In Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival the Gral is depicted as a stone:
"'It is well known to me,' said his host, 'that many formidable fighting-men dwell at Munsalvaesche with the Gral. They are continually riding out on sorties in quest of adventure. Whether these same Templars reap trouble or renown, they bear it for their sins. A warlike company lives there. I will tell you how they are nourished. They live from a Stone whose essence is most pure. If you have never heard of it I shall name it for you here. It is called 'Lapsit exillis'. By virtue of this Stone the Phoenix is burned to ashes, in which he is reborn.-Thus does the Phoenix moult its feathers! Further: however ill a mortal may be, from the day on which he sees the Stone he cannot die for that week, nor does he lose his colour. For if anyone, maid or man, were to look at the Gral for two hundred years, you would have to admit that his colour was as fresh as in his early prime, except that his hair would grey!-Such powers does the Stone confer on mortal men that their flesh and bones are soon made young again. This Stone is also called 'The Gral'. (A.T. Hatto translation)
One thing that strikes me about Parzival is that its writer Wolfram who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries was a very well read man, familiar with both Aryan mythology and classical literature. The Stone referred to in this work is conceptually different from the typical chalice of xtian mediaeval legend. This demonstrates the great antiquity and heathen roots of this work which has like Wagner's Parsifal a thin xtian veneer. As an aside the old German name Wolfram means wolfraven, two animals which are sacred to Woden as wolf lord and raven lord. The warlike company who dwell in the castle and temple of the Gral remind me of the Einheriar.
According to scholars the term Lapsit exillis is 'meaningless' but it is not difficult to work out the meaning. No doubt this is a corruption of lapis (stone) or lapsus (fallen). Indeed this may be a clever and deliberate invention of a word to resemble two linked concepts- a fallen stone or a stone that fell. Exillis may be derived from exilium (exile). Thus we have the fallen stone of exile, clearly a reference to the legend regarding the fall of a stone from the crown of Lucifer in His war against the semitic demiurge, the evil Jahweh. An alternative explanation is found in An Introduction to a Second Reading, the appendix to A.T. Hatto's translation.
"The spiritually controlled weight of the Stone and the rejuvenating powers ascribed to the Stone in some versions, must have contributed to Wolfram's notion of his Gral, also a stone, while a phrase used of Alexander's Stone in one Latin version, lapis exilis 'small or slight stone' at least affected some manuscript readings of Parzival, if not Wolfram's original text itself, since a synonym for the Gral in Chapter 9 adopted by Lachmann and by all editors since is lapsit exillis."
Otto Rahn writing in 1933 states:
Following the example of the Hindus, a stone that fell from the stars, a lapsis ex coelis (Wolfram speaks of a lapsis exillis), an erroneous expression that makes no real sense) that illuminates and consoles the world, symbolized the pure doctrine, which signified nothing other than Catharism. (Crusade Against the Grail. The Struggle Between the Cathars, the Templars, and the Church of Rome)However despite Rahn's remarks he must have believed that the Gral was a physical object as he spent the rest of his life searching for it! The Stone has nothing to do with the xtian chalice and indeed it has magical properties that would not be out of place in an Irish myth. It is clearly a pre-xtian object and concept. Wolfram even links the Stone with the Phoenix which is a mythical bird in both Greek and Iranian mythology and thus an Aryan concept. Both Guido von List and Rudolf von Sebottendorf refer to the Phoenix and liken it to the eagle which is most certainly a sacred Aryan symbol:
"It sacrifices itself, as it consecrates itself in a flaming death, in order to be reborn. For this reason it was called the `fanisk` and later `phoenix`. Therefore it is read as a symbolic hieroglyph when an eagle is laid on the funeral pyre of a celebrated hero to indicate that the dead hero rejuvenatingly prepares himself in death for rebirth in order to strive for a still more glorious future life in human form in spite of all the restrictions of the powers of darkness-all of which crumble before the `ar:` `Respect the primal fire!"(Guido von List, Secret of the Runes)"In order to depict the eagle`s capacity for self-immolation by fire, it is coloured red. From today on our symbol is the red eagle, which warns us that we must die in order to live."(Rudolf von Sebottendorf)
George A. Keryx refers in his book to the Gral consisting of not just one but twelve stone tablets engraved with a runic script:
"The men of the Ahnenerbe examined the Grail-twelve stone tablets bearing rune-like inscriptions-but no expert could decipher it." (Holy Grail. Ancient Pagan Apocrypha, 1998)
Keryx also refers to a passage in Voluspa 61:
"There afterwards will be found in the grass the wonderful golden chequers, those which they possessed in ancient times." (Poetic Edda, translation by Carolyne Larrington)
The older translation by Benjamin Thorpe actually conveys a clearer translation of this passage which by the way is numbered as Voluspa 59 in that version:
"There shall again the wondrous golden tables in the grass be found, which in days of old had possessed the ruler of the gods, and Fiolnir's race."
This clearly prophesies that the Gral (if we associate it with these tablets) will be recovered in the new Golden Age. There is also a connection with the Emerald Table of Hermes Trismegistus:
"Legend has it that Hermes had inscribed a central axiom of his teachings onto an 'Emerald Table', which likely denotes a tablet.
"It is mere speculation, but speculation both logical and based on historical precedence, so that it can be imagined that high members of the Church could have taught that this Emerald Tablet-this emerald stone-was the product of Lucifer; that it had in fact fallen from his crown and was thus the epitome of evil. The symbolism of this 'evil stone', hated by the Church, could later have easily become synthesized with the symbolism of a 'Grail Stone', or according to some teachings, a 'Grail Cup' with an emerald mounted in it." (Keryx)
The Gral as a stone is also an aspect of the Northumbrian Gral Runes:
"It seems that the 'magical formula' calc-stan-gar actually represents an esoteric understanding of the Grail mythos which was well-developed in the Germanic world. Although Wolfram refers to southern sources from Moorish Spain, no hard evidence for this understanding has actually come from there. So we are left with Wolfram's lengthy discourses in Parzival as well as other discussions in medieval German works, e.g., the Wartburgkrieg of Heinrich von Ofterdingen, in which the Grail is also identified with a stone that fell from Lucifer's crown, and the Old English runic tradition, as sources for the chalice-stone-spear complex." (ALU. An Advanced Guide to Operative Runology, 2012, Edred Thorsson.)
Edred Thorsson places the origin of the calc-stan-gar (horn/chalice-stone-spear) complex among the Alans, a North Iranian people who were stationed in Northumbria in Roman times. Herodotus explains that the Sythians who the Alans were closely related to had an origin myth that concerned three golden objects that fell from the sky, a plow and yoke, a battle-ax and a cup. These three objects represent the three Dumezelian functions of fertility, war and priestcraft, the three Aryan castes. He comments that the stone (Stan) represents earth (fertility), the spear (Gar) represents war and the chalice (Calc) priestcraft.
For those who hear the call of the blood the Aryan Gral has a special significance:
"As to those who are appointed to the Gral, hear how they are made known. Under the top edge of the Stone an Inscription announces the name and lineage of the one summoned to make the glad journey." (Parzival)
Finally to quote from Keryx' incredible book:
"The Cathars not only possessed the Holy Grail, but they knew the secret that the ancient script on the stone tablets revealed. ....That secret is the true and complete history of the Indo-European peoples."