Friday, March 28, 2008

Some Grail Lore

"Bloodline," a documentary about the Jesus Christ/Mary Magdalene bloodline is due out in theatres in May, 2008. Here's the website (I found out about this at the Daily Grail). The tagline is "What if the Greatest Story Ever Told was a Lie?"

Har! Anything to make a buck, and I expect that lots of people will pay good money for what I understand will be a rehash of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" (by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln) in film form - but with an actual mummified body revealed! I have to say, except for the fact that the main protagonist is overweight and scruffy (definitely not the Indiana Jones type), the film trailer is interesting. Ah well, it is an entertaining theory and I'm always up for tweaking the nose of established religion, in this case, the Christians.

In the spirit of the Grail, here's some information from Barbara G. Walker's "A Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets:"

"Mount of salvation," the Temple of the Holy Grail vaguely located in the Pyrenees. This was probably an alternate name for the fortress of the heretical Cathari at Montsegur in the Pyrenees, where members of the sect were trapped and beseiged for years by papal armies, until the fortress was finally captured and destroyed in 1244.(1) The Grail temple was supposed to be the residence of Knights Templar who rode forth to the assistance of ladies in distress.(2) See Grail, Holy.

(1) See Oldenbourg, Massacre at Montsegur.
(2) Guerber, L.M.A., 200.

Grail, Holy
Christian myth said the Holy Grail was the chalice used by Christ at the Last Super when he poured wine for the disciples to drink, saying, "this is my blood" (Matthew 26:28). After the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea took the chalice to England and established it in a shrine at Glastonbury. Later, it disappeared.

This myth wasn't heared in Europe until the 12th century. The real origins of the Holy Grail were not Christian but pagan. The Grail was first Christianized in Spain from a sacred tradition of the Moors.(1) Like the Celts' holy Cauldron of Regeneration, which it resembled, the blood-filled vessel was the womb symbol meaning rebirth in the Oriental or Gnostic sense of reincarnation. Its connotation was feminine, not masculine.

The Grail was kept in a magnificent temple governed by a queen named Repanse de Joie (Dispenser of Joy), an ancient title of a holy harlot. Bards said her husband was a Moor, and her son John founded the easstern order of the Knighs Temlar, a gorup of warriors dedicated to the Grail temple and the defense of women. When a lady needed help, Grail knights like Galahad, Parsifal, or Lohengrin would receive orders in fiery lettters on the rim of the Grail and ride to the rescue. [Shades of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!]

Hispano-Moorish tradition located the Grail temple on Montsalvatch, the "Mount of Salvation" in the Spanish Pyrenees.(2) The temple was a model of the universe, topped by a gigantic ruby representing the maternal heart of the world, the Holy Rose. The pseudo-universe even included a miniature of itself enclosing the sacred vessel:

The temple itself was one hundred fathoms in diameter. Around it wre seventy-two chapels of an octagonal shape. To every pair of chapels there was a tower six stories high, approachable by a winding stair on the outside.... The vaulting was of blue shapphire, and in the cener was a plate of emerald....All the altar stones were of shapphire....Upon the inside of the cupola surmounting the temple, the sun and moon were represented in diamonds and topazes, and shed a light as of day even in the darkness of the night. The windos were of crystal, beryl, and other transparent stones. The floor was of translucent crystal, under which all the fishes of the sea were carved out of onyx, just like life. The towers were ofprecious stones inlaid with gold; their roofs of gold and blue enamel. Upon every tower there was a crystal cross, and upon it a golden eagle with expanded wings, which, at a distance, appeared to be flying. At the summit of the main tower was an immense carbuncle, which served, like a star, to guide the Templars thither at night. In the ecenter of the building, under the dome, was a miniature representation of the whole, and in this the holy vessel was kept.(3)

Like the Arabian brotherhood of hashishim (see Aladdin), the legendary Knights Templar waited for the Desired Knight, or Mahdi, to rescue the world from tyranny and esablish the benevolent rule of the Grail. The alternative was a dire prediction of the Waste Land, modeled on the arid wilderness of Arabia Deserta, which some eastern sages attributed to the departure of the Goddess.

There is more, but I think what I quoted above is the most pertinent information. Walker does go on to point out that the original form of the Grail was a bowl or cauldron, not a cup.

Do the hashishim still exist today? And, if they do, do they still await the arrival of the Mahdi, who will usher in the Age of the Goddess?

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