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Quantum Physics, Synchronicity, and the Tarot

Just about anyone who has ever done a tarot reading and marveled at its accuracy has wondered, “How does it work?” The answer to this question depends greatly on our personal beliefs about spirituality, philosophy, and the way the world works, and there are many possible theories. On one end of the spectrum, many tarotists believe their readings are guided by a conscious force, whether that be God/dess, an angel or spiritual guide, or one’s higher self. At the other end of the spectrum are tarotists of the psychological school, who believe that tarot cards can only reflect projections of what is in the mind of the client (and the reader), and who use a more interactive style of reading similar to counseling.

Then there are the in between possibilities, which form the subject of this article – those who may not believe that a conscious force is guiding each reading, but who nevertheless believe there is more going on than simple psychological projection. I confess to falling in this middle ground.

Since most of my readings are conducted via e-mail, without the client even seeing the cards until after the reading is completed, there is little possibility that her projections are influencing my reading, nor that I am reading subtle body-language clues that help me interpret the cards. Yet, I receive so much positive feedback for my readings, even for those that are very detailed and specific, that I cannot believe that the way the cards fall is not linked to the client’s actual circumstances somehow. If I did not think that were so, I could not ethically continue doing this type of tarot reading.

So being a scientist at heart, I have to ask myself, “How does it work?” Whatever it is, it has to fit some basic criteria:

  • Distance does not affect it, the client can be anywhere in the world
  • There is no apparent exchange of energy between the reader and the client
  • It is capable of focusing on a specific client’s circumstances
  • It is capable of affecting the physical layout of the cards

I do not consider myself telepathic or psychic, so I tentatively rule out these mechanisms – although I don’t discount the possibility that tarot cards or other tools may facilitate such abilities in people that are not otherwise aware of them. So let’s look at some other interesting possibilities – quantum physics and Jung’s theory of synchronicity – which between them may satisfy the above criteria.

While many will argue that it is still not proven that these mechanisms could reliably influence physical objects such as tarot cards, they come closer than any other ideas I have seen in explaining what could be happening, and if nothing else, are fascinating to think about.

Quantum Physics

Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics originally developed to explain the behavior of very small particles, such as photons and electrons, which did not appear to behave the same way as larger objects. Large objects follow certain predictable laws of physics, called Newtonian mechanics, which had previously been developed.

For example, when you push a ball with a certain force, it will move with a certain speed in a certain direction. If you know everything about the situation, such as the ball’s weight and the amount of force you use, you can predict exactly what will happen.

The object will behave the same way whether you are watching it or not, according to unchanging laws of cause and effect. These days, we know that all things, no matter their size, are subject to quantum mechanics; however, it is generally not possible to observe these effects in large objects, and Newtonian mechanics are still perfectly good for describing their behavior.

When scientists began studying small particles, they found that Newtonian physics no longer held true. Things no longer had to have a cause to produce an effect – for example, radioactive particles decay for no apparent reason.

Having measured their behavior in the past, we can predict the probability of a radioactive decay in a given period of time, but we cannot determine when or why it will actually happen. Nor is it likely that we ever will be able to, since particles of this size behave according to probabilities, and not specific chains of action and reaction.

Another example is that very small particles cannot be determined to be in an exact place. Instead, they exist in a kind of “probability-space” – there is a certain probability of them being here, and a certain probability of them being there. Not only that, they aren’t really either here or there, they are both here and there at the same time! In fact, scientists recently divided an atom into two of its wave-functions (another term for probability-space) – essentially creating a situation in which the whole atom was both in one place and in another, at the same time.

This is all pretty mind-boggling, but there are some relevant aspects to it. One is that, at a very basic fundamental level, particles are connected to one another and somehow seem to “know” what state other particles are in, even when the distance is too great for them to somehow be transmitting energy or information back and forth. The deeper we go, the more things seem to be interconnected in ways that don’t require a transfer of energy. If things could be connected in this way, it seems possible that a connection could be made between a tarot reading in one place and the state of information in another place (the client’s environment).

Second, things at this level all behave as probabilities, not as objects with a fixed behavior. So if we are receiving information through these basic interconnected pathways, most likely we are working with probabilities, rather than fixed outcomes. Most of the time, we’ll receive the most probable information about the situation – but rarely, we may receive improbable information.

