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Joseph of Arimathea

Whom Does the Grail Serve ?

Whom Does the Grail Serve ?

Whom Does the Grail Serve ?

Whom Does the Grail Serve ?


Caer Sidi, The Fortress of the Fairies is mentioned in the Book of  Taliesin (Lewis Spence).

That Caer Sidi (Camelot) was the Seat of rituals and initiations for Healing and Divination of an extraordinary vitality and importance to the Celtic psyche is no new thesis . But that it can be re-awakened today,  simply through a comparative experiential study of  Grail Lore and Himalayan Tantric Shamanism is a testimony we want here to share , as a research,  with you.

The roots of myths and rituals go down to the subsoil of grave-cult and fear of death.  E. Durkheim and K. Jung often argued that the collective excitation (surexcitation) of clans, tribal and Shamans rituals were experienced by participating members as trans-personal (impersonal), overwelming power (Mana) , though to emanate from the clan archetypes  (or collective uncousciousness) represented (embodied) in the Totem. The Totem  would then induce with Mana all associated symbols, uniting the tribe in a single system of beliefs, practices and representations. 

The word Sidhe(also spelled Sidi, Sidh, Sid, Sith ...) may be regarded as the standard term for "fairy" in the Gaelic tongue of Scotland , Wales and Ireland. While some reliable authorities further stress that Sithide or Sithde is the genitive of Sithd, a female fairy, Gaelic records Sidhe as also implying "hill" or "mound". Mounds and hills often are both graves and  abodes of the elves.

Mythology is social psychology, as much as it is archetypes, history, cosmology or biography.
Myth is a picture language, which has to be studied and embodied to be read.
And Mythology is also alive ...


FAQ : Questions around the recent use by the Tibetan Dharma and related Himalayan Shamanic rituals of  selected  Celtic, Templars and Cathares Powerplaces,  in France and UK 

The following commentary is not intended to be the last word or the definitive presentation on a rather recent, controversial and evolving subject. Rather, as the title implies, it is intended to provide a basis for some further reflections and synthesis , towards an attempt in nourishing or re-awakening the Celtic archetypes with the present energy and practices of the Himalayan Shamanic Roots or Tibetan Tradition, as Tibetans do ...

The contemporary and somehow successful migration of  Tibetan Gompas rituals to selected Celtic, Cathares and Knights Templars powerplaces in UK and South of France, such as the strategic sites  which were bought in the early 1970-80s by  some Tibetan Rimpoches in Haute Provence (Verdon) and  Septimania (Aude/Ariège) in the  South of France  (ie: Kangyur Rimpoche and Dudjom Rimpoche of the  Nyingma-Pas bought in the early 70s the old Templar Chateau Soleil , now called Nyima-Dzong, situated  near the Celtic Fortress of Valcros / Verdon , while the Sharmapa tried in the begining 80s  to buy some land around the Razès / Rennes le Chateau, and  in Scotland itself and more successfully it seems, Lama Yeshe of  the  Kargyud-Pas lineage  bought the old Celtic retreat of Holy Island), has beared testimony that these sacred abodes of the earlier Celtic Lore Saints and Fairies have proven to be  useful resources for the Tibetans' own rituals and retreats. 

While, the biography of these Tibetan settlements have not been without their share of controversy, it has become undeniable ( after more than 25 years monitoring these sites ) that in some of them spiritual awareness had been reached, while in some others the hidden political , magical and alchemistry impacts were still to be assessed. 

All in all, while quite different results had been reached by the Tibetan theocracy in using Celtic and Templar powerplaces, the question now being if maybe the trans-cultural formula which has beneficiated the Tibetan rituals could not also serve the purpose of preservation and reawakening of the Celtic and Grail Heritage itself, after it had used for the Tibetan agenda. In short, if it worked one way, it could probably work as well the other way round , also ... 

And if not, why not ?

Holistic Psychology, Shamanism and Phenomenology 

Three questions may be  asked :

- Can Celtic Archetypes and Grail Lore (Divination and Healing Powers) be re-awakened ? 

- Can these energies, rituals, overlapping archetypes or artifacts be used towards such aims ?

- Would these developmental processes be ethically and ideologically compatible with what remains as Celtic, Cathares and Knigths Templars Spiritual Heritages or Quests (Service) ?

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The Holy Grail appears to the Knights of the Round Table, with Sir Galahad in the Perilous Seat 
(Legends of Arthurian Quest, painting of the  13nd century). 

