Mysterious rituals of the ancient Egyptians: cocktails of blood, breast milk, and hallucinogens

The ancient Egyptians were known for their strange rituals involving the use of various ingredients, including blood, breast milk and hallucinogenic plants. Recently, a team of scientists from Italy and the United States analyzed the remains of the contents of an ancient Egyptian vase shaped like the head of the divine dwarf Besa. The results showed that this vessel was used for rituals dedicated to him, perhaps not mass rituals, but in the home circle.

The Imp was one of the most mysterious deities of ancient Egypt. He was a dwarf and quite ugly, yet he guarded people, especially children and mothers, from evil spirits. In mythology he is present as an ally of the other gods in their good deeds, and as a protector of the supreme god Horus during his childhood. The demon was a kind of personal protector of each person, and his images can be found on amulets, utensils and everyday objects.

Researchers have suggested that the Egyptians used utensils depicting the Imp to perform rituals dedicated to him. Using various high-tech methods to identify the mixture of ingredients in the residue, the researchers identified the ingredients from which the devotees of the Imp mixed their cocktail. Honey and fruit juices were responsible for the taste, and the key ingredient was Syrian ruta, a psychoactive (hallucinogenic) plant that causes dream-like visions. The mixture also included Nile blue lotus, a plant considered sacred in Egypt and often used in various rituals.

However, in addition to the hallucinogens, human fluids such as blood, breast milk, saliva, and possibly vaginal secretions were also part of the mysterious drink. This raises questions about how these ingredients were collected and used in the rituals.

Ancient Egyptian rituals and beliefs are still a mystery to scholars. Some scholars believe that Bes was associated with the fertility cult and was part of rituals related to the birth and protection of children. However, other scholars believe that the Imp was a more widely used deity who helped people in various aspects of life.

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