The Carnival of Binche is an annual event in the Belgian town of Binche during the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. The carnival is the best known of several that take place in Wallonia, Belgium, at the same time. Its history dates back to approximately the 14th century, and since 2003, it is recognised as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The centrepiece of the carnival’s proceedings are clown-like performers known as Gilles. Appearing, for the most part, on Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras), the Gilles are characterised by their vibrant dress, wax masks and wooden footwear. They number up to 1,000 at any given time, range in age from 3 to 60 years old, and are customarily male. The honour of being a Gille at the carnival is something that is aspired to by local men.
From dawn on the morning of the carnival’s final day, Gilles appear in the centre of Binche, to dance to the sound of drums and ward off evil spirits with sticks.] Later during the day, they don large hats adorned with ostrich feathers, and march through the town with baskets of oranges. These oranges are thrown to, and sometimes at, members of the crowd gathered to view the procession] The vigour and longevity of the orange-throwing event has in past caused damage to property – some residents choose to seal windows to prevent this. The oranges are considered good luck because they are a gift from the Gilles and it is an insult to throw them back.
The Gilles is the best example of a character as St Georges: A Hero dying and living again each year due to the divine Greenness (Viriditas) of a Spring Rejuvenation ritual
When we begin to look at some of the other elements of the George myth a completely different picture begins to emerge. One of the most telling clues to the genuine mystery behind the George phenomenon is in the name itself.
The word begins and ends with the root Ge. This is one of the oldest words known, occurring in Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and Indo-European languages. It means Earth. Everyday words still in common use such as Ge-ology or Ge-ography show how persistent this root has been over at least the last six thousand years.
The etymology of George thus appears to show that he may originally have been an Earth-God connected with fertility, whose widespread worship in the ancient world was absorbed by Constantine’s attempts to make early Christianity into an all-inclusive religion that would become a vehicle for Roman bureaucracy. To reinforce this view the Greek translation of the name means ‘Earth-worker’ or ‘Tiller of the soil’.
In the Golden legend :
VORAGINE’S ETYMOLOGY FOR THE NAME GEORGE
George is said of geos, which is as much to say as earth, and orge that is tilling. So George is to say as tilling the earth, that is his flesh. And St. Austin saith, in Libro de Trinitate that, good earth is in the height of the mountains, in the temperance of the valleys, and in the plain of the fields. The first is good for herbs being green, the second to vines, and the third to wheat and corn.
Thus the blessed George was high in despising low things, and therefore he had verdure in himself, he was attemperate by discretion, and therefore he had wine of gladness, and within he was plane of humility, and thereby put he forth wheat of good works.
Or George may be said of gerar, that is holy, and of gyon, that is a wrestler, that is an holy wrestler, for he wrestled with the dragon.
Or George is said of gero, that is a pilgrim, and gir, that is detrenched out, and ys, that is a councillor. He was a pilgrim in the sight of the world, and he was cut and detrenched by the crown of martyrdom, and he was a good councillor in preaching.
And his legend is numbered among other scriptures apocryphal in the council of Nicene, because his martyrdom hath no certain relation. For in the calendar of Bede it is said that he suffered martyrdom in Persia in the city of Diaspolin, and in other places it is read that he resteth in the city of Diaspolin which tofore was called Lidda, which is by the city of Joppa or Japh. And in another place it is said that he suffered death under Diocletian and Maximian, which that time were emperors. And in another place under Diocletian emperor of Persia, being present seventy kings of his empire. And it is said here that he suffered death under Dacian the provost, then Diocletian and Maximian being emperors. see more ST. GEORGE, MARTYR
- Folklores of province of Hainaut – Belgium
In the Golden legend, printed in English in 1230 it contained a detail of St George’s career that had strangely hitherto gone unmentioned in the voluminous annals of the saint’s life. Almost a thousand years after his supposed death George was to become famous all over the world for what was his most fabulous exploit of all—the slaying of a dragon. And the folklores of Hainaut are very found of it.
The three-day Carnival of Binche, near Mons, is one of the best known in Belgium. It takes place around Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) just before Lent (the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter). Performers known as Gilles wear elaborate costumes in the national colours of red, black and yellow. During the parade, they throw oranges at the crowd.
- The Doudou
The Ducasse de Mons, also commonly known as Doudou, is a popular festival that happens every year on Trinity Sunday (57 days after Easter) in the town of Mons in Belgium. The feast comprises two important parts: the procession, including the descent and the uprising of the Saint Waltrude’s Shrine, as well as the combat named Lumeçon between Saint George and a dragon.
The descent of the shrine takes place on the Saturday evening. During a religious ceremony, the shrine is taken down from its altar. The priest gives the shrine (kept all year in the Collegiate Church of St. Waudru) to the town authorities for the duration of the festival. Then a procession with torches begins in the streets of the town.
On the morning of Trinity Sunday, the shrine is placed on the Car d’Or (“Golden Chariot“), which is a gilded dray, and the procession begins. The Car d’Or is pulled through the streets by draft horses. The carriage is accompanied by several guilds that represent the history of the region. At the end of the procession, the Car d’Or has to climb a steep, cobblestone street, the Rampe Sainte-Waudru. To help the horses with the immense weight, hundreds of people gather behind to push. Local superstition holds that if the Car d’Or does not reach the top of the hill in one go, the city will suffer great misfortune. This happened in 1803, due to the French Revolution, as well as in 1914 and in 1940, just prior to the two world wars.
At the end of the week, the shrine is returned to its rightful place in the church with great ceremony.
The game of Saint George
This game is played on the Trinity Sunday between 12:30 (p.m.) and 13:00 (1 p.m.). It represents the fight between Saint George (the good) and the dragon (the evil). The fight is called Lumeçon. This name comes from the old French name Limaçon (old French name meaning a spectacle with horses that made circular movements.)
The combat happens on the Grand Place of Mons. The length of the dragon is about 10 metres (33 ft). The end of his tail is covered with horses’ hairs (mane). The dragon is displaced with the help of the white men (French: Hommes blancs). Saint George is protected by the Chinchins who represent dogs. The dragon is helped by the devils (French: Les diables). Each devil is armed with a cow bladder full of air (the balloon in the past before plastic had been developed). With this weapon, they knock the Chinchins and the public that are placed all around the arena. The dragon attacks Saint George with his tail. The dragon also attacks the public. So the public is also an important participant in the fight. People try to take the mane of the tail because it is said to bring luck for a year. Finally, there are also the Leaf men (French: Hommes de feuilles) that are covered with real leaves of ivy. They help the dragon by defending and supporting his tail.
The combat is precisely choreographed. Saint George on his horse turns clockwise, and the dragon turns in the other direction (this is a reference to good versus evil). Saint George tries to kill the dragon with his lance but the lance always breaks on contacting the dragon’s skin. Saint George uses a pistol and finally kills the dragon on the third try. At 13:00 (1 p.m.), the participants leave the square, people rush into the arena to find the last lucky manes which have fallen on the ground. And the carillon of Mons rings.
– The Pucelette Procession of Wasmes
The procession is one of the most important festivals in the Borinage and the Mons region. Every Pentecost Monday, Wasmes (commune of Colfontaine) organizes a procession and a tour of the village to commemorate an ancient legend.
According to tradition, the Pucelette procession has its origins in a 12th century legend. According to this legend, around 1130, a monstrous beast (probably a dragon), which had its lair in the marshes of Wasmes, sowed fear in the Borinage. It attacks everything that comes its way and devours its victims. One day, the lord and knight Gilles de Chin learns of the existence of this monster who is said to have seized a little girl from Wasmes, a 4 or 5 year old “flea”, whom he would hold captive in his lair. He invokes Our Lady before undertaking his expedition and asks her to guide him to free this little girl. Sure of his victory, he sets off. He heads for the Haine Marshes where the dragon is.
- Parade of giants in Ath
Each summer, the small town of Ath holds a procession known as the Ducasse (or Parade of Giants). The procession, which traces its origins to the Middle Ages, commemorates the marriage of two giants (Monsieur and Madame Gouyasse or Goliath). A mock ceremony is held in a church, and afterward, the giant fights a shepherd David, in front of the town hall. Onlookers throw coins at the effigies of the giants as they pass for good luck. It is clear that the Christian story of David and Goliath was influential to this festival.
Goliath is here the Dragon :
And David: the hero destroying Evil
The word Carnival is of Christian origin, and in the Middle Ages, it referred to a period following Epiphany season that reached its climax before midnight on Shrove Tuesday] British historian John Bossy, in writing on the origin of the practices during Carnival, states that “These were, despite some appearances, Christian in character, and they were medieval in origin: although it has been widely supposed that they continued some kind of pre-Christian cult, there is in fact no evidence that they existed much before 1200.” Because Lent was a period of fasting, “Carnival therefore represented a last period of feasting and celebration before the spiritual rigors of Lent.” Meat was plentiful during this part of the Christian calendar and it was consumed during Carnival as people abstained from meat consumption during the following liturgical season, Lent. In the last few days of Carnival, known as Shrovetide, people confessed (shrived) their sins in preparation for Lent as well. In 1605, a Shrovetide play spoke of Christians who painted their faces to celebrate the season:
What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum
And the vile squealing of the wry-nck’d fife,
Clamber not you up o the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish’d faces.]
Winter was thought of as the reign of the winter spirits; these needed to be driven out in order for the summer to return. Carnival can thus be regarded as a rite of passage from darkness to light, from winter to summer: a fertility celebration, the first spring festival of the new year.]
Traditionally, a Carnival feast was the last opportunity for common people to eat well, as there was typically a food shortage at the end of the winter as stores ran out. Until spring produce was available, people were limited to the minimum necessary meals during this period. On what nowadays is called vastenavond (the days before fasting), all the remaining winter stores of lard, butter, and meat which were left would be eaten, for these would otherwise soon start to rot and decay. The selected livestock had already been slaughtered in November and the meat would no longer be preservable. All the food that had survived the winter had to be eaten to assure that everyone was fed enough to survive until the coming spring would provide new food sources
Several Germanic tribes celebrated the returning of the daylight. The winter would be driven out, to make sure that fertility could return in spring. A central figure of this ritual was possibly the fertility goddess Nerthus. Also, there are some indications that the effigy of Nerthus or Freyr was placed on a ship with wheels and accompanied by a procession of people in animal disguise and men in women’s clothes. Aboard the ship a marriage would be consummated as a fertility ritual. see Schembart Carnival
Tacitus wrote in his Germania: Germania 9.6: Ceterum nec cohibere parietibus deos neque in ullam humani oris speciem adsimulare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrator – “The Germans, however, do not consider it consistent with the grandeur of celestial beings to confine the gods within walls, or to liken them to the form of any human countenance.” Germania 40: mox vehiculum et vestis et, si credere velis, numen ipsum secreto lacu abluitur – “Afterwards the car, the vestments, and, if you like to believe it, the divinity herself, are purified in a secret lake.”
Traditionally, the feast also was a time to indulge in sexual desires, which were supposed to be suppressed during the following period fasting.Before Lent began, all rich food and drink were consumed in what became a giant celebration that involved the whole community, and is thought to be the origin of Carnival]
From an anthropological point of view, carnival is a reversal ritual, in which social roles are reversed and norms about desired behavior are suspended.
Winter was thought of as the reign of the winter spirits; these needed to be driven out in order for the summer to return. Carnival can thus be regarded as a rite of passage from darkness to light, from winter to summer: a fertility celebration, the first spring festival of the new year.
In many Christian sermons and texts, the example of a vessel is used to explain Christian doctrine: “the nave of the church of baptism”, “the ship of Mary“, etc. The writings show that processions with ship-like carts were held and lavish feasts were celebrated on the eve of Lent or the greeting of spring in the early Middle Ages.
The Lenten period of the liturgical calendar, the six weeks directly before Easter, was historically marked by fasting, study, and other pious or penitential practices. During Lent, no parties or celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fat, and sugar. The first three classes were often totally unavailable during this period because of late winter shortages.
While Christian festivals such as Corpus Christi were Church-sanctioned celebrations, Carnival was also a manifestation of European folk culture. In the Christian tradition, fasting is to commemorate the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the desert, according to the New Testament, and also to reflect on Christian values. It was a time for catechumens (those converting to Christianity) to prepare for baptism at Easter.
Mircea Eliade, historian of religions, gives us a clear explanation about Carnival and its meaning. He writes: “Any new year is a revival of time at its beginning, a repetition of the cosmogony. Ritual fights between two groups of extras, the presence of the dead, Saturnalia and orgies, are all elements which indicate that at the end of the year and in the expectation of the new year the mythical moments of the passage of chaos to the cosmogony are repeated”. Eliade also writes: “Then the dead will come back, because all barriers between the dead and the living are broken (is the primordial chaos not revived?), and will come back since – at this paradoxical moment – time will be interrupted, so that the dead may be again contemporaries of the living.” Eliade stresses that people have “a deep need to regenerate themselves periodically by abolishing the elapsed time and making topical the cosmogony”.