If we do enough readings, the odds are that eventually we’ll get something showing up in our reading that is actually unlikely to happen. We’ve all experienced that – a reading that just doesn’t seem to click or which seems way off, on rare occasions.

The odd things about quantum particles is that they exist in probability-space until we look at them. As soon as we make an observation of them, we can’t avoid affecting the system in such a way that their wave-forms collapse and they “choose” one state or another to be in.

And from then on, they stay in that state. It’s almost as if, as long as we’re not looking, everything is fluid and anything is possible.

As soon as we decide to look, one or the other probability is chosen as a fixed reality. This is odd because it suggests that the state of the world is not independent of our conscious observation of it – an idea which runs counter to modern science at a very fundamental level.

An interesting question to ponder is, does that fact that we’ve looked at it change the situation? The most likely answer is yes, it does. According to quantum mechanics, at least, we would have observed a situation and fixed certain aspects of it by doing a reading on it. However, it is only fixed in that moment of time, and future actions change the situation again.

The exciting thing about quantum mechanics is that, the further down toward fundamental reality you go, the more interconnected the world seems to be and the less fixed reality appears to become. Interactions between particles are no longer limited by time and space, and the “rules” of cause and effect fall by the wayside. Indeed, reality itself is apparently affected by our observation or perception of it. This opens the door to the possibility that a lot of things are simply not the way the scientific world has been assuming for the last several hundred years.

On the other hand, there is not yet any proof that quantum effects can be observed in the behavior of large objects, such as tarot cards, or that the interconnected pathways are specific enough to transmit the kind of information that appears in a tarot reading (although people are thinking about quantum computers and instantaneous transmission of information). Which is where synchronicity comes in…

Synchronicity

Carl Jung, the noted psychologist and professor, noticed that many of his patients and he himself had had experiences in which “coincidences” seemed to play a meaningful role, but which were too unlikely to have occurred by random chance. For example, a patient might dream of a particular butterfly, only to encounter a real butterfly of that species during a counseling session the next day in which the patient was describing the dream. In his view, these events were most likely to occur when the patient needed the experience to trigger a breakthrough, and it was somehow attracted to her.

At this time, theories of relativity and quantum mechanics were just being developed, and Jung was friendly with Einstein and Pauli, with whom he corresponded and encountered in society.

Jung recognized in the principles of quantum mechanics a possible explanation for the phenomenon he was observing, which he called “synchronicity.”

He postulated that in addition to the cause-and-effect relationships with which we are familiar, there is another “connecting principle” which is acausal in nature. In other words, two things may be connected without having any apparent cause and effect relationship.

Although Jung was not particularly conversant with tarot, he was fascinated by the I Ching, and suggested that synchronicity could be responsible for the way that divination using I Ching might work. He also conducted experiments with astrology to test the ideas of synchronicity, but was not entirely certain that the motions of the planets did not in fact have a causal relationship to our personalities and events during our lives.

In his treatise on synchronicity, Jung discusses a series of experiments on ESP, which demonstrated to him that there could be a connection between physical objects (e.g., psy cards) and the images one sees in one’s mind, even though there could not possibly be a causal relationship between the two. He also discusses precognitive dreams as an example of this phenomenon. One of the most interesting aspects of this research is that it showed that these various “psychic” abilities were not affected by distance or time, similar to the way that quantum particles can be connected regardless of their distance apart. In fact, many of the precognitive dreams on record and which he experienced with his patients did not coincide in time with the events with which they were connected, although they were often within few days.

Because these synchronistic events generally do involve physical objects, they provide a possible explanation for tarot readings and other divination techniques. Jung argues that our scientific world became so steeped in the concepts of cause and effect over the last few centuries that any phenomena that did not fit that model were ignored or ridiculed. Now that it has been demonstrated that other models lie at the very basis of our physical world, there is the possibility that synchronistic events may gain more credence in the larger world as well.

Unfortunately, synchronistic events are next to impossible to study, almost by definition, since the scientific method is based on repeatable cause and effect. Since they don’t occur with any predictable regularity, it is difficult to even prove their existence. This points out one possible difficulty with this theory as a basis for tarot reading – it would have to be a mechanism that works with reasonable reliability, over and over, whenever a tarot reader wishes to do a reading.

