Posted by: rosenthorn | July 7, 2011

The Round Table of Life Overview and Design.

(©2010 revised and updated edition, DolmaDraka)

First I want to mention (2011) that this is a copyrighted devise.  However, since it was created to benefit beings, anyone can print the picture off and make their own RT to use.   You can make as many as you need, and in time you will probably need 5-6 of them: one for your on-going “bless your life” spell, one for divination, one for general spell-casting and healing work and later on, 2-3 for special transformation work. You will probably need a couple Round tables of Law also.

Look at the Round Table itself.  Every aspect is symbolic.  The outer black square edge is the realm of Cosmos, Divinity and “the Otherworld”.  It doubles as a visual symbol of the stability of the element of earth and a reminder to be grounded in service to Terra.  The two rings represent “Middle Earth”: the realm of the archetypes  that connect us to Cosmos and of humans.   The Outer Circle is the realm of archetypal energies.   The alternating red and white circle is the realm of humanity.  The center Rose is the realm of the “Underworld”, which links us back to the Otherworld.  Circles within circles, within a square.  This is an active Table because it has the  three Muses Ogham Fewsets (ogham fewset is my term that represents charms or runes made of the ogham fews) in the corners representing:  The Merlin, Dame Brisen and Dame Ragnall; the final corner has the Pendragon fewset; this represents the Arthurians in general.

The Chairs of the Round Table.  Let us look more closely at the “Middle Earth” rings as there is much to be seen and understood.   The outmost ring is the actual chair with the appropriate Knight or Dame in it.   Each chair is loosely based on an astrological house, with the Arthurian associated with it.  Here are general meanings for each Chair.

1.  Sir Percieval.   Aries.    Self,   Beginnings, the Fool.
2.  Dame Morgause.  Taurus.   Money and resources.
3.  The Merlin.  Gemini.    Communications, education.
4.   Dame Elaine of Carbonek.    Cancer     Home, domestic life.
5.   Sir Lancelot.   Leo.  Male power, creativity, pleasure, romance, protection.
6.   Dame Dindraine, Percievals’ sister. Virgo. Focus, sacrifice, health, work.
7.   Sir Palomides.     Libra.   Being an Outside, handling quests, partnerships.
8.  Queen Guinevere.    Scorpio.    Sex, female power.
9.  King Arthur.   Sagittarius.  Power, authority and a broad view.
10.  Dame Ragnall  Capricorn.   Death, transformation, change.
11.  Sir Gawain, Dame Ragnalls’ consort.  Aquarius.  Career, friends.
12.  The Lady of the Lake.   Pisces.    The occult, mystery, and the unknown.
13.  Siege Perilous.   Terra.    your place and purpose on earth.

The Human Part of “Middle Earth”.
Here we find that each section below the chair is divided into a red and a white aspect, that is the feminine, energetic  and masculine, physical parts.   (Each chairs’ astrological, planetary signs and tree symbols are found in the white section, of already  made ones, mainly for artistic reasons.)  These can be seen as the physical and spiritual aspects of the Arthurians’ energies in a person, place or situation.  Meditate on these for understanding of self and others.  They reveal relationships in readings and can fine tune transformations, spiritual alchemy, healing and spell casting.

Table Talk

A Meditative Mandala.

