In The Grail Tarot: A Templar Vision,
renowned author and authority on Celtic, Arthurian, and shamanistic spirituality John Matthews
(previouos works include Hallowquest: The Arthurian Tarot Course
and The Arthurian Tarot
), and internationally acclaimed artist Giovanni Caselli (illustrator of the Sharman-Caselli Tarot) team together to present the quest for the Holy Grail in Tarot format, with the inclusion of the The Preceptors Templar as an intriguing addition to the story.
In the deck companion book, Matthews makes note of the 9th century Welsh poem, the Preiddeu Annwn, attributed to the bard Taliesin, as the oldest written reference to the Grail.
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The journey through the Major Arcana is seen as the Seeker’s Quest. What in the Tarot is commonly known as the Fool’s Journey is instead associated with the Templar novice from Brother to Grand Master, and the spiritual journey of the Seeker in the Grail mysteries. The magic in the Grail Tarot is that, set side by side, the 22 cards of the Major Arcana present a frieze where events follow each other in a very natural sequence.
In the Minor Arcana, the suits and Court Cards have been renamed as follows:
- Stones (Pentacles), elemental quality Earth, representing that aspect of the Grail called the Green Stone
- Swords (unchanged), elemental quality Air, representing the Sword of John The Baptist
- Lances (Wands), elemental quality Fire, representing the Lance of Longinus
- Vessels (Cups), elemental quality Fire, representing the Holy Grail
- The Lady (Queen), representing the four aspects of the Virgin Mary, to whom the Templars had a particular devotion. The Lady (Queen) is placed first as an indication of her importance.
- The Master (King), representing four different Grand Masters of the Templar Order.
- The Preceptor (Knight), representing the initiatory aspects of Templar hierarchy.
- The Brother (Page), representing the Seeker and the Neophyte of the Order.