The Bachal Isu is a fascinating Christian relic that I have only started to explore. In most of the medieval imagery of Jesus, he is carrying a wand or staff. The crozier or frond-shaped top may have been added at a later date but the very origins of the “Staff of Jesus,” also known as “the Staff of Ireland,” and “the Staff of St. Patrick is a mystery.
Even the story supposedly told by St. Patrick is odd. He speaks of going to an Etruscan island and meeting with a hermit. The hermit hands him the staff and says that it will be proof for all time as to who the rightful next archbishop shall be. Could St. Christopher have escaped his beheading and ended up on the island? Is it another Etruscan deity or priest?
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the crozier for me is the iconography. There are no accurate descriptions known to exist of the Bachal other than it had gold and jewels on it. The artwork of Jesus shows a plain wood staff. Some believe the top of the bachal resembled the one above. On the picture above people have attributed the animals to being bears, and that may be the case, as in Arthurian legend, the bear was quite prominent. There was also widespread bear worship prior to the animal going extinct in Ireland and Scotland during the middle ages. However, my theory is that the figure is of a wolf with perhaps a star topped sword running through. I also see a fire-breathing dragon coming out of what appears to be either an eagle or hybrid of some sort. The winged animal has hold of both the dragon and the woman with its talons. The dragon is gripped by the throat and the wolf by the top of the sword or cross.
As these pages are meant to support the writing in my novels, they are not as comprehensive as a full-length thesis or dissertation would be. I am also not a trained scholar in these areas but my research is meant to provide the reader with enough information to understand concepts I discuss or introduce in my own fiction writing.
Continuing with the wolf/werewolf concept is the very idea that the staff is crooked. Once more, this reminds me of the term “cambion.” The word mean both “to change” and “crooked” but is also a hybrid demon and man. This could refer to any of the creatures on the crozier. And being “bent in the head” could imply that there is a change that is only to the head (as in the dog-headed people of Lyria).
In the passages above, the author notes both that the staff is being protected but also that it protects.
What is worth noticing in the section above is the alternate name for the Bachall-Isu. The Baculus Iesu. Yes, that could mean the stick of Jesus. But the theory I put forward in, The Goddess Aped, is that the Bacahall Isu contained the baculum (or penis bone) of Jesus. It had long been thought to have been evolutionarily extinct from humans so either this was not, in fact, the staff of Jesus, Jesus pre-dates modern man or Jesus was a different species all-together. The baculum, like other relics, would possess, or be believed to possess, powers, as well as protection. It would also make sense as to why people would be worshiping the staff. It was not uncommon for relics to be placed inside scepters and other holy items for protection.
Additionally, to people hundreds of years ago, if there was the belief that Adam created Eve from his baculum then it would not be a stretch for someone to continue the line of Jesus using his baculum. So it would make sense that Archbishop Gregory Browne would remove the jewels and gold before tossing the actual staff into a fire. However, who is to say where the baculum would have been hidden. This would also lead me to believe that if someone was preserving the baculum of a male, then there must have already existed a viable female from which to make young with-particularly if Jesus was biologically different from other human males.
An area that I will be exploring further is why there is a statement that the Puritans hunted down the staff. It will be interesting to see if there is any historical information on the families involved and whether they were of the Putnam line (Salem, Massachusetts). I would also be very surprised if the staff did not immediately transfer to the hands of the Vatican upon the passing of St. Patrick. Even if they intended to end the line of Jesus or the serpent’s line, they would not handily rid themselves of an object purported to be so powerful.
While a more modern reference, it is also interesting that “baculus” is found relating to the definition of “alpenstock.” Certainly it could be in reference to a mountain and walking sticks but also elven (alpin/alpen) stock-meaning elven blood or even elven stick.