King Arthur in Scotland
It has long been known that the Legendary Figure of “King Arthur” was part of the common cultural inheritance of all the British peoples who spoke P-Celtic languages. While many people think this just means the Welsh, Cornish and Britons in fact it also included the Britons of Strathclyde, the Gododdin of Lothian and, in all probability, their Pictish cousins to the north – our ancestors. As Scottish history at last begins to take its rightful place in our national curriculum – Scottish traditions of Arthur become even more important. Placenames and local tales from the Borders to the Moray Firth attest to the hold this enigmatic figure had on our ancestors.
The past decade has seen a major resurgence of interest in the ”Scottish Arthur” following on from earlier works like JS Glennie’s 1869 Arthurian Localities and J Veitch’s 1878 History and Poetry of the Scottish Border. These in turn were much influenced by W F Skene’s ground-breaking Four Ancient Books of Wales, first published in 1868 which opened up the field.
The arthurianscotland blog will provide ongoing information and commentary on the ever-growing interest in Arthurian Scotland and its relevance to understanding this most important of ancient characters.
in the original Celtic version the “grail” (though not named this) is a severed head on a platter.
A severed head? Quite a grisly image if taken literally, but what about metaphorically?
The Celts saw the head as the seat of the soul, so from this perspective it could be read as the soul being seperated from the body, (or vice verse).
One could also interpret it as the head representing logical, rational “Head thoughts” being severed from the “heart feeling” of the body.
Either way this psychic seperation causes illness and the wasteland, both in terms of the land and the inner country of the individual’s mind.