Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Archetypes In Symbolism And Mythology


"Mythology is a fictitious tale about 
characters who never existed,
engaged in events that never happened.
But, yet, it is true."
- Joseph Panek

An Archetype is a physical portrayal of either an Event or an
abstract concept. An Archetype is portrayed as male when it is
designed to depict a masculine aspect, or essence, of nature.
An Archetype is portrayed as female when it is designed to
depict a feminine aspect, or essence, of nature.

Ancient Esoteric writings inform us that masculine aspects of
nature are active, bestowing, rational, logical, conscious, and
solar - The Seed; while feminine aspects of nature are passive,
accepting, intuitive, emotional, subconscious, and lunar
- The Womb.

The events depicted by an Archetype can be either terrestrial
( earthly ) or cosmic ( heavenly ). The Epic tales of classic
literature all contain Archetypal heroes, gods, and goddesses
who weave their ways through these ancient sagas and mingle
in the affairs of mankind. Consider the heroic and divine
Archetypes who have mesmerized us in Homer's unforgettable
classic tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

The abstract concepts depicted by Archetypes are limitless.
They include, but are not limited to, dreams, insights, epiphanies,
prophecy, esoteric Wisdom, and Shamanic experiences. These
are the Archetypes portrayed in the many temple paintings and
hieroglyphs which come down to us from ancient Egypt.

Archetypes allow us to visualize, personify and personalize events
and abstract concepts. They are unforgettable physical
constructions which then become an ingrained mental image that
allows us to recall and associate a specific Archetypal character
with a specific event or abstract concept.

An Archetype is a necessary element for the creation of metaphors,
allegories, parables, myths, legends, fables, and stories which
become the unforgettable Lessons which are then passed down
from generation to generation.

The ancient thought process was Archetypal and metaphorical.
The ancients thought, spoke, taught, and wrote through the use
of Archetypes and metaphors. Therefore, in order for us to
understand ancient histories, legends, myths, and sacred writings,
we must first attempt to understand the ancient mind which
evaluated events, ideas, and concepts by way of Archetypal thinking.

For only by understanding this ancient thought process can we
truly understand the histories and Lessons which they have
passed down to us by way of their myths, legends, sacred
writings, puns, and metaphors.

So, how does this process of Archetypal thinking actually work?

First: An event must occur, a hero must be glorified, an
abstract concept must be brought into consciousness, or a
phenomenon of nature must be experienced. These are the original
and fundamental sources from which Archetypes are conceived
and brought into physical reality.

Second: An Archetype is created which Symbolizes this event,
hero, abstract concept, or phenomenon of Nature. Only then, by
way of a physical representation ( a Symbolic Archetype ), can
a myth, legend, story, or metaphor then be created. If the event
or abstract concept is masculine in nature, it is portrayed by a
man. If the event or abstract concept is feminine in nature, it is
portrayed as a woman. The Archetype must exist before the
myth, story, or legend can be created.

Third: The myth, legend, sacred writing, or metaphor is created
by way of using the Archetype, or Archetypes, which have been
created from the initial event or abstract concept. This end result
is the stories and Lessons that have been passed down to us from
our ancient ancestors from the most ancient of Times.

An Archetype is perpetual while those who later assume the role
of that particular Archetype are temporary. THE HERO is an
Archetype for all heroes who follow. AN ECLIPSE is an Archetype
for all eclipses which follow. MOTHERHOOD is an
Archetype for all women who later assume the role of mother.

Furthermore, THE HERO will always exist; regardless of whether
or not there are currently any heroes to assume that role.

This fact is True for ALL Archetypes.

KINGSHIP is the Archetype for all future kings who assume this
role. KINGSHIP ( or RULERSHIP ) will also always exist
regardless of whether or not there is currently any king to assume
this role. The Archetype of KINGSHIP is clearly defined in the
statement, "The king is dead. Long live the king". What this
proclamation is actually saying is, "The old king is dead. Long live
the new king". This proclamation reminds us that the Archetype of
KINGSHIP is perpetual, even though the characters who wander
in and out of the role of 'king" are continuously replaced.


The same goes for "popes", "presidents", "history teachers",
"comedians", "architects", etc. These are all perpetual Archetypal
titles under which others temporarily assume a role as Time and
history ceaselessly march onward.

Let us look at two Archetypal portrayals (one masculine and the
other feminine ) in order to better visualize the concept of Archetypes:

 Horus standing.svg

Horus - image via wikipedia

HORUS: Horus is the ancient Egyptian Archetype, or Neter, which
Symbolizes KINGSHIP or RULERSHIP. Horus is depicted as
having the body of a man and the head of a hawk.

KINGSHIP or RULERSHIP is an invisible abstract concept which
relates to an "active", or "masculine", aspect of Nature. Therefore,
the Archetype the ancient Egyptians called Horus is depicted as
having the body of a man.

Furthermore, Nature also provides us with a visual phenomenon of
RULERSHIP by way of the hawk.

The hawk is a powerful bird that RULES the heavens. And just as
the hawk was seen as the ruler of its domain of the heavens, so
was the KING or PHARAOH seen as the earthly counterpart of the
hawk who was destined, and responsible, for RULING on earth.

This is why Horus, the Archetype of RULERSHIP, was depicted as
having the body of a man with the head of a hawk

All Egyptian pharaohs were understood to be a temporal aspect of
the Archetype Horus and were therefore recognized as HORUS.

 Refer to caption

Hathor - image via wikipedia

HATHOR: Hathor is the ancient Egyptian Archetype, or Neter,  for
MOTHERHOOD. MOTHERHOOD is a feminine aspect of Nature.
Therefore Hathor is portrayed with either a woman's body with a
cow's head, or, simply as a woman's facial features with a cow's
ears. HATHOR can also be portrayed simply as a cow.

The cow is a docile, nurturing animal. It is also the animal which
provides the milk which is necessary to nourish infants. Here we
see the reason why the ancient Egyptians chose the cow as the
Symbol for MOTHERHOOD.

All women who chose the role of motherhood in ancient Egypt
therefore became a physical manifestation, and representation, of
the Archetype called HATHOR.

Furthermore, when a person's earthly incarnation came to its end,
it was HATHOR who welcomed, nourished, and nurtured the Soul
of the newly deceased when it once again returned to the spiritual
realm from whence it had departed in order to experience a
physical existence.

Conclusion: As we become more and more familiar with Archetypes,
we gain a better understanding of the thought processes and
perceptions of our most distant ancestors. And it is by this
process of understanding the ancient mind that we can slowly
unravel the enigmatic and mystical riddles which baffle and amaze us;
enigmas, mysteries, riddles, and abstract concepts conceived and
cast into stone at the most remote beginnings of historical Time.

See Also:  Article about "The Egyptian Neter"

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2019
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Spirit vs. Soul:
The Egyptian Akh and Ba
( Symbolism and Mythology )

               
      Spirit Bird by Xavier Rudd.jpg
                               Image via Wikipedia

Attempting to explain and understand ancient Spiritual Wisdom by
way of modern rational and logical Words is clumsy at best. Words,
in addition to being often clumsy, can be not only misunderstood
but their meanings can be inconsistent from one person to another.

