Initiatory Interpretation of the Twelve Labors of Heracles
Non-Being | Reasons | Contraries | Number, Soul and the Pythagorean Tetraktys
Moira and the Gods |Sound and Light |Reason | Warning | Heroes | Don Juan's Path
Mythic Cosmology | Life Lived As An Act of Power | Storm Rider
Ideas Behind My Stories
Every affirmation, because it limits, is a negation. Using the opposite formula: through negation one affirms. This is the fundamental idea behind Taoist ethics – to become full one must first become empty, etc. Mythically, this is dismembering the Divine Man (Purusha-Prajapati, Panku, Ymir) in creation – non-being precedes being. Shamanic death and dismemberment precedes mystic re-birth.
Macro-cosmically, Khronos Aion (Endless Time) first becomes Night-Chaos in order to become Phanes-Eros. Hence, feminine non-being is presented as the mother or womb giving birth to the gods – being. Micro-cosmically, and Alchemically, we have the Seed of Sulphur dying to itself as personality – the Black – then passing through the stage of non-being – the White – in order to re-emerge as being – the Red.
“Up” or “down,” non-being precedes being.
Being is a higher state of reality than non-being.
Reason as it is mythically depicted in the Egyptian system:
Ra = Ahamkhara (The “I” sense)
Maat = mental equilibrium
Thoth = Reason
Underworld = Subconscious
Apophis = Demonic forces within the subconscious seeking to swamp or usurp the conscious mind.
Myth: Thoth stands beside Ra in the Solar Barque, with Maat beside him, doing battle with Apophis, the Serpent of darkness and chaos in the Underworld.
Meaning: Reason preserves mental equilibrium and the sense of self against the dark forces of the subconscious.
Golden Phallus of Osiris
- The phallus of Osiris is the masculine in the eminent sense - virya. Hence, Isis gives birth to Horus not as wheat but as Individuated Soul. The phallus of Osiris is equivalent to the scepter of Phanes or the phallus of Ouranos.
- Isis = Cauldron
- Horus = Grail
- Osiris as Reason. Hence he is the generative potency of Soul.
Osiris = Sattva = Mercury = Merlin = Nous.
Horus = Rajas = Sulphur = Arthur = Reason.
Isis = Tamas = Salt = Guinevere = Concrete thought.
Osiris = Reason, the Measurer and Orderer of Cosmos.
Isis = Substance that receives the Ideas projected into her by Osiris – his Phallus.
Horus = The phenomenal world. He is the objective form taken by the Ideas.
The Ideas projected by Osiris are vibrations which, when received by Substance (Isis) take form (Horus) according to the vibrational frequency of the Ideas.
When Isis conceives by herself without Osiris, she gives birth to the Lame Horus. When Hera conceives without Zeus, she gives birth to Lame Hephaestus. When Sophia conceives alone, without her syzygy, she gives birth to monsters and abortions. (Lilith)
The Phallus of Osiris is thrown into the waters of the Nile and is swallowed by a fish.
Fish = Kteis = Vagina.
The waters of the Nile = the sublunary waters = the sea of samsara = the waters of generation.
What this part of the myth is symbolizing is that when Osiris, as the human spirit or the seed of sulphur, enters into the process of generation, i.e. has sex, he loses his eminent virility – his phallus.
(By “sex” here is not meant coitus per se, but rather the whole process of generation – marriage, family, possessions, worldly status.)
It is only by a return to the consciousness of “gold” that he regains his eminent virility, i.e., his golden phallus. It is with his golden phallus that he begets upon Isis his divine son, Horus. In other words, the masculine Osiris articulates upon Isis as Soul, the Individuated Soul as Horus Triumphant – which is the Grail. Percival as Grail winner and Grail King, the healer of the Wasteland, is Horus as the defeater of Set and as the King and Uniter of the Two Lands.
The dismemberment of Osiris may refer to the above mentioned process of generation where one’s center of gravity is placed in “things” outside the self, leading to fragmentation or “dismemberment” of one’s being. The “Legion” in the Jesus myth and the many “I’s” of Gurdjieff point to the same phenomenon.
This is the plight of most men who succumb to the temptation of Woman, i.e., the house, the boat, the mortgage and the two children. It suggests that the Change of Life trauma that many men go through, usually in mid-forties, may be some dim realization that in succumbing to the process of generation, they have betrayed the best that is in them.
That each Idea contains it’s contrary, or like and unlike, is another way of saying that each Idea contains its opposite, and its opposite is necessary to the very definition of that Idea. Thus, what we call “accident” is the manifestation of an Idea in its “unlikeness” aspect. Ugliness would be the unlikeness of beauty.
Divine Mind – Contraries are One.
Cosmic Mind – Contraries participate each other.
Universal Mind – Contraries contact and co-exist with each other.
Objective Mind – Contraries avoid and repel each other.
Being is Unitary – No opposites.
Motion is Dual – From here to there.
Rest is Triadic – Proceeds, turns back and comes to rest.
Sameness is Tetradic – Four is the first number that is equal in length and breadth.
Otherness is Pentadic – It divides the even and the odd absolutely.
Number, Soul and the Pythagorean Tetraktys
Rhea as World Soul in relation to Number and the Tetraktys:
Number is Third Force between Consciousness and Power.
Number = Purusha
Numbers = Prakriti
Ideal Numbers = Cosmic Ideas
Monadic Numbers = Universal Ideas
Physical Numbers = Objective Ideas
Numbers as Universal Ideas are innate within Rhea-World Soul and guide her in the construction of the phenomenal world. Number in motion is numbers. Numbers are fractional parts of wholenesses. Two is unity considered in terms of halves. Number as a General is a whole or unity; each number is a Particular. Although not in itself a unity, each number participates the unity of its principle. Thus, every number is in itself a Monad with its own quality.
Herodotus stated that the pyramids were constructed from the top down. This means movement flows from Unity (1) to Multiplicity (10) – apex to base. Not to descend, not to become embodied means the Tetraktys remains incomplete, unexpressed and imperfect. This would alienate the soul from the gods who Will to reveal themselves in their geometricizing descent into the phenomenal world.
The soul not only remains on the level of the Plane (3) by descending into the Solid (4), but it can ONLY remain on the level of the Plane by descending to complete volume. The theurgic descent of the soul is realized as a cosmogonic descent. The soul’s return confirms the divinity of its descent.
The ineffable and non-rational power of the gods is given expression and becomes rational as arithmetical ratios in the soul’s projection of particular phenomenal objects. The non-rationalism of the gods is analogous to the irrational diagonal of a cube or square, which cannot be defined arithmetically. It becomes rational, however, when it is geometrically performed, which means that the irrational becomes rational when it functions as a Generative Power. A corresponding non-rational power exists in the soul which becomes rational through the performance of theurgic acts (Individuation).
- A Point limits the Line.
- The Line limits the Plane.
- The Plane limits the Solid.
- Each “flows” into the next.
For a soul to remain on the Plane and not descend, it must ACT as a Plane. This means that it must bestow LIMIT to the Solid or volume. Each level of the Tetractys acts as a principle to the level below it, and manifests its specific principle in its descent. Descent in itself is not wrong as long as it is MEASURED descent. What is to be avoided is not descent in itself, but unmeasured descent.
The Plane (soul) realizes its principle by becoming the limit for volume. Only by measuring itself into “matter” can the soul participate directly in the immaterial Ideas. It then becomes the geometricizing instrument of the gods. Another way to say this is that the soul (as Identity) projects the phenomenal world.
Vibration creates form. Vibratory frequencies create specific forms. This is accomplished according to Number and mathematical ratios. Number underlies both vibration and the forms to which it gives rise. Form is the objectivization of Number. This is why Pythagoras said that Number IS the universe. Number is the formula by which and through which the Will to Power objectifies Itself to Itself.
Tetraktys in terms of the Will to Power:
- Will to Power
- Primary split into Masculine and Feminine.
- Triune Deity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
- The Will to Power, in order to preserve Itself on the one hand, and to express Itself on the other,
- Bifurcates into Shiva and Shakti. This separation into the opposites allows for the creation or manifestation –
- By the Triune Deity, of the –
Moira and the Gods
Moira is Cosmic Order. Other gods with the same interpretation are,Indian Vritra, Greek Dike, and Egyptian Maat.
Moira as destiny is defined as function. A god’s Moira is the boundary of his function. To exceed that function is to unleash immediate retribution. This is so because the gods as a whole represent balanced force. To exceed function is to unbalance Cosmos, and must be compensated.
In a man, Moira is the limit of the definition of the Idea that is the Self. Doing one’s True Will is conforming to one’s Moira.
From the cosmological standpoint, Moira is prior to the gods. Which means the gods are subordinate to the overall function of Cosmos. The gods implement that function.
The gods and goddesses are mental powers that allow Mind to create and project images and events within mental space. To “know” a god’s name is to vibrate at the frequency of his Keynote. Each Keynote represents a level of consciousness and power. The “boon” granted by a god is to acquire the consciousness and power represented by his Keynote.
We could say that Ideas are the gods intellectually or statically conceived. It follows that the gods are the active aspects of Ideas. The gods personify levels or spheres of consciousness, and are attributed to Cosmic Mind. They are Monads, or Ideas, produced first by the Cosmic One, hence closest in essence and power to the One. They are qualities or Principles, latent in Divine Mind, projected into Cosmic Mind as great organizing and functional Powers.
The gods are great vibratory complexes governing the flow of power into and through Cosmos. They personify Cosmic Forces. Accounts of their actions are anthropomorphized descriptions of cosmic processes.
The gods participate Nous/vision as they contemplate the Ideas, organizing them according to their natures. The self-contemplation of the gods IS Cosmic Mind. The contemplation of the gods is always of Generals. We could say that Ideas are Laws or Qualities within Mind. They are what makes Mind what it is. The gods are functional powers that organize the Ideas according to the overall needs of Cosmos.