- The Fight Between Carnival and Lent
The literary theme of the struggle between personifications of Lent and Shrove Tuesday dates as far back as the year 400 with the Psychomachia. The 13th Century French poem La Bataille de Caresme et de Charnage describes a symbolic battle between different foods, meat against fish. A likely graphic precursor of the painting is a 1558 Frans Hogenberg print in which the personifications of lean and fat are driven together on carts by their supporters. The supporters attack each other with fish, waffles, cookies and eggs.
Also in 1559, Bruegel produced a series of prints of the Seven Virtues, which have formal similarities: an allegorical figure, against a background with a high horizon line, is surrounded by a crowd of figures who carry out various activities related to the subject. In the same year, Bruegel painted Netherlandish Proverbs, also modelled on a print by Hogenberg. The following year he produced Children’s Games. These three works are closely related, each forming a catalogue of folk customs. The works mark the transition of Bruegel from draughtsman to the painter of grand panels for which he is now known.
The Psychomachia (Battle of Spirits or Soul War) is a poem by the Late Antique Latin poet Prudentius, from the early fifth century AD. It has been considered to be the first and most influential “pure” medieval allegory, the first in a long tradition of works as diverse as the Romance of the Rose, Everyman and Piers Plowman; however, a manuscript discovered in 1931 of a speech by the second-century academic skeptic philosopher Favorinus employs psychomachia, suggesting that he may have invented the technique.
In slightly less than a thousand lines, the poem describes the conflict of vices and virtues as a battle in the style of Virgil’s Aeneid. Christian faith is attacked by and defeats pagan idolatry to be cheered by a thousand Christian martyrs. The work was extremely popular, and survives in many medieval manuscripts, 20 of them illustrated. It may be the subject of wall paintings in the churches at Claverley, Shropshire, and at Pyrford, Surrey, both in England. In the early twelfth century it was a common theme for sculptural programmes on façades of churches in western France, such as Aulnay, Charente-Maritime.
The plot consists of the personified virtues of Hope, Sobriety, Chastity, Humility, etc. fighting the personified vices of Pride, Wrath, Paganism, Avarice, etc. The personifications are women because in Latin, words for abstract concepts have feminine grammatical gender; an uninformed reader of the work might take the story literally as a tale of many angry women fighting one another, because Prudentius provides no context or explanation of the allegory.
Cycle of Life and Dead
European masked festivals and carnivals are connected with the cycle of life and death, with the cycle of nature, with the fertility of the women and the soil as well as with the human need to affirm and reaffirm every year the relation with the environment.
- Krampus or Spiritual “winter” of the modern world
In Catholicism, St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. His saints day falls in early December, which helped strengthen his association with the Yuletide season. Many European cultures not only welcomed the kindly man as a figure of generosity and benevolence to reward the good, but they also feared his menacing counterparts who punished the bad. Parts of Germany and Austria dread the beastly Krampus, while other Germanic regions have Belsnickle and Knecht Ruprecht, black-bearded men who carry switches to beat children. France has Hans Trapp and Père Fouettard. (Some of these helpers, such as Zwarte Piet in The Netherlands have attracted recent controversy.)
Krampus’s name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, and is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.
The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December. Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children, stuff them in a sack, and take them away to his lair.
According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night of December 5, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. The next day, December 6, is Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they’d left out the night before contains either presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior). (
The very concept of ‘folklore’ as it is commonly understood rests on the radically false idea that there exist `popular creations’, spontaneous products of the masses; and one can immediately see the close relationship between this way of looking at things and ‘democratic’ prejudices. As bas been quite rightly said, ‘the profound interest of all so-called popular traditions lies above all in the fact that they are not popular in origin’; and we would add that if, as is almost always the case, we are dealing with elements that are traditional in the true sense of the word, however deformed, diminished, or fragmentary they may sometimes be, and with things of real symbolic value, then their origin, far from being popular, is not even human.
What may be popular is uniquely the fact of ‘survival‘ when these elements come from traditional forms that have disappeared; and in this respect the term ‘folklore’ takes en a meaning very near to that of ‘paganism”, taking the Jatter in its etymological sense and with no polemical er abusive intent.
The people thus preserve, without understanding them, the debris of ancient traditions sometimes even reaching back to a past toe remote to be determined and which is therefore consigned to the obscure domain of `prehistory’; and in so doing they function as a more or less ‘sub-conscious” collective memory, of which the content has manifestly come from somewhere else. (This is an essentially “lunar’ function, and it should be noted that, astrologically, the popular masses effectively correspond to the moon’, which at the same time indicates their purely passive nature, incapable of initiative or spontaneity.)
What may seem most astonishing is that, when we go to the root of the matter, the things so conserved are found to contain in a more or less veiled form a considerable body of esoteric data, that is, what is least ‘popular’ in essence, and this fact of itself suggests an explanation that we will lay out in a few words.
When a traditional form is on the verse of extinction, its last representatives may very well deliberately entrust to this collective memory of which we have just spoken what would otherwise be irrevocably lost. Read more…INSIGHTS INTO CHRISTIAN ESOTERISM and René Guénon
- St George: The Art of Dragon Taming
Paul Broadhurst in “the Green Man and the Dragon”told about the art of Taming the dragon in Britain:
One of the best-selling books of all time was The Golden Legend, written by the Bishop of Genoa Jacobus de Voragine. In it he provided the medieval world with a definitive account of the lives of the saints, which everyone at the time believed to be historical facts gleaned by his scholarship from ancient records. In reality, like so many others that were to follow down the centuries, it was a motley mix of fact and, where there were no facts, a liberal dose of fiction. There was also an agenda.But it was a formula that gripped the attention of its readers, who preferred to believe in the fabulous and miraculous exploits of their heroes, just as in Celtic times when people loved to hear of the wondrous world of giants, gods and the Land of Faery. The saints were all these, and more, for they did the work of the one true God. Read More about St George: The Art of Dragon Taming
- Oikosophia: For we need a home where we may once again speak the language of the soul, and a language of the soul that may take us home.
…To awaken the Functional Consciousness is to be Love, to be Unity. Qualification separates you from the water of the sea, from the stone, from the earth, from vegetation, from the amorous turtle dove, from the ferocious beast, from all human races; but all that appears outside of you is functionally within you, man of the end of a Time.
Qualification shows you a Moslem separate from a Jew, a Buddhist, a Brahman, a Taoist, a Christian; it discusses endlessly their “philosophies” and their merits. What is your criterion, you who do not know the revelation of Knowledge? Everything in its own fashion tells you the Truth, while only Truth speaks to you openly of Redemption.
Redemption is within us, provided we awaken the Consciousness of the function which unifies, and renders all discussion null and void. Is not Knowing more precious than seeking Learning?
…Sophia, then: the wisdom language that unites, rather than divides. For the time of homecoming has come. At long last. Read the complete paper Oikosophia by Daniela Boccassini
- The masks
We can notice two peaks in the calendar of the European masking practices : the winter festivals (or winter cycle) and the carnivals (spring cycle). The first starts on 11th November and ends at Candlemas, the second begins on Shrove Tuesday and ends after Easter. Apart from these dates, there are also festivals taking place at other periods during the year. They are, for example, connected with important moments of the Christian or Orthodox calendar.
Both the winter feasts and the spring feasts are periods of transition considered as « suspended », out of time. Historically and symbolically speaking, these periods were regarded as favourable to the opening of a parallel world, namely hell. This explains the recurring presence of demonic characters such as Devils and Witches during these festivities.
European masking practices are also intense moments of social regulation. The mask – as a mediating object guaranteeing anonymity – permits the reversal of the relationship between the genders as well as the reversal of power, the acting out of sexual games, the demonstration of exaggerated virility or feminity. Sometimes all kinds of excesses and socio-cultural and political parodies are authorized or encouraged during these festivities.
Between universality and particularity
The mask is defined as « a false face with which one hides one’s face for disguise ». Etymologically speaking, the term masca is supposed to be derived from ancient Italian languages and to stand for « hideous and evil being ». It could also come from the Arabic word maskhara (mashara) meaning « to falsify » or « to metamorphose ». The use of the terms maschera in Italian, mask in English and masque in French leads to the assumption that all terms have the same origin. The « mask » in the narrow sense denotes an object worn on the face, on the head or fitting over the entire head and which transforms its wearer’s appearance.
However, the mask is not used in isolation. It cannot be looked at without taking into account the costume, the accessories, the music, the dance which accompany the mask or even any other element modifying its appearance (makeup, tattoos, scarifications, ornaments).
The earliest (visual) evidence of masking practices could date back to prehistory. Prehistoric parietal and portable art, in particular from Europe and Africa, shows indeed that therianthropic figures (half man half animal) have existed for thousands of years. However, when dealing with so distant ages, we need to be cautious. It is impossible to know the (practical or symbolic) function of these « masks » or even of these representations. Although it is difficult to go back to the origins of masking practices, we can note that all around the world they have a long history. They have survived, changed and adapted themselves until our times, both in rural contexts and in urbanized and industrial environments.
The mask is an ambiguous object. It has existed all over the world for thousands of years and is thus universal. However, it can only be comprehended in its local context. When talking about masks, we continuously vacillate between universality and particularity. The mask as a tool for transformation acts on its wearer, but also on the audience (or the public) or even on the environment. It is a mediator achieving its effectiveness through the relations it creates. Indeed, masks provide a framework within which people’s relationships with the environment, with other persons, with gender, with hierarchical structures etc. are negociated and reasserted. These relationships in turn actively participate in the construction of diverse identities ; of course ethnical, regional and national, but also religious, sexual and generational identities. Through its collections and exhibitions, the Museum tries to show these multiple faces of the mask.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (first published in 1949) is a work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell, in which the author discussesusses his theory of the mythological structure of the journey of the archetypal hero found in world myths.
Since the publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell’s theory has been consciously applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. Filmmaker George Lucas acknowledged Campbell’s theory in mythology, and its influence on the Star Wars films.
The Joseph Campbell Foundation and New World Library issued a new edition of The Hero with a Thousand Faces in July 2008 as part of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series of books, audio and video recordings. In 2011, Time named it among the 100 most influential books written in English since in 1923.
Campbell explores the theory that mythological narratives frequently share a fundamental structure. The similarities of these myths brought Campbell to write his book in which he details the structure of the monomyth. He calls the motif of the archetypal narrative, “the hero’s adventure”. In a well-known passage from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell summarizes the monomyth:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
In laying out the monomyth, Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey. “The hero’s adventure” begins in the ordinary world. He must depart from the ordinary world, when he receives a call to adventure. With the help of a mentor, the hero will cross a guarded threshold, leading him to a supernatural world, where familiar laws and order do not apply. There, the hero will embark on a road of trials, where he is tested along the way. The archetypal hero is sometimes assisted by allies. As the hero faces the ordeal, he encounters the greatest challenge of the journey. Upon rising to the challenge, the hero will receive a reward, or boon. Campbell’s theory of the monomyth continues with the inclusion of a metaphorical death and resurrection. The hero must then decide to return with this boon to the ordinary world. The hero then faces more trials on the road back. Upon the hero’s return, the boon or gift may be used to improve the hero’s ordinary world, in what Campbell calls, the application of the boon.
While many myths do seem to follow the outline of Campbell’s monomyth, there is some variance in the inclusion and sequence of some of the stages. Still, there is an abundance of literature and folklore that follows the motif of the archetypal narrative, paralleling the more general steps of “Departure” (sometimes called Separation), “Initiation”, and “Return”. “Departure” deals with the hero venturing forth on the quest, including the call to adventure. “Initiation” refers to the hero’s adventures that will test him along the way. The last part of the monomyth is the “Return”, which follows the hero’s journey home.
Campbell studied religious, spiritual, mythological and literary classics including the stories of Osiris, Prometheus, the Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, and Jesus. The book cites the similarities of the stories, and references them as he breaks down the structure of the monomyth.
The book includes a discussion of “the hero’s journey” by using the Freudian concepts popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Campbell’s theory incorporates a mixture of Jungian archetypes, unconscious forces, and Arnold van Gennep’s structuring of rites of passage rituals to provide some illumination. “The hero’s journey” continues to influence artists and intellectuals in contemporary arts and culture, suggesting a basic usefulness for Campbell’s insights beyond mid-20th century forms of analysis. Read here The hero with a thousand faces
In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero’s journey, or the monomyth, is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.
Earlier figures had proposed similar concepts, including psychologist Otto Rank and amateur anthropologist Lord Raglan. Eventually, hero myth pattern studies were popularized by Joseph Campbell, who was influenced by Carl Jung’s analytical psychology. Campbell used the monomyth to analyze and compare religions. In his famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he describes the narrative pattern as follows:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
Traditionalism and Folklore
Among the Traditionalists, Ananda Coomaraswamy and René Guénon touched upon folklore, but never made an extensive study of it. And Martin Lings, in the anthology Sword of Gnosis, did a metaphysical exegesis of a Lithuahttps://maypoleofwisdom.com/the-power-of-myth/nian folk song. That’s about the extent of the Traditionalist treatment of folklore, though Rama Coomaraswamy told me that his father Ananda had made a collection of folk songs with a view toward a metaphysical treatment of them, but never finished the project. Among Sophia Perennis titles, Cinderella’s Gold Slipper: Spiritual Symbolism in the Grimms’ Tales by Samuel Fohr deals with this neglected area, as does Tales of Nasrudin: Keys to Fulfillment by Ali Jamnia, as well as Mining, Metalurgy and the Meaning of Life: A Book of Stories by Roger Sworder.