In addition, ancient Spiritual Teachings, which are easily grasped
by the Eastern mind, become very confusing to the Western mind
which has been Indoctrinated with dogma and not Instructed in
ancient Spiritual Thought.

Furthermore, when discussing the the matter of Spirit vs. Soul,
many modern writers use these terms interchangeably; which
not only adds to a reader's confusion but also begs the question
of whether these writers fully understand these concepts
themselves.

These are the dilemmas faced by the Spiritual Seeker and
Independent Thinker here in the West. Yet, we Spiritual Seekers
and Independent Thinkers still "press on" and try to unravel ancient
Spiritual Wisdoms one Thread at a time. And this can only be
accomplished by completely abandoning all dogmatic Indoctrinations
that have been imposed upon us by organized Western religion;
dogma, which the masses are commanded to accept and believe
without question.

With these thoughts in mind, let us now attempt to unravel the very
ancient, mysterious and enigmatic concept of Spirit vs. Soul.

However, before we embark on this Adventure, the definitions of a
few Words is necessary.

Definitions:

THE ALL: The One eternal, all-encompassing and indivisible Source
from which all things, ideas, and concepts - both manifested and
un-manifested - spring forth from. Everything, without exception, is
both born from THE ALL and is an integral part of THE ALL.

Therefore, THE ALL contains, and IS, everything. And, likewise, as
everything is contained within THE ALL, then all things, concepts,
and ideas, contain THE ALL within them. All things, concepts, and
ideas are specific aspects of THE ALL.

Hence the proverb, "I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.";
which can be summed up as: "I am a specific aspect of THE ALL.
Therefore,THE ALL is contained within me". Furthermore, as each
one of us is a specific aspect of THE ALL, THE ALL is naturally
contained within each one of us. It cannot be any other way.
We cannot be separate from THE ALL. If this were so, then THE ALL
could not be THE ALL.

We see this Spiritual Lesson further expressed in psalm 82:6,
"I have said, you are gods, and children of the Most High".

Nothing can be separate from THE ALL; otherwise THE ALL would
not be THE ALL.

In addition, THE ALL is also indivisible (undividable). For if THE ALL
could be divided then it would not be THE ALL.

Ancient Spiritual Teachings, such as these, are all but ignored
by modern organized religion for the sake of dogmatic
indoctrination of the masses.

Spirit: That specific aspect of Divinity which is our un-manifested
Soul. Our Spirit is our individual personality or character which is
eternally basking within THE ALL but not yet experiencing a
physical incarnation in the realm of matter. Spirit is equivalent to
Akh of ancient Egypt.

Soul: Our manifested Spirit. Our individual personality or
character which is experiencing a physical, bodily incarnation
in the realm of matter. Soul is equivalent to Ba of ancient Egypt
and the Atman ( Our God Within ) of India.

Our Soul, our personality, is that aspect of our Spirit which
combines with matter ( our current physical body ) and chooses
how we will behave during our current physical Incarnation.
Our Soul is equivalent to the Ba of ancient Egypt.

                                     
                            Egyptian Ba - image via Wikipedia

Birds, wings and Feathers are all Symbols of Spirit. Our Soul ( Ba )
is the physically incarnated aspect of our Spirit ( Akh ); and our
Spirit, in turn, is an indivisible aspect of The All.

In the picture of the Egyptian Ba, pictured above, we see Spirit
( bird ) combined with matter ( a head of a specific person ) to
depict the physical incarnation of that specific person.

Mind: While not a specific aspect of this article, our mind IS a
specific aspect of our physical being and therefore it should be
addressed. The ancients associated the mind as an inseparable
part of our physical self. In other words, our mind and body are
one-half of our physically incarnated self and our Spiritual Self
is our other half.

It is through the mind that we receive spiritual messages. It is
also through the mind that we receive ideas and premonitions.
However the mind, being egotistical and rational, also blocks
many of the spiritual messages that are continually coming to us.
The mental "chatter" which is continuously active in our mind
is the "roadblock" which prevents Spiritual Messages from getting
through to us.

That is why it is necessary to silence the mind, through techniques
such as meditation, in order to allow spiritual messages to come to
us from the Great Unconscious Source.

Also, this is why answers to "problems" often come to us when we
least expect it; because the mind is then "relaxed" regarding the
"problem" that had so consumed our rational mind, and  our spiritual
channel through the rational mind is open and unrestricted in regards
to the "problem" which is not currently consuming the entirety of our
thoughts.

Also, it is by way of the relaxed mind that "ideas whose time has
come" reach us.

Putting It All Together:

There is only One Source; One Creative Essence which is eternal
and indivisible. Everything that is manifested, and not manifested,
is an integral, indivisible Aspect of this Source. Therefore everything
is a part of this Source and, at the same time, this Source is within
everything that it manifests. This One Source is called THE ALL.

Our Spirit, which is our un-manifested personality, is an indivisible
aspect of THE ALL. This un-manifested personality - which is our
True Eternal Essence - is our Spirit. Our Spirit, our un-manifested
personality, is what the ancient Egyptians referred to as AKH.

When our Spirit ( AKH ) is "at rest" ( un-manifested within matter ),
the Soul ( BA ) aspect of our Spirit is also in a state of suspension.
However, when our Spirit chooses to manifest into matter ( our
physical body ), then a specific aspect of our Spirit becomes
activated; and this activated aspect of our Spirit then expresses
Itself as our Soul. Our Soul remains in our physical body for the
duration of our worldly Incarnation.

When our physical Incarnation comes to a close, our Soul
( which, again, is an aspect of our Spirit ), dissolves, so to speak,
back into our Spirit until once again Spirit chooses to incarnate
within matter.

Picture this as a "family tree". At the top of this "family tree" is
THE ALL. Immediately below THE ALL is our Spirit ( AKH ); which
is an indivisible aspect of THE ALL. Immediately below our Spirit
is our Soul ( BA ), which is an indivisible aspect of our Spirit.

The main difference between our Spirit and our Soul is this:
Our Spirit exists eternally in the Spiritual Realm. Our Soul,
which again in an aspect of our Spirit, becomes "activated" and
is our spiritual "link" to our Spirit for only the duration of our
physical incarnation. This "link" is what allows our mind access 
to the Spiritual Realm. Our Soul is what the teachings of India
refer to as our Atman: Our God Within.

Perhaps an allegory can help us view this process in a more
physical, rational manner.

Let us create a character and call him John Smith. John
Smith, in his entirety, we will call Spirit.

However, John Smith is a doctor. This is one aspect of John
Smith. When John Smith is behaving in the role of doctor, he
is activating a specific aspect  of himself; and this aspect of
John Smith becomes his Soul for as long as John Smith is
behaving ( incarnating ) as a doctor. Once John Smith's
role as a doctor is over, this aspect ( Soul ) of John Smith
goes into a state of rest and John Smith becomes, once
again, simply John Smith (Spirit ).