An important point to bring out is there is no Cosmic Mind within which the Ideas and the gods are swimming like fish in the ocean. The self-contemplation of the gods IS Cosmic Mind. When a god contemplates himself, he is contemplating the Ideas within him and organized according to his Moira. He then projects them as his IDEA of Cosmos as a General. The collective Vision of the gods is Cosmic Mind as a General. Of course, the gods and Ideas exist within the “ground” of Nous. Self-contemplation of Nous is the gods and Ideas. Self-contemplation of the gods is Cosmos.
A Particular Self picks up the Idea of Cosmos as a General from its patron deity, resident in itself. It organizes that Idea according to its Moira then projects its own IDEA of Cosmos as a Particular. The collective Vision of the Selves would be Cosmic Mind as a Particular, or Cosmic Mind as actually “experienced.” This principle is applicable to all levels of the World Tree.
The gods are vibratory complexes vibrating everywhere all the time. Thus, they come through wherever conditions are favorable.
At all levels of the World Tree (Mind) the gods are eyes through which the One Reality perceives Itself as Generals. Power Points are the eyes through which the One Reality perceives Itself as Particulars. In Nirvana, the Individuated Self is the eye through which the One Reality contemplates Itself subjectively as It is in Itself beyond Manifestation.
This is why it is a man’s primary responsibility to become who he is. Below Nirvana, each Power Point/eye represents a Particular perspective through which the One experiences Itself objectively. At any level, however, lack of perspective means lack of vision – no perspective, no vision. This is the reason for having Power Points in the first place. Vision can only be “true” when each Power Point is exactly what it is.
Sound and Light
Will-Consciousness expresses itself as Sound, the Word or Logos. Power-Substance expresses itself as Light – the Word made flesh. Deity speaks the Word (vibrates) and the object appears. Substance as Light takes the form given to it by sound vibration. The principles by which this process occurs constitute the Laws of Mathematics.
The Etheric Grid, the force field upon which the Universe and all bodies are constructed, is produced by sound. The primary sound of a Cosmos, an Idea, or a Power Point, is its Key-note. The sun, as Solar Logos, provides through sound vibration the grid that holds the solar system in place. Power as light is the building blocks of the planets, and provides for their orderly movement within the grid.
The Consciousness Principle of each level of Mind (Aethyr, Ouranos, Khronos, Zeus) is the Key-note of that level. The “chord” or force-field projected by that Key-note forms the underlying structure or grid for that level of Mind. The chord sounded out by Ouranos, the Cosmic One, for example, would BE Cosmic Mind, within which the entire Cosmos resides. The chord-grid represents the laws governing mental function at that level.
Hermes-Mercury-Thoth is Intelligence permeating all levels of Cosmos, Mind, or World Tree.
- Intelligence of Nous – Constant. Cosmic Mind.
- Intelligence of Reason – Consecutive. Universal Mind.
- Intelligence of sensory objects - Intermittent. Objective Mind.
Hermes-Mercury-Thoth is the Logos or Word. He is the Tongue of Ra, which is Mind, the creator of all things. As the Measurer, he is Hephaestus, Wayland and Ptah. Hermes-Mercury-Thoth, in his lower aspect as moon god, represents linear time, the first measurer. In his higher aspect, Time as Eternity, he is Khronos Aion – Endless Time – the creator of all things.
As mathematics, Hermes-Mercury-Thoth is the abstruse laws underlying Cosmos – the living laws of mental function. The world IS number.
In the Egyptian Tradition, Hermes-Mercury-Thoth is the Recorder in the “Weighing of Words” in the Judgment Hall in Amenti. Word is vibration. One’s Word is the Keynote of one’s nature. One’s Will is the Keynote sounding forth and taking form in action. The weighing of words, then, is a judgment on one’s innermost will and integrity.
All one proves through reason is that one can think rationally. Reason was not devised to discover truth, but to organize complexities. When one thinks, one can only reason according to the laws by which the mind functions. The mind interprets everything it perceives according to its own structure. It can only perceive, and reason about that perception, in accordance with the laws of its own functioning – Time, Space and Causality. Hence, when one studies anything one is in fact studying one’s own mind as it shows up in relation to that thing. The nature of knowledge is in the knowing subject, not in the known object. Hence, sensation and reason deal with the same objects. Sensation perceives them individually. Reason regards them universally, or as abstractions.
Consciousness, as a Whole or as Total Experience, can only experience as a Whole. Consciousness created Mind to provide Itself with discreet, sequential experiences of “things” seemingly existing independently in three-dimensional space-time. That is why the mind reasons in terms of Space, Time and Causality. This fact does not make Space, Time and Causality “true” in any ultimate sense, nor does it make them false. It simply means that it is necessary for the mind to function as it does if Consciousness is to have any experience at all. Reason is how the One Reality expresses Itself in terms of the intellect. When considering the idea of Truth, always remember that the opposite of any proposition must be equally “true,” or the universe would go out of balance.
Terms like god, self, consciousness, soul and body are simply words used by Mind to describe its various vibratory levels of function.
There is no law, rule, order or structure external to the mind giving form to Event. Mind, or Life, carries its Will to Form within itself. Mind structures Event according to the needs-desires of the moment. There is no abstract justice, no universal good or evil, no inherent general rights of man, no Divine Plan, no all-encompassing universe within which all entities exist. There are only specific universes projected by Particular Power Points that are known collectively as the Universe. Each Power Point Struggles to impose its justice, its good, its rights in the face of other Power Points doing the same thing. This is a re-statement of the law that each vibratory frequency creates the form resonant with it.
A thought is the appearance in the mind of a deeper power urge. At the same time, the thought and the urge are not separate. They are “not-two.” The thought is not CAUSED by the urge, but is the mode in which the urge shows up within Objective Mind. Just as the mind synthesizes various sensory input into coherent ideas (which is a falsification), so the mind synthesizes various internal states - urges, passions, aversions, psychological states, etc., - into simple ideas to describe those states. As with any sensory impression, we recognize an urge or a passion only when the mind turns it into an idea. Each urge, impulse or passion has the power of Maya (Maya-Shakti) with which it creates the conditions within which it manifests.
Knowledge, interpretation and simplification are tools, not for the discovery of truth, but for mastering the environment. Every perception, because it creates, and in creating evaluates, interprets and simplifies, therefore falsifying the data, cannot be “true.” Not truth, but power is the goal. Truth is not “found” but rather created. Contrary to what Socrates believed, truth does not build character. Our character, or lack thereof, dictates what we will accept as truth.
Each vibratory frequency has a mode of expression most resonant with it. The mode of expression – shape – is not externally applied, but is the frequency's natural mode of expression. The form an entity takes is the out-picturing of its essence. This principle explains functional duties, worlds, behavioral types, creating one’s own reality, without resorting to external Creators, or externally applied systems of ethics or morality.
The principle of vibration explains social and political forms as we descend through the four Ages. Each point in the descending cycle represents a particular vibratory frequency, and creates forms resonant with it. The general frequency of the Iron Age, for example, is too slow and dense and can therefore not retain the more refined forms of the Bronze Age.
When one frequency shifts to a lower one, we have revolutions and social upheaval. It is why, after the French Revolution, when the aristocrats mounted a counter-revolution, although they had money, weapons and the knowledge and skill to use them, they lost. Their vibratory time had passed. In the modern world, explains why democratic capitalism is losing to socialism. Although vibrating at a much lower frequency than traditional culture, democratic capitalism represents a higher vibratory rate than socialism. Therefore it can no longer be maintained as we descend toward Dissolution.
I feel the need to sound a warning to my readers. Ancient myths and legends, that are the foundation of my writing, are the way pre-literate man brought Principles and Ideas to life – put flesh on their bones, so to speak – and illustrated their functions. But it must be clearly understood that ancient myths and traditions cannot be interpreted from the standpoint of the modern mindset. The myths, legends and esoteric traditions were created before the advent of the modern world, and the materialized mentality that engendered it. Contrary to popular belief, the modern mind is not the same as the mind of archaic man. And the modern mind is not a product of evolution, but of devolution. The modern mind is much more dense than the mind of archaic man. (Actually, the point of greatest materialization has already been passed, and the mind is now in the process of disintegration.)
What that means is that we have lost touch with the subtle realities behind myths - what the myths were meant to illustrate. At best, the modern mind perceives those realities as mere beliefs, at worst superstitions. Another way the modern mind treats the myths and symbols is to completely materialize them into physical entities riding in physical space ships, fighting with physical weapons - ancient alien theory. This view not only causes the numinous quality of the myths and legends to be lost, but it denies that those qualities ever existed. Whether there is a sinister plot behind this can be decided by the reader.
What is being said is that to understand the myths – and to follow the Warrior's Way - one must break loose from the modern mind set – the modern group mind. The warrior must re-capture the numinous quality of the world if he hopes to experience the Warrior's Way as Spiritual Path. In the ancient world, the Warrior's Way – the Path of the Heroes – was considered to be a path to enlightenment. Echoes of that orientation can still be found in traditional martial arts. One purpose behind my writing is to arm the warrior with the means necessary to make that break. Each warrior must generate within himself the power to shatter the hypnotic spell of the modern group mind – and endure the solitude it implies.
The Warrior's Way is a Path of Power. This brings us to the Will to Power as the underlying Reality of Cosmos. Within the Universe, the Struggle for Power is the fundamental law. Each of us, in our own way and however we define it, are involved in a constant struggle to achieve power. Every interaction, every conversation, is a struggle for power. This being so, it's clear that every situation in which one finds oneself is an opportunity to increase or diminish power. The warrior stalks power, and he perceives every situation as prey.
