Chapter Seven:  In Quest of the Grail



His disciples asked of Him, AMaster, when will the Kingdom come?@  And He answered them, saying:

“It will not come by waiting and watching for it.  Be wary of those who say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘Look, there it is.’  Because my Father’s Kingdom is spread out upon the Earth, and people do not see it.”

 The Gospel of Judas Thomas the Twin, verse 113



To that inspired reader who has followed me diligently through each twist and turn of my argument to arrive at this juncture ― the stepping off point of the last lap of our mystical marathon― it must seem that we have been navigating a great Labyrinth.  Together, we have sought the Center of this Labyrinth ― this thing of which we feel, with a sense of compelling immediacy, that all of our souls are a part.  Many are those of our initial company, I  am sure, who have not reached this point because  they simply cannot comprehend why the path to the Center needs to be so circuitous, why it seems so incessantly to swerve back and forth along tangents rather than to proceed directly to the Heart of the Matter.  And for those who ― perhaps despite the same misgivings ― have persevered in this quest of ours, it is doubtless still not very clear where the “Heart of the Matter” lies... much less what we will find when we get there.

While remaining painfully aware of what we don’t know, however, we surely cannot be said to be merely groping our way toward the Center, with only a blind faith as our guide.  If we seek the Heart of the Matter, we do so, by now, with a certain awareness of what that Heart signifies.  It has a significance which embraces the iconography of Mary’s Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of her Son.  It speaks to an Indwelling Glory that does not stand above and separate from the Universe of Matter, but rather abides most deeply within it, rendering it sublime.  It is as if the Hearts of the Mother and Son are the two poles of a great spiritual magnet which vitally and totally transforms Matter itself into something divine, weaving its discordant fibers into a resplendent Wedding Garment.

All of this merely reiterates what we already know.  But there is something further, something absolutely crucial and indispensable, which we are obliged to consider now in this, the windup of our metaphysical tour.  This marvelous transformation, this divinization of the material universe― as Teilhard de Chardin conceived it― is not and cannot be the work of either the Son or the Mother alone.  That is to say, the supernal magnetism which compels the sundry particles of Being to align themselves to its field ― this magnetism is necessarily a force that proceeds from the Male and the Female together.  Such a radical proposition as this one compels us to re-think a whole host of assumptions that underlie much of mankind’s religious thinking.  And as we reconsider these assumptions, we will begin to realize that they form the crux, the axis of a body of Falsehood which has been furtively assembling itself over the past two thousand years.

We have discussed dualism, a heresy which seeks to divide Matter and Spirit and which ultimately leads to the conclusion that there is not one God but two ― one of whom is the malignant creator of an utterly hellish material universe.  We have reviewed various prophetic intimations foreshadowing a false Messiah, the False Christ whose teaching will be rooted in a form of this dualistic heresy.  Like the storied Hydra, dualism has many heads, a number of which it has reared up over the course of centuries past.  As we survey some of these “severed heads” ― those of the Manichees, Gnostics, Templars, Cathars, Rosicrucians, Freemasons ― we may be tempted to eye their unsavory remains as the gestating embryo of the ultimate Man of Sin.  But we err gravely and disastrously if we yield to this temptation.

This is because, as prophecy informs us, the Hydra of dualism has yet to rear what is by far its most subtle and seductive head.  This one will spawn no mere heretical sect, but will form the basis of a Universal Church in which the major religions of the World will, for a time, merge.  What is this more subtle form of dualism, and why will it be so irresistibly seductive?  To answer those questions, we must proceed as spiritual physicians, examining the collective Body of Man for signs of the onset of a deadly malady.  When we do so, we find the most obvious symptoms of pathology all radiating from one telltale source ― human sexuality.  From the very beginning of this eschatological inquiry of ours, we have identified, as a principal cause of the deepening crisis of Faith in modern times, the pathetic incapacity of the Roman Papacy to deal with the “problem” of Man’s sexual nature.

This incapacity is no merely fortuitous, unfortunate shortcoming, but is the inevitable epiphenomenon ― the accompanying fever, if you will ― of infection by the virus of dualism.  Like any virus, this one is capable of mimicking Life without actually partaking of it.  A virus is the sterile monad that monotonously replicates itself, while Life proliferates in a myriad of ramifications, just as does the Tree, its archetype.  Flowing through the stem of Creation, the sap of Life thrusts its branches in all directions... and yet always toward the Center, which surrounds and embraces it.  And when we speak of Life on this Earth, we do not speak of anything that is distinct or different from Life Eternal ― because the same Tree of Life extends from its roots in our hallowed soil (which is the dust of our ancestors) to the uppermost mansions of Heaven.

This line of thinking leads us inexorably to the principle that nothing which truly belongs to Life is alien to God.  We can no more speak of Life without the Male and the Female than we can speak of the Ocean without water.  It follows, then, that the sexual nature of Life is a reflection of the sexual nature of God, and that Male and Female are spiritual, as well as biological, attributes.

It’s significant that, historically, dualists have always taken one of two approaches toward sexuality.  Some, like the medieval Bogomils (whose name gives us the term “bugger”), wantonly indulged every conceivable carnal appetite based on the conviction that Man’s “animal nature” belongs to a plane of reality totally cut-off from the “spiritual”.  Since no degree of degradation of the Flesh, no matter how extreme, could possibly taint the Spirit ― so they believed ― such degradation is the proper expression of contempt for all things of the Flesh.  We can easily discern that this viewpoint is not a bit different from that of the ascetic, who denies himself the slightest enjoyment of the “animal” pleasures, seeking to “mortify” (i.e., “deaden”) the Flesh.  And in history we find strict asceticism as the alternate accommodation to sexuality on the part of some dualists ― the Cathars among them.

While the modern Church hierarchy by no means eschews asceticism ―  the Opus Dei crowd is quite big on “mortification” ― they don’t prescribe it as the only road to salvation either.  After all, the Pope is a temporal sovereign as well as a spiritual leader, and it doesn’t do much for a sovereign’s long-term prospects if his subjects stop copulating.  Consequently, with the reassuring ― if dead ― hand of Aristotle resting on their shoulder, the Pontiffs of Rome have taken a quite utilitarian posture regarding sex ― acknowledging that certain otherwise-unedifying behavior must be occasionally sanctioned for the sake of procreation.  For the sake of procreation alone ― this teaching implies ― we are Male and Female, with our true spiritual nature presumed to be androgynous, like that of the Angels.

If there are androgynous Angels, however, they are most assuredly those of the Fallen variety, because without the energizing magnetism of the sexual poles there is neither Life nor ascent toward the Godhead.  We are created Male and Female ― both natures present within each of us, as they were within our first father Adam ― that we may enjoy a spiritual conjugation with Our Creator.  We envision our deities in the bipolar format of Father/Husband/Son and Mother/Bride/Sister, not because of our need to translate transcendent things into a familiar framework, but as a precise visceral perception of the fundamental structure of ultimate Reality.

Our one road back to the bosom of Our Lord lies not in the overcoming of our sexual nature, but in its apotheosis.  That is the true nature of the Wedding which awaits us in the Resurrection of the Body.

As my reader surely has already surmised, the true Quest of the Grail comprises the final path to this Divine conjugation, the last portal through which we pass on our way to the embrace of our most beloved Bridegroom, who is the Messiah.  Since we are to become one with Him in the Body, can there be any doubt but that His embrace will be not merely sexual, but the ultimate refinement and quintessence of sexuality?  And if we are to enter into this sublime union with Him, if we are to be His Bride, must we not only be One among each other, but ― first and foremost ― One within ourselves?

Christ’s principal mission in entering this World as an incarnate Man was to establish his Church as the vehicle for attaining the Oneness of humanity, which is the precondition of his return.  Accordingly, our Quest of the Grail cannot proceed without reference to the Church, cannot proceed without engaging her both in her purest ideal ― corresponding to the archetype of the Blessed Virgin ― and in her fallen and degraded state of harlotry in history.  As the Virgin, she lovingly guides her children toward the fulfillment of their spiritual destiny.  But as the Whore, she blocks the way to their salvation and, ultimately, offers them up in abominable sacrifice to her procurer, the Prince of this World.

I am certain my reader has some acquaintance with the romantic literature of the Grail which vividly portrays the treachery and danger attendant upon the pursuit of that glittering icon.  And here we begin to descry the source of this deadly peril, because in this selfsame path to Our Lord, we must inevitably encounter ― within ourselves ― His most bitter and implacable rival.  Before we drink from the golden Cup of our celestial Wedding feast, we must first drain the gall of another cup ― the envenomed blood of a dynasty founded by our great-uncle Cain.  To the ultimate scion of that damned lineage, prophecy informs us, the Church-cum-Whore must first be joined in a calamitous tryst ― a tryst destined to be “uncovered” in the impending Apocalypse.


The Dynasty of the Beast


If St. Malachy’s epithet “the Eclipse of the Sun” means anything at all, it indelibly marks the Pontiff whom it describes as a bellwether of sorts, destined to lead his flock in the most profound shadows of spiritual opacity.  It is as though the final scenes enacted by the erstwhile Polish actor are meant to set the stage for the much-anticipated entrance of the Persona around whom the entire drama of human history revolves.  Throughout its length, the skein of Time fairly bristles with intimations of His Coming, as if the World were His shroud unraveling before our eyes.  Considerably more difficult to fathom, however, is the provenance of His antagonist ― the Man of Sin ― whose sinister approach signals to us less in our dreams and visions than in the instinctive wrenching of our viscera.  It is not so much that he comes upon us from our blind side, as that he is our blind side, the product of our truncated humanity.  Like an amputated limb, he causes us pain while remaining inaccessible to our will.

Because temporal existence is a transient bifurcation of nullity, its only operative principle is symmetry.  Therefore, if the World has been preparing itself for the Advent of the Messiah these past six thousand years, then it must be true that it has equally ― albeit more covertly ― been readying itself for the parousia of Antichrist.  This helps explain why the panorama of human existence presents to us such a pitiable and disgraceful spectacle of inequity and gratuitous malice.  Yet we are given this spectacle to observe, not that it may break our spirit with its relentless indifference, but that we might, at long last, recognize the abominable lineaments of Falsehood and separate ourselves from them.

How do we set about to do this?

Our predicament resembles that of the mythical hero trapped in the Labyrinth of the monstrous Minotaur.  Like Theseus, we must find the end of the magical thread somewhere close at hand if we are to have any hope of following it out of the maze.  And this is precisely where our bellwether Pope becomes so useful to us, because the trajectory of his exit from this World must merge, at some point, with the route of Antichrist’s entry ― just as the circuits of the Sun and Moon must cross during an eclipse.   From this point of occlusion ― if we can detect it ― might it not be possible to grasp the end of a “thread” traceable back to its origins?   Let us see.

During his travels during the autumn of 1996, the Pope cut a rather controversial path across the Nation of France ― the “eldest daughter of the Church” ― where he made two particularly intriguing stops.  Arriving first in Tours, one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages, he celebrated the 1600th anniversary of the death of St. Martin  ― who argued in vain against the Church’s first resort to murder as a means of silencing heresy.  From there Il Papa proceeded to Rheims, the ancient coronation site of French monarchs, to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the baptism of Clovis, the Frankish king whose fabled bloodline ― we already know ― is so strangely enmeshed with the esoteric traditions of the Holy Grail.

That the Polish Pontiff should place his frail health at risk only weeks prior to what the Vatican would evasively label an “appendectomy” ― this clearly signaled to the World that something important was afoot.  That he should further provoke a firestorm of outrage in what is surely the most proudly secular Nation on earth ― to this we can only ascribe the force of a divine mandate.  From whence could such a mandate come?  And from whom?  Above the Bishop of Rome, the Church recognizes no higher temporal authority, and in its dogma no living mortal surpasses the spiritual authority which rests on the head that wears the tiara.  Even as we pose these questions we begin to experience an eerie foreboding, as if we have begun to open the door to a long-sealed closet inhabited by ancestral ghosts ― not all of them friendly!

As usual we are, Janus-like, compelled to look backward to see forward.  To make our task easier, our bellwether Pontiff has led us to Clovis, founder the Gallic Nation’s first royal dynasty, the Merovingians.  A traditional story (but one strongly supported by genealogy) traces the  bloodline of Clovis to the royal house of Priam, the first of the great kings of the Gentiles ―  the kings with whom the Church has, from the time of Constantine, committed fornication.  Ultimately, this genealogical trail leads us back to an ancestor named Antenor, a Scythian ruler of the 5th Century before Christ.[1]

At the time Antenor reigned, the Scythians were plundering nomadic horsemen of the Asian steppes ― the land from which prophecy suggests the Destroyer himself will come.  Such masterful brigands they were, in fact, that a series of ancient wars were fought over naval access to their trading ports on the eastern side of the Black Sea.  Whoever dominated the heights above the narrow straits of the Dardanelles controlled the flow of the golden booty.  The Trojans’ success in commanding the strategic passage brought them unrivaled wealth ― along with nearly continuous assaults on their stronghold, culminating in the successful Greek siege immortalized in Homer’s epic.

My reader is familiar with the basic story of the Trojans and may even recall that something called the Palladium figures prominently in the plot.  The Palladium is one of those objects, like the Grail, that defy description.  From the bits of quantum physics which I have (I fear) force-fed my reader, he/she will perhaps associate this state of indeterminacy and ambivalence with the condition of the prima materia, i.e. Matter uninformed by Consciousness.  Onto this subtextual layer of the formless, the ineffable One holographically imprints the contours of His Mind, and thus conceives the Son, the Word Made Flesh.  The Kabbalists call this primal realm Malkuth, a precinct at once most holy and most profane, a place where Heaven and Earth and the Abyss touch one another.  To the ancient priestesses of Athena ― the pagan personification of Logos ― the Palladium was a sacred stone that the goddess had cast down from Mt. Olympus.  In that sense it resembles the Scriptural stone that Jacob consecrated at Bethel to mark the “ladder” connecting Heaven and Earth.[2]

According to the Iliad, the hidden cause of the calamitous fall of Troy lay in the treacherous theft of the Palladium from its temple sanctuary.  After the death of Paris, Priam sent his closest advisor to the Greeks to see if a peace could be arranged involving the return of the now-widowed Helen.  The king’s trusted emissary was none other than Antenor, the eponymous ancestor of our proto-Merovingian king Antenor of Scythia.  Instead of offering the Greeks Helen, which would have removed the pretext of their attack, Antenor offered them Troy itself, on the condition that he be crowned the new ruler of the conquered city and receive half of Priam’s treasure.  Such a betrayal ― while it resonates emphatically with the vile spirit of our own age ― in the classical world brought down the unending wrath of the ancestral Furies.

