Key to the Sacred Pattern

27 January 2008

Grail Seekers Media Watch for the Week Ending 26 Jan 08

Grail Seekers this week:

I think the weather in a majority of the US has stymied the flow of news this week. It’s pretty dead on the wires this week. Work on the web site continues… And I thought I had written a lot of content for the site over the past year… No so much. I’ll keep you posted.

On Audio:

Michael Tsarion is interviewed on the Occult of Personality; Podcast #39 on the Occult History of Judeo–Christianity.

Laura Lee will interview Christopher Knight on 2 Feb 08 about the History of Freemasonry.

In the News:

Are Satanists responsible for stealing Holy Water from the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio in Turin? Chalk this up to another odd occurrence in Italy.

It looks like the Bloodlines documentary will finally come out this Spring.

Is Dan Brown’s new novel even close to coming out?

National Geographic begins a nine part on line video presentation called Treasure Wars – Who Owns the Past?

The Biblical Archaeological Society gives some expanded coverage of the Jesus Tomb debates of the last few weeks.

On the Web:

What exactly is the Priory of Sion doing in American politics? I know they’re the ones that talked Fred Thompson to drop out of the race.

A 20 year old picture of odd engravings showed up this week on the Coast to Coast AM web site.

In Print:

The Times On Line reviews a new book that looks at the contributions of Islamic science in the Middle Ages.

Blog On:

The Odd Potato Blog gives us a look into Temket celebrations this year. (They promise pictures are to follow…)

The Templar Globe looks into Templar banking practices and their effect during the Crusades.

Here a Grail, There a Grail: Grail Cups Part 2

Continuing on with the series, Here a Grail There a Grail, we look at five more vessels that are thought by some to be the Holy Grail. Next time, we’ll examine the following vessels: Agrati's Grail, Bruges Grail, Lucca Grail, and the Sacro Catino.

The Chalice bears the name for the Benedictine leader of Saint Denis; Abbot Suger (1122 -1151). The Saint Denis area of Paris has been associated with the burial of French royalty since the time of Dagobert I. A majority of French royalty, including Dagobert I, are buried in the present basilica.

The basilica was the mastermind of Suger himself. He felt in building the basilica that the “use of rare materials gives glory to God”. This was in opposition of Bernard of Clairveau who felt hat churches should has beautiful art work, but the use of gold and precious stones was unnecessary.

The Chalice in the above link is actually one of four Chalices that have survived to present day that Abbot Suger brought to Saint Denis. The other three are now in the Lourve. While Abbot Suger’s Chalice follows the same pattern of an ancient agate bowl in a medieval setting, it is doubtful it is the Grail. There really is no historical pedigree to back up any claims to the contrary.

This Chalice’s home is the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

  • Marian Chalice (or the Hawkstone Park Cup)

The tradition of this Cup follows that Mary Magdalene used this Cup to catch a small amount of Jesus’ blood while he hung on the cross. The story goes on to say that Empress Helena found this Cup while excavating Jesus’ tomb in the 4th Century. The Cup was then taken to Rome, but later removed to Britain later in the 4th Century to avoid being pillaged by the Visigoths. This legend was written about by the 5th Century Greek historian Olympiodorus.

In the late 1990’s comes Graham Phillips into the story. He began to track down other Marian Chalice related sources in the UK and came up with a Shropshire family who were descended from the kings of Powys. Phillips evidence was based on a 12th Century manuscript, a 16th Century poem, and a secret code from the 1850’s. Phillips literally tracked down a descendant of the line he was looking for, Victoria Palmer. Ms. Palmer had the Cup tucked away in a corner of her flat, never knowing of its potential significance.

Phillips tells the tale of his Grail quest in his book, The Chalice of Magdalene

This small olive wood bowl has as long a history as any of the other afore mentioned Grail contenders. Legend says this bowl was brought to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea sometime after the death of Jesus. There the Cup was protected by the members of the Church Joseph set up and passed along to congregation there until 1520’s.

Taken from Glastonbury Abby of fear of being looted by Anglicans, the cup ended up in the care of Lord Powell of Nanteos. The Powell family believed that this was the actual Holy Grail and took their stewardship very seriously. After being in their care, the Cup is said to have healed the sick from those who drank water from it. Richard Wagner is reported to have made a trip to Nanteos in 1855 to see the cup while writing Parsifal.

