(Information copied from dragoncourt.net/01.html)
According to legend, is in the nature of the Dragon to collect, store and guard a vast array of precious gems. Metaphorically, the Dragon is the Ancient Ancestor who contains all the old wisdom. This is why the symbol has and is used by initiates and royalty.
It is a symbol of mastery as well as sovereignty.
To ‘awaken the Dragon’ means to make an ally of ones own power and to be in touch with the mysteries of the universe. When one accepts their own personal power and wields this authority with Wisdom and Response-Ability, what is gained is the knowledge of Earth and Star energy – the Power in the land and the constellations above. However, when power is abused or unacknowledged, these energies take the form of ones shadow and will be a source of trouble until resolution is born.
Symbolically, the Dragon with its tail in its mouth represents the unenlightened soul bound to the cycle of reincarnation, while the active Dragon symbolizes the Adept. Two Dragons facing each other symbolize one who is working toward Immortality, while two Dragons facing in opposite directions indicate the attainment of Immortality.
The Grail Quest or ‘Great Work’ is also called the ‘Opening of the Eye of the Dragon’. This is because the Spirit reabsorbs all of the Light that it has projected as the objective universe, reawakening the Dragon energy. This union produces ‘the Immortal Spirit’, the ‘Sun at Midnight’.
There is an Ancient Legend which states that the Dragon was separated into two beings – the male, who is the ‘Howler in the Wastes of Nothingness’, the ‘Demon Lord of Time’ – and the female, who presides over the Universe as the ‘Shekinah’ (Babalon, Nuit), the matrix of manifestation. The union of these two opens the Gates of the Abyss.
When the ‘Dweller on the Threshold’ denies ‘Shekinah’, he breeds ‘devils’ in Chaos. The imperfectly created universe of the ‘Dweller’ or ‘Beast’ must be destroyed or reabsorbed (past karma and all bonds of energy with the Universe must be overcome) before the initiate may attain union with the ‘Shekinah’. Then, the serpent fire rises to an explosion of ecstasy in ‘ the Abyss’, casting forth its ‘Star’. The ‘Serpent Fire’ thus released interlaces itself with the ‘Water of Space’, and by this process the ‘Beast’ is reabsorbed in to the ‘Shekinah’. It is in the ‘silence of the death of desire’, that the ‘Golden Child’, born of the union of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ realizes its identity with Absolute Consciousness.
This process is the means of the return to the supreme state represented by the Cosmos itself, and is the true formula of Illumination, and the essence of all Magick.
Man has denied the Shekinah, both within and without, repeatedly – and continues to do so, aginst all odds and despite endless warnings, resulting in the abysmal dis-play that passes for civilisation on Mother Earth today.
Tantra is perhaps the oldest form of Eastern or ‘Dragon’ Alchemy. According to Tantric philosophy the whole universe is built up of and pervaded by basic forces which are in intimate and intricate union. (The Chinese as well as the Sumerians perceived of two dragon currents, male and female. The Green Dragon and the Red Dragon of the alchemists are the positive and negative energies that compromise the cosmos of our perception, as manifest in the famous Chinese yin-yang/tao symbol.)
In Tantra these forces, named Shiva and Shakti, are personified as male and female deities. Of this divine pair, Shiva is the subordinate one, for it is the Female Principle that ultimately underlies all manifestation. There is a tantric saying, ”Shiva without Shakti is a corpse.” No significant progress can be made until this is fully realised.
Most Adepts in the East follow the ancient traditions of the Dragon, and concentrate on the ‘Pearl of Great Price’, seeing it as the culmination of change and the attainment, immortality and Eternal Bliss. After the Pearl is created, the Body of Light or ‘Diamond Body’ becomes active, and the Adept is said to be immortal. The ancient Chinese word for Dragon, literally meant ‘rising of the Moon,’ referring to this Pearl of Great Price and the Body of Light (Star) of the Immortal. At this point, further progress involves learning about the various states of Immortality beyond Enlightenment. Entrance to Eternity involves the ‘Wave of Bliss’, the ‘Divine Carriage to the Immortal Realms’, also referred to as ‘Riding the Dragon’.
