HOLY BLOOD - HOLY GRAIL
What the "TV experts" are NOT telling you.
According to Dan Brown in his book the Da Vinci code, the early Grail writers wrote the word SANGREAL and that this was split to become SAN GREAL or Holy Grail because there is a Celtic cup object called GRAAL. However Brown says that this should be split as SANG REAL or Blood Royal. Brown is not entirely wrong with this.
THE EARLY GRAIL WAS NEVER A CHALICE
Actually what Brown says is incorrect the early writers of the 12th and 13th centuries who wrote about the Grail did not mention the word SANGRAAL. But the fact is that everyone considers the Grail as a cup or Chalice because of total misinformation by Tennyson and Wagner. The early Grail writers NEVER regarded the SANGRAAL as a cup or chalice but merely as the GRAAL (anglicised to Grail) but as we shall see there is confusion amongst these writers as to what they thought it was.
The very first writer to mention the Grail was Chrétien de Troyes, his book Conte de Graal. It was the last of his Arthurian romances and was probably composed between 1175 and 1190. What Chrétien considered to be the Graal could not possibly have been a cup. In his story Chrétien said that it contained a sacramental wafer and thus, the Host, represented it as a ciborium, a covered goblet surmounted by a cross, the normal receptacle of the Corpus Christi. It is certain that Chrétien considered it otherwise Helinand, abbot of Froidmont, who was a contemporary of Chrétien de Troyes writing about 1215 defined the word as 'sculelle lata et aliquantulum profunda, in qua preciosae dapes divitibus solent apponi' - 'a wide and slightly deep dish, in which costly viands are customarily placed for rich people'. Chrétien de Troyes died before completing the Conte de Graal. The first person to write about the Grail after Chrétien's poem mentioned a hundred boars heads on Grails. Later writers who mentioned the Grail, Estoire and Queste del Saint Graal, saw fit to christianise the story and equated the Grail with the Last Supper containing the Paschal lamb. Clearly Chrétien de Troyes is referring to a container of considerable size, in fact he specifically mentions the fact later in the book that the vessel did not contain a Pike or a Lamprey or a Salmon which would have been a pointless remark if the Grail had been a cup or ciborium.
In this story by Chrétien de Troyes a boy called Perceval who is later knighted sees a procession preceded by a bleeding lance at the Castle of the sick and lame Fisher King, Perceval does not learn that this Fisherman is a king until later but also learns that there is another lord in the castle that has not left his room for fifteen years. Chrétien de Troyes says this:
"Then two squires came in , right handsome, bearing in their hands candelabra of fine gold and niello work, and in each candelabrum were at least ten candles. A damsel came in with these holding between her two hands a graal. She was beautiful, gracious, splendidly garbed, and as she entered with the grail in her hands, there was such a brilliant light that the candles lost their brightness, just as the stars do when the moon or the sun rises. After her came a damsel holding a carving-dish (tailleor) of silver. The grail which preceded her was of refined gold; and it was set with precious stones of many kinds, the richest and the costliest that exist in the sea or in the earth. Without question those set in the grail surpassed all other jewels. Like the lance, these damsels passed before the couch and entered the chamber.
The youth watched them pass, but did not dare to ask concerning the grail and whom one served with it, for he kept in his heart the words of the wise nobleman. I fear that harm will come of this , because I have heard say that one can be too silent as well as be too loquacious. But for better or worse, the youth put no question."
It is good to question things even if someone purporting to be wise tells you to keep your mouth shut, because if you do you may cure many ills by questioning things. Perceval later finds out from another damsel who turns out to be his cousin that he has been a fool not to ask the question that his heart wanted so much to ask. Whom does the Grail serve? This is an odd question which never really gets answered. It is generally assumed above that the brilliant light IS the Grail but Chrétien de Troyes does not necessarily say this and he later finds out the other lord whom Perceval has not met lives entirely upon a wafer and it is he whom the Grail serves. Perceval is troubled by his lack of what he considers to be common sense and later seeks a hermit from whom Perceval seeks atonement for his sins (although his sin appears to be nothing more than that he left his mother alone and she died of a broken heart and that he failed to ask the question Whom does the Grail serve?). A confession is given to the hermit and a forced acceptance of the Good Friday story of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection is the penance for his sins..
The story is a classic gothic narrative and is clearly allegorical. The hermit doesn't offer a solution to Perceval's troubles, instead of resolving Perceval's difficulty he merely compounds them. We are not told that Perceval doesn't not recognise Jesus' sacrifice on the cross although apparantly Perceval later has combat with another knight on what is Good Friday which he had forgotten. A French scholar Albert Pauphilet sums up the confusion thus:
"The old infirm king, whom a single question would have cured, was he, after all, not the only lord of a marvellous castle? Nor the only infirm one? For the other lord, his father, whom Perceval did not see, is even more an invalid than the Fisher King, for he has not left his chamber for fifteen years. Was he also to be healed by Perceval's question? But there is no mention of it....This old man was sustained by a single mass wafer, brought to him by the Grail , and yet, with every fresh course, the Grail reappears and passes into his chamber; why these repeated servings of a single wafer? Finally, the Host ought not to be placed in any but a liturgical vessel; behold, then, the Grail surreptitiously transformed into a ciborium or chalice, and a strange procession into the commencement of a Christian liturgy. But in that case, what do these unusual accessories signify, this lance, and above all this absence of a priest?"