In the chansons de geste of medieval romance ― the genre that spawned the legends of the Grail Quest ― the name Antenor became synonymous with Judas.  Dante even labeled a province in the deepest pit of Hell ― the Ninth Circle of the Traitors ― Antenora in his “honor”.[3]  With the complicity of Antenor, the Greeks snatched the Palladium, and the city it had so long protected fell.  The Trojan noblemen were all put to the sword, save only the two who had betrayed their own people: Antenor, the ancestor of Clovis, and Aeneas, the founder of Rome.  As a sign to the marauding troops that Antenor was to be spared from the general slaughter, the Greeks draped over his door a leopard skin ― the same emblem by which we have come to recognize the Beast of Revelation.

Unlike the Greeks, the people of Ilium and its environs ― the Phrygians ― were a matriarchal culture whose religion revolved around a great Mother goddess, symbolically represented by the queen bee.  Originally a benevolent Earth deity associated with fertility and nurturing, the Phrygian goddess became progressively transformed into a terrifying banshee whose worship demanded the emasculation and dismemberment of her priest-consorts.  This hideous metamorphosis of the antediluvian “Great Goddess” was mirrored among the other ancient societies of the Mediterranean as they became submerged in the Arian Age of warfare and the culture of Death that it spawned.

Various mythical renderings of this transmogrification of the goddess were compiled by the Roman poet Ovid during the reign of the Emperor Augustus.  Finding Ovid’s depiction of the depravity of the pagan deities to be a “corrupting” influence on Roman youth, Caesar had the poet banished from Rome.  Augustan culture instead conferred its laurels on Virgil, who had conveniently recast the Trojan traitor Aeneas ― Rome’s founding father ― as a hero.  Among the tales in his Metamorphoses, Ovid tells of how the gentle matriarch of the Trojans, Queen Hecuba, was transmuted, after the brutal annihilation of her entire family, into a rabid bitch ― the infernal Hecate, goddess of Death incarnate.[4] 

On the archetypal level, Ovid was portraying the effect of two thousand years of continuous warfare on human consciousness ― a traumatic, radical dissociation of the Male and Female principles of the psyche, with the latter exiled into the darkest recesses of fear and abomination.  Gone was the all-giving, all-enduring Mother, and in her stead enshrined the ravenous she-wolf who devours her own young.   Into the place of the loving companion and Bride stepped the tyrannical Queen Bee, who castrates and disembowels her unlucky consort.  It is axiomatic that Man’s separation from God must finally lead to his separation from himself:  In union with the Male, the Female principle is the source of Life, but in scission she is the Angel of Death.

   For the Male principle, the consequences of this fission are even more dire.  Divided from the feminine source of its activating energy, the masculine Will is mortally wounded, maimed, rendered impotent.  No longer capable of true Desire, the Will becomes infected with concupiscence.  The Male principle undergoes an archetypal metamorphosis of its own ― becoming the lecherous Satyr, the besotted Bacchus, the bestial Centaur.  Meanwhile, the blockage of Affect from acting through the Will forces the irrepressible Female energy to find other outlets, manifesting itself in the ubiquitous compulsions and phobia which paralyze the Will, even in its own domain.

Ironically, the exile and demonization of the Female principle proves to be its salvation, because, while terribly disfigured, it nonetheless survives as a collective entity.  Hence we can still speak of a Collective Unconscious, which all humans share ― but can we speak of a Collective Will?  Alas, no longer in any human sense.  Sadly, we are forced to acknowledge the death of the Male principle as a component of collective Man and its irretrievable disintegration into the individual Will, ruled by that malign spirit of pride and envy that distinguishes Satan.

In the parlance of the Grail Legend, this mortal wounding of the Male principle is known as the “Dolorous Stroke”.  The “Maimed” or “Fisher” King inflicts this injury upon himself  with the Lance of Longinus, which dispatched Jesus at Calvary and constitutes one the four Grail Hallows.  Though sufficient to incapacitate the King, the Dolorous Stoke is not immediately deadly, and the wounded monarch limps about, spending most of his time “fishing”.  From this perspective, then, it must strike us as a very odd “coincidence” indeed that the Merovingian descendants of Clovis were called les Rois fainéants ― the lethargic Kings!

As the Arian Age of the “hero” drew to a close, Mankind was in extremis, its Male principle hopelessly eviscerated and its Female nature banished to the dark night side of Consciousness.  The reflexive concupiscence and violence which had supplanted the Will now turned to the relentless pursuit of the elusive Female ― a pursuit we find rendered as a recurring theme in classical mythology.  Once again we turn to Ovid, the “politically incorrect” poet of Imperial Rome, for his account of the maiden Proserpina’s abduction at the hands of Pluto, the baleful Ruler of the Underworld.[5]

The tale begins with the maid’s mother, Ceres, goddess of the Earth’s fertility, mounting her dragon-drawn chariot to search for her missing daughter, Proserpina.  In Sicily, Ceres paused to take a drink from a mountain spring called Arethusa ― Greek for “the Water Pourer” (a title which also describes the constellation Aquarius).  As the goddess drew her draught, the stream began to speak to her of having spotted her lost child in the Underworld.  Deducing that the abductor must therefore be the lascivious Pluto ― her equal in the ranks of the gods ― Ceres dismissed any designs of outfacing the tyrant of the Dead in his own den.  She elected instead to retaliate by making the entire Earth fruitless and barren.   The World was reduced to a desolate landscape, just as was the Wasteland realm of the Maimed King, according to the Grail Legend.  Ceres’ stratagem quickly succeeded, as Jupiter commanded Pluto to restore her daughter to her.  Soon thereafter, the Mother goddess returned to Sicily to thank Arethusa ― and to inquire how the maiden had come to assume the form of a stream.

Arethusa related how, as a virgin companion of the lunar goddess Diana, she had one day been bathing alone in an Arcadian stream called the Alpheius ― the same sacred river Alph that the poet Coleridge describes as flowing down into a Asunless sea@ (i.e. the Underworld).  As she bathed, she heard the voice of the river god and, sensing that he was ravishing her, fled from his embraces.  But the sight of her nakedness as she ran from him only fanned the flames of his ardor.  At length no longer able to endure the chase, Arethusa called upon her patroness Diana, who transformed her into a stream.   The lubricous Alpheius was not so easily discouraged, however, and, morphing himself back into a river, began to mix his waters with those of Arethusa.  To evade his ruttish favors, she dove deep into the Earth, so far down that she reached the Underworld ― hence her knowledge of Proserpina’s whereabouts ― and then resurfaced again in Sicily, where Ceres had encountered her.

Before proceeding further, let’s step back for a moment to survey the path we have just traveled through the realms of myth.  We observe that we have gone from Scythia to Troy, then to Arcadia, and now have landed in Sicily ― an itinerary remarkable for the fact that it exactly reproduces the legendary migrations of Clovis’ ancestors, the Sicambrian Franks.[6]  From this correspondence, we can postulate an association of the bloodline of Clovis with the archetypal figure that has led us along this track ― the Maimed King, symbol of the fatally wounded Will, the lapsed Male principle.  In the Grail Legend, the Maimed King yearns for his own death, but he cannot be released from his suffering until his lineage spawns the Desired Knight, the hero who will complete the sacred Quest.  This chosen Knight is to be recognized by his acquisition of all four of the Grail Hallows.  These comprise, in addition to the Lance previously mentioned, a sword, a dish, and ― most precious of all ― the Cup of Our Lord’s Last Supper.  Before following the trail of the Merovingian bloodline any further, we must carefully probe the meaning concealed in these four relics.


The Grail Hallows


Revealed Wisdom teaches us that, while the Eternal Kingdom is governed by the principle of Trinity, the temporal World is founded upon the Quaternity.  Quaternity is intrinsic to the four Living Creatures of Ezekiel’s vision, because it mathematically describes the imprint that the Word makes upon Flesh.  Accordingly, in the great drama of Christ’s Passion, we are not surprised to find that the sublime mementos that he left us are Four in number.  The transition from the spiritual plane to the material plane is thus represented by the numbers Three and Four ― the Trinity of the Most High and the Quaternity of the World created in the image of the Word.

The archetypal meaning of the Lance of Longinus has already manifested itself to us.  It is the instrument that fatally wounds the Fisher King … and yet he cannot die.  What is it that is mortal, but cannot die?  From the impenetrable forests where the River Danube meets the Black Sea ― part of the migration route of Clovis’ fabled ancestors ― come tales of the undead,  the vampires of popular imagination.   While the vampire must be classed with the witch and hobgoblin as a projection of the human psyche, however, that is not a cause for discounting it ― because the quarry we are pursuing in this prophetic voyage of ours consists largely of such projections.  The vampire is no less Real for the fact of its nonexistence:  It haunts the collective Mind of Man precisely because it conjures up ancestral memories.

As the instrument that took the life of the Son of Man, the Lance of Longinus is condemned to shed blood unceasingly.  From the instant he pierced the side of Jesus with his weapon, the Roman centurion Gaius Longinus was struck blind, while the World fell into total darkness for three hours ― foreshadowing the three days of darkness that will precede Christ’s return.  In one version of the Grail Legend, the Fisher King is revived with the blood dripping from the Lance, much as the vampire of folklore is said to require the periodic replenishment of  human gore.  But before we rush to reduce the Maimed King to a one-dimensional fiend, we do well to remind ourselves that we are treading here on sacred ground ― such as that which Jacob consecrated at Bethel with his stone ― the hallowed precinct where the three levels of the Unapparent come together.

Besides the stone marker he placed at Bethel, Jacob set up another pillar at Gilead, to mark the outer boundary of the land which Yahweh had given to His beloved people.  Until the coming of Christ, the realms beyond the pillar of Gilead ― the kingdoms of the Gentiles ― dwelt in spiritual darkness.  It is worthwhile to draw a  parallel  between the two pillars established by Jacob at Bethel and Gilead and the twin pillars that betokened the Punic god Moloch and his Greek counterpart Hercules ― both consumers of innocent blood for the sake of their accursed immortality.   We have come to view the duality of these figures as the hallmark of Set/Satan, i.e. the principle of spiritual opacity and division from the One.  And now, in the course of our current discussion, we have followed the emanation of this infernal duplicity up “Jacob’s ladder” to the level of the human soul, where it is mirrored in the radical breach between Male and Female.

Significantly, in the Grail Legend the pillar of Gilead imparts its name to the Desired Knight, Sir Galahad, whose worthiness to complete the Quest is founded upon his lineage.  Galahad is descended from the House of David, i.e. the royal House of Judah, which is identified in Old Testament prophecy as the pedigree of the Messiah:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.[7]


Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.[8]


Implicit in the scriptural imagery of the flowering rod or Branch of the Davidic bloodline is a heraldic motif that extends also to the bloody Lance of the Grail Hallows.  In a very real sense, the Chosen Knight possesses the Lance as a blazon of his Messianic pedigree.  Further, since the various renderings of the Grail story all cast this Knight as a direct descendant of the Fisher King, the latter must himself be a scion of the royal House of David.  When the medieval troubadours sang of the Fisher King as the keeper of the mystical Sangraal, therefore, they were also extolling him as the ancestral source of the Sang real ― the “royal blood”, by virtue of which the last of his progeny would lay claim to the Messianic Kingship at the end of Time.

From my childhood days at St. Joseph’s elementary school in Union City, New Jersey, I can still picture the Saint’s statue cradling the infant Christ in one arm, while holding in the other a blossoming green branch.  Since then I have seen countless similar depictions of Joseph bearing the branch that proclaims his place in the line of David ― the dynasty destined to bring forth the Messiah.  But, according to symbolic usage, the flowering branch also signifies fertility, which begs the question:  The fertility of whom?  A father in the carnal sense may proudly display a symbol of his own virility when he carries his newborn son, but was Joseph the father of Jesus in the way of the Flesh?  Mindful of the blessed virginity of his wife, we are at first inclined to deny this.  Yet Christ had a human nature, and a human nature must be composed by the union of a man and a woman.  If we are obsessed with the idea of virgin intacta, we can consider this union to have been transpiritual.  Yet there remains the fact, as unequivocally reported by two of the Gospels,[9] that Joseph went on to father four more sons and several daughters after his firstborn.  There having been no intercession of the Holy Spirit in these later conceptions, we are left to conclude that Mary and her husband were lovers in the most intimate natural sense.

The subject of an unspoken Church taboo, Mary’s fecundity is sublimated into icons ― such as the May Queen, the Easter lily, and the rose ― but it is nonetheless at the core of her nature and of the divinity of the Son born from her womb:  It is precisely because the Male and Female principles are perfectly fused in the Messiah that he is divine.  The source of this divinity informs his conquest of Death on the Cross, in which we find superimposed the vertical masculine line of the pillar and the horizontal feminine line of the sea.  In view of this, we are left to wonder:  If the image of St. Joseph’s flowering branch so richly illuminates the mystery of his son’s divine nature, might it not shed light as well upon the mystery of his abominable counterpart?

According to prophecy, the Man of Sin will convince the World that he is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of Man.  In spite of his many other talents, however, the Deceiver cannot be divine.  It follows, therefore, that he must persuade humanity that the Messiah need not be divine and ― as a necessary corollary ― that Jesus himself was not divine.  Those inclined toward conspiracy theories can easily find a common thread in all of the major “heresies” of past two thousand years:  virtually all deny the divinity of Christ.  Yet, the persistence and rampant proliferation of these heresies belies the notion that they are the product of petty human scheming.  Like the rank weeds that sprout relentlessly even through concrete, the various avatars of the Arian heresy arise from the level beneath us ― the level which the Greeks and Romans called the Underworld ―  the realm in which abide the spirits whose envy of the Son of Man caused them to be cast down.

Out of this same chthonian subreality once came a race of men, the posterity of Cain, who were, before the Flood, the masters of the Earth.  Scripture reports them to have been a Titanic race, builders of great antediluvian cities and Cyclopean edifices, beside which the most ambitious architecture of the modern era shrinks to miniature scale.  Indeed, the megalithic wonders of our ancient world (whose supposed fabrication by Neolithic techniques is utterly ludicrous) are undoubtedly restorations of Cainite ruins.

Greek and Norse mythology are in accord with Genesis in describing this lost race of “giants”, accounted to have been peerless artificers of metal and stone.  Their spectacular ability to direct the movement of massive monoliths at will leads us to surmise that they had mastered some form of psychokinesis.  This power eludes modern man because the division and atomization of his psyche renders it feeble and impotent ― like the Maimed King of Grail lore.  In our era, the individual minds function ― at least on the conscious level ― more or less autonomously, like several billion small flashlights all pointed in different directions, producing only a diffuse glow.  Based on their apparent psychokinetic powers, however, we must infer that the Cainites had a means of focusing mass Consciousness ― and perhaps unconscious impulses as well ― to do their bidding.  Clearly, this technique would not have involved the melding of human minds in unconditional Love, which will be the foundation of the New Jerusalem.  It would instead rely rather upon a very hierarchal edifice of collective Consciousness ― the consummate Temple of Worldliness.