Each seeker must blaze their own trail into the Wilderness of the Spirit, and each must also struggle to overcome the focus of the mind on Consensus Reality.
Initiation into a Circle is a ritual that symbolizes and/or helps to begin an inner transformation of the initiate. Today, all too often, the ritual is merely symbolic and serves only to link the initiate to the group egregore (group energy or thoughtform) and to create a political lineage. The actual transformation of the initiate only takes place if the seeker undertakes to pursue a methodology on his own. Such methodologies are often missing from the body of knowledge passed on to the initiate. Too often, dogma takes the place of the personal mystic experience that is the hallmark of the successful initiate. It is incumbent upon anyone who undergoes such a ritual to pursue knowledge and power until their Initiation becomes effective and they set foot upon the Path.
All efficacious Initiation is really self-initiation, and this refers not to some basically worthless self-dedication ritual at the hands of some ‘group’ or ‘guru’ … but to years (if not lifetimes) of sustained effort.
It bears repeating here that …
‘Each seeker must blaze their own trail into the wilderness of the spirit.’
The world is full of ‘ex-spurts’ who seek to dictate to others on how to go about their very personal spiritual quest, but how can another know your Heart? How does another know what moves you.
Follow your own In-Tuition, and you will not err.
Indeed, we have within each of us, male and female, left brain and right brain, dark and light, negative and positive. Reconcilation of these forces requires we put aside all preconceptions and predjudices in order to achieve a more objective ‘enlightened’ perspective.
The fearful, poisonous attitudes of the patriarchy have resulted in the feminine being ruthlessly exploited abused and suppressed, suffering more bigotry and being demonised more than any other group in history. The feminine has long been the ultimate ‘scapegoat’. She has been ‘blamed’ for all the ills of ‘man’ since time immemorial – eve tempted ‘innocent’ adam etc etc etc. ad nauseum. Mountains of guilt have laid on Her by all the earth religions of ‘man’ – she is relegated in these religions as inferior at best and dark and/or evil at worst. Folk sayings, far too numerous to list here, such as ‘never trust a woman” assign negativity in all its forms to the feminine. Rivers of contempt have been aimed at ageless wisdoms, calling them ”old wives tales”, when in fact they are, more often, ”Old Wise Tales”. Even the very Earth and Nature Herself have been seen by ‘man’ as something to be feared, subdued, controlled and exploited.
This is pure folly against Self. I am sure we can all acknowledge that to blame another for all our ills, is pure ‘victim’ mentality and a denial of personal responsibility – and yet this is what the patriarchy has sought to do – play the ‘victim’ when it seems expedient and then using this perception of feared ‘evil’ as a justification for all manner of heinous crimes against humanity and Nature. This is particularly poignant and significant because BOTH polarities reside WITHIN EACH and everyone of us. This toxic attitude divides us against ourselves, setting us up for endless cycles of self hatred and mutual destruction. As Grigori has pointed out so eloquently, the future survival of humanity as a species depends on a rapid comprehension of this imbalance and its profound effects on a personal and global level.
It is said, Masculine reasons – Feminine feels…..patriarchal systems are addicted to division and the notion that one thing must be ‘inferior’ and one ‘superior” – such systems see reason as superior to feeling. This is illusionary. It si only when reason is guided by feeling, that Wisdom is found…..they cannot be separated nor should reason be seen as all important or ‘superior’
It is incumbent and imperative that we correct the imbalance that has been foisted upon us by those who benefited from the reversal of ancient truth and learn to respect and honor the feminine in all its forms, BOTH within and without. She is CREATRIX – She is not merely a ‘toy’ for ‘man’ to amuse himself nor does She exist to be used by ‘man’ in his endless pursuit of ego gratification. Humanity and this planet have suffered and continue to suffer appallingly and unnecessarily because of this ‘one eyed’ view. It is time to wake up and use BOTH eyes…..both ”I” ‘s. (smile)
Tantric Philosophy informs us, that from the eternal dance of Shiva (male) and Shakti (female), all manifestation arises. Of this Divine pair, it is Shiva who is the subordinate one, for it is the Female Principle that ultimately underlies all manifestation. There is a tantric saying, ”Shiva without Shakti is a corpse.” This must be fully realised if any significant progress is to be made.