Power is a difficult subject. Although each of us wants power in one form or another, power generally gets a bad rap. It's important to point out, therefore, that oppressing or victimizing others, ordering others around, temper tantrums, micromanaging, are all blatant admissions of weakness. Not only are they weak, but such actions dissipate power. One is weaker after their indulgence. The truly powerful man leaves other people alone, touches the world lightly, and does only what is necessary.
The basic idea underlying my writing is that everything within Cosmos is a mental creation projected into mental space. Cosmos is a mental creation within the Mind of the Will to Power, spun out for the purpose of Its own self-experience. This means that the entire Cosmos never leaves the Ideal Point that is the Will to Power. By the same logic, each warrior lives within his mentally created reality, from the Event he is in, to the furthest limits of the Universe. The Will to Power experiences Itself through each of us. That's why it is so important that the warrior become who he is. Only when the warrior has become who he is – has individuated his soul – can the Will to Power gain the strongest and clearest perception of Itself from just that perspective.
The Heroes existed during the period of transition from the Golden Age and Silver Age, when Hyperborian spirits first descended into “coats of skin.” Form was still fluid and earth conditions were still hostile. The Heroes had to create the conditions within which they could live – slaying monsters and originating culture. Their Hubris, challenging the gods, stemmed from the memory, not yet dimmed, of the days before embodiment, when they walked with the gods as equals.
The Dragon, Vritra, from the same root as Varuna, means confinement and limitation. Varuna is the binding god. After consuming prodigious quantities of Soma, Indra slays Vritra. The Hero, whose consciousness has been expanded by Soma, breaks the confining bonds of Maya – the primary tool of Vritra and Varuna – and achieves freedom and illumination.
Indra is the indomitable masculine force – virya – the sword held above the waters – breaking the bonds of materiality. His Vajra-Scepter is Kundalini, agent of liberation.
The destructive dragon is Kundalini turned downwards and energizing the genitals. This dragon must be fought by the Hero. The woman or women who aid the Hero in his quest is the upward, positive influence of Kundalini. The woman who appears to the candidate during initiation and tempts him to dally with her is Kundalini entering the second chakra.
The “desire for woman” that the Hero must overcome is not sex in itself. It is the tendency to place one's center of gravity outside oneself – in the world, family, possessions, etc., all of which are “woman.” (Everything we see, hear, taste, touch or smell is feminine.) Freeing oneself from this tendency is pulling the sword (virya) from the tree or stone.
We find the theme of the broken sword in many heroic myths and legends. The broken sword is the lost Phallus of Osiris and the Lost Word. It is spiritual virility drowned in the depths of the “waters,” “matter” or “woman.” This is the physical triangle (apex downward) at the foot of the World Tree - the Yoni. Only the Hero – one who has achieved realization – can re-forge the sword, which is to say, achieve the Grail, and heal the Wasteland. The Hero is Horus, born of the Golden Phallus of Osiris.
Golden Phallus = Virya.
Horus Triumphant = Grail Winner.
The island or rock in the middle of the sea or lake is the Muladhara Chakra within the Etheric Double.
Climbing the tree, staying awake, collecting the Golden Fleece, the Golden Apples, the Sprig of Immortality, riding the bull, is the necessity to stay conscious and in control as the Kundalini rises up the Sushumna and energizes the Chakras. The ladder, the Pole, the mountain or ziggurat, the sacred birch, all represent the Sushumna found within the Etheric Double. The levels, notches and planets are the Chakras.
The goddess enthroned at the confluence of three rivers that the Hero must strip naked and rape upon her throne, is Kundalini coiled around the symbolic phallus of Shiva in the Muladhara Chakra at the base of the Sushumna, Ida and Pingala. (Kundalini means “she who is wrapped.”) Stripping her naked is to encounter her beyond form, which is to say, out of body (Actaeon viewing naked Diana). It is a rape because victory must be an assumption. The masculine Seed of Sulphur must take possession of the feminine power and give it shape and direction.
The tree growing in the Garden of Eden is the Sushumna within the Etheric Double. The serpent and Eve both represent the Kundalini, which is feminine. The apple (Hesperides) represents the Chakras. “They saw that they were naked…” which is to say, holy and sacred. Here we have the Vedic Munis, “sky clad and girt with the winds.” The initiate is naked (has dropped the physical body) when he enters the sanctuary. Eating the apple could also refer to eating a magic mushroom.
Monsters, wild animals and flying missiles encountered by the Hero in his Quest are the unleashed Powers of the Etheric Double. These Powers (Furies and Erenyes) are unleashed when the Hero breaks plane, which is referred to as entering the forest or arriving at the castle. They must be faced and mastered before he can reach the ladder and ascend.
The bride stolen or won by the Hero is the Individuated Soul. The dark world of magic and ordeals is the group or world soul symbolized by the family or brothers who do not want the bride to leave. It is the brothers-group soul from whom the bride is “stolen.” She must be “stolen” because individuation is “against” nature. This gives another meaning to the pursuit by Keridwen of Gwion Bach.
Group Soul = Cauldron
Individuated Soul = Grail
The tasks of the Hero are initiatory ordeals. The giant, ogre or father is the lower nature which must be overcome – the personality. The devouring mother or ogress is nature as the cycle of generation that devours life-forms only to spit them out again. The forces or relatives chasing the Hero and bride are the forces of the group soul that do not want the process of individuation to take place. This is why Gilgamesh refused the advances of Innana, and was the source of Hera’s animosity toward Heracles. Gilgamesh and Heracles symbolize the very process of individuation. Hera and Heracles are enemies by nature – the Heroes against the Amazons.
The Ogre and the Ogress are also the group mind and the group soul. The projecting point for both the group mind and the group soul is the personality. The illusion of individual differences is supplied by the subconscious patterns, complexes and conditioning through which the group mind and group soul push as they seek to manifest through the personality. This explains trends and group think. It is why the battle for individuation is so fierce. The group mind and the group soul by definition have no interest in allowing individuation. This is Hades, the group mind, and Persephone, the group soul, as king and queen of the dead – the spiritually dead (men #’s one, two and three).
The tyrant, dragon, monster, etc., that the Hero slays is a personification of attachment. Attachment to anything obstructs the flow of power. The object – emotional, psychological, physical – becomes a tyrant over whomever is attached to it. The Hero wields the sharp sword of detachment to sever all ties that bind him and that halt the flow of power through him.
The maiden who assists the Hero in his tasks is his Destiny. She represents his qualification, his power, his Hammingja. The imprisoned maiden, freed by the Hero, is his Shakti. She is the shaman’s Spirit Wife.
The wooden horse of Troy is the hobby horse of the shaman that carries him to the Otherworld, also Odin’s eight-legged steed, Sleipner - the gallows as Odin’s steed.
The initiate interred in the sarcophagus for three days and arising as one realized is the king ritually killed and buried, then arising as a god. The sun dead and buried for the three months of winter and arising as the new sun. Heracles, Theseus and Orpheus visiting the Underworld is the shaman descending to the Underworld or the sun dropping below the horizon in winter.
The secret house built by Horus for Osiris is the Individuated Soul.
The Father of many Heroes and Gods were Craftsmen:
- Terah, father of Abraham.
- Tvashtri, father of Agni, was the cosmic architect, smith and carpenter.
- Joseph, father of Jesus, was a carpenter.
- Cinyras, father of Adonis, was a carpenter and invented the lever, roof-building and mining.
- Hephaestus, father of Hermes, was an artificer and sculptor.
- In fairy tales, the hero’s father is often a more modest wood-cutter.
- Hiawatha’s father-in-law was an arrow smith.
This refers to smith gods forging the weapons used by war gods and Heroes. The gods no longer own their own weapons. Their weapons must be manufactured for them by the smith gods. This represents the victory of Homo Faber – Prometheus and Athena – the tool maker in archaic culture.
This brings up an interesting point. During the Silver Age, the Heroes used personal power to accomplish prodigious deeds. They had no need for anything external. They worked with mental and spiritual power. With the drop into the Bronze Age, resulting in a densening of mind and body, they no longer had such power. It became necessary to utilize external weapons and tools to achieve the same ends. This is the underlying cause of the rise to preeminence of the smith, who created those weapons and tools.
The myth of the Heroic Father killing his son (Cuchulain, etc,) is possibly the killing of linear, historical time and returning to Nous. Killing the son means the father stands alone and isolated in the present moment. It also removes the father from the cycle of generation and preserves his youth.
Initiatory Interpretation of the Twelve Labors of Heracles
In the oldest accounts, Heracles performed only ten Labors, corresponding to the original ten signs of the Zodiac. When the Hyperboreans occupied the North Pole, the sun shined perhaps three months of the year, the remaining seven months being dark. Hence Heracles, as Sun Hero, had ten Labors. This is the sun fighting the terrible powers of cold and darkness to arise triumphant in the spring. This fact points to the archaic/Nordic source for the Heracles Mythos. His Labors became twelve when the number of signs were enhanced to twelve.
Esoterically, Heracles personifies heroic initiation. He is the paradigmatic Hero-Initiate, the Grail Knight, the Exemplar. He points the way all men must go if they would individuate their souls, i.e., achieve the Grail. That Heracles committed the three sins of the warrior (according to Dumezil) is yet another proof that he is authentically Indo-European.
Below is offered interpretations of the twelve Labors from initiatory and astrological standpoints. No claim is made for exhaustive depth or completeness. The interpretations are rather sketches, suggestions, offering guideposts for the warrior’s own explorations. Familiarity with the mythic cycle is assumed.
Labor One – The Nemean Lion
A huge golden lion is ravaging the countryside. Heracles trails it to its lair and strangles it.
