The Grail Quest

So, several questers came together in Carnforth this afternoon, myself, the magician, the cook, one of the knights and another unexpected knight who leant his considerable enthusiasm and expertise. We discussed various options open to us and poured over maps looking for clues as to the directions of our scouts (the Cunning Man and the Viking), the Viking having sent us his notes and several maps and drawings.

Many ideas of the grail were spoken of, the cook and the magician seem happy with the notion that the grail which we seek is a part of a group of items whereas myself and one of the knights have the idea that it is a specific object which we will know as soon as we see, the other knight came up with the idea that it was a place which we searched for.

Following the meeting the knight who was with us temporarily (although he is welcome to join this quest for as long as he likes as are all others) withdrew to Lancaster, the other quested forth to the Giants Seat in search of further clues. Myself, the cook and the magician hunted around Carnforth and came up with a couple of books which we will continue to read. My main thoughts after this afternoon are that it is important to have different ideas and different persectives, even different methods of searching when it comes to looking for grails, myself I have dreamt of clues, the Cunning Man, the Viking and the Red Knight have all come up with followed clues in their own ways. Whether we choose to dream, to write, to meditate, to read or to go forth and look physically is up to our own natures as questers, all paths are equally valid ways and eventually this quest will find the grail.

More practically what we came up with this afternoon were areas in which to search for the Vikings dream. Remember that my initial clue was from the Giants, to look for where fire and water meet. The Viking then said that the advice he had recieved was thus; “In a suitable format the counsel is cryptic. A flaming sword held by a young man’s hand points to the rising sun and makes it clear there are only so many times assistance can be given on such a quest. An aftershadow of twilight at a spot where the sun rose, between peaks, between something earthern. A bird flies past, returning from the sun, I think it’s a swallow.”
Later he posted a more focussed description of a place: “To the east a range of hills or mountains, to the south a fairly straight run of hill/mountain, in the west is the vantage point, to the north is a plain leading to a fairly large hill beyond which is a body of water. The directions just don’t add up for me though. The sun doesn’t seem to rise in the east. The distance between the vantage point and the spot indicated is further than I’ve managed to project on a map.

I think that I might be misinterpreting imagery. What if the young mans arm and sword is the sun and the light I saw in that gap wasn’t the sunrise, but just an indication that I should head in that direction. I don’t know enough about Arthurian legend or grail mythology to interpret the images.”
The Cunning Man’s advice was “Hold the raven’s feather to your lips and blow, when you find it. I’ll be there with news of distant places before you take another”

This afternoon we decided our places to search would be (most appropriately) Windersmere, Ullswater, Grizedale Lea, the Fairy Steps and the Giants Seat. The Red Knight visited the Giants Seat but as far as I know with no particular Grail success.

How each quester chooses to quest is of his/her own choosing. The next grail meeting will be in Ulverston at the Kings Head at 1:30pm on Saturday the 2nd June. There we will discuss our personal quests for the grail and what we each have discovered. I hope that there we will be able to decide/ be made aware of the directions for our next heading.

If those of us who could not make it this afternoon have more to share, then please, use the comments page and type away.

10 thoughts on “The Grail Quest

  1. Yeah I thought the idea of grail as place was interesting. As for suggesting the grail as a multitude of items I meant more that The Grail could be a multitude of items however the grail that we were seeking was likely to be an item (perhaps).

  2. For the benefit of other knights and interested parties:

    Didn’t get a chance to try my hand at the Fairy Steps, it was hot, getting late, and my steed of the day was not bred for distance…

    I did (eventually) find the Giant’s Seat. No giants or clues they may have left though. Sadly, despite positive feeling approaching the site, any mystical directional energy the place had was sucked out of it by a group of darling folks, discussing the journey up from London, how well little Harry was doing at his trumpet, and what a delight France is by Eurostar…

  3. Has anyone thought about looking at places connected with the Grail and people involved with the whole thing?

  4. Thats what I’m currently doing (and rereading a lot), however, theres a lot of Grail lore and I’m mainly concentrating on the really old (pre-medeival) stuff. As well as modern historian’s interpretations.

    Someone might do well to look at things directly connected with the Lakes.

  5. There’s a mound in Orkney that bears your ancestor Alice’s family name name…Mine initial thoughts lay that far north. That said…with apologies to the Magician, this One was more likely to be closer to Myrddin who a 15th century manuscript equates with the bard Lailocen:

    ‘Lailoken (or Lailochen): The Life of St. Kentigern (Scotland, 12th c.) refers to a certain homo fatuus (

  6. Sorry, Cunning Man, not quite sure what you are offering apologies for? Can you unpack that one for me please?


  7. A message for the Witch Queen of the North, and those on her quest, from her magician…

    You may remember that on Saturday afternoon I compared the Grail to the Shining Trapezohedron of Lovecraft’s Haunter of the Dark. You may also remember that my bibliomancy that afternoon found a 1957 copy of Jessie Weston’s 1920 book, From Ritual to Romance.

    Today I found this…

    "But … isn’t the Trapezohedron an awful lot like the Grail? It’s found in a Perilous Chapel, which seems to exist in an Otherworld ("he half fancied that the Federal Hill of that distant view was a dream-world never to be trod by living human feet"), by a young and inexperienced quester who doesn’t even know what he’s looking for. (Not to beat this to death, but "Edmund Fiske," the Fritz Leiber manque from Bloch’s sequel, has a sort of Gawain-esque irascibility to him, just as "Blake" has a Percival-like simplicity. There don’t seem to be any Galahads in the Mythos.) The Grail vouchsafes visions, specifically processions and hallows, to the quester. (In addition to "processions of robed, hooded figures," Blake has a vision of Azathoth — the inverse of the Grail’s vision of God.)

    "The Grail is tied to some sort of god-king (Haunter/Nyarlathotep), who when the quester finds him, is faint and feeble. (For more Jessie Weston-osity, Blake arrives in the winter, enters the church in spring — "late in April" — and the Haunter emerges at full strength in high summer.) The quester gains wisdom from an old man (either Lillibridge’s skeleton, or perhaps even the Lovecraft-manque from "Shambler") and returns to the Castle able to answer the questions (after learning the Trapezohedron’s history, Blake sleepwalks back to the church and dreams the truth) and achieves the Grail, being adopted into its lineage and taken into the Otherworld (Blake joins minds with the Haunter and dies); the Grail is taken up into Heaven (dropped into the deepest channel of the Sea, a clear anti-Ascension). Like I say, I have no evidence that this is what Lovecraft means — he doesn’t seem to have owned a copy of Jessie Weston, I haven’t turned up any evidence that he ever bothered much with Grail lore, and his letters make plain his belief that Arthur was a Britanno-Roman cataphract — but it’s suggestive, as we say in the dark hintings biz."

    It’s from Kenneth Hite’s LJ. He wrote it last month, and the entry can be found here…

    Now, what does this mean to our quest? Personally I think it means that there are more connections between the quest and other parts of our lives than I had previously suspected. It also makes me more curious about the paragraph I read to you regarding her *initial* sources.

    As an aside, in the film ‘Apocalypse Now’ Colonel Kurtz is shown to have a copy on his bookshelf.

    Once more to the Heart of Darkness…and…

    Reyn til Runa!

  8. Reyn til Runa indeed sir!

    *chuckles* It’s all *very* wyrd….I saw that on Hite’s LJ and I agreed. Didnae click with this til now tho..

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