Most synchronistic events happen in an unplanned manner, without regularity. The question is, can this acausal connecting mechanism be harnessed and used by the tarot reader in a conscious, directed manner?

One thing Jung noticed about the ESP and astrology research was that the results depended on the subject’s frame of mind. For example, if a subject was bored or disbelieving, he or she would not score well on an ESP test compared to a subject that was enthusiastic about the test. Similarly, when asked to randomly select subjects’ charts for an experiment on astrological conjunctions related to marriage, an experienced astrologer would synchronistically pair up a higher percentage of subjects with the appropriate conjunctions without ever having looked at the charts. A computer-generated matching would, on the other hand, select only an average number of people with the appropriate conjunctions. This effect was entirely unexpected and not part of the original astrological study.

These results suggest that, even if the underlying mechanisms exist, the ability to make use of synchronistic approaches is dependent on one’s frame of mind and belief. To some extent, tarot readers know this implicitly. Our readings are better when we are in a positive and receptive frame of mind, and not doubting our abilities. It may also suggest that we need to direct our thoughts along the appropriate pathways to get the correct results. If everything is connected at some basic level, we could get any result at all if we did not direct our thoughts toward a certain person and the circumstances and energies surrounding them. This may be especially true of long-distance or e-mail readings, in which the client is not present.

Although the ESP and astrological studies showed that the predictive relationship was much higher than could be accounted for by random chance, it is interesting to note that it is also much too low to be considered “reliable.” In other words, even though it seems to demonstrate a connection, you couldn’t make a living off of it as a gambler or a psychic because your predictions would still be wrong a good percentage of the time. Even tarot readers have noticed that it is difficult to make yes/no predictions of the outcomes of events, such as sports or political contests. Tarot may be much better at working with other types of information, such as the energies and dynamics at work in a situation, than with definitive factual information.

In summary, quantum physics and synchronicity provide some concepts that could explain how tarot reading works, in the vast middle ground between divine direction and pure psychology. Although the current status of either of these concepts is not sufficiently developed to definitively demonstrate that this is the case, they do at least provide some plausible mechanisms and ideas that are consistent with our experiences as tarot readers. And they’re fun to think about.

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Spirituality

How Hell Works: A Brief Guide to the Afterlife

Sooner or later, time is up for everyone. It would be ridiculous to think that after such a life we ​​will be able to somehow penetrate through the heavenly gates or deceive the archangel guarding them. It is worth accepting the inevitable: not booths and houris are waiting for us, but the gloomy landscape of hell. And in order not to get confused at the grave board, you should prepare for this in advance. Moreover, you can find a whole bunch of authoritative evidence on how to navigate in hellish terrain. The main thing is not to panic.

Where is it, the underworld? Some ancient peoples burned the deceased: this is a sure sign that the soul must ascend to its new abode in heaven. If he was buried in the ground, then she will go to the underworld.

If sent on the last journey by boat, it sails to the country across the sea, at the very edge of the Earth. The Slavs had a variety of opinions on this, but they all agreed on one thing: the souls of those people who are not kept near their former dwellings enter the afterlife, and they lead about the same existence there – they harvest, hunt …

Those who, due to a curse, or an unfulfilled promise, or something else, cannot leave their bodies, remain in our world – either settling into their former shells, then taking the form of animals, natural phenomena, or simply ghosts of failure. We can say that the afterlife of such souls is our own world, so this is not the worst option for a posthumous existence.

Egyptian hell

Everything will turn out much worse if you find yourself in the afterlife of the ancient Egyptians, where Osiris reigns. During his earthly incarnation, he was killed and dismembered by his own brother Set. This could not but affect the character of the lord of the dead.

Osiris looks repulsive: he looks like a mummy, clutching the signs of pharaoh’s power. Sitting on the throne, he presides over the court, which weighed the actions of the newly arrived souls. The god of life Horus brings them here. Hold on tightly to his hand: the hawk-headed Chorus is the son of the underground king, so it may well put in a good word for you.

Egypt

The courtroom is huge – this is the entire firmament. According to the directions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a number of rules should be observed in it. List in detail the sins that you did not have time to commit during your lifetime. After that, you will be offered to leave a memory of yourself and help your relatives by depicting a court scene on a papyrus scroll.