When the last of the Powell family passed away in 1952, the Nanteos House was sold to a Major Mirylees. The Mirylees were somewhat private about the cup. They no longer publicizing the fact they were the owners of the “Holy Grail”. The family did allow a few interviews regarding the cup. One was a 1997 BBC Television documentary and another was an interview granted to the Martinist Review in 1959.

Today, the Mirylees family has placed the Cup in an undisclosed location and has not publicly shown the Cup for a number of years. For more about he Nanteos Cup, I did an article in June of 2006 on the Cup’s history.

  • Patene de Serpentine (or Oxbrow’s Grail)

Earlier this month, the Evening Times announced that historian Mark Oxbrow had, “cracked the mystery of the Holy Grail” Oxbrow theorizes that the Grail is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris and has been on display there for some time. He believes that the Grail is the Patene de Serpentine, a First Century dish that was used in the coronation of French royalty in the 12th Century. Oxbrow’s book on the subject will hit the shelves in the USA sometime this year.

On 17 August 1995, a press conference was held at the Italian home of Count Rocco Zingaro di San Ferdinando. Zingaro, the Great Precettore of the Order of the Knights Templar in Italy, made the announcement that he was in possession of the Holy Grail. This was in direct response to Graham Phillips announcing that he had found the Marian Chalice earlier that week. According to Zingaro, the Grail was given to him as a wedding present 20 years previous by Antonio Ambrosini. The Grail came into Ambrosini’s possession from a Coptic Monetary in Egypt.

Recent news is that Zingaro intends to return his Grail to “the House of Nazareth” sometime in the near future. In March of 2007, Zingaro is said to have had a vision from the Virgin Mary.

20 January 2008

Grail Seekers Media Watch for the Week Ending 19 Jan 08

Grail Seekers this week:

Happy Blue Apples week to all! I’ve been pretty busy this week working on any number of things. One of the New Year’s resolutions I did make was to finish all the articles I mentioned or started last year. I’ve had some disjointed work on this work on that writing this week as a result. Also, for all of you who have ask for it, a Grail Seekers web site is officially in the works. There will be more to come on this in the following weeks. Stay tuned.

On Audio:

There’s nothing on the audio radar this week, unless you want to call me and I’ll talk to you about the Grail for a little while.

In the News:

A million Indian pilgrims witnessed a miraculous light at Kerala's famed Sabarimala temple.

A Turkish-Hong Kong exploration team believe they have found material evidence that Noah’s Ark is on Mount Ararat

Mona Lisa’s identity has been figured out, yet again.

Biblical experts met this week to discuss the Tomb of Jesus.

Ancient tomb art is found at Tara Hill

The Jesuits have a new leader.

On the Web:

RLC Research and Resource Page has added a video section this week.

Far Shores publishes a good picture of the New Mexico Mystery Stone.

Filip Coppens and André Douzet take on the secrets of the altar at RLC.

In Print:

Real2Can made an announcement about Phillip Gardner’s new book, DVD set Gateways to the Otherworld on a MySpace blog this week.

Blog On:

The Welsh Mysteries Blog considers Wales for the resting place of the Grail.

If the Ark of the Covenant is in Kenya, would it ever be moved back to Israel?

17 January 2008

Here a Grail, There a Grail: Grail Cups Part 1

In reading the headlines over the last year, one would think that finding the Holy Grail was as easy as picking up a shell on a shoreline. It would seem almost trendy to pick a location for the final resting place of the world’s greatest treasure. The fact is that there are more candidates for the Holy Grail out there than one could shake a rather large stick at. This is the first part of a series chronicling some of the different types and traditions of the Grail.

In this first installment of “Here a Grail, There a Grail”, we’ll focus on the Grail as some sort of vessel. This is, by far, the most predominate theory of the nature of the Grail. Most traditions link the Grail as being a vessel used at the Last Supper, although this is not always the case. The following are a description of vessels that hold to being the Grail. This will be the first part of this article. The list was just too long to present in one blog.

