Em: I would like to hear more abou; the Judas Grail, if you'd care to expand on it. I never heard of it before.
Sure, okay. By the way, that list of artifacts rock. Absolutely rock. I had most of those in my little artifact bucket of cool stuff, but I missed a few.
The ones that really looks like they're missing are (off the top of my head):
Joseph's Coat of Many Colors.
The Nails used on Jesus Christ.
The Shroud of Turin (which may have been used on Jaques de Molay).
My memory, in my old age, is coming and going, so this is what I remember about the Judas Grail. Anyone who wants to do some serious web-based reading on the Occult should go hit Tim Marony's Website at www.maroney.org, where he has an excellent list of links on all sorts of things, including Freemasonry and the GD. He likes to argue, but he usually sounds mostly sane. :)
The alchemy virtual library is at www.levity.com/alchemy/index.html. Good luck finding anything in there, because it's huge, as there are something like 4000 alchemical books not including side treatsies and magazines. Somewhere in that mess are my references, heck if I have the time to drudge it all up again. And don't sniff the mercury!
THE JUDAS GRAIL - the Lapis Judaicus and
THE HOLY GRAIL - the Lapis Exillis
The Judas Grail is said to have been formed from one of the stones of Lucifer's Crown, which became dislodged and fell to earth as the Prince of Light was cast out of Heaven into the darkness of Hell - thus the name 'The Stone of the Traitor'. It technically has nothing to do with Judas Iscariot or the last supper.
The Judas Grail itself is supposedly one of the main components of the Philosopher's Stone, and was heavily sought during the middle ages, with heavy overtones of demonology. It was said that when a substance was placed within the plain, non-descript grey cup, it would be endowed with the breath of life. So, if you placed someone's ashes into the cup after they had been cremated, they would be endowed with a little bit of life. The Judas Grail was the cup of transformation, the one bit of substance when added to the proper mixture would be the lost catalyst to transform one substance into another and lead to a deeper understanding of the universe. [Em's aside - Alchemy was not all about changing lead into gold, btw. That's a popularization of the highest degree.] Add in IN required stats here.
In fact, the Judas Grail is the opposite of the Lapis Exillis, which was claimed to be held by the Templars, and then later the Freemasons and buried in a church in Scotland:
"A hermit is describing the grail castle to Parzifal. The Gral is guarded
by the Templars "I will tell you how they are nourished. They live from a
Stone whose essence is most pure. If you have never heard of it I shall
name it for you here. It is called `Lapsit exillis'."
- Wolfram von Eschenbach, "Parzifal"
With the Lapis Exillis, whomever drank from the cup would be returned to health and 'would have their colour restored and not die for a week' (de Troyes, I believe). It was also considered a different facet of the Philosopher's Stone, in some texts, appearing with a lance, a sword, and a disk. In different alchemical texts, the Lapis Exillis is not a cup but just a stone, which could be used in a process to create potions that would effect life.
If you want to go shooting off into Weirdland (which I do, for my own reason), then I can suggest two books:
HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL - Michael Baignent
Perfect for the Sangraal junky in your life!
FOUCALT'S PENDULUM - Umberto Eco
Wacky occult novel, with all sorts of good quotes.
Does that work?
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