The lion represents the destructive aspect of Kundalini, cognate with the lions, etc., guarding fountains in the Grail Quest.
Molorchos is carnal or phallic man.
Only Heracles is qualified to contact the lion. He tracks it to its lair just as Mithra did the bull or Theseus the Minotaur. The cave is the Muladhara Chakra situated at the base of the spine.
Heracles fell asleep for thirty days after he strangled the lion. When he awoke, he crowned himself with wild celery, which in those days was planted around graves. By this act, Heracles was saying that he had arisen from the dead – the spiritually dead. Drop the zero and we have the three days in the tomb of initiation. In Egypt, when the student arose after three nights in the sarcophagus, he was crowned with palm leaves, the fronds representing the rays of the sun.
Heracles with the lion skin over his head and shoulders is raising the Kundalini, cognate with the cobra coiling about the Buddha and spreading its hood above his head. Also the Uraeus gracing the crown of Egyptian pharoahs.
Heracles slaying the Nemean Lion is the sun rising in Leo – July-August - the position of its greatest strength.
Labor Two – Hydra of Lerna
The Hydra is an aquatic serpent like Typhon, Tiamat or Vritra. We are still dealing with the raising of the Kundalini. In this case, the Kundalini is entering the second Chakra, Svadishtana, to which water is attributed. The Svadishtana channels the sexual energies.
When one head of the Hydra is cut off, it is replaced by two heads. This is a metaphor for generation, which is symbolized by the number two. As a water serpent with one hundred heads, it intimates that the sexual energies are constantly flooding into other activities where they do not belong. This can be detected when there is a certain vehemence to our actions not required by the situation. Obsession with setting records and collecting trophies points to the same phenomenon.
Iolaos, Heracles’ nephew and helper, is the rational mind. Reason must be enlisted if the Labor of raising the Kundalini is to succeed.
In Magic and Alchemy, using the sexual energies is called, “wet work.”
Heracles slaying the Hydra is the sun entering Virgo – August-September – where the constellation of the Hydra sets, rising heliacally with Cancer the Crab. Heracles kills the Hydra while being “cramped in his Labor by a crawfish or Cancer.”
Labor Three – The Hind of Keryneia
Heracles was given the Labor of capturing the Hind with the Golden Antlers.
This Labor is raising the Kundalini to the Anahata, or Heart Chakra.
Generally speaking, Hinds do not have antlers. This Hind, however, possesses a pair of golden antlers.
The Hind without antlers is the Group Soul – the Cauldron, and is feminine. It roams over a “virgin mountain” and is sacred to the virgin goddess, Artemis. Here is the purified or virgin soul. With golden antlers, the Hind becomes the Individuated Soul, or Grail.
Gold, the color of the sun and the highest color of Alchemy, is the color assigned to the Heart Chakra. Antlers are a sign that this Hind is male. The golden antlers are Virya – the masculine essence – as is the sword pulled from the stone or held above the waters in the Grail Quest. That there are two of them suggests the illumination of the two head centers.
Capturing the Hind and carrying it back alive is the process of soul individuation. This is Bors as Grail winner returning to the world to tell the tale.
A hind with antlers suggests the northern origin of this myth. The reindeer is the only species of the deer family where the female has antlers.
Heracles capturing the Hind is the sun entering Scorpio – October-November – fixed by the setting of Cassiope, a constellation represented by a hind or stag.
Labor Four – The Boar of Erymanthos
In this Labor, Heracles fights the Centaurs. Wine from the jug that attracts the Centaurs suggests the blood from the bull slain by Mithra that attracts the lapping dogs. The Centaurs emerging from the forest are aspects of the lower nature that still need to be purified. Galvanized by the risen Kundalini-wine, they become ferocious antagonists. Subduing them is a life and death Struggle.
Heracles defeats them by using arrows dipped in the blood of the Hydra. The risen Kundalini bestows almost unlimited power, and that power must be directed toward the final cleansing of the lower nature. The Centaurs, Pholus and Chiron are the highest qualities of phallic man (man #4). But no matter how useful on their own level, they must be transcended. It was Chiron, wounded and in agony from one of Heracles’ arrows, who sacrificed himself to release Prometheus.
The boar is the animal sacred to the Goddess. This Labor represents final emancipation from the Group Soul. This suggests that Attys and Adonis, both of whom were gored (castrated) by the boar, were enslaved by the Goddess, or remained immersed in the Group Soul.
This Labor represents a possession. Heracles “captures” the boar. This is Alchemical Incest where the son – now king – turns and possesses the mother. Also, the “bull of his mother” of the Egyptian Tradition. The new sun rises triumphant above the horizon in spring and “possesses” his mother, the earth, with his phallic rays, which then transforms her into the Spring Maiden.
Heracles capturing the Boar of Erymanthos is the sun entering Libra – September-October – marked by the rising of the constellation of the Centaur, represented by a wine jug and a thyrsus adorned with grape leaves and vines. In the evening rises the constellation of the Boar. In this Labor Heracles battles Centaurs over wine and captures the wild boar.
Labor Five – Birds of Lake Stymphalos
The birds of Stymphalos are errant thoughts that must be controlled or “killed.” These birds are sacred to the Goddess, suggesting that all thoughts, attitudes and emotions are powers, and power is feminine. These thoughts, etc., are rooted in the subconscious, which is also feminine.
Heracles used sound to raise the birds into the air. This suggests mantra, used to bring his thoughts up to clarity. He then utilized his bow and arrows to exterminate them. The bow (crescent) is power. Arrows represent concentration.
Birds being spawned by Ares indicates that errant thoughts feed off and dissipate unbridled vital forces. Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, is a reminder that we need a power transcending the mind to control the mind.
Heracles destroying the Birds of Lake Stymphalos is the sun entering Sagittarius – November-December. This Sign is sacred to Artemis, who had a temple at Stymphalia, where there were vicious birds.
Labor Six – Cleaning the Augeian Stables
In this Labor, Heracles enters the lower astral, which is mired in the muck and filth of base thoughts, passions, and desires. A stable choked with manure is the effluence of the lower nature.
That Augeias tried to cheat Heracles of his reward suggests the deceptive glamor of the astral plane; also the deceptive nature of the personality, that will do anything to maintain its position of dominance. Augeias as a son of Helios indicates the lower mind (Hermes) that is always ready to trick the unwary to get what it wants.
The river diverted to clean the stables is the Waters or Mind Stuff. Water being feminine, it could represent the daughter or Kundalini, also the Spirit Wife of the shaman, suggesting the power of the concentrated mind.
Heracles cleaning the Augeian Stables is the sun entering Capricorn – December-January – where the sun’s passage is marked by the setting of the River of Aquarius, which flows under the stable of Capricorn. (In ancient Egypt, the hieroglyph for Capricorn represented a stable.)
Labor Seven – The Horses of the Thracian Diomedes
The part of this Labor where Heracles wrestles Thanatos (Death), defeats him and takes Alkestes from him is reminiscent of similar tales told of Apollonius of Tyana and Jesus in which they raised young girls from death. This scenario is shamanic. A major responsibility of the shaman was to go after errant souls in the Underworld and bring them back to their bodies.
The four man-eating steeds are the four elements making up the body that “eat” the man. Heracles, the initiate, is overcoming the pull of the body (Perseus cutting off the head of Medusa). The steeds are also the vital forces (sacred to Ares) galvanizing the body. They are captured and not killed, telling us neither the body nor the forces energizing it are to be despised. They are to be purified and bridled so they may become, like Pegassus, fitting steeds capable of carrying the victorious Hero to the heights.
Heracles’ battle with Ares and wounding him in the thigh is a euphemism for raising the sexual forces (The Sign, Aries, ruled by Ares, is active in the genitals). This suggests a deeper meaning to the self-castration of Attys. Heracles is rising from phallic man to eminent or True Man (man #5 or the Grail King).
That Heracles and other Heroes constantly fight representatives of Death tells us he is in quest of (spiritual) immortality. He achieves immortality when he is raised to Olympus and marries Hera’s daughter, Hebe, which means Eternal Youth.
Heracles capturing the Horses of the Thracian, Diomedes is the sun entering Pisces – February-March – fixed by the rising in the morning of the celestial Horse.
Labor Eight – Bull of Minos
This Labor seems to be an add-on to the original ten.
Capturing the bull, beloved of Minos’ queen, Pasiphae, is to subdue the lower nature and the sexual forces. Capturing the bull could also be a metaphor for assuming the “form” of the king. In the ancient world bulls were symbolic of the power of kingship.
This Labor signifies the sun entering Taurus – April-May – the Sign of the Bull.
Labor Nine – The Girdle of the Queen of the Amazons – Hippolyte
This Labor seems to be the second add-on.
On one level, Heracles’ battle with the Amazons represents the Struggle between feminine and masculine world-views, matriarchy versus patriarchy, South versus North, Pelasgian versus Achaean. On a deeper level, it is facing and subduing the powers unleashed within the etheric double when one breaks plane during initiation. These powers must be subdued or one will be destroyed.
The Girdle, as an instrument of power, is the token of victory over the feminine or achieving the Grail.
Labor Ten – Cattle of Geryoneus
Geryoneus was the son of Chrysaor of the Golden Sword, and his land was in the far west – the land of Death. Geryoneus is usually depicted with three bodies. In Indo-European myth, the Hero has to fight an antagonist with three heads, three bodies, or three brothers. This is Cerberus, the three-headed guardian of the Underworld. It is also the three degrees, three Alchemical colors, three nights in the tomb, three months of winter, three murderers of Hiram Abiff, and the three dimensions of space. Heracles spends three days in the belly of a sea monster (Jonah).
This episode has its roots in archaic Puberty Rites.