Additionally, John Smith is also a father. This is another
aspect of John Smith. When John Smith is behaving in the
role of a father, he is activating another specific aspect of
himself; and this aspect of John Smith becomes his Soul
for as long as John Smith is behaving ( incarnating ) as a
father. Once John Smith's role as a father is over, this
aspect ( Soul ) of John Smith goes into a state of rest and
John Smith becomes, once again, simply John Smith (Spirit ).

And this goes on and on for each different aspect that John
Smith chooses to activate of himself.

                          
                      Matryoshka dolls - Image via Wikipedia

Another way to picture this process is by way of the Russian
Matryoshka dolls. These are a number of increasingly smaller
dolls that fit one into the other. The one large doll contains all
the progressively smaller dolls within it. In this state, the one
large doll can be pictured as Spirit. When the smaller dolls
are removed from the larger doll to be played with, they can
be pictured as different aspects ( Souls ) of the one largest
doll. Once these smaller dolls are replaced one-within-the-
other and then reinserted within the largest doll, this can be
viewed as the smaller aspects ( Souls ), their activities being
completed, once again becoming a part of the largest doll
( Spirit ).

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2019
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Monday, August 7, 2017

The Mystical Union Of Spirit, Matter,
Our Physical Body, and Vibration:

                     
                              
                                      (Image via Wikipedia)

"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates."
- The Kybalion

Our Incarnation in this realm of matter consists of four things:
Spirit, Matter, Our Physical Body, and Vibration.

It is also interesting to note that although Spirit can exist without
matter (which it does in the Spiritual realm), matter cannot exist
without Spirit. Therefore, from the first moment of our physical
conception within the womb, Spirit becomes bound within matter.

And, as all is vibration, and as we are a combination of Spirit,
matter and vibration, let us take a close look at how vibration
affects and interacts with the Spiritual and material aspects of
our being as we Travel through this Incarnation of ours.

What is vibration? Vibration is frequency. The faster something
vibrates, the higher its frequency. The slower something vibrates,
the lower its frequency. Keeping in mind that everything vibrates,
let us now explore vibration in both spirit and matter; then let us
look at what happens when the vibrations of spirit and matter
are combined.

Matter: All matter consists of atoms; and atoms vibrate.
Measurements of material vibration inform us of the following:

The earth which we occupy has a resonant frequency of 7.83
cycles per second. This is a very low rate of vibration. It is also
interesting to note that the Mantric syllable "OM" also resonates
at 7.83 cycles per second.

Our Physical Body: Our physical body, depending on which
body part is being measured, vibrates at  a frequency between
2 to 100 cycles per second.

Therefore, both the earth and our physical body vibrate at a
very low frequency; a very low rate of vibration.

Light: Imagine this: we cannot see light. We can, however, see
the material things that light casts its rays upon. In other words,
although we cannot actually see light we can see the effects
which light produces. A pitch dark forest becomes a visual
wonderland once the sun rises above the horizon and its light
illuminates the variety of plant and animal life contained within
the forest.

Yet, although we cannot actually see light, we are able to
measure the frequency of a light wave. Light, which we cannot
actually see, but does in fact exist and illuminates everything
it touches, vibrates at a frequency in excess of 100 trillion
cycles per second!

Now, it is NOT the intent of this article to get technical. The
purpose of describing the frequency of light is to present the
idea of how rapidly light vibrates in relation to matter.

Spirit: Spirit, the active intelligent aspect of our being, vibrates
at an infinitely high frequency: a frequency that is impossible
to measure; a frequency, or vibration, that is infinitely higher
and faster than the frequency of light. If we think that the
frequency of light, which vibrates in excess of 100 trillion cycles
per second, is fast, well, the immeasurable frequency of Spirit
makes the frequency of light seem as if it is standing still. WOW!

Insights and Observations:

Now that we have looked at vibration, matter, our physical body,
and Spirit each separately, let us now try to imagine what happens
when the infinitely high vibration of Spirit unites with the incredibly
low vibration of matter; especially at the moment of our physical
birth.

Let's use a metaphor: Imagine a high-speed drill (Spirit) and a
block of granite (matter). If we bring the bit of the drill into quick,
strong contact with with the block of granite, and try to force it
through to the center of the granite, the drill bit will shatter!

This shattering of the drill bit Symbolizes the extreme trauma
that Spirit must experience at the moment it enters the matter of
our physical body.

Although Spirit does combine with matter (our bodies) it must
provide one heck of a shock for Spirit. And, some people feel this
so strongly that their Spirit has a very painful experience while it
is trapped or confined within their material body.  

This is why mystics and other spiritually advanced individuals
dedicate themselves to having their Spirit leave the dense
matter of their physical bodies in order to return to the paradisiacal
realm from whence it came. A physical incarnation to these
individuals must indeed be a painful and traumatic experience.

But, as most of us are not mystics (at least not yet), how does
this union of Spirit and matter within us affect this Incarnation
of ours?

Quite simply, for those of us who are on a spiritual Path, this
union of spirit and matter within us torments us with a constant
tug-of-war between our higher spiritual faculty and our lower
material faculty. Although we wish to experience spiritual bliss
(high vibration), we are confronted daily with the material pull
(low vibration) of this realm of matter which we occupy by way
of the people we meet and the Events we must contend with.

Our Spirit is a being of extremely high vibration and it wishes
to bask in the higher vibrational arenas of peace, Harmony,
freedom, kindness and Brotherly Love. However, while our Spirit
is trapped within a physical body it is constantly being tormented
by the lower vibrational feelings of anger, greed, envy, hatred,
and physical desires. And... to top it off, our Spirit must also
contend with the even lower vibrational level of this planet upon
which our physical body travels upon.

This puts the higher-vibrational aspects of our Spirit in a constant
tug-of-war with the lower-vibrational aspects of both our physical
body and the planet which we occupy.

This is why we find it so difficult to keep our Thoughts and Actions
focused on the blissful attributes preferred by the Spiritual aspect of
our nature. For while Spirit is attempting to focus our mind and
behavior on the more sublime aspects of our Incarnation, matter is
working just as hard on pulling us down into the more gross
aspects of our Incarnation.

This is the challenge presented to us: Do we focus on allowing
our Spirit to vibrate as quickly and highly as possible by focusing
our Thoughts on the higher Divine Principles such as peace,
freedom, and enlightenment; OR do we allow ourself to succumb
to the lower vibrations generated within the realm of matter?

Our nature is dual: Spirit and Matter. The realm of matter is also
dual and it is constantly presenting us with a barrage of "either-or"
Choices.

Thought precedes Action! Are we the Unattached Observer who is
"in this world but not of it" or are we the victim of human folly? Do
we open ourselves to the sublime or to the tragic? Do we focus on
peace, freedom and contentment or do we focus on anger, hatred
and fear? Are we raising our consciousness to the higher vibrations
or are we surrendering ourselves to the lower vibrations?

The Choices we make are ours and ours alone. And it is the
Choices we make that determine the experiences and the Destiny
of this incarnation of ours.

Conclusion: 

Our physical senses can only be Aware of those experiences
which occur within the vibrational range of our physical senses.
Everything that occurs outside the vibrational range of our
physical senses in considered to be extra-sensory or
meta-physical. Both of which mean "beyond the realm of
our physical senses".