Just as the geometry of certain crystals can produce coherent light, so there are definite proportions in Space/Time which can effect the integration of Consciousness.  For the moment, we must defer detailed discussion of these principles, but a few observations are in order as they relate to our current topic.  Epitomizing the hierarchal mental order of which we have been speaking is the Great Pyramid of Giza, which enshrines the proportion  pi 3.14159... in the ratio of the perimeter of its base to its height.  Similarly, in the dimensions of the great temples of Luxor and Karnak, we repeatedly encounter the so-called Golden Mean, phi 1.61803..., the self-replicating proportion by which all biological generation and growth proceeds.  Consequently, the same esoteric knowledge that enabled the antediluvians to create an insect-like psychic unity would also have given them the key to vegetative and animal fertility ― the power to make even a lifeless staff or rod burst into luxurious flowers.

All of this brings us back to the mystical properties of the Grail Hallows, casting new meaning particularly on the power of the Chalice to restore fertility to the Wasteland.  We begin to deduce that the Hallows constitute the remnants of a lost language of sorts, a system of hieroglyphs embodying a portion of the knowledge that survived the Flood.  Is this knowledge the Gnosis from which the Hydra-headed heresies of history have sprung? 

Mankind, St. Augustine teaches, is divided into two Cities, one of which was founded by the race of Cain.  But if ― as Scripture attests ― Cain’s progeny were extirpated in the Deluge, then how is it that their City lives on and prospers?  One response to this question ― the one that has tragically been given far too often in the past ― is to ascribe the survival of Cain’s legacy to the sinister machinations of the various “secret societies” which pursue Hermetic wisdom.  Again, one of the dangers here is that we tend to forget we are dealing with projections of forces that, in fact, lie within us.  We can tell ourselves that we are not the children of Cain, but, if we are the children of Adam, then Cain is our brother.  As such, he and his race, though now extinct, belong just as much as we do to the collective Body of Man, the Body which was One in our father Adam and will be One again in the new Adam, that is to say the Messiah.  This explains why the spirit of Cain must be born again in Antichrist at the end of Time, for without him mankind cannot become whole.  Thus, even the coming of the Beast displays the working of the supreme Mercy of Our God for our salvation.

When the Man of Sin is finally revealed, he will begin to lose his attraction, and this is part of the meaning of the Apocalypse as an uncovering of what is now hidden.  Until that time, however, the vestiges of his race will and must exert a strange magnetism on the human Imagination.  Much of the lost civilization of the Cainites was buried deep beneath the oceans, where the passage of thousands of years has all but obliterated its traces.  But, in the first few millennia after the Flood, their colossal submerged cities remained visible to mariners ― providing the stuff of ancient myths which tell of the vast underwater palaces of King Neptune and the cavernous stables of his horses.  In some areas, such as North Africa and the Middle East, the former seabed became desert, and the Cyclopean citadels and temples of the antediluvians were interred beneath a sea of sand.  As the dunes shifted, the ghostly outlines of these buried ruins would sometimes reappear.  Such visions inspired a vivid genre of Bedouin folklore ― some of which is captured in the Arabian Nights ― depicting immense underground cities of a lost race.

The people who had the best opportunity to explore the Cainite ruins and discover their secrets were the ancient Phoenicians, a mercantile breed of seafarers whose empire stretched from one end of the Mediterranean to the other.  As we discussed in a previous section of this treatise, the Phoenicians worshiped Moloch, who was symbolized, like his Greek counterpart Hercules, by the twin pillars ― the very emblem we have now seen associated with the name of the Grail Knight Galahad.  Moreover, according to both Hebrew and Hellenic sources, the antediluvians created two great pillars to preserve their esoteric knowledge from the coming cataclysm.   In some versions the pillars are said to have been inscribed with hieroglyphs, while in others scrolls or tablets were reportedly hidden within or beneath them.  In any case, it was from these pillars that Thoth ― the mythical architect of the Egyptian pyramids ― derived his science.  They were also the source from which the Greek Pythagoras formulated his metaphysical geometry based on the Golden Mean.

Given this background, we cannot be blamed if we puzzle at the meaning of the two bronze pillars that guarded the entrance of the great Temple of King Solomon.  Of all the Millenarian themes we have surveyed thus far, none has figured as centrally as that of the Temple of Jerusalem ― and we are about to encounter it again, right in the middle of the Grail enigma.


The Temple of Solomon


When King Solomon undertook to build the first Temple, he aspired to rival the most resplendent monuments of the pagan world.  Accordingly, he dispatched his envoys to the wealthiest monarch of the Mediterranean, the Phoenician King Hiram of Tyre, to ask of him a crew of his most accomplished artisans and a renowned Master builder to direct their efforts.  It so happened that Hiram received this request about the time when his workmen had just completed the construction of a magnificent temple in the city of Byblos dedicated to the goddess Astarte, who was the Phoenician equivalent of Venus.  Following the pattern we described earlier, Astarte had degenerated from a benevolent agrarian goddess of fertility to the apotheosis of the most wanton and depraved sensuality.  Her worship, like that of her Phrygian epiphany Cybele, involved the annual sacrificial death of a pubescent boy ― the chosen lover of the voracious diva ― and the dismemberment of his body as means of fructifying the land.  The victim of this bloody ritual was named Adonis, and his death was followed by a ceremonial “resurrection” through which he achieved “immortality”.

King Hiram decided to send his friend Solomon the crack builders of Byblos ― a city known as Gebal to the Hebrews, which explains to Old Testament’s reference to these workers as “Giblites”.[10]  To oversee the Giblites, Hiram assigned the great Master under whom they had worked at Byblos, a man whose name is given as Adoniram or “Hiram Abiff”.  This Master was specifically described as having been of mixed blood, born of a Jewish mother from the tribe of Naphtali and a Phoenician father who died before his birth[11] ― hence Hiram’s epithet, the ASon of the Widow@.  We take particular note of these attributes here for two reasons:  first, because one of the Knights who completes the Quest of the Grail, Parsifal, is also described as the “Son of the Widow”; and second, because we have seen (and will see again) prophetic references to the mixed Punic lineage of Antichrist.

When Hiram Abiff and his crew arrived in Jerusalem, Solomon unveiled to them his plans for the erection of the House the Lord Adonai, whom they naturally confused with their own demigod Adonis.  Quite foreseeably, they proceeded to erect a temple very much along the lines of the Byblian temple they had just completed.  For example, outside the Temple’s hallowed eastern entrance they erected two huge freestanding pillars.  Cast in bronze, they were lavishly adorned with images of pomegranates ― whose numerous red seeds symbolize the fructifying blood of Adonis ― and depictions of the iris flower fleur-de-lys ― an emblem of Adonis’ ritual castration.  In the Phoenician mysteries practiced at Byblos, the two pillars represented Adonis and his brother, who annually assumed the shape of a wild boar and disemboweled him.  This mythic fratricide motif obviously connects with the archetype of Cain and Abel and suggests an antediluvian provenance of the Byblian ritual.  Highly significant also is the Phoenicians’ identification of the murderous “boar” with Typhon ― the prototype of Egypt’s Set, who murdered and dismembered his own brother Osiris.  In our previous analysis, we have linked Typhon to the Comet of Exodus, which in our times has returned ― in the form of Comet Hale-Bopp ― to herald the parousia of Antichrist.

 In the Byblian temple of Astarte, the first of the two pillars (that is, in accordance with ancient Mediterranean usage, the one on the right) was consecrated to Adonis, while the second pillar was dedicated to Typhon.  The Hebrews assigned their own titles to these two pillars, naming the first Jachin, which means “established in”, and the second Boaz, which means “strength”.  From this we deduce that the Jews viewed Typhon and Boaz as being somewhat equivalent.  But who or what was Boaz?  Serendipitously, we find that the answer to this question takes us right back to our mysterious Sang real.  Let’s start out with a little Gospel genealogy:

And Salmon begat Boaz of Rachab; and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

And Jesse begat David the King; and David begat Solomon of her who had been the wife of Uriah the Hittite;[12]


From this we discover that Boaz is the great-grandfather of King David, and therefore an ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth.  At the same time, he is also a forebear of those two scions of the House of David whom we have been pursuing ― the Frankish king Clovis and the fabled Grail Knight.  Since Boaz married Ruth, the Moabite widow, his progeny might aptly be described as “Sons of the Widow” ― a designation seemingly linking a branch of the Davidic lineage to that of Hiram Abiff, the architect of Solomon’s Temple.  This nexus reverberates in the words of Zechariah expanding upon the prophetic imagery of the “Branch from the root of Jesse”:

Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall also build the temple of the Lord:

Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne;[13]


Let’s back up a bit and see where all of this is leading us.  Since we know that Antichrist is to be widely accepted ― for a time ― as the Messiah, we infer that he will lay claim to the Messianic title “The Branch”.  While his claim will ultimately rest on falsehoods, however, we should not presume that it will be fabricated out of whole cloth, for the Beast is a master of deception, and the best deceptions hew as closely to the truth as possible.  Therefore, we must posit that Antichrist will indeed be capable of presenting a convincing case for his Messianic pedigree ― which means that he will actually be able to trace his lineage to the royal House of David.  But if he is ostensibly to fit the role of The Branch, the Man of Sin must also ― with an eye toward Zechariah’s criteria ― undertake to rebuild the Temple of Solomon.  And who better to shoulder that task than a “Son of the Widow”, a descendant of Master builder Hiram Abiff?

Thus it is not by accident that, as we advance further into the end Times, we hear the clamor for the restoration of the Temple of Jerusalem rising to a crescendo within both Jewish and Christian circles.  As a matter of fact, we are witnessing a bizarre convergence of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic “fundamentalism” focused on the Temple Mount and the imminent expectation of a priest-king who will exercise both spiritual and temporal dominion.  Oddly enough, this incipient movement also has its adherents in the various strains of New Age “spiritualism” embracing the concept of an “Ascended Master” who will return to preside over a new Aeon of “peace”.  And even many who profess to be devotees of the Blessed Mother envision a Great Monarch who will wield his temporal scepter in the service of the so-called Vicar of Christ.

Yet, if there has been one theme consistently clear in the messages of Our Lady ― and in the Gospel of her Son ― it is the rejection of temporal power as an instrument of human Redemption.  Christ was betrayed by Judas and his Zealots precisely because he would not ― in any way ― grasp for the purple robes of sovereignty.  This is why those who crucified him thought to mock him by cloaking him in royal colors and plaiting a thorny crown to his brow.  Above his head they hung the ensign INRI, sardonically proclaiming him to be the king of a people who rejected him for the very reason that he had spurned dominion in this World.

When we spoke in the last chapter of the corrosive heresy which is to invade the Church just before the Final War, we found Nostradamus pointing us in the direction of the Cathars, a Gnostic sect that was violently silenced in the 13th Century.  In fact, the suppression of Catharism coincides very closely with the appearance of the first troubadour chansons celebrating the Quest of the Holy Grail.  It’s quite possible that the Grail romances were originally conceived as an encoded form of these heretical ideas disguised to evade the watchful eye of the Inquisition.  The dualism of the Cathars was a symptom of the radical division of the human psyche that the Age of Warfare had wrought.  From their insistence on an impassable chasm between Matter and Spirit came the heretics’ denial that Christ could be at once human and divine.  Catharism was a form of Arianism, a heresy which we will find to be intimately bound up with the Grail Legend and with the Merovingian bloodline of Clovis.

Central to this heresy is the re-casting of Christ as the rightful monarch of this World, the Messiah of a temporal Zion.  To those of the Arian persuasion, Jesus was the King of the Jews that the Roman insignia announced him to be ― that is why we find various forms of the INRI logo suspiciously recurring in the symbolic language of underground Arianism throughout the centuries. Another centerpiece of Arian iconography are the dual pillars, Jachin and Boaz, which guarded the sanctuary of the Temple of Solomon, because they connote the right of Messianic kingship “established” in Boaz, which is to say the royal line of King David.  That the Grail romances embody this Arian symbolism is clear from the names of their allegorical characters.  In the German version, for example, the Maimed King is named Anfortas, which is Latin for “in strength” ― the exact cognate of Boaz in Hebrew.

In the French version, on the hand, the Fisher King is called Pelles, an obvious corruption of Pallas, the Greek goddess after whom the sacred Palladium of Troy was named.  Like the Palladium, the Grail was often depicted as a stone cast down from heaven, and some variants of the Legend describe it is as a jewel dislodged from Lucifer’s crown as he plummeted.   This apparent linkage between the Palladium, the Grail and the Fallen Angels is worth pursuing a bit further.

Starting with the Palladium, it was said to have once enjoyed the most honored place on Mount Olympus ― immediately beside the throne of Zeus ― comparable to Lucifer’s premier place among the angelic host before his rebellion.  When Electra, one of the seven Pleiades, was violated by Zeus, she clung to the Palladium for protection against the wrath of her chaste patroness Athena.  Athena, declaring the sacred stone to have been defiled by Electra’s touch, cast both of them down to Earth.  This mythic scenario appears to have evolved in response to a contemporaneous celestial event in the Pleiades star cluster.  Known from time immemorial as the “Seven Sisters”, on account of the seven stars visible to the naked eye, the Pleiades suddenly lost one of the Sisters shortly after the fall of ancient Troy in the second millennium before Christ.  Because the star that disappeared was Electra, the fabled mother of the Trojan race, the Greeks ascribed her fall to grief at the destruction of her children.

Among peoples as diverse as the Chinese and the Mayans of Central America, the Pleiades are a remarkably consistent feature in myths of the great global cataclysm which we know as the Deluge.  According to these ancestral memories, the cataclysm that destroyed the storied antediluvian civilization occurred when the Pleiades were culminating, i.e. crossing the celestial meridian, at midnight.  In the Mayan legends, moreover, the onset of the end of Time is to be augured by cosmic portents accompanying the Seven Sisters’ midnight culmination, which occurs each year in mid-November.  In mid-November of 2002 (we recall from Chapter Six), the Pleiades’ culmination coincided with a massive Leonid meteor storm.  My reader may also recall, from that same discussion, Nostradamus’ forecast of Antichrist’s acquisition of nuclear arms in the aftermath of Mars= conjunction with the tip of the Archer’s arrow on November 11, 1997.

From the standpoint of our exploration of the Grail, the association of the Pleiades ― and hence of the Palladium ― with the destruction of the antediluvian civilization is particularly intriguing.  We have ascribed this lost civilization to the race of Cain, a people of giant stature who Plato called “Atlanteans”, because they were descended from Atlas the Titan.  Since Atlas was also the father of the Seven Sisters, there begins to emerge an archetypal equivalency between the catastrophe that annihilated the Cainites and the cosmic calamity that reduced the Pleiades from seven to six and precipitated the desecrated Palladium to the Earth.  Indeed, this archetypal pattern ― a veritable psychic “constellation” ― extends even further to encompass the fall of Troy as well as the fall of Lucifer’s angels.  Before proceeding forward on the prophetic path of the “Trojan blood” toward history’s Final War, therefore, we do well to consider the consequences of the very First War in Heaven.