Reality  Check  ?


This paper does not want to argue that Shamanic Healing and Divination practices are an object of ethnographic study, but rather that the introduction to a comparative experiential embodiment and study may be approached, under genuine professional guidance and relevant references, using the current resources in the Celtic and Himalayan culture. This process may include the exploration of  altered states of consciousness (ASC) leading to development of potentials and discovery of Self .

Myths, as they have settled in history and popular tales are the purveyors of a wisdom that was born with the race of Man. The content is metaphysics . The equation between the Celtic Grail Lore  (Healing and Divination practices), the Tibetan Tantric and the  Indo-European Rig-Vedas mythology may be as much approached from a comparative experientual study of the archetypes and rituals, than discussed from the available references existing in both the holy scriptures of early Christendom and those of the Tibetan Vajrayana and Dharma.

The literature references include the narration of  the first century (AD) exile of  several apostles closed to Jesus the Christ, namely: St. Philip, Simon Zelotes, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea (James) and others first  to Septimania (South of France), then to Brittany and Wales.

Testimony  itself followed by the Celtic legends of the Arthurian Grail Quest and Saints (St. David, St. Patrick) and the historical recollections of  the successive migrations of the Arianist faith tribes (Wisigoths, Huns, Germans, Franks) , which led to the end of the Roman Empire (West) and to the consolidation of the (Long Hair Sorcerers) Merovingien kings in the previous Septimania , then named the Razes around Rennes le Chateau and Limoux (Aude) .  Originating  from the Black See (Central Europe) and Asian steppes, the Shaman practices of  early Christendom was blended in an intricated mythological  background, where Runnes , Animal Spirits , War Protectors , Fairies, Angels or Saints were part of a practical Gnostic Gospel . It is enlighting to find today how much  these early Shamanic concepts and practices have remained comparable , at the symbolic archetypes and rituals level,  to the current Hindu and Buddhist Tantras (ie: protectors, Dakinis,  skulls,  vases, Samsara or maya , reincarnation or karma, etc) . The early Christendom literature shows that these were beliefs being alive in the practices of Cathars and Knights Templars .

Sufficient literature material exist  to complete the archeological and traditional  traces which survived ( ie: Celtic scriptures, Dead See Scrolls, testimonies on the Cathars Consolamentum , Chinese Nestorian and Troubadors legacies ). This allows  Grail Lore symbols and  rituals  to be compared with their early (Indo-European) Rig Veda's  inspiration . Indeed, both the Celtic and Tibetan Vajrayana (Guru Rimpoche comes from mythical Orgyen land, West of Tibet)  realms somehow emerge from the same Central Asian / Indo-European sources, with common archetypes burried deep in the collective unconsciousness of  both the Celtic and Himalayan  mystical approaches.

While there is no dispute concerning  the historical and archeological facts that the early Celtic tribes migrated from Central Asia (since 4.000 B.C) , to be followed later (from 500 to 1.000 A.D.) by the successive migrations of Huns, Franks, Goths, Wisigoths and other Germanic tribes practicing Shamanic rites, it is less known that some of the current Shamanic traditions in the Himalayas today, namely those of  Rais, Limbus and Tamangs ethnic descents, still speak about their own long past migration  from a Central European region of which their present megalitic practices bear testimony .

Myths belong to the world of rituals and symbols, and one's perception of them is a matter of personal Quest, Embodiment and Awareness , as much as a path to be with  genuine ethics .

We could consider , for example, as a valid hypothesis for experiential and literature studies, the few references in the Rig Veda of  human interactions (or relations) with the Gandhavaras (Spirits of the Air and of the Waters) and  Apsaras (water nymphs) ,  in charge of the magic Soma and were skilled in medecine and music. These entities  bear resemblance with the roles played by Celtic Fairies (spirits) or the Grail Lore Ladies of the Lake (Waters, or del Acqs), who as Vivianne del Acqs and Morgane Le Fay , are the Guardians of the Isle of Avallon (Avallach), the invisible Gates to Caer Siddi (Annwn) and to the Grail's vase divination and healing powers.

As in the Rig- Vedas and the Vajrayana, the earlier version of the  Arthurian Quest and the later Troubadors Lore promote a sophisticated mythology , with archetypal roles perceived in distinct classes of inspirations, being those of Morgane, Perceval, Arthur, Morded,  Merlin,  Fairies , Maids or Celtic Nymphes, conduced in tales known as  Elopments , Wooings  or Arthurian Quest.