Because something occurs beyond the realm of our physical
senses does not mean that it is unbelievable or magical. It
simply means that our physical senses cannot acknowledge
these particular vibrations. We cannot see, hear, touch, taste,
or smell things that are beyond the vibrational range of these
physical senses. This does not mean that these things, these
experiences, do not exist; for they do exist.

The only thing that prevents us from knowing everything...The
only thing that limits us from experiencing the infinite...is our
physical senses! Once we transcend our physical senses the
infinite is ours to experience and enjoy.

And this may very well be what those individuals who have
had Near Death Experiences have come back to tell us. For
the Spiritual realm is not burdened by the narrow vibrational
restrictions of the physical realm and the associated effects
that burden both our senses and our consciousness. The
Spiritual realm is sublimely and knowingly Infinite!

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2017
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Yahoo mister-wong blogmarks spurl BlinkList Furl

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oak Trees, Acorns, Mistletoe and Druids
(Symbolism and Mythology)


                          
                                       (Image via Wikipedia)

The Oak Tree:

At one time enormous forests covered a major part of what we
now call Europe. These forests stretched across, and completely
dominated several, of what are today, European countries.
And the King of all of the trees of all of these forests was, and
still is, the Oak.

The Oak, whose wood is harder and more compact than that of
any other tree, can grow to mammoth heights; and its trunk can
expand to massive widths.

An Oak Tree can easily live in excess of 700 years; many have
lived for 1,000 years; it can also grow to more than ten stories
tall. The extremely deep roots of the Oak Tree compensate for
the immense weight of its heavy branches

The Oak Tree is struck by Lightning more than any other tree.
When struck by Lightning, that particular Oak was considered
to have received Enlightenment and Revelation from Divinity.
And it is why sacred rituals, rites, Ceremonies, and divinations
were carried out in Oak Groves. The strength and majesty of the
Oak is further realized in that after being struck by Lightning,
thereby absorbing Divine Illumination, it continues to grow.
The wood from Lightning-struck trees was especially preferred
for the making of staffs and wands.

Oak wood was used to fuel sacred and perpetual fires. Holy
Groves within Oak forests were used as places of worship and
Initiation. The Oak was the sacred tree of the Druids. Legend
has it that the Wizard Merlin used the uppermost branch of an
Oak Tree for his wand. Druids taught secret Lessons and
performed sacred Ceremonies under the outstretched branch
canopies of ancient Oak Trees.

It is because of these numerous distinct qualities that the regal
Oak Tree is a Symbol of Invincibility, Durability, Endurance,
Longevity, Enlightenment, Wisdom , Memory, Lore and Calm
Strength.

Because the wood of the Oak Tree is strong, compact and sturdy,
it was used in construction of fortifications, battleships and bridges.
Furniture made from Oak wood is extremely durable and can
last for centuries. Oak furniture also adds a feeling of warmth
and security to a home.

King Arthur's Round Table was reportedly made of Oak. Robin
Hood lived among the Oak Trees of Sherwood Forest. Jason's
ship the Argo is said to have been constructed from Oak Trees
grown in a sacred grove.

Oak roots, being embedded deep within the earth, Symbolize
steadfastness, strength and a solid foundation; important
qualifications for one's personal moral standards. Because of their
inherent strength, Oak roots were often used in the manufacturing
of handles. Oak roots were also considered to be magically potent.

The far-spreading horizontal branches of the Oak Tree provided
a protective and peaceful canopy under which important and
solemn Ceremonies were carried out.

Councils were convened, treaties were signed, conflicts were
resolved, marriage ceremonies were performed, and proclamations
were announced under the sheltering branches of an ancient Oak Tree
to signify that these rituals were protected and blessed by the strength,
longevity and durability of the mighty Oak. In short, the ancient Oak
was the central stabilizing location of rule and order.

Cutting down the Great Oak of another was considered an act of war,
conflict, collapse, treachery and chaos.

A multitude of cities, states and countries have adopted the Oak
Tree as their Symbol. Oak leaves are utilized in military insignias.
The Oak Tree is the Symbol of choice on many Coats of Arms.

Bark: Decoctions, elixirs and teas made from Oak bark are used
to combat diarrhea, dysentery and headaches. Salves made from
Oak bark are utilized externally to treat hemorrhoids, inflamed
gums, wounds and eczema. A decoction of acorns and Oak bark
was considered to be an excellent antidote for poisoning. Oak bark
is used to create dyes and is also used in the tanning of leather.

Leaves: Oak leaves are used to make fine wines.

Hollows: Some ancient Oaks grew so wide that their Hollows
were able to provide shelter from not only the elements but also
protection from enemies. These Hollows also served as
congregating places for secret meetings. Oak Tree Hollows are
also perceived as doorways to other realms. Anyone who has
ever stood, or sat, within the Hollow of an Oak Tree has probably
felt the protective, nurturing and magical feeling it induces. It is
suggested to either sit with your back against an Oak Tree, or
sit within its Hollow, when we are in need of strength, calming
or enlightenment.

Druids: Although the word "Druid" means "Men of High
Knowledge", or "Master Teacher", it is because they used the
Oak Tree as their sacred Symbol that they were referred to as
"Men of the Oak".

Acorns: Acorns have always been used as a food staple. Acorns
can be roasted and eaten as food; they can also be ground and
used for making bread and as a substitute for coffee. Because
Acorns are a product of the powerfully Symbolic Oak Tree, they
were worn and carried for "good luck". And, for the same reason,
eating Acorns was thought to provide strength and Enlightenment.

Woodland animals store Acorns for their winter food. Any uneaten
Acorns lying on the ground can sprout roots and become the
next saplings. However, only a very small percentage of Acorns
become Oak Trees.

The entire potential of the mighty Oak Tree is contained within
a single Acorn.

Mistletoe: Mistletoe does not grow on the ground. It is borne by
the birds of the air. And, as birds have always been the Symbol
of Spirit, Mistletoe is considered a spiritual gift from heaven.

It is very rare to find Mistletoe on an Oak Tree. But, when this
"gift from heaven" is found growing on the Oak Tree, which is
itself a Symbol of Wisdom and Enlightenment, it is considered
to be a very sacred event; a gift from Divinity. And being a gift
from Divinity, it was only removed from the Oak Tree by way of
a very solemn and meticulous Ceremony.

The Druids removed the Mistletoe from the Oak Tree in the
following manner: As Mistletoe was considered a sacred gift
from Divinity, it was considered sacrilegious to either hack or
cut it carelessly from the Oak. During a sacred Ceremony, a
Druid dressed in all-white would slice the Mistletoe from the
Oak with a Golden sickle. The Mistletoe was then caught in a
white sheet and never allowed to touch the ground. Mistletoe,
in addition to being a fertility gift from Divinity, was also
considered to be an antidote for all poisons.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2017
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Lightning - As A Symbol
(Symbolism and Mythology)


The zigzag drawing, or carving, of the Lightning Bolt is a very
ancient Symbol which is found in all cultures. 