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy had this to say about the metaphysical dimension of folklore:
[By] “folklore” we mean that whole and consistent body of culture which has been handed down, not in books but by word of mouth and in practice, from time beyond the reach of historical research, in the form of legends, fairy tales, ballads, games, toys,crafts, medicine, agriculture, and other rites, and forms of organization, especially those we call tribal.
This is a cultural complex independent of national and even racial boundaries, and of remarkable similarity throughout the world. . . . The content of folklore is metaphysical.
Our failure to recognize this is primarily due to our own abysmal ignorance of metaphysics and of doctrines are received by the people and transmitted by them.
In its popular form, a given doctrine may not always have been understood, but so long as the formula is faithfully transmitted it remains understandable;
“superstitions,” for the most part, are no mere delusions, but formulae of which the meaning has been forgotten. . . . We are dealing with the relics of an ancient folk metaphysics its technical terms. . . . Folklore ideas are the form in which metaphysical wisdom, as valid now as it ever was. . . . We shall only be able to understand the astounding uniformity of the folklore motifs all over the world, and the devoted care that has everywhere been taken to ensure their correct transmission, if we approach these mysteries (for they are nothing less) in the spirit in which they have been transmitted (“from the Stone Age until now”) with the confidence of little children, indeed, but not the childish self-confidence of those who hold that wisdom was born with themselves.
The true folklorist must be not so much a psychologist as a theologian and metaphysician, if he is to “understand his material”. . . . Nor can anything be called a science of folklore, but only a collection of data, that considers only the formulae and not their doctrine. . . .
René Guénon, who died in 1951, also dealt with the folklore as the transmission of the Primordial Tradition, in his book Symbols of the Sacred Science:
The very conception of folklore, in the generally accepted sense of the term, is based on an idea that is radically false, the idea that there are “popular creations” spontaneously created by the mass of the people….As has been rightly said [by Luc Benoist], “the profound interest of all so-called popular traditions lies in the fact that they are not popular in origin”; and we will add that where, as is almost always the case, there is a question of elements that are traditional in the true sense of the word, however deformed, diminished and fragmentary they may be sometimes, and of things that have a real symbolic value, their origin is not even human, let alone popular.
What may be popular is solely the fact of “survival,” when these elements belong to vanished traditional forms…. The people preserve, without understanding them, the relics of former traditions which go back sometimes to a past too remote to be dated, so that it has to be relegated to the obscure domain of the “prehistoric”; they thereby fulfill the function of a more or less subconscious collective memory, the contents of which have clearly come from elsewhere.
What may seem most surprising is that the things so preserved are found to contain, above all, abundant information of an esoteric order, which is, in its essence, precisely what is least popular, and this fact suggests in itself an explanation, which may be summed up as follows: When a traditional form is on the point of becoming extinct, its last representatives may very well deliberately entrust to this aforesaid collective memory the things that otherwise would be lost beyond recall; that is in fact the sole means of saving what can in a certain measure be saved.
At the same time, that lack of understanding that is one of the natural characteristics of the masses is a sure enough guarantee that what is esoteric will be nonetheless undivulged, remaining merely as a sort of witness of the past for such as, in later times, shall be capable of understanding It.
Sundance of Native Indians and Sundance of European youth
Look at : The Sun Dance: A Maypole of Wisdom for the 21th century and May Day, May Tree, May Pole, St george and the Dragon, wunderkreis/labyrinth, Sun Dance and Warli : “Youthfulness” with Perpetual Wisdom.
The Mummers Play
The mummers were costumed actors who participated in midwinter festivals in ancient and medieval Europe, largely in pantomime, though songs also formed part of the performance.
In the Middle Ages they performed at Christmas; the tradition of the Christmas mummers in England was revived in perhaps the 18th century.
Their plays included such motifs as the duel, death-and-resurrection, and the triumph of St. George over the dragon.
The word “mummer,” though derived from the Greek word for “mask,” is the likely origin of the English word “mum”; to “keep mum” means “to act like a mummer, a mime”—though the word “mime” comes from the Greek mimesis, “imitation; art”, which is related to the Sanskrit maya, the magical or dramatic power by which the Absolute manifests Itself as the universe. The universe, like a mask, both veils and reveals the mystery of the Absolute Reality. The symbolism found in “Nottamun Town” also suggests that the mummers, at one point in their history, may have had some relation to the tradition of Christian Hermeticism.
It is interesting, however, that the first two lines of stanza five, perfectly accurate in their context and entirely at one with the genius of the song, were written by Jean Ritchie herself (she tells me), following a vision she had, while walking in the woods, of the procession that appears in that stanza—proving that the ancient but always-new lore of the Primordial Tradition is transmitted by inspiration as well as memory, even if the one inspired is not entirely certain about, or necessarily even interested in, the intellectual meaning of the gift he or she has been given.
So René Guénon’s idea that the folk act as no more than a passive receptacle for metaphysical ideas received and transmitted by the esoteric sages must clearly be supplemented by the understanding that “the Spirit bloweth where it listeth,” that artists working consciously within folk traditions can sometimes be inspired by the same Source that the sage himself also acknowledges and serves; no-one can put their copyright on Wisdom, or their brand on Truth.
In traditional cultures, silence, like any essential human gesture, is not neutral. It indicates not simply the subjective desire not to speak, but the objective presence of a “mystery,” an initiatory secret; the Greek word for “mystery,” mysterion, is closely related to the verb myo, which means “to shut the mouth”, to “keep mum.” And to judge from “Nottamun Town,” the silence of the mummers was symbolic in precisely this sense, indicating that they were the transmitters, perhaps at one time the conscious transmitters, of mystical or alchemical lore in cryptic form.
In any fully traditional culture there is always a give-and-take between initiatory mysteries on the one hand and popular religion and/or folklore on the other, whether or not this exchange is mediated by an established “church.”
To take only one example, the Hindu Mahabharata may be viewed either as a mass of folklore which has collected around the core of a sophisticated literary epic, consciously designed to transmit a mystical doctrine in the guise of a semi-historical legend, or as a consciously-composed mystical epic which has drawn upon a mass of mystical and/or historical folklore for its raw material. This ambiguity and tension between the two poles of aristocratic literature and folk legend is expressed in the epic itself through the figure of the sage Vyasa, who is at once the poet who composed the Mahabharata and a character appearing within it. And this two-way flow of lore between the folk and the literati seems to have taken place in the mummer-tradition as well, where established poets would compose libretti for mummer-plays based on folk material—literary ballads which, after a generation or two, might themselves be transformed into folk songs.
The mystical truth which is realized in the sage is virtual in the folk.
If the folk are the field, the sage is the fruit of the tree which grows in the center of it, a fruit which, even as it takes its place in the eternal domain of God’s attributes, also cyclically returns to the field from which it grew, via its seed, to propagate wisdom.
Note: Fulk is an old European personal name, probably deriving from the Germanic folk (“people” or “chieftain”). It is cognate with the French Foulques, the Italian Fulco and the Swedish Folke, along with other variants such as Fulke, Foulkes, Fulko, Folco, Folquet, and so on. However, the above variants are often confused with names derived from the Latin Falco (“falcon”), such as Fawkes, Falko, Falkes, and Faulques. Folquet de Marseille, fulco minstreel Fulk, King of Jerusalem
The folk correspond to the Aristotelian materia, that which receives the imprint of forms, and the sage to forma, that which shapes or “informs” the material which allows it to appear.
And the tree corresponds to Tradition in the sense employed by French metaphysician René Guénon: that body of spiritual Truth, lying at the core of every religious revelation and a great deal of folklore and mythology, which has always been known by the “gnostics” of the race since it is eternal in relation to human time, representing as it does the eternal design or prototype of Humanity itself.
A traditional culture permeated by half-understood mystical lore on the folk level is a fertile matrix for the full development of the gnostic, the sagacious individual, who, by means of his darshan, his willingness to allow himself to be contemplated as a representative of spiritual Truth, returns the seed of wisdom to the folk who venerate him.
Such a sage may also compose tales, ballads, riddles, plays, proverbs and dances impregnated with mystical lore rendered into cryptic form, which can be subconsciously assimilated by the folk without breaking the seal of the mysteries.
A great deal of Sufi lore, for example, has been transmitted in this way. And if mystical truths may be shown to ordinary people in dreams—who will be unable to consciously understand and assimilate these truths in the absence of a traditional hermeneutic and a mystagogue who can employ it, unless God wills otherwise—then we can also say that there is a constant two-way communication between the enlightened sage and the people via the subtle realm, or between God and the people via the sage—a communication which, however, only the sage is fully conscious of. The voice of the people may be the Voice of God—vox populi vox Dei—but only the sage can hear what, precisely, this Voice is saying. See more here
St George: The Art of Dragon Taming
One of the best-selling books of all time was The Golden Legend, written by the Bishop of Genoa Jacobus de Voragine. In it he provided the medieval world with a definitive account of the lives of the saints, which everyone at the time believed to be historical facts gleaned by his scholarship from ancient records. In reality, like so many others that were to follow down the centuries, it was a motley mix of fact and, where there were no facts, a liberal dose of fiction. There was also an agenda.But it was a formula that gripped the attention of its readers, who preferred to believe in the fabulous and miraculous exploits of their heroes, just as in Celtic times when people loved to hear of the wondrous world of giants, gods and the Land of Faery. The saints were all these, and more, for they did the work of the one true God.
Printed in English in 1230 it contained a detail of St George’s career that had strangely hitherto gone unmentioned in the voluminous annals of the saint’s life. Almost a thousand years after his supposed death George was to become famous all over the world for what was his most fabulous exploit of all—the slaying of a dragon. Read more here
When we begin to look at some of the other elements of the George myth a completely different picture begins to emerge. One of the most telling clues to the genuine mystery behind the George phenomenon is in the name itself.
The word begins and ends with the root Ge. This is one of the oldest words known, occurring in Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and Indo-European languages. It means Earth. Everyday words still in common use such as Ge-ology or Ge-ography show how persistent this root has been over at least the last six thousand years.
The etymology of George thus appears to show that he may originally have been an Earth-God connected with fertility, whose widespread worship in the ancient world was absorbed by Constantine’s attempts to make early Christianity into an all-inclusive religion that would become a vehicle for Roman bureaucracy. To reinforce this view the Greek translation of the name means ‘Earth-worker’ or ‘Tiller of the soil’.
Legends OF GILLES DE CHIN
Hero of one of Hainaut’s most characteristic and enduring legends, Gilles de Chin also belongs to history. His adventures were told, between 1230 and 1250, by Gauthier de Tournai whose “Canchon Monsignor” was based, by his own admission, on a story by Gautier li Cordier. Born perhaps in Chin – village of Tournaisis twinned with that of Ramegnies, Gilles de Chin, Berlaymont, Chièvres, Sars and Wasmes is mentioned, in three authentic acts of 1123, in connection with a donation made to the abbey of Saint-Ghislain, by his father Gonthier and by himself from lands located in Wasmes. The most credible of the old Hainaut chroniclers, Gislebert, tells us that he was one of the comrades in arms and advisers of the Count of Hainaut Baudouin IV, known as the Builder. Having participated in the crusade, he married Ida (or Eva) de Chièvres, took part in the war against Brabant and was killed in 1137, probably on August 12, at Bouchain or Rollecourt, in Ostrevant. Buried in the cloister of the abbey of Saint-Ghislain, his mausoleum – with recumbent statue – was transferred to Mons at the end of the 18th century and placed in the old castle chapel of Saint-Calixte where he is currently more visible. Apparently, it was in the 16th century that the monks of Saint-Ghislain spread the legend of Gilles de Chin. This mythical story and the biography elements provided to us by Gauthier de Tournai allow us to evoke the figure of this knight without fear and without reproach. As a young man, Gilles de Chin participated in various tournaments, distinguished himself there and became acquainted with one of his admirers, the Comtesse de Duras, who was married. “The Countess is on her balcony with her young ladies; it leans on the pillar (according to Gauthier de Tournai). She is dressed in a simple bliaut, her braids scattered for warmth, undressed and without a wimple, still very young, because she is not yet eighteen… A spark touches her heart under the breast and makes her whole body quiver, change color and turn pale…”.
The Comte de Duras is unaware of his wife’s tender feelings for the young and brilliant knight. “Lady,” he said to her, “look at that knight’s shield there and take it into consideration!” Placed in the presence of the Countess, Gilles felt faint in his turn. The two young people confess their love, but this cannot and must not be divulged. ‘Get this law from me,’ said the Countess to Gilles, ‘that you will never boast; put love in your heart, not in your tongue! “. This impossible love encourages Gilles to take part in the crusade. Over there, in the Holy Land, while fighting the infidels, he will doubtless forget his “friend”. He hesitates, however, but one night Christ appears to him in a dream, reminds him of his passion and invites him to take up the cross. Gilles therefore embarks, fights the Saracens, faces a formidable giant, fights against brigands, ventures as far as Egypt, is attacked by a lion but kills it then is put in the presence of a snake or a crocodile that he also manages to defeat. His exploits reach the ears of the Queen of Jerusalem who makes amorous advances to him. Gilles does not give in and returns to Hainaut with the hope of seeing his sweetheart again. Alas, this one passed from life to death! What else to do, to lessen his heartache, accomplish new feats in wars and tournaments.
