THE engraving No. 4 at the end gives the mystical idea, or suggestion, of the Round Table of the Knights of King Arthur, which is again typical of the San Grëal. The romance of Guyot, or at least the traditional fable of the San Grëal, spread over France, Germany, and England. In the twelfth century the dogma of transubstantiation not being yet defined by the Church, the chalice, the mark of the Knights Templars, had not the deep mystic meaning which it received in the following century. The graal signifies a vase. The San Grëal is identified with the vessel in which Jesus celebrated the Holy Supper, and which also was used to receive His blood flowing from the wound inflicted upon Him by the centurion Longinus.
Walter Mapes, the historian of the San Grëal, ascribes to it a supernatural origin. He gave out that God was its real author, and had revealed it, in a celestial vision, to a holy hermit of Britain towards the year A.D. 720. This writer makes Joseph one of the coryphœi of his history of the San Grëal. After forty-two years of captivity Joseph of Arimathæa, the guardian of the Grail or Grëal, is at last set at liberty by the Emperor Vespasian. In possession of the sacred vessel, and a few more relics, and accompanied by his relations and disciples Hebron and Alain the Fishermen, he travels over a part of Asia, where he converts Enelach, King of Sarras. He then goes to Rome, and thence to Britain, where he preaches the gospel and
performs thirty-four miracles. He settles in the Island Yniswitrin, Isle of Glass (the Grëal is of emerald, and consequently green), or Glastonbury, where he founds an Abbey (Glastonbury Abbey), and institutes the Round Table (Arthur did this), in imitation of the Holy Supper, which was partaken of at a 'Round Table' with the Twelve Disciples, in their mythical double-places, twenty-four in all, and with the double chief-seat, or 'cathedra', for the President or the 'Saviour'. Lastly, the apostle of the Britons builds a palace, in which he preserves his precious relics, the Sacred Cup (refused to the Laity as a communion), which takes the name of San Grëal, the bloody spear (the 'upright' of the St. George’s Cross, to whom the 'Garter' is dedicated), with which the centurion Longinus pierced the side of the Lord, from whence issued 'blood and water'--the Rosicrucian heraldic colours (royal), Mars--Red; Luna--Argent (or 'Fire' and 'Water'). There are Eight Angels, one to each half-heaven, or dark or light sides, guarding the Four Corners of the World.
The Sacred Cup is identified with the vessel of the Holy Supper. The Templars are the successors of the Knights of the Round Table. Their successors again were the Knights of Malta, with their Eight 'Langues', or Nations--each represented in a blade of, or ray, of the Eight-pointed RED Templar Cross.
The Temple Church, London, was dedicated to St. Mary. The Grëal is a sort of oracle. It is, so to speak, at the orders of the 'Mother of God', to execute all 'Her' commands. Parsival--the German champion-hero--thinks of transporting the Grëal to the East, from whence it originally came. He takes the San Grëal, embarks at Marseilles with the Templars, and arrives at the court of his brother Feirifix in India. The Sacred Cup manifests a desire that Parsival
should remain possessor of the 'Grëal', and only change his name into that of Prester John (Prestre, or Prêtre, Jehan, or John). Parsival and the Templars settle in India. After the disappearance of the Grëal in the West, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, losing the 'central object', or the 'Rose' (Rosicrucianism) of the Table, go on a scattered (Knight-Errant or romantic) championship in search of it. They travel over the world--but in vain. They cannot find the 'Grëal'. For it is for ever hidden in the far 'East', or in the land of the 'Sun'. Wolfram von Eschenbach tells us that Meister Guyot-le-Provençal found at Toledo an Arabian book, written by an astrologer named Flegetanis, containing the story of the marvellous vase called 'Grëal'.
The sacred vase, or the San Grëal, was placed, according to the myth of Guyot, in a Temple (or Chapel), guarded by Knights Templeis or Temiplois (Knights Templars). The Temple of the Grëal was placed upon a mountain in the midst of a thick wood. The name of this mysterious mountain (like the Mount Meru of the Hindoos and Olympus of the Greeks) hints sublimity and secrecy. Guyot calls it Mont Salvagge, wild or inaccessible mountain (or 'Holy Way'). The Grëal was made of a wonderful 'Stone' called Exillis, which had once been the most brilliant jewel in the 'Crown of the Archangel Lucifer'--the gem was emerald (green; Friday; the unlucky in one sense, the 'sacred' woman's day in another sense). This famous legendary stone was struck out of the crown or helmeted double-rayed or double-springing 'winged' crown--mythically--of the Prince of the Archangels ('Lucifer'), in his conflict with the opposing 'general of the skies'--Saint Michael, the 'Champion of Heaven'; and the combative guardian of innocence and of 'virginity' (mark).
[paragraph continues] This immortal 'Stone'--the Grëal--fell into the 'Abyss'. It was mythologically recovered.
The 'Stone' was brought from heaven (rescue) by Angels, and left to the care of Titurel, the First King of the Grëal, who transmitted it to Amfortas, the Second King, whose sister 'Herze'-loïde was the mother of Parsival, the Third King of the San Grëal. (These are the Three Kings of Cologne, or the Three Magi or Astrologers.) A great many towns pretended to possess this holy relic. In 1247 the Patriarch of Jerusalem sent the San Grëal to King Henry the Third of England, as having belonged to Nicodemus (see the Gospel of Nicodemus) and Joseph of Arimathæa. The inhabitants of Constantinople, about the same time, also fancied that a vessel which they had long esteemed as a sacred relic was the San Grëal. The Genoese also felt certain that their canto catino (Catillo, v. a. (L.) 'to lick dishes'; Catinus, i. m. (L.) 'a dish') was nothing else than the San Grëal. The same (or similar) modifications of the myth are to be noticed in a romance, in prose, entitled Percival-le-Gallois. Not only is the Round Table considered in this book as an imitation of the 'Holy Supper', but the author goes so far as to give it the name of San Grëal itself. In the Romance of Merlin, written towards the end of the thirteenth century, it is said that the Round Table instituted by Joseph in imitation of the Holy Supper was called 'Graal' that Joseph induced Arthur's father to create a third Round Table in honour of the Holy Trinity.
The San Grëal: an Inquiry into the Origin and Signification of the Romances of the San Grëal. By Dr. F. G. Bergmann, Dean of the Faculty of Letters at Strasburg, and Member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, Copenhagen. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1870. We quote the above in parts.