HERMETIC  - ESOTERIC - MYSTICAL PHILOSOPHIES
 

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Shiva the destroyer & giver of Forms

Shiva is really the creator and the destroyer of “life forms”. Here on this carving She has taken the feminine “role” because she is giving a new form….to her psyche…. A new ego personality…. Hence, this makes her the “Higher Self”, or “Being”. Or, we might add the “reflection” of Absolute Being. Shiva seems to have her eyes closed or she is maybe asleep…or meditating….because each one of her hands is held in a different mudra….and each one of her mudras are sending out the vibration or essence of a “sefiroth” down through the planes of the cosmic Hierarchy. What else can we say about Shiva? We can see that on “Her” forehead stands the symbol of her feminine aspect… which is a “yoni” or a (sea) shell….hence she is about to give birth to Her new Psyche….

So, how about the wounded man….who is being bitten by a lion? He reminds me of the “Fisher King” in the myth of the Holy Grail… why does he remind me of the Fisher King? The reason is that he seems to be wounded…waiting to be healed…

This man represents the psyche and yet he has a moustache…Why….there is a paradox on this carving… because it is showing us two opposites but complementary processes going on… one of destruction and death and the other of rebirth and renewal….

Shiva seems to pull this man by the hair… is the man dead, or is he coming out from within the sacred parts and womb of Shiva…? There is an ambivalence and a paradox here…why? For the reason that it is showing us how Shiva acts…. Meaning by first destroying and purifying the old psyche and at the same time…or later, when the time is right, Shiva gives birth to a new Psyche…but this time it is a united Psyche with a “new ego”….and since the second phase shows us that this man has been “dead” and also “reborn” from the “womb” of Shiva herself, therefore, the message is that they have become threefold; ONE unity…one whole Essence, inseparable for ever. Hence, we could also deduct that these reunited three parts are represented on this carving by the “new man” kneeling in front of Shiva…

And why is it that is the phase of “death and destruction”, the right arm of the “old” Psyche is being bitten by the lion? Well, I could intuit that the lion represents the animal man of desire…the old ego personality trying always to override and dominate the influence and inspiration coming from the psyche…. Moreover, we could add that this lion/ego enjoys creating emotions such as doubts, judging, selfishness…and it does that out of fear and ignorance, but also to keep the Intelligence of the Heart imprisoning and under its own power.

Once more, this strikes a chord with the story of the Holy Grail and it reminds me of the myth of Percival and the Grail Castle and the Fisher King…. why? Simply because on this carving, we see that like him, this man or the old psyche has been wounded by the lion/ego….the animal man of desire… thus, as we have already mention, this is one part of the paradox… but again, excuse the repetition, but there is also an opposite and complementary process at work….

Hence, on the carving we could see the other phase of the great Work which is the rebirth of the kneeling man who is the purified psyche and the lion who was biting him to death…seems this time to be helping him to be “reborn” and come “alive” from within the Womb of Shiva…the Higher Self. Just like a new babe needs to be taken out of the uterus of his mother…the lion/ego is doing the same as a ”midwife” would do… and the clue of the “rebirth” aspect of the lion is shown on the lion’s “tail” which has taken the silhouette and form of a Swan… the Swan seems to have been part of the animal man of desire…but the ego/lion remained unaware of its existence until it also witnesses and receives an initiation…the Albido or whitening process in alchemy… This is so, since the lion/ego is also taking part and is witnessing the “new birth” of his own psyche…as for the tail of the lion it symbolizes also an “antenna” receiving and sending “messages” to and from the Higher Self….

Hence, the paradox in question here is telling us that we can’t use logic to understand this subtle and spiritual process…. We have to allow Alaya to work its wonder within our subconscious…and let it unfold its mystery within us through the psyche… so as to be reborn again…and again.

So, on the one hand, the old psyche/subconscious represented by the kneeling man is being bitten and under the grip and claps of the old ego…. and when we reverse the “initiatory” process, we can see instead of destruction a “new birth” of the psyche represented by this “man” with a moustache… Let us inquire about why a moustache, since the psyche is always represented as being feminine? Just because the moustache on this man (psyche) has the same meaning at this time period in India as the ancient alchemical symbol of the “Beard” in the West). The beard in our Western esoteric symbolism represents the Wise man… (The sphinx) so, on the second phase of our alchemical Work…the interpretation changes and we are shown that the “Fisher King” who symbolizes the psyche has been healed, purified and reborn… as a new King and on the case of our carving…our man/psyche has come out from “under the “skirt”, or womb or “Yoni” of Shiva the GIVER OF FORMS.

As the healed “Fisher-King” or Psyche…the man with the moustache/beard becomes an initiator – and for the Western Tradition a Melchisedec… a descendant of Joseph of Arimathea….in other words the newly born Personality who is wise… humble and a follower of Alaya and a protector of the Holy Grail….

We could look at another aspect of the myth of the Fisher King and understand its message, which is telling us that in the initiatory process one should not be afraid to ask the right question at the right moment and not miss an important opportunity…out of fear or embarrassment.

So, as we said the man on this carving who is like the Fisher-King/Psyche, represents indeed the two facets of the Great Work…, who awaits to be healed from the wounds inflicted by our sub-personalities and the animal man of desire...so the quest begins in earnest when the psyche is reborn and healed from old wounds…and the ego understands, responds and shares what the Intelligence of the Heart dictates to the newly born psyche through the SWAN…the spiritual antenna… and the real teaching, and wisdom are received from within through SIGNS, Visions, psychic dreams and the like….they unfold in oneself their energy and power to illuminate and awaken the three parts of being….and enlighten the fourth part…which is the body… then the body becomes the open and close book in which all the mystery of the universe and of creation is revealed….  

Moreover, on this carving we can see also kundalini being raised in the “new born psyche with the help of Shiva the Higher Self…. And the two shields, or circles held by Shiva and Psyche, remind us that consciousness moves in circles and in vibration….Is psyche protected by his shield like some of the Greek Heroes? I personally think that it does since both shields look the same…they are both made of vibrations…and vibrations ascend and descend the scale of vibration…just like the chakras… and they are all linked to the divine “Eros” the Magnet of Universal and Unconditional LOVE that makes kundalini rise up or down…just like the energy rises up and down the Sephiroth depending on the level of purification that is going on in the psyche… moreover, both shields look exactly the same (at least the way I see them on this picture), this means that the same levels of “Energies and vibrations” are being unfolded for the “destructions of old forms” and the “creation of new ones”  

There is an engraving by Basil Valentine which represents a lion with a snake in his mouth…. This emblem reminds us of the snake/serpent who needs to detach his tail from his mouth to straighten up himself and be freed from the vicious repetitive cycles….and transform himself from being an Ouroboros into kundalini rising so as to become the purified Mercurius of the Philosopher’s. On this carving of Shiva, we can see kundalini rising…in a strange way; Shiva or the Higher Self is pulling kundalini up from the man’s (psyche’s) backside… which means that this Work is being carried out in the subconscious part of self….while we can see another part of kundalini’s tail rising from the right front part of the shoulder of the reborn psyche…does this rings a bell? Yes, indeed it does: (Since, the right side of the body is governed by the left frontal lobe of the brain) hence, the message is telling us that even our ordinary level of consciousness will be affected also by kundalini and our rebirth…

As for the pearls on the robe of Shiva it could symbolize and refer to what Jesus said about, “Do not throw your pearls before the swine to be trampled into the mud.” Pearls reflect “pearls of wisdom”, or we might say enlightenment.

 

 

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