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The Fisher King

The Complex group of stories known as the Grail Legends culminated in what is probably the greatest work of medieval literature ever written; the story of 'Parzifal' by Wolfram von Eschenbach. Its greatness lies in the enduring relevance of its characters to the human condition. As in Bunyan's ‘Pilgrim's Progress’ the people Parzifal encounters along the way personify different facets of Parzifal‘s maturing personality. As the reader identifies with the hero he gradually becomes aware that the complexities of Parzifal's world are only too similar to his own. Parzifal eventually finds inner harmony and peace and the reader too rises from the book with a greater understanding of himself and the world around him.

The Fisher King poster

The Fisher King Chart
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One of Wolfram's most mysterious characters is the ‘Grail King’ who is the guardian of the Holy Grail and is also known as ‘the Fisher King’. The Grail is regarded as Holy because it was said to have carried Christ’s blood and was thus imbued with His qualities. In Christian terms therefore, the Grail can be said to represent Christ consciousness, whilst in psychological terms it symbolises the infinite possibilites of the emerging Self.

The Fisher KingThe Fisher King then is our unconscious guide, forevercasting his net in an effort to draw the sparkling facets of understanding, compassion, individuality, love, or simply, the realisation of Christ, up from the formless sea of unconsciousness into the light of awareness. It is an underlying theme recognisable in most of the World’s religions.

The Fisher King poster merges Buddhist, Christian and Arthurian influences into one great ‘zoe’ ‘diak’or ‘life wheel’. In the Buddhist tradition, as well as some Christian, we are travelling..through all of life’s mansions as we go and meeting their different challenges along the way. King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table effectively symbolise many of these encounters. Some failed in their quest, others were more successful, but all their challenges are reflections of ours too at some stage in our journey around the wheel of life.

Fisher King card

Fisher King Card
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There is an English version of ‘The Fisher King’ and a French version ‘Le Roi Pecheur’. Size: 650x650mm.

Forrester Roberts has designed a letter card which attempts to put these sentiments into verse.

There is also a rather beautiful small book explaining the contemporary relevance of the Parzifal story called Symbols of the Grail Quest, written by Forrester Roberts and featuring wonderful illustrations by Courtney Davis.

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