  • Antioch Chalice (Image Link)

This cup was shown at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair as being the Holy Grail. Found in Antioch in 1910, this relic is actually two cups. The inner, plain silver bowl is thought to be a relic from the Last Supper. The outer more ornate gilded, rinceau-patterned, footed shell bowl is thought to be made in the 6th Century to house the Grail. In 1950, the Antioch Chalice was bought for a rather large undisclosed sum of money from a Syrian art dealer by John D. Rockefeller. The Chalice was then donated to the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Art Museum, in New York where it resides today.

  • Barbagallo’s Grail

In part of 2007’s strange events in Italy the Telegraph reported that Italian archeologist Alfredo Barbagallo had found the Grail. Barbagallo’s Grail is supposedly buried in a crypt under a terracotta funnel used in funeral rites at the Basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura. Barbagallo believes that the Grail was entrusted to Saint Lawrence just days before his martyrdom. At this time there has been no indication that the Vatican is willing to let Barbagallo excavate under the Basilica.

  • Glastonbury Dish (or the Chalice Well Cup)

One of the stranger tales of the acquisition of the Holy Grail was presented in early 1900’s England. Pulling elements of mystical visions, Guardians, and holy places; the story exemplifies the quest for the Holy Grail. This cup is rarely mentioned in the mainstream lists of many Grail contenders. However, due to the circumstances surrounding this cup and the persons involved, the tale is fascinating.

This contender’s story begins in the early 1890’s, the father of Welch Doctor John Goodchild traveled to Bordighera, Italy. The elder Goodchild bought the Dish form a local merchant. Upon returning to England, John Goodchild began to have visions that this was actually the Grail. Goodchild’s visions told him he was to return the Dish to Glastonbury. Upon inheriting the Dish in 1898, Goodchild followed his visions to Glastonbury. It’s unclear what Goodchild did with the Dish at that point, however most believe that he hid it around the Chalice Well.

The only person Dr. Goodchild told about his visions and extracurricular activities was William Sharp. Sharp was an author that wrote about Celtic mysticism under the pseudonym of Fiona Macleod in the 1890’s. Supposedly, neither Goodchild nor Sharp ever told anyone of the disposition of the cup.

All would seem top have been forgotten about the Dish. Sharp died in 1905, supposedly taking the location of the cup to his grave. Goodchild also was not speaking of his find. However, mystical visions intervene a second time in this tale. In 1906, a grain merchant from Bristol named Wellesley Tudor Pole had a vision to send a messenger “pure in the sight of God” to search Glastonbury’s well for the Grail. Giving the directions to his daughter and a friend, they set out to examine the Well. After the friend and daughter’s confirmation of the directions in Pole’s vision, Pole set out to find the cup. It was shortly there after Pole did find Goodchild’s cup.

The Glastonbury Dish was quite the rage in England after Pole’s find. Pole made the social circle rounds touting the Dish and his story of its discovery. It was even shown to Mark Twain during his 1907 trip to England. Twain was so taken by the experience that he was quoted as saying by his biographer Albert Bigelow Paine: “I am glad I have lived to see that half-hour—that astonishing half-hour. In its way it stands alone in my life’s experience.”

  • Occitan Grail

More folklore from Languedoc than an actual object, the Occitan Grail is thought to be a wooden bowl made by Adam. Yes, that’s Adam as in the first man Adam. He passed this cup down through his lineage all the way to Jesus, who used it in the Last Supper. From there, Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene took the Grail to the South of France. The Grail then disappears off the radar only to reappear in a traditional story.

This is possibly one of the most identifiable cups that has laid claim to the Holy Grail. Pope John Paul II even celebrated Mass with this Chalice in 1992, but left short of indicating it was the Grail. Pope Benedict XVI also stopped over in Valencia in 2006 to venerate the Chalice.

Tradition around this Chalice says that Saint Peter brought it from Jerusalem to Rome. The Chalice was said to have been used in Masses there for two and a half centuries. During the 250’s persecution of Christians in Rome, Pope Sixtus II gave the Chalice to Saint Lawrence for safe keeping. Lawrence then took the Chalice to his home city of Huesca, Spain. The Chalice was taken from city to city in Spain, avoiding various Moorish invasions until 1437. At this time it was taken to the Cathedral in Valencia and has resided there ever since.

When looking at the pictures of the Chalice, one has to remember that it is actually two stone bowls in a gold mounting. The bowls have been dated by Antonio Beltran, professor of archaeology at the University of Zaragoza as being made sometime between 200 BC and 100AD. The golden piece that connects both bowls was dated by the same source as 14th Century.

