St. George was born sometime between 275 and 281 and died in 303. He was born in what is now Turkey. Some historians doubt that he was an actual person. They think his story was created by putting together various legends and assigning them to one person. Personally, I don’t think it really matters whether he was an actual person or not. His legend is more symbolic than factual, so it’s meaning is what important. St. George was a soldier in the Roman army and is usually depicted in armor on a horse. There are two major legend’s associated with St. George and both are very symbolic. The most famous story is his defeat of a dragon. The dragon has made his nest at the spring that provides water for a town. In order to get water, the people have to lure the dragon away for a while. This they do by bringing the dragon a sheep. If they can’t find a sheep, they give him a maiden drawn by lot. One day, the princess is drawn. The King begs that she be spared, but the people will not make an exception for her. Just as she if offered to the dragon, the traveling St. George appears. He fights and slays the dragon and saves the princess. If this tale sounds familiar, it has been told with some variation for a number of other heroes. I’ve covered dragon symbology on this blog already. In this case, the dragon is clearly one of the evil representations. It is believed to be an allegory for repression of a pagan cult. Another possibility is that it represents the devil much like St. Patrick and the snakes. The second legend regarding St. George is that he was tortured on a wheel of swords before being decapitated. This was due to his confessing to be a Christian when the emperor Galerius ordered his soldiers to help persecute Christians. According to the most detailed story, George is told by God that he will suffer three deaths. A magician gives him two vials of a potion that can bring the dead back to life. St. George is than subjected to various tortures ending with the wheel of swords that cuts him into ten parts. The pieces are thrown into a well and covered. God and the Archangel Michael appear and revive George. The revived saint is then subjected to more tortures including having molten led poured into his mouth. He survives again, but stays dead after the third time. Now I have never heard of this wheel of swords torture device before and, while it may very well have existed as a real thing, it is also highly symbolic. A wheel is a symbol of solar power. Also fate, time and karma, the cycles of life, renewal and rebirth. So while this torture of St. George may have really occurred, it may still be symbolic of him being “tortured” when he has to confront his ego and be reborn to his fate by the power of the Sun of Righteousness. The torture known as “the dark night of the soul” that many have to face before they can awaken their spiritual self.
Another interesting case of syncronicity. Just after I wrote the draft for this story, I sat down to watch TV and the History Channel was running a story about dragons.
Most people don’t think they can see auras (life energy fields). Actually, almost everyone can to some degree, and without a lot of practice. You probably won’t see the bright colors and dancing, flame like energy bursts that some psychics see. What you will most likely see is an area where the light seems a bit different than other areas. Somewhat like the way movie special effects makes invisible things not quite invisible so the audience can see them moving. To do it is really very simple. Start with a tree. Look at the edge of the tree with your eyes unfocused, perhaps even a little cross-eyed. Just around the edges you will see this area. I’ve found it’s usually easier for beginners to do it outdoors in sunlight before trying it indoors. Also, a tree or large shrub is a good place to start because it isn’t going to wonder why your staring at it. If you don’t see it at first, try looking from different angles and different degrees of un-focusing (blurring) your vision until you do. You may also see transparent geometric shapes within the branches of the tree, but that is unusual. Once you get it to work with trees, try with a pet or a person. It works indoors in a well lighted room as well. When you do it with a person, you should tell them what you are doing. You don’t want to creep them out when they see you looking at them cross-eyed. While you probably won’t see colors, you may notice a difference in the size of this energy field around different people. Generally, happy, energetic, well adjusted people will have a larger, more uniform energy field. People who are angry, unfriendly, run-down and negative will have a smaller, less uniform energy field.
The butterfly and the dragon fly have similar spiritual significance so I am including both in this article. The butterfly, through it’s metamorphosis from the caterpillar, symbolizes rebirth and the soul. To the Chinese, it symbolizes immortality as well as joy and leisure. To the Japanese, a geisha or a vain woman while a white one is considered a spirit of someone dead. Butterflies are often used in art as symbols for female energy, homosexuality, sensuality, temptation, marriage, death and good luck as well as rebirth and immortality. It is also a symbol of creativity and freedom. The dragonfly can symbolize swiftness, activity and whirlwinds, but, like the butterfly, it also symbolizes rebirth and immortality. They also symbolize transformation and adaptation. When mating, dragonflies form a heart shape so they are also a symbol of love. They symbolize our ability to transform ourselfs through a spiritual awakening. The dragonfly has a less than friendly reputation historically though. Some old European names for them are “devil’s needle”, “hobgoblin needle” and “water witch”. Some strange tales evolved about dragonflies. In some places, they were believed to be able to sew eyes shut. In others, to puncture your eardrum if they got into your ears. All of these strange tales are untrue. So if you see a dragonfly in an unusual place or setting, it is probably a good symbol meaning luck, transformation, or spiritual awakening. A final word on butterflies. A lot of people speculate, or just wonder, where the name comes from. The answer is simple. In England, where the english name comes from, the most common butterfly is a small one with pale yellow wings. It also is oddly attracted to the scent of milk. So you can imagine back a hundred years ago, seeing a women out on the porch churning butter in an old wooden butter churn, and several of the yellow insects are fluttering around. So naturally, they got named “butterflies”.