Note that it is not the Grail that sustains the lord who hasn't left his chamber for fifteen years that Perceval didn't meet but what is contained IN the Grail that sustains him. We aren't told of the dire circumstances that transpired when Perceval didn't ask the question Whom does the Grail serve? which caused him to be a sinner and to seek atonement from the hermit. Your attention is also drawn to fact that the year of writing is around 1125 and yet it is a young woman who is bearing what has been later interpreted as administering the Eucharist. This is in direct violation of the doctrine of the Roman Church and yet as far as we know Chrétien de Troyes was not admonished for this.
The story of a traveller seeking something and being made welcome in a castle where he witnesses strange happenings who later goes to sleep only to find everyone gone in the morning is a well known story line from Celtic Legends. One such is the Irish allegorical stories called Echtra [a visit to another world]. Here a mortal hero visits a supernatural palace and witnesses strange happenings and awakes in the morning and finds his hosts and their dwellings have disappeared. An almost direct comparison with that of Conte de Graal is that of the story called 'Phantom's Frenzy'. [frenzy in this context means a kind of prophetic ecstasy] and is the story of Conn of the Hundred Battles who reigned in Ireland in the second century CE. The story parallels Chrétien de Troyes in a number of ways and perhaps the bottom line is that the Irish Echtra speaks of the 'Sovranty'(sic) of Ireland and speaks of the four chief treasures of the Tuatha De Danann, the Irish Gods. Chrétien de Troyes speaks of the lance which accompanied the procession as that which will destroy the whole realm of Logres (England). In Conte de Graal an ugly damsel appears in a palace and appears to serve no purpose in the story. However later stories called Peredur and Perlesvaus tell us that in the court of King Arthur the bearer of the dish who passed before the hero in the castle is the same ugly damsel (Loathly Damsel) that appears later in Chrétien de Troyes who complains of his silence and failure to ask the question.
Several questions leap from this apparant parallel story. Why does the damsel change from being extremely ugly damsel to radiant and beautiful in the presence of the Grail? It appears that the Welsh author of Peredur received this story not from Conte de Graal but from an earlier story which Chrétien de Troyes also received the story from. Many authors feel that the damsel is the goddess Eriu [from whom Erie received its name]. The oldest account of her two forms comes from an Irish poem written in 1014. In this poem she is described as thin-shanked, grey haired, bushy browed 'As it were a flash from a mountain-side in the month of March, even so blazed her bitter eyes'. But after transformation her countenance bloomed like the crimson lichen of Leinster crags, her locks were like Bregon's buttercups. This grail bearing goddess is the country of Erie and the story written by Chrétien de Troyes is a throw back to a pagan story emanating from the west coast of Ireland but repeated throughout the Celtic world as an allegory.
But we still have the question 'Whom does the Grail serve?'
Professor Helaine Newstead believes that the Fisher King is Bran the Blessed1 and his story resembles the Fisher Kings story in the following manner:
Perceval's host was wounded through the thighs or the legs with a javelin. Bran the Blessed was wounded in the foot with a lance in battle. In the story however the words of Branwen translates as 'I was with Bran in Ireland; I saw when the Pierced Thigh was slain.'
Chrétien de Troyes and the other Grail romancers say that the Fisher King entertained his guests sumptuously according to the Mabinogian Bran dispensed lavish hospitality.
In Didot Perceval the Fisher King is called Bron.
In Robert de Boron's Joseph Bron is called the 'Rich Fisher' and was instructed to set out with his followers to the West. The followers of Bran, in the company of his severed head [a parallel with the Templars here] journeyed to Gwales (Grassholm) the westernmost isle of Wales.
In Perlesvaus2 Gawain feasted in the Fisher King's castle with twelve knights 'aged and haired and they did not seem to be so old as they were, for each was a hundred years old or more, and yet none seemed to be forty.' Bran's followers passed eighty years in a great hall in the midst of abundance and joy, yet 'none of them perceived that his fellow was older by that time than when they came there.'
It is clear that the concept of the Grail (Graal) comes from a Celtic word meaning, as Helinand, abbot of Froidmont, put it 'a wide and slightly deep dish, in which costly viands are customarily placed for rich people'. The sacred and less understandable aspect is what was carried in this dish.
1Others believe him to be Anfortas also known as BOAZ (strength)
2In the Perlesvaus the Grail (Graal) is not a material object and the Fisher King is called Messios which has a resemblance to the word Messiah and the Templars make their first appearance into the Grail story. Perhaps significantly Perlesvaus was written at a time when the Holy land was in the possession of the Saracens. The Perlesvaus lays great importance on Grail Lineage.
Perhaps the most enigmatic piece however comes right at the beginning of the Perlesvaus:
Here is the Book of thy Descent,
Here begins the Book of the Sangreal,
Here begin the terrors,
Here begin the miracles.