We are then around 1130 and a monstrous beast, which has its lair in the marshes of Wasmes, sows fear in the Borinage. This fantastic beast, no one has seen it. Is it a dragon or a vile serpent? It attacks everything that comes its way. And it devours its victims! One day, Gilles learns of the existence of this monster who is said to have seized a little girl from Wasmes, a 4 or 5 year old “flea”, whom he would hold captive in his lair. The knight makes the decision to attack the beast. He invokes, before undertaking his vengeful expedition, Our Lady and asks her to guide his arm. Strengthened by the assurance that he will emerge victorious from the fight, he sets off. He is alone, on horseback, perhaps armed with a spear but surely with a sword, the second “Durendal”. And he heads for the Haine marshes where, millennia ago, these enormous mastodons got bogged down: the iguanodons, whose skeletons were found in a mine in Bernissart. The adventures of the fight can be imagined. Gilles, having arrived at the heart of the spongy ground, scans the horizon but, smelling a human presence, the horrible dragon – because it is one, spitting a hellish fire! – does not take long to come out of retirement. Our hero’s horse rears but Gilles, who silences his own fear, quickly calms him down. And it is from the flank, to keep safe from the furnace which is identified with the mouth of the terrible beast, that he attacks it, thrusts his spear, several times, between its rough scales. Heavy and bleeding profusely, the hideous creature turns on its axis but the rider follows the movement and persists in harassing the body of the ferocious monster which is exhausted. How long does this fight last? What does it matter! Before evening falls, the strange animal, exhausted, out of breath, almost bloodless, remains pinned to the ground. He still lives. Gilles then gets off his horse and finishes him off with a sword before cutting off his head, which he will bring back as a trophy. But, the beast dead, he hastens, first, to seek his retirement. She’s not far. It’s a kind of cave. The “flea” is there. The ragged child smiles at her savior who places her on the back of his horse and brings her back to Wasmes, where they celebrate the liberator and the liberated. The peasants of the place are now freed from their fears and, the next day, will go to Mons to give the head of the dragon to the count. Will the valiant Gilles de Chin later marry the “young girl” and will she give him many children? The legend does not answer this question. According to some authors, the exploit of the brave knight would be at the origin, on the one hand, of the Combat known as “Lumeçon” which takes place in Mons on Trinity Sunday, and, on the other hand, of the Tour de Wasmes, or Procession known as the “Pucelette”, which comes out on Pentecost Tuesday. If the journey of Wasmes, which does not make room for Gilles de Chin or the dragon but walks the statue of Notre-Dame – this one having been invoked by the knight – and is joined at the end of the journey by a little girl – wearing a hat of ostrich feathers and dressed in a sumptuous blue dress – which represents the “Pucelette”, was aroused, it seems, by the legend, the fight of Lumeçon would not be, claim certain folklorists, derived from it.
The « Pucelette » and the Tour de Wasmes (Colfontaine)
A great folk event, the “Pucelette” is one of the major processions of the Mons region.
A great folk event, the “Pucelette” is one of the major processions of the Mons region. Based on an ancient legend, it is the occasion for many festivities every year. On Whit Monday, “La Pucelette” is presented to the population before starting the Tour of Wasmes on the Tuesday, a procession which combines history and tradition.
A dragon at its origin
We are in the 12th century, around 1130, the Borinage lives in fear of a horrid beast with its lair in the Wasmes marshes. The terrifying dragon devours its victims, attacks the population and one day snatches a young resident of Wasmes. The terrified «Pucelette» awaits her fate in the lair of the monster. When he hears of this tragedy the Knight Gilles de Chin decides to fight the beast and to free the child. After defeating the beast, Gilles de Chin brought the child back to her village where the population celebrated the saviour and the freed hostage. The legend was born
There are many families in Wasmes who register their baby daughter from birth to play the ‘Pucelette ‘. 4 or 5 years old, she symbolises purity and innocence and embodies the child freed by the Knight Gilles de Chin for one day. It is the priest of Wasmes who designates the lucky girl, to the delight of the families, who see this choice as a rare privilege. Dressed in a light blue satin dress and wearing a tiara with 3 ostrich feathers, she is presented to the people on the afternoon of Pentecost Monday. She is collected at home, decorated for the occasion, before being escorted to the Church, for a solemn blessing.
The Tour of Wasmes
This procession retraces the journey of the injured dragon until its death. It is organised in honour of the Virgin Mary who Gilles de Chin had invoked to guide his arm, before the terrible battle with the dragon. The procession starts at 4 in the morning for the early risers and continues throughout the day. Pilgrims escort the 12th century statue of Notre-Dame de Wasmes in polychrome wood, on a long tour of 17 km ending at the church of Wasmes. Flour is thrown as the procession passes, an offering made to receive the salvation of the young child. Popular tradition has it that this action will bring happiness to those present on the route of the procession.
- Le Doudou, ducasse rituelle de Mons( in French) : Info here
- Saint George and the dragon:Cult, culture and foundation of the city.
A Sauroctone hero is a dragon slayer hero. They are found throughout Europe, very often becoming Saints, directly attached to the Myth of the Foundation of a City. They are then called: “THE HOLY FOUNDERS” “Les Routes de Saint-Georges”: This Network of Cities and Regions has as its main objective the promotion of European identity and citizenship through popular festivals celebrating the myth of Saint-Georges (as “Founding Myth”).
From Palestine to England, from the Balkans – the sources agree that George was born in Cappadocia – to Catalonia (San Jordi), the figure of the saint also defines morphologically one of the most important martyrological cults in Mediterranean area.
Following the insights of René Girard, which describes the violent origins of human culture, I propose to analyze through the traditional image of St. George, the foundation of the “enclosed city”, model of the Mediterranean city during the Middle Ages, with particular reference sacrificial origins of living space.
Worship, cult and culture are, in fact, even the mythical-ritual moments of a single human being on earth, in its anthropological, historical and institutional and political-symbolic. Read here: Sacrifice is the City
- Ducasse of Ath
At the “Ducasse d’Ath”, David finally struck down the giant Goliath . More than five centuries old, traditionally organized on the 4th weekend of August, the Ducasse d’Ath was marked this year by the victory of the shepherd David against Goliath. The festivities will continue on Sunday and Monday.
More than five centuries old, traditionally organized on the 4th weekend of August, the Ducasse d’Ath was marked this year by the victory of the shepherd David against Goliath. The festivities will continue on Sunday and Monday. After the “burning of the chestnuts” of the giant Goliath, Friday evening, a symbolic moment created in 1986 and which celebrated its 30th edition this year, the festivities of the Ducasse d’Ath reached their peak on Saturday.
This popular festival, which once again attracted thousands of people, continued early Saturday afternoon with the street parade of the giant Goliath and his future wife, Honorine. The couple went dancing from the town hall to the Saint-Julien church where the nuptial vespers of “Gouyasse” were celebrated. At the end of the religious service, the couple returned to the town hall where the giant Philistine faced in single combat the little shepherd David. This year again, the role of the shepherd was played by Yolan Sauvage, 8.5 years old. Shortly before 6 p.m., before this fight long awaited by the crowd, the two protagonists recited a dialogue called the “Bonimée”. And the height of happiness for the Athois, little David defeated Goliath.
With the Shepherd having won the fight, the giants began their traditional dance.
- David and Goliath interpreted: Goliath = Dragon / David = Hero, St georges, Gilles
The story of David and Goliath is told in the 17th Chapter of I Samuel. It is one of two stories that presents David to King Saul. The first story you are no doubt very familiar with also. It tells of David playing the harp to soothe the weary mind of Saul.
The second story about David the giant killer begins with the Israelites and Philistines confronting each other ready for a big battle. They were situated on two hills. One day David came to the Israelite camp with food from home for his brothers in the army. When he arrived he heard Goliath challenging any Israelite to come out and fight him. All the soldiers were reluctant to take up the challenge. Goliath was a giant of a man. According to the story he was nine and one half feet tall and loaded with heavy armor. His appearance and challenge struck terror in the Israelite soldiers. When David saw their fear he was amazed and horrified. David had a simple faith and trust in God. He believed that with the Lord on his side he could not be defeated in any challenge. He believed that Israel could not be defeated since the Lord was on the side of Israel and he was therefore quite surprised to see the negative reaction of the soldiers in the Lord’s army. David was quick to take up the challenge of fighting the giant. The other soldiers thought it was ridiculous that a scrawny kid would even think of fighting a giant. But they took him to Saul to get his permission. Saul too was reluctant, but David convinced him. David told Saul of his experiences as a shepherd when he would have to fight off bears and other wild animals.
Saul finally consented to let David try his hand with the giant. He even wanted to help David by letting David use his armor. But to David the armor of Saul was a burden. Instead David went to meet the giant with his sling. On the way he picked up five smooth stones from a river bed. When Goliath saw David coming to meet him he was flabbergasted. The giant said, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” He cursed David and laughed at him. He thought he would have a ridiculously easy fight in taking care of David. He further said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.”
Goliath’s sarcasm and threats did not scare David. David said to the giant, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” David even went further and said to the giant, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head.” Goliath probably laughed at this outburst of confidence. He did not think David had a chance with him. As they came together for the battle David took a stone and put it in his sling. He slung the stone at the giant, hitting him on the forehead. We are told that the stone sank into the giant’s forehead, he fell to the ground, and David ran to him, took the giant’s sword and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw what happened to Goliath, they panicked and fled. The Israelites chased them and defeated them.
There are a number of interpretations that can be derived from this story, depending upon the level of consciousness and interest of the individual. A military commander would see that no compromise or advantage can be given to the enemy if he is to win the battle. Also he will see the necessity of courage and confidence in his troops if he is to attack the enemy and be successful.
On a higher level of interpretation we might say that a basic meaning of the story is this.
When we believe our cause is right and believe that God is with us, we can succeed in meeting any challenge no matter how big or difficult it may seem to us. All challenges that seem to defeat us begin in our minds. Our perceptions cause us to be afraid. The giant is some big misconception in our minds that is really false. And we are loaded with misconceptions about life, about God, and about ourselves. We think many of these misconceptions are actually true. We have a great misconception about our potential ability and powers and what we can accomplish in life. Many of us have accepted the negative opinions of others about us. Or we have judged ourselves and our potential by appearances instead of judging by truth. Many think they are limited in talent, intelligence, and ability, simply because their parents may seem to be limited. We often get too concerned about what others may think about us, what we think, say, or do. We may even be overly concerned about what they may think about the way we dress, how we comb our hair, how we walk, or how we talk. This negative analysis inhibits our true thoughts and our actions. Many times we would like to do something but we are afraid of the giant, what we think someone might say or do.
We also have many religious misconceptions that keep us shaking in fear and bondage. Many are afraid to challenge traditional religious concepts. They think that God will strike them dead or send them to hell to suffer for eternity. The truth is there is no hell in the first place to be afraid of, and God would not strike anyone dead simply for asking some questions in his pursuit of truth. We should never be afraid to question and even reject beliefs that we come to know are false. The church has used the threat of eternal punishment to control us. It has no right to do that. No minister, priest, rabbi, or any other religious leader has the right to dominate anyone. There is no eternal punishment but believing there is will inhibit our thought and actions. We will keep performing the same old rituals. We will keep listening to the same old fear preaching. And we will be kept in line by those who are claiming to be God’s representatives on earth.
David is a character that is not afraid to accept the challenge of the giant. He knows the giant cannot defeat him. He has a simple faith and trust in the Lord of hosts, the Presence and Power of God within him. If we are to grow in this type of faith and confidence we too must begin with an absolute trust in our inner Lord. It is not the easiest thing to develop. The ego is used to trusting in itself. It is not eager or willing to put aside its misconceptions. It likes to believe in what it can see, touch, smell, or manipulate. To believe in and trust something as abstract and seemingly non-existent as the Lord seems ridiculous. But the ego functioning on the human level has not discovered the great Reality of the Lord. David has had this discovery and it has filled him with an indomitable courage. According to appearances he did not have a chance to win in the battle with the giant. The giant had all the modern equipment, the size, and the big mouth.
There are many times in life when it seems we do not have a chance in dealing with some concept or some problem. Some give up in despair at these times. But the David type stands firm and then goes forward to meet the challenge. When we go forward in trust we then get the right idea, the smooth stone, that will enable us to be victorious. This idea is not something that we put in our minds. It is not something that we dream up with our intellect or try to figure out through human effort.
It is a spiritual idea that is revealed to us when we become still and trust in our inner Lord.