The discovery of  hidden truths, embedded inmythology is as much part of an initiation process,  belonging  to the realm of personal catharsis or drama ,  than to  rationality.

Caer Sidi (Annwn) , the Celtic and Grail Lore Abode, which entry gives access to Healing and Divination Powers, requests that one be motivated , as Arthur, Galahad and  Perceval , by a drive for relevant services and compassion for  the community.

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Morgane Le Fay, 
Caer Sidi in Brittany (Bries)

Faery  Lore 

The word Fairy or Faerie implies enchantment and is being used here as a synonym for Elf or Aelf. Another synomym  is Fay , from the thirteen century Fadae (or Lars) being ancestral spirits.

The Gaelic words  Sidhe and Sidi arose in the popular mind from its latin and medieval sources  being both the  words Fatum (fees or fades) for "Fate spoken or revealed "and the nymphic Fatuae (spiritual maidens of the forests and Elements) .Both the nymphic Fatuae and the classical Fates became accepted in the Roman world and turn later to become "Fada" in Provence and "Fee" in France. Reaching Britain at last with the Norman, it was introduced as "Fay". But the more ancient meaning of "Fairy" is also one linked with "illusion" , "enchantment" (Maya, Samsara), from the latin " fatare" . Gaelic dictionaries give Sidhe, Sithiche or Sithe as the corresponding for "Fairy".

The heritage of the Holy Grail is said to have come to Europe, in AD 44, when Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea decided to go into exile in the South of France (Gaul), under the protection of the rulers of the (Jewish) Kingdom of Septimania.  Joseph (James) himself, later continued his journey to Brittany (Bretagne) and to Wales, founding the first communities of early Celtic Christendom.

Both were descendants of the Davidic lineage of the Fisher Kings (as later King Arthur was), and inspired the  Grail Lore and its spiritual iconography . Mary Magdalene 's own descendants led to the lineage of the "House of Acqs" (Aix or Aquae for Waters), in the South of France (Provence, Ariege, Aude), as well as later in Brittany (Breis) and Wales.  The "House del Acqs" tradition held also the key to the symbolic  "Lady of the Lake" (or Waters), who is the Guardian of the Gates of  Caer Siddi (Annwn), where Excalibur and Arthur were brought back to lie (Sacred  Isle of Avallon / Avallach). Historically, and in Brittany (Armoric) itself , the "House del Acqs" led genealogically to Morgain le Fay and Merlin,  as quoted  in the Arthurian Lore. 

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 Mary Magdalena Tower
in Rennes le Chateau

In AD 44, Herod Antipas and his brother Archelaus were sent by the political powers in Rome and Jerusalem in exile to the Herodian estate they held in Septimania (Gaul). Placed in a precarious situation (AD 44), Mary Magdalene traveled with Philip the Apostle and other early Christians, and landed at Ratis, a place now called Les Saintes Maries de la Mer , near Marseille (see: The Life of Mary Magdalene by Rabin Maur, AD 776-856, Oxford University). Mary lived in retreat in Rennes le Chateau (Razes), then at the St. Baume (Aix en Provence) , where she died (AD 63) .

The cult surrounding Mary Magdalene (healing springs) is principally based around Rennes-le-Cateau and Rennes-les-Bains (Razes) in the Languedoc / Aude region. 
It is to be studied as an interesting parallel to Mother Earth cults known as Black Madonna or Isis.

In the Constitution of the Order of the Knights Templars (1228),  Bernard de Clairveaux required the monk warriors to protect  the cult of  Bethany,  Castle of Mary Magdalena and Martha.

The early Christian texts describe Mary Magdalene as " the woman who knew the All ...".

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Old Celtic Church in Wales

Joseph (James) of Arimathea


The Apostles Matthew, Mark and John portray that during the Crucifixion of Jesus the Christ  (Nazarene) Joseph of Arimathea pleaded with Ponce Pilate to have the body of Christ taken down from the cross before the Sabbath and buried in a sepulchre which belonged to him.  Following  the scriptures, Joseph was whether the uncle , or the natural brother, of Jesus Christ (the Nazarite or Nazarene). Like Him,  he was descended from the Davidic dynasty.  The 1601 Annales Ecclesiasticae in the Vatican library record that Joseph of Arimathea first went to Marseille (France) in AD 35. From there, he and his company crossed from Brittany (Armoric) to Great Britain , as was recorded by eminent churchmens (ie: Gildas III in De Excidio Britanniae AD 516-570, Eusebius, Bishop of Caesaria AD 260-340, or St. Hillary of Poitiers 330-367), at the request of St. Philip the Apostle, who was living in Gaul (see : Freculphus 9th-century, Bishop of Lisieux), this  in order to bring the Gospel from Gaul to Great Britain (England and Wales).

