Thursday, April 22, 2010

Symbolism of St Jordi

Before we begin, we need to understand that there are quite a number of stories surrounding St George, Sant Jordi and what ever other name he is known by. I am living in Catalonia, so, from here on in, he will be known as Sant Jordi.

Most of us know that Sant Jordi drew a sword and killed a dragon, thus saving a fair maiden, or princess. In some of the stories, a rose arises from the blood dripping from the knife. Ohhh, the symbolism in this moment is too good to be true.

The dragon, or the snake,  is a rich symbol of darkness, caves, the occult knowledge and the feminine. It is a prevalent symbol in many cultures denoting good luck, good fortune, protection and the mysterious ‘other’.

Sant Jordi is portrayed as a white male upon a white steed. He represents the male principle,  authority and the power of the father. He is ‘right’, he is law and he holds the sword of righteousness.

I must admit, I’ve always disliked St Jordi killing the dragon, but after reading the Catalan version, where a red rose arises from the blood of the dragon, things have taken on a different turn of events for me.

The sword is the sword of God. The Biblical sword of Our Father in Heaven. The dragon is the symbol of the Great Mother, and indeed, the Church condemned and slaughtered much of the female power in the last 2 000 years – however, taking it a step further – if we see that the sword (the male) enters into the dragon (the female) and from this coupling, there is juice split upon the ground, and a rose is formed - !! well, the rose is Love. More, the rose is a symbol of perfection. It is the Western equivalent of the Eastern Lotus and represents more than I can write in this evening. Let’s just say, it represents enlightenment and spiritual perfection.

A friend of mine joined a group today that called the Bible ‘science fiction’. Well, let’s say we read the Bible, we read all sacred texts, through the eyes of archetypes, through the eyes of symbolism and not so literally, and we come closer to the mystical truths held in these wonderful and sacred books from all traditions.

Here, in Catalonia, they celebrate the story of a knight protecting a princess, but for me, its much more. Here, they celebrate the divine marriage of Shiva and his consort Shakti, they celebrate Asherah and El and the Tao with its integration of yin and yang.


And! It seems with further information there is more to be added about Catalonia and the rose. (Thanks for the tip B.) Sant Jordi is on the 23rd of April. The Virgin of Montserrat's day is the 27th of April. A famous hymn to the black virgin calls her 'April rose, dusky lady of the mountain chain'.

The Black Virgin and Sant Jordi are the two great patrons of Catalonia, and their close proximity of date and imagery have linked the two days inextricably in the Catalan people's minds. The red rose itself, along with Sant Jordi on his white horse wielding a sword, and the Black Virgin holding baby Jesus are three of the most prevalent images of Catalonia.

The male, the female and the rose - they symbol of perfection. Remember, the unity of female and male, although taken literally by many sex cults, is actually the unity of the known and unknown within each human being. The embracing of opposites within the self that leads to the flood of Spirit called Enlightenment.

For more information about the divine feminine in Western Religion, there is a beautiful book about the Divine Feminine in Hebrew Scripture and Biblical Literature written by Rabbi Rami Shapiro.

The 23rd of April is also World Book Day, in honour of the Catalan tradition. Thank you for this one guys. 


kate said...

What? No commmens on this lovely post. Really agreed with your initial reaction to the St George story - what's so wrong with dragons? And love the new way to look at it. k x

Tiffany said...

:) I'm not sure I have so many readers!! (apart from us two!)

Bee said...

Make that three x x

Anonymous said...

& me when i remember & Nanna :)