It only took one stone to do the seemingly impossible job on the giant. The stone sank into the forehead of the giant. The forehead is a symbol of the imagination. That is where the many human giants are located, the many misconceptions that we hold in our mind. He is our human vision of life. He is our negative thinking. He is not the person in our lives that we think is making our lives miserable. He is not the job or the lack of one. He is not anything outside of us. He is in our own imagination. He is our big negative thought about the outer things in our lives. Knowing this we do not have to struggle and battle with people and things. We do not have to eliminate people from our lives. What we have to do is defeat the imaginary giant that we think is so real.
The cause of all manifestation in our lives is in our consciousness. Nothing happens by fate or chance. We may not know what is in our consciousness that ties us in with the situations and people in our lives but we can be sure there is something that must be worked out. It makes no difference whether we know or understand or accept this or not.
The ego likes to elude any personal responsibility by blaming people or things. The human ego justifies itself through rationalization. Take for example the one who thinks someone else is making his life miserable. He says to himself, “If it was not for so and so, I would be happy.” What he should be saying is this, “If it was not for the attitude I have about this person I would be happy.” We should remember it is a lot easier to change our attitude than it is to change some person.
Some would say, “If the rich people would give up their wealth we could solve the poverty problem.” But that would not work either. If there is lack in our lives we must get rid of the giant in us that believes that we have to be in lack. We have to have the simple faith of a David that believes that God does provide for every need.
The truth is, no one can make you unhappy and no one can keep your good from you. Only the misconception, the big giant of lack and limitation, can do that. The truth accepted in consciousness can change any outer situation. It may not happen overnight but we can defeat all the Goliaths that come on the scene of our minds. Like David we may have many battles with fears and other wild human thoughts. These battles strengthen us. They strengthen our trust in the Presence and Power of God within us.
We must have an absolute honesty in working in principle. There must a complete willingness to surrender and trust in the inner Lord. When the ego can let go and do this, then the individual will experience a surge of faith and confidence he has never known before. It will not be an egotistical self assurance. It will be a calm inner poise. The mind will be at peace while meeting the biggest of giants. When the seemingly impossible vision is changed or killed, the outer will change. We must cut off the giant’s head. We must eliminate the negative belief at the source, in the head, in the imagination.
It does not take a lot of equipment in the outer to change our lives. It does not take a lot of metaphysical formulas. All it takes is a simple trust in the Lord.
- Spring Rejuvenation ritual : Carnaval of Binche in Belgium
In the Walloon town of Mons (Mons), the amusing dragon play of “Le Lumqon” or “Le Doudou” is still performed every year, on Trinity Sunday immediately after the procession has been drawn. When he has reached the cathedral again with the famous “Car d’or” drawn by six beautifully decorated brewer’s horses, he has reached the cathedral again and the Te Deum, initiated by the clergy, is followed by the Bergen national anthem: “Le Chant du Doudou”, begins in front of the town hall on the Groote Markt, the battle of “Saint George et le Lumqon”. Saint George has a forced martial appearance. On the head a cuirassier helmet with fluttering tail; high, shiny riding boots accentuate his horsemanship, a lance, a sword and a pistol are the weapons with which he will attack the beast, but he does not rely solely on the strength of these anachronistic weapons, for he has required reinforcements in four “chinchins” who give him a most cuddly guide and defy the dragon. We recognize figures of widespread popularity in these characteristic gray riders. The Bergen “chevaux goddesses” are identical to the English “Hobby-Horses”, which are missing in every “Mummer’s play” besides “The snap-dragon”, to the German Schimmelreiter and to our ’s Hertogenbossche spit-up. Their task at Mons is described in “La Chanson Montoise” in: “Les Chinchins agréables Courent aussi dans ces lieux Leur danse très aimable Sait plaire à tous les yeux. En dansant sautillent Ils nous font crever d’rire Dans ces lieux, tous les yeux Font se fixer sur eux’. to animal mimicry, which was generally applied in daemon scrolls among Aryan peoples, as Severian, Maximus of Turin, Chrysologus of Ravenna and Caesarius of Arles have already shown in the first centuries of our era, and has confirmed the new folkloric research These hobbyhorse riders from the Dragon Steer Game in Bergen are a last memory (Lock follows)
At the side of the dragon fight on against “Monseigneur Saint Georges” two wild men armed with clubs and completely wrapped in green ivy leaves. I found these mythological “Hommes sauva-ges” in the May procession of the St. Evermaer town Rutten near Tongeren. , where they advanced on either side of the priest, who under Heaven bore about the Most Holy. Their foliage has been changed in the traditional figure of the Carnaval de Malmedy: “Le Savedje” in a body covering of green, yellow and red painted wooden shales, which in the English Mummers of Overton and Longparish in paper fringe can arouse both memories of the vegetation daemon. , which in France is called ‘Le Feuillu’ as on the scaly skin of the dragon.In Mons it is led in its evolutions by six dragon servants dressed entirely in white, leggy fellows, who know how to maneuver the monster dexterously and make sure that the meter-long tail regularly sways in the audience to the great amusement of all bystanders, but to the lesser pleasure of those affected. Chinchins under the constant volleys of helmeted Pompiers and the exciting accompanying play of harmony, the hobbyhorse riders.
It was a good idea of Mr Remouchamps, director of ‘Le Musée de la Vie Wallonne’, to publish a characteristic folk print of this popular entertainment in 1926, which respected the folkloric character of this naive display in all its naivete. Of course, that the cuirassier Joris will emerge victorious — at the stroke of one o’clock, after having fired two pistol shots at the monster! Then, with thunderous clapping of hands, every year on the Bergensche Markt, joy rises to its peak and tens of thousands of excited Bergen residents start to sing their national anthem: “Le Chant de Gloire de la Cité Montoise”, which we have followed here in Hainaut, patois and understandably French: Nous irans virel car d’or. Nous irons voir le Char d’Or al procession d’Mon á la procession de Mons. Ce s’ra l’poupeye S. Djer Ce sera la statue de S. George qui nous suivra de lon. qui nous suivra de loin.
“C’est l’Doudou, c’est I’mama C’est l’poupeye S Djorge ki va Les djins the rempart riy’ront come des kiards the vir tant d’carotes; les djins the culot riy’ront come des sots the vir tant d’carotes e la pot. C’est le Doudou, c’est la’mama’. c’est la statue S. Georges qui va. Les gens du rempart riron’s comme des chiards Ne voir tant de carottes ; les gens du’quatier éloigné riron’s comme des cors de voir tant de carottes dance color pot’.
The word Doudou means the Infant Jesus and “Fmama” his mother, the Blessed Virgin. When the meaning was completely lost, Le Doudou became the familial name that de Montois gives to his Lumqon, the dragon, now used again by Saint Georges, but in the eighteenth century it was fought by the secular hero Gilles de Chin, who must have lived in the early twelfth century, as the chronicler Gislebert, chancellor of Baldwin V of Hainaut tells us.
In the Holy Land this nobleman killed all alone with his lance a furious lion Minstrels like Gautier le Cordier and Gautier de Tournay sang this heroic feat and the pious crusader became a historical, legendary person, while the battle scene was moved from the Holy Land to Wasmes in the environs of Mons, where the vanquished lion metamorphosed into a fallen dragon. At the beginning of the 17th century, two old paintings could still be seen in the church portal in Wasmes, the allegorical meaning of which could not be explained.
One represented a knight fighting a monster, while the other represents the same knight kneeling before the Virgin. These paintings were later associated with the heroic deed of Gilles de Chin, who was venerated as a benefactor at Wasmes.
About 1600 a monk of St. Gislain connected the allegorical representations with the history of Gilles de Chin, and he spread the legend that with the help of the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary of Wasmes the dragon was defeated.
I found this legend under No. 84 also mentioned in the collection of Wolf’s Dutch sagas, while a painting can still be seen in the church at Wasmes, in which the knight is depicted in a kneeling position with the caption: ,Sainte Vierge, en ce jour, je viens pour t’implorer The détruire en ce jour un dragon qui vient nous dévorer’.
A banner is also carried along in the procession every year, on which the dragon battle is depicted with the caption: ,Attaques Gilles de Chin de dragon furieux Et tu sera de lui par moi victorieux’. This procession-famous in the Hainaut country as „Procession de la Pucelette” also keeps alive the memory “á, ce légendaire Gille de Chin,” who rescued a child from the mouth of a dragon. They go there to the house of “La Pucelette”, a girl of 4 or 5 years, who, receive the clergy in a room furnished as a chapel. In the living-room, the Pastor hangs the insignia of her high dignity on a large golden heart, which she wears on her breast. Her processional garb, consisting of a blue silk dress and cloak, never changes, while she also wears a crown on her head as “Pucelette” “surmontée de plumes d’autriche blanches, aux extrémités retombant en panache”. So we see here the rescued Dragon Child of Wasmes, who has to honor “Gilles de Chin” as his savior, wearing the same headdress as the contemporary “Gilles de Binche”, when in “Le grand cortège” to the music of “Le Doudou” perform their rhythmic Carnival dances.
On the one hand the name “Chin” seems to have been transferred to “Les Chinchins” from the St. George’s Game in Mons, while on the other hand the name “Gilles” became popular for carnival appearances, which with their ringing bells set themselves akin to the English Morris dancers, who also accompanied their Snapdragon and King George in old May Games.
It would take me too far afield to establish here in numerous analogies and parallels the identity of the English Morris dancers, Hainaut Gilles, Austrian Tresterer and Tyrolean KranzMufer, but I do not wish to deprive my readers here of the curious legend in which the Gilles de Binche also be brought closer to the dragon slayers, especially to “Messire Gilles de Chin” who replaced St. George at Wasmes.
Once, a long time ago, there lived at Ath a giant, a man-eater — called Golias ( Goliath)— who terrorized the whole land of Hainaut, and every year had to receive an innocent maiden as booty for his feast. The good lord of Binche omised to Gilles de Chin, who knew how to slay the monstrosity, his beautiful daughter Marceline in marriage. Now one day she walked innocently in the great forest, where she picked flowers, strayed from the right path, and got lost in the labyrinthine paths.
There the formidable man-eater approached her and dragged her to his dreaded abode, which no living soul had ever left. A poor, heavily hunchbacked woodcutter—Caracol is his name—hidden behind a bush, had seen the nefarious business, and in conjunction with the wolf, the lion, and the hare, the three animals whom he tended in complete peace, he killed Golias.
Note : caracol is not only a word for escargot a dish very famous in belgium but also a very old military tactic as the labyrinth tactic in India, the Chakravyuha descibed in the Maharabata
Already he thought he could lead the beautiful damsel of Binche before the altar, when Senechal, hunchback like him, but rich and powerful like Drost, dared to pretend to be the victor. And as there were no witnesses in the depths of the forest at the time of the raid, no one could give proof to the contrary, for Marceline had instantly fainted at Golias’ face, and had seen only in a brief moment of awakening that her savior had been ” bossu”,hunchback . Understandably, the lord of Binche would have preferred the hunchback Drost rather than the hunchback woodcutter to be his son-in-law, but just as he was about to clasp the hands of bride and groom, a fairy who spoke the truth intervened.
The hunchbacked woodcutter turned into a handsome young Prince, and the impostor Sénéchal was rebuked by disfiguring him with a hump in front and behind. And voilà pourquoi le Gille porte deux bosses, celle de Caracol et celle de Sénéchal. This is why the Gille has two bumps, that of Caracol and that of Sénéchal.
And the end of thefestival , the effigy of the Giant goliath is ritually burn :
As also the bumps of the Gilles, so the evils of the winter can be destroyed and the Greenness of Spring can rejuvenate Man and nature:
Associating this saga with the rhythmic jump dances of the Gilles to the music of the Mons national anthem Le Doudou, which is also played during Le combat de Saint George et les chinchins avec le Dragon et les diables the folklorist of the ethnological school recognizes in this a variant of the mythical story, which in all European countries depicts the struggle between summer and winter, fertility and sterility.
- The fight between Gilles de Chin and the dragon, a process of individuation.
“Process” and “individuation” are important in JUNG’s psychology. Individuation designates, for JUNG, “the process by which a being becomes a psychological “in-individual”, that is to say an autonomous and indivisible unit, a totality”, “become a truly individual being in our uniqueness the most intimate. Individual means that cannot be divided.
This principle of self-realization, of one’s uniqueness is inscribed in every human being. Something in us, which JUNG called the Self, prompts us to do so. The Self, not to be confused with the Me, limited to the field of our consciousness, is the goal of psychic life. To individuate is therefore to integrate what should have been different, it is to widen the field of one’s consciousness. “Process” indicates the transformation, the progressive progress and with changing courses.
Individuation thus never responds to a kind of all or nothing law, but follows an evolution which sometimes accelerates, slows down, seems to stagnate, even regress but tends inexorably towards the realization of our Self.
We know other dragon stories, sharing, in particular, with that of Wasmes the offering of fresh flesh which is made to him in a cyclical manner. Thus, for example, the tale of “Two brothers” transcribed by the Grimm brothers. At the gates of the city there is a high mountain where a dragon dwells; every year he must be given a virgin, otherwise he will devastate the whole country. They have already delivered all the virgins to him, there is no one left but the king’s daughter. Everyone who tried to kill the dragon died there. He is one of the two brothers, a hunter and soon to be a hero of his state, who, after having also gathered in a chapel, will kill him, marry the princess and inherit the kingdom.
