The Ark, the Shroud, and Mary
By Philip Gardiner
The journey to discover the Ark of the Covenant has been taken by a great
many people over time. It is a quest that does not differ from the search for
the Holy Grail or the lost city state of Atlantis, and the reason for this is
apparent in that nobody has yet discovered any real archaeological artifacts to
prove its existence. This is about to change. Please keep in mind that I cannot
explain the full extent of the research in the book in this short article, but
here is a taster.
My own journey began some time ago…
I had been writing a book and making the DVD called Gnosis: The Secret of
Solomon’s Temple Revealed and the intricacies of the esoteric wisdom literature,
linked with the fables of the Bible and other texts were quite prominent in my
On this particular sunny spring day I was out and about looking for images
for the DVD. In fact, I was in Winchester, England and was taking in the
wonderful medieval cathedral before giving a speech. I had my new digital camera
clutched firmly in my grasp and was walking around like some kind of zombie,
staring at the floors, walls, windows, ceiling and trying desperately not to
I noticed a beautiful stone image of Prudence with the face of a woman on the
front and a bearded male head on the back. I silently smiled and told myself
that this was down to the wisdom of the union of opposites – whereby our Gnostic
ancestors believed that true understanding could only be found in uniting the
two elements of our psyche. Then, nearby I noticed another beautiful carving,
this time with Moses leading his people out of Egypt. In the centre the people
of Israel were carrying the Ark of the Covenant on large poles, in the
background were the pyramids at Giza. The Ark looked almost like a small
reliquary box I had previously photographed at Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus – even
though hundreds of miles and years separated the two. On the other side of this
beautifully carved mausoleum was another wonderful image. This time Jesus is
emerging from a coffer – again looking exactly like the Ark itself. He held the
cross and was flanked by two praying angels as the Vesica Piscis or almond shape
radiated light from behind him.
It struck me that the whole design was interrelated and was telling a story
of the New Covenant or Testimony. The Ark was the old Covenant, now lost and
Jesus was emerging from the Ark as the resurrection of the Testament. At that
point, that singular moment in time I suddenly realised the truth of the Ark,
the Shroud and indeed Mary. The rush to my head made me feel nauseous and it was
all I could do to take a few photographs before making for the exit to get some
It is moments like this that make the role of the author and researcher
worthwhile. It is like uncovering ancient and sacred treasure that has been lost
for centuries. Ok, there are no fires, rats, rolling balls or guardians with
guns trying to take a shot at you, but during the research for this book and DVD
I uncovered truths which brought me closer to secret societies like never
before. There were moments when I feared for my life and others of pure elation;
moments when I became unnerved by power and others when I thought I was at a
dead end. In each case, something would happen to alter my course and always
around the corner I was to be completely surprised, whether pleasantly or not.
I also had a shock when I read the various books on the subject. You see I
scoured the book shops, the internet and even had “my man” from a little old
book store in the medieval streets of Lincoln pass the word around. Eventually I
had gathered around me every book ever written on the Ark and most of those on
the Shroud and Mary. As I sat in my little office I looked like some crazy
ancient wizard surrounded by piles of fusty old books. Where to begin? Which
book to read first? I closed my eyes placed out my hand and came back with an
old book about sacred geometry that my book shop friend had recommended. And so,
I settled back with a cup of tea and a cigar – my journey was about to begin.
The facts were so startling, so at odds with the base, cultural and current
popular beliefs. I would often scream inside my mind at the lack of
understanding shown by the one level perceptions of almost everybody I spoke to.
Even many authors seemed to want to view the world according to how many books
they could sell, regardless of the truth, which once shown stared them in the
face. Sadly, I could not tell the whole story to any one person short of my own
wife for fear of giving too much away myself. The torment of the tale of the Ark
is one I am sure I share with a great many researchers, authors and thinkers out
there in the wide world – but I can now rest my soul and say, I am happy with
what I have discovered.
To almost the whole world the Ark of the Covenant is the sacred relic
discovered by Indiana Jones in the infamous movie. It is a relic that has found
links with the Knights Templar, the Cathars and Graham Hancock  claims exists
in Axum in Ethiopia.