If we understand the cause of the First War, then we also know the root of every war that ever has been or ever will be fought.  That cause was and is envy of the Son of Man.  Out of the infernal root of envy grows pride, which is the false consciousness of the ego as a center of experience apart from the Body of the God-Man.  Because Man is a vision-centered creature, we regard the eye as the center of experience, which explains why we construct the mythical archetype of our egocentric experience in the form of the one-eyed Cyclops.  But we intuitively picture the stars in the heavens above us as “eyes” as well, and the night sky becomes a place of exile for those portions of our experience that cannot be assimilated by our ego-identity.  Unlike the single eye of our diurnal consciousness, the eyes of night spontaneously integrate themselves in ascending orders of complexity ― from asterisms to constellations to the Zodiac.  This impulse to combine in unities of greater and greater complexity is the signature of God’s Mind at work, and thus we find Yahweh answering the laments of Job in these words:

Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?  Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth [the Zodiac] in his season?[14]


It is no accident that the Pleiades consisted of seven “eyes”, a concept which opens to us the meaning of Zechariah’s vision of the foundation stone of the Divine Temple:

... for behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 

For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes:  behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.[15]


Unless we are blinded by temporal and political agendas, we cannot plausibly interpret this prophecy as dealing primarily with a mundane temple.  It manifestly speaks to the Temple of Man, of which the BRANCH, i.e. the Son of Man, is the foundation stone ― the stone bearing the seven eyes of constellated Consciousness.  This Consciousness is the basis of the sublime unity of mankind so beautifully evoked by Zechariah’s image of the gathering of neighbors beneath the all-embracing Vine, which is the Messiah.  Only in that sublime unity can Man fulfill his destiny, a destiny preordained by the defection of Lucifer’s host:  to fill the heavenly thrones left vacant by the Fallen Angels.

Once we absorb the full implications of our divine destiny, we begin to comprehend the significance of the seven “eyes” of the Pleiades becoming diminished to six with the descent of the Palladium to Earth.  To the Lord belongs the seventh “day” ― i.e. the Seventh Millennium, of which Zechariah speaks as the “one day” in which Yahweh will “remove the iniquity of that land”.  But, in pagan reckoning, the seventh day is the day of Saturn, whose accursed immortality is sustained by the flesh of his own children.  In this sense, it is correct to view Saturn and his Phoenician counterpart Moloch as metaphors for the culture of War that sacrifices the innocent.  But this archetype has deeper layers of meaning as well.

Saturn eats his six offspring because he knows that he must die if they grow to maturity ― that is, in the ascending order of God’s Creation, each level of complexity must give way in turn, until the One is at last achieved.  But the insular self, which is represented by Set-Saturn-Satan, refuses to be transcended, and hence it must literally strive to prevent the Present from becoming the Future, so that it might “live forever”.  Moreover, since sequential Time is not more than an epiphenomenon of ego-experience, this exertion of the Will against temporal passage is not entirely fatuous.  It actually effects an attenuation of Time which becomes extreme ― nearly asymptotic ― as the End is approached.[16]  It follows that the most salient feature of the end-Time is the reduction of ego-experience to an increasingly random sequence of disjointed ephemera ― the “virtual reality” into which humanity is now so haplessly sinking.

This “tape loop” form of reality is the inevitable appurtenance of the self-replicating order, which the ego-self prefers to transcendent order of the Seven-eyed stone.  As a matter of fact, we can gain some valuable insight into the Beast’s numerical identity if we think of the process of counting to Seven stalled at the penultimate digit:  1-2-3-4-5- 6-6-6 ...   Insofar as the appearance of the Palladium on Earth corresponds to the Seven Sisters getting pared down to six, therefore, this erstwhile sacred stone has been transformed into a very sinister icon.  It has become the preordained foundation stone of the very temple in which St. Paul foresees the Man of Sin ultimately taking his seat.  According to the Third Secret of Fatima and the Secret of La Salette, however, that desolated temple will be in Rome ― which clearly implies the presence of the Palladium in the Eternal City.

But didn’t we say earlier that the stone had disappeared from Troy just before it fell to the Greeks?   Yes, but recall also the two Trojan traitors who escaped the doomed city ― Antenor, the ancestor of Clovis and his Merovingian dynasty, and Aeneas, the founder of Rome and progenitor of its Caesars.  Ancient historians tell us that Aeneas brought the Palladium with him from Troy to Italy, and that it became a fixture in the temple of Vesta in Rome.  There it was said to have promoted the growth of the Roman Empire and guaranteed its security.  Speaking through his Delphic priestesses, Apollo himself had decreed that wherever the sacred stone went, dominion would follow.  The god’s words certainly appeared to be fulfilled in the glorious rise of Roman imperial power.  In this respect, this Stone of Empire may be seen as the temporal counterpart of the Rock of St. Peter, and perhaps also as the basis of a competing succession ― the one from which we may expect the False Messiah to emerge.  For such a contra-Apostolic succession to assert any credible Messianic claim, however, it would also have to be based on the Branch from the roots of Jesse, i.e. the royal House of Judah.  This, in turn, suggests that the dynastic succession which culminates in the Beast must flow from a confluence the bloodline of the Palladium ― i.e. that of King Priam of Troy ― with the Davidic lineage of King Solomon.

In considering how such a genealogical confluence might come about, we should be mindful of the key role that heraldry played in the authentication of royalty before the advent of birth records and DNA analysis.  Heraldry itself was a refinement of even earlier customs in which the right of kingship rested on actual possession of the cult objects identifying the royal line.  Therein lies the reason why the Romans, like other empires before and since, were always intent upon despoiling conquered peoples of their royal treasures.  It was not primarily for their material value, but rather because, by possessing the emblems of sovereignty, they legitimized their own right to rule. This acquisition of the sovereign trappings of the subjugated nation would often be accompanied by intermarriage of the new rulers with the old royal family.

 Just as the Palladium blazoned the royal House of Priam, so the treasures of King Solomon betokened the House of David.  As the sacred stone of Troy found its way to Rome, so did the hallowed objects of the Temple of Jerusalem after it was plundered by Titus in 70 AD.  If, as we have already surmised, the Sangraal is the dynastic talisman of a Trojan-Davidic bloodline, then we would expect it be an amalgam of their respective royal emblems.  And indeed it is ― appearing sometimes as a sacred stone, like the Palladium, and at other times as a golden goblet or serving dish, such as would have been part of Solomon’s treasure.

Whether or not the Grail ever existed as an actual object ― and what became of it if it did ― thus turns out to have little relevance to our particular inquiry.  When the myths and legends report the Grail to have traveled here or there, we should interpret this information as describing the peregrinations of the Messianic pretenders within whose veins flows the Sang real.  If we count our quest accomplished simply because we think we have found the Grail object, we make the same mistake as did the Knight Parsifal when he failed to ask the all-important question: “Who does it serve?”   The answer, as we should by now suspect, can only lead us back to the Keeper of the Grail ― the Fisher King.


The Fisher King


In the very name Fisher King is a reference to Jesus of Nazareth which is more than allusive, but rather unabashedly direct and obvious.  Christ called upon his Apostles to be fishers of men, and thus we must expect that the contra-Apostolic succession ― which looks to the Beast as its king ― must also be fishers of men.  But they have dropped their hooks into an altogether different part of the human Sea.  This is where the radical division of the Male and Female principles of our collective psyche comes into play.

Psychiatrists have compiled a detailed body of clinical data on the pathology of personality dissociation and understand quite a bit about the dysfunction as it affects individuals.  We have talked about the Work of the divine Will in the integration, or “constellation”, of Creation’s manifold centers of experience ― so that each is more exalted as a center, while at the same time totally dissolving into the whole.  There is an opposite process ― an infernal process by which the higher orders of Creation are disintegrated or “atomized”.  We must hasten to add that this infernal process does not stand apart from the divine Will, though it perceives itself to do so.  And in fact, this false perception of separateness is itself symptomatic of dissociation.

Much less is known about the dissociation of the collective psyche, for the simple reason that we all suffer from the affliction, in varying degrees ― which renders us oblivious to the existence of such a thing as a “collective psyche”.  Millions are those who “believe” in Christ, or Allah, or Yahweh, or whomever, yet ― this is absolutely crucial ― they do not experience themselves to be part of Him in whom they believe.  And yet they are, we all are members of the mystical Body of the God-Man, as St. Paul instructs us.  On a collective basis, therefore, our Consciousness is dissociated, which means we are totally blind to a large portion of our corporate Self and this is the portion for which the Fisher King casts his net.

In the allegorical language of the Grail romances, the Fisher King’s catch is the Salmon of Wisdom, which he serves upon the Sangraal.  The latter is in the form of a large platter, such as that on which the Baptist’s head was presented to Herodias.  Earlier we described the Four Grail Hallows and related two of them ― the Cup and the Lance ― to Christ.  But, paradoxically, the other two Hallows, namely the dish and the sword, appear to be connected, not to Christ, but instead to his cousin John ― and, more specifically, to his severed head!  There is an interesting parallel here between, on the one hand, the Lance that drew Christ’s blood and the Cup in which that blood was caught, and on the other hand, the sword that struck off the Baptist’s head and the charger on which it was laid.

These bizarre associations of the Fisher King with salmon and severed heads recall one of Nostradamus’ more enigmatic Quatrains, which we previously cited for its astrological reference to the conjunction of Mars with the star Al Nasl in mid-November 1997.[17]  Applying an alternate translation of the last two lines of this stanza, we read:

Venom concealed under salmon heads,

Their hanged-man head on the line of Mar’s pole.


Characteristically, our Provençal prophet adds yet another seemingly incongruous element ― snake venom ― to this already odd mix of symbols.  Despite our misgivings that all of this is becoming hopelessly arcane, however, persistence leads us to a Norse myth which actually incorporates all of these disparate features ― while at the same time providing some important clues to the mystery of our Fisher King.

In the Eddas we encounter Loki, the Norse god of fire, who was a Jotun, which is to say, a member of the race of giants that ruled the Earth before the Flood.  Sharp-witted and honey-tongued, Loki was a master of deception, a shape-shifter whose only genuine emotions were envy and spite.  When his vicious misdeeds finally led to the death of Balder ― who was in many ways a mythic prototype of Christ ― the other gods demanded he be punished.  Taking flight, Loki changed himself into a salmon and hid at the bottom of a deep river, where he mocked the gods’ vain attempts to catch him with a hook.  But his pursuers discovered the remains of a fishing net, which Loki himself had invented.  After dragging him from the water, they bound the malicious spirit beneath a poisonous serpent, whose fangs dripped venom onto his face.

As we said earlier, the lost race of antediluvians, though departed from this World, live on in the deepest recesses of our collective Memory.  There they remain hidden from our dissociated Consciousness ― in much the same way that Loki’s salmon lurked in the murky river bed.  As represented by the Fisher King, the mortally-wounded Male principle is a walking corpse, hopelessly cut off from its feminine life-force, and endlessly goaded by its own impotent lust.  Hence the Female principle has become the Widow, black in her obscurity, mourning and shame, but sustained by the anticipation of her divine Bridegroom, in whom the scission of Male and Female is once and for all annulled.

While the collective Will of humanity lies dead, however, the enfeebled insular Will of the Maimed King is “undead”, its so-called “life” negatively defined by the absence of Death.  Obsessed by the two things it cannot have ― the Female and Death ― the feverish Will imagines them joined in one dread idol before which it prostrates itself.  To the Norsemen, this monster was the daughter of Loki, who gives her name Hel to the Inferno of damned souls ― and also to the Helle stone that presides over the Druid dolmens of Salisbury Plain in England.  She is the goddess of Death-in-Life, and hers is the witches’ cauldron of unending regeneration and rebirth.  

Therefore, in the Fisher King’s angling for the Salmon, we begin to discern the outlines of an insidious parody of the eschatological Wedding.  Perhaps this explains the juxtaposition of the envenomed Salmon with the Hanged Man in the Quatrain we have quoted above.  Readers who are familiar with the Tarot will recognize the Hanged Man as one of the Trumps, whose meanings, while ultimately derived from the Kabbalah, were also infused with Cathar doctrines during the Middle Ages.  The Hanged Man (also known as the Drowned Man) depicts the human form contorted into geometric patterns of a triangle ― formed by the arms bent behind the upper torso ― surmounted by a cross shaped by the crossed legs.  Not coincidentally, Loki’s blood-brother Wotan is also pictured hanging upside-down in this manner from the World Ash, the Norse version of the Tree of Life.

In the Kabbalah, the triangle surmounted by a cross corresponds to Tiphareth, the “Son of the Widow”, and more specifically refers to his sacred union, or hierosgamos, with the “Widow” Malkuth.  Malkuth comprises the roots of two Trees, one of which ascends upward, through Tiphareth, into the Limitless Light, but the other of which descends downward into the Abyss.  Accordingly, the marriage between Tiphareth and Malkuth ― i.e. between the Son and the Widow ― can be either sublime or infernal, depending upon its “direction”, if you will.

We find this dichotomy reflected in the mythic theme of “the harrowing of Hell”.  This is the archetypal scenario of the Light of Consciousness penetrating the Darkness of the Unconscious, and of the Male principle descending into the Underworld in search of its Female counterpart.  While examples of this theme abound in pagan lore, the classical rendering is found in the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice.  Once again, the etymology of the names is instructive.  Orpheus’ appellation “river bank” connects him to the Fisher King.  Eurydice’s name signifies “Justice”, the true essence of the Female principle ― the Widow whose Son is the “Sun of Justice”. 

When compare Orpheus’s failure to restore Eurydice to the land of the living with Christ’s unqualified triumph in harrowing Hell, we derive an important lesson.  The solitary “hero” ― that is, the insular Will ― cannot undo the breach of Male and Female and thereby, in Zechariah’s words, “remove the inequity of that land”.  The task is impossible because the “hero” himself is a product of this breach.  This explains Orpheus’ tragic compulsion to turn around and look at Eurydice ― because, in his irrevocable separateness, he is unable to feel her presence.

When the pagan hero does succeed in returning from his quest with his Female prize, as in the story of Jason and Medea, she has been transformed into something radically different from his feminine complement.  This must be so because, in reality, the Female principle retains its collective nature and thus affords no conjugate to the dwarfish insular Will.  Consequently, if there is to be a wedding at all, the bride must have a groom of her own stature ― a husband that the archetypal Isis cobbles together from the dismembered corpse of the collective Male principle.  For this reason, the recurring mythical motif portrays the great love goddess mating, not with the hero alone, but alternately with the hero and his “twin”, who regularly engage in mortal combat for her hand.

Now we may begin to distinguish something beyond arbitrary savagery in the ritual killing of Adonis that the Phoenician builders memorialized in the dual pillars of Solomon’s Temple.  Adonis, we recall, was disemboweled annually at the summer solstice by his “brother” Typhon, who would in turn be similarly dispatched by Adonis at midwinter.  Alternating with Adonis as the sacred consort of Astarte, Typhon is the archetype of the hero’s “shadow” ― consisting of all that has been excluded in the reduction of the collective Male principle to an insular entity.  His is the “severed head” that must be fished out of the dark waters of the Unconscious to play the part of bridegroom to the Great Harlot.

