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The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal

Contents Start Reading

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In the 13th century, over a few decades, a huge literature emerged around an unlikely tale. Survivors of the core of early Christianity make a perilous journey to Western Europe. They begin a hidden bloodline, preserve immensely powerful relics of the crucifixion, and carry a secret which, if revealed, would turn the established church on its head. If this seems like déjà vu, it is.

A.E. Waite gets to the core of the Grail legend, an interwoven mass of narratives which started with seeds of pagan folklore and grew into a massive allegorical Christian epic. This 700 page book will satisfy both the academic reader who wants a survey of the Grail literature, and the more mystically inclined who seek the Grail itself. Waite examines in great detail every known source text for the Grail legend. His literate style makes interesting reading for well-educated readers, despite the repeating themes and story lines. Unlike some of the other writers on this topic, Waite is organized, focused, and not hesitant to turn a critical eye on half-baked theories.

In the last two hundred pages, he attempts to make some sense of it all. He examines and dismisses 19th century theories which linked the Grail to the Templars, or Masons, as well as the unorthodox Cathars, Albigensians and Waldensians of Southern France. His conclusion is that there is an ‘inner church’ in Christianity: not a conspiracy or a subterranean sect, but a mystical core. Instead, Waite’s concept of the hidden church is based on a deep comprehension of the sacrament of communion, and the Holy Grail is symbolic of this.

Waite published this magnum opus about the time that he (with Pamela Smith) was putting the finishing touches on his Tarot deck. A close read of this book will illuminate much of the Waite Tarot deck symbolism.

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Title Page and Front Matter

Preface

Contents

Book I

The Argument

I. Some Aspects of the Graal Legend

II. Epochs of the Legend

III. The Environment of the Graal Literature

IV. The Literature of the Cycle

V. The Implicits of the Mystery

Book II

The Argument

I. A Preliminary Account of Certain Root-Secrets Included in the Whole Subject

II. The Institution of the Hallows, and in the First Place General Introduction Concerning Them

III. The Institution of the Hallows, and, Secondly, the Variations of the Cup Legend

IV. The Graal Vessel Considered as a Bowl of Plenty

V. The Lesser Hallows of the Legend

§ A.–The Summary of These Matters

§ B.–Legends of the Sacred Lance

§ C.–The Broken Sword

§ D.–The Dish

VI. The Castle of the Holy Graal

VII. The Keepers of the Hallows

VIII. The Pageants in the Quests

IX. The Enchantments of Britain, the Times Called Adventurous and the Wounding of the King

X. The Suppressed Word and the Mystic Question

XI. The Healing of the King

XII. The Removal of the Hallows

Book III

Argument

I. The Antecedents of the Legend in Folk-Lore

II. The Welsh Perceval

III. The English Metrical Romance of Syr Percyvelle

IV. The Conte del Graal

§ A.–Preliminary to the Whole Subject

§ B.–The Poem of Chrétien De Troyes

§ C.–The Extension of Gautier

§ D.–The Conclusion of Manessier

§ E.–The Alternative Sequel of Gerbert

§ F.–In Which Sir Gawain is Considered Briefly as a Companion of the Holy Quest

Book IV

Argument

I. The Metrical Romance of Joseph of Arimathæa

II. The Lesser Holy Graal

III. The Early History of Merlin

IV. The Didot Perceval

And More..Contents Start Reading

——————————————————————————–

In the 13th century, over a few decades, a huge literature emerged around an unlikely tale. Survivors of the core of early Christianity make a perilous journey to Western Europe. They begin a hidden bloodline, preserve immensely powerful relics of the crucifixion, and carry a secret which, if revealed, would turn the established church on its head. If this seems like déjà vu, it is.

A.E. Waite gets to the core of the Grail legend, an interwoven mass of narratives which started with seeds of pagan folklore and grew into a massive allegorical Christian epic. This 700 page book will satisfy both the academic reader who wants a survey of the Grail literature, and the more mystically inclined who seek the Grail itself. Waite examines in great detail every known source text for the Grail legend. His literate style makes interesting reading for well-educated readers, despite the repeating themes and story lines. Unlike some of the other writers on this topic, Waite is organized, focused, and not hesitant to turn a critical eye on half-baked theories.

In the last two hundred pages, he attempts to make some sense of it all. He examines and dismisses 19th century theories which linked the Grail to the Templars, or Masons, as well as the unorthodox Cathars, Albigensians and Waldensians of Southern France. His conclusion is that there is an ‘inner church’ in Christianity: not a conspiracy or a subterranean sect, but a mystical core. Instead, Waite’s concept of the hidden church is based on a deep comprehension of the sacrament of communion, and the Holy Grail is symbolic of this.

Waite published this magnum opus about the time that he (with Pamela Smith) was putting the finishing touches on his Tarot deck. A close read of this book will illuminate much of the Waite Tarot deck symbolism.

——————————————————————————–

Title Page and Front Matter

Preface

Contents

Book I

The Argument

I. Some Aspects of the Graal Legend

II. Epochs of the Legend

III. The Environment of the Graal Literature

IV. The Literature of the Cycle

V. The Implicits of the Mystery

Book II

The Argument

I. A Preliminary Account of Certain Root-Secrets Included in the Whole Subject

II. The Institution of the Hallows, and in the First Place General Introduction Concerning Them

III. The Institution of the Hallows, and, Secondly, the Variations of the Cup Legend

IV. The Graal Vessel Considered as a Bowl of Plenty

V. The Lesser Hallows of the Legend

§ A.–The Summary of These Matters

§ B.–Legends of the Sacred Lance

§ C.–The Broken Sword

§ D.–The Dish

VI. The Castle of the Holy Graal

VII. The Keepers of the Hallows

VIII. The Pageants in the Quests

IX. The Enchantments of Britain, the Times Called Adventurous and the Wounding of the King

X. The Suppressed Word and the Mystic Question

XI. The Healing of the King

XII. The Removal of the Hallows

Book III

Argument

I. The Antecedents of the Legend in Folk-Lore

II. The Welsh Perceval

III. The English Metrical Romance of Syr Percyvelle

IV. The Conte del Graal

§ A.–Preliminary to the Whole Subject

§ B.–The Poem of Chrétien De Troyes

§ C.–The Extension of Gautier

§ D.–The Conclusion of Manessier

§ E.–The Alternative Sequel of Gerbert

§ F.–In Which Sir Gawain is Considered Briefly as a Companion of the Holy Quest

Book IV

Argument

I. The Metrical Romance of Joseph of Arimathæa

II. The Lesser Holy Graal

III. The Early History of Merlin

IV. The Didot Perceval

And More..

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