In my opinion, if something has withstood the test of time, that is to be respected. While today’s trend is tomorrow’s embarrassment, something that can be called “classical” is something that is always good, or at least something that can be appreciated at any time. A perfect example is Classical Music. While it may not be your particular cup of tea, most can appreciate it’s power to move the human spirit. This is why it is used to convey strong emotion, or to paint a mental picture in movies. The theme may be something modern, but nothing goes better with a majestic outer space scene, or impending battle like a powerful piece of Classical Music.
For this reason, I have chosen to take the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Some guys like cars, others are big football fans -- I love archeology. To me, there is no better proof of something being a “classic” than existing for thousands of years and represent itself to us today to let us “time travel” in our own limited way back to the time of the artifact’s origin. I had the opportunity to visit Stonehenge a couple of years ago, and one of the most memorable points of the visit was when I put my hand inside one of the mortise holes carved into a fallen lentel stones. It occurred to me that, once upon a time, some fellow, not so unlike me, sat pounding at this enormous stone when a small hammer stone, making this hole so that it could take it’s imposing place of honor atop one of the mighty trilithons. That made dipping my fingers into a healthy layer of decomposing organic matter and crow poo all worth it.
This is one reason why I began my search for the Grail - not an emotional, or spiritual, or “journey of awareness” search, but an actual search for a historical Grail. My journey began with a cinema hero of mine, Indiana Jones. A legendary figure himself, the incredible, mythical objects for which he searched seemed all the more unreal and fantastic. What a surprise, I thought, when I watched a program on the History Channel about the Ark of the Covenant and heard of someone undertaking a real life, archeological search for the holy relic. It had never occurred to me that the same objects of mythical proportions that Indiana Jones tried to find might be actual, historical objects. Since I had also been interested in the King Arthur of legend, and his immortal sword, Excalibur, my interests turned to the Holy Grail.
As do most novices in any endeavor, I began with the most popular and widely known source of information. I went to my library and checked out Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, thinking I could discover all the legend’s secrets. It took no time at all to discover there are as many twists and turns in this legend as in a giant ball of knotted rubber bands. Although there were many side roads to investigate, I fortunately found that there was a fair body of source material, much older than the popular 15th century retelling, from which I began working. After reading the base texts, I began picking them apart historically. I read everything I could about Celtic mythology, medieval romances, Troubadours, Cathars, Templars, heretical Christian leaders, and the Roman Empire.
When I had finally filled my head with as much information as I could, I found that things had inadvertently began fitting together. Common threads in the literature started becoming more evident, historical events started shining light on those who wrote them, archeology and historical accounts began backing up legends. Finally, and most importantly, I began asking questions. Why did a medieval romancer chose to combine a British war hero with an Hebrew relic, and do so to entertain a French court? Why must the Grail Knight and hero of the saga ask a question to achieve the Grail instead of winning it through some feat at arms, or winning a battle? Why did a curious little story, only one of many about the long ago King Arthur, become such a powerful theme, surviving even to our very modern, very unfriendly to legends time today?
So now here we are. eighteen years later. My supposition that there might be something at the heart of this legend has been rewarded with supporting evidence time and again. Now, it is my wish to do what I can to bring this legend to a new generation of explorers, maybe even serve as inspiration for some young Indiana Jones out there somewhere, just reading about the Arthur legend, or seeing a painting of a knight in shining armor holding some strange little cup. Maybe someone will have the same tingling feeling that I had when I realized that some of the legends we grew up with might have a place, or at least a foothold, in our reality. Therefore, it is with this hope that I have created this web site for you, the reader, the searcher, the adventurer, the Grail Quester!