Throughout this treatise, we have stressed the inexorable corollary of creatio ex nihilo, i.e. creation out of nothingness:  things come in existence in conjugate pairs.  This concept is obviously crucial to our comprehension of the “twin” archetypes that have surfaced again and again in our studies.  From quantum physics, we have learned that the forms which appear in Space/Time originate in a subtextual level ― the “pre-space” realm of prima materia onto which the Logos is holographically imprinted.  According to the preeminent quantum theorist David Bohm, the permanence of manifested forms is an illusion, since such forms persist only to the extent that they are continuously renewed by the unfolding patterns of the Eternal order.[18]  This continuous renewal of temporal reality is the work of two complementary processes, which may be respectively described as “unfoldment” and “enfoldment”.

The first of these is the “outward moving” process, by which the Eternal forms unfold their content in a series of discrete manifestations that Bohm calls the “holomovement”.  In symbolic terms, this process corresponds to the right-handed spiral, which expands outward in a clockwise direction from the center.  As we shall discuss presently, one phase of this process is the “growth spiral”, which defines the pattern of biological generation and reflects the mathematical proportion of phi, the Golden Mean.  Complementary to the first process is the “inward moving” process, whose mandala is the left-handed spiral, converging upon the center clockwise from the circumference.  Through this inward movement, experiences of temporal phenomena are enfolded back into the holographic subtext, where they enrich and vivify the Eternal forms.  If Man is to experience the fullness of Reality ― which is nothing less than his own Infinite nature ― the processes of unfoldment and enfoldment must be integrally combined.  This implies the merger of the right and left-handed spirals in the mystical Labyrinth, the mandala of psychic wholeness.

Indeed, the restoration of that wholeness is the great work of human Redemption.  Consequently, the unity of the outward and inward-moving processes of the collective Mind amounts to the eschatological Wedding of the Male and Female principles, which embody these two complementary processes.   To the right-handed spiral belongs the Male principle, the mandala of evolution by which the Eternity immanent in Time reveals itself.  Operating reciprocally to this unfoldment is the involution of the Female principle, which continuously weaves the threads of experience into the seamless fabric of humanity’s divine nuptial garment.  But, based on all we have discussed up to this point, we know that the Male principle has ceased to function on the collective level, and consequently the unfoldment of Man’s Infinite lineaments is blocked.  Within the strait-jacket of his individual persona, modern man sees the world as a meaningless jumble of disjointed fragments, one of which is himself.  Drained of its energizing penumbra, human experience takes on the colorless, barren and monotonous cast of the Wasteland ― a psychic landscape painfully familiar to 20th Century man.

Over time, the dysfunction of the Male principle ― allegorized in the Maimed or Fisher King ― has a devastating impact on the complementary feminine process of enfoldment.  As human experience becomes progressively desiccated and constricted, it affords less and less nourishment to the underlying “soil” from which it springs.  Relentlessly, the lifeless mechanical grid of conscious experience imprints its rigidity on the psychic subtext of the Unconscious, so that its unfoldment in Consciousness becomes incompatible with Creation.  Nowhere is this pernicious trend more evident than in the major religions of the World, whose sacred images have long ceased to assimilate human experience and grow with it, but instead have shriveled into husks of empty formalism.

By this point in our exegesis, it is abundantly clear that mankind is, on its own, incapable of braking its accelerating slide down the slope of spiritual annihilation.  Implicit in the recognition of this fact is the acceptance of divine intervention in human history as the only viable hope of human salvation.  Given the terminal morbidity of the Male principle, the only remaining alternative involves the incarnation of the Logos itself, so that the forsaken role of Bridegroom might again be filled.  Scriptural symbolism describes this substitution in terms of the “new Adam” replacing the “old Adam”, which means that Christ supplants Adam as the center of Consciousness.  Before this succession can take place, however, the “old Man”, i.e. the moribund collective Male, must first die.  This prerequisite was fulfilled by the Crucifixion at Golgotha ― the burial place of Adam ― as St. Paul teaches us:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.[19]


Christ’s supreme sacrifice on the Cross planted upon the skull of Adam thus reestablishes in himself the process of Creation’s unfoldment toward the “fullness of Time”.  Accordingly, there must be an interval between the Passion and the Parousia ― a period within which the ecstatic experience of divine Love can become enfolded into our Collective Unconscious and assimilated into its Eternal forms.  In a manner of speaking, it is the time for stitching the threads of Christic experience into the Wedding Garment of the Bride-to-Be. Metaphorically, then, the Ascension of Jesus and the Pentecost of the Paraclete represent the complementary processes of ascent and descent ― the reciprocal outward and inward “breathing” of our collective Body.

But in the interval between the Ascension and the Second Coming, during which the Paraclete must perform its assimilative task, the operative Female principle remains infected by the morbidity of the lapsed collective Male.  As a result, the unfoldment of its forms atrophies to the most rudimentary level ― namely, that of self-replicating vegetative growth.  Personified in the ubiquitous “Green Man” of folk culture, this vegetative unfoldment proceeds from the archetypal regeneration of the dead Male principle ― the continual rebirth of the “old Adam”.



The Cauldron of Regeneration


The forces of Darkness did not wait long after the Jesus’ victory on the Cross to regroup and launch their counter-attack, which is just now reaching its climax.  Hebrew prophecy of the Midrashic variety had long warned that the “old Adam” would return at the end of Time in the guise of the “Statue”.  We find an echo of this warning in the Revelation of the Divine Evangelist:

Then I saw a second Beast ... Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first Beast, it was able to lead astray the people of the World and persuade them to put up a statue in honor of the Beast that had been wounded by the sword and still lived.  It was able to breathe life into this statue, so that the statue of the Beast was able to speak ...[20]


In Chapter Five, we discussed this passage in connection with Nero redivivus.[21]   We can now appreciate that “he who was wounded by the sword and still lived” applies equally well to the Fisher King, of whose lineage ― dare we yet say it? ― Antichrist is destined to come.  The reanimation of the “statue” Adam also features prominently in the eschatology of Mani, dualism’s founder and the “St. Peter” of the heretical contra-Apostolic succession.  Writing in the 3rd Century AD, Mani spoke of the time when the “Statue” would appear:

The fourth time, when they shall weep, is the time when the statue shall raise itself on the last day ...[22]


It is worth a short digression from the main line of our analysis to consider what Mani meant by the “fourth time”.  Mani gave himself out to be the reincarnation of Jesus of Nazareth, and sought to substantiate this assertion by pointing to the fact that he had been born in the year 216 AD.  Why should that birth date be relevant to his claim?  Because Pythagoras (who, we recall, had rediscovered antediluvian mathematics) taught that 216 years was the duration between one incarnation of a human soul and the next.  And where did Pythagoras come up with that particular number?  In high school geometry, we all learn the so-called “Pythagorean Theorem”, which relates the three sides of a right triangle by the equation  a2 + b2 = c2.

Since the Pythagoreans followed strict rules of initiation, which kept their most potent doctrines shrouded in secrecy, we might expect that the Pythagorean Theorem that is accessible to sophomores would not rank high on their scale of powerful knowledge.  Rather, it would be the “elementary” lesson taught to novices in order to point them toward some much deeper mystery.  And what might that mystery be?  While there is an infinite series of integers that satisfy the second-order equation a2 + b2 = c2, there is only one unique sequence of integers that solve the third-order expression  a3 + b3 + c3 = d3.  Those numbers are 3, 4, 5 and 6 ― with 63 being equal to 216.  If the second-order Pythagorean Theorem defines the geometry of a right triangle, the more esoteric third-order equation refers to the geometry of a figure that extends beyond three-dimensional Space!  Add to this the fact that six cubed may be expressed as 6@6@6, and one would have to agree that the number 216 has a strong whiff of sulfur about it!

Getting back to Mani’s “fourth time”, his chronology appears to dovetail with that of Midrashic sources, which speak of eight “Great Months” extending from Adam’s Fall to the era of the Messiah.  Under this reckoning, each “Great Month” consists of 490 years ― a duration derived from the Great Conjunctions of the planets Jupiter and Saturn.  Since these were the two outermost planets known to the ancients, the 20-year intervals between their conjunctions constituted the longest astronomical cycles observable within our solar system.  Even longer cosmic cycles were based on the position of the great conjunctions in relation to the Zodiac’s four elements or “triplicities” ― Fire, Earth, Air and Water.  Astrologers of old observed that the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions make the transition from one triplicity to the next ― an event they called a “mutation” ― in periods of approximately 240 years.  The Great Conjunctions complete a full circuit of the Zodiac in four mutations, a period known as a “great mutation”. 

Since the Hebrews’ prophetic “Great Month”, to which Mani was referring, closely corresponds to two mutations, it may be inferred that these “months” begin and end with Great Conjunctions.  Furthermore, if the “Great Month” changes at every other mutation, then the great conjunction at the inception of each successive “month” must invariably alternate along the same axis of opposing triplicities ― i.e. either Fire-Air or Water-Earth.  According to the Midrashic “Prophecy of Enoch”, the birth of the Messiah was to mark beginning of the eighth “Great Month”.  As we have mentioned earlier, Jesus’ actual nativity coincided with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions of 7 BC, when the superimposed planets Jupiter and Saturn appeared as the “Star of Bethlehem” in the Water sign Pisces.[23]   The great conjunction of the Christ’s nativity was the last of its series in the Water signs, with the next such conjunction (14 AD) located in Sagittarius, a Fire sign.  Thus, the Nativity coincided with the Water‑to‑Fire mutation which launched the eighth “Great Month”.  Consequently, we deduce that the Great Conjunctions initiating the “Great Months” must alternate between Fire and Air signs.[24]

If Mani’s chronology picks up where the Midrash leaves off, then Mani’s “fourth time” must relate to the four “Great Months” following the eighth “month”, which marked the beginning of the Messianic era.  Hence the “fourth time” is equivalent to the Midrashic twelfth “Great Month”.   As explained in Appendix 2, the twelfth “month” extends from 1603 AD to 2020 AD.  This “month” opened with a remarkable cosmic prodigy ― the appearance of a bright-red Supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, very close to the conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.  My reader may recall our earlier discussion of Milton’s vision in Paradise Lost of Satan ascending to his “zenith” in the constellation Ophiuchus.[25]  The Supernova appeared on October 9, 1604, the first day of the Jewish festival of Succoth, which is mystically linked to the coming of the Messiah. Within a few days, Supernova 1604 ― or “Kepler’s Star”, as it was also known ― outshone the three planets and every other star in the sky.  It would continue to dominate the night sky for 17 months, after which it faded away.   As we discussed in Chapter Four, the number 17 has apocalyptic connotations, especially with respect to the looming crisis of the Roman Papacy.[26]

As discussed in Appendix 2, the spectacular appearance of Kepler’s Star in 1604 was a veritable signal for the emergence ― or, perhaps better said, re-emergence ― of a number of occult “secret societies” which traced their origins to the medieval Knights Templar.  The most prominent of these at the time was the Order of the Rosy Cross, or Rosicrucians.  Anonymous Rosicrucian manifestoes spoke of the discovery in 1604 of the tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz ― literally “Christ of the Rosy Cross”.  This pseudo-Christ was of the type of the vegetative “Green Man”, who undergoes endless cycles of death and rebirth.  The rose is an esoteric symbol for perpetual regeneration, because rose petals distribute themselves around the stem in accordance with the mathematical proportion of the Golden Mean phi, which exhibits the property of self-replication.

  The transitional period, during which the twelfth “Great Month” will overlap the thirteenth, began on May 28, 2000, with the great conjunction in Taurus, and will end on December 21, 2020, with the great conjunction in Aquarius.  Within this transitional timeframe will fall the end of Mani’s “fourth time”, when we can expect the “Statue”/Beast to be revived. 

One intriguing post-script to this little digression of ours will bring us back to our main theme.  In the Jewish calendar system, there was a “leap month”, periodically intercalated to reconcile lunar and solar time, which resulted in every nineteenth year containing not twelve but thirteen months.  In the context of the prophetic chronology we have been discussing, this thirteenth month, coming as it does after the “end of Time”, fits squarely into the scenario of Christ’s Millennial reign in the New Jerusalem.  But we must not overlook the fact that it jives just as solidly with the Manichaean-Arian conception of a purely temporal “Messianic” kingdom based on a regenerated “Adam”.

“Adam” represents the Male principle which generates all of our experience of the manifest Universe.  Due to the breakdown of this principle, the Eternal image or archetype of Man residing in the feminine Unconscious becomes static and “frozen”, for lack of renewal by creative Consciousness.  Perhaps this is why the Kabbalah teaches that the “son of David” shall not come until all souls that are in the body of Adam “have come out”.[27]  In other words, since the Male principle “Adam” is dead, the Female principle can do nothing but replicate his form until it is utterly exhausted of content.  At that juncture will appear the “son of David” who, we have thus far concluded, is the false Messiah ― described by Irenaeus as the “recapitulation” of all that has separated humanity from God throughout history.[28]

As the recapitulation of all of the apostasy latent in Adam, the Man of Sin completely empties the moribund form of the collective Male and leaves its place in the Unconscious temporarily vacant.  Into that void steps the Son of Man as the archetype of the New Man.  The counterpart of the New Man is a renewed Bride, who now reflects His image forth in the fullness of Her Glory.  Given that the Bride is traditionally represented by the nuptial Cup, the Parousia is, in a manner of speaking, “rehearsed” in the Eucharistic feast:  The Paraclete descends upon the Ciborium, whose transformed Interior brings forth the Body of Christ.  And if the Bride is also the Church ― which is to say, the people of God ― then it becomes inevitable that the final act in the salvation of Man is an act of Man himself.  It must be so, because evil can only be negated at its source, which is within us ― “Omne malum ab homine”.

Collective humanity must give birth to the Son of Man, just as the Blessed Virgin ― the divine image of God’s people ― delivered Christ out of her own womb.  To fathom the meaning implicit in the Pentecost, we need look no further than the presence of Our Lady with the Apostles in the upper room.  Her pregnancy came to term in the ninth month, and in the beginning of the ninth “Great Month” our collective pregnancy began, as Jesus himself announced only days before his execution:

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days![29]

To the popular mind, the Second Coming is the apparition of Jesus, Deus ex machina, from outside of Time to end Time.  But we must remember that Jesus is the Octave:  He is eighth in the line of the Hebrew prophets; his incarnation, as prophesied, occurs in the eighth “Great Month”; the gematria of his name is 888.  The eighth simultaneously completes the lower Octave and inaugurates the next higher ― exactly as the Messiah is both the final event of Time and the first event of the new Aeon.  Q.e.d., He will not come from outside of Space/Time, but He will come from the Microcosm, which is the Infinite human Interior ― the great Chalice of the ultimate transubstantiation.