Symbolically, Lightning, or Fire from the Heavens, is that Spiritual
Flash which appears to come out of nowhere in order to instantly
awaken new Thoughts and ideas within us. Therefore the Symbol
of Lightning represents that Flash from Above which suddenly
sheds Light upon those new vistas of Awareness, Illumination,
Insight and Enlightenment which had been previously concealed
from us.

Lightning often precedes rain, therefore it is also associated with
Water.  When viewed in this manner, Lightning is the supernatural
force from above which destroys, cleans out, and purges whatever
is old so that the Creative Water contained within the rain can
moisten that which has been cleansed in order for new life,
and new growth, to begin. In this way, Lightning Symbolizes the
Divine Principle of Creative Destruction.

As a "bolt out of the blue" Lightning appears suddenly and without
warning.  It is an awesome statement from above.  And, against the
dark night sky, it is a giant and emphatic spark of Illumination which
seems to come from an unseen Source.

Mythologically and Symbolically Lightning is a weapon, or
instrument, of the gods.  For example, Zeus is portrayed as holding
a handful of  Lightning bolts which he is prepared to hurl toward
whatever person, place or thing that requires the attention-getting
Spark of Illumination from unseeable, yet ever-present, Divinity.

With these thoughts in mind, it becomes easy for us to recognize
and understand the Spiritual and Esoteric concepts Symbolized by
the bolt of Lightning.

As an instantaneous and forceful instrument of Divinity, Lightning
represents a powerful and unforgettable statement from a higher
source; the blinding light of mental and spiritual Illumination from
above; and a flash of inspiration or enlightenment which seems to
come to us from heaven itself. 

It is the heavenly fire of instant inspiration, enlightenment and
revelation. In other words, Lightning is the Symbol of an Epiphany.
It represents the Spiritual Moment when Divinity connects, and
shares Enlightenment, with a worthy and well-qualified Seeker or
Initiate which thereby elevates the mind, Spirit and Wisdom of this
special individual to a higher Eternal and Spiritual plane.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2016
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Occam's (Ockham's) Razor


"The wisdom of life consists
in the elimination of non-essentials."
- Lin Yutang

"When you have eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable,
must be the truth."
- Sherlock Holmes

Who was Occam?

According to Wikipedia:

William of Ockham (also Occam, c. 1288 – c. 1348) was an
English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher, who is
believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey.
He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought
and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political
controversies of the fourteenth century. Although he is commonly
known for Occam's razor, the methodological principle that bears his
name, William of Ockham also produced significant works on logic,
physics, and theology. In the Church of England, his day of
commemoration is 10 April.

What is Occam's Razor?

The entire metaphor and philosophy of Occam's Razor is based
on the principle that at the heart of every problem, dilemma or
baffling question there lies one, and only one, core issue which
needs to be resolved. Once we recognize what this one core issue
is, we are then able to properly solve our problem, resolve our
dilemma and answer whatever question that has been puzzling us.

Almost every problem which confounds not only us, but society
as well, has become confounding due to the many non-essential,
un-related and petty arguments which have been attached to the
one underlying core issue.

Once we strip away all of the petty controversies which find a way
of attaching themselves to any core issue, we are then able to
reduce all debates, problems and confusing thoughts to their most
basic principle. And once any argument or problem is reduced to
its most basic principle, the problem automatically solves itself.

But, why a razor?

A razor is a reference to shaving away, peeling away, or slicing
away all unnecessary and superfluous attachments which cover
up the one basic and simple answer, principle or Truth which one
is Seeking.

As we keep whittling away all that is superfluous and unnecessary
we eventually uncover the one true and sole issue which has
become buried, concealed and lost beneath a mountain of
contradictory debates, petty arguments, confused thoughts,
unfounded theories, false information and biased thinking.

The metaphor of Occam's Razor instructs us that the simplest
and most unconditional answer, an explanation based upon the
fewest and possibly no assumptions, is most often the correct
answer; for it is the one answer that is free from all assumptions,
speculations, opinions, hypotheses and all other various types
of clutter.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2014
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nakedness and Nudity in Symbolism and Mythology


The bare Truth; The naked Truth; Nothing to hide; What are
you covering up?; Reveal yourself; The Truth has been exposed.

Naked! It is the way we come into this world. Pure...innocent...
sincere...uninhibited...vulnerable...we have nothing to hide.
We enter our Current Incarnation as a spiritually gifted but
materialistically naive Traveler who is full of excitement, curiosity
and joy.

At the moment we enter this material realm our only Memories are
those of the peaceful and calm Garden of Eden we just departed.
We are devoid of, and unaware of, all of the false trappings, bindings,
expectations and obligations that a materialistic society is all too
anxious to drape upon us.

Then, slowly and methodically, society distances us from the realm
of pure spirit in order to bind and cover us with all of the woes of the
material realm.

This entrance of ours into the world of materialism serves as an
excellent metaphor for nakedness and nudity in Symbolism,
artwork, and mythology. For nakedness and nudity are Symbolic
of purity, innocence, freedom, Truth, Wisdom and Harmony;
which, when we come to think about it, are all really one and the
same virtue.

As nakedness and nudity are a Symbolic reflection of "what is
true", or "what is revealed", they are portrayed as a feminine
aspect of nature.

With these thoughts in mind, let us now explore the Symbolism
of nakedness and nudity.

When we view artwork or read mythological tales of Paradise, we
find that nakedness is the "fashion of the day" in this nostalgic,
innocent and beckoning realm. For Paradise reminds us of the
Golden Age when mankind lived in Harmony with all of Nature
and the burden of clothing was unnecessary.

When we contemplate Paradise, our Thoughts are lifted to the
purity and refinement of higher consciousness. We wistfully
ascend to a realm of integrity, openness, simplicity and plenitude.
In this realm, where all of our needs are provided for, we are
clothed only by pure air...the Aether...the Divine life force...
eternal Truth. Paradisaical nakedness is Symbolic of unconfined
and uninhibited Freedom. For, as clothing represents "something
to hide", "restrictiveness" or the "wear and tear" associated with
temporal Time, we have no need for it in the realm of Paradise.

When we encounter an image of a naked figure floating freely
above the ground, this is a reminder that while Truth and Harmony
make themselves available to all of us here on earth they are not
material essences, but Divine Principles, which transcend the
worldly and mundane.

Truth, Harmony, and all of the other virtues associated with
Symbolic nakedness belong to the eternal spiritual realm and
are willingly bestowed upon all of us in the material realm who
wish to include them in our lives. In this instance, nakedness
also Symbolizes the higher mind, the uncluttered mind, the
unbiased mind, the Unattached Observer and the enlightened
mind which sees things as they truly are.

This same image of a naked figure floating above the ground
is also a Symbol for ascension. To ascend is to achieve
enlightenment; to rise above and beyond the earthly plane.
Ascension occurs when we finally cast off all of the earthly
clothing - the bondages of materialism and the
trappings of illusion - which has been heaped upon us. It is the
sublime moment when our spirit purely, innocently and nakedly
returns to the Paradisaical Unity from whence it originally came.

