dragons and serpents

Dragons, Snakes, Serpents, and Energy Flow

“Whatever religion—Judaeo-Christian or otherwise—we might subscribe to, there are certain images that have a particular resonance with what, thanks to C.G. Jung, is now known as the Collective Unconscious.
“The snake or serpent is such a potent image in creation myths that it is found in almost every religious and belief system. …In Celtic myth, the world originated from an egg which came from the mouth of a serpent. … In the mythology of most of the world’s peoples, a serpent or dragon is linked to the origin of the world and to creation—it is the primordial being, the still undivided unity that held sway before the creation of the world.” ~Bernard Simon

Creation of the World

We must understand that when these myths talk about the creation of “the world” by a snake, serpent, or dragon, they are talking about the creation of the physical world or the realm of matter. In other words, they are saying that this serpent was responsible for the Great Fall. When Man, symbolically represented by Adam and Eve, were thrown out of Heaven by Angels, it was not as usually depicted by artists. Angels did not go after them with swords and chase them off. It was an automatic process. A reaction to an action. As we might spit out something foul-tasting, they were rejected from heaven by no longer fitting in there. And this process, initiated by the Serpent, included the creation of the lower realms of matter. Spiritual realms existed long before the Great Fall and will exist long after that error is corrected. The serpent, snake or dragon is generally considered an evil being, and rightly so. It is therefore logical that the worlds or dimensions they created are not good and not what God intended.

Dragons

In Chinese mythology dragons are symbols of great power, especially power over water, rain, and storms. Vietnamese and Korean dragons are also associated with water and power over it. In European tales, they are usually guarding a treasure, and are often defeated by a hero or saint. Thus they are symbols of sin, evil, and ferocity. While not usually mentioned, their guarding of a treasure indicate they also symbolize greed and materialism.

The dragon is also, in some places, a symbol of good luck and good fortune. This is, however, only on a material level, never spiritual. So again we see the dragon representing the values of materialism and greed. Continue reading “Dragons, Snakes, Serpents, and Energy Flow”

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Hermetic Symbols, Alchemy, and Spiritual Growth

“Of all the symbolic systems in which the truth has been enshrined none is so complete, so picturesque, and now so little understood as that of the “Hermetic Philosophers” or Spiritual Alchemists. This fact would itself be sufficient to justify us in examining some of the chief features of their symbolism. …
“The alchemical symbols, especially as applied to the mystic life, are full of often deliberate obscurity; which makes their exact interpretation a controversial matter at the best. Moreover, the authors of the various Hermetic writings do not always use them in the same sense. …
“The process of this work, sometimes describes in chemical, and sometimes in astrological terms, is more often than not disguised in a strange heraldic and zoological symbolism dealing with Lios, Dragons, Eagles, Vultures, Ravens and Doves: which is unequaled in its power of confusing the anxious and unwary inquirer.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Hermetic Symbols

Trying to understand Hermetic philosophy and Alchemical Mysticism by studying and interpreting the symbols used can be a daunting task. As Ms. Underhill notes, various writers on the subject can’t agree on the meanings of them. So what was the point of using such symbols?

The idea was to share teachings with the students without revealing the secrets to the uninitiated who could not be trusted to use such great knowledge and power wisely. This may even have resulted in different uses of a symbol by different teachers, or several symbols used to mean the same thing. That is why trying to understand spiritual truth by studying Hermetic symbols is like trying to find your way out of a jungle maze by studying the pebbles on the path. Still, it may be worth while looking at a few common ones. Continue reading “Hermetic Symbols, Alchemy, and Spiritual Growth”

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ancient wonders

Ancient Wonders and Their Symbolism

“The Seven Wonders of the World, while apparently designed for divers reasons, were really monuments erected to perpetuate the arcana of the Mysteries. They were symbolic structures, placed in peculiar spots, and the real purpose of their erection can be sensed only by the initiated. …

  1. The Colossus of Rhodes … was the work of an initiated artist, Chares of Lindus. … This gigantic gilded figure, with its crown of solar rays and its upraised torch, signified occultly the glorious Sun Man of the Mysteries.
  2. … A joint monument to the patron goddess, Diana. The place chosen was Ephesus, a city south of Smyna. …The original temple [of Artemis], designed as a miniature of the universe, was dedicated to the moon, the occult symbol of generation.
  3. Upon his exile from Athens, Phidias—the greatest of all the Greek sculptors—went to Olympia in the province of Elis and there designed his colossal statue of Zeus. … As its name implies, this monument was dedicated to the spirit of the planet Jupiter, one of the seven Logi who bow before the Lord of the Sun.
  4. The Lighthouse of Alexandria … is described as being of white marble and over 600 feet high. … It was naturally assigned to Saturn, the Father of the gods and the true Illuminator of all humanity.
  5. The Mausoleum [at Halicarnassus]was built … for the enlightenment of the world.
  6. The Gardens of Semiramis at Babylon—more commonly known as the Hanging Gardens—symbolized the planes of the invisible world. …
  7. The great Pyramid was supreme among the temples of the Mysteries. … It is the universal symbol of wisdom and letters.”

~Manly P. Hall

The Ancient Wonders

The ancient wonders of the world were true wonders. While they were great works of art and architectural accomplishment, they were more. They were guides to the hidden knowledge. Stepping stones of enlightenment.

First of all, we have the number seven. We see this all over the ancient world. We see the number seven used a lot in the Bible, especially in Revelation. This is usually interpreted as representing the energy centers (chakras) of man. This is probably true, even though there are actually eight such centers.

Each of these wonders had much of the spiritual wisdom of the initiated within it. Let’s look at a few more deeply. Continue reading “Ancient Wonders and Their Symbolism”

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Quiet Waters

Quiet Waters and the Light of the Spiritual Sun

“Lo! Quiet waters are before you—holy and tranquil and pleasant—for they are not the waters of contention that cast Joseph into the dungeon. … Nor are they waters of strife. … There are waters whereby there is reconciliation made with Heaven. … In it are baptized the sons of Hagar, and are become gentle and peaceful.
“In the beginning the Spirit that brooded moved on the waters; they conceived and gave birth. … The Holy Spirit has brooded in Baptism, and in mystery has give birth to eagles. … Lo! They are baptized and they become virgins and saints.” ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

Quiet Waters

White water rafting may be great fun, but for those seeking spiritual growth, calmer waters are better. The Quiet Water is the water of spirit. Water is symbolic of both cleansing and growth. This quiet water does both. It cleanses us of false beliefs and false life styles. It nourishes our spirits and souls allowing them to grow just as water helps plants to grow in the garden.

Waters of Contention

St. Ephraim says those quiet waters are not like the waters of contention. The waters of contention are those forces that turn us away from spirit, make us materialistic. They are the forces that make us turn o one another. Greed, fear, and other negative motions are carried on these waters. Continue reading “Quiet Waters and the Light of the Spiritual Sun”

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