“The legend of Icarus is a legend of Initiation. Icarus has attempted to reach the Sun-sphere prematurely, without adequate preparation, and is cast down.” ~Rudolf Steiner
From the Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology
|Son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls of his own invention, the Labyrinth. But the great craftsman’s genius would not suffer captivity. He made two pairs of wings by adhering feathers to a wooden frame with wax. Giving one pair to his son, he cautioned him that flying too near the sun would cause the wax to melt. But Icarus became ecstatic with the ability to fly and forgot his father’s warning. The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.|
Icarus and Daedalus
Until I read the quote by Steiner, I had not really thought about the tale of Icarus as an allegory for a failed initiate in a spiritual school. Once I did read it, the truth became obvious. While his tale is often interpreted as one of being overly ambitious, there is another way to look at it. Not much is said about Icarus himself in the legend, accept that he is the son of Daedalus.
Daedalus was considered a very talented craftsman and inventor. He is credited with building the labyrinth for King Minos. Some Greek tales also credit him with inventing sails for ships and with carving statues that looked alive. Continue reading “Icarus and Daedalus: A Tale of Spiritual Failure”