hesiod once wrote that there were five ages of mankind – the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the Heroic Age, and the Iron Age. Similarly, in Hinduism, there are four different epochs – the Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, DwaparYuga and Kali Yuga.
In both Greek mythology and Hinduism, the ages preceding our present age is described as much more pleasant, with humanity experiencing deterioration over the ages. Likewise, in early British legends, it is said that the British Isles were, in a bygone age, the home of gods and heroes. Although these figures no longer dwell on the British Isles, legends sprung up about the magical objects these beings left behind.
The ‘Thirteen Treasures of Britain’ are a group of magical items found in late medieval Welsh tradition. These precious relics are mentioned in 15th and 16th century manuscripts, such as the Welsh Arthurian tale of ‘Culhwch and Olwen’.
The Thirteen Treasures are said to have been located in the north of the British Isles, i.e. northern England and Scotland. One of the Welsh manuscript is in fact entitled ‘Tri Thlws ar Ddeg Ynys Prydain’, which has been translated into English as ‘The Names of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, which were in the North’.
The thirteen legendary treasures of Britain are as follows:
1. Dyrnwyn, gleddyf Rhydderch Hael (White-Hilt, the Sword of Rhydderch the Generous)
This peculiar sword belonged to Rhydderch Hael, a 7th century ruler of Alt Clut, a Brittonic kingdom in what is now Strathclyde, Scotland. When the sword was drawn by a worthy man, it would burst into flames from its hilt to its tip. Although Rhydderch was willing to lend his sword to anyone who asked for it, the recipients would reject it after learning of the sword’s strange quality.
2. Mwys Gwyddno Garanir (The Hamper of Gwyddno Long-Shank)
Gwyddno Long-Shank was the ruler of Canolbarth, a legendary sunken land off the coast of Wales (now Cardigan Bay), who possessed a magical hamper, a wicker basket that could multiply food. Known as the ‘basket of plenty’, food for one man would be placed into the hamper and then closed. When the basket was opened again, there would be enough food for a hundred men.
The Basket of Plenty would multiply its contents, providing food for one hundred men. ‘Apfelernte’ by Karl Vikas (Wikimedia Commons)
3. Korn Bran Galed o'r Gogledd (The Horn of Bran the Niggard from the North)
According to Welsh legend, this horn once belonged to Hercules, who acquired the object from the head of the centaur Nessus after he was slain by the hero. The horn was able to grant whatever drink a user wished to find within it.
The Horn of Bran was said to provide its owner with whichever drink they wished. Bearded Pictish warrior from the Bullion Stone, Angus, now in the National Museum of Scotland. (Wikimedia Commons)
4. Kar Morgan Mwynfawr (The Chariot of Morgan the Wealthy)
Morgan, the king of Glamorgan, was the grandson and probable successor of King Meurig, who ruled over the early Welsh kingdoms of Gwent and Glywysing sometime between 400 and 600 AD. Morgan was said to have possessed a chariot that could travel quickly to any destination desired by its user.
5. Kebystr Klydno Eiddin (The Halter of Clydno Eiddyn)
The fifth treasure was a halter fixed to a staple at the foot of the bed Clydno Eiddin, a ruler in the Hen Ogledd, the Brythonic-speaking area in what is now Northern England and southern Scotland during the Early Middle Ages. "Eiddyn" is the Brythonic name for Edinburgh, implying a connection to that territory. According to legend, whatever horse Clydno wished for, it would appear in the halter.
The magical horse halter of Clydno Eiddyn would grant Clydno with any horse he wished for (Wikimedia Commons)
6. Kyllell Llawfrodedd Farchog (The Knife of Llawfrodedd the Horseman)
Llawfrodedd Farchog was a hero of Welsh tradition and a legendary figure in Arthur’s court in the tales of Culhwch and Olwen and Breuddwyd Rhonabwy. He is mentioned in Trioedd Tnys Prydein as the owner of a knife that would serve a company of 24 men at a dinner table, named as one of the Thirteen Treasures. The knife was great for a feast, but was also said to be a deadly weapon on the battlefield.
The Knife of Llawfrodedd the Horseman was a special relic for feasts (Wikimedia Commons)
7. Pair Dyrnwch Gawr (The Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant)
This cauldron, which belonged to the Welsh god Dyrnwch, would quickly boil meat placed in it by a brave man. The meat placed in it by a coward, however, will never boil. Thus, the cauldron would reveal who was brave and who was cowardly.
The Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant would instantly cook the meat of a brave man (Wikimedia Commons)
8. Hogalen Tudwal Tutklyd (The Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd)
Tudwal is thought to have been a ruler of Alt Clut, later known as Strathclyde, a Brittonic kingdom in the Hen Ogledd or "Old North" of Britain. He probably ruled sometime in the mid-6th century. If a brave man sharpened his sword on his whetstone, a man whose blood was drawn from this sword would die. The whetstone would have no effect on the sword of a cowardly man.
The whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd would imbue any sword sharpened on it with deathly qualities. (Wikimedia Commons)
9. Pais Badarn Beisrydd (The Coat of Padarn of the Scarlet Robe)
Historical sources suggest Padarn Beisrudd ap Tegid was a Romano-British official of high rank who had been placed in command of Votadini troops stationed in Clackmannanshire in the 380s or earlier by the Emperor Magnus Maximus. Alternatively, he may have been a frontier chieftain in the same region who was granted Roman military rank. His red coat, one of the Thirteen Treasures, was said to perfectly fit a well-born man, regardless of his size. It would not, however, fit a common person.
10. and 11. Gren a desgyl Rhygenydd Ysgolhaig (The Crock and the Dish of Rhygenydd the Cleric)
Whatever food a user wishes for, it would be found in the crock and dish.
The clay pot and dish of Rhygenydd the Cleric could produce any food the heart desired (Wikimedia Commons)
12. Gwyddbwyll Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio (The Chess board of Gwenddolau son of Ceidio)
Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio or Gwenddolau was a 6th century Brythonic king who ruled in Arfderydd (now Arthuret). This is in what is now south-west Scotland and north-west England in the area around Hadrian's Wall and Carlisle during the sub-Roman period in Britain. His chessboard of gold and silver was said to play any opponent on its own.
The gold and silver chess board of Gwenddolau could play by itself (chesscentral.com)
13. Llen Arthyr yng Nghernyw (The Mantle of Arthur in Cornwall)
King Arthur's llen or mantle is said to make anyone underneath it invisible, though able to see out. This item is known from two sources, the prose tales Culhwch and Olwen (c. 1100) and The Dream of Rhonabwy (early 13th century).
The cloak of the legendary King Arthur is said to have the ability to make its wearer invisible (Wikimedia Commons)
In some lists, the crock and dish of Rhygenydd are regarded as a set, thus counting as one item. Additionally, one of the items on the original list would be replaced with either the Mantle of Tegau Eurfron ‘Gold-Breast’, or the Stone and Ring of Eluned the Fortunate, thus bringing the number of treasures back to thirteen.
In the Welsh legends, the Thirteen Treasures were eventually acquired by Myrrdin (introduced into Arthurian legends as Merlin). The bearers of each treasure agreed to hand over their magical items to Myrrdin if he succeeded in obtaining the Horn of Bran, which they though impossible. Myrrdin, however, got the horn from Bran, and with the other treasures, went into the Glass House / Tower, where they are said to remain until the return of King Arthur.
Women robed in scarlet sheaths, conducting rituals associated with serpents away from prying eyes, serving Innana, the Goddess of Love, Fertility and War. The color of their clothes was symbolic of their power, but why was blood, particularly their menstrual blood, deemed powerful? Was it merely in acknowledgement of new life that the womb brings forth? Or were there specific uses for that blood?
Blood has been a part of rites and rituals in many religions, stretching back to the dawn of man. Jesus himself claimed there was power in the blood—but why? What is it about this nutrient rich fluid that held the ancients enthralled?
What Western society has viewed as evil in the form of Woman and the Serpent was once viewed with the utmost veneration, the two bestowing wisdom and longevity on all who partook of their essences. The Priestesses wore robes of scarlet, the color signifying the source of their power, and were titled ‘Hor’ (or in Greek Hierodulai), or ‘beloved ones’, having influence on the Kings and dignitaries in the lands they chose to settle.
They did not enter into marriage for life, but rather would have children with different Kings and powerful men, securing alliances and protection for their children. It was perhaps this attitude towards marriage that resulted in the meaning of ‘Hor’ becoming what we know today (Whore) and the association of the color scarlet being associated with sexual licentiousness and sin, as exemplified in the book ‘The Scarlet Letter’.