15 January 2008

Grail Seekers Media Watch for the Week Ending 12 Jan 08

Grail Seekers this week:

Sorry for the late update this week. Working nine days straight will but the smack down on ye olde muse. I’m off today and I’ve fired up the coffee pot and the MP3 player, so watch out!

On Audio:

Templar fiction author Steven Berry’s interview has been posted on Radio Rennessence.

Robert Lomas will be on the Laura Lee show on 23 Jan 08 talking about Tesla.

Oopa Loopa Cafe will have an interview with John Anthony West on erosion patterns in the wall of the Sphinx's enclosure on 17 Jan 08.

In the News:

Da Vinci must have worked overtime to have hidden everything in his paintings that have come out in the last year. Now a Gloucester Mason has found a few more.

Martha Byrnes examines Templar banking practices and what happened in the wake of the events of 1307

Want to find archeological treasures from the comfort of your home? It’s not too far fetched as NASA satellites and Google Earth are used to do just that.

Photographers come out against the ban on snapping pics at Rosslyn Chapel.

A treasure trove of Islamic writings surfaces after 60 years of suppression.

If you’re an architect and would like to help with the conservation efforts at Rosslyn Chapel, click here. What a dream job that would be…

On the Web:

The Skeptical Inquirer takes a poke into Oak Island and Rennes-le-Chateau

In Print:

Ouroboros Press announced its Spring publishing line up on a My Space Blog this week.

Remember the guys that were walking from France to Jerusalem? They’ve written a book about their experiences that is called Along the Templar Trail and is available now.

Author Tracy Twyman is auctioning away a signed copy of The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery Of Rennes-le-Chateau

Blog On:

Maxine’s Fikr page has some of pictures of Rosslyn Chapel right after Christmas. And the little barrier behind the Apprentice Pillar has been taken down…

The new blog Mary Magdalene – The Wife of Christ talks about the Rose Line of Mary Magdalene

10 January 2008

Iceland: The Land of Björk and the Holy Grail?

The location of the Holy Grail has made yet another appearance in the main stream media. Grail Seekers everywhere are now directed to the land of geothermal power, Björk, glaciers, and The Sugarcubes; Iceland. The publication Iceland Review published the theory of architect Thórarinn Thórarinsson and Italian cartographer Giancarlo Gianazza on 2 Jan 08.

The pair believes the final depository of the Grail is in a five meter secret passage in the rural district Hrunamannahreppur (try saying that five times real fast, or finding it on Goggle Earth for that matter). The area in question is near the Kjölur Mountain pass in a place that Gianazza calls the seats of White Rose of the Blessed and Beatrice. Thórarinsson has also secured the necessary approval from the Hrunamannahreppurian authorities to conduct digs in the area to validate their claims.

The Iceland Review article doesn’t go into much detail on how the duo came to believe the Grail lay in Iceland. Luckily, I was turned on to this story with another source via Rick at Oopa Loopa Cafe and have had a couple of weeks to stew on it. Giancarlo Gianazza was interviewed in the Italian publication Hera Magazine in November of 2006, and an English translation is found on

In the article Gianazza goes into great detail on how they were able to pinpoint the location of the Grail using art and literary references. Botticelli, Da Vinci, and Dante are all indicted as co-conspirators in encoding the location of the Grail in their works. The Botticelli and Da Vinci connections and evidence is a little tenuous. Gianazza points out the same vague hidden geometry that we’ve seen since the Tomb of God was published.

Call me dumber than a sack of hammers, but I’ve never seen the significance of the points that most theorists chose to find their hidden geometry/meaning in paintings. Or for that matter why some elements of a painting have significance while others do not. Gianazza points out in Botticelli’s painting Spring, that five of the nine figures encode a date. What significance do the other figures have? One would think that all the elements would hold significance. Maybe art just isn’t my thing…

The lynch pin of their theory is that the Divine Comedy was written as an allegorical to a trip Dante made to Iceland. This I can wrap my mind around. According to Gianazza specific verses in the Divine Comedy make veiled references to his trip and have encoded longitude and latitude points. All this taken together pointed Gianazza to his specific spot in Iceland.

