Holy Grail

 

Occasionally, while walking with Ffraed in Her holy places, as She fluently weaves Her  astonishing tapestries, She speaks to me in whispers just above the serenity of Her song. Half-heard words that I try my best to remember…

I rely on my feelings… this has happened in particular at St. Dogmael’s Abbey, St. David’s, the Old Court and St. Non’s, to name a few. She intimates to me (or does She?) that She… IS the Holy Grail…This feels right!…

but…maybe what She says is She is the Divine essence. That which emanates from, and back again, into this mystical Chalice shining forth from the realms beyond the veil, gracing loyalty and devotion.

In this material world, and as far as Y Ddraig Ffraed’s earthly presence can be pictured, the Holy Chalice is represented, physically’ today, by Bae Sant Ffraed, Saint Bride’s Bay.

 

Bae Sant Ffraed – St Bride’s Bay – the Holy Chalice

This is an incredible  painting of Bae Sant Ffraed by Pembrokeshire’s
visionary artist, Angela George. I’m not sure when she painted it but it was years before I arrived there with Ffraed.

“Bay of Bridgit” by Pembrokeshire’s visionary artist, Angela George & my mud-map of THE SACRED CHALICE of SAINT BRIDE’S BAY with Y Ddraig Ffraed’s journey between St. Non’s and the cliffs above St. Bride’s Haven.

 

Sacred Patterns

Y Ddraig Ffraed’s artistic weaving is sublime beyond telling. She has woven beautifully ornate crosses, swords… Christ on the cross, flowers, foliage, spirals, mazes, triskeles…She’s painted chalices…

…intricate gold, silver, crystal chalices of such grace and elegance that my rapt and lighted footsteps become, as I walk Her, sprinkled with the tears of my melting heart.

 

The afternoon and evening of 29th September 2022, the Feast Day of St. Michael and All Angels.

I’m at the computer sorting out photographs to include in a video I am making for this subscribers blog (of my talk at Whitland Abbey Open Doors Event)*. There are many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of  photos to check out. A great deal of them I’ve never looked at – just downloaded them and filed for looking at later.

Among these I quickly came across photos I’d taken this year, on the Spring Equinox (20th March) when I’d visited the Sanctuary and its environs, to see how Ffraed’s doing.

* The Sanctuary:

This is the location where a friend and I witnessed, from afar, an otherworldly baptism of a baby and where I was, a few weeks later, initiated into this assignment in a similar ceremony. When my friend and I watched the baby baptised, the surroundings were ‘this world’ – rocks and boulders, greenery and sky. When I was taken there, the same location became like a classical temple.

It is, as well, the same place that a dew-painted star and crescent greeted me on the summer solstice first dawn, 9 weeks later.

In one of the photographs, taken in a cave a stone’s throw from the Sanctuary, and a few yards off Ffraed’s central flow, I inadvertently took an astonishing picture: Of a tiny chalice seeming to be in mid-air and looking for all the world (to me) like it is outside the limited dimensions of a photograph – like 3D on 2D …and something seems to be hanging on, or in, the side of it, or emanating from it. What is it?

Well, it brought to my mind the story of St. John and the chalice and serpent (frequently a dragon) – a story that has many contradictory explanations. In other words nobody really knows what it is about.

“Be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves” – Matthew 10:16

 

On this site are some pictures of St. John and the chalice, with dragons and serpents. The writer goes with the poisoned chalice suggestion.

I sent the photograph to my friend, the film maker, Chris Turner, to ask whether it could be a camera artifact. (I didn’t think it was but I highly value his professional skills.)

Chris responded:

“now that is interesting, I’ve never seen a camera artefact like that. Moreover, you can actually see the chalice base, stem and then unusual top piece. Very odd indeed mate.”

Thanks Chris.

***

This morning, 10th October, I woke up with the title lyric  of Hunters & Collectors brilliant song, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”, in my head. I get lots of messages and inspirations this way, so I went to Youtube and looked for it.

 

This in itself is AMAZINGLY! apt…but, I quickly realised there was even more to it, when I looked below the song list on YT. All lights and sirens flashing at me, another major song of theirs:

 

I listened to, and watched both videos and soon after I found my friend, Mick S., an artist, writer, and frequent companion on Ffraed, who I’d sent the photo of the chalice too as well, had replied with a good suggestion. It could be similar to the Bowl of Hygieia, he wrote. Hygieia is the Greek goddess of health, and the daughter of Asclepius, their god of healing.

I am inspired by the Greek reference but I notice the bowl has the serpent’s body coiled around the stem. There is no tail around the stems in any of the portraits I’ve seen of St. John with the cup.

My photograph, unfortunately doesn’t have enough pixels to clarify most of the details of the tiny chalice, but evidently there is something more to it than is portrayed in any pictures of St. John’s chalice that I have seen. It is unclear whether there is a tail around the chalice’ stem.

 

For me things become a little clearer when the chalice is upright. There’s a resemblance to a white dragon with horns and a wing, seeming to be holding/offering a white heart. Wisdom (Ddraig) and love (heart)?…but, as I said, it is too unclear to be certain. There’s a resemblance to a human face too. Who know?…but it’s intriguing.

I do like the classical Greek suggestions considering how the Sanctuary, during the initiation ceremony is reminiscent of a temple…and I wonder where the inspiration for their temple designs came from. Some say a lost culture from a previous world, a world to the side of this one.

The Sanctuary – a temple in an Other world.

You might recall, how back during the same days as the mysterious ceremony I had inadvertently taken a photograph of the otherworldly islands out in the bay. Again, not realising for a long time later – In this case 2 years later (I seem to recall) when I discovered that I had photographed them. Click on the photo above to read ‘Called to Cares’. The photo of the islands is in the article.

Ellis
12th October 2022

 

Notes:

Bowl of Hygieia Greek Goddess of Health Symbol of Pharmacy Cup Chalice Snake

Symbolism: St. John’s chalice and snake

 

Feature Image:

The Feature Image has similarities to some of the designs Ffraed weaves – the handles in particular.

Feature Image credit: Vitold Muratov https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chalice_of_Valencia.JPG

 

 

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