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Acknowledgments Introduction: The Perennial Grail 1 Seeking the Cauldron The Cauldron of Creation--VisionJourney I 2 The Cup and the Branch The Tree of Stars--VisionJourney II Harmonizing Earth and Sky--Exercise 3 Swords of Light and Darkness Working with the Three Swords--Exercise The Sleepers in the Cave--VisionJourney III 4 Women of the Grail Working with the Three Vessels--Exercise Within the Hill of the Hag--VisionJourney IV 5 Trials and Initiations The Four Hallows--Exercise The Teachers of the Grail--Exercise An Initiation of the Grail--VisionJourney V 6 The Grail Comes to Glastonbury The Lady Chapel--VisionJourney VI 7 The Alchemical Grail The Hall in the Orchard--VisionJourney VII 8 Dion Fortune and the Church of the Graal The Watcher on the Tor--VisionJourney VIII 9 The Strange Story of the Blue Bowl Brighid's Flame--VisionJourney IX 10 The Grail of the Heart The Inner Silence--Meditation Connecting with the Higher Self--Exercise Dedication to the Grail Mysteries--Rite The Hexagram--Meditation Drawing Down the Light in the Grail--Rite A Group Healing Ceremony of the Chalice--Ritual Appendix: Pronunciation Guide to Celtic Words and Names Notes Bibliography Index
Mara Freeman has studied British and Celtic sacred traditions and mythology for more than 40 years. She has given workshops and lectures and presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and the U.K. since the 1990s. Initiated in the Western Mystery tradition, she is the founder and director of the Avalon Mystery School. She lives in West Wales.
"This excellent book covers a vast expanse of ground, both in time and space, and gathers together a great deal of lore and information about the ever mysterious Grail. Written with serious intent it makes a fine companion for a personal quest." John Matthews, author of The Grail: A Secret History I have read Mara Freeman's Grail Alchemy with much interest and am very impressed by her combination of scholarly research, easy style, and practical esoteric insights and instruction. She provides a very comprehensive coverage of the legends of the Holy Grail from ancient Celtic mythology, through medieval Arthurian literature, to 20th century involvement of occultists such as Dion Fortune and Wellesley Tudor Pole at Glastonbury. The practical vision/journeys included, along with supporting exercises and some relevant ritual work, seem valid, useful and eminently supportive of the theoretical text. Gareth Knight, author of The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend and Magic and the Power of the God "Mara Freeman creates a unique kind of magic, based on her knowledge of the modern esoteric tradition and instinctual understanding of human nature." Ronald Hutton, professor of history, Bristol University, author of Pagan Britain and The Triumph of "Grail Alchemy encourages the reader to take up the quest in search of this most enigmatic symbol of spiritual healing and integration. Mara's richly detailed text documenting the Grail's mythic and cultural history is harmoniously balanced with a series of beautiful and powerful meditations and rituals that enable the seeker to open to the Grail's deeper Mysteries. Mara marries these elements with depth and wisdom, offering an experience of the Grail as a living, transformative presence at the heart of Self and Creation. A wonderfully inspiring book." Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and author of DruidCraft, Druid My "A fascinating wellspring of lore, stories, and legends of the Celtic mystery tradition with wonderfully inspiring Vision Journey meditations following each chapter. From cauldrons, cups, swords, and gods/goddesses to Glastonbury and its legacy of Dion Fortune, and more, Grail Alchemy is a Celtic literary temenos of our time, a sacred space to further explore one's own inner journey and transformation. Highly recommended." Karen Ralls, Ph.D., medieval historian, Oxford University, author of The Templars and the Grail and "Mara Freeman has written a beautiful and comprehensive book, drawing on many years of study, reflection, and spiritual practice. She turns this jewel,examining its many facets, from ancient origins to Christianized myth to 20th century. Carefully constructed meditations and rituals provide the reader an opportunity to contact and be nourished by the inner reality of the Grail and, in turn, to share that grace with others. All who seek the Grail will find herein helpful direction for the quest." John Plummer, Ph.D., author of Living Mysteries and The Many Paths of the Independent Sacramental Mo "Wisewoman and scholar Mara Freeman is a most skilled and intuitive guide to the Celtic Grail mysteries. Her comprehensive course of study offers the reader a valuable overview of the tradition's folklore and literature. More importantly, though, Freeman opens experiential portals to the deep and often veiled teachings embedded in the millennia-old bardic tales." Siobhan Houston, Ed.D., author of Invoking Mary Magdalene and coauthor of Gnostic Healing "Mara Freeman's Grail Alchemy is a fascinating and well-researched book that weaves the many threads of both the historical and spiritual aspects of the Grail legends into a harmonious whole. It's a "must have" for anyone interested in the history, lore, and spirituality of the Holy Grail." Margie McArthur, author of Wisdom of the Elements and Faery Healing "In Grail Alchemy, Mara Freeman brilliantly weaves together a wealth of accessible scholarship, thoughtful commentary, and great stories and includes meditations and exercises to give the reader a personal experience of the Great Mystery of the Sacred Feminine. This is a remarkable book, beautifully and elegantly conceived and written." Lara Owen, author of Her Blood Is Gold and Growing Your Inner Light "Mara Freeman's sure and steady hand will guide the reader through the mysteries of the Grail to the understanding that the Grail is the soul itself--held open to receive the purified, inspired, and golden state of Divine consciousness." Nicholas R. Mann, author of The Isle "In this remarkable book, Mara Freeman leaves no stone unturned in her thorough and readable investigation of the often veiled historic Grail lore of the West, disclosing its perennial yearning for the restoration of the Divine Feminine. There is a timely call too, to embrace the Grail as a corrective to our current aggressive attitudes and plundering of the planet's natural resources." Patrick Benham, author of The Avalonians "...In a tight, minimalist package, Celtic scholar Mara Freeman presents an amalgam of folk legend, history, psychology and contemporary mysticism. Freeman succeeds neatly and beautifully, succinctly summarizing central topics of pre-Arthurian and medieval legend in a chapter, where scholars elsewhere expend volumes." Whole Life Times, Mac Graham, December 2014