Six Degrees of the Grail Quest
I made my own Grail diary a few years ago and wanted to give it a uniqueness, so I added some notations only found in the novelization of the Last Crusade- most specifically the six degrees or levels of awareness in the Grail quest. It's conceivable that someone within the vastness of these numerous threads may have commented on the degrees once upon a time, but not recently as far as I can see. So, forgive me if I'm reiterating an old thread, but here are the degrees as as I wrote them, penned in the common style of the movie Grail Diary:
"There are six degrees or levels of awareness in the Grail quest and each one is represented by an animal.
The raven was the symbol of the first degree and represented the messenger of the Grail and the finger of fate that initiated the quest.
The peacock signified the second degree and symbolized the search for immortality. It is suggested that the colorful and imaginative nature of the quest is apparent.
The sign for the third degree was the swan because the one who took up the Grail quest sang a swan song to selfish and indulgent ways. In order to succeed in the quest, one must overcome weaknesses of the mind and heart and move beyond pety likes and dislikes.
The fourth degree was signified by the pelican, a bird willing to nurture its young by wounding its own breast. It symbolized the quality of self-sacrifice and the willingness to endanger self for the sake of saving one's own people.
The lion was the sign of the fifth degree. It stood for leadership, conquest, and the attainment of high goals.
The sixth and highest (degree) level, represented by the eagle, was achieved at the end of the quest. At that time the seeker of the Grail would have gained power and knowledge necessary to understand the significance of the search."
On the very last page of my diary, I added a "Final Note" that Henry, Sr. might have penned after a discussion with Junior. Some of these symbols appeared in the movie, but all are recorded in the novel: "This quest lead to all six degrees (or levels) of awareness. The first was represented by a raven that sat on the wondowsill of Junior's classroom. The second was represented by the peacock feathers in Donovan's home. The third degree was the swan in the pond at Brundwald Castle. The fourth was represented by the pelican on the fuselage of the zeppelin biplane. The fifth degree was the lion's heads at opposite ends of the 'invisible bridge'. The final (the sixth) was seen in a vision by Junior- an eagle."
I went on a quest of my own to locate the animal symbols in the film and, as aforementioned, some of these are found throughout the movie.