Partial nudity is a Symbolic way to express the Esoteric. It tells
us that there are still hidden and secret teachings contained
within that which has already been revealed. It represents the
timeless Lessons which lie behind the Idol, curtain, or Veil.
It is the Wisdom behind the parable, metaphor or myth. It is
the hidden Truth contained behind an image or story; a Truth
which can only be recognized by the worthy and well-qualified
Initiate.

Society, through its many organizations and factions, makes a
great effort to Indoctrinate the masses to clothe themselves in
masks, costumes, garments, attitudes, behaviors and makeups
of all sorts in order to either conform, appease or deceive. And
the result for so many people is that they have completely
forgotten who they truly are and their life is nothing but one big
Masquerade.

For it is not our clothing - our physical wrappings or pretty
packaging - that determines who we truly are; it is our true
nakedness, our Inner Beauty, which lies beneath our outer
trappings that determines our spiritual worth.

To be Symbolically naked is to be free from Sin. It is to be
free from the Guilt, Threats and Obligations heaped upon us
by society. It is to be free from false Indoctrinations. It is the
discarding of the constrictive trappings of fickle man-made
demands so that we can freely bask within, and openly
absorb, the unrestrictive and uncontaminated purity of
Divine Light and Divine Law.

For, while corruption. lies, treachery and deception operate
beneath multiple layers of cover in the dark - fearful of showing
themselves - Truth walks naked in the light, showing itself to all
who are prepared to gaze directly upon it.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2014
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Justice - And Its Symbolism


"The blind eyes of justice see the truth."
- Unknown

Lady Justice is portrayed with a blindfold covering her eyes while
holding a pair of scales in one of her hands. She is also often
depicted holding a Sword in her other hand.

                                                  (Image via Wikipedia)

The Symbolism of the feminine, the blindfold, the scales and the
Sword all have very specific reasons for being incorporated
within the archetype, or portrayal, of Lady Justice.

First of all, Justice is portrayed as a woman. This is because
receptiveness is a feminine aspect of nature. Lady Justice waits
to receive the facts, or Truths, so that they can be placed in her
scales to be properly weighed. In addition, the scales which Lady
Justice holds in her hands are also a feminine Symbol; for, like a
chalice or cup, they receive and hold that which is placed within
them.

Once all of the facts, or Truths, are placed on her scales, Lady
Justice simply allows her scales to pass an impartial judgement.
This is the exact same Symbolism portrayed in the Ancient
Egyptian Ceremony of the Weighing of the Heart: in which the
heart of the recently deceased is placed on a scale in the Hall of
Justice and weighed against the Feather of Maat.

Lady Justice is associated with the astrological sign of Libra; the
Scales. Libra is an air sign and the element of air is associated
with the mind. However, in Lady Justice's case, we are not simply
referring to the mind; we are referring to the higher mind, or higher
intellect. And that is why Lady Justice is also often depicted
holding a Sword.

The Sword has two blades which enable it to cut in both directions.
Symbolically, this means that the higher mind, which is Symbolized
by the Sword, can not only evaluate both sides of any issue as an
Unattached Observer, but it can also dissect both sides of an issue
until it eventually arrives at the Truth.

And finally, Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold. Symbolically, this
tells us that she is an impartial, and unprejudiced, dispenser of
Justice. The blindfold over her physical eyes tells us that she favors
no one. Her role is to simply weigh the facts without any regard to
a persons physical appearance, communal rank, perceived
importance, social influence or station in life. In other words, the
blindfold prevents Lady Justice from being deceived or swayed by
any false outer Perceptions that the physical world may try to use in
an attempt to confuse the issue which is being weighed.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2014
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Precession Of The Equinoxes,
The Ages Of The Zodiac,
The Four Pillars Of Heaven, and the
Egyptian and Sumerian Sphinx
(Symbolism, Mythology and Astrology):


"Every new beginning comes from
some other beginning's end"
- Seneca, Roman philosopher

From ancient Sumer, a civilization which may arguably pre-date
ancient Egypt, we get the Sumerian Sphinx.  The Sumerian
Sphinx has four distinct features, or elements: the head of man,
wings, the body of a lion, and the feet of a bull.

Thousands of years later, we see these same four features being
expressed in the Alchemical, Hermetic and religious paintings of
those times. These four features, are expressed in these paintings
in the following manner: a bull in the lower left corner of the painting,
a lion in the lower right corner of the painting, an eagle in the upper
right corner of the painting, and man in the upper left corner of the
painting.

The bull, lion, eagle and man which appear in these paintings
occur in the same order, and sequence, as they appear on an
astrological chart; and in the zodiac. A perfect example of this
order is expressed in the Tarot card, The World.

(Image via Wikipedia)

This identical sequence also appears on the Tarot card,
Wheel of Fortune

It is interesting to find that these four elements - the bull, the lion,
wings ( the eagle ), and man - have survived, and endured,
throughout the millennia.

Why would the ancient Sumerians create a mythological creature,
an archetype, consisting of these four elements?

And furthermore, what is it that is so powerful about these four
elements that their importance survived the millennia in order to
re-appear once again in Alchemical, Hermetic and religious
paintings thousands of years later?

The Four Pillars of Heaven:

Since the most ancient of times, mankind has worshipped four
specific cardinal points of the year: the two Equinoxes and the
two Solstices.

Temple windows, megaliths and monoliths were aligned so as
to greet and worship the Sun at these four important and sacred
moments of the year.

Ancient cultures referred to these four sacred times of the year
as the Four Pillars which support the Sky; or the Four Pillars
which support the Vault of Heaven.

Why are these four times of the year referred to as the Four
Pillars? These four times of the year are equidistant from each
other; they occur approximately 90 days apart and represent
one-fourth of the year. Also, being equidistant, they are also,
astrologically, 90 degrees apart from each other and represent
one-fourth of a Circle; or one-fourth of the earth's annual Cycle.

We still recognize these four times of the year today: the
Spring Equinox, the Autumn Equinox, the Winter Solstice,
and the Summer Solstice.

And though, today, these four sacred times of the year are
celebrated commercially rather than worshipped spiritually, a
respect for these four important heavenly Events still survives

Precession of the Equinoxes (Ages of the Zodiac):

The earth wobbles on its axis in a clock-wise direction in relation
to the heavens. It takes approximately 25,920 years for it to
complete one complete wobble. This one complete wobble is
referred to, astrologically, as The Great Year.

During each Great Year, the Sun travels ( precesses ) through
each of the twelve constellations of the ecliptic, or zodiac,
in a slow and clock-wise direction. The word zodiac means
"circle of animals".

The time the Sun spends in each constellation is called a
Precessional Age. Each Precessional Age is determined by
which constellation of the zodiac the sun is rising in at dawn on
the Spring ( Vernal ) Equinox. Each Precessional Age lasts for
approximately 2,160 years.

We are currently at the end of the Age of Pisces and preparing
to enter ( precess into ) the Age of Aquarius. And, as we shall see,
Aquarius is one of the components of both the Sumerian Sphinx
and the Alchemical, Hermetic and religious drawings mentioned
at the beginning of this article.

In each Precessional Age the Sun rises in four complimentary
constellations, which are 90 degrees apart, at a specific time of
the year for the duration of that Particular Age. These four
constellations are the Four Pillars of that Precessional Age.