At puberty, boys were snatched from their mothers’ sides by tribal elders wearing animal masks and spirited off to the forest to undergo the Puberty Rites. They were often housed in temporary cabins or shacks. The forest symbolizes the waters of the Un-manifest, the ocean, or the amniotic fluid. The shack is the belly of the whale (the womb). Puberty Rites are behind the myths of Heroes such as Aesculapius, Jason, Achilles, etc., being taken at birth or while still young and given to the Centaur, Chiron, to raise. Chiron represents the elders in animal masks.
In this Labor, Heracles undergoes Mystic Death. The cattle are the “riches” (pecus) that accrue to the initiate – Pluto, god of the Underworld, means “riches.”
Wrestling Antaios, who gained strength each time he touched the earth, is deliberately breaking embodied consciousness. Antaios was a son of the earth goddess. He could also represent old habits that gain strength when indulged.
Heracles aiming his arrows at gods and wounding them can be seen in two different ways:
- Aiming an arrow is concentrating on the god-form, resonating with its Keynote and “taking” its power (or devouring it).
- Storming heaven with weapons in hand – the Warrior's Way.
Heracles crosses the “ocean” in the Golden Cup of Helios. The Golden Cup is Individuated Soul or Grail, necessary if one is to cross the Abyss successfully. Okeanos represents the Monad of etheric substance. When Okeanos attempts to stop Herakles (as Brahma attempted to stop Buddha), he points his arrows at him and Okeanos allows him to pass. The arrows represent the concentrated mind or Samadhi.
The cattle live on “red island.” This is Alchemical Red. The cattle are the powers that accrue to one who has achieved the Grail. The cattle are guarded by Orthos, a two-headed dog and brother of Cerberus. Dogs guard the entrance to the Underworld (Culann’s hound and Anubis). The crossing of Okean is an out of body experience. Two heads signify duality (Scylla and Cherybdis, the Symplegides) through which the Hero must pass during initiation.
The giants Heracles fights in this Labor are, again, the powers of the lower nature, and also the powers of the lower astral. That he succeeds through a ruse and with the help of Athena, tells us that we must never abandon the power of the intellect.
Arrow is the mind.
Tip is the goal – Brahman. Here, because Heracles aimed his arrow at the sun, we could say that he was concentrated on the Heart Center, Anahata Chakra, attributed to the sun and seat of the Self.
Bow is the power of concentration that propels the mind to its target.
Shaking from the sun’s heat is the creative heat of Tapas, which comes with spiritual discipline, usually connected to breathing – pranayama.
Labor Eleven – Apples of the Hesperides
Heracles is given the Labor of stealing the golden apples from the Hersperides.
The Hesperides were the daughters of Zeus and Themis.
The Moiriai, or Fates, from whom Heracles seeks advice, represent intuition.
The garden on an island in the far west is the Muladhara Chakra within the etheric double or the Waters. It was the land of the dead because only those who had undergone the mystic death could go there. Because Heracles was immortal, which is to say, an initiate, he could go to the island.
Golden Apples = Chakras.
The Tree = the cerebro-spinal system; the Sushumna, Ida and Pingala.
The Serpent at the foot of the tree that guarded the apples = Kundalini.
Nereus, old man of the sea, who shows Heracles the way to the garden, is the Guide; his own transcendent Self.
Prometheus, whom Heracles frees in this Labor, is the Titanic personality chained (identified) to the rock of the body, suffering the agony of embodiment. This Labor, then, includes the final death of the personality.
To get to the garden Heracles went north to Hyperborea. He had reached the Hyperboreans once before by accident. Now he had to return deliberately. The Hyperboreans are the guardians of Traditional Regality. The northern seat is Tollen, Tlapallan, Tule, Avalon, Asgard, Valhalla and the Grail Castle. Sometimes one is called to the Quest by accident, or a spontaneous psychic breakthrough brought about by drugs or dream. But it is understood that after the experience one must labor to return consciously.
The golden apples were the property of Hera, Queen of the Gods.
King Eurystheus refused to take possession of the apples because he was not qualified.
Hera – the Lady = the etheric double within which are found the tree and the apples (Chakras). Heracles returned the apples because in fact they cannot be taken or “owned.”
The garden was long and narrow in shape suggesting the Sushumna. Its entrance was secret and guarded, suggesting the Muladhara Chakra.
Heracles stealing the Golden Apples is the sun entering Cancer – June-July – when the constellation of Heracles Ingeniculus is descending towards the western regions, called Hesperia, followed by the polar Draco, the dragon guarding the Apples of the Hesperides.
Labor Twelve – The Hound of Hades
This Labor represents the traditional shamanic descent into the Underworld (prior to the rise to the Overworld - Olympus), the land of Death, undertaken by most Heroes. Bringing Cerberus back on a chain is the final victory over Death.
Heracles is now truly immortal.
It is in the Underworld that Heracles agrees to take Deianeira to wife. She will be the instrument, or power, of his final apotheosis.
Deianeira = Shaman’s Spirit Wife = Nordic Hammingja.
Heracles capturing the Hound of Hades is the sun entering Gemini – May-June – the Sign of the Twins, and is fixed by the setting of the Dog Procyon.
Don Juan’s Path
Don Juan’s Path with Heart compared to the Warrior's Way (with reference to the Grail Quest):
- Don Juan proclaims that everything is equal. This is tantamount to saying that everything is meaningless.
- Action as controlled folly = Projecting one’s own meaning.
- Don Juan’s world is comprised of ten layers, as opposed to the usual seven or nine. This corresponds to the Ten Spheres of the World Tree.
- As an eagle, the sorcerer can rise through all ten worlds. The eagle is the shamanic bird par excellence. Both Odin and Indra shifted into eagles to steal the Mead of Inspiration and Soma. The eagle is the bird of Zeus. An eagle perches in the top of the World Tree. The first Shaman was born of the mating of an eagle and a maiden.
- Don Juan’s guardian of the other world = The Dweller on the Threshold – the final projection of the lower nature. It is also the three-headed Cerberus, a three-headed warrior or three men. It must be faced and defeated before the candidate can enter the Otherworld.
- Achieving the Position of Power = Becoming who one is and speaking one’s Word. It is achieving the still Center and becoming positive in all situations. To be negative within a situation is to identify – one is then acted upon. The Grail King rules from the Center. He rules the world because he does not identify with it. He is therefore the positive and controlling factor within Event.
- As one embarks upon the Path of Knowledge one leaves the ordinary world behind. In a sense, 'sleep' is a protection from the inimical forces pressing against the ring-pass-not of ignorance. As one begins to awaken, however, one comes face to face with those forces. As the Path of Knowledge is traversed, one realizes that ordinary life has been left irrevocably behind – there is no way back. This realization necessitates a new way of life if one is going to survive. This new way is the Warrior’s Way.
- Impeccability = Doing one’s Will. Speaking one’s Word. Adequacy to the Moment.
- The sleeping man projects his reality, but he does so automatically, according to subconscious patterns, complexes, and conditioning. The Warrior projects his world, but he does it deliberately as an act of Will. He has achieved magical power.
- Routines = Sleep.
- A warrior is a hunter who hunts power.
- Erasing personal history = Coming into the moment.
- Hunted-prey = Gurdjieff’s men #’s one, two, and three.
- Warrior = Grail Knight.
- Man of Power = Grail King – Te Jen (Man of Power), or Chen Jen (True Man).
- Man of Knowledge = Merlin – Shen Jen (Transcendent Man).
- Losing self-importance = Dropping personality. Clearing complexes. Being last or empty.
- Being inaccessible - Touching the world lightly = Identity as the blossoming of the universe in and as a particular Event. Flowing with the Tao.
- Using Death as an advisor = Staring into the Abyss without turning away, and continuing to act. Knowing that each decision could be one’s last.
- Disrupting routines = Adequacy to the moment. Self-remembering.
- Spirits = Nature spirits.
- Dreaming = Astral travel.
- Stopping the world = Breaking plane.
- Slipping between the worlds = Passing beyond the opposites – the Symplegades.
- Unbending intent = Doing one’s Will. Dominance. Total focus. Presence.
- Taking responsibility = Knowing that each man creates his own reality.
- The Warrior is awake – thus he is in control. At the same time he abandons himself – spectator consciousness – becoming empty. This attitude allows power to channel through him. At the same time, his unbending intent directs power – this is doing his Will. The Mood of the Warrior is to be always awake, intent, and to take full responsibility for each action at all times. This is achieving the Position of Power.
- Indulging = Abandoning the Position of Power – being weak – drifting to the periphery – being “full.”
- Not-doing = Wei Wu Wei – Doing without doing.
- Having to believe according to inner predilection = Everything is an interpretation – every perception is a cosmogony – knowing that there is nothing “out there” the way we think there is.
- Tonal = Rational Soul. The Tonal is both the personal or Natal Daimon and the Group Mind.
- Nagual = Sub-conscious mind as well as Universal and Cosmic Minds. The Nagual is the immensity of the Magical Universe – the raw material from which the Tonal constructs the phenomenal world.
- Seeing = Reading the aura of a person or reading the etheric patterns underlying Event. Seeing is immediate, non-discursive, synthetic – of Nous – all details are grasped at once and understood – the Living Vision.
- Power speaks to us in the language of our nature = Each man creates his own reality. All one can ever experience is oneself.
- The deadly power of the Nagual = The powers – Wind, Amazons, Erenyes, etc, – that whip about the candidate when he breaks plane during initiation. If one is not “impeccable” one can be swept away, driven insane or even killed.
- The totality of oneself = One’s Idea.
- Nagual is structured according to one’s innermost predilections = Structured according to one’s Idea-Self. Don Juan is affirming that on whatever level one is experiencing, one is experiencing oneself.
- Stalking = Action designed to increase power – seeing every situation as prey.
