Arthurian Legend, Astral Plane, Battle of Britain, Celtic mythology, Dion Fortune, Esoteric, Gareth Knight, Grail Cup, Inner Planes, King Arthur, Merlin, Qabalah, Sword, Symbols, Tree of Life, Western Mystery Tradition
I would like to add the Rod (also called a staff or scepter), which symbolizes the knowledge that directs invisible spiritual forces applied to governance, to the Arthurian symbolism of the sword and scabbard (the Cup or Grail Cup). The Rod of Power and its use belongs to the Arthurian Magus, Merlin, who wields it by means of a trained mind in esoteric spiritual knowledge. In short, the Rod of Power represents “…Secret Wisdom employed to guide the affairs of nations” (Fortune, 1993, p. 43). Dion Fortune writes specifically about its use in her letters (seventeen to twenty-two) to other initiates and adepts during World War II contained in The Magical Battle of Britain (edited by Gareth Knight). “…and the Cup and the Sword and Sceptre make a wonderful symbol of balanced and functional force” (Fortune, 1993, p. 36).
This triune of symbols, or triple-rayed triangle referred to by Fortune, brings to mind the three-legged stool upon which balance is achieved. Fortune describes the thought form of the triple-rayed triangle as consisting of three definite rays (red for Sword, blue for Scabbard/Cup and purple for Rod/Sceptre) forming the three angles of a triangle through which the white light of Spirit poured. This symbol was built up on the Inner Plane and evoked in 1940 during WWII by the members of the Society of Inner Light trained in occult methods of meditation. The triple-rayed triangle not only represents spiritual forces expressing inner realities but mythical archetypal forces by which national identities are formed, fed and preserved.
For those of you versed in the Qabalistic correspondences, Fortune assigns the Sword and Red Ray of the destructive dynamic of Mars to the Sephirah Geburah on the Pillar of Severity and the Rod of Power and the Blue Ray of organizing civilizing forces of Jupiter to the Sephirah Chesed on the Pillar of Mercy. The Scabbard/Cup of the Purple Ray is assigned to the Christ Center of the Tree, the Sephirah Tiphareth, where forces are brought into equilibrium. The sword is the dynamic force that destroys evil and also the Sword of Chivalry and protection; the Scabbard/Cup is the receptacle of spiritual influences, the container of force and its potentiality; and the Rod of Power rules and directs Invisible Forces from Inner Planes of existence into the material world. Continue reading