Upon their arrival, Joseph and his twelve missionaires were greeted with cordiality by King Arviragus of Siluria (Pendragon), and were granted twelves hides (120 acres) of Glastonbury marsh land (Domesday Book AD 1086). Joseph was a prestigious figure, associated with the creation of  Glastonbury, as recoded by St. Patrick (who was the first Abbot in the 5th-century) and St. Dunstan (Abbot from 940 to 946).  In those times, Joseph of Arimathea lived and travelled in France, travelled back to Jerusalem and Rome. His burial took place in Glastonbury Chapel .
 Joseph of Arimathea, first Guardian of the Grail (Isle des Veilleurs), was the founder of  Celtic Christendom, and the first Heir of Avallon . 

Concerning the extension of Christinanity in the East, the Gospels says little about Thomas the Apostle and his travel from Central Asia to South India. The scriptures  hold that he was amongst the most influential evangelists and that he preached in Syria, Persia and in North India. Today, in a Tibetan monastery in Laddakh , an early Christian Gospel in Pali is being preserved. This fits with the historical fact that , at that time and upto the 12th century (Tamerlan Khan) , the Asian Christian Nestorian tradition had been alive  in a good part of the region comprized between Turkey, Mongolia  an India. The early stages of Gengis Khan mongol empire consolidation was due to his marriage with Nestorian princesses, who brought with them the Turkestan administrative skills needed, which help to unite the Mongol tribes under this Great Shaman Warrior .
 Today, there still exists an old tradition in Shrinagar (Kashmir), which shows the tomb of Jesus the Christ, who is said to have died there. There are still wealthy Nestorian and Syrian Christian communities today in India.

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Knight & Monk Warrior

Knights  Templars  Powerplaces 


The Knights Templars of  Jerusalem,  initiated by the ( Champagne - Provence ) Noble House of  Hugues de Payn de Bagarry du Verdon, and politically protected by the Cistercian Abbot  Bernard de Clairvaux , had been  since these beginings closely identified with the preservation of the Celtic Lore (Bernard will also support the Celtic anachoretes in the Island of Iona) and the military protectors of earlier Solar Cults  (the Baphomet archetype in the Forteresse Solaire de Valcros, Chateau de Soleil, Verdon) and the magical realms and fairies of the Arthurian Quest. In the early 1200s,  comes a most important Grail romance , called Parzifal, written by the Bavarian Knight Templar  , named Wolfram Von Eschenbach.

In this account, the Templars association are portrayed as the guardians of the Temple of the Grail, located on the Munsalvaesche (Mount Salvage, sometimes believed to be in  Montsegur, re: the Nazi researchs with Otto Rahn). Here, the Fisher Kings officiate as presiding the Grail mass with the Knights of the Round Table gathered around . Wolfram gave his sources as coming from Kyot the Provencal, himself initiated in Asia. The Grail is said to be a " stone of youth and rejuvenation " , and to provide  the powers of  healing and divination .  The " Lapsis Exillis " , such as the stone fallen from Lucifer forehead . In Parzival, the fortress of Camelot is located in Brittany, namely: Breis ...

Morgaine del Acqs (Morgane Le Fay), who is remembered in the Celtic Grail and Knight Templars Lore as one of the Keeper (Veilleurs) of the Gates to Caer Sidi (Annwn), and  Mary Magdalena bearer of the female Grail  dynasty and spiritual protector, are both living archetypes leading to Celtic High Priestess and Grail Lore 's prophetic and medicinal powers .

In a manner similar to the matriarchal practice of the Picts (Scotland), Morgane Le Fay powers (Avollonian dynasty , Isle of Avallon) had been  perpetuated through her female lineage . The celtic Queens of Avallon emerged alongside the Merovingian kings of  Davidic lineage in the Kingdom of Septimania  (Rennes le Chateau / Razes) . The noble house of  "de Leon del Acqs " in Septimania ,  Aix en Provence, Brittany and Wales , were so named because " leon " was Septimanian-Spanish for " lion " , which was on their Davidic heraldic shield.  The Shamanic healing and divination powers inherited from her lineage and tamed through her relation with Merlin were comparable in concepts and symbolic  to those still used today by the Tibetan and Himalayan Tantric Traditions .