- Movement of the assemblage point = Being catapulted up and out of the Group Mind.
A particular world view or cosmology is implied within my stories. I thought it might help my readers to put my stories into their cosmological context if I gave a brief description of what that cosmology looks like. Although my Vision is traditional, it’s still a personal vision, and conforms to my sense of how things break down.
This is an important consideration, because all systems, traditions, myths, legends, must be personalized if they are to be of any use to the warrior. The idea is to put together a flexible structure that expresses the deepest understanding of the warrior and through which his Word can resonate. My cosmology, although containing elements of several traditions, both ancient and modern, makes extensive use of the Greek myths and terminology, because its descriptions of the interactions of the gods and goddesses most closely matches my own conception. I make no apologies for my Vision being a personal vision. I do, however, take full responsibility for any shortcomings.
Here, then, is the cosmology, in brief, behind my stories.
The cosmology is comprised of four levels. Each level is defined as a type of Mind to emphasize that the entire cosmos is a mental creation projected into mental space. Matter as commonly understood does not exist. By whom is the cosmology projected? By Consciousness focused as the Will to Power creating an arena for Its own self expression and self experience. As above so below. Because we are sparks of the Divine, we have no choice but to repeat the same creative process used by the One - and create our own reality. (Every perception is a Cosmogony.) The four levels in their entirety I call the World Tree.
First or highest level:
Divine Mind – This is the level of Principles upon which cosmos is based. At this level the two poles of the Principles, positive and negative, are unified and unpolarized. Divine Mind is void (1 + [-1] = 0). The Will to Power is the Ruler of Divine Mind. We could call it Divine One. It is within Divine Mind that the primary split between Shiva – Masculine Consciousness - and Shakti – Feminine Power - takes place. A poetic detail is that the Will to Power breaks down very nicely into Will - Shiva, and Power - Shakti. It is also within Divine Mind that the secondary split between self and other takes place - which is the root of Mind. I call this aspect, Phanes, the First Born. The Greek equivalent of Shiva and Shakti is Aethyr and Chaos.
Cosmic Mind – Ruled by Ouranos – Cosmic One – and Gaia – Substance. They equate with Purusha and Prakriti (counterparts of Shiva and Shakti of Divine Mind). This is the level of Ideas (in the sense of Platonic Forms). This is Number, and the Runes. Ideas are polarized but not yet separated (Ouranos and Gaia have not yet been cut asunder.) This is the level of Nous – Intuitive Intelligence - and the Self. Cosmic Mind is the realm of the Great Gods and Goddesses. Phanes, mentioned above within Divine Mind, is the un-manifest Cosmic One. In this context he is the root of Mind, holding within himself all of the unpolarized Principles that will become polarized Ideas within Cosmic Mind.
Universal Mind (Astral Plane) – Ruled by Khronos – Universal One – and Rhea – World Soul. Rhea means “flowing.” This is the level of concepts, thought forms and the Individuality. The Ideas are now separated and polarized force fields. This is the level of mathematical numbers, Reason (Dionysus), and the god forms as we understand them. This is the level of Myth. It was mentioned that Reason resides here. When Nous of Cosmic Mind contemplates the Principles of Divine Mind, it brings them through as Ideas. Nous has the power to see as a whole and understand instantly without cerebration. Reason does not have that power. Therefore, when Reason contemplates the Ideas of Cosmic Mind, it perceives them sequentially, thus setting up movement and change (Rhea), and time (Khronos). Movement implies time because change can only occur between a before and an after. Rhea as"flow" is the ever shifting tides of the Astral Plane. So Reason - Dionysus - brings through the Ideas as separated and polarized concepts and thought forms. The Jungian archetypes reside here.
Objective Mind - Ruled by Zeus – Objective One - and Hera - Nature. This is the level of the phenomenal universe and Identity (when personality dies, Identity shows up). This is the world we live in; the level of action or Ethos. This is the level of purely quantitative numbers. The separated and polarized concepts and thought forms of Universal Mind are brought through into Objective Mind by Zeus as the phenomena of the objective world in which we live. Still, what Zeus brings through are Generals. The role of each human being is to pick up the archetypes brought through by Zeus and project them as Particular phenomena within a Particular universe. Each of us creates our own universe – our own reality. (Each man is a particular interpretation of the universe.)
So we have four levels: Principles; Ideas; Concepts and Myth; Phenomenal World and Ethos.
It is important to realize that Shiva (Aethyr), Ouranos, Khronos and Zeus are all the same creative impulse, just stepped down in power as it descends further into manifestation, i.e., into denser levels of Mind. When Zeus swallows the phallus of Ouranos, it means that he has all the creative power of Ouranos, just applied to a denser level of manifestation. The phallus of Ouranos, cut off and thrown into the waters by Khronos, is the creative impulse - Ouranos - impregnating the World Soul - Rhea - with the seed ideas of the phenomenal universe. Phanes giving Mother Night his scepter (phallus) has the same meaning - he is impregnating Root Substance with the seed ideas of cosmos.
The levels could be listed as follows:
On the Masculine side:
Divine Mind - Consciousness
Cosmic Mind - Intelligence
Universal Mind - Intellect
Objective Mind - Concrete thought
On the Feminine side:
Divine Mind - Power*
Cosmic Mind - Substance
Universal Mind - Soul
Objective Mind – Nature
* Power, on any plane and in whatever form, is always feminine. She is the active aspect of the god, who is always stable and unmoving. In Sanskrit, the Masculine is called Shaktiman – power holder or power wielder. In the erotic religious art of Hindu temples, impassive Shiva is stationary and unmoving – the pole – while ardent Shakti moves ecstatically above him. Shiva is the stationary framework upon which Shakti weaves the moving patterns of cosmos. The forms Shakti takes are the out-picturings of Shiva’s Consciousness. In the Infinite Dance of Shakti, Eternal Shiva is contemplating Himself.
How does this relate to my stories? The Ideas are the background and foundation of all my writing. Also, I constantly use mythic themes. And finally, my heroes represent Ethos (or Identity). In other words, I use my heroes to illustrate and give flesh and blood to Ideas. Mythic themes lend a timeless element. My heroes embody those myths and give dramatic expression to Ethos. I place my heroes in stressful situations, then have them act and react according to Principles and Ideas. This is the Warrior's Way.
Life Lived As An Act of Power
It was stated in the previous post that the Warrior’s Way is a Path of Power. In fact, achieving ever more power is the fundamental responsibility of the warrior. Without power, the warrior cannot perform his function. The greater the power the greater the efficacy. This fact implies a certain ethos. In this post I will pull statements from my Cosmology – my Vision of the universe and why we are here – to illustrate the Ethos of Power underlying the Warrior’s Way.
Because a few technical terms are used, a few definitions are in order.
Will to Power: A term taken as an homage to Nietzsche, and because I agree with Nietzsche that the Will to Power is the underlying principle of cosmos. When the One Reality awakens to Itself as the Only Reality, I call that ideal point of conscious awareness the Will to Power. This equates with Saghuna Brahman of the Hindu tradition. This makes the Will to Power the projecting point for the entire cosmos. It means that Will to Power underlies every function; dictates every action. Every sub-atomic particle of light is imbued with its quantum of Will to Power.
The Will to Cosmos is Will to Power because cosmos is a vast play of power.
The Will to Experience is Will to Power because Consciousness can only experience itself as Power.
The Will to Joy is Will to Power because joy is the subjective experience of Power.
Power Points: This is a general term for principles of identity manifesting on any plane. The Self, Individuality, and Identity are, collectively, power points.
Event: The situation in which action takes place. Can extend as far as the universe.
One’s Word: One’s Word is the warrior’s keynote; the fundamental resonance or vibration at the core of his being. The warrior’s Word expresses his basic identity, who he is, and indicates his task in life. It is the warrior’s responsibility to speak his Word in every thought, word, and deed.
Will: The warrior’s keynote in directed action.
The following statements express different aspects of the Ethos of Power underlying the Warrior’s Way.
The highest expression of Will to Power within manifestation is the Power of Presence. The Position of Power, which is the Center, is Presence. One achieves Presence by becoming who one is. Who one is, is the Center of one’s being. The Center is where the greatest degree of Consciousness and Power are actualized. Therefore, the greatest power is the Power of Presence.
Power of Presence is the power to impart a particular form and style both to oneself and to Event (although they are “not-two”) – Chaos to Cosmos. The warrior gives a specific form to a situation simply by stepping into it.
The warrior does not know ethics or morality – he does his Will.
His code: the act that enhances power is done. The act that diminishes power is not done. The warrior does not persuade – he states the case as he sees it and moves on. What is being spoken of is a way of Being or quality of soul that does not express itself through rhetoric, argument, or logic, but through Acts of Power.
Action is the “form” the Will takes in its movement to achieve or to express power. Will and act, principle and function, are “not-two.”
Whether the warrior is fighting Amazons or Demons, he is fighting those elements as they exist within himself. They show up “out there” because they are aspects of his nature “in here.” This conforms to the principle that all one can ever experience is oneself.
Amazonism, among other things, is mediated spirituality – the need to believe in something “bigger than oneself.” Overcoming the Demetrian element within oneself is overcoming the need for generation. Overcoming the Aphrodistic element is overcoming phallicism or lust. These elements are forms of slavery.
Still, extirpating the passions misses the point. Only weaklings must stifle their passions. The warrior keeps and enjoys those passions in conformity with his Will, and lets the others go. If the warrior desires to become a world-class athlete, he nourishes his passion for physical exercise and relinquishes his passion for alcohol. Desire may be deluded, but it should not be perceived as “bad.” Desire should be assigned to the Will – aligned with the Will to Power – so one’s desires are Particular, transient movements whose ultimate aim is the fulfillment of one’s overarching True Will.