Here we begin to limn the outlines of the great Mystery of the Grail, because the instrument of this transubstantiation is itself a thing transformed ― in the twinkling of an eye ― from what it had been.  In other words, the Grail of human Redemption is ― up to the last conceivable moment of Time ― the Cup raised to the mouth of the Harlot drunken with the blood of the Saints.  Hers is not the blessed Womb, but rather the Cauldron in which the corpse of the old Man may be continually regenerated.  It is a purely vegetative generation that follows the mathematical principles known to the antediluvians.  As we have seen, the Cainites encoded these secrets on the dual pillars, the prototypes of those that stood outside the Sanctuary of Solomon’s Temple ... as if waiting for the opportunity to enter.  According to the prophecies of Daniel and St. Paul, that opportunity has presented itself, and the day is now upon us when the Abomination generated out of the numerology of those two pillars will boldly stride into the Holy Place.

Of this numerology ― a veritable obsession of the those who follow the contra-Apostolic succession ― we have already stumbled upon several principles.  For example, we have observed that the Son of Man is incarnated in the eighth “Great Month” and that He returns to reign in the thirteenth.  We have also talked about the Golden Mean, the mathematical proportion of the biological growth spiral, which may be approximated by the ratio eight-thirteenths, or about .616.  Quite notably, 616 is the “number of the Beast” in the Greek versions of St. John’s Revelation, because the sum of the numerical equivalents of the Greek letters in “Caesar-god” yields 616.  The Golden Mean, phi φ , is one of those “transcendental” numbers, like pi π, that can never be expressed with complete exactness, but rather must be represented by a sequence of ratios that “converge” upon its value.  In the case of the Golden Mean, the sequence of ratios that converges on its value is determined by what mathematicians call the “Fibonacci Series”, which looks like this:

                                    1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610 ...

Tellingly, we find that the Fibonacci Series “generates itself”, insofar as each successive integer is the sum of the two that precede it.  This explains why it is the mathematical model of self-replicating growth.  No factor external to the succession itself is required for its indefinite extension.  Totally lacking, therefore, is the “inspiration” which characterizes Creation.  What remains is unexalted, unrelenting growth, of which a cancer cell is perhaps the epitome.  If we take the ratio of each successive integer in the Fibonacci series to that which follows it, we get a series of decimals that asymptotically approach the value of φ.  Let’s glance at the first few entries in this series:

                                    2:3 = .666    3:5 = .600    5:8 = .625    8:13 = .615   ...

We observe that this series of ratios converges toward the Golden Mean as we move from the left, but that it equally diverges toward the Beast’s .666 as we move from the right.  Hence, it at once describes the left-handed involution of the Female principle toward φ  and the complementary right-handed evolution which projects Antichrist upon the plane of manifestation.  As we have already recognized, the ratio 8:13 incorporates a diabolical parallel to the two Advents of the Son of Man in the eighth and thirteenth “Great Months”.  It relates to the parousia of the Man of Sin on another level ― a cosmic one ― as well.  Considering the planetary orbits of the Earth and Venus, we discover the amazing coincidence that they exactly synchronize with each other in the φ  proportion 8:13.  Every eight terrestrial years, Venus completes exactly thirteen orbits around the Sun.  Furthermore, as we move “outward” from 8:13 in our series of φ-ratios, we next encounter 5:8, which happens to be the ratio of the Earth’s orbital period to the interval of its inferior conjunctions with Venus.  Finally, the locations of these conjunctions trace a pentagram on the ecliptic plane every eight years.

In the symbolism of the Tarot and the Grail, which evolved together as systems of Cathar hieroglyphs, the pentacle is associated with the Paschal dish of the Last Supper, or alternately with the platter on which the Baptist’s head was placed.  Significantly, the Arian heresy of the medieval Knights Templar also involved the idolatrous adoration of a bearded human head known as Baphomet, which appears to be an amalgam of Baptist and Mahomet.  All of these heretical icons derive from the skull of Adam, the ultimate symbol of the continual reincarnation of the dead Male principle out of the Cauldron of the goddess of Eros and Death.

Mythology abounds with examples of this regeneration motif.  The Celtic bards or Arthurian times, for example, sang of the ogre Bran, father of Guinevere, who owned the Cauldron of Cerridwen, out of which heroes were reanimated.[30]  Bran’s severed head was also consulted for divinatory purposes and was said to ensure the fertility of the land and to protect London from invaders.  Many interpreters of the Grail Legend have connected the Celtic ogre Bran with the similarly-named Fisher King Brons and have viewed the Grail Cup itself as a derivative of Bran’s Cauldron.  Bran was a vegetative god in the genre of the “Green Man”.  His worship involved the now-familiar pattern of periodic fratricide involving his brother Beli ― who, as the name implies, was an offshoot of the Babylonian-Philistine abomination Bel or Baal.  The dead god would be ritually interred in an oracular cave constructed to resemble an underground beehive, from which the Queen Bee goddess would attend to his rebirth.  As we have learned, the recapitulation of the sacred king invokes the “outward moving” direction of the Fibonacci φ-ratio sequence, which diverges toward .666.  Hence we have the hexagonal geometry of the Bran’s beehive tomb, as well as the six-sided format of his brother Beli’s temple at Stonehenge.[31]

Although the archaic rituals of royal reincarnation may strike us as mere primitive superstition, the underlying faith in the Roi perdu ― familiar to us as Tennyson’s “Once and Future King” ―  is every bit as pervasive in “modern” cultures.  The most obvious example is the unwavering romantic attachment to the figure of King Arthur.  Arthur’s name derives from the Welsh for “bear” ― signifying both his extended “hibernation” and his fealty to the ursine lunar goddess, with her monthly cycles of death and rebirth.  Among the Germans, there is a strangely similar legend concerning the 12th Century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.  It is written that he never actually died, but fell asleep in a mountain grotto in Thuringia, from whence he will one day return to rule the World for a thousand years.  In no small measure, the nightmare of Nazism drew upon the Barbarossa myth to implant its own version of the Thousand Year Reich in the mass psyche.

The detail of Frederick Barbarossa’s somnolence in a Thuringian grotto positively links his legend to that of the heroic knight Tannhäuser, which is celebrated in the Wagnerian opera of the same name.  A minnesinger ― the German equivalent of a troubadour ― Tannhäuser was seduced by the goddess Venus and spent seven years indulging his carnal appetites at her court in the Horselloch Cavern of Thuringia.  Returning at last to the World, he vainly sought absolution for his sins from one priest after another, appealing finally to the Pope, who dismissed him with the words:  “You have as much chance of receiving absolution as this dry wooden staff in my hand has of sprouting green leaves!”   Miraculously, the Pontiff’s staff did sprout fresh shoots three days later, but a despairing Tannhäuser had already returned to the pleasures of Venus’ court, where folklore has him remaining “until the end of Time”.

We already know that the sprouting branch is an emblem of a Messianic legacy which is to be falsely claimed by pretenders.  But the Tannhäuser-Barbarossa story takes us one step further into the perversion of this scriptural image by introducing the heretical theme of Life from Death.  While the Old Testament prophets spoke of a King to come out of the living root of Jesse, the German legends allude to a Great Emperor literally revived from the dead, like Nero redivivus.  Interestingly, Nostradamus offers us a variant of this same mythic motif in the following Quatrains:

The tree that had long been dead and withered,

In one night will come to turn green again:

Cronus sick King, stump-footed Prince, ...


The world on the verge of the end-Time,

Saturn will return again late ... [32]


From these stanzas alone, it is incontrovertible that the good Doctor was well “versed” in the symbolic language of the Grail Legend.  His reputation for obscurity notwithstanding, the prophet is quite direct in his references to the Maimed King, whom he rightly associates with Cronus/Saturn ― the archetypal vegetative god of the pagan pantheon.  Insofar as mythos depicts Saturn’s castration of his father Uranus, he personifies the emasculation of the Male principle, as does the Fisher King.  His return at the end of Time darkly forebodes the parousia of the Man of Sin.  The latter, we have said, is the “recapitulation” of all that has “gone out” of the dead Adam.  He is the Shadow comprising all that has been excluded from the Body of Man in the articulation of individual selfhood.  This Shadow, then, is the long-dead, withered branch which is to be revived by the straitened Female principle, in the guise of the lunar goddess of reincarnation.

As we have repeatedly observed in our dissection of the Quatrains, Nostradamus “red flags” certain themes by transposing them to Provençal settings.  An excellent example is the stanza we have reviewed sketching the Roman ruins outside of St. Rémy-de-Provence, where, as a young child, the prophet visited often in the company of his grandfather Jean.  The latter, we recall, had served as court astrologer to King René when Provence was still an independent country.  We can only imagine the arcane knowledge that Jean imparted to his impressionable grandson during those walking tours of the Glanum ruins, but we may assume that the many seeds of later prophecies were planted there.

Salon, Mausol, Tarascon, the arch of SEX,

Where is still standing the pyramid, ...

Redemption shamed in the temple of Artemis.[33]


In Chapter Six, we noted the hexagonal “honey-comb” ceiling of the Roman entry arch at Glanum ― the same “beehive” motif we have now seen to figure so prominently in the reincarnation rituals of pagan god-kings.  The hexagon was a central element in the “sacred geometry” of the Pythagoreans.  They graphically represented pi π by a polygon comprising six chords, each equal in length to the radius of a circle within which is was inscribed.  Another geometric embodiment of π that also played a key part in ancient transmigration rites is the Pharaonic pyramid, whose base circumference is π multiplied by its height.  Within a stone’s throw of the Glanum ruins stands a prehistoric menhir, which the local people call La Pyramide, probably because it rises angularly, as if it were a remnant of the cornerstone of a larger megalith.  Whatever its Neolithic significance might have been, Nostradamus believed ― based perhaps on the teaching of his grandfather ― that La Pyramide marked the site as “consecrated” to Pythagorean initiatory rites of death and rebirth.

Next to the “arch of SEX” at Glanum (which the author has had the pleasure of visiting) stands a cenotaph known as the “Mausoleum” ― hence the reference to Mausol in the first line of our Quatrain.  On the base of the monument are four reliefs depicting mythological stories that fit remarkably well into those which we surveyed in our Grail Quest.  There is the scene of an antediluvian battle between the Atlanteans and the Amazons (the matriarchal ancestors of the Scythians), a scene from the Trojan War, and a rendering of the death of Adonis.  Above these friezes are the statues of two toga-clad young men, with an inscription of dedication by the sons of Caius to their dead father and his brother Lucius, who were grandsons of the Emperor Augustus.  Known as the “Princes of Youth”, Caius and Lucius had been the designated heirs to the Imperial throne, but both died under suspicious circumstances.  Their demise was probably arranged by the Emperor’s wife Livia, who successfully sought to have Tiberias ― her own son by a prior marriage ― become the next Caesar.

As we alluded to earlier, the same sort of murderous treachery was later practiced by Agrippina, the wife of Claudius Caesar, to inject into the royal succession her own son Nero ― spawn of the notorious criminal Gnaeus Domitius Aenobarbus, whose surname means “Bronzebeard”.  Thanks to his mother’s vile handiwork (which he later repaid in kind by having her murdered) Nero was adopted as Claudius’ son and heir apparent, with the same preferred title ―  “Prince of Youth” ― as had once graced the two Augustan scions enshrined in the Mausoleum of Glanum.[34]

If we were to try to translate the Mausoleum’s elaborate imagery into explicit prophecy, therefore, we might say something like this: “The line of >royal blood= destined to culminate in the Great Monarch is a broken one, mongrelized with a base pedigree like that of Nero Bronzebeard.”  Of course, we have run across several Quatrains refer to Antichrist as a “mongrel”,[35] and an alternate rendering of one of these also points us back to the locale of the Glanum ruins near St. Rémy:

From St. Paul-de-Mausole into the grotto of the goat ...

Led captive like a mongrel beast

Through Bigorre led to a town near Tarbes.[36]


The 12th Century monastery of St. Paul-de-Mausole is, as the name suggests, located just outside Glanum up the road from the Mausoleum.  According to local lore, it was founded by holy man named Paul who went on to become bishop of Rheims ― the same bishopric held by St. Rémy at the time he baptized Clovis in 496 AD!  When offered the miter, however, Paul initially demurred in favor of the cloistered life, vowing that only a God-given sign could induce him to change his mind.  No sooner had he spoken these words, but the wooden staff he was holding in his hand burst into luxurious flowers.  Because this scenario is so strikingly similar to the tale of Tannhäuser in the grotto of Venus, we can infer that it likewise allegorizes the mythic reincarnation of the god-king ― an infernal parody of Isaiah’s image of the budding Branch of Jesse.

Therefore, Nostradamus seems to be superimposing the theme of miscegenation of the dynastic Sang real with the idea of the thaumaturgical revival of an extinct lineage ― perhaps the lost race of Cain?  If so, the prophetic message here may be that, at some point in history, the so-called “royal blood” got mixed up ― through some mode of necromancy ― with the accursed spiritual entities of the antediluvian world.  Given that the legendary ruler of Atlantis was King Neptune, we might expect to encounter the Sea-god in allegories depicting this damned miscegenation.  Might we not be touching here upon the real import of the various fish-man abominations, such as Oannes and Dagon, which we have encountered in both pagan mythology and the Centuries?  From the latter, we have:

The great Neptune from the depths of the sea

Of Punic race and Gallic blood mixed.[37]


Another Quatrain depicts Venus impregnated by Neptune and directs our attention to a conjunction involving their respective planets and Mars ― which in fact occurred in December 1997.[38]  Still another stanza links Neptune with the river Arethusa, which we have seen to be a symbol of the “underground stream” of the Merovingian bloodline:

Neptunic fire from the center of the earth ...

Then the river Arethusa will be reddened anew.[39]


Back to our pursuit of Provençal “connections”, we notice that the visionary Doctor juxtaposes allusions to St. Paul-de-Mausole and the city of Tarascon ― not once, but twice.[40]  Taking the trouble to investigate this obvious lead, we discover a charming local tradition which opens up a whole new vista to our inquiry.  Folklore relates that Tarascon ― which the alert reader may recognize as the site of Good King René’s court was, long ago, plagued by a amphibious monster that lurked along the riverbank and attacked passers-by, feasting on their bodies.  After one especially ravenous foray took the lives of eight young victims, the burghers appealed to Saint Martha, who was living in the nearby seaside village of Ratis, now known as Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer.  Martha arrived and sprinkled holy water on the beast, which then became as gentle as a lamb, letting the Saint lead him around on a leash to his own slaughter at the vengeful hands of the townspeople.