Anyone want to explain this?
THE GRAIL BECOMES VESSEL CONTAINING A STONE.
However in the early 1200s comes probably the most important Grail romance called Parzival. Written by a Bavarian Knight called Wolfram von Eschenbach it is the most evocative Grail narrative of all. Once again the Templars feature prominently and they are portrayed as the Guardians of the Temple of the Grail located on Munsalvaesche (Mount of Salvation) which has been linked by many to the Cathar Castle of Montsegur. By now the story has changed dramatically. It still features the Fisher King but now he is a Priest King in the same manner as Jesus and officiates at the Grail Mass precisely the same as the Last Supper.
Wolfram stated unequivocally that Chrétien de Troyes' version of the Grail story was wrong and he gave the source of his story from someone he called Kyot le Provenzale, apparantly a Templar scribe [non-combatant] who wrote of an earlier Grail manuscript from Arabia written by a man called Flegetanis. described as:
"a scholar of nature, descended from Solomon, and born of a family which had long been Israelite until baptism became our shield against fire and hell"
Again great importance is stressed by Wolfram on Grail Lineage and he introduces Perceval's son Lohengrin. He also names the Grail Bearer as Repanse de Schoye. He describes her thus:
"She was clad in the silk of Arabia, and she bore, resting on a green silk cloth, the perfection of earthly paradise, both roots and branches. It was a thing men call the Grail, which surpassed every ideal."
Wolfram described this as the 'stone of youth and rejuvenation' It was called Lapsit Exillis (or Lapis Elixis) a variant of Lapis Elixir, the alchemical 'Philosophers Stone'. He described it thus:
"By the power of that stone the Phoenix burns to ashes, but the ashes speedily restore him to life again. Thus doth the Phoenix moult and change its plumage, after which he is bright and shining as before."
At the Fisher Kings sacrament of the Eucharist, the Grail Stone records the names of those called to its service. But it is possible for everyone to read those names:
"Around the end of the stone, an inscription in letters tells the name and lineage of those, be they maids or boys, who are called to make the journey to the Grail. No one needs to erase the inscription, for as soon as it has been read it vanishes."
Wolfram wrote of the King of Septimania (the area which included Rennes le Chateau) Guilhelm de Gellone and said that the original Flegetanis manuscript was held by the House of Anjou. Wolfram located the Grail Castle in the Pyrenees. He also mentioned Edinburgh (Tenabroc) which of course is very close to the Chapel of Rosslyn.
I'll finish this by mentioning a character that is listed as one of the Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion.
It was Rene d'Anjou who gave Christopher Columbus (real name Colon) his first ship's commission, and it is from Rene that the familiar Cross of Lorraine derives. The cross, with its two horizontal bars, became the lasting symbol of Free France and was the emblem of the French Resistance during World War II. Among Rene's most prized possessions was a magnificent Egyptian cup of red crystal, which he obtained in Marseilles. It was said to have been used at the wedding of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, bearing the later inscription (translated):
"He who drinks well will see God. He who quaffs at single draught will see God and the Magdalene."
So when Dan Brown says that Sangreal should be split as Sang Real - Blood Royal, is it true?
Here is the Book of thy Descent,
Here begins the Book of the Sangreal,
Here begin the terrors,
Here begin the miracles.
Descent in this case could of course simply mean to go
down from the heavens.
In 1906 the French author we’ve already mentioned Josephin
Péladan wrote a best selling book called Le Secret des Troubadours de
Parsifal à Don Quichotte and this inspired many treasure hunters. These
treasure hunts centred on Ussat-les-Bains where Otto Rahn later set up his
headquarters in 1931; indeed it was Péladan’s book that had first inspired Rahn
to come to the
“Kyot, the famous
master, discovered in
“A unique drawing in this world: in a glance and at once the whole book of Parsifal is paraded before you”.
It does seem that the story of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parsifal is a description of a Cathar initiation ceremony which took place in this castle of Montreal de Sos.
“While Lucifer, ambitious and arrogant, full of immoderate desires, was cast out of heaven, when falling from heaven, he chipped the corner of a star: which fragments rolled within space and were stopped by the earth. Stone from heaven, pure and perfect stone since it fell from heaven; it was the Lapis ex Caelis of the Grail. The Angels, though rightful and good, who refrained from fighting with Lucifer against the Trinity, were sent on the earth, for the keeping of the stone, whose purity is unapproachable. God took them back from below. Ever since, its keeping has been given to those God has chosen.”
Left shows a simulation of the sky towards the east at sunrise on the day the 200+ Parfaits voluntarily came down from Montségur and into fires lit for them at the base of the mountain.
Is this rare astronomical event the reason why they asked for a truce from their besiegers until this particular date?
That Venus and the Sun should be in conjunction equally spaced either side of the ‘The First Point of Aries’ is an event that only happens once in several thousand years.
She then climbed to the top of Montségur then Esclarmonde transformed herself into a white dove and flew off towards the “Mountains of Asia”, where, according to Caussou, she still resides in the East in the “earthly paradise”.