The Quest for the Grail - The Ways of the Life Force - The Foundations of Druid Magic

The Druid Magic Handbook: Ritual Magic Rooted in the Living Earth - John Michael Greer 2008

The Quest for the Grail
The Ways of the Life Force
The Foundations of Druid Magic

This third current has many names, but the name we'll use here is the lunar current. Unlike the solar and telluric currents, the lunar current does not exist naturally in the individual or the world. It must be made by the balanced fusion of the solar and telluric currents. The art of accomplishing this fusion stands at the heart of Druid magic.

The lunar current is called aur and or in occult writings. Its primary symbol in magical lore is the crescent Moon, and its mythic symbols include the egg, the jewel, the sacred cup, and the child. It mediates between solar and telluric currents in the same way that the Moon mediates between Sun and Earth. It functions on a higher level than the solar current, since it is still evolving in human beings and must be created consciously, and since its energy centers are located in the head, above the centers of the solar and telluric current. Its primary focus in the body is the pineal center in the middle of the head, behind the base of the nose.

While the telluric current works through the body and its passions, and the solar current acts through the mind and its perceptions, the lunar current expresses itself through the soul and its powers. When the lunar current awakens in an individual, it awakens the inner senses and unfolds into enlightenment. When it awakens in the land, it brings healing, fertility, and plenty.

These three currents play an important if rarely recognized role in one of the world's most magical legends, the strange medieval tale about a maimed king, a land under a curse, and a mysterious cup called the Grail. Like Max Weber's account of the effects of industrial society on the human spirit, the Grail legend is a story of disenchantment. The Grail was a wondrous cup with the power to bring fertility and plenty to the land, but because of an ancient crime—different versions of the Grail legend disagreed about what the crime had been—its guardian, the maimed Fisher King, could no longer use its power, and his kingdom became the desolate Waste Land. Only if a questing knight reached the Grail Castle, beheld the Grail, and asked the right question could the magic of the Grail be restored and the Waste Land flourish anew.

While the legend of the Grail is written in the language of medieval romance and draws on the older and even more challenging language of ancient myth, it tells the same story that Weber put in the more precise but less appealing language of sociology. The original Grail legends first emerged at the same time as the intellectual currents that, centuries later, drove the birth of industrial society and its materialist worldview. When Weber wrote his book, industrial society seemed to have overcome all opposition, yet he and many other people recognized the appalling human cost of that triumph, and the Grail legend itself—revived by nineteenthcentury poets and artists as part of their own rebellion against industrial society—had become one of the major cultural icons of the age, a symbol that summed up for many people everything that had been lost in the disenchantment of the world.

The Grail legend has even more relevance today, at a time when environmental crisis and industrialism run amok promise to turn huge swaths of the living Earth into a Waste Land more desolate than anything the storytellers of the Middle Ages could have imagined. Questing, knightly courage, and the art of asking the right questions still has a central role in the task of finding the Grail today, but the magical workings presented in this book can become another way to seek the Grail and reenchant a disenchanted world.

A hint pointing to how this works can be found in the way the traditional symbols of the three currents combine. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, an important magical symbol of the telluric current or secret fire is a triangle with one point upward; a disk like the Sun stands for the solar current, and a crescent Moon for the lunar current. Put the three shapes together, in the order they appear in the human body, and the result is a familiar image (Figure 1-2). How these three forces are used to create the Grail is the subject of this book.

Figure 1-2 The Secret of the Grail