In Speech of the Grail, storyteller and ceremonialist Linda Sussman explores a new way to speak, one that heals and transforms. She takes for her guide Wolfram von Eschenbach’s epic tale of the Grail, showing how it depicts a path of initiation toward healing speech—to “doing the truth” in word and action.
“The Grail! The word stirs a deep response in the Western imagination. Joseph Campbell called the medieval stories where it is first mentioned ‘the founding myth of Western civilization,’ because ‘according to this mythology, there is no fixed law, no established knowledge of god, set up by prophets or priests, that can stand against the revelation of a life lived with integrity in the spirit of its own brave truth.’ Campbell and many other scholars, artists, and seekers have seen the Western wisdom path disclosed in the image of each knight entering the forest where no one else has made a path. The quest is to recover the elusive Grail, thereby returning its sustenance to the world. The presence of the Grail nurtures an invisible web of relationships that connect individual destiny to service of others and to the earth, thereby granting meaning.” – Linda Sussman (from her introduction)
Sussman begins with a beautiful retelling of the story, allowing readers to inwardly reproduce the potent inner images of the text. Then she shows that it is not so much a path toward perfection as a recovery of the proper relationship with our own imperfections. She shows, too, that it is a path in which male and female aspects work together to overcome evil.
- Foreword by Robert Sardello
- Wolfram’s Beginning
- “Oh, where is my desire driving me?”
- “A fool came riding along here”
- “May your mouth become empty of the tongue within it”
- “In reality, you are me, even if our names are different”
- “Open up!… I want to come into your heart”
- “You will have to force your horse to a mighty leap”
- “See how rich I am … it is myself I have vanquished”
- “You shall be Lord of the Grail
- The Cloak of Bird-Feathers
- Parzival’s Lineage
- Major Characters in Parzival
About the Author
Linda Sussman, PhD, educator, storyteller, ceremonialist, counselor, holds her doctorate in Spiritual Psychology and Oral Tradition. Trained as a psychotherapist with mostly Jungian orientation, she helped to create the Center for the Healing Arts in Los Angeles which for ten years, offered a psycho-spiritual healing program for persons with life-threatening illnesses. For 18 years in Portland, she performed, taught and sponsored storytelling events through her business, Oregon Supporters of the Spoken Arts. A licensed minister since 1991, she works with individuals, couples and groups to create Ceremonies by Design to honor life transitions, including birth, death, weddings and adolescence.