That’s not quite all. The most promising gem of the whole theory is buried at the bottom of the article. Gianazza states: “He [Thórarinn Thórarinsson] has told me that in the official historic records of Iceland it is stated that in 1217, during the meeting of the Althing – the Parliament established in 930 – the leader and poet Snorri Sturlusson appears next to what the text defines “80 knights from the south, all dressed and armed in the same fashion” and is elected as commander for that year.” Of course the inference is that the 80 knights mentioned are the Knights Templar.

I know there’s half a dozen possibilities of who those Knights were. But, there’s no reason that the Templars wouldn’t have shown up in Iceland in 1217. By that time, they were well into shipping and had their fingers in every Royal Court in Europe. Iceland would have been a prime place to keep a stash hidden out of the sight of prying eyes.

Finally, Gianazza has conducted georadar and electric tomography measurements of the area he’s pinpointed. According to the scan pictured in the Hera article, there does seem to be some mass below the surface. I guess sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you do. Since the blessings of the Icelandic authorities have been given to dig, there could be news very soon on what actually lies beneath the lichen.

08 January 2008

The Debate over the Rosslyn Motet Heats Up

Over the last few weeks, there’s been an interesting exchange happening in the comments section of BS Historian’s article "Rosslyn Chapel’s Musical Cubes Silenced?" For those of you not familiar with the article or the comment thread, there are some serious questions about Stuart Mitchell’s Rosslyn Motet by BS Historian and Jeff Nisbet. The basis of the detractors from the Motet is that an 1860’s restoration team replaced a great number of cubes in Rosslyn Chapel. This theory is supported by lithographs done in 1837 by Samuel Dukinfield Swarbreck. In these lithographs, Swarbreck depicts a great number of missing cubes from the ceiling at Rosslyn.
This would mean that the basic theory behind the Rosslyn Motet is not accurate. The Mitchell’s theory behind the Motet is that the Sinclair family encoded the cubes with Chladni patterns to conceal a piece of music. What happens to the basic premise if cubes were added in the at a later date?
This isn’t the first time Mitchell’s work has been brought into question. A number of folks, myself included, have come out and expressed their doubts about the Motet. Here’s a run down of articles that present alternate view points on the matter:
  • Jeff Nisbet’s article The Rosslyn Motet expressed issues with the history of the Cubes, in relation to the Motet, and inconsistencies in the news stories related to the Mitchells.
  • Researcher and writer for the Fortean Times, Brian Allen ask me to post an open letter that questions whether the Sinclairs would have had access to technology that would have allowed them to have discovered a Chladni pattern, let alone encode the cubes with them.
It would seem that Stuart Mitchell has responded to some of BS Historian and Jeff Nisbet’s arguments in the comments section of Rosslyn Chapel’s musical cubes silenced? Mitchell’s comments are comments 11,12, and 15. It would seem that, other than the use of the incomprehensible phrase Mr. Muskateerwang, Mitchell doesn’t give an answer to the central question.
Mitchell’s comments on the 1860’s restoration and the Swarbreck lithos are, “You say the cubes have been ‘re-arranged’? And are not in the order first presented in 1446 and your evidenced,(taken from Lithographs which are artworks and artistic interpretations) is this?? WHO WOULD RE-ARRANGE THEM???? This chapel had a BLUEPRINT, look at the design, detail and infrastructure. There was a plan and any restoration would naturally stick to the original…WHO would NOT STICK TO the original designers intentions??”

Wouldn’t this mean that the 1860’s restoration team would be privy to the Sinclair’s original design and intent? That would mean that there was someone out there that, at least up to 1860, knew the keys to unlock the architectural and design secrets of the Chapel. If that’s the case, I’d love to see a write-up on how that came about and who was in the "know".

Now there would be another interesting twist to debate over the Motet. Jeff Nisbet posted on 6 Jan 08, as comment 20 in the thread, that all the cubes in the Swarbreck lithos appear to be the same. So there might not be any mystery attached to the cubes at all. If the original design of the cubes was identical, there could be nothing coded in the cubes by the original architects of the Chapel.
I would urge you to read the threads and articles posted above in full and form your own opinion. Jeff and Historian have brought up a number of points that need to be answered if the world is to accept the Motet as the final answer to the Rosslyn Cubes.