At the table of the Grail : magic and the use of the by John Matthews

By John Matthews

The tale of the Grail!!!

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St Brigit, for instance, acquired attributes of an Irish goddess of the same name. Her feast was observed on 1 February, the date of the goddess's fire-festival, and a sacred fire was kept burning in her convent at Kildare. Irish poets spoke of her as 'mother of the Great King's Son', even 'mother of Jesus', apparently implying that she was Mary reincarnate; and she was referred 18 The Grail of the Golden Age to as a priest or bishop, though the Church never ordained women. Both these aspects of her suggest a recollection of Druidism, which did ordain women, and may have taught a form of reincarnation.

Had their spirit not been obscured in the centuries that followed, the world might never have been led to its present pass. Notes 1 Doubleday Anchor Books, New York, 1957. 2 Wauchier in his continuation of Perceval, she maintains is here drawing from a version anterior to Chretien's. 3 R. S. Loomis The Spoils of Annwn', in Proceedings of the Modem _Language Society of America, December 1941. 4 Joseph Strzygowski, Spuren indogermanischen Glaubens in der bildenden Kunst. Heinrich Gluck, Die Christliche Kunst des Ostens, Cassirer, Berlin, 1923.

The Grail is taken up to heaven, or away out of Britain, to an island or a retreat in Asia. In some sense, however, the experience of it may still be possible. Romancers who tell the tale of its origin assert that its secrets are preserved in a book. To some extent they themselves are restoring it to the world. Anyone today who seeks to renew the quest through a meditation or spiritual exercise is not out of harmony with the myth. It is one version, in fact, of a Golden-Age archetype which is perennial.

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