Slaying the dragon
‘Slaying the dragon’ represents the slaying of karma (cause-and-effect) by the Rebel, I conclude.
A dragon is usually slayed with a sword, so it is useful to seek out corresponding symbols. For example, the Greek god of medicine, ASKLEPIOS, unknowingly kills a snake by hitting it with his staff/rod. Another snake resurrects the dead snake with a herb. Seeing this, Asklepios uses the same herb to bring dead people back to life. In another version of the story, a snake licks Asklepios’s ears clean and teaches him secret knowledge (to the Greeks, snakes were sacred beings of wisdom, healing, and resurrection). Asklepios carries a rod that is entwined with a snake. That rod/staff was adopted by real world doctors as a symbol for healing.
The Biblical serpent (in the Garden of Eden) imparts secret, forbidden, knowledge to Adam and Eve. That serpent is often portrayed coiled around the ‘Tree of Knowledge of good and evil’, thus the tree equates with the sword/rod/staff. The serpent tempts Adam and Eve to eat the tree’s forbidden fruit, saying “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”. The separation of good from evil is a separation of opposites. A sword can cut in two.
The Biblical “sword of the Spirit” is the “word of God”, which is “sharper than any double-edged sword”; it “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Another biblical sword is the tongue of Jesus: “…out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword…” (Revelation 1:16). A snake’s forked tongue equates with a 2-edged sword.
Jesus sends a sword to the world: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34).
Jesus is crucified on a cross, so it is significant that a snake coiled around a cross (usually a T-shaped cross) is an old Christian/Jewish image and also an alchemical symbol (the Crucified Serpent or Alchemical Cross). The alchemical cross is said to represent the “fixing of the volatile”, which is the making of the elixir of mercury, a legendary curative, by removing the ‘volatile’ or poisonous element. This symbol relates to the biblical story of Moses, who erected a brazen snake as a charm against plague.
Jesus likens himself to the serpent when he says: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up…” (John 3:14).
A sword is removed from a stone by King Arthur.
Just as Jesus sacrifices himself on a wooden cross, so the Nordic god ODIN sacrifices himself on the WORLD TREE (YGGDRASIL). Odin hangs on the World Tree for 9 nights, wounded with a spear. The world tree is an example of the principle of the AXIS MUNDI, aka the cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, center of the world. The centre of the world is where there is no karma (NIRVANA). It is the hub of the wheel of karma.
Judas hangs himself on a tree, after betraying Jesus, in some legends.
The breaking wheel or execution wheel, also known as the ‘Catherine wheel’ or simply ‘the Wheel’, was a torture method used for public execution primarily in Europe (from antiquity through Middle Ages into the early modern period) by breaking the bones of a criminal, and/or bludgeoning them to death. St. Catherine of Alexandria was sentenced to be executed on one of these devices for refusing to renounce her Christian belief, which thereafter became known as the ‘Catherine wheel’. It is said that the wheel miraculously broke when she touched it; she was then beheaded.
The mythical OUROBOROUS dragon/serpent/snake eats itself, so is a kind of self-sacrifice, which is what Jesus and Odin perform.
More to come…