In the 15th Century, King René d’Anjou instituted an annual festival ― still observed to this day during the season of Pentecost ― at which eight young men, representing the monster’s victims, wheel around a model of the Tarasque creature.  The original model remains in use and on view at René’s castle, where I saw it myself.  From the model and the various paintings of the beast in the Church of St. Martha across the road from the castle, one can reconstruct the Tarasque genus as part-fish and part-animal.  The paintings show the animal part as having the head of a lion and the paws of a giant bear ― so much like the Beast of Revelation, in fact, that one suspects some artistic liberty taken.  Doubtless truer to the original is the carnival model, which is quite curious in that it has the head of a distinctly hominid species attached to the body of a carapaced six-legged crustacean.[41]

After all of the numerology I have put my reader through, the six limbs of the Tarasque will presumably be ringing all sorts of bells ― and I don’t mean church bells, either.  As for the amphibious body, we think immediately of the Beast which both Daniel and the Evangelist describe as coming up out of the Sea.  Crustaceans are known to be drawn by the full Moon, which symbolizes the goddess of reincarnation at her apogee.  But it is the hominid head of the monster that interests us most.  First of all, the skin of the face is green and scaled, like that of reptile.  Combined with the reptilian skin are a broad, flat nose and a toothed jaw extending across the entire breadth of the creature’s visage ― giving it a distinctly snake-like appearance.  Its serpentine traits notwithstanding, however, the Tarasque countenance is manifestly intelligent in an entirely human sense, with large deep-set eyes and a prominent brow.

Most arresting of all the beast’s lineaments, certainly, are its woolen curly black hair, eyebrows and beard.  Nostradamus obviously had this trademark thatch in mind when he wrote:

The great Neptune from the depths of the sea

Of Punic race and Gallic blood mixed ...


The beard frizzled and black by design,

Will captivate the cruel and haughty race:

The great Chyren will disarm Longinus

All led captive by the banner of Selene.


After the war of the eloquent maimed one...[42]


We are drawing near to the end of this book, and I hope that by now my reader is beginning to appreciate that the Quatrains, while highly allusive, are anything but opaque ― provided one has some acquaintance with the symbolic language that they employ.  In the stanzas above, we readily recognize an emphatic reference to the Satanic pride and cruelty of the antediluvian race, of which the wooly-headed Tarasque is the mythic embodiment.  And our lexicon of archetypal heraldry informs us that the Lance of Longinus is the dynastic talisman of the Fisher Kings, the blazon of the faux-Messianic lineage of the “maimed one”.  Finally, drawing once more upon Greco-Roman mythology, we identify Selene with the Moon, ruler of the briny tides of incarnation.  Selene was also the mother of Dionsysus/Bacchus, horned god of the vine.  The French translation of Selene’s dual realm of “Sea-or-vine” is Mer-ou-vin ― the ostensible etymology of the “Merovingian” moniker.

Based on the verses above, we might also venture the hypothesis that Chyren and the Mer-o’-Vin/Man-o’-Sin are one and the same person.  To positively confirm that theory, we need only follow the “hypertext” link of “black frizzled hair” to the following Quatrain:

The black frizzled hair will restore the Empire’s strength,

Bronzebeard will roast it on a spit.[43]


Ergo the trail that leads us to “Chyren” must lead us to Bronzebeard as well.  Among the very few issues on which virtually all exegetes of the Provençal seer agree is the notion that “Chyren” constitutes an anagram for a man’s name ― an anagram that will bring us, at last, into the homestretch of our Quest.




Before we endeavor to pin down the elusive “Chyren”, we do well to back up a bit and contemplate the route by which the prophet has led us, through his native Provence, to this prodigious name.  Starting, naturally enough, in his own hometown of St. Rémy, Nostradamus ushers us over to Tarascon, lair of the amphibious scourge tamed by St. Martha, who is, in turn, traceable back to the tiny hamlet of Les Stes. Maries-de-la-Mer.  Local tradition holds that St. Martha landed on this remote Provençal shore in the year 45 AD, accompanied by the “three Marys”.  The “three Marys” were Martha’s sister Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacobé, mother of James the younger, and Mary Salomé, mother of John the Evangelist and James the elder.  As the folklore has it, Martha and the three Saints Mary were forced to flee the Holy Land in a small boat, sans sail, oar, rudder, or food ― but with the Lord’s protection, thanks to which they made port near Marseilles.  Most versions of the story add Martha’s brother Lazarus, who Christ had raised from the dead, and Joseph of Arimathea, in whose tomb Jesus’ body was laid ― along with a twelve-year-old mystery girl named Sara ― to the boatload of holy exiles who disembarked at Les Stes. Maries-de-la-Mer.

Since the Grail Legend attests that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Sangraal with him from the Holy Land to France, we interpret this to mean that the Sang real “royal blood” of the contra-Apostolic succession somehow derives from this fabled contingent of Jewish refugees.  Indeed, we can not help but infer that the three sainted Marys of Provence are the designated fountainhead of this accursed bloodline.  But how can this be?  All three women were beloved companions of Christ who had followed and served him since the beginning of his ministry in Galilee.  At the hour of Jesus’ Passion, when virtually all of his male disciples were hiding in fear for their own lives, the three Marys courageously stood by him at Golgotha, as recorded in the gospel of St. Mark.[44]  And Mark’s gospel also bears witness to the singular honor conferred upon the three Marys as the first to whom his Resurrection was made known.[45]

The fact that the three Marys are particularly associated with the gospel of St. Mark warrants some further scrutiny.  Scholars generally agree that Mark’s is the oldest of the four gospels, and that two of the other three are at least partial derivatives of it.  There is also discomforting evidence that Mark’s original text was edited, with the deletion of a certain passage in Chapter 10 describing the raising of Lazarus from the dead,[46] and the appendage at the end of the gospel of twelve verses, which deal with appearances of the risen Christ and his Ascension.  From the Second Century onward, Gnostic and Arian heretics of assorted stripes have seized upon these textual discrepancies to insinuate that Jesus did not actually resurrect Lazarus ― or did so only in a ceremonial, not literal, sense.  The same strain of heretical speculation casts Christ’s Resurrection as pure metaphor ― or, worse still, a fraud.  Once again, we descry herein the battle lines that have been forming for the past two thousand years:  On one side, the Resurrection to Life Eternal, on the other, the endless reincarnation to Death in a World without end.

It is noteworthy that both of these gospel abridgments (sorry exemplars of how the Church’s heavy-handedness only fuels heresy) relate specifically to the three Marys and their shipmates on the storied voyage to Provence ― Martha and Lazarus.  In the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the full scope of Jesus’ mission is at last revealed.  It was the faith of the dead man’s sisters, Martha and Mary Magdalene, which brought this definitive miracle to fruition:

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.  Believeth thou this?

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord ...[47]


Perhaps because this passage is so familiar, the full depth of its meaning is seldom fathomed:  Our Savior ascends into Eternal Reality from out of the Cup of the Female principle, upon which has descended the Holy Spirit.  He is truly, as St. Gregory envisioned him, “a man encompassed by a woman”.[48]  This is the sublime purport of the Grail that heresy strives relentlessly to pervert and obscure.  Hence, the sisters of Lazarus stand for the archetypal Sister-Bride, in whom is preserved the collective Life of humanity.  Their brother, the lapsed Male principle, lies “four days dead” ― corresponding to Mani’s four “Great Months@ of which we spoke earlier.  In the affirmation of the Sister-Bride ― in the “Yea, Lord” spoken by Martha at Bethany ― is realized the Redemption of fallen Man.  It is the opening of the feminine gate through which the Infinite form of the new Adam may emerge upon the plane of manifestation.

But there are those, unwittingly inspired by the Shadow of the dead Adam, who would prefer their Messiah to appear as a temporal king.  And appear he will.  His coming is foreshadowed in the very next passage of Mark’s gospel following the excised tale of Lazarus.  There we read of the “sons of Zebedee” ― that is, the sons of Mary Salomé ― demanding that Christ promise to appoint them his chief ministers when he assumes the throne of Israel.  Jesus’ stinging rebuke to Mary’s sons should ring in the ears of the “Christian” hypocrites of our times who seek to wrap themselves in his garments as they pursue political power:

You know that among the gentiles those they call their rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt.  Among you this is not to happen.  No, anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all.  For the Son of Man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.[49]


To the Arians of the past and the neo-Arians of today, the three Marys provide the slender reed upon which they seek to sustain an absolute inversion of Christ’s message.  Consequently, it matters very little whether the apocryphal tales of their exile in Provence with Martha and Lazarus have any basis in historical fact.  We are dealing here with a Life-and-Death struggle ― the most momentous in the annals of our species ― over the integrity of the Eternal images enshrined in our Collective Unconscious.  This is not a contest which we can or should allow the “scholars” to decide.  What Arianism seeks to do is to recast the significance of these sacred archetypes so that Jesus becomes simply another mortal recapitulation of the old Adam, another in the line of sacred kings whose ritually-enacted deaths and reincarnations mimic the biological cycles of the natural world.  Under this dispensation, the Messiah is reduced to an avatar of Adonis-Attis-Tammuz ― the sacrificial consort of the insatiable lunar goddess, who represents the traumatized Female principle.

The lunar nature of this goddess ― whether she be called Venus, Cybele, Ishtar, or Astarte ― is reflected in her mythic Triad, connoting the three phases of the Moon.  Thus the “three Marys of Provence” are nothing more than a reworking of this pagan archetype under a thin scriptural veneer.  With the addition of Martha and the mysterious child Sara, moreover, the Triad unfolds into the Pentacle, which we now know embodies the Pythagorean principles of reincarnation.  As a matter of fact, the whole story of their sail-less, rudder-less boat trip from the Holy Land simply recasts the archetypal pagan tale of the exiled Female principle.  Several variants of this story appear in the Greek myths, each depicting an aging king who is told by an oracle that his unborn grandson will depose him.  In one version, the king attempts to avert this possibility by dedicating his only daughter, the maiden Auge, to Athena as a temple virgin.  But when she is raped by Hercules, the king casts his daughter and her child adrift, without mast or oars, in a small boat in which they nevertheless manage to cross the Aegean Sea safely.

Symbolically, therefore, Auge is the feminine Unconscious from which the insular Will has severed itself in its fatuous effort to attain temporal immortality.  In the mythic context, the effective denial of motive faculties to the Female psyche is metaphorically depicted in the castaways’ lack of sails and tillers.  Their lack of food bespeaks the blockage of the “inward moving” process of experiential enfoldment that nourishes the Eternal forms.  Without such nourishment, as we have discussed, the sacred images which infuse our perceptions with their numinosity begin to wither ― the radiant Bride becomes a hideous Crone.  On the collective level, of course, this Bride is the people of God, the Church, and so it makes sense that Nostradamus links Her fate with that of the mythical Auge:

Auge and ruin of the people of the Church

And more those who will wish to hear nothing from them.[50]


In the very next Quatrain, we find another reference to Auge, this time in connection with Saturn’s transit of the Pond in Aquarius ― which, we have learned, augurs the “shipwreck” of St. Peter’s bark:

The Scythe conjunct with the pond toward Sagittarius,

In its high-point AUGE of exaltation ...[51]


Saturn’s astrological glyph, the Scythe reminds us of the sickle wielded by the god to castrate his father Uranus.  This motif is identical to that of the archetypal pagan Green Man annually deposed by his successor.  Representing the emasculated Male principle, the Green Man is the consort of the exiled and traumatized Female principle, whose mythic counterparts include Auge and Venus ― as well as the “three Marys of Provence”.  And so it is quite logical that, in the second verse quoted above, Nostradamus associates Auge with Libra ― the Zodiac sign of Saturn’s exaltation, which is ruled by Venus.

Before proceeding any further, let’s consider the mystery of the fifth female member of the Provençal castaways ― the twelve-year-old girl Sara.  Since Christ died in the year 33 AD and the exiles are said to have disembarked near Marseilles in 45 AD, the girl’s age strongly implies that she is Jesus’ posthumous daughter.  At least one modern-day proponent of Arianism has argued that she was actually his child by Mary Magdalene.[52]  Again I must remind the reader that it matters not a whit whether any of these fables have a basis in “historical fact”, because the only battle that counts is unfolding on the higher plane of spiritual Truth, which transcends the “facts” of the manifest World.  Human experience has repeatedly warned us that literalism is a one-way road to disillusionment and apostasy.  That being said, let us focus on the real pith of these stories, which is their allegorical content.

As was the case in our investigation of the Tarasque monster, we are aided by the remarkable persistence of archaic folk customs in Provence.  During a visit to that enchanted land, I witnessed one of the annual processions in Les Stes. Maries-de-la-Mer.  It featured icons of the three Marys in their boat and a solitary icon of “Sara Kali” ― which means “Sarah the Dark” in the local Gypsy dialect.  The Hebrew name Sarah derives from a Semitic Sea-goddess of the Venus/Aphrodite type.[53]  The Biblical Sarah, wife of Abraham, was, for a time, the concubine of Egypt’s Pharaoh.[54]  This might help explain why the French Gitans, or Gypsies, regard Sara Kali as an Egyptian and have adopted the swarthy girl as their patron saint.  Moreover, since the Gypsies are of Indian provenance, Kali may also connote the title of the Hindu goddess-consort of Shiva, who personifies Time as “the Destroyer” ― like the Greco-Roman Cronus/Saturn.  A frightful goddess of Death, Kali is depicted in the Hindu icons wearing a garland of skulls while standing astride the corpse of her spouse.  This image bears a striking similarity to the deformed Male and Female archetypes we have been investigating.

Getting back to the procession, it began with the “blessing of the waters”, during which the icon of Sara was lowered into the surf ― thus tending to confirm her pre-Christian origin as a Sea-goddess.  The priest performing the “blessing of the waters” held aloft the gnarled root of a grapevine shaped like an X and decorated with red ribbon.  This particular detail intrigued me for several reasons, one of which is the obvious allusion to the “vine” of the Messianic bloodline.  But there is also the historical use of the X as an initiatory symbol of dualistic sects ― often applied to the forehead in a manner suggesting the “mark of the Beast”.[55]  Attuned as we now (hopefully) are to the syntax of symbolic language, we can again discern, in the procession’s joinder of the Sea and the vine, the hidden formula “Mer-o’-vin”.

As the procession winded through the narrow streets of the village to the church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer, the white sail-cloth with which the statues of Mary Salomé and Mary Jacobé were caped billowed out in the wind, as did the gauzy white veils that enshrouded the figure of Sara Kali.  These garments refer to lore surrounding the landing of the saints’ boat, which is said to have gotten grounded on a sandbar several yards from the beach.  Seeing that the three Marys feared to step into the waves, Sara extended her veils upon the waters, and the holy women walked upon them to the shore.

With his characteristic delight in double entendre, Michel de Nostredame doesn’t miss the chance to deploy the dual meaning of the French voile ― “sail” and “veil” ― in his references to Sara Kali.  In the very series of Quatrains about Auge that we have just been reviewing, he unmistakably speaks to the legendary beaching of the saints’ skiff:

The port of Marseille covered with veils/sails [56]

He follows this in the next Quatrain with a reference to …

The Trojan blood vexed by the Spaniards

as the Jewish settlers in Languedoc often were by Moorish invasions, until the Moslems were defeated at by Charles “the Hammer” at Poitiers in 732 AD.  The same thread continues in Century IV:

The infirm prince vexed ...

