The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend is the first of two important Gareth Knight reissues to come out this month, to be shortly followed by Magical Images and the Magical Imagination. On the one hand it is a remarkable study of the compendium of historical and cultural sources that make up the Arthuriad, full of the sort of illuminating analysis and commentary that we’ve come to expect from Gareth Knight. But it also serves as an esoteric guide to the stories with a fresh and all encompassing look at the archetypes and symbols contained within them and how they serve the Western Mystery Tradition.
Among his many talents as a writer Knight is an erudite literary scholar that has provided commentary on various texts, from ancient religious and occult scriptures to mediaeval French manuscripts to the work of the Inklings and other contemporary writers. In this work he sorts through the myriad literary origins and mythological sources of the total Arthuriad and provides an unparalleled categorization of its contents by character, by clan, by quest type, by archetype and symbol, and by magical appropriation. He traces the legends back to their Greek, Celtic and Brythonic antecedents, daring even further through the shrouds of pre-history to Atlantis and Lemuria as well as the realm of Faery. Although the book stands alone in its total scope of exegesis it credits the earlier work of his spiritual mentor, Dion Fortune, who wrote The Arthurian Formula. The Faery themes have since been expounded upon by one of his students, Wendy Berg, in Red Tree, White Tree and Gwenevere and the Round Table (both Skylight Press).
The real beauty of this work is it goes far beyond mere academic fascination with the source works to comprise a workable and practical magical tradition. In turn, Knight presents the core grades of Arthur, Merlin, Guenevere and the Holy Grail for a willing initiate to explore. The central themes and characters are brought to life with clear and thorough explanations of their underlying symbolism, while the ancient pattern that is woven around the Arthuriad is carefully unravelled and its full esoteric significance revealed. Quite simply, one could spend a lifetime incorporating the wisdom found within these texts. Skylight Press is honoured to present an all-new edition of this fascinating study, one that takes the reader beyond the world of medieval literature and unfolds an inner landscape as real as the isles in which it was created.
The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend is available from various retail outlets such as Amazon, Amazon UK, or direct from the Skylight Press website.