But first we need to know just what the Grail is…
Not quite Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in search of the Grail, but the journey to London provided a couple of significant revelations from Westminster Abbey and the Temple in the United Grand Lodge of England. Our umbrellas just about lasted long enough to protect us from the relentless rain, while we dashed across the City pursued by an albino monk and Jack Bauer trying to take our secrets!
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Before I begin to explain what we found, let’s first wind back the clock… The best visual description of the Grail comes from a scene in an early medieval story about one of King Arthur’s Knights, Percival, which was written by a real crusader knight called Wolfram. In this monumental scene there is a procession, which includes the Grail Queen holding the object that could provide immortality for the knights worthy of completing the Grail quest, the Grail itself. This seemingly strange description of the Grail has eluded scholars and laymen alike to this day for a good reason – as we will see in a moment…
If we now turn to the secret legends, scripture and stories from across the ages dating back to 3500 BC, which describe the quest to regain Paradise, they similarly state that the chosen candidates worthy of completing the quest would also be given access to an object that would give them immortality. Moreover that this object would ultimately be hidden in the final, solemn temple; not Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, but in the original, much older, secret Jerusalem described by William Blake as being built ‘here’, in England’s ‘green and pleasant land’.
So, could the Grail in the King Arthur legend be the same immortalising object described in the quest to regain paradise? In this much older quest, it specifically states that we were cast from Paradise for one reason: we were tricked into stealing the knowledge of the gods. But most importantly, the only thing the gods could do to stop us from going on to take control of Paradise was to cast us out, so that we could no longer eat their immortalising fruit from the evocative Tree of Life. So, again, could the Grail and the Tree of Life be one in the same thing?
Well, if we go back to the description of the Grail in the Arthurian legend, you can decide for yourself. As the Grail Queen slowly makes her way in the procession holding the immortalising object, the following explanation is given:
“She bore the pride of Paradise, root and branch beyond all price that was a thing men call the Grail.”
‘So what about the cypher on the Shakespeare Monument?’ I hear some of you ask. Well, as with the Shugborough Grail Monument all it takes is someone to point out the obvious; in this case Shakespeare, or perhaps Bacon….