In Bordeaux, Poitiers, Tarascon (country of the beast called Tarasque, tamed by Ste Marthe), the monster devoured a virgin a day. “Aquatic ferocity – we will come to this later – and devouring, will become popular, writes Gilbert DURAND, in all the medieval bestiaries in the form of fabulous coquatrix and the countless cocadrilles and cocodrilles of our countryside. »
In the North of France it is called Bouzouc, which the people of Mons called Doudou. We find the term dragon in the Italian drago, the English dragon, the German Drache; it comes from the Greek “drakôn” which means something relating to the gaze, to the vision. The term Drac is associated with several names of rivers in France. It is interesting to note that in different places around the world, similar stories have been woven, that central themes and recognizable creatures have supported the common thread. We will talk about these elements later but, from now on, it seems useful and important to me to try to define what, in the human psyche, can be at the source of these tales and legends.
We have known for a very long time but above all, to put it simply, since the work of Sigmund FREUD, that alongside our consciousness there is another very vast field, that of an unconscious. Its personal part, or “shadow” is composed of what we do not want to be, of what we do not want to see entering or returning to the field of our consciousness. If FREUD limited the notion of the unconscious to this personal part, Carl Gustav JUNG brought out the existence of a collective part of our unconscious, that which is transmitted from generation to generation of human beings, inscribing each time its passage as the mason marked his stone, a mark that was as significant as it was insignificant with regard to the cathedral . This collective unconscious is like a matrix of the psychological development of humanity, which makes us psychologically human beings and not just anything else, just as our instincts make us make gestures, undertake behaviors which ensure nutrition, reproduction or even survival without these having ever necessarily been learned.
Within this collective unconscious, an energy system is the basis of our thoughts, our images, our functioning as human beings. These energetic nuclei or archetypes, common to all of humanity but whose expressions, manifestations, “concretizations” – in Jungian language we will speak of constellations – will become more specific to such an individual, to such a group of individuals according to their personal experience, ethnic or geographical affiliation, etc.
Dreams, stories, tales, legends or myths were born, developed and perpetuated, symbolically telling different things but yet fundamentally a little the same through the ages as in the beyond borders.
The legend before us is made up of four characters, at least in its final form. The monster, in this case a dragon, a living and virgin offering, the Pucelette, a hero, Gilles de Chin and an inspiring woman, the Virgin Mary.
When we evoke a dragon fight with a Sauroctone hero, that is to say dragon slayers, such as those delivered by Saint George or Saint Michael, the first attempts at explanation that come to us relate to a fight of forces good against forces of evil, those of the devil/dragon, forces of light against those of darkness. I would say these dualist explanations are often moralizing, that is to say referring to a system of values that they defend or want to impose. These fights then become allegories, representations – in the theatrical sense of the term as is the “mystery” or “Game of Saint George” or even “Lumeçon” played in Mons and which since 1380 takes part in the Procession of the Trinity, a week after Pentecost. They distance themselves from the creative and living symbolic richness of the first materials, the first phantasms, the first daydreams generated by the human psyche.
The legend of Gilles de Chin has, first of all, a human origin often forgotten, even ignored, by dint of being only socially dressed to the tastes and interests of an era, of an institution. A few years ago, young Wasmois stole the Mons dragon to bring it back to its village of origin. A few days from Doudou, there was panic but everything was back to normal.
Quarrel of steeples or attempt to put back in place, in order? Already in 1737, a request, which remained in vain, had been sent by the inhabitants of Wasmes to the Austrian government to bring back the head of the dragon preserved in Mons, a crocodile head in fact, to Wasmes, its place of origin, they believed.
The human imagination has created monsters/dragons all over the world. Gilbert DURAND classified symbolic productions according to two successive “regimes” for humanity (phylogenetic level) as for the individual (ontogenetic level).
First of all a diurnal regime : predominance of postural reflexes (standing up, fleeing, etc.) faced with the fears of becoming aware of the weather. The imagination feeds on antithesis, separation and distinction, polemics. The symbolization is of theriomorphic character (of animal form like the horse, the ogre,…), nyctomorphic (darkness, our dragon, the black moon,…), catamorphic (the abyss, the labyrinth, the fear of falling,… ). Then comes the symbolism relating to the search for the mastery of the first fears. The symbolization is then linked to productions of the ascending type (angelism, the monarch, the scepter, verticality, etc.), spectacular (light, the sun, the eye of the father, etc.), diairetic or cutting (weapons of the hero, we will come back to this later, the sword, the purifying water, the soul,…).
Then comes a nocturnal regime : it is, on the one hand, that of the inversion and the unlearning of fear (soft heat, reflection, egg, interlocking, etc.), of intimacy (cave, secret room, house, holy places, etc.), mystical structures (swallowing/swallowing, euphemization, minimization or gulliverization, etc.). This “regime” marks our imagination with a concern for compromise, for synthesis.
Finally, cyclical symbols where symbolization takes over the mastery of time, particularly in the myths of the return (the lunar phases, the Son, etc.). Then the myth of progress symbolized by the cross, the tree of life,… and the access to the synthetic structures of the imagination (spirit of system, harmonization of opposites,…) will prove possible.
Various hypotheses concerning the origin of the legend report work on the draining of swamps, the construction of dams, etc. These diversified and controversial hypotheses, however, all bring together the same intuition of natural aquatic elements controlled, at least attenuated, allowing the less precarious installation of the inhabitants, combined with a possible exploitation of a soil where one takes root more, of a basement which will be full of a black stone leveling almost everywhere, the coal.
This fear sends primitive man back to his still chaotic individual as well as collective psychic functioning, a state where unconsciousness takes precedence over the awareness of the interior and exterior world, a state of lack of differentiation leaving a bridle to emotional cataclysms and little room for mastery, a state of nascent humanity, of the progressive constitution of an ego gaining in solidity.
The dragon thus represents, among other things, our primitive impulses. From an ontogenetic point of view, the dependence of a devastating dragon represents the lack of differentiation of the newborn from the outside world, particularly from the mother. The Subject that forms is still fused, confused in the world of the Object.
Marie-Louise VON FRANZ writes in “The myths of creation” about a Chinese parable entitled The death of Houan-Toun: “this name is translated into English by chaos and in German by unconscious. Houan designates the muddy or the torrent, the whole of something, which is complete, and Toun, which is confused. Houan-Toun therefore means, approximately: a confused, unintelligible, troubled, muddy whole, not yet separated, without cause or reason, without bottom, and of which one cannot see the root. »
The dragon is the archetypal image of this original lack of differentiation and of its anguish at getting lost in time, in the pond, in the waters. Here we find the symbolization of the raw material, the materia prima of the alchemists in its dangerous aspect, a material from which will emerge, later, much later, differentiation, consciousness, individuation. “The dragonsnake, an archaic animal, is an image of the deepest psychic layers. It is also unconsciousness, under its maternal aspect of non-differentiation. To kill the dragon is to come out of the mother, to be born into individual consciousness” writes Marie-Louise VON FRANZ in “The way of individuation in fairy tales”.
At this stage, there is no fight, not yet. The dragon alone is in action in our imagination. The symbolism of the terrible, devouring mother is manifested here in its most unconscious, coldest, most murderous form. It is, for example, the image of the mother goddess of the Babylonian epic Tiâmat who gave birth to pitiless giant snakes, placed dragons, hurricanes, furious dogs and other monstrous creatures before being, later, overcome by her son Marduk and create the world. To kill the dragon will therefore be to free oneself from the raw material, to “liberate”, to generate consciousness, to free one’s living environment from the devastating element and to create one’s own world of consciousness.
A return to Alchemy where Basile VALENTIN , monk chemist, philosopher and botanist of the 16th century. century, author of a work entitled “The Twelve Keys” (for the knowledge of the Work) describes in the tenth of these keys “the cibation or nutrition of the dry matter with its own milk.
This matter corresponds here to the dragon which will have to be nourished by the virgin (well, well that tells us something!) which appears under him. In clearer terms, it is necessary to extract from the ore found in the terrestrial caves, the spirit which will allow the transmutation. » (J. VAN LENNEP, « Alchimie »,). Another alchemist, BARCHUSEN , author of “Elementa chimiae” in 1718, writes this: “The matter remaining at the bottom of the vase, at the beginning of the experiments, appears in the form of a toad vomiting earth, water, fire and the air which, in the following will be mixed, ordered until producing a unitary element symbolized by the terrestrial globe. A dragon, sulfur, rushes into the mercurial water until it merges completely with it. The fire it spits will end up gathering itself into a solar ball where the child of philosophy will appear…”
Frightening and promising at the same time, source of anguish and life. There you have the symbolic ambivalence of everything in the dragon. Terror of water and riches of life, of organization.
Should we consider the dragon as totally evil, as an image of the only evil? And is evil altogether evil, good altogether good?
From this raw material, another phase can begin, a duality emerges, a differentiation takes place. What would be this self-nutritional substance of dry matter, what would be this spirit allowing transmutation…?
2.The maid or little virgin girl
… A breath, a glimmer of hope, a light breeze indicating our unconsciousness. Something is preparing, still precarious like a balance to be reached but still distant, called into question by the natural elements and the primitive anxieties they generate. Precarious too, as were the fleas delivered as an offering to the monster, periodically swallowed up, periodically sacrificed attempts to outline and construct a consciousness.
As we saw earlier, this female character is not present in all the stories of the legend, in the final staging though. Yet it is she who is honored during the Pentecost celebrations, perhaps the result of the addition of a fashionable processional practice or contamination by another story.
To return to our legend, if the flea saved by Gilles de Chin is honored, I would like to pay homage, existence and function to all those who preceded her.
All these sacrifices of virgin children make me think of an exchange between Miguel SERRANO and CG JUNG (“CG JUNG and Hermann HESSE. Tale of two friendships”). SERRANO evokes the Massacre of the Innocents and says to JUNG:
“Much has been said about the death of Christ, but no one seems to care about the death of so many innocent people. Their deaths seem to have been accepted simply as necessary for the birth of the Redeemer. The same thing happened when Krishna was born when all the neighborhood children born on the same day were executed by the tyrant Kansa. Thus, it seems that a terribly unjust event must always precede the advent of a Saviour. One could almost consider this fact as a positive evil. However, the question remains whether the end justifies the means.
Jung was silent for a while, then said slowly: – And when you think that those who are sacrificed are often the best…”
A cyclic feminine element is introduced, interferes in the unconscious and slowly takes its place in the imagination. A dragon feeds on maidens and at the same time inoculates itself with the seeds of its defeat, or rather of its transformation. As JUNG said, quoted by ML VON FRANZ, you should not worry too much if a dragon appears. Just remind him that his natural destiny is to devour himself.
He will then say “Oh yes! and will start biting his tail. It is the ouroboros of the alchemists. It will be necessary to remind him of his duties, that is to say to inoculate him with a little conscience and then to retire. For humanity, this is well worth these repeated sacrifices of virginal victims.
If we speak of maidens, we associate with them the potential fertility, not yet realized, actualized of the feminine being. The dragon of the initial turbulent waters begins to bear fruitfulness within itself.
The cruel waters participate in the fertilization of the shores and neighboring lands such as these vegetable gardens which have disappeared under the silt after a violent storm. The fertilization guaranteeing a future made of awareness, of sedentarization, of individuation to the detriment of the present of a little girl makes for lack of differentiation, the unconscious, precariousness.
The slow work of individuation can be understood through this passage from “Water and Dreams” by Gaston BACHELARD: “We would then interpret the birth of an evil child as the birth of a being who does not belong not to the normal fecundity of the Earth; he is immediately returned to his element, to very near death, to the homeland of total death which is the infinite sea or the roaring river. Water alone can rid the earth. It is then explained that when such children abandoned at sea were rejected alive on the coast, when they were “saved from the waters”, they easily became miraculous beings. Having crossed the waters, they had crossed death. They could then create cities, save peoples, remake a world. The superposition of these words with our caption is clear.
Kali, it is told, sprang forth armed from the brow of the Great Goddess Durga during a battle to annihilate demonic male power. Although she is often presented as cruel and horrific, with her lolling red tongue and necklace of severed heads, Kali is creator and nurturer, the essence of Mother-love and feminine energy. In India, worship of the goddess in her multiple forms, and the vision of the sacred as woman have never ceased. Now, the image of Kali has begun to appear in new contexts as men and women look beyond outworn stereotypes. Using the powerful imagery of paintings, sculptures and writings, Ajit Mookerjee, the distinguished author of Kundalini: The Arousal of the Inner Energy, presents a celebration of Kali and an exploration of the rich meanings of feminine divinity. Read here
This feminine breath, a slow journey towards awareness, towards a potential individuation, towards the realization of the Self, still fragile and partial, still maintained in the darkness of non-differentiation can be considered as a constellation, a representation of the anima, this psychic element which draws man into life. In opposition to the primitive chaos represented by the dragon, something of the order of humanity, of balance, of consciousness is expressed, is put in place. A work of ascension takes place. These young girls are delivered to death, like Persephones, to give birth, later on, to a more fertile region in the psyche hitherto dominated by the most obscure unconsciousness.
