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The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend [Paperback]

Gareth Knight
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1996
In this book Gareth Knight takes the most famous and most haunting of all British legends and places it in its rightful position as the core of the Western Mystery Tradition, which draws its inspiration from Greek, Irish and even Atlantean myth. The central Arthurian themes and characters are brought to life with clear and thorough explanations, while the carefully woven pattern that has developed around the Arthuriad is carefully unravelled and its full esoteric significance revealed. This fascinating study, which builds on the work of Dion Fortune and Margaret Lumley Brown, takes the reader beyond the world of Malory and unfolds an inner landscape as real as the isles in which it was created.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; New edition edition (Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877288615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877288619
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,340,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Initiatic enigmas 17 Oct 2004
Format:Paperback
Gareth Knight has written an intriguing but sometimes frustrating study of the connections between the Arthurian legend and the 'Atlantean Tradition' derived from the speculations of Theosophy.
I found his opening and closing chapters, setting the legends in the historical and prehistorical context of western spiritual evolution especially thought-provoking. However, the bulk of the text relies on the works of Sir Thomas Malory as its primary source material. Malory wrote a great work of English literature but much of the pagan lore which informed his sources has been excised in favour of Christian mysticism and concerns with the decline of chivalry. Jessie L Weston, R S Loomis and, more recently, John Darrah have thoroughly explored the pagan elements in the French and German texts and I would refer the interested reader to such of their works as are still available in print. Weston, who had contacts with the Golden Dawn, was also the first to reach a wide audience with her studies of the initiatic elements in the Grail legends; and John and Caitlin Matthews, writing both singly and together, have continued where Knight left off and explored the whole area of Celtic and Arthurian lore in the context of the Western Mystery Tradition.
Gareth Knight's study from 1983 should therefore be read in conjunction with these writers in order to get an overview of 'the Mysteries of Britain'. He has some fascinating insights into the Hibernian and Caledonian currents, personified by the Morholt and Morgawse, and the symbolism of Arthur's sword(s), and the book is full of interesting digressions into related areas of study, if sometimes marred by the occultist's habit of making wildly speculative opinions sound as if they are the product of divine revelation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legends and deep meaning 9 Jun 2011
By VJFR
Format:Paperback
This is indeed a great book from Gareth Knight. The author does show once more his knowledge of esoteric traditions and shares with us deep insights about the hidden meaning of arthurian legends and the symbols corresponding to each great knight and his accomplishments. Highly worthwhile.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practitioner's guide to the Arthurian legends 13 Nov 2007
By Arnold Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a well-written, well-informed esoteric guide to the stories of Arthur, his Round Table companions, and the Holy Grail in British and Celtic legend. I found it a beautiful combination of scholarship, psychological and spiritual insight, and intelligent speculation about some of the more ancient origins and meanings of the many stories we have inherited that form part of the Arthurian romances. Anyone who is interested in this tradition, and the mysteries that lie behind it, will find this a fascinating and illuminating commentary. Interpreting ancient myth is a high art because symbolic images reveal their meanings only to those who are prepared to personally engage with the symbols and the entire mystical tradition that supports them. Gareth Knight is an able guide.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most important book you could own 20 April 2005
By Dwayne Daley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is absolutley one of the best books of its kind available today!Maybe the best book of all times!This book covers a huge amount of esoteric material that is extremely purposeful in todays fast changing times.If you are serious seeker of esoteric wisdom then stick with this book and you will learn lots.The arthurian legends truly are works of faery art to show us our evolutionary way forward as individuals and as a group.These legends show us the proper way of evolutionary developement and they show us what happens when we lose our way.The information in this book along with serious study of the arthurian legends will lead to the rememberance of who you really are and you will be amazed at what you find.The information contained within these pages is priceless and you could spend lifetimes integrating the wisdom and knowledge found within.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very valuable addition to esoteric lore 14 Dec 2010
By Bokhara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had never studied the Arthurian mythos in any detail, so wasn't that interested in it overall. Then I started this book. Gareth has about a half century of esoteric experience to draw on so from the first page the book balances his exoteric knowledge of Arthurian lore with his esoteric experience with the hidden side of this legend. His knowledge of Medieval French adds a dimension of understanding not often encountered in esoteric writings. I have read the book slowly trying to understand each chapter and am pleasantly surprised to find that this group of stories, called myths, legends, etc etc are some of the deepest teachings I have seen on Western Mystery Tradition.
If you combine this book with "The Arthurian Formula" by Dion Fortune you will have an excellent source for deepening your awareness not found, in my opinion, in most of todays esoteric literature.
If you want to really open up the full potential imbedded in The Arthurian Tradition, also obtain "Red Tree, White Tree" by Wendy Berg, long time student and associate of Gareth Knight.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Scholarly Study 22 April 2009
By Bernadette Wulf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book since it is full of fascinating tidbits of Arthurian lore. It is a great reference book to keep on hand for those of us who are drawn to the Arthurian mysteries. However, it does not offer any practical applications for use in magical work. Readers are left to figure that out for themselves.

I felt that Part 3 was written with a Christian bias, which was interesting in itself, but I would have been more interested in learning about the pre-Christian origins of the Arthurian legends. It seems to me that some of the depth and mystery of ancient Celtic mystery wisdom was lost in the Christianizing of the stories during the Middle Ages. I was hoping this book would reconnect the legends with their pre-Christian past.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars decent 15 Jan 2012
By missindependant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
must be a really good book to get more than a 3 star for me, ok if you are really into the arthurian or grail mythos but arent yet well versed, has some wiccan and alot more of christian symbology i was hoping for it to be more about qaballah or from a pagan standpoint
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