According to the Theosophist Society, the legend of the brass teapot first appeared in folklore around Christ's crucifixion.
ANCIENT ORIGINS: The Brass teapot is said to be made in part from the blood money paid in silver to Judas for the treason of Jesus of Nazareth, thereby embuing the vessel with a powerful and mystical alchemy.
In the biblical legend, the brass teapot was forged by an unwitting blacksmith on the day Jesus of Nazareth was brought before Pontius Pilate. It is written that Judas, one of the twelve, betrayed Jesus and turned him over to the chief priest, in exchange he was paid 30 pieces of silver. Judas' newfound wealth did little to overcome his intense remorse. When Judas fled the temple, it is written that he cried out 'I have sinned,' 'for I have betrayed innocent blood.' Judas then tried desperately to undo his treason but it was too late. Jesus was condemned to die. Judas ran from the city of Jerusalem and passed by the hovel of a blacksmith, who on that day was forging a teapot out of brass to be delivered to a foreign customer. The legend continues that Judas who wished to destroy the burden threw the shekels into a burning cauldron of brass and ran on to the mountains where he committed suicide. The teapot was forged by an expert blacksmith then from the mix of the brass and silver and etched with deep, mysterical engravings; it was then sent on to a powerful king in Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. The king quickly realized the powers of the teapot and had it taken to neighboring Damascus where it was houses in a spectacular fortress, guarded always by warriors less it fall into the hands of enemies.
Interestingly, this unlikely-sounding story could have been base on fact. Fourth century scholars record that Judas did indeed receive 30 pieces of silver, these shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and held great value. In the bible it is written that guardsmen reported seeing Judas throw the shekels into a field where they were quickly retrieved by a neighboring crowd. Later Judas hung himself from a tree. As the ancient forgers of Jerusalem are known to have used unknown and mysterious metallic combinations, it is likely that the brass teapot was forged from shekels which came from Pontius Pilates stock.
THE NAME: The Brass Teapot first appears as simply "a grail" in the works of Christien De Troyes. The word is probably derived from the Old French word graal meaning a "broad and capacious dish or salver". Though usually thought of as being a cup or chalice, the Grail has indeed been variously described as a platter, dish, a cornucopia, horn of plenty, pitcher, and most notably, a teapot.
In the poems 'The Spoils of Annwn' accredited to the Welsh bard 'Taliesin' of the sixth-century is a description of a sacred vessel that is sought in the Annwn, the Underworld, by a group of learned mystics, believed to be a vessel akin to the symbolism of the Grail. The "cauldron" "grail" or "teapot" possessed many magical powers including speech, only heard by the one touching it.
Further more, the vessel possessed the ability to heal the financial woes of its bearer. It is believed that the vessel would produce great wealth in the form of gold, silver and later paper money when in the presence of pain. It is difficult to imagine a person wittingly resorting to hurting themselves, or others to gain such wealth but according to the ancient writings of Bran the Blessed 'the vessel provided the seeker with vast wealth, but in return she demanded blood and unholy cries'. Whilst it has been suggested by scholars that the two vessels "The Holy Grail" and the "teapot" are diametrically opposed to one another, representing opposite points and faiths, (The Grail representing light, and the teapot darkness), we can see that two realms of possibility are established and by their very symbolism therefore connected and interwoven. Perhaps the two objects are actually one in the same.
Throughout Biblical times and into the 2nd century legends, 'The Quest for the Holy Grail', or 'The vessel', is a search for a magical object which brings enlightenment brought by Joseph of Arimathea to Britain. A few stories tell of the object being brought by angels from heaven and given to sacred Knights, perhaps the Knights of the Round Table, or their earlier counterparts, while others refer to the legend of Judas blood money.
Only the pure were said to have been able to approach the vessel, anyone else approaching it would simply see it disappear before their eyes. We know that many of the stories accredited to the sacred vessel, known in early Anglo-Norman romances as the 'Graal' meaning a dish made from expensive metals and stones and equating to the Keltic 'Mowys' or 'Mias', have been developed through the spread of Christianity across Medieval Europe . Yet if we re-examine the ancient Welsh references to a sacred vessel, we find that it is the Cauldron that offers great wealth and wisdom to those who hold it.
Literature in the fourth century described the drops, or liquid, from the Cauldron as being able to provide a person with the ability to see - 'The past, the present and the future. And the opportunity to make at will, vast riches at a moral price. Pain, Pain of thyself and pain of thy neighbor.' The historical implications of the brass teapot are therefore believed to be widespread.
According to writings from biblical times to the 19th century, the teapot has slipped through the hands of kings, queens, warriors, peasants, pirates and plunderers. Its likeness has appeared in paintings, scrolls and oral histories, quietly becoming the icon of an increasingly greedy world. Genghis Khan carried it at his side for the duration of his bloody conquest of the known world. Vlad the Impaler owned it centuries later. During the Spanish Inquisition priests used it to profit from torture. From Marie Antoinette to Henry VIII to Jesse James it has marched its way through 2000 years of ownership. The last sighting of the teapot was in the hands of Adolf Hitler; it had been lost since 1945 and the trail for this rare and magical artifact has run cold.
This information was supplied by The Theosophist Society; a group of dedicated archaeologists, scientists and chemists currently researching the brass teapot. For more information please go to www.theosophistsociety.org
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