Golden Triangle: Alcobaça, Batalha, Tomar


Usually, stories about the Templars are more or less all the same. Eventually, they end up with the same kind of speculations. Deep within I have always known, that there is more behind it. Hence, in order to find out I decided to go to their Headquarters in Portugal.  

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Surprise. Immediately at the entrance some Green Men paid their respects. A very promising start, indeed.

 The Templars were destroyed both by the French King and the Pope in 1307. Some managed to escape the disaster. Especially in Scotland, Portugal and Spain they found a new home. Their church in Tomar shows the typical octagonal structure.

At first, there was nothing to find but ("mudejar") architecture. Slowly, some more intrigueing objects started to reveal themselves. A woman with vegetation coming out of her belly and a "Venus" shell, symbol of the Cosmic Womb.
Left: head in ropes, symbol of the persecuted Templars? Right: a strange Green Man with horns?
Suddenly, the big surprise. In the main cloister I looked up and saw these amazing faces: a combination of Green Men and ancient goats.
The more I looked around the more faces revealed themselves. Did the Templars have a relationship with Green Men, the symbols of the ancient Near Eastern Vegetation Gods?
The amazing thing: in none of the booklets/brochures, issued by the local tourist board/the Templar Sanctuary Organization were these faces/phenomena mentioned, at all.
Did that mean, that there really is a secret, something the establishment is not pleased with? A rare statue of a woman reinforced that impression. Did the Templars perhaps revere a Goddess, as well?
Green Men on the fountain in the courtyard.
Here the images become more bizarre. They seem to be a crossing between a Green Man and an animal (monkey, goat?). It is a known fact, that Vegetation Gods are often depicted as animals, surrounding the Goddess. (Think of the Sumerian "Lady of the Beasts")
Feverishly, I started searching for more female images. At last I found, unfortunately not a very clear one. Nevertheless, her symbolism made me shout with joy. It is a Primordial Mother with open legs, showing Her vulva e.g. Her Cosmic Womb, from which all life sprouts and to which all returns.
(Similar to the Irish "Sheela-na-Gigs")
A "Venus" shell makes the scene complete, together with a couple of Green Men, who show great excitement. Excited about the Mother?
The Vegetation Gods are Transformation Bodies of the Mother. That's why they have/show many faces. 
They not only symbolize life and renewal, but also decay and death, eventually both aspects of the Eternal Mother. It is an additional reason why the rites of the Templars were immersed in secrecy. They were elusive, because the object of their worship was.
This isn't all, though. At last, an additional present was granted to me. The countless images of an overflowing chalice. They are so prominent, that it is hardly to believe, that they are NOT the Holy Grail.
An extra bonus was still waiting for me. Just before leaving the building I saw these unmistaken symbols - the goat horns - of "pagan" worship. These horns were called the horns of the Goddess Astarte.......
Let there be no mistake: Green Man as the crowned King, a very spectacular image, indeed.
So, what exactly WAS the secret of the Templars?
LINK: Calatayud.



 © 2000-2010 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 12/31/09