In primitive civilizations, we find this kind of awakening told in tales where life first unfolds in lethargy (cf. ML VON FRANZ “Woman in fairy tales”). It is an awakening through female mediation as in the Hopi myth often quoted by JUNG “…originally, these Indians lived in the deepest layers of the earth. Whenever one of these levels was overcrowded, the women made the situation so intolerable that the men were forced to find a way to reach the upper level, so that the women who themselves did nothing, forced little little by little by their bad mood the Hopi men to reach the world of the conscience. »
The anima, Latin word meaning “breath, life”, is a feminine personification of the prefiguration of thought, of the inspiration which arouses creative thoughts in man, “the inspiring woman” (JUNG), “the relationship to the source of life in the unconscious” (James HILLMAN).
Instance of connection between the collective unconscious and the conscious, it refers to the traditional, historical and archaic past, maintains a “curious relationship with time” (JUNG “Introduction to the essence of mythology”). Its relations with history go back to the archaic and even phylogenetic past, that is to say, to the collective past of man. She governs the inner world of the male collective unconscious. The anima, feminine principle, has its masculine counterpart in the woman, the animus. “While the anima goes back, the animus worries more about the present and the future. (JUNG “Problems of the modern soul”) “One could almost extrapolate: the anima takes us back into history so that the struggle with history – the history of the cases we are , that of our ancestors, of our culture – is a way of proceeding to the constitution of the soul. Interest in the present, the political scene, social reforms, current opinions and all futurology are the responsibility of the animus – and this, for both men and women -. The anima and the animus need each other because, while the animus updates the past in relation to the present and the future, the anima gives depth and culture to the current opinions and conjectures. (E. JUNG and J. HILLMAN, “Anima and Animus”)
We will therefore see these sacrificed and devoured fleas as imaginary representations of this management of the collective unconscious, imaginary representations of the construction of consciousness and of the self, of the cyclical mediation between man and his raw material. The anima thus functionalized is indeed the archetype of the “psychological call” (J. HILLMAN) because before becoming conscious, we must begin by glimpsing that we are unconscious.
The sacrificed child is the prelude to the coming of the hero. It was, just now, the second term of a differentiation, it becomes now that it is delivered, the third term of a transcendence, of a beyond of the fight with the dragon.
As the poet Reiner-Maria RILKE said “All the dragons in our lives are probably only princesses waiting to see us beautiful and brave. »
Time, initially circular, eternal, has become “decircularized” to “spiral” and progress verticaly. This germination of a feminine in the dark, the nigredo of the alchemists, must succeed and see the light of day. At the risk of remaining forever in endless primordial unconsciousness, a breaking point must arise on this sequence, an insurrection must emerge. Like Zeus, helped by his mother Rhea, was stolen from the devouring appetites of the ogre Cronos. Listen to Hesiod, quoted by Michel CAUTAERTS, describe this episode in his “Theogony”: “But the day came when she was going to give birth to Zeus, father of gods and men; she then begged her parents, Earth and Starry Sky, to form a plan with her that would allow her to give birth to her son in secret […] they brought her to Lyctos, in the fat land of Crete, the day when she was to give birth to the last of her sons, the great Zeus; and it was the enormous Earth that received her child to nourish and care for him in vast Crete.
Carrying him away under cover of the shadows of the rapid Night, she reached the first heights of Dictos, and with her hands she hid him in the hollow of an inaccessible lair, in the secret depths of the Divine Land, on the sides Mount Aegeon, which is covered with thick woods. Then, wrapping a large stone in swaddling clothes, she handed it over to the mighty lord, son of Heaven, first king of the gods, who seized it with his hands and engulfed it in his belly, poor wretch!, without his heart suspecting that , for later, in the place of this stone, it was his son, invincible and impassive, who preserved life and who was soon to, by his strength and his arms, triumph over him, drive him from his throne and reign in his turn among the immortals. (M. CAUTAERTS, “Couples of the gods, couples of men. From mythology to psychoanalysis on a daily basis”)
Note: see also Dante’s purgatory: Because Dante is right
Knowledge of the eternal truths is potentially present in the human spirit or intellect, but its unfolding is directly conditioned by the will, negatively when the soul falls into sin, and positively when this fall is overcome. The different punishments in Purgatory that Dante describes can be regarded, not only as posthumous states, but also as stages in ascesis, that lead to the integral and primordial condition, in which knowledge and will—or, more precisely, knowledge of man’s eternal goal and his striving after pleasure—are no longer separated from one another.
In our legend also, the child so far devoured may have been saved. Time, hitherto circular and closed, can therefore flow spirally and verticaly, a differentiation takes place, a maiden-hero couple is born, a feminine-masculine couple of opposites. Figure of animus, the hero acts, realizes in his actions what the individual, the subject could or should do. What should happen on a conscious plane does not happen, does not materialize or not yet, “executes in the unconscious and then appears as a projected figure” (Jung, “Metamorphoses of the soul and its symbols”), a fighter of our imagination who achieves what is consciously impossible for us.
On the psychological level, a field of consciousness with an armed and equipped Me can emerge from unconsciousness. As Lucie JADOT writes in an article entitled “The Myth of the Hero according to Jung”: “…achieving extraordinary and perilous feats, he (the hero) is the projection of the ego ideal of the ordinary man. Because man, every man, is the psychological hero of his fight for the autonomy of the ego: the archetype of the hero, activated in the psyche, arouses emotions, images, motivations which can be projected on the mythical hero, amplifying , exalting and glorifying the ordeal that the self experiences. »
The hero, by the synthesis he operates between conscious and unconscious, constitutes,
psychologically, a representation of the archetype of the Self, “a potential anticipation of an individuation which approaches the All” (“Introduction to the essence of mythology”), of a totality. He is human with supernatural characteristics, qualities; it still participates in qualities
of the “divine” of the collective unconscious but also enters and brings into the field of consciousness. “Becoming conscious is perhaps the most potent experience of the original eras because through it the world, of which no one knew anything before, came into existence. “And God said: let there be light”, these words are the projection of the experience
pre-temporal experience of a consciousness separating from the unconscious. (“Introduction to the Essence of Mythology”). Magnificent expression of what was this eternal time when man, in his undifferentiated unconsciousness, “knew nothing” of his environment and suffered from it, endured its floods and its engulfments. To rebel, to make the sauroctone hero appear, is to set oneself up as a Subject, it is to make desire appear, it is to begin time, it is eternity and one day, a first day, fragile as will still be many of the following. We are never safe from the return of the beast within us, from a psychotic submersion, from a destructive possession by the unconscious. The fight against the monsters, Jung tells us, indicates “the danger for the acquired conscience to be devoured again by the soul of instinct, the unconscious” (“Introduction to the essence of mythology”)” If, during my existence, I do not encounter the dragon that is within me, if I lead an existence that remains devoid of this confrontation,…
this deficiency will lead with age to an annoyance similar to that caused by the omission of a natural need… If one has not been the target of inner difficulties, one remains on one’s own surface. » (« Man discovering his soul ») This meeting for the widening of consciousness, of his individual particularities, is the task to which compels the human being, it is also, as for our hero, his great risk.
This lack of differentiation, this original unconsciousness is that of the “kingdom of the Mothers” as Goethe wrote.
This mother from whom we all come after having been founded, melted and merged there. This original mother who contains life at the same time as death, the one before life. Foster mother and also terrible and devouring mother. As Charles Baudouin wrote in “L’oeuvre de Jung”, quoted by L. Jadot, “what the hero fights in the monster is less the enemy father…than his own fixation on the mother. What is delivered in this way – like the treasure or the captive virgin – is the libido [term for which we can substitute “psychic energy”] once chained by virtue of the primary fixations. To free ourselves, therefore, from the regression of our psychic energy towards the collective unconscious, towards the maternal image which calls us to fusion, as the song of the Sirens called Ulysses towards the destructive rocks.
The fight that the hero undertakes and that he leads against the monster for a transcendence which proves necessary is the expression of the controversy established between the opposites, the light is opposed to darkness, the rise to the fall. . As Gilbert DURAND says, light tends to become lightning or a sword, the ascent to trample a defeated adversary. We are well, with the hero and his weapons in the diairetic symbolism (see table “Symbolic of the imaginary”). “Sword, sword of fire, torch, water and lustral air, detergents and stain removers (he alludes to our current advertisements) thus constitute the great arsenal of diairetic symbols available to the imagination to cut, save, separate and distinguish darkness from luminous value” (“Anthropological structures of the imaginary”). In the Germanic and Indo-European tradition, the killers of monsters, bears or dragons are innumerable. The Christian prototypes are, of course, the Archangel Saint Michael, who fought near the Norman mount of the same name, and Saint George, the mythical prince who also delivered a young girl from the clutches of a dragon which he slew with his spear. .
As in our legend, the hero who conquers death by opposing the annihilation of the soul, achieves renewal, personifies the creative force. A new individual and collective existence can then emerge. Sacrificer, he is at the same time sacrificed, sacrifices himself by accepting the fight. By this double sacrifice, he recreates life. To sacrifice means ” to make sacred”. As Pierre SOLIE points out, during the sacrifice a round trip of the shamanic type takes place. “During this, they all changed state: they became sacred, that is to say, they took a “bath of eternity”, thereby taking up the challenge of their mortal destiny. … When they return from their “trip”, all the components that have participated in one way or another from another to sacrifice are so transformed by their passage through the sacred universe, induced by violent ritual death, that the profane universe is itself changed. »
New existence, new relationship to the world of the Object, new relationship to the environment for an asserting Subject. A new era, perhaps. Let us remember that our Sauroctonian hero was later dressed in the clothes of Gilles de Chin, the same man who bequeathed to the inhabitants several bonniers of land for the exploitation of coal. We know what happened and the importance that this exploitation had in the region. The walls that surround us still tell the story, the “misery in the Borinage” that accompanied and followed it still shapes the soul of the inhabitants.
Bernard SERGENT, Doctor of Ancient History and Archaeology, researcher at the CNRS (“Cahiers internationales du symbolisme” n° 86-87-88, 1997) carried out an interesting research about the sauroctone fights and their meaning of renewal by the victorious fight on the Dragon. He had the curiosity, in fact, to identify and locate on the calendar all the saints to whom acts of elimination of dragons or serpents in France and Belgium were attributed. He was thus able to observe that the highest frequencies are in May/June and October/November which can be considered, according to the expression of the author, as “months of dragons”. The moments of greatest density correspond to the cycle of the four great Celtic festivals which are Imbolc located on February 1, Beltene on May 1, Lugnasad on August 1, Samain on November 1.
The author draws the conclusion that “the sauroctonian saints of Western Europe represent a Celtic mythical and heortological heritage. »
If the feast of Samain, the Celtic new year, opened the winter, Beltene, dedicated to the sun god Belenos, closed it. The two festivals form the cuts of the two great seasons of the Celtic year. They are, says the author, ” moments of confrontations, invasions, duels, often based on the contact between the human world and [the Other] that of the infernal (and divine) powers,…” Celebrating the victory of Gilles de Chin over the dragon in the same way period, therefore, it seems to be part of a Celtic tradition of a rebirth, a renewal of nature that the hero establishes by his victorious combat.
In fact, if I mentioned earlier the now possible flow of spiral and linear time, with the hero’s fight, we are in yet another dimension of time, that of the moment, of the instant just to carry out this fight. We know the adage: “it’s not time before time, it’s too late after time”. The Greeks had created many deities to represent that particular time. Hermes of the full silence during which “an angel passes” we say now, Kairos, god of circumstances favorable to action, but also Nike, goddess of victory, of the mysterious moment when, in a conflict, in a fight, a board suddenly tilts in favor of one of the belligerents. It is this moment that our hero has seized to confront and defeat the dragon. Before the hour was swallowing up, after the right moment is deliverance.
It remains for us to analyze the appearance in the final story of a fourth character who has his importance, his influence in the fight, I mean the Virgin Mary.
4.The Virgin Mary .
Since the appearance of the dragon in the imagination which engendered the legend, as we have seen, the virgin, with a lowercase V, has appeared in the form of an offering, a cyclically swallowed up sacrificial element. With the appearance of the liberated Pucelette and her liberating heroic complement, a fourth element emerges tending, thus, to establish a quaternity, a totality, a step towards the realization of an individuation. This element is symbolized here by the image of the Virgin Mary, but what does it actually express?
Success in the fight against the terrible mother, obstacle on the path of life as we have seen, reconquers the mother who dispenses love and life. From the “diurnal” phase of the imaginary , characterized by the diairetic struggle against the monsters engendered by temporal anxiety, we enter the next phase, the “nocturnal” phase of evolution. of our imagination. This regime is that of conversion and euphemization, reversing the images of death, of the flesh and of the night in the gentleness of time, in a sublimated, spiritualized Virgin-Mother.