... by sea unbounded veils/sails [57]


Recognizing the “infirm prince” as our friend the Maimed King, we sense we are getting close to our quarry, and we forge ahead to the stanza that follows:

Cross, peace, divine word under the control of an adept …

We have traced the nexus between dualistic heresy and the Egyptian-Pythagorean rites of magical invocation, through which “words of power” can be used to direct physical forces.  But what are we to make of “Cross, peace”?  As we have seen, it often helps to translate the prophet’s words into images before interpreting them.  In this instance, if we visualize the consonants of the French or Latin word for “peace” ― PX ― then superimpose them, we get the labarum “cross”.  The labarum appeared in the sky to Constantine the Great before the battle which made him master of Rome in 312 AD.  The Emperor adopted it as his battle standard, with the motto, “In hoc signo vinces” ― “In this sign you will conquer”.  We notice that the “cross” portion of this symbol is actually the dualistic X, which strangely reflects Constantine’s dalliance with Arianism in the waning years of his reign and his son/successor’s outright endorsement of the heresy.

When Constantine’s celestial cross is rendered in Greek, it is comprised of the letters rho ρ and chi χ , from which evolved the “Rosy Cross” ― the emblem of the Gnostic Rosicrucian Order.  Indeed, the name of the Order’s legendary founder, Christian Rosenkreutz, reproduces these same initials Chi Rho, while the surname Rosenkreutz translates as “Rose-cross” in German.  Moreover, since the X of this logo is superimposed over the Greek equivalent of R ― the first letter of “Rome” ― it encodes the Rosicrucian aim to “cross out” the Church of Rome.  After going public with its doctrines early in the 17th Century, the Order merged into the “Scottish rite” or “speculative” branch of Freemasonry, whose bizarre mysteries revolve around the ritual murder of Hiram Abiff ― the Phoenician architect of Solomon’s Temple.  Interestingly, the name Abiff is derived from the French à biffer, which means “crossing out”.[58]

Hence, Nostradamus’ enigmatic “Cross, peace” is a byword of the contra-Apostolic succession ... and of its ultimate Monarch, whose codename Chy-ren is composed of the same Greek letters Chi-rho.  As we have observed, Chyren also contains an anagram for Henry, which in the French Henri is a homophone of INRI, with its connotations of temporal Messianic kingship.  Ironically, this same “code” appears in the familiar Cross of Lorraine ― symbol of the French Resistance during the Second World War ― whose short upper horizontal bar actually represents the inscription that the Romans had posted above Christ’s head.  In view of the Cross’ ancient symbolic and modern genetic associations with conception, the double cross would also seem to denote a double conception.  According to the Kabbalah, the birth of Cain resulted from such a double conception, with both Adam and the Serpent fathering the child on Eve.  Perhaps my reader will recall the Quatrain in which Antichrist is also cast as the offspring of a dual impregnation:

Of the Gorgon blood conceiving again on the pregnant one[59]

This theme completes the circle of our Quest by bringing us back to our stepping-off point ― the Frankish king Clovis.  Legend attests that his grandfather Meroveus was “conceived twice”, with one of his sires being described as the “Beast of the Sea”, Bistea Neptunis!   And, when we survey the heraldic devices of the Merovingian dynasty engendered by this double conception, we are not surprised to find the very emblems we have come to identify with the cult of the reincarnated Green Man:  the fleur-de-lys, the bee, and the bear.  Therefore, we are drawn to the conclusion that the Great Monarch who will lead his seven-Nation European empire into the Final War will be a descendant of Clovis.  In this we merely echo the famous prediction made by Clovis’ baptist St. Remy some 1500 years ago, when he foretold that “at the end of Time” one of the king’s descendants would reign over a realm matching that of Rome at the pinnacle of its power.[60]

Although we cannot know if Nostradamus was familiar with St. Remy’s vaticination, we may assume he knew of the prophecy of his contemporary Jean Vatiguerro.  Vatiguerro wrote of an exiled “chosen one” ― the “King of Blois” ― who would one day return to reclaim the throne of his ancestors.[61]  As if for emphasis, the Provençal prophet repeats the following line twice in the Centuries:

The King of Blois to reign in Avignon[62]

In a later Quatrain, he unequivocally equates this King with the monarch Chyren:

The great CHYREN will seize Avignon,

From Rome letters in honey full of bitterness[63]


Notably, Vatiguerro’s prophecy also speaks of a Pope “steeped in bitterness” who will owe his tiara to the King of Blois.  Perhaps in this “bitterness” we see the tragic family background of Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, who will emerge from the coming Vatican schism as the favored papal candidate of Chyren.  In one sense, Nostradamus’ references to Avignon focus on the city’s historical background as the seat of a French-dominated schismatic pontificate.  But in another respect, Avignon invokes a singular episode which happened during Clovis’ siege of the city in 500 AD.  Stricken by a malady of the kidneys, the Frankish potentate knelt before the tomb of St. Martha in Tarascon and was ― so the story goes ― miraculously healed.

 My purpose in relating this anecdote is not to launch into a discourse on the pathology of kidneys, of all things.  Our own cultural prejudices, which we presume to equate with rationalism, make it very difficult for us to think of the organs of the Body with anything but a rather squeamish sense of their physiological attributes.  Our feelings of aversion to our own internal makeup are, of course, but another symptom of our radically dissociated Consciousness, which conceives of the Body as something apart from itself.  But this fractured perspective was not shared by our pre-industrial progenitors, who readily recognized multiple centers of Consciousness within the Body.

Perhaps the most important of these centers was to be found in the “reins”, which are, in the purely physiological sense, the kidneys.  The physiological workings of these organs were of less interest to the archaic mind, however, than was their cosmic significance.  “Cosmic significance?”, the modernist will ask derisively, with arrogant assurance in the validity of his/her world-view.  That world-view begins with a denial of exceptionalism of Man in the scheme of Creation, and ends with a denial that Creation has any scheme to it at all.  Yet it is in Man that Creation reveals, for the first time, its limitless Interior ― an Interior which has become aware of Itself and thus reflects within Itself the image of the Creator.  Therefore, all that is Real in the universe becomes so only to the degree that it is assimilated by an organ of the divine Body of Man.

On the most rudimentary level, Life begins with the simple mitosis of the single cell ― the divergent process of self-replication.  One of the polarities of the Grail archetype is found to be rooted in this aspect of Life.  As for the other, the sublime polarity of the Grail, it points like an gilded arrow toward a point of convergence ― what Teilhard called the “Omega Point” ―  at which Life at last achieves the apotheosis of coition:  the intra-centric union of beings in One Being.  Such ecstatic union, which we call Love, can be realized between beings only by the merger of that which is deepest within themselves.  And that most profound Center of each one of us corresponds, in our mystical Body, to the “reins”.  This is our “heart of hearts”, the “loins” of our most spiritual sexuality.  Corresponding to the Kabbalah=s Yesod, it is the organ of the divine Body through which is consummated the union of the Son of Man and His Bride.  It is here that we, the people of God, are to be intimately joined ― Center to Center ― with our Eternal Bridegroom.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:  if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and they right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

For thou has possessed my reins:  thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.[64]





Have we completed our Quest of the Grail?  No indeed, we have but taken one small, very tentative, faltering step!  The shroud of our collective Cloud of Unknowing has barely begun to dispel; we have only glimpsed a tiny corner of the vast vault of the Heavens through a crevice, as it were, in the wall of our cave.  Yet already we behold, opening up before us, a vista startlingly familiar, while, at the same time, novel beyond any comparison.  It is a universe that has passed before our eyes since we first came into Being ― but we have hardly perceived It:  Now or then a fleeting glimpse, perhaps, out of the corner of the Eye/I.  Possibly, we see It only at the periphery of our World because we have positioned our Center in the wrong place, rendering peripheral what should be central.

As I write these last lines of this treatise, I recall having watched the progress of Comet Hale-Bopp through the predawn and evening skies.  It presented an apparition one could not see without regarding it as a prodigy.  Its enormous tail appeared twisted into the shape of a great sickle.

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,  Thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time has come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.[65]


The Harvest of the Earth is ripe. But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth?  For He is like a refiner=s fire.[66]

The last time Comet Typhon passed our World, it led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt.  It has reappeared in our Time as a sign of the Harvest, and we ― the people of God ― are called upon to follow it, as our spiritual ancestors followed its pillar of cloud and fire by day and night through the deserts of Sinai.

The Year of Jubilee lies before us, but something is expected of us before we sit down at the great table of the banquet that will never end.  As Jesus asked of Martha and Mary at Bethany, so he demands of us now: “Believest thou this?”  And we ― and as many as we can draw with us by our unabashed example ― are called upon to answer him: “Yea, Lord!”

It is my hope that this journey of Self-discovery in which my reader has accompanied me may, in some small measure perhaps, fortify us in our resolve to be among the great chorus of voices proclaiming the New Jerusalem, among the great assembly of souls who will one Day stand together as the foundation of that Celestial City.  And if, by chance, you and I find ourselves side-by-side on that Day, perhaps we will exchange a look of recognition for this small pilgrimage which we have shared together.  With that cherished dream in my heart, I embrace you, my reader, and bid you, for the Time being, à Dieu.





Chapter Seven:  In Quest of the Grail

[1]. L. Gardner, Bloodline of the Holy Grail, Element, 1996, Appendix V.

[2]. Genesis 28:11-22 and 31:45-53

[3]. Dante, Inferno, xxxii.

[4]. Ovid, The Metamorphoses, xiii.

[5]. Ovid, op. cit., v.

[6]. S. Roux, L’Affaire de Rennes-le-Château, Levallois-Perret, 1966 (reprinted in Les mystères de Rennes-le-Châtea, Pierre Jarnac, ed., C.E.R.T. Couiza (Aude) 1994.

[7]. Isaiah 11:1

[8]. Jeremiah 23:5

[9]. Matthew 13:55-56;  Mark 6:3

[10]. 1Kings 5:18

[11]. 1 Kings 7:13-14

[12]. Matthew 1:5-6

[13]. Zechariah 6:12-13

[14]. Job 38:31-32

[15]. Zechariah 3:8-10

[16]. The progressive attenuation of Time in the modern era evidences itself almost comically in the way our Science continuously revises its estimates of the duration of the Past.  Over the Ages, human civilizations far more sophisticated than our own have consistently viewed the time-line of Creation in terms of millennia.  Our learned men, in a matter of mere decades, have seen the horizons of geological and cosmic time receding ― first into millions, then into hundreds of millions, and now in tens of billions of years, with no end yet in sight!  In the process, they have blithely ignored Einstein’s definitive refutation of the Cartesian concept of an absolute Space/Time “grid” within that the universe was thought to exist.

[17]. Chapter Six, “The Glory of the Olive Tree”, fn. 418

[18]. Bohm and Hiley, The Undivided Universe, Routledge, London, 1993, p.357;  Thomas J. Germinario, “The Quantum Metaphysics of David Bohm”, Ch. 10 in Mind in Time: The Dynamics of Thought, Reality and Consciousness, Combs, Germine, Goertzel, ed. (Hampton Press 2004).

[19]. Romans 6:6

[20]. Revelation 13:14-15 (New Jerusalem Bible)

[21]. Chapter Five, “Moloch!” fn.346

[22]. Mani, Kephalaia, quoted in C.G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, p. 395 (Princeton Univ. 1970)

[23]. SeeAppendix 1

[24].  See  Appendix 2


[25].  Paradise Lost X:327-329; see Chapter Five “Moloch”, fn. 316


[26].  Chapter Four, “The Bones of the Triumvir”, fn. 260


[27]. C Knorr von Rosenroth, Kabbala Denudata, quoted in Jung, op. cit. p.415

[28]. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, quoted in McGinn, op. cit. p59.

[29]. Matthew 21:19

[30]. R. Graves, The White Goddess, Noonday 1966, pp.75-76.

[31]. Id. p.58.

[32]. C3Q91-92

[33]. C4Q27

[34]. Tacitus, op. cit., p.270.

[35]. See,Chapter Five, “Moloch”, fn.356

[36]. C10Q29

[37]. C2Q78

[38]. C4Q33.  The next conjunction of Venus, Mars and Neptune will be in June 2041.

[39]. C1Q87

[40]. C4Q27 and C8Q46

[41]. My reader may be interested to know that I actually saw the Tarasque monster in a dream several years before I saw him in Provence.  At the time of my dream, I could only describe this creature as a crustacean with the face of an anthropoid snake.  In the dream, my son Jesse (then a 5-year old) and I were in a city with architecture totally unlike anything that exists in the World today.  We stopped in a square where stood a statue of a one of the crustacean beings, beneath that was an inscription in a sort of cuneiform lettering that I somehow read to say, “Samsara”.  Samsara-Nirvana is a Hindu antithesis that corresponds to the two Cities of St. Augustine’s theology, i.e. the City of the World and the City of God.

[42]. C2Q78-80

[43]. C1Q74

[44]. Mark 15:40

[45]. Mark 16:1-8

[46]. The excised passage, originally located between Mark 10:34 and 35, states that “a great cry was heard from the tomb” before Jesus rolled away the stone.  This supplies the grist for heretical speculation that Lazarus was not dead within the tomb, contrary to what is attested in John 11.  See, W. Barnstone, ed, The Other Bible, HarperCollins, 1984, pp.339-342.

[47]. John 11:25-27

[48]. St. Gregory, In I Regnum expos, quoted in Jung, op. cit., p.377.

[49]. Mark 10:35-45 (New Jerusalem Bible)

[50]. C1Q15.  This is an alternate reading of the last two verses of the Quatrain quoted in Chapter One, “The Fall of the Papacy”, fn. 65.

[51]. C1Q16.  This is also an alternate rendering of lines quoted in “The Fall of the Papacy”, fn.68.

[52]. M. Starbird, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Bear & Co., 1993.

[53]. Graves, op. cit., p.161.

[54]. Genesis 12:10-20

[55]. Starbird, op. cit., p.56.

[56]. C1Q18

[57]. C4Q4

[58].  In Moslem folklore, Hiram Abiff is considered to be a descendent of Tubal-Cain.  His casting of the Temple’s famous Sea of Bronze was said to be accomplished with the infernal aid of his ancestor, who vowed that, through Hiram’s lineage would come a great monarch who would restore the glory of his lost race.  According to this story, the murder of Hiram was ordered by Solomon, who was envious because the Queen of Sheba preferred the builder to him.  Initiates into the “speculative” orders of Freemasonry to this day take an oath to avenge Hiram’s death on his killers, little suspecting that they are swearing revenge against the lineage of Christ! 

[59]. C8Q79, previously quoted in Chapter Five, “Moloch” fn.350

[60]. G. de Sède, Rennes-le-Château, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1988, p.120.

[61]. Id.

[62]. C8Q38 and C8Q52

[63]. C9Q41

[64]. Psalms 130:7-13

[65]. Revelation 14:14-15

[66]. Malachi 3:2