In the current Precessional Age of Pisces, the Sun rises in Pisces
at the Spring Equinox, in Virgo at the Autumn Equinox, and in
Gemini and Sagittarius at the Solstices.

When the Age of Pisces is ended the Sun will precess into
Aquarius and cause the Four Pillars to churn, which will result in
the following: the Sun will rise in Aquarius at the Spring Equinox,
in Leo at the Autumn Equinox, and in Taurus and Scorpio at the
Solstices.

Because the Four Pillars of any specific Precessional Age are
90 degrees apart from one another, each of the Four Pillars is
situated in one of the four different astrological elements of either
fire, earth, air, or water.

The act of precession from one Astrological Age into another is
also represented, Symbolically and mythologically, as the
Churning of the Mill and is often depicted by mythological Gods
or Heroes holding the head and tail of a great Serpent, which is
wrapped around a central pillar. These Gods or Heroes then
churn this pillar by alternately pulling either the head or tail of the
Serpent as one would do today in a game of "tug-of-war". The
Serpent represents the constellation Draco, which is entwined
within the branches of The World (or Cosmic) Tree.

In mythology, we also encounter a "broken pillar" which some God
or Hero ultimately re-sets. The broken pillar symbolizes the end of
one Precessional Age, while the re-setting of the pillar represents
the beginning of the next Precessional Age. The broken pillar is
normally re-set by the particular God, Hero or Archetype who will
be ruling, or governing, the new Precessional Age.

The Sumerian Sphinx:

(Image via Wikipedia)

Let us now consider the Symbolism which is contained within
the Sumerian Sphinx. Again, the Sumerian Sphinx has the feet of
a bull, the body of a lion, wings, and the head of man. And, again,
these are the same four features which later appear in the
Alchemical, Hermetic and religious paintings mentioned above.
So, what are we to make of this enigmatic, mythological creature
which comes down to us from some ancient race?

The feet of the bull represent the constellation Taurus. The
body of a lion represents the constellation Leo. The wings
(which are later expressed as an eagle) represent the
constellation Scorpio. And, the head of man represents the
constellation Aquarius.

These four constellations are 90 degrees apart from each other.
Therefore, because they are 90 degrees apart, it is quite probable
that they represent a Precessional Age. What is also interesting
to note is that these are the same four constellations, or pillars,
which will be involved in the upcoming Age of Aquarius.

So, the question now remains: If this mythological archetype,
this Sumerian Sphinx, is Symbolic of a Precessional Age, which
Precessional Age is it?

There is evidence which seems to point to the Age of Leo as the
Precessional Age being described by the four features of the
Sumerian Sphinx. If so, then we are looking at a Precessional Age
which occurred approximately 10,500 BC!

But why choose the constellation of Leo, represented by the
body of a lion, from among the four constellations which are
represented by the Sumerian Sphinx?

To answer this question, we now turn to the Egyptian Sphinx.

The Egyptian Sphinx:

Proportions, ratios and exact alignment were critical factors that
played an important role in the artwork, and in the construction
of temples, buildings and statues, of  the ancient Egyptians.
Attention to detail was an ingrained aspect of their culture.
And, attention to detail is what kept them in Harmony with
the Law of Maat.

The Egyptian Sphinx, as it exists today, consists of two features:
the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh.

However, according to ancient Greek historians, the Egyptian
Sphinx originally had the body of a lion and the head of a
woman! 

The pharaoh's head, which is a current feature of the Egyptian
Sphinx, is out of proportion when scaled to the size of the lion's
body. In other words, the current pharaoh's head on the Sphinx is
too small when measured against the size of the lion's body. It is
out of ratio; out of scale; out of Harmony. It is therefore not in
keeping with the Law of Maat; something inconceivable to the
ancient Egyptians.

When we consider how detail-, ratio- and alignment-oriented the
ancient Egyptians were in all of their monuments, temples,
statues and artwork, it is nearly impossible to consider that they
would have miscalculated the proper ratio between the Sphinx's
head and the rest of its body. The only alternative is that, at some
time in the distant past, some pharaoh chiseled away the original
head of the Sphinx in order to have his features carved in its place.

Taking all of this into consideration, we are now left with the
reports of the ancient Greek historians which tell us that the
original Egyptian Sphinx had the body of a lion and the head
of a woman.

If this is true, and there is evidence to support this, then the
original Egyptian Sphinx very probably Symbolized the cusp of
a Precessional Age; with the head of a woman representing the
constellation Virgo and the body of a lion representing the
constellation Leo. And, the cusp of the Age of Virgo and the
Age of Leo, as determined by the rising of the Sun on the
Spring Equinox, occurred around 10,500 BC.

So, the question we are left to ponder is this: What is so
significant about the ancient Age of Leo that prompted  the
Ancients, the Alchemists and the Hermetists to honor this
particular Precessional Age? An Age that extends itself, in
perpetuity, all the way from the Sumerian Sphinx to our
modern-day Tarot deck? This is our unanswered enigma.
And, perhaps the answer lies in the upcoming Age of
Aquarius which is in direct astrological opposition to the
Age of Leo which occurred one-half of a Great Year ago.

See also: "The Egyptian Sphinx"

Note: Evidence supporting the alteration of the face of the
Egyptian Sphinx can be found, in greater detail, in
Serpent In The Sky by John Anthony West.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2014
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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gandalf and Dumbledore
(Wizards, Mythology and Symbolism)


"And now Harry, let us step out into the night 
and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."
- Albus Dumbledore

"A wizard is never late. Nor is he early.
He arrives precisely when he means to."
- Gandalf

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, 
far more than our abilities."
- Albus Dumbledore

"All we have to decide is what to do 
with the time that is given to us."
- Gandalf

In Gandalf and Dumbledore we are introduced to two archetypal
powers whose Wisdom, courage and inner-strength beckons
us to follow them, Bond with them, and learn their ways; so that
we, too, can discover and ignite within ourselves those similar
latent forces that can empower us to pursue, and achieve, our own
noble and mystical Quests.

Gandalf and Dumbledore: They are magical...they are
adventurous...they are unbending strength-of-character...they
possess the Wisdom of the Ages...they also possess the scars
and experiences that can only be gained from numerous ancient
battles...they are admired by many and feared by some...they are
Wizards of the highest order!

However, though both are Wizards of the highest order, they
differ in their demeanors and in the ways in which they interact
with the world, its people, and its elements.

Throughout mythology we find that one of the Symbolic roles
of a Wizard is that of The Call To Adventure; wherein a powerful
Wizard presents a challenge of the highest order to an
unsuspecting, yet worthy and well-qualified, Initiate. Merlin
challenged Arthur. Dumbledore challenged Harry Potter.
Gandalf challenged both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

Let us now take a closer look at two great mythological Wizards:
Gandalf and Dumbledore.

Albus Dumbledore:

Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is dressed in the finest Wizard
garments, he sits at the head of the Wizard's table when
dining, and he occupies a finely decorated personal office in
a tower above the school which is protected by magical spells
and enchantments.