If this realisation (real-eyes-at-ion) could be achieved and ACTED upon, humanity may yet experience the ‘golden age,’ – having All become the ‘golden child’ of Eastern or ‘Dragon’ Alchemy………or we can continue to poison the earth, our hearts and minds and die to life and to ourselves.
It is our Choice …
The Hindu Goddess Kali, for example is often perceived as a dark, evil Goddess or ‘archetype’ but, as we know, things are not always what they seem…..
From Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Devi Mandir, 1989 –
Kali is most often depicted as standing upon the corpse-like form of Lord Shiva, dancing upon the stage of Consciousness. She is the perceivable form of Consciousness. Consciousness is awareness. Rather than the actor, Consciousness is the witness of all action. That is why Lord Shiva is shown as a lifeless corpse: still, immobile, his eyes are fixed, trained on the image of the Divine Mother. All that Consciousness perceives is the dance of Nature.
She is dancing to infatuate Him, causing Him to direct His attention to Her. But Shiva does not forget that it is Nature who is dancing, not the ‘ I,’ and He remains the silent Witness.
‘I am’ Consciousness, the silent witness of the actions of Nature. I am not the performer. This body acts according to its nature, because that is its nature. Remembering this, I am free, one among the audience in a theater watching the drama of life.
Kali is Nature personified — not necessarily the dark force of Nature, but all of Nature: Mother Nature, as She dances upon the stage of Consciousness. As all the qualities reside together, the three Gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas; activity, desire and rest, Kali embodies the Three. However, She is more frequently associated with Tamas. Tamas means darkness, but not necessarily in the sense of ignorance. It is darkness which exposes the light. Kali as the personification of Tamas, is the Energy of Wisdom.
She spreads Her darkness over worldly desire, makes seekers oblivious to the transient externals, totally self-contained within. Pure Consciousness knows that the world of matter will continue to revolve according to its nature, in a cyclical flow of creation, preservation and transformation – the wheel of life. It goes on of its own accord.
When one can reside within, without identification or attachment to the ever-changing externals, then the supreme truth can be realized.
Kali is ‘Jnana Shakti’, the energy of Wisdom, the Intuitive Illumination within, as compared to the intellectual contemplation of the external. Knowledge is conceptualised, wisdom is intuited. When Kali takes away the darkness of the outside world, She grants illumination of the inner world. Such is Her Grace.
With Kali’s Love we become unattached, free from reaction, the silent witness of the stimulus and response which action and interaction brings. We cease to react emotionally to the circumstances of life, and rather plan our actions for the optimum efficiency; so that all the sooner we can complete our necessary contributions to creation according to our karmas, and spend the balance of our time delighting in Universal Consciousness. This is the path that Kali shows.
In Magickal Truth,
Lo Phi ad Infinitum,
A word about ‘opinions’……If I say – ‘in my opinion’ – then it is just that. ONLY an opinion.
The one and only opinion of anything that is truly significant to one, is one’s OWN opinion.
Once we fully ‘real-eyes’ this, we cease to be frightened of what other people think of us.
That is the prison that overwhelmingly underpins everything. What does it matter what people think of us? It?s by far more important what we think of ourselves, and what we think is right, because we take the responsibility (Respons-Ability), in very real evolutionary terms, for what we do and think.
When we step out of that prison of ‘what other people think of us’, we step outside the ‘herd’ mentality – we are free to be our True S-Elves.
Once we do this, we can let everyone else express their uniqueness, without rules and regulations in regard to ‘what you must and must not do ‘ to become ‘enlightened’.
Then we cease to be the ‘police force’ of the herd.
