The First Ritual

There is an interesting fragment from the Epic of Gilgamesh which describes the worlds oldest know religious ritual, which I will include here because it has many striking similarities with later religious traditions:

"The priestess said to him, said to Enkidu:
'Come, Enkidu! Let us go to the place of the sheepfold'.
She drew out a single garment
And he clothed himself.
Leading him, she held his hand,
And like a god was his countenance.
She led him to the place of the sheepfold,
The shepherds/people were gathered together...
...They set bread before him
He examined it and was puzzled by the bread.
They set beer before him.
He creased his eyes together and gazed at it;
He was puzzled by the beer.
The priestess said to him,
Said to Enkidu:
'Eat the bread, Enkidu,
That you will be worthy of godliness!
Drink the fine beer,
That you will be worthy of kingship!'
Enkidu ate the bread,
He drank the fine beer,
And indeed seven jugs of it.
He felt so free, he felt so happy
He rejoiced so in his heart!
His face became radiant.
He rubbed all the shaggy growth,
The hair of his body.
He annointed himself with oil
And thus he became a man.
He donned clothing -
Look! He is like a man!
He takes up his weapon,
He attacks the lions
So the shepherds might have peace at night.
He caught wolves,
He captured lions,
And the chief cattlemen could rest.
Enkidu was their watchman,
A man of strength,
An unparalled hero!"

"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."
-Genesis 14:18-20

Part 5 - “We Drank Soma, We Became Immortal…”

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