If your artistic talent is at its best, you will spend the rest of eternity here, participating in the affairs of Osiris and his numerous divine relatives. The rest await a cruel execution: they are thrown to be devoured by Ammatu, a monster with the body of a hippo, paws and mane of a lion and a crocodile mouth.

However, the lucky ones may find themselves in his jaws: from time to time there are “cleansings”, in which the affairs of the wards souls are again reviewed. And if relatives have not provided the appropriate amulets, you will most likely be eaten by a ruthless monster.

Greek hell

It is even easier to get into the afterlife kingdom of the Greeks: you will be carried away by the god of death Thanatos himself, who brings here all the “fresh” souls. During big battles and battles, where he, apparently, cannot cope alone, Thanatos is helped by winged Kerrs, who carry the fallen to the kingdom of the eternally gloomy Hades.

In the far west, at the edge of the world, stretches a lifeless plain, in some places overgrown with willows and poplars with black bark. Behind it, at the bottom of the abyss, the muddy quagmire of Acheron opens. It merges with the black waters of the Styx, which encircles the world of the dead nine times and separates it from the world of the living. Even the gods are wary of breaking the oaths given by the name of Styx: these waters are sacred and ruthless. They flow into Cocytus, the river of weeping that gives rise to Lethe, the river of oblivion.

Greece

You can cross the river Styx in old man Charon’s boat. For his labor, he takes a small copper coin from each. If you have no money, you just have to wait for the end of time at the entrance. Charon’s boat crosses all nine streams and drops passengers into the abode of the dead.

Here you will be greeted by a huge three-headed dog Cerberus, safe for those entering, but ferocious and merciless to those who are trying to return to the sunny world. On a vast plain, under a chilling wind, wait quietly among other shadows for your turn. The uneven road leads to the palace of Hades himself, surrounded by the fiery stream of Phlegeton. The bridge over it rests against the gate, standing on diamond columns.

Behind the gates is a huge hall made of bronze, where Hades himself and his assistants, judges Minos, Eak and Radamant, are seated. By the way, all three were once people of flesh and blood, like you and me. They were just kings and ruled their nations so well that after their death Zeus made them judges over all the dead.

With a high probability, just judges will cast you even lower, into Tartarus – the kingdom of pain and groans, located deep under the palace. Here you will have to meet three old sisters, goddesses of vengeance, Erinnias, whom Hades put to watch over sinners.

Their appearance is terrible: blue lips from which poisonous saliva drips; black cloaks like the wings of bats. With balls of snakes in their hands, they rush through the dungeon, lighting their path with torches, and make sure that everyone fully drinks the cup of their punishment. Among the other “indigenous inhabitants” of Tartarus are Lamia, the stealing child, the three-headed Hecate, the demon of nightmares, the corpse-eater Eurynom.

Here you will also meet many mythical figures. Tyrant Ixion is forever chained to a wheel of fire. The chained giant Titius, who offended the tender Leto, is pecked by two vultures. The blasphemer Tantalus is immersed up to his throat in the freshest clear water, but as soon as he, tormented by thirst, bends down, it retreats from him. The Danaids who killed their husbands are forced to endlessly fill the leaky vessel. The quirky Sisyphus, who once deceived the spirit of death Thanatos, and the intractable Hades, and Zeus himself, rolls a stone up the mountain, which breaks down every time he approaches the top.

Christian hell

The images of Christian hell are largely inspired by the ancient Greeks. It is among Christians that the geography of hell has been studied in most detail. Getting there is a little more difficult. Already in the apocryphal books – those that were not included in the Holy Scriptures or were excluded from it later – different opinions were expressed about the location of hell.

Thus, the “Book of Enoch” places the devil himself in the eastern lifeless desert, where Raphael “makes a hole” into which he lowers him, bound hand and foot, and rolls him over with a stone. However, according to the same apocrypha, the soul will go in the opposite direction, to the west, where it will “groan” in the depressions of the high mountain range.

At the end of the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great, distinguishing between two hells – upper and lower – placed one on the ground, the second under it.