The Round Table of Life can be used as a meditative mandala.   Admittedly you need to be familiar with at least a handful of the different Arthurian legends.  I recommend that you not only read Sir Thomas Mallorys’ THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, but Marion Zimmer-Bradleys’ THE MISTS OF AVALON, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s THE HISTORY OF THE KINGS OF BRITAIN,  Tennysons’ Idylls of the King, the four branches of the MABINOGIAN, Mary Stewarts’ Merlin and Steven Lawheads’ Pendragon series.  Study all the material by R.J. Stewart and John and Caithlin Matthews.  Get all the material you can, learn the myths, even when they contradict each other.  Read THE SECRET TRADITION IN ARTHURIAN LEGEND by Dion Fortune, edited by Gareth Knight.  It is best to be familiar with the Arthurian world so that the Table makes sense to you.  Mandalas are symbols of psychic reality.  Study this one.   See how male and female alternative. Notice obvious and later, subtle, connections as you use it for divination, transformations, spiritual alchemy, healing and magick.
To use this as a meditation tool, create a quiet space and if you like, listen to Celtic harp music (SECRETS OF THE STONE by Judith Pindar is nice).  Place yourself in a protected, meditative state, then choose a Knight or Dame in his or her chair.  Pretend that you are in their world, sitting besides them, sharing their world, see what it is like.  Pretend that you are talking with them and see hear them reply.   Pre-record and then use the Arthurian Induction found elsewhere.  Have The Merlin meet you on the shore when you get off the barge, and ask him take you to the Grove of the Sacred Round Table so you can talk with these Beings of Light.
Create group theater.  Have twelve people, sitting in chairs, alternating male and female, to start with.  Have them pretend to be the appropriate Arthurians involved.  Later on you can have all men, and challenge them to understand the Dames; or all women and have them get into the “headspace” of the Knights.  Keep it as simple and turn it into a party game.  Do not use formal ritual to invoke them within.  It is one thing to see things from their viewpoint, it is another to actually become them energetically.

Later on, using the various Solar and Lunar Holy Days, choose sets of the Arthurians and have them interact. On Roodmass, choose Elaine, Lancelot and Guinevere.   See how they interact with each other from their places on the table.  At Midsummer, on the Summer Solstice, choose Lancelot, King Arthur and Sir Gawain as they are considered Solar Kings. Or you could choose the Lady of the Lake, Sir Lancelot and King Arthur.  Here you have mother, foster-son and Sovereign. On Hallowmass, try The Merlin, Dame Ragnall, the Lady of the Lake and Siege Perilous.   On Yule, try Dame Morgause, Dame Ragnall and Sir Gawain.  Make sure Morgause is very opinionated at how ugly Ragnall is and what a fool Gawain is to be marrying this old, repulsive hag.

Here are general meanings of the chairs and their occupants.

