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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Saint George and Alchemical Union

23rd April. Today is a day for lovers, for the lovers within ourselves, as our masculine parts descend and our feminine parts rise to join in amorous harmony. The union of the heart and brain. 

Edward Burne Jones dipiction of George

The prince of the skies, Saint George came down from the air. He fell from paradise, from the place of union of light, flew down through intuition and found himself confronted by his own earthly reality.  Suddenly he is no longer the prince of the skies but now a (half) human (half) being. Woaah! What is that dragon?

They say that we are born on earth impure. The Catalans would say malparits, which is literally born badly, figuratively translated as “in a sorry state”. We come out a little monstrous, not quite as perfect as our minds would like. We are our own Frankensteins. We are not in harmony with the universe (One- version) but we pipe our own out-of-unison song. The cosmos flows around in orderly lines, like a ploughed field, in harmonic unison with each other, like an orchestra with each musician playing as one creating a beautiful uplifting piece of music. And then we are born and get out those party horn things. And blow it. But it's not exactly Mozart.

The dragon is a representation of this rather uncoordinated clumsiness. We are all made up of the four elements, everything is. In an enlightened state, the four elements are equally balanced and working together: Air (intuition), Water (emotions), Fire (thinking) and Earth (sensations). We need to balance our four elements. Ether (the belonging to a whole greater than the sum of its parts) is impotent without the others in balance. It is the secret of physical and psychological health. None of us, as far as I can see, are enlightened: we've got work to do! We’ve got our dragons to face.

Aristotle's elemental qualities

The dragon is a representation of the four elements, he blows fire angrily out from his mouth, his wings allow him to fly clumsily in the air, his claws grip into the earth and he cries big baby crocodile tears. But his elements are all badly born. Clumsy and angry, his elements are all at odds with each other, like trying to light a fire in the rain or flying through tarmac...

So, Saint George finds himself in a predicament coming up against this dragon (inside of himself) as he heroically admits to discovering his instincts. And as all cavaliers, to save his good name, he is faced with one option:

Slowly, calmly, he gets out his sword and shield. 

He fights nobly from the top of his white horse of the mind, just like all of our fantasy heros do, and with his sophisticated sword work he manages to slice through the reality of himself (like Shiva´s sword) getting a little closer to the truth to give him a little more strength to dominate his dragon. Some stories just go right ahead and kill the dragon off, but how can instincts be killed? It is impossible. Some Granddad got carried away retelling the story…so in the mystic story, the dragon is dominated. Saint George is able to dominate with his mind the impulses of his instincts. Dominating the dragon he has aligned his four elements to be more in harmony. They do not fight so much anymore, the dragon is a little more docile. Ether is given a chance.

Saint George finds himself in a more balanced state, and as a result, from the mouth of the cave, steps a beautiful maiden now that the dragon is not ferociously guarding the entrance. 

Jung's dipiction from his Red Book

Saint George is rewarded by glimpsing his soul. His Anima, the feminine within, influences his interactions with the world giving them more meaning. Allowing him to begin to conceive of himself in the Uni-verse. It could be considered the path to our creative gifts. From floating in the mind, suddenly Saint George is using his heart, and if expressed in a harmonious way, while the dragon is comfortable domesticated, it is beauty and truth and purity and wonderfully creative expression. It is being fully and ecstatically alive.

We can have as much information in our brains as we can fill, but until we have understood our knowledge through love, it cannot be comprehended. Those moments of eureka when suddenly you ‘see’, when you ‘click’ into what you you know is true because you remember somewhere knowing it once. You feel it's truth, because it is so obvious, so simple. It is like peeling away an onion skin, or taking off a veil (revelation). Normally we are left with something so beautifully simple that we secretly wonder if actually we knew it all along and had just somehow forgotten.

If we only understand our world with our brains, it is dry and unconnected. Comprehension is with our hearts and we connect with our profound memories, with our entire being. This connection of knowledge and heart is represented by the union of Saint George with the beautiful maiden, and how lovely she is! She allows us to leave the dark depths of the cave and resurface to fresh air where we can wake up and smell the roses.  (The Rose is the western equivalent of the eastern Lotus flower). 

The masculine and feminine come together once more, the sky and the earth rejoin... They have sex (alchemically speaking of course...)

The Alchemical union of the King and Queen

The union of Saint George with his maiden creates a third, a rebirth. This time the birth is a little better. They are transformed into the new castle and live happily ever after according to Walt D (....No!!! Don't believe it!!) The castle with its slightly better squared four walls is a representation of the four elements in slightly better harmony.

And the cycle comes to a close, but not an end. Like any spiral, Saint George is back where he began, at the same point but not the same man. Now he has aligned himself a smidgen more to the UniVersal, he has dominated his dragon for a while, and he has incorporated the Beauty of the glimpse of Truth into his self thanks to his inner maiden emerging from the cave of matter.

But too much of a good thing is never good…Saint George soon falls back down through the clouds, motivated by the image of a greater world…to go delve in the realms of his dragon land. Saint George is in constant movement, never getting stale, constantly birthing in another weird but wonderful way as he and his inner maiden evolve in greater and purer love.

Happy Saint George's day!

Carpaggio's dipiction of Saint George

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