In his 1714 book on the nature of hell, the English occultist Tobias Swinden placed hell in the sun. He motivated his assumption by the then existing ideas about our light as a ball of fire and a quote from the Apocalypse (“The fourth Angel poured out his bowl on the Sun: and it was given to him to burn people with fire”).

And his contemporary and follower, William Whiston, declared all celestial comets to be hell: when they get into the hot regions of the sun, they fry souls, and when they move away, they freeze them. However, you should hardly hope to get on a comet. The most widely accepted idea is that hell is located in the center of the Earth and has at least one exit to the surface.

Most likely, this exit is located in the north, although there are other opinions. So, an old poem about the wanderings of the Irish saint Brendan tells about his journey to the far west, where he finds not only heavenly places, but also places of torment for sinners.

The sun

And in heaven, and under the earth, and on the earth itself, hell is placed in the apocryphal “Walk of the Mother of God through torment.” This book is replete with detailed descriptions of punishments. Asking God to disperse the complete darkness that envelops the suffering in the West, Mary sees a red-hot tar pour out on the unbelievers. Here, in a cloud of fire, those who “sleep like the dead at dawn on Sunday” are tormented, and those who have not stood in church during their lifetime are sitting on red-hot benches.

In the south, other sinners are immersed in the river of fire: those cursed by their parents – up to the waist, fornicators – up to the chest, and up to the throat – “those who ate human flesh,” that is, traitors who abandoned children to be devoured by beasts or betrayed their brothers before the king. But deepest of all, to the crown, are the perjurers.

The Mother of God sees here other punishments due to lovers of profit (hanging by the legs), sowers of enmity and Klchristian adepts (hanging by the ears). In the “left side of paradise”, in the raging waves of boiling tar, the Jews who crucified Christ are suffering.

John Milton, author of the poem “Paradise Lost”, is in the realm of the eternal chaos. According to his concept, Satan was overthrown even before the creation of the earth and heaven, which means that hell is outside these areas. The devil himself sits in Pandemonium, the “brilliant capital”, where he receives the most prominent demons and demons.

Pandemonium is a huge castle with halls and porticoes, built by the same architect as the palace of the Heavenly King. The angel architect, who joined the army of Satan, was expelled from heaven with him. Myriads of spirits rush along the corridors of the palace, swarming in the earth and air. There are so many of them that only satanic sorcery allows them to be accommodated.

Even more confusing is the medieval Christian theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. He distinguished three different hells, corresponding to the three levels of heaven. And since God has dominion over everything, all three hells are ruled by him through specially delegated angels.

In his opinion, Satan does not exist at all as the ruler of the kingdom of evil. The devil in Swedenborg’s understanding is a collective name for the most dangerous “evil geniuses”; Beelzebub unites spirits striving for dominion even in heaven; Satan means “not so evil” spirits. All these spirits are terrible to look at and, like corpses, are deprived of life.

The faces of some are black, in others they are fiery, and in others they are “ugly with pimples, abscesses and ulcers; many of them don’t see their faces, others have only teeth sticking out. ” Swedenborg formulated the idea that as heaven reflects one person, and hell in aggregate is only a reflection of one devil and can be represented in this form. The devil’s mouth, leading to the fetid underworld – this is the path awaiting sinners.

Heaven

Do not overly trust the opinion of some authors who argue that the entrance to hell can be locked. Christ in the “Apocalypse” says: “I have the keys of hell and death.” But Milton claims that the keys to Gehenna (apparently on behalf of Jesus) are kept by a terrible half-woman, half-snake. On the surface of the earth, the gate may look quite harmless, like a pit or a cave, or like a mouth of a volcano. According to Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy, written at the beginning of the 14th century, souls can go to hell by passing through a dense and gloomy forest.

This poem is the most authoritative source about the hellish device. The structure of the underworld is described in all its complexity. The hell of the Divine Comedy is the torso of Lucifer, inside it has a funnel-shaped structure. Starting a journey through hell, Dante and his guide Virgil descend deeper and deeper, without turning anywhere, and in the end find themselves in the same place from which they entered it.

The strangeness of this hellish geometry was noticed by the famous Russian mathematician, philosopher and theologian Pavel Florensky. He proved very reasonably that Dante’s hell is based on non-Euclidean geometry. Like the entire Universe in the concepts of modern physics, hell in the poem has a finite volume, but has no boundaries, which was proved (theoretically) by the Swiss Weil.

