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Deities & Heros >> Celtic, Welsh, Irish & Brittish
knights in shining armor, unnecessary questions, headless body, parsifal

Parsifal -- The Search for The Holy Grail

Author: Mirjam

Brought to you by Archetypal Astrology

(This is a long and rich tale, which really merits a much more thorough analysis. I hope to return to that another time. Here I have only related the most essential parts:)

Parsifal grew up in the woods with his mother who was a widow. One day he saw a group of knights in shining armor passing by their hut and he was gripped by a longing to follow them and to find out more about the world outside the wood.

When he had grown into a young man he says goodbye to his teacher who advises him to not talk too much and not ask any unnecessary questions. His mother could not stop him despite all prayers and he leaves her. It is told that she died of grief.

After a while he came upon a great castle where he was ushered in by servants and met the king, who was wounded in battle and could not rise to greet him properly. The king gave him a beautiful sword and he was given much honor and a banquet was given for all who lived in the castle.

At one point during this meal, a beautiful maiden entered the room, carrying a grail between her hands. This grail was made of purest gold and set with precious stones and its light outshone all the candles by the banquet. (The grail was of old a wide, slightly deep plate out of which was served the best of food for kings and nobles, not a cup which is frequently believed.)

All throughout the meal the grail was passed before his eyes and he wanted to know who was served with it, but kept his word to his teacher and never asked. Later he is escorted to a bedchamber and he falls asleep, only to wake up next morning and find himself alone in the castle except for his horse.

So he gallops away through the forest and comes upon a maiden who is mourning over a headless body of a knight. She berates Perceval for not finding out about the grail, for then he would have healed the wounded king in the castle and made him capable of ruling his land. Now much misery would befall him. Then she asks him to help her in vanquishing the knight who killed her lover.

After many adventures Perceval arrives at the court of King Arthur, where later he makes a wow that he shall not sleep at the same place two nights before he finds out about the grail and who is being served by it.

The years pass, Perceval finally ends up with a hermit to whom he confesses his sins and here he learns why all the misery has befallen him in his life - the reason was that he kept quiet and did not pose the right question about the grail.

The connection to Leo

Leo is the sign of the sun. The sun in the horoscope points at issues having to do with the development of the self - becoming what one is in truth. The questions that are important for Leo might be to ask: Who am I? Where do I come from?

Traditionally the sign of Leo has connection to the king, the lion, to a need to show off, but I´m not so sure. There is something much deeper than a mere urge to be the center of everybody's attention. And if that is not heeded, Leo can most certainly put all his creativity at work to get the attention, for through that he gets a certain feedback, a certain proof that he at least exists.

But that way no questions are posed or answered. The longing will still be there. And many Leo's put all their power behind their creativity, seemingly to show the world what they are capable to do, while at the bottom lies the thought that they might find out about the sources of life if they look at their own creation.

And the answer to the quest obviously lies with the Holy Grail, by the Christian tradition the cup which was used either to collect the Blood of Christ as He was hanging at the cross or that He used at the Last Supper. In the early Celtic myth it is equaled to Cerridwen´s cauldron, a feminine vessel in which fallen heroes regain their life. Whom is being served with the Holy Grail?

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