Joy and sorrow are equally “true.” According to the Buddha, the human condition is marked by sorrow. This is so because pain is inherent in the Limitless suffering limitation in the cosmogonic process. It is equally true, however, that all is joy. The experience of joy-power is the fundamental purpose of cosmos. The very nature of the Will to Power is eternal bliss or joy; but It can only experience that joy objectively as transient pleasure. This is Lila or Divine Play. Since cosmos is based on the interplay of opposites, sorrow must be accepted as concomitant to joy. But rather than overemphasize it, as did the Buddha, the warrior perceives sorrow as spice for joy, as that which gives definition to joy, or as the background that allows joy to show up more brightly, as light against shadow.
The warrior seeks neither joy nor sorrow - he accepts both. He experiences joy and sorrow to the full, but clings to neither and releases both completely as the experience passes. The warrior understands that the purpose of cosmos is the OBJECTIVE experience of joy-power. Sorrow is merely a secondary condition accepted by Will to Power in order to experience Its subjective nature of eternal bliss as objective joy. An object of transient pleasure is the objective form of eternal bliss.
All life must die – form returns to the Formless. This is not bad, it is just the way it is. The warrior understands that attachment to transient form is delusion. He is happy to know a person, bids them farewell when they go, and moves on. This does not mean that one cannot or should not love individuals, as opposed to loving “all mankind.” But one loves without becoming attached to that person or thing. Grieving = weakness = decrease of power.
Freedom equals Necessity
There is only one Will – the Will to Power. When the One individualizes as the warrior, Its Will flows through him as the inherent motion of his innermost being. It is the necessary expression or actualization of his basic nature or Idea. This is his True Will – free but necessary as the only way he can express himself that is true to his Self. The warrior is free to be who he is.
The Christian tries to do good and ends by doing evil. Mephistopheles said that he always schemed to do evil, but ended by doing good. The warrior is concerned neither with good nor with evil. He does his Will in the Struggle for Power. In the process, he creates and maintains cosmos.
Illusion is the way Reality experiences Itself.
The form an entity takes is the out-picturing of its essence.
Every particle contains the whole or it would be outside Consciousness. This is so because Consciousness contains the whole.
Everything happens the way it does because it must happen in just that way for it to happen at all.
The relative meaning of any action is whether it increases or decreases power. The Will to Power is the ONLY Reality.
The universe is NOT a moral concern. Therefore one’s responsibility is NOT to become a Good Person, but to become who one is and to speak one’s Word.
The universe has NO absolute meaning (beyond providing conditions for the self-expression and self-experience of Will to Power). Therefore, the Warrior's responsibility is to impress his own meaning upon it.
The universe is NOT rational. Therefore, the warrior's responsibility is to impress reason upon it. (The life of reason is here defined as living one’s life in conformity with one’s Will and one’s Word.)
The universe is NOT moral – it is a gladiatorial arena for the achievement of power. The victor embodies truth.
The goal of the warrior is NOT to survive, but to excel (arête) – to achieve and express power.
The world exists as a context for action (Struggle), and is not separate from action. Struggle = Cosmos.
Each warrior being a center of expression for the Will to Power does NOT mean that each Center should concern itself with the well-being of other Centers. There only being One Reality does not make altruism the ideal. The ONLY responsibility before each Warrior is to become who he is. This is the most beneficial act he can do for the world.
The highest service the warrior can perform for other people is to LEAVE THEM ALONE!
Altruism is disguised egoism. The altruist sets up conditions within which she can experience herself as altruistic.
Humility is as aberrant and egotistical as pride. One has to step as far out of the moment to be humble as one does to be prideful. Simply be who you are and do your Will – rest in the Tao.
There is no good or bad, only human projection upon Event based on self-interest, utility, perspective and degree of power.
Each warrior’s Path is himself. Each warrior must find his own way through the labyrinth.
Hubris is the personalization of power.
Right knowledge cannot transform character. Character decides what one will accept as knowledge.
The warrior stalks power, and he sees every situation as prey.
Devoid of good deeds, devoid of bad deeds, the warrior acts!
Beauty is the balanced and harmonious expression of power.
The warrior is “free” to do whatever he has the power to do. There is no retribution, no moral aspect to Karma. The only check upon the warrior’s Will is the Will of another man.
Definition of Power: Adequacy to the Moment. How much power does the warrior need? Enough to be Adequate to the Moment – no more and no less.
Every step forward is a smashing of idols. The quest for truth is, ultimately, a Path of Destruction.
Social structure, morality, caste duties, belief systems, group ceremonies, laws, etc., pertain to the group soul and the group mind. Becoming who one is, being one’s own law, speaking one’s Word and doing one’s Will all pertain to the Individuated Soul.
Perception creates reality. Each second, the warrior makes a decision about who he is and that decision creates a specific Event to reflect it. In fact, this is the sole purpose of world-Event. Event reflects who the warrior is each second (and changes each second), giving that perception an objective environment within which to appear. To change world-Event, the warrior must change his self-perception. This reflects the principle that self-contemplation as the root of action.
The nature of perception must be perspectival if each warrior is to create his own reality. The phenomenal world – the apparent world – is a specific kind of action (Struggle) going out from a Center or Power Point. The “world” is simply a word used to describe the total play of these actions. These actions-perspectives are created by tensions between power urges. When, by sympathetic resonance, several Power Points show up within a particular Event, each will be acting from his own Center. Each will project his own meaning onto that Event. The efficacy of the act and the meaning projected onto it depends upon one’s degree of power. Actions and relative meanings are projections of one’s Idea (or should be) and have no external reference point. NO ACT HAS ANY MEANING ONE DOES NOT GIVE IT.
Each Power Point occupies its own Position of Power within Event. That position depends on its degree of power. Each Power Point feels that it is fulfilling itself completely – doing its Will – and it is, but according to its degree of power. In other words, every Power Point within Event is ranked hierarchically according to degree of power. Each Point finds its place within Event and fulfills its function according to its power. No Point feels “oppressed” by the situation (unless it is suffering from delusions of grandeur).
All relationships are power relationships, or power Struggles. Possibilities of the Power Points within Event dictate the quality of that Event. Those possibilities and how they actualize change every moment. So not only Event, but its constituents change every moment.
Occupying the Position of Power, being adequate to the moment, does NOT mean knowing what to do then doing it. One IS the moment and its completion or fruition (every quantum of force draws its final consequence at each instant). Each warrior is a point of entry through which the Will to Power bursts into the universe in quest of self-experience.
There is not, nor can there ever be, an un-egoic act. All action is generated outwards from a Power Point. The object of that action and the Event created by it is the self-experience of that Point. It is through action that each Power Point experiences all of its nuances. These nuances do not exist objectively outside of action (Struggle). Prior to action, the Power Point and its possibilities are latent or potential. The purpose of action is to reveal the Self to itself. This is the purpose of the Event-world within which action takes place. Action radiates from a Point, but the Point doesn’t exist (objectively) outside of action-Event.
The warrior is the protector of the vertical, qualitative and cosmic, against the horizontal, quantitative and chaotic. He therefore has little or no role to play in the modern world, which is purely profane and horizontal. Hence, the role of the warrior has been taken over by the soldier and the policeman – forces of the horizontal protecting or aggressing against other horizontals.
For this reason, the warrior cannot justify any action in terms of the modern world. If he chooses to act, it is simply a choice, nothing more. If he chooses not to act, it has the same meaning. In the modern world, therefore, the Warrior’s Way is a solitary Path. The warrior reconstructs the vertical within himself – making his values apply only to himself (this is metaphysically correct anyway).
At bottom all actions are identical – expressions of the Will to Power. The warrior does not know obligations or duty, just self-imposed means to achieve self-chosen ends.
The greatest Justice at any moment is the WILLED ACTION of the strongest man. There is no abstract justice apart from action. This means that the General, Justice, only manifests within Event as a Particular action. There is no such thing as “equal rights.” Each man has the rights, responsibilities and privileges granted by his degree of power.
It is not that good triumphs - it is triumph that renders it good. The Good is not static. Power constantly demolishes old forms and replaces them with new forms. The form power takes in the moment is the Good!
Objective reality is the temporary structure created by contending forces. One’s reality remains intact as long as one has the power to maintain it. When one comes up against a superior force, one either submits or one is crushed and swept away. There are no inherent rights. No power – no rights. In the Magical Universe the only statute of limitation is superior power.
Struggle is the “form” of force and is the underlying reality of cosmos. To understand this and BE it is the Way of the Tao. The Tao supports one in all actions if one flows with it and obeys the fundamental Law of the Universe, which is that superior power prevails. When one is doing one’s Will, one is flowing with the Tao. To be in tune with the Tao is to be in tune with one’s Idea. To be out of tune with one’s Idea is to be out of tune with the Tao – they are “not-two.”
It is a mistake to see the Tao in the abstract – as a General flow apart from Particulars, to which Particulars more or less conform. There is NO flow of the Tao apart from its projection through and as Particulars, just as there is no space or time apart from their projection by Mind in order to set up objective experience. Similarly, there is no flow of the Tao apart from the entities through which it flows.
The Warrior’s Way is not a teaching, a belief system, or a philosophy. It is a Way of Being in Action. The challenge is to BE without “external” reference point, either as goal or as justification. There is nothing “out there” the way we think there is. Each warrior lives within his own Event-world projected into mental space. A warrior’s Event is an expression of the meaning he places upon it. We do not project “things,” we project values that take the form of things. To feel that the world is meaningless is an admission of one’s own inner meaninglessness. To run after meaning “out there,” joining groups, volunteering, becoming a believer, is to doom oneself to never becoming who one is.