Muslim hell

It looks like a Christian hell and an underworld that awaits Muslims. Among the stories of The Thousand and One Nights, seven circles are told. The first is for the faithful who have died an unjust death, the second is for apostates, the third is for the pagans. Jinn and the descendants of Iblis himself inhabit the fourth and fifth circles, Christians and Jews – the sixth. The innermost, seventh circle is waiting for the hypocrites.

Before getting here, souls await the great Doomsday, which will come at the end of time. However, the wait does not seem long to them.

Like most other sinners, visitors to the Islamic Hell are eternally roasted on fire, and every time their skin is burned, it grows again. The Zakkum tree grows here, the fruits of which, like the heads of the devil, are the food of the punished. Do not try the local cuisine: these fruits boil in the stomach like molten copper.

Those who eat them are tormented by intolerable thirst, but the only way to quench it is to drink boiling water so foul-smelling that it “melts the insides and skin.” In short, this is a very, very hot place. In addition, Allah even enlarges the bodies of the kafirs, increasing their torment.

Honestly, none of the described hells arouses good feelings in us, especially in comparison with our small, but generally comfortable world. So where exactly to go is up to you. Of course, it is not possible to give a complete information about the structure of hell on the pages of the magazine.

However, we hope that our quick overview will help everyone who finds themselves there to quickly navigate and greet their new eternity with the words of John Milton:

“Hello, sinister world! Hello, Beyond Gehenna! “

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Spirituality

Chalk portrait of Virgin Mary appeared 13 years later, Mexican people call for miracles

A recent miraculous phenomenon on an asphalt road in Guadalupe, Mexico, the image of the Virgin Mary painted in chalk 13 years ago suddenly appeared. Local residents believe this "miraculous manifestation". (Video screenshot)

A mysterious phenomenon recently appeared on an asphalt road in Guadalupe, Mexico. A portrait of the Virgin Mary painted with chalk 13 years ago suddenly appeared. The local residents were quite surprised and believe in this “miraculous manifestation”.

This chalk-painted portrait of the Virgin is located on the asphalt pavement of an open-air parking lot next to the Guadalupe municipal government. It was an unknown person who held the “Bella Vía” (Bella Vía) in Guadalupe in 2007 Painted during the festival.

Recently, a man splashed water on the asphalt road there, and this portrait of the Virgin unexpectedly appeared again.

The staff of the city government said that the parking lot has undergone many changes and the city has also experienced extreme weather. This image should have disappeared a few years ago, but it has suddenly appeared miraculously recently.

After the incident spread in the local area, it immediately attracted a large number of people to watch, and city hall officials were also surprised. Many people believe that this is the miracle of the Virgin, and many believers come to worship and light candles and place flowers on the spot.

Félix Palomo, director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Guadalupe Municipal Government, also shared a photo of this mysterious chalk drawing on Twitter and wrote:

“Believe it or not, the problem is that this portrait was created 13 years ago. How could it reappear afterwards?”

At present, the portrait of the Virgin Mary has been surrounded by traffic triangles, and the ground is often splashed with water to make the portrait of the Virgin Mary appear more clearly. As for why this chalk-drawn portrait of the Virgin Maru can be kept for 13 years, no experts have yet provided any explanation.

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Spirituality

The legend that connects the Holy Grail with a Polish village – The Knights Templar and the secret tunnels

Like all great travelers, the Knights Templar of medieval times needed some places to settle, and so they built some of the most impressive castles and cathedrals.

Famous examples of these 13th-century buildings are found throughout the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Less well known are the impressive chapels and fortifications they built in western Poland, where the Knights Templar and other crusaders colonized the area and began to weave their own mythology into the idyllic rural landscape.

A trip to the region of Western Pomerania and the villages of Chwarszczany, Myślibórz and Rurka – near the border with Germany – is an adventure in a neglected destination, where historical secrets are still revealed.

And, according to at least one local legend, there could still be hidden the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus Christ drank at the Last Supper and later had his blood.