We cease to be the ‘Authorities’ (Aut-horror-tease)
If we are not adult enough to allow people to express their uniqueness, without infringing on free will, then we deserve to be manipulated……
So many people continually look for gurus, belief systems, and another ‘herd’ to join, because they are frightened of who they are, and the responsibility of who they are as multidimensional beings.
It’s still the same old choice between Fear and Love.
In an ‘ideal’ world, no-one thinks to impose what they desire or believe on anyone else, always respecting sovereign free will – however the moment you infringe on another’s free will, you forfeit your own, by default.
If you look at anyone who has made a real difference from the standpoint of a spiritual direction on this earth, you are looking at people who have also grounded themselves here, in the world we live in.
You don’t change a world by ‘escaping’ from it …
You don’t change a world by ‘dropping out’ ….
You change it by ‘dropping in’ …..
The name Alchemy as well as its derivative, Chemistry, derives from the Arabic ‘al-Kimiya’.
The greatest Muslim alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan (the Latin Geber) lived in the 8th century and this art (excluding the esoteric side) led to much experimentation with various materials and in the hands of Muhammad Ibn Zakariyya’ al-Razi was converted into the science of Chemistry.
To this day certain chemical instruments such as the alembic (al-‘ambiq) still bear their original Arabic names and the mercury-sulphur theory of Islamic alchemy remains as the foundation of the acid-base theory of chemistry. Al-Razi’s division of materials into animal, vegetable and mineral is stll used, and a vast body of knowledge of materials accumulated by Islamic alchemists and chemists has survived over the centuries in both East and West. For example, the use of dyes in objects of Islamic art ranging from carpets to miniatures, or in the making of glass have much to do with this branch of learning which the West learned completely from Islamic sources, since alchemy was not studied and practiced in the West before the translation of Arabic texts into Latin in the 11th century.
With the appearance of the major compendium, The Paradise of Wisdom (Firdaws al-hikmah) by ‘Ali ibn Rabban al-Tabari, synthesized the Hippocratic and Galenic traditions of medicine with those of India and Persia. His student, Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-Razi (the Latin Rhazes), was one of the greatest of physicians who emphasized clinical medicine and observation. . He was the first to identify and treat smallpox, to use alcohol as an antiseptic and make medical use of mercury as a purgative. His Kitab al-hawi (Continens) is the longest work ever written in Islamic medicine and he was recognized as a medical authority in the West up to the 18th century. The greatest of all Muslim physicians, however, was Ibn Sina who was called ”the prince of physicians” in the West. He synthesized Islamic medicine in his major masterpiece, al-Qanun fi’ltibb (The Canon of Medicine), which is the most famous of all medical books in history. It was the final authority in medical matters in Europe for nearly six centuries and is still taught wherever Islamic medicine has survived to this day in such lands as Pakistan and India. Ibn Sina discovered many drugs and identified and treated several ailments such as meningitis but his greatest contribution was in the philosophy of medicine. He created a system of medicine in which physical and psychological factors, drugs and diet are combined. After the death of Ibn Sina, Egypt remained a major center for the study of medicine in the Arab world, especially ophthalmology which reached its peak at the court of al-Hakim. Cairo possessed excellent hospitals which also drew physicians from other lands including Ibn Butlan, author of the famous Calendar of Health, and Ibn Nafis who discovered the lesser or pulmonary circulation of the blood long before Michael Servetus, who is usually credited with the discovery.
The western lands of Islam (including Spain), were likewise witness to the appearance of outstanding physicians such as Sa’d al-Katib of Cordoba who composed a treatise on gynaecology, and the great Muslim figure in surgery, the 12th century Abu’l-Qasim al-Zahrawi (the Latin Albucasis) whose medical masterpiece Kitab al-tasrif was well known in the West as Concessio. The Ottoman world was also an arena of great medical activity derived from the heritage of Ibn Sina. The Ottoman Turks were especially known for the creation of major hospitals and medical centers. These included not only units for the care of the physically ill, but also wards for patients with psychological ailments, including insomnia.
