DescriptionFor the last thousand years the great round of stories called the Arthurian Matter, the adventures of King Arthur and the Quest for the Holy Grail, has enchanted the world. Join writer and filmmaker Phil Cousineau on this sacred sites tour of England as he leads you on a quest into the wondrous world of legends and myths of King Arthur and Lady Guinevere, Lancelot and Morgana Le Fay, Parsifal, and the Grail Castle. Our approach will be spiral, which is reflective of the Celtic symbolism that imbues the Arthurian legends, as we begin in the manuscript room at the British Museum and then explore the legend-laden past, from Stonehenge to Glastonbury, Tintagel to Dartmoor, and end our tour back in modern times with lunch at the Oxford pub where The Inklings, J. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and other literary friends, revived the ancient art of mythmaking in such works as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. Our journey will also include the most recent archaeological evidence of Anglo-Saxon England, such as swords and jewellery, discovered at Sutton Hoo, and discussions about the Roman influence in Bath and the Christian influence at Glastonbury on the legend of the Grail. Besides the multi-layered history we will revel in the magnificent landscape of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, stopping at country inns for lunch, and archaeological sites associated with the Arthurian stories. The many attractions to be visited include the British Museum, Ye Olde Cheshire Inn, where Dr. Johnson and Charles Dickens dined, St. Michael’s Mount, Marlborough’s Merlin’s Grave, the Arthur’s Round Table in Winchester Cathedral, and the Bath Spa. Our visit to Glastonbury will be highlighted by a visit and walking tour with the renowned scholar and novelist Geoffrey Ashe, whose book King Arthur’s Avalon: The Story of Glastonbury is considered the definitive work on the historical origins of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. We will also meet up with Geoffrey in Bath, where we will share High Tea with him at the Pump Room, and will enjoy a guided walk through London with the English architect Jonathan Wimpenny (tbc). Other highlights include visits to the archaeological site of Cadbury, believed by many to be ancient Camelot, the ruins of Tintagel Castle, birthplace of King Arthur, Dartmoor, the quaint village of Clovelly, Penzance, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and The Eagle and Child Pub, in Oxford. As we explore the Arthurian World, Phil will guide us in daily discussions and devote time each day along our route to writing and drawing in our journals about both the ancient and modern guises of the Arthurian and Grail legends, such as the phenomenal success of The Lord of the Rings, The Mists of Avalon, Merlin, The Da Vinci Code, as well as Renaissance Fairs around the world and the magic of Celtic music. Join us on our quest for the Grail, that immortal symbol of inexhaustible sustenance, the magic cauldron of myth and mystery.
Join writer & filmmaker Phil Cousineau as he leads you on a journey through the wondrous world of the legends of King Arthur & the Quest for the Holy Grail.
"The discussions on LINK TV's 'Global Spirit' series are sorely needed in this dispirited and disenchanted world. In many ways it is more important than journalism today." Bill Moyers
Phil's books include his international bestseller, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred, which has been translated into ten languages; The Book of Roads: Stories from Michigan; the recently released The Meaning of Tea; Stoking the Creative Fires: Nine Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination; The Olympic Odyssey, which was selected by the US Olympic Committee as a gift to the athletes at the 2004 Athens, Greece Olympics; Soul: An Archaeology: Readings from Socrates to Ray Charles; The Soul of the World: A Modern Book of Hours; and The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work. Cousineau also worked with the drummer John Densmore on his bestselling autobiography, Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors. Cousineau is also a contributor to more than 50 other books.
Phil’s screenwriting credits in documentary films, which have won more than 25 international awards, include: A Seat at the Table; Ecological Design: Inventing the Future; Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey; Humble Serpent: The Life of Reuben Snake; Wiping the Tears of Seven Generations; Eritrea: March to Freedom; The Presence of the Goddess; The Hero’s Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell; and the 1991 Academy Award nominated Forever Activists: Stories from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. His most recent work was story consultant and on-camera interviewee for Stealing Home: Tiger Stadium, Detroit’s Field of Dream. An expert on mythology and film and the “hero journey” structure of screenplays, Cousineau also consults on many types of films and projects, including at Warner Brothers and Twentieth-Century Fox studios.
Cousineau has been the keynote speaker at major conferences as diverse as the Ansel Adams Centennial Celebration in Yosemite National Park and The European Unitarian Universalist’s Fall Retreat in the Netherlands. He has been invited to lecture at distinguished venues including the University of California, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, the Swedenbourg Library, Syracuse University, Bard College, and the University of Tennessee. He recently gave a prestigious TEDx talk called “The Passionate Life.”
He has collaborated and appeared with many of the great thinkers and philosophers of our time including mentors, Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith, John O’Donohue, Karen Armstrong, Robert Thurman, Robert A. Johnson, James Hillman, Brian Swimme, Robert Bly, Brother David Steindl Rast, Marija Gimbutas, Angeles Arrien, Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Ernie Harwell, and many others. He enjoys collaborating with musicians and artists such as, John Densmore, drummer for The Doors, Mickey Hart and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, cellist David Darling, songwriter R.B. Morris, Cliff Aerie and Chris Bakriges of the Oikos Ensemble, movie producer Jeff “The Dude” Dowd, and painter Gregg Chadwick.
Cousineau’s most recent works include The Art of Pilgrimage Travel Journal (2011) and The Song of the Open Road: Photographs of Sacred Travel (2010), both of which were inspired by his award-winning book, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred, which was published in 1999, and has been translated into six languages and sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.
Currently, Cousineau is co-writer and host of Global Spirit, an internationally broadcast television series on Link TV, rebroadcast on PBS in early 2012. A fellow of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and a Trustee of Sacred Sites International, Cousineau lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. For more information about his books, films, lectures, and art and literary tours, please visit http://www.philcousineau.net See more photos and other events by this presenter