The road to Chwarszczany, a village lost among fields and forests, is not very well known, and has few permanent residents. The village itself is a collection of faded houses with less than 100 inhabitants who have chickens and grow tomatoes in the summer.

The farms and houses built in the traditional German style, testify to the geopolitical unrest that has affected the area over the centuries.

The special, timeless chapels built by the Knights Templar

It is here that the Knights Templar established a place of worship. Made of red bricks on a granite base, the church of Agios Stanislaos was built in 1232 on an isolated spot.

The chapel is designed according to the Temple of the Temples, an intricate code that the knights obeyed for fear of exile from the fraternity. The appearance of the building is defensive, its high walls are built to withstand attacks as well as the ravages of time.

It is still used as a place of worship, although Sunday mornings in Chwarszczany are quiet, we usually see about 30 parishioners gathered inside the chapel. There are two renovated frescoes on the walls.

The chapel in Chwarszczany

Discoveries are still being made here that shed new light on the lives and deaths of the knights and their followers. Among the finds below the sanctuary of the chapel are the bodies of some of the knights themselves and a possible secret passage.

Przemysław Kołosowski, an archaeologist working to preserve Chwarszczany’s medieval heritage, says that during excavations in 2019, researchers discovered more fortifications and a cemetery using ground-penetrating radar.

“Our GPR has identified gothic crypts with the remains of the Knights Templar beneath the chapel,” Kołosowski told CNN Travel. “According to legends and medieval documents, there was a well near the chapel. According to rumors, the well served as the entrance to a secret tunnel. “This requires further thorough archaeological research.”

The stories of the Knights Templar are a source of inspiration for movies

The Knights Templar have fascinated historians and archaeologists for years, in part because of the shady aspects of some of their practices.

Their Order was founded in Jerusalem in the 12th century to protect the pilgrims of the Holy Land. They became a powerful force throughout Europe, enjoying papal privileges, tax breaks and rich donations, while at the same time gaining legendary status.

The Knights Templar protected the Holy Grail

They are said to have become the patrons of the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred ark in which were kept the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments that God had given to Moses for the second time, and other sacred objects of the Israelis. These stories have inspired films such as Indiana Jones and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

“The Knights Templar are always involved in everything,” Italian writer Uberto Eco wrote in his book “Foucault’s Pendulum.” 

This certainly seems to be the case in 12th and 13th century Europe. In western Poland, landowners decided to prevent this entanglement by inviting knights to settle in what was then known as the Pojezierze Myśliborskie region.

Struggles for political power

About 40 miles (25 miles) north of Chwarszczany, another Romanesque building owes its existence to the medieval order. The Chapel of the Knights at Rurka is a rugged stone building dating back to 1250, built in the architectural style of the German region of Saxony.

In a secluded forest spot, the Rurka Chapel was sold to private hands in 1999 and is closed for renovation.

Going further northeast, after a 25-minute drive, travelers will reach Myślibórz, a narrow community of narrow roads surrounded by forests and four lakes.

The Knights Templar arrived in Mysliborz, Poland in the 13th century. It is an idyllic place, but the show here is stolen by the extremely preserved fortifications of the city, which today look almost as they look during the Crusades.

Myślibórz’s defense architecture provides a glimpse of what life was like in the Temple Age, when communities lived in fear of wars and struggles for political power.

Historical documents place the Knights Templar at Myślibórz from about 1238, when the land around their city was ceded to the local aristocrat, Duke Władysław Odonic.

The secrets of the swamp

The fortifications around Myślibórz were built in the 13th and 14th centuries. The city has retained its medieval town planning, with a square in the middle. Around this market there is the 18th century town hall, and houses.

Even today, the main entrances to the city are through two medieval gates, the Pyrzycka Gate and the Nowogródzka Gate, which were built in the early 13th and 14th centuries. Modern roads allow cars to enter the city through the gates. Inside the fortifications there is a cylindrical stone tower with loopholes.

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Visitors should ask about a secret underground tunnel that runs down the city, from the large church on Market Square to the Dominican convent, which, according to Karolczak, was originally the site of the Temple of the Knights Templars.

After the expulsion of the Knights Templar from Myślibórz in the late 13th century, their legendary treasure disappeared. Karolczak says that according to local tradition, the treasure was sunk by the Knights themselves, in a nearby lake.

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