Arabs also studied the medical effects of many drugs, especially herbs. The greatest contributions in this field came from Maghribi scientists such as Ibn JulJul, Ibn al-Salt and the most original of Muslim pharmacologists, the 12th century scientist, al-Ghafiqi. . Islamic medicine combined the use of drugs for medical purposes with dietary considerations and a whole lifestyle derived from the teachings of Islam to create a synthesis which has not died out to this day despite the introduction of modern medicine into most of the Islamic world.
The vast expanse of the Islamic world enabled the Muslims to develop natural history based not only on the Mediterranean world, but also on most of the Eurasian and even African land masses. Knowledge of minerals, plants and animals was assembled from areas as far away as the Malay world and synthesized for the first time by Ibn Sina in his Kitab al-Shifa’ (The Book of Healing). Al-Biruni likewise in his study of India turned to the natural history and even geology of the region, describing correctly the sedimentary nature of the Ganges basin.
The Muslims also possessed much knowledge of Zoology – especially of horses as witnessed by the classical text of al-Jawaliqi, and in falcons and other hunting birds. The works of al-Jahiz and al-Damiri are especially famous in the field of zoology and deal with the literary, moral and even theological dimensions of the study of animals as well as the purely zoological aspects of the subject. This is also true of a whole class of writings on creation, of which the book of Abu Yahya al-Qazwini, the Aja’ib al-makhluqat (The Wonders of Creation) is perhaps the most famous.
Likewise in geography, Muslims were able to extend their horizons far afield. As a result of extensive travel over land and by sea, the facile exchange of ideas made possible by the unified structure of the Islamic world, and the hajj, (which enables pilgrims from all over the Islamic world to gather and exchange ideas in addition to visiting the House of God) a vast amount of knowledge of areas from the Pacific to the Atlantic was assembled. The Muslim geography of practically the whole globe, divided the earth into the traditional seven climes each of which they studied carefully from both a geographical and climactic point of view. They also began to draw maps some of which reveal with remarkable accuracy many features such as the origin of the Nile, not discovered in the West until much later. The foremost among Muslim geographers was Abu ‘Abdallah al-Drisi. It was in fact with the help of Muslim geographers and navigators that Diaz crossed the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean. Even Columbus made use of their knowledge in his ‘discovery’ of America.
One of the major achievements of Islamic civilization is architecture which combines technology and art. The great masterpieces of Islamic architecture from the Cordoba Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem to the Taj Mahal in India display this perfect wedding between the artistic principles of Islam and remarkable technological know-how. Much of the outstanding medieval architecture of the West is in fact indebted to the techniques of Islamic architecture. Moorish styles such as the Notre Dame in Paris drew from building techniques which traveled from Muslim Cordoba northward. Gothic arches as well as the interior courtyards of so many medieval and Renaissance European structures are reminiscent of the Islamic architectural examples from which they originally drew.
They also developed many forms of technology, such as the metallurgical arts, making the famous Damascene swords, and art which goes back to the making of steel several thousand years before on the Persian Plateau. Likewise Muslims developed new architectural techniques of vaulting, methods of ventilation, preparations of dyes, techniques of weaving, technologies related to irrigation and numerous other forms of technology, some of which survive to this day.
The Arab mind has always been attracted to the mathematical sciences in accordance with the ”abstract” character of the doctrine of Oneness which lies at the heart of Islam. The mathematical sciences have traditionally included astronomy, mathematics itself and much of what is called physics today. In astronomy the Muslims integrated the astronomical traditions of the Indians, Persians, the ancient Near East and the Greeks into a synthesis which began to chart a new chapter in the history of astronomy from the 8th century onward.