Fairies and archetypes are alive and well in several  Templars and Cathars  Powerplaces .

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  Cathares  Heritage


The Cathars lived in Septimania (Languedoc, Aude, Ariege regions in South of  France) , between the 10th and 14th century, and were  the holders of the  Tradition of the Holy Grail brought to France by Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalena during the first century AD. 

The Aude region also was the recipients of  Gnostic Dualisme (Manicheens) enherited from the Wisigoths, who had settled their kingdom in Toulouse and Rennes le Chateau (4th century AD),  and from the Celto-Iberes and Arianiste Huns, who both had long migrated from Central Asia to Europe.
The long-haired Merovingians kings had ruled the same rehgion of early "France" from 500 AD to 752 AD. Their dynasty suggested links with the lost Tribe of Benjamin, as traced via the Gaul-Celtic migrations from Syria to Acadia, thence to the Pyrennees, after going through the Rhine region.

In 1200 AD, the Cathars "Parfaits" (Bonhommes) had been perceived by the powers in Rome as a direct  threat.  They lived , as Saddhus and Nagpas, in poverty and chastity, and had only one sacrament, the Consolament(um). This was an initiatic rite (Bapteme of  Light), provided only to adults, whether as the ordination prior to becoming a Parfait (Bonhommes), or before going to battle (Feudis) or while in the process of dying.  The Holy Grail reflected the spiritual Quest of both the Cathares and the Celtic people. 

The Arthurian Quest led to a Mystical Communion. 
As Arthur, the Holy Grail belong to the Land : " He IS the Land ... "

It is the path of the Spiritual Warrior (Shambala) and Shaman. In its hermeneutic (hidden knowledge) , the symbol of the Holy Grail Chalice support the ideal of Service, whereas the Blood of Christ therein corresponds  to active Compassion (Boddhicitta), ie: giving and receiving service in the community.

The Holy Grail Lore and Legends are parables on the potential attainment of magical powers described in the Celtic Tradition, being:  Healing, Divination and contacts with Fairies.
As such, both the Holy Grail Lore and the Himalayan Shamans traditions are based on the traditional beliefs on yogas and spiritual practices to contact with the spirits of the Outer World (Annwn or Shambala) and for seeking remedials or powers.

Alike Tibetan Vajrayana , the Holy Grail Quest is a enlightened path to awareness, harmony and applied compassion, which  acknowledges the needs and structures of the community and which as such , is in its very  roots, deeply democratic and linked with "real life" ...

In the present age of computer technology, international financial rituals and other development aid- aberrations,  a comparative study of the Celtic,Cathars, Templars and Himalayan Shamanic Traditions could be a useful stepping-stone for  a synthesis of Healing Rituals  and Artifacts , as well as for a reawakening of  human potentials.


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Whom Does the Grail Serve ?

" About Caer Sidi (Avallon) : The Gates to Annwn "


Bard Taliesin said :

With regard to the Grail, Taliesin (Keltic Bard) , in poem xxx, mentions that :
""  the Cauldron of the Head of Hades (The Grail) had a rim set with pearls adorning it, the fire beneath it came from the breath of nine maidens, it would not boil for a coward. The poem mentions the Cauldon being at CAER SIDI , the Grail Chapel of King Peleur in Camelot . In the Arthurian Quest, the Cauldron is found by Arthur and his knights on their descent to Annwn, the Astral Plane. The prize of the Grail is that it heals the sick and wounded, feed those at the Round Table with whatever they wish, and protects them from plague and old age. Above all, it is the Cauldron of Prophecy, which renews the soul. When Arthur is slain at the battle of Camelon by Modred, he is carried of to the Isles of Avallach or Avallon, where he remains , neither alive nor dead, until fate will require again his Sword (Excalibur). Caer Sidi (Zodiac), in the land of Fairies, is the door to Annwn... ""


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Disclaimer: What  is written above is based upon the lecture of some 150 books and authors , as well as the related discussions during the last 25 years, all of whom are fully acknowledge.We have presented below a short-list for acknowledgment of the prinicipal references . We do not want to re-write History or Philosophy, only to bear  Testimony ...


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