The Grail Quest workshop
So the Grail Myth becomes the beginning of a map with which to find our own immortal wounds and how work through them or heal them. Remember how in the beginning I said, as this was not a workshop that was going to be giving me answers in, the traditional sense of someone giving you answers on a pretty silver platter, or in this case handing you the Grail as it was not the Grail that is important here but the quest itself. There was about 10 or so people attending this workshop, and while it was wonderful to work with others and here what they had to say about the Grail Myth and its quest, it is difficult to remember just who was there as the work that was being done so internal, reflective and magically strong that the other participants become a part of the tapestry and energy of the workshop, not necessarily individuals? Did that make sense? I am not sure that we spent much time looking at one another so much as concentrating on what Nanny Ogg was saying long with what questions and comments were being made by the various attendees.. Needless to say the work shop ran over time, not that I noticed as such. I know I was quite surprised when one of the attendees said that she had to go as had previous engagement, I was surprised at how much time had passed. I was certainly engaged with what I was learning, processing and doing.
After we heard a rendition of The Fisher King, Caroline lead us further into understanding our maps, by proving us with helpful handouts to write on and explained some cognitive behaviour therapy, with a candle, or as she explained Candle by The Fire which is less clinical and more about creating our own maps, making our own connections and deepening our understanding of our selves and how we work. It is about making our own connections, with ourselves, our path and our community, rather than the individualism that so often happens within mainstream psychology, or that is how I saw it. *ponders this*
So why did I do this workshop? Being a Witch and Priestess is not all about spells and rituals, but it is, I am finding, all about magic. I have herd mutterings about psychology, and self-development being not the focus of magic and Modern Paganism within certain quarters of the Modern Pagan Movement, but I have to ask how are you supposed to understand what your calling, or quest is without some deep personal work along the way. How can you get to a place of understanding that Magical work and being a priestess is not all love and light and three times three, with a dash of harm non, but something deeper, something grittier, something dirtier, something, *waves hands* and when you get to that place through a lot of deep personal work realising that it is now your turn to surrender to service, and that surrender is not servitude. *coughs*.. am I over sharing?
What this workshop has taught me is that we are all wounded in some way or other, and like The Fisher King our wounds will not kill us in a physical sense but they can on a personal and emotional sense, render us dead. Remember the doctors receptionist.. Hi How are you? And your automatic reply is to say “I’m fine”. This for me is indicative of a wounding, created in many ways by our society, one where our emotions are subjugated and we are given a bandage that makes us look happy, even if we don’t feel it, even if we are feeling something else.
These woundings are created by living our lives, the way our parents or lack of parents brought us up, our society and its greedy fear mongering normalisation, remember the Ginshu Knifes.., remember that to be happy you have to purchase more stuff, because according to advertising stuff makes you happy.. and finally remember he who has the most stuff when they die.. Actually they are dead like everybody else, can’t take your stuff with you. This is not to say that our entire focus should be on feeling sad either, or that we should spend all of our lives poking our immortal wounds as where would the fun be in that? Its about balance, its about giving yourself to feel what you are feeling, because more often than not you will find that once you have acknowledged what you are feeling that emotion will pass through you.
Finding your quest is not about finding the Grail or being told answers to the ills of your life, but instead it is about asking questions and asking the questions until you find the right question. If Perceval had stopped the page who had the lance and asked him about it, he would of learned that it was the lance that had caused the Kings mortal wound, and further if he had asked the women or anyone in the procession about the chalice, the Grail and its shinning waters, he would of learned that that was what was needed to heal the King and ultimately the land as the King and land are one.
Too often in this world we are lead to and want to believe what the unhealthy parts of our mainstream society is telling us, via the television and mainstream media. It is my opinion that mainstream media is now the opiate of the masses. It is no longer religion as it once was during Marx’s time, but mass mainstream media opiating us, medicating us, with wonderful food and sumptuous clothing, telling us that we are happy in the castle, happy with not rocking the boat, or asking to many questions, to not make a fuss, to keep a stiff upper lip, to follow the script, need I go on?
So we end up on a quest, a Grail quest, which is not about finding the Grail but about finding and understanding yourself, your connections, who you are and what you path is, through the Quest itself. Remember Perceval, his quest actually started when he left his mother in order to peruse becoming a Knight, a Knight of the Round Table no less. Perceval believed that he had completed his quest and was in the process of travelling home to show his mother of the Knight he had become, but this was not his actual quest, not his path, not his service if you will. I am quite sure that Perceval learned valuable skills and insights while he was learning to become a night, which will help him on his Grail Quest, and perhaps it was a part of this quest to become a Knight, but ultimately Perceval’s quest was the Grail Quest not one to become a Knight, that one was only half of the Story.
The memories and thoughts and notes I took during this workshop have been milling around in my head for days now with many questions and great food for thought. I am also coming to the understanding that like most things in life the quest for the Grail to heal the immortal would is a cyclic thing, which is a theme for this year, as you will remember the two books I have been working with Avalon Within ß gosh theme familiar? And the 13 dark moons, which are both about deep personal work, and ultimately Questing for the Grail, as it is time to heal my immortal wounds once again!