The Sagittarius Myth- The Myth Of Percival
Percival’s myth and the search for the Grail
In respect of the sign of Sagittarius it is not possible to avoid dwelling on the theme of the journey and searching. This sign instils a spirit of profound adventure in its natives that expresses often itself in a desire to discover new things, in never being satisfied by what it is and has, and as a result, the necessity of leaving each time in search of a new path to be followed.
We can without doubt acknowledge an intense Fire in this sign that nevertheless has to move on a psychological and spiritual level, and therefore for Sagittarius the search is based above all on the need to find meaning and give sense to one’s own life.
Percival’s myth is particularly based on this chart; it is clear that the Grail is a symbol and like all mythical symbols it represents something that has to do with us; it is not about finding an external object, but, through the symbolic object, we are called upon to look up and find the right direction, the one that will let us find peace and once again find a sense of unity that has been lost, and that therefore, calls us back for an orientation journey.
Percival has also become a symbol in Christianity, even if its myth is Celtic and belongs to the saga of legends of the Knights of the Round Table.
Percival is a young man who is brought up by his mother since the father – who is a knight – dies in battle before the birth of his son. Then his mother also worries about the life of her son and keeps him hidden in the woods without revealing his noble origins to him and not even the fact that his father was one of King Arthur’s knights.
Percival had nevertheless the best possible education from his mother, especially in terms of honour, the value of life and God.
One day, while Percival was walking in the woods he met a kind knight and he thought that he was a divine creature, in fact he thought that he was a God.
The meeting with the knight made him curious and stirred the wish to know about this boy who, at that point, decided to go on a journey and follow his destiny.
All the myths of the heroes keep certain charts alive: an absent parent who creates difficulties in everyday life, who might create problems by being too attached to the son; so the meeting will be particular with an external character that, obviously, represents the internal part of each one of us, who will drive down the path of individualisation. For this reason it will be created on the outside with just “occasions” in order for this to be put in motion.
In this case, Percival was not better off in the woods and for him it was beginning to become too much, and therefore he needed a signal that was stimulating, and in this case, a noble knight passed by which made the boy curious, and he felt the adventurous part of him inside, which wanted to put itself on a path to seek his personal destiny.
His mother had difficulty in agreeing his departure, but he was so determined and willing that she had to give in, but she still did not want to be away from her son and so she dressed him up as a jester certain that the knights would mock him and send him home.
Thus, the young man went on his way and wandered around for days and days, encountering women and strange situations until he came to Gurnemanz castle, where, to his surprise he met the knight he had already seen in the woods, who was intent on being a mentor to the young man who wanted also to become a knight.
Then the noble knight began to educate the young Percival making him become a man of good manners; he introduced him to the art of courtesy and compassion for all those who suffer; Percival nevertheless was still too young to understand the true meaning of what he was doing, and therefore he learnt everything in an outward way, still without finding himself. In any case he learnt to go on horseback and to develop the art of hunility; he became kind in victory and dignified in defeat.
After a while Percival decided to travel again, this time going to Arthur’s castle where he thought “he should be a knight”. Percival became one of the Knights of the Round Table and knew Lancelot and Queen Guinevere and always worked and fought for noble reason.
One beautiful day Percival met Queen Condwiramurs who was living in a desolate kingdom in which there was only famine and sadness. The queen, in fact, was undergoing a long siege from the tyrant Clamide, a king who wanted the kingdom in an overbearing manner and who each week sent an invincible being to fight against her knights, who by now were reduced to the last few.
Percival understood that it was his moment, in which he could defend the Queen and her kingdom.
This is how Percival came to challenge the perfidious Kingrun in a duel and won. At this point the young knight had saved Condwiramurs and her whole kingdom was finally coming back to life, filled with scents and colour.
Percival nevertheless could not stop there and so started a journey again, wandering across desolate lands until he met his most difficult test, which he was not ready to pass.
He came upon a castle whose lord was dying: it was the King of the Grail, a King who had been stained by the heaviest sin; the King was injured and he was not recovering, and his knights said that only the right question might save him.
However, Percival could not understand; he knew so many things, had learnt much in Gurnemanz, but he had never really achieved anything despite all he knew, and therefore, he was lacking authentic faith and compassion; in practice, substantially he did not believe in the things that he was doing and so, when he saw the King, he could not ask the right question and lacked enterprise.
The question was “My King, what torments you?” and this would have shown whether he really felt compassion for his king and for other people, it meant he had become what he was shown he should be.
Percival’s history has much of what we see in Sagittarius. It is the sign that indicates that it will not be enough to know things with a rational mind, but it will be necessary to also know them in a compassionate way, to carry it inside, understand and react independently. It relates the idea to us that profound values must be developed for things becaus, only in this way can each one of us embody and live the ideals and the principles that inspire us. Otherwise, things are not true and then failure is the result because without faith and without hope life remains without meaning since everything is removed from the soul.
This is shown in Percival as a “religious” aptitude, a real sense of “sacrifice”, something that could make a gesture sacred.
It is not by chance that the myth uses the chart of the “question” because it reminds us that only if we ask the right questions, will we reach the right answers.
When we lose the sense of life, when we are disconnected, we are hurt deeply in our soul, like the injury to the old King; when this happens we do have any possibility except that of asking ourselves what is happening inside of us; there is a particular desire to reach an understanding which opens a path to us for a different vision of things. Sagittarius begins to adopt a life-style that is above materialism and must do so believing strongly in what he does and experiences. This is the secret.
In order to have the answers it will be necessary to place one’s trust in your inner world, the only place that can open-up and bring us back onto the path of hope and profound meaning, recovering from our wounds.