The Arabs observed the heavens carefully and discovered many new stars. The book on stars of ‘Abd Al-Rahman al-Sufi was in fact translated into Spanish by Alfonso X. Many star names in English, such as Aldabran, still recall their Arabic origin. The Muslims carried out many fresh observations which were contained in astronomical tables called Zij. One of the most acute of these observers was al-Battani whose work was followed by numerous others.. The Muslims were in fact the first to create an astronomical observatory as a scientific institution, this being the observatory of Maraghah in Persia established by al-Tusi. This was the model for the later European observatories. Many astronomical instruments were developed by Muslims to carry out observation, the most famous being the astrolabe. There existed even mechanical astrolabes perfected by Ibn Samh which are considered as the ancestor of the mechanical clock. Astronomical observations also had practical applications including not only finding the direction of Makkah for prayers, but also devising almanacs (the word itself being of Arabic origin). The Muslims also applied their astronomical knowledge to questions of time-keeping and the calendar. The most exact solar calendar existing to this day is the Jalali calendar devised under the direction of Umar Khayyam (more commonly known as Omar Khayyam, author of the ‘Rubaiyat’) in the 12th century and still in use in Persia and Afghanistan.
The first great Muslim mathematician, al-Khwarazmi, who lived in the 9th century, wrote a treatise on arithmetic whose Latin translation brought what is known as Arabic numerals, (which we still use today) to the West. The word ‘guarismo’, (derived from his name), means figure or digit in Spanish while the term algorithm is still used in English. Al-Khwarizmi was also the author of the first book on algebra. This science was developed by Muslims on the basis of earlier rudimentary Greek and Indian works. The very name algebra comes from the first part of the name of the book of al-Khwarazmi, entitled Kitab al-jabr wa’l-muqabalah. Abu Kamil al-Shuja’ discussed algebraic equations with five unknowns. The science was further developed by such figures as al-Karaji until it reached its peak with Umar Khayyam who classified by kind and class algebraic equations up to the third degree, and who also discovered the geometric solution of cubic equations. The brothers Banu Musa who lived in the 9th century are be said to be the first to excel in Geometry, while their contemporary Thabit ibn Qurrah used the method of exhaustion, giving a glimpse of what was to become integral calculus. Many Muslim mathematicians such as Umar Khayyam and al-Tusi also dealt with the fifth postulate of Euclid and the problems which follow if one tries to prove this postulate within the confines of Euclidian geometry. Another branch of mathematics developed by Muslims was trigonometry, which was first established as a distinct branch of mathematics by al-Biruni. The Muslim mathematicians, especially al-Battani, Abu’l-Wafa’, Ibn Yunus and Ibn al-Haytham, also developed spherical astronomy and applied it to the solution of astronomy and applied it to the solutions of astronomical problems.
Love for the study of ‘magic’ squares and amicable numbers led Muslims to develop a theory of numbers. Al-Khujandi discovered a particular case of Fermat’s theorem while al-Karaji analyzed arithmetic and geometric progressions. Al-Biruni also dealt with progressions, while Ghiyath al-Din Jamshid al-Kashani brought the study of number theory among Muslims to its peak.
In Physics Muslims made contributions to the field of Optics. Ibn al-Haytham (the Latin Alhazen) who lived in the 11th century was the greatest student of optics between Ptolemy and Witelo. Ibn al-Haytham’s main work on optics, the Kitab al-manazir, was also well known in the West as Thesaurus opticus. Ibn al-Haytham solved many optical problems, studied the property of lenses, discovered the Camera Obscura, explained correctly the process of vision, studied the structure of the eye, and explained for the first time why the sun and the moon appear larger on the horizon. His study of optics was continued two centuries later by Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi and Kamal al-Din al-Farisi. It was Qutb al-Din who gave the first correct explanation of the formation of the rainbow. It is important to recall that in physics as in many other fields of science the Muslims observed, measured and carried out experiments. They must be credited with having developed what came to be known later as the scientific, or empirical method.
In general Islamic civilization emphasized the harmony between Humanity and Nature as seen in traditional design of Islamic cities. Maximum use was made of natural elements and forces, and they built in harmony with, not in opposition to nature. Some of the Muslim technological feats, such as dams which have survived for over a millennium, domes which can withstand earthquakes, and steel which reveals incredible metallurgical know-how, attest to the exceptional attainment of Muslims in many fields of technology. In fact it was this vastly superior technology that first impressed the Crusaders in their unsuccessful attempt to capture the Holy Land (the Arab World), and much of this technology was brought back by the Crusaders to the rest of Europe.