1.  Sir Perceval.  Self,  Beginnings, the Fool.   Sir Percieval is the Fool, who, despite making mistakes and being very ignorant, obtains the Holy Graal.  His sign is Aries;  his trees are the Birch and Hawthorn.   He represents beginnings, foolishness, purity of soul and achieving his goals in spite of himself.
2.  Dame Morgause.  Money and resources.    Madonna move over, Dame Morgause is the ultimate “material girl” of Camelot.   She loves luxury, is never satisfied and always wants more.   She is clever and smart enough to always get what she wants, no matter who may be in the way.  Her sign is Taurus; her trees are the Barberry and the Apple.
3. The Merlin. Communications, education. The Merlin is the ultimate communicator: he reads time, prophesizes, “casts” spells and since he understands the true nature of reality, communicates this to all who will listen.   His sign is Gemini.  He is one of the Guardians and Muses of this Round Table; He works in partnership with both Dame Brisen, the Enchantress of Castle Carboneks’ and Dame Ragnall, the Lady of Transformation.  His trees are the Vine and the Beech.
4.   Dame Elaine of Carbonek.   Home, domestic life.   Dame Elaine of Carbonek was the mother of Sir Galahad, the knight who achieved the Grail.   She loved Sir Lancelot but, he, even when he tried, could never love her the way she wanted to be loved and he left in in the long run.  Carbonek was said to be the castle where the Holy Grail resided, so she knew the importance of every day activities, in contrast to those who lived for adventure.   Her sign is Cancer.    Her trees are the black walnut and the honeysuckle.
5.   Sir Lancelot.   Male power, creativity, pleasure, romance.   Sir Lancelot was said to be the foster-son of the Lady of the Lake;  he was also the father of Sir Galahad, thanks to the sorcery cast over Dame Elaine so that she appeared as Queen Guinevere.   He was allowed to see the Holy Grail from outside the Grail chamber, but not to  achieve it.  In the eyes of the world, he was the ultimate knight of Arthurs’ Table, but in reality, he never quite got things together.   He could not quite control his abilities and passions.  In the end, this almost destroyed him while destroying the world he loved.   His sign is Leo and his trees are the White Poplar and St. Johns Wort.
6.   Dame Dindraine, Percievals’ sister.   Focus, Sacrifice, Health, Work.   Dame Dindraine’s a fascinating woman, strong, full of wisdom and compassion.  She already knew what Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Percieval had to quest to find out.    Her sign is Virgo and her Trees are Ash and the Reed.
7.   Sir Palomides.    Being an Outside, handling quests, partnerships.   Sir Palomides is possibly the most fascinating Knight of the Round Table as he was a Saracen and had come from far-away.  Being “of color”, he knew what it was like to be the “odd man out”, so to speak.   He had a unique view of justice, mercy and of Camelot.   In some legends he was willing to take over an impossible quest for an aging knight who was sickly.  His sign is Libra and his trees are the Alder and the Holly.
8.  Queen Guinevere.    Sex, female power.    This much maligned Queen was a woman of great power.  Sadly, in many of the Arthurian legends she didn’t realize her own power as the representative of the Great Mother.   So she turned to the organization that gave her limited “male” power and was never happy or satisfied. Her sign is Scorpio and her trees are heather and the hazel.
9.  King Arthur.  Power, authority and a broad view.    King Arthur, the “once and Future King”.   According to legend, he was the ultimate warrior-king.  He sought to balance justice with mercy.  Camelot could be seen as a forerunner of democracy in the sense that might aided right.   There could have been no quest for the Grail and the healing of the wastelands, if King Arthur hadn’t been there to start the process.  His sign is  Sagittarius and his trees are the oak and the silver pine.
10.  Dame Ragnall.  Death, transformation, change.  Dame Ragnall, consort of Sir Gawain and one of the muses and Guardians of this Round Table.    She is the ultimate expert in transformation.   She is my favorite Arthurian of them all.   I love her story.   She was under an enchantment until Sir Gawain, upon marrying her, to save his king and the kingdom, let her choose, rather than tell her how he wanted her to appear.   The fact that she was allowed to chose, broke the spell.   Her sign is Capricorn.   Her trees are the Elder and the Yew.
11.  Sir Gawain.  Career, friends.   Sir Gawain, Consort of Dame Ragnall and one of the most beloved knights of the Round Table.   He was strong yet respectful of female power.  To help his king and the kingdom, he married a hideous old crone.  Expecting the worse yet courteous enough to not trash his “wife”, he let her decide how she wanted to appear as she had to live with it, not him.  This broke the spell and allowed her to become “normal”.   His sign is Aquarius.   His trees are ivy and the sacred grove.
12.  The Lady of the Lake.  The occult, mystery, and the unknown.    The Lady of the Lake is the ultimate Priestess.  She lives a quiet life, away from the hustle and bustle of the culture around her.  Atmosphere and womens’ mysteries are very important to her.   She is the energy behind all the women of power who test and train the Knights of the Round Table who see the Grail.  Her sign is Pisces as she is equally comfortable  plumbing the depths of the unknown and yet can function at the surface of the subconscious.  Her tree is the willow and her home the Ocean.
13.  Siege Perilous.  Your place and purpose on earth.   The Siege Perilous is the special chair reserved for Sir Galahad, who was destined to achieve the Holy Grail.  However, for our purposes, this represents your spiritual path, purpose and place on earth.   Here, this is the chair of Terra, our Earth Mother.  This is where you either voluntarily or unwillingly, undergo trials, tribulations and ordeals in order to become purer, clearer and stronger. Terra is the sign, and the trees are blackthorn and mistletoe.

Using the table is next … danse dolmadraka

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