Virgo is associated with water as the great lunar goddess. She is called “spiritual moon”, “stella maris”, “star of the sea” or even “queen of the ocean”. From the turbulent and engulfing waters of the first times, we access an ethereal, welcoming and beneficial water, source of life. She is the ideal mother, spiritual fruitfulness, harbinger of the future, of a new birth. She is the vessel of the divine child. These words from a Mottet entitled “Alma redemptoris mater” attributed to Jean OCKEGHEM, a Saint-Ghislain composer of the 15th century:
“Sweet mother of the redeemer who remains the accessible door of heaven, star of the sea and support of the fallen, who wishes to uplift the peoples. You who by a marvelous gift gave birth to your holy offspring. Virgin before as well as after, who from the mouth of Gabriel accepted Salvation, have mercy on our sins. »
Albert Le GRAND, theologian of the 13th century, wrote after a dream quoted by JUNG in Psychology and Alchemy, “Hail, resplendent star of the sea, Mary, born to enlighten the nations…” We find there the association with water, on the one hand, and the renewal of a community, on the other.
Mary is the mother of God and, as Claude-Henri ROCQUET writes (“Ruysbroeck. Bridal mystic, maternal mystic” Editions de l’ULB): “Mother of God! This is unthinkable, inconceivable. It passes all categories and degrees of the reasonable… How would the finite contain the infinite, how would the temporal, and the mortal, give birth to the eternal, to the immortal, to what is even beyond the origin? There you have it, in other words, the mystery of the Self, the beginning and end of our psychic life .
Thus by the appearance of a symbol like that of the Virgin, posing as the opposite pole to the mother – dragon, a spirit-matter duality, a new momentum can be taken by the transcendent resolution of these opposites. Like Aphrodite, of which she is a representation of the spiritual side, she can be associated with a path of transformation. As Michel CAUTAERTS writes: “Judeo-Christian civilization has emphasized the figure of Mary, leaving Venus the passions of the body that she condemned. In return, alchemy uses the goddess to illustrate the metamorphoses of matter and spirit: representations of snakes evolving into dragons, then into various animals before becoming eagles or doves. Constellated, this archetype imposes a path of transformation, a narrow, dangerous but exciting path. »
The first is that of the anima linked to instinct, associated with the image of Eve, with our dragon;
the second is linked to aesthetics, although still sexualized, associated with the Hélène of Faust, with our liberated virgin;
the third where “love reaches the altitude of spiritual devotion”.
The fourth stage being Wisdom or Sophia, towards which tends the psyche without rarely reaching it fully.
We are coming to the end of this exposition, of this proposal for an analysis of the legend. From the undifferentiated One at the beginning, we moved on to the two of differentiation, then to the three of separation/distinction and finally to the four of the reunion of opposites and of totality.
The aphorism of the alchemist Mary the Prophetess: “One becomes two, two becomes three and from the third is born one as a fourth.” »
- St George in Islam : Saint George (Khidr) Slays the Dragon and Becomes a Saint
Sultan al Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani 2 September 2009 Lefke, Cyprus
…In the holiest month, Ramadan. Blessed month. And through this blessed month I am trying to reach something from spirituality. Through spirituality I am asking to reach the level of holy ones, that holy ones they are blessed ones. Blessed ones and O people! If you are not going to reach blessings from heavens through your whole life, what is the benefit of your existence here?
What does it mean? It means nothing nothing! Why? Why you are not asking “Am I in existence to be nothing? To be like a dust?” It is big blame, O people! if I am not asking that question, “For what I am in existence? What is the main aim of my being in existence? For what I have been granted eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet and a perfect figure? Yes, man just created on a perfect figure. No any other created as a man. The creation of man it is perfect.
But if you are not thinking Who granted to you who is figure, designer, for you, for what granted that to you , you must think on it. Designer of man on same womb, designing some babies as a man. Designing some babies as a baby girl or baby boy. As He likes. You are not putting your will there to say “I must be figure of man.” Or “I must be figure of lady.” Or no one can say, “I must be red color or white color or ? color or green color.”
“O Shaykh we are never hearing of green color man!”
“Yes, we must be. You are not looking east and west. Say to top people that you must do and you must look and find green men also.”
Yes there is green men, it is true. there is green man. Only one, but he is not also, his face green, but that is then Christians saying St. George, but we are saying Khidr (as) . Green man, chevalier St. George. Always in his hand he is killing a dragon. Very good. It is very very and a important symbol that they are making a figure on a horse through his hand a spear and killing a dragon. So many people they are taking only looking to that figure, but really that figure asking to teach people.
O people! That one who is a famous personality through creation, through his hand with a spear killing a giant gigantic dragon.
O people! Look what does it mean? It means that St. George going to be a saint because he killed that dragon that it is representing our egos. Killing and going to bury the same. O people! ! Enough to carry your feelings that belongs all of them to your dragon. Leave that feelings and kill that one then everyone going to be a St. George, a blessed one in the Divine Presence. And that Green Man is only one. And asking to teach people “O people! Til your most terrible enemy, the dragon is killed…but you are not taking any care of it.
As everyone knows that every prophet they were sitting on earth, not on thrones. There are some exceptions, doesn’t matter, but mostly whole prophets sitting on earth with poor people, weak people, native people, and aseer, (slaves) slave people. They were sitting with those people and that not taking honor from them but giving honor because they are trying to give something to our Lord’s creatures. They tried to make people best ones, not the worst ones. Who is working for their egoes and no other aim for them is except their dragons? Therefore don’t try to be “First Lady”or “Number One” in America, in Turkey, in England, in Russia.
Who is first one? Who is best one? Don’t think that every first one going to be best one.
Everybody thinking first one. First one they claim but it is not important. Important is that one who is claiming to be best one. Are you best one? Give answer to me. To be “First One” if making you best one, bravo. If not then it is a very dangerous situation to be “First Lady”or “Number One” through nations. No. Only if you are asking our honor in Divinely Presence. Yes, you may claim, “I am first one on earth” but on heavens do you think your name written under tables of best ones? Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Holy Quran what there are saying? What are they teaching people? Teaching them to be best ones or worst ones? Say! Popes say! Archbishops say! Patriarchs say! Presidents say! Philosophers say! Hindus say! Buddhists you may say! The Lord of heavens asking from you to be first ones or best ones? That is the main source of troubles on earth.
- Kill Your Dragon
…. Here in England, in London, I am looking at St. John’s Wood. I want to say something about t Saint George. There is a statue nearby to central mosque. People running around and coming but they are not taking wisdom. What is that? What Saint George doing? What he mean to say? He is killing a dragon, showing people “O people, all of you must be killer of dragons.”
- Everyone has a dragon.
… Same dragon attacking on Adam. Same dragon just attacked on Noah. Same dragon was attacking on Moses. Same dragon attacking on Abraham. Same dragon attacking on Jacob. Same dragon attacking on Solomon and David and on Zakariya… Same dragon attacking to Jesus Christ. And same dragon attacking also on the Seal of Prophets. And same dragon’s attacking on believers.
Everyone has a dragon. And that is Saint George showing – “O people, you must kill it. If you are not killing it, no rest, no peace, no mercy, no justice, no love, no respect to you. Kill it, O mankind.” Calling through that statue. But people running around, looking what is that?
Yes. And we are feeding that dragon. Instead to kill it, we are feeding it. … Every morning we are awakening and making like this “O my Lord, what you are asking? You’re asking smoking? Ready. Asking wine? Ready. Asking something else? It’s ready. I am under your command. Everyday I am your slave.” – People saying to their dragons. Feeding, very carefully saying “I am your obedient worshipper. I never leaving you. I am never getting disobedient to you. I am not rebellion or rebellious to you. Always you are finding me obedient one.” Yes. Why no peace on earth? Because you are feeding dragons. You are looking after it so carefully. Never listening the Lord’s command. No one going to be obedient to the Lord of heavens and earth.
Why people attacking on Prophets? Do you think that they are bad people? If they are not accepting now, good ones, they are fighting. But what about for Prophets? What was their sins? No sins for Prophets. Prophets, they are innocent people. They are pure people, clean people, perfect people. Why common people attacking them, trying to kill them? And they killed thousands of thousands of Prophets. Murdering martyrs, thousands of Prophets. And they killed, martyred so many saints. Why? They were bad people? They were devils, or people they were devils?
Yes. We must look once again to ourselves. What we are doing? For what we are working? For the Lord, for the sake of Lord? To make Him pleased or to make our egos, our dragons pleased? You say to yourself. Don’t say to me. When you are alone nighttime, you may say to yourself “Oh I am… Just I worked for my Lord today”. If you are saying this, you are very happy person, very lucky. But you must be true.
First, you must be true to yourself before becoming true to others. But it is so difficult to be true even for yourself. Because that dragon should prevent you to say truth. Yes. Ask yourself. When people sleeping, and you’re alone – “O James, or John or Ahmad or Abdullah. Are you here, Abdullah? Our name’s Abdullah, the servant of the Lord. But you must ask do you think that you’re really servant of your Lord. Tell me, to whom you served today?” Yes. Be sincere. Everyone must be sincere or this world going to be destroyed. Because devils taking chance from insincere people, taking courage, taking power and trying to make people insincere. Yes. Therefore, I don’t think that any religion say something else… Because their source is heavens, from heavens coming every religion to establish through the conscience of mankind the love and respect towards their Lord.
If anyone knowing another thing, may say. That is, up today I learnt, as a summary. From whole books, from whole religions I have that summary that every Prophet coming with divinely messages to make people more in love and in respect for their Lord . That is our mission. And that is most precious mission and that is most acceptable mission in Divine Presence. You can’t find more than this respected job for mankind. Most respected job in Divine Presence [is] to call people in love and in respect to their Lord . And we are finding hindrance, biggest veil for reaching to that station. Our egos too jealous, too jealous. Asking every respect to himself, asking every love to himself, asking every obedience to himself, asking everything for himself, not for anyone else, either for the Lord of heavens and earth or for others.
… Therefore, whole religions, whole religions taking methods for protecting people, protecting followers from their egos. One of the most important protection for believers is fasting. Without fasting, no one can be able to control that dragon and to protect himself from that dragon. You should find same fasting through every religion from old religions, beginning from Adam. He fast first 30 days without eating and drinking. Because he ate from prohibited wheat in paradise, from prohibited tree. When he ate, he has been sent on earth. And till that, going from him he was fasting 30 days without eating anything. But the Lord giving permission to his children to fast from morning up to night, up to evening. And it was through Moses’ holy book, through Jesus Christ’s holy book, and through David’s psalms, through Abraham’s orders and through Noah’s heavenly orders.
Every Prophet just came with fasting. But we did it, we changed. Christians doing 50 days. It was before correct fasting. It is now – there are only a few people keeping even that order for Christianity. Even they can’t carry to be patient not to eat what prevented for them through that period. They are doing as fasting – not to eat fat or meat or such things. Even for that, now they are not keeping that order. And it was before fasting. And in our days anyone who asking a protection from their dragons, from their terrible egos, they must practice fasting. Yes. It is not something to be hungry, to be thirsty. People may say “What is the benefit from being hungry or thirsty?” But whole power on itis “to be able“, when your ego rushing to eat, you are saying that “There is 5 minutes more, be patient.” And it was attacking, and we are saying “There is 1 minute more. You must be patient.” That is training for ego and to protect yourself and to be able to cut it...
When we are going to be enough powerful to catch that dragon, we have a method for cutting it. Because a small one can’t catch a sheep and cut it, slaughter. No. Must be enough power to keep and to cut. And don’t think that only that fasting you may be enough powerful to slaughter your dragon. No. We have another methods. When you are going to be prepared for that purpose, we have 40 days. 40-days seclusions in Islam also, that every Prophet they did it. As it is mentioned through Holy Qur’an, 40 days for Moses before going to mount Sinai. And the Seal of Prophets, he was using that seclusion before his prophecy on the mountain of Nur. Jabali Nur, mount of lights. And don’t think that you can be able when you are living with people to cut it. No. You must take it out of communities. Whole saints, they were cutting it – out of communities, countryside, through deserts, through lonely mountains. That is the reason Christians, they are using monasteries on silent deserts, on mountains. But now it is also lost. Whom they were in monasteries, they are not going to be there to feed their egos. No, but to cut it.
And finally, we are asking forgiveness from Allah Almighty and asking good understanding. Everyone through their religions, through their beliefs, and every religion coming on same point to give more love, more respect to Allah Almighty. But in front of you, your ego preventing. Take it away. Kill it. And open, then you should find your Lord in front of you, in you, with you, around you.
Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Wa shukrulillah. Walhamdulillahi Rabbi l-alameen. Wa salatu wa salamu ‘ala rasulina Ziyadatan li sharafi Nabi, sallAllahu alaihi wa salam… Fatiha.
Some students have witnessed the medieval iconography of the Green Man with the Sultan al-Awliya, and not only in Britain, but even in Cyprus. Green Man “visit” to the Celts, whose lands are at the outer reaches of Europe; See The Green Man, St George and the Dragon Power of Nature
After all, al-Khidr is the teacher of the Afrad or Solitaries, that is, saints “outside” the community of believers. Especially relevant in this context is the medieval poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Read here St george and al Khidr