Contrary to claims that the priestesses engaged in ritual prostitution, it is more likely that they were in control of their choices of bed-mates along with the high priestess engaging in the ritual re-enactment of the sacred marriage between Dumuzi and Innana with a young man of her choice once a year on the Spring Equinox. The tales of Innana make it very clear she was not shy in picking lovers and promoting them to Kingship and her priestesses would have followed her example.
The marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi, reproduction of a Sumerian sculpture. Public Domain
From Sumer to Cambodia Kings enacted a ritual visitation with a Goddess (in many countries depicted as a serpent or half-fish) with the threat of destruction to the kingdom should the King fail in his duty.
This Sacred Marriage also conferred legitimacy on their reign. According to Samuel Noah Kramer in The Sacred Marriage Rite, in late Sumerian history (end of the third millennium) kings established their legitimacy by taking the place of Dumuzi in the temple for one night on the tenth day of the New Year festival. Gilgamesh is reputed to have refused marriage to Inanna, on the grounds of her misalliance with such kings as Lugalbanda and Damuzi.
One example of a priestess known to us as a ‘whore’ would be Rahab, who held a position of influence in Jericho and brokered an agreement with Joshua that she and her family would be spared. A scarlet thread was tied outside her window so his men would know to spare the occupants of the room.
She then became one of the ancestresses of King David. One gets a sense reading about these women in the Bible that there is a grudging respect afforded them, an acknowledgement of who they were intermingled with the desire to classify them as ‘fallen women’.
Painting depicting Rahab of Jericho and the scarlet thread. 17th Century. Public Domain
As emissaries of the Serpent Cult, the women certainly held their own in forming alliances with powerful men and establishing lines of descent. But what about within their own society? Why was their blood revered by those who shared the same lineage?
Innana was a member of the Sumerian Pantheon, along with Ninkhursag, Enki, and others identified as part of the Serpent Cult. So the Priestesses originated within Sumerian or Annunaki society. There are many books devoted to the subject of the Annunaki and it is possible through them to understand the rituals of the Priestesses and their place in Annunaki society.
A version of the ancient Mesopotamian eight-pointed star symbol of the goddess Ishtar/Inanna. Public Domain
The Annunaki were practitioners in hormonal therapy and during battle the soldiers would drink the blood of their fallen comrades, which provided them with a much needed energy boost and rehydration. Ordinarily the Annunaki imbibed the Priestesses’ menstrual blood which they believed was full of nutrients and contained an essence that not only lengthened their lives but also brought them to a higher state of consciousness.
During the temple ceremonies, the Priestesses would also bring themselves to arousal, causing the release of fluid emitted from the Skene’s Gland. This fluid is filtered blood plasma, and so is a rich source of hormones.
To achieve this they were trained to enter a meditative state in which each of their seven flowers (or what we know as chakras) ‘blossomed’, starting with the ‘Crown ’ at the top of the head and moving down the spine until it reached the ‘Root’ at the base of the spine. By activating these chakras, the glands were stimulated making the resulting fluid extremely rich and powerful.
The Annunaki were skilled scientists and so during these rituals they may not have drunk the substances fresh, but distilled them. The oft used quote about turning base metals into gold may have derived from the distillation of iron rich blood into a yellow-gold liquid, as Europeans in the last millennium discovered when they attempted to distil men’s souls.
While the idea of drinking fresh blood is repellent, it is worth noting that many of our modern medicines contain hormones such as Premarin. The proponents of the use of organs like the placenta and the injection of fresh cells called ‘Live Cell Therapy’ in natural medicine, claim that these methods rejuvenates the recipients; re-energizing, boosting immune systems and restoring youthful beauty - not so far removed from the Annunaki’s claims.
The blood used was only from the Annunaki Priestesses themselves and their direct descendants up until the Merovingian Dynasty during the Dark Ages. As the generations passed, it became too diluted and eventually was not used at all, the Dragon Court searching for other methods of achieving the same results.
It is worth noting that the Annunaki were not immortal, they died, often by violence inflicted by each other. What they sought was to live lengthened lives, but in full possession of their physical and mental faculties instead of withering away and living out their final years handicapped by infirmities.
What we have are the symbols of the Fountain of Youth (the Priestesses wombs), the Grail (or mixing bowl), as well as the mixing of the red and white which was the blood and semen of an Annunaki Priestess Ninkhursag and her husband Enki, used to create and nourish life, best expressed in the Templar Cross.