In addition to governing the school and keeping the teaching
faculty appeased, he must also deal with the bureaucratic
nightmare called the Ministry of Magic which consists of
fragile egos, petty tyrants, internal bickering and mindless
regulations.

Yet, while being bogged down with all of these mundane and
superfluous tasks, Albus Dumbledore still finds the time to hunt
down evil and protect the world; while at the same time Instructing,
training and maintaining an Order of elite and virtuous Wizards.

As it was in the best interest of the of the community of Wizards
not to display their talents and skills to the world of non-magical
people, known as "muggles", the name and reputation of Albus
Dumbledore was known, respected and feared only within the
community of Wizards. The outside world, the world of "muggles",
had no knowledge of Albus Dumbledore.

Albus Dumbledore is constantly operating in the background.
His knowledge of magic, both white and dark, is immense. He
travels throughout the realm in order to uncover the evil secrets
of dark magic; he is aware of its implements, practitioners, and
fanatics. He possesses the power, Wisdom and magical skills
that keeps evil magic at bay.

Perhaps the most powerful and darkest secret discovered by
Dumbledore was that of the various horcrux's which Lord
Voldermort created and magically concealed throughout the realm;
each of which held a portion of his dark and powerful soul.

It was imperative that Dumbledore locate and destroy each of
the horcurx's in order to weaken the power of Lord Voldermort.
However, in doing so, Dumbledore carelessly mishandled one
horcrux and its black magic entered his hand; eventually leading
to his doom.

At  Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry there is a fellow
Wizard by the name of Severus Snape. Snape was a very close,
lifelong friend of Dumbledore. However, Snape was also in league
with the Dark Lord Voldermort; a fact of which Dumbledore was
fully Aware. And it was Snape who entered into a pact with
Dumbledore to mercifully end Dumbledore's life before the poison
from the horcrux would be too much for Dumbledore to bear.

In this friendship between Snape and Dumbledore we recognize
the ancient Archetype of "dearest friend, dearest enemy". How
often do we find ourselves confronted by this mythological
Archetype when a very painful and burdenful Decision must be
made which involves someone very near and dear to us?

Now, although Harry Potter did meet up with Dumbledore after
his demise, it was only in an afterlife realm when Harry himself
had been mortally wounded and was on the verge of his own
physical death. Dumbledore, however, did not ever re-appear in
the physical realm again.

In mythology, the death of a hero is often followed by a re-birth
in the same physical realm. This "death" is Symbolic of an
Initiation Ceremony; where the hero "dies" in a lower degree of
existence in order to be "re-born" into a much higher degree of
existence. This does not happen with Dumbledore. Dumbledore,
in fact, dies a true mortal death and can only be "re-visited" again
in the afterlife. Therefore, there is no Initiation of Dumbledore by
way of a "symbolic death" to a higher earthly degree as is often
found in stories of this type.

Gandalf:

Unlike Dumbledore, who is involved with a myriad of
bureaucracies and whose name is known only to those in the
Wizarding community, Gandalf is a Wizard whose name is
known to all. He is a Wizard of the world and he freely Travels
through all of its realms.

The name and reputation of Gandalf is not only known to the
world of men, it is also spoken of with reverence by elves, dwarfs,
the trees of the forests (Ents), the great eagles of the air,
Elemental Beings - including the powerful, magical and
mystical Tom Bombadil, and yes, even among Hobbits.

It is almost impossible to imagine Gandalf becoming involved
with the pettiness and bickering of any bureaucracy when he
has the power to simply rid the world of such foolishness.
The concerns of Gandalf are only of issues of the greatest
importance.

Gandalf has the experience of many Ages. He has seen the rise
and fall of many empires. He has witnessed the horrific battlefields
created by man. He has observed the to-and-fro dance between
good and evil throughout millennia. His Wisdom, skills and powers
have been earned and honed throughout the immeasurable durations
of Time.

And because Gandalf is an ancient Wizard of the World, his dress
is that of a seasoned traveler. His Wizard's robes and hat are the
comfortable and protective garments that can endure any type of
weather or hardship. And, his Wizard's Staff supports him and
assists him in wielding his power and Authority wherever he
Chooses to roam.

Whereas Dumbledore experienced an actual physical death,
Gandalf experiences an Initiatory death and rebirth in the Mines
of Moria. Here we see Tolkien describe for us an Initiation Process
of the most ancient kind; and he presents it to us in a way that
only a master of mythology can.

Gandalf enters the dark, deep Mines of Moria as Gandalf the Gray,
where he battles the balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dum.
It is during this battle that Gandalf the Gray "dies", in order to be
reborn as Gandalf the White.

The color gray is a combination of the colors black and white.
Symbolically, this tells us that regardless of how powerful Gandalf
may have been when he entered the Mines of Moria - his dark
Womb of Initiation - he had still not yet achieved ultimate
transformation and power in the physical realm.

The balrog Symbolizes Gandalf's Inner Demons which Gandalf
must grapple with and subdue in order to be elevated to a higher
degree of Illumination and Wisdom. The balrog helps Gandalf
"slay" his lower-self (the gray). In turn, Gandalf "slays" the balrog
- his final Inner Demon - in order to now become Self-Initiated into
a much higher order of Wizard: Gandalf the White.

Just as Dumbledore had his Snape, Gandalf had his Saruman.
However, as Dumbledore knew his adversary Gandalf did not.
It is almost impossible to imagine that Gandalf, who is now
Gandalf the White, could be deceived by anything or anyone.
Yet, it happened. And herein is the Lesson that no matter how
Wise we may Become, deception will still overcome us should
we Choose to close our eyes to the Truth which is staring us
directly in the face.

Saruman was a White Wizard of the highest order who Gandalf
Perceived to be pure, noble and beyond reproach. And it is because
Gandalf's eyes were "glossed over" by Saruman's title of "White
Wizard of the Highest Order", that Gandalf could not see the
treachery that was standing before him; for Saruman had been
coerced into joining forces with the darkest of evils: Sauron, the
forger and controlling master of the Rings of Power.

From the moment Gandalf entered Saruman's magical  tower
we, as readers, could see that something was amiss. For
Saruman's Words and demeanor toward Gandalf warned that
he was no longer the White Wizard who was an adversary of
Sauron, but that he was now in league with this most feared
Master of Darkness.

By the time Gandalf finally realized what Saruman had become
it was almost too late for Gandalf. And it took a spectacular
rescue by an eagle, which Gandalf was ultimately able to summon,
that saved Gandalf from his doom and Middle-Earth from total
submission.

The Lesson we have here is that people, regardless of how pure
and noble they once may have been, can Change. Also, we learn
that "titles" are meaningless. A "title", by itself, does not make a
person noble, honorable, respectable or authoritative. Only a
persons steadfast and perpetual Actions in these particular areas
make him, or her, so.

Therefore, this particular Lesson ultimately teaches us that it is our
sole responsibility to be constantly Aware of all actions, interactions,
Events and conditions which confront us as we journey through our
personal Incarnation. For only unwavering Awareness enables us to
see things for what they truly are, and not for what we falsely and
desperately Hope they should be.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2013
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