Because a warrior’s “meaning” can be known only when he has reached the Center, life has no authentic meaning below the level of soul individuation. This is so because there is no meaning apart from or external to who one is. Hence, at the point of Realization, all questions of external meaning lose importance and the warrior is free to do his Will. A warrior is all the meaning he will ever “know.” As a Center of Force, a warrior’s meaning or value is proportional to his degree of power.
The warrior is engaged in a never ending Struggle for Power. The warrior perceives every situation as Prey – as an opportunity to enhance power. While ALL situations are used for the enhancement of power, the most efficacious actions are heroic acts, and the most noble of these is combat. Heroic acts are those actions that involve risk – rescuing a child or a dog trapped in a burning building, a cat caught in a tree, saving a woman who is being beaten and raped by muggers.
It must be understood, however, that saving the child, dog or woman is not the primary goal. Who of us is qualified to say what choices/actions brought them to that particular situation? They are secondary – important only in that they set up the necessary conditions for the enhancement of power. Enhancing power is ALWAYS the primary goal.
It is not the reason for, or the result of, an action that are important. What is important is the character, strength and power that is revealed through action. Identity only exists objectively within action or Struggle (relationship). Therefore the warrior shows up in action. Since action takes place in the present, he only exists in the moment. Degree of power is revealed by adequacy to that moment – not in strategies, feints, or results-profits.
The only restriction on any action is adequacy to the moment. Adequacy to the moment is Presence. To be Present is to occupy the Position of Power. Adequacy to the moment is doing one’s Will and speaking one’s Word. Each moment is self-created; each moment is Event. One creates Event within which one experiences oneself as Identity. Adequacy to the moment is being oneself within Event. Adequacy shows up as type and degree of power.
While not denying the obvious, that good fortune is more pleasant then ill fortune, from the standpoint of power the two are equal. Losing integrity in the face of adversity, whining, moaning, blaming others, diminishes power. But if ill fortune is faced with strength, responsibility, and endurance, power is enhanced. The situation is the same. How it is dealt with enhances or diminishes power. This is not Stoic indifference in the face of adversity. The warrior feels misfortune but does not indulge it – he is misfortune without evasion. He understands, however, that ill fortune is simply another vicissitude in the Struggle for Power, and he acts accordingly.
There is ONLY the Will to Power. There is NO external or absolute standard of value. Every act, no matter how small or degraded, is an expression of the Will to Power. If this is the case, what makes one act more appropriate than another?
Each Power Point is an aspect of or an Idea within the Will to Power. The Will to Power expresses and experiences Itself as and through each Power Point. Each act is relative to the Power Point projecting it. Will to Power seeks to express Itself in the most powerful way through each Power Point. The Point is most powerful when its acts are consistent with its Idea. Therefore it is essential to become who one is. Only then can one do one’s Will or speak one’s Word. Becoming who one is means reaching the Center of one’s being. It is at the Center that one accesses the greatest power and consciousness. Since Will to Power is always seeking the most powerful mode of expression, It has an inherent tendency – a pressure - to gravitate toward the Center of each Power Point.
Seeking the Center IS the Warrior’s Way; IS the Grail Quest; IS the Struggle for Power.
Conversely, when the Center is abandoned and one gravitates toward the periphery, power is diminished and one becomes weak. Will to Power functions at the periphery, (horizontal) but power becomes inverted – acts of seeming power are actually acts of weakness. Hence, one settles for counterfeit power such as climbing the corporate ladder (or Mount Everest), acquiring possessions, wealth, sexual experiences.
Acts of anti-power may even be engaged in, such as alcoholism or drug addiction. These acts give a false sense of power while actually being acts of self-destruction. This pertains to States and institutions as much as to individuals. The movement toward socialism, more laws and regulations and bigger government are symptoms of weakness, although men and women still seek power through them. This is a sign that the limits of the periphery have been reached and that Dissolution is imminent.
To sum up, the Will to Power seeks to express and experience Itself in the most powerful way possible. The most power is accessed at the Center of one’s being – one’s Idea. Action from the Center is doing one’s Will or speaking one’s Word. Therefore becoming who one is and speaking one’s Word in all situations provides the Will to Power with the clearest, most defined, most efficacious and powerful experience of Itself.
An additional point is that the above argument preserves the autonomy of the individual. On the plane of action, there is no and can be no universal standard of value. The value of each act can only be measured in relation to the Power Point projecting it, and no two Points are the same. An abstract standard of value, supposedly binding on all men, is tyranny.
About Richard Dawes.
I was born and raised in California, and now reside in a small town in Texas. After a tour of duty in the Marine Corps, I spent fifteen years in management in the Moving and Storage, Computer and Credit Union industries. I have written three series: The Tucson Kid series; Valka the Wolf Slayer series – Wolf Slayer sagas; and the Jack Slade series. In addition I have two stand alone novels published. A long time student of the world's esoteric traditions, my books are based on an underlying structure of mythic and initiatory motifs. While my goal is to provide the reader with an action packed adventure story, those who care to go deeper will discover esoteric themes concerning the path of initiation.
To illustrate what I mean, I thought it would be interesting to analyze the mythic and initiatory structure underlying one of my stories. I have chosen as an example one of my Westerns, Storm Rider. The hero of my Westerns is the Tucson Kid. He is a master gunman and member of an ancient Order of initiated warriors called Dragons. As with all my heroes, the Tucson Kid is what in Taoism would be called a True Man (Chen Jen), a man who has reached the center, or is realized. I place my heroes in stressful situations and show how a True Man who is treading the Warrior’s Way would deal with the situation.
Where the Tucson Kid is concerned, I conceived him as the personification of Death. When it is time for someone to die, the Kid shows up. He is also my interpretation of the Tantric god, Shiva, and the Nordic god, Odin, both of whom are gods of death and destruction. In combat, Tucson's face takes on the appearance of a skull. This is both a reference to Death, and an allusion to the skull embedded in the long hair of Shiva.
The Warrior's Way is a Path of Power, so the theme of power, what it is and how it manifests, is woven into all the stories. Power in itself is neutral; it is how it is used that makes it positive or negative.
Tucson demonstrates the right use of power, and the villains demonstrate the wrong use of power. With power goes the need for integrity, so Tucson is also an illustration of integrity as it manifests in various (usually stressful) situations.
Having already described the Tucson Kid, the next major character to be introduced is Joe Personelli, a gunman who is the leader of the security crew that will accompany Tucson on his trek up the Stick River to find Rex Normanson. Joe Personelli represents the personality, which is why he is dressed gaudily and talks tough but backs away from an initial confrontation with Tucson. The personality is an illusion, and at one point in the story, Tucson will tell Personelli that he never was the real thing.
A second major character is Sophie Calloway. Sophie is Sophia, the power of wisdom and the principle of soul. When Tucson first meets her, she is the fallen Sophia, attached to the body and the personality. It is for this reason that she is initially attracted to Joe Personelli. In this context, Tucson becomes the Gnostic Soter, the savior that descends into manifestation to purify and raise the fallen soul. This is why Tucson warns her of the dangers of associating with Personelli. Tucson will not unite with Sophie until she has severed all ties to Joe Personelli.
Captain Birron, the owner of the boat that will take them up the river, is the Greek, Chiron, and the Stick River is the River Styx. Chiron is the boatman who ferries souls across the Styx in Greek myth. In the context of the story, the Stick River is also the spine, and the journey up it is the raising of the kundalini. The various battles fought as the group traverses the river are the battles fought by the initiate as he struggles against the forces of the lower nature.
All the guards are killed before Tucson, Personelli and Sophie pass through the gate into the lake beside Whipsaw Canyon. Whipsaw Canyon ends the river journey, and the rest of the trek will be over land. This is because all of the forces of the lower nature have to die out before consciousness can rise to the highest level. This is the crew of Odysseus dying on the journey of his return to Ithaca, and all of the Jews who were born in Egypt (a symbol of the lower nature) dying out in the wilderness before the Hebrews could enter the Promised Land.
The tree that Tucson must climb to reach the top of Eagle Mountain is the World Tree, the Axis, or the Center. It is also the spine; so Tucson climbing it is another allusion to the raising of the kundalini. In world myth, the World Tree is generally an ash, so I made the tree in the story an ash. The mountain itself is called Eagle Mountain, which is a reference to the eagle as the bird who can fly closest to the sun and gaze into it without blinking - another allusion to higher consciousness. When Tucson reaches the top of the mountain, he notices that the sun shining through a short, hardy grass makes the concave surface of the crest look like a cup carved from an emerald. This is an allusion to the Grail, in some stories described as carved from the emerald that fell from Lucifer's crown when he was cast down from heaven.
The final major character is Rex Normanson, the object of Tucson's quest. Rex Normanson symbolizes the Self, and is a reference to Rex Nemorensis, the King of the Woods of Greek myth. In the myth, the candidate must rip a branch from an oak tree and use it to fight and kill the King of the Woods, and then take his place. The oak is one the trees used to depict the World Tree, and it is sacred to Zeus because it is the tree most often struck by lightning. The reference to Zeus means that we are describing a level of consciousness, and ripping the branch from the tree means that the candidate has reached the center of his being and has duplicated the level of consciousness represented by the King of the Woods. This is an important detail because only like can know like. For that reason it is mentioned several times throughout the story that there is really not much difference between the Tucson Kid and Rex Normanson. When Tucson meets him, Normanson is an old man leaning on an oaken staff. The oaken staff is a reference to the branch torn from the oak tree, and Tucson takes it away with him when he leaves - which is to say that he has now become the King of the Woods.
There are other themes and sub-themes woven throughout the story, but these are the major motifs. My goal is to have them completely submerged in the story so they will not impact or impede the reader's enjoyment of the tale. I hope the above gives my readers some insight in to what I’m trying to accomplish with my stories.