I searched through all these theories and found some truth in most. I trailed
through Ethiopian lore, Egyptian b’arques and Templar intrigue and found the Ark
in the mystical interpretations, rather than the physical form. In Ethiopia the
tabot held sacred by the priesthood were copies of the tablets of the Law
brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses and placed in the Ark. These tabot are
then wrapped in shrouds, mimicking a mystical Ark. In these sacred relics I
found links with the ancient cabiri – the worship of stones fallen from heaven.
But they were not the Ark of the Covenant and so I moved on and into India where
my research led me on a trail into the heart of the cult of the Jagganath
(Juggernaut) and the massive Ark that is processed through the streets still to
this day. At last, this was a true physical form that mirrored the ancient
Egyptian and Judaic concepts of God being carried in procession.
As I moved on I found more and more evidence for the actual Ark, let alone
the re-produced versions made real by the Freemasons. In the book and DVD I show
how these are all linked by a sacred thread and all are very real.
The contents of the Ark whether New or Old Testament are divine power,
energy, and food, all of which equate to life. They are the food of the
Otherworld, the nectar of the gods, sustaining us both physically and
spiritually – like the ba and ka of the ancient Egyptians. It is the very
essence of life. But there was a New Testament Ark and she was known as Mary,
the mother of Christ. And Christ himself was seen as the food of God presenting
us with the new body and blood offering.
Mary as the “Theotokos” was the God-bearer. She was the sacred vessel of the
Son of God. In the Litany of Loretto from the sixteenth century she was known as
the “spiritual vessel” or the “vessel of honour”. More importantly she was seen
as arca foederis – the Ark of the Covenant.
I travelled to Abu Gosh in Israel. There I found the overlaying of Mary on
one of the very locations that the Ark resided. We also have a distinct
correlation between Mary as the Christ carrier and the Ark as the carrier of God
via the pamphlet Sister Josephine and the Ark of the Covenant (Sisters of St.
Joseph of the Apparition and sold on site):
“.. the Church looks to Mary, Ark of the New Covenant… she like the Ark, was
the repository of God’s presence… Mary… became the repository not simply of the
tablets of the Law, but of the Law-giver Himself; not simply of the desert
manna, but of the Living Bread from heaven.. Hence they called her by such
titles as Abode of the King, Tabernacle of the Lord, Ark of Holiness, and Ark of
the Covenant… as the David danced before the Ark, so the child in Elizabeth’s
womb leapt for joy… She is the Inmost shrine, the Holy of Holies..”
What we have here clearly laid out and unopposed by the Catholic authorities
is the statement that Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant – in that she
represents the exact same thing – the connection to and gateway to God.
So the Ark and now Mary are God-carriers. They are the method of accessing
the Divine. But the Shroud itself was also shown on the statue and of course,
this too was a device to carry the slain god – it too was an Ark.
The Shroud of Turin is a pale yellow linen cloth that has been fought over
both physically and textually for centuries. It is claimed by the ardent
believers that the image, almost photographically imprinted on it, is that of
Jesus Christ. To others it is a Medieval forgery carried out by Leonardo da
Vinci . In the 1980’s carbon 14 dating launched the Shroud once again onto
the world headlines with so-called evidence that it was of a medieval date.
However, ever since that fateful day there has been even more arguing and the
latest ideas throw the dating backwards in time and refute the carbon 14 dating,
which has been shown by several researchers to be highly flawed.
With this history and with the knowledge of the meaning behind the Shroud I
marched headlong into a world of dispute. What I found was that the Shroud is
highly likely from the first century; that it was the image of a high-adept or
enlightened one, probably later known as Jesus, and that it was formed via an
amazing science of sub-atomic radiation. It was in fact the result of a profound
and sacred human physical reaction brought on by the mind.
I then discovered that this had been known for a very long time and then I
made contact with an ancient Brotherhood who claimed to know who was behind the
Philip Gardiner is the best selling author of Gnosis: The Secret of Solomon’s
Temple, Secrets of the Serpent and various other books. He has several DVD
documentaries, speaks around the world on radio and television. His website is
1 Hancock, Graham, The Sign and the Seal, Arrow, 2001
2 Picknett, Lynn, Prince, Clive, Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? The Truth
Behind the Centuries-Long Conspiracy of Silence, Harpercollins, 1994
Copyright 2007 by Philip Gardiner
All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.