May 29, 2020
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swordAs an alchemical symbol the sword is a symbol of purification. Here we experience the metaphorical sword cleanly piercing the spiritual soul of man. This symbolic action sacrifices physical bondage to release a path to ethereal (enlightened) freedom.Double edged swords give us symbolism of duality of nature and the dual powers of manifestation. Here we see creation as well as destruction (death and life) housed in the instrument. As with all power, there are two sides to it – just as there are two blades to the sword. On the one hand we have the capacity for conceiving beautiful ideas, and solving intricate problems with our mind. On the other side, the mind can easily develop an appetite for destruction. Like in the common saying; “this is like a double edged-sword” which means something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. Refering to this saying, Jack Parson, the well known rocket scientist and occultist, wrote a book called Freedom is a Two Edged Sword where he explains that the wonderful freedoms instaured by the U.S. Constution can be used as much in a liberating fashion as they can be used in a dogmatic and restrictive manner.[296] Probably one of the most eloquent illustrations of the double-edged sword is Stormbringner, the magic sword of Michael Moorcock’s fantasy character, Elric the necromancian. The fascinating thing about Stormbrigner is that it really is a double-edged sword both in the litterary sense and in metaphoric sense of the word. Moorcock’s anti-hero, Elric of Melniboné, is an anemic albino lacking the vitality of normal human being and it’s Stormbringner, a sentient soul-eating magic sword that provides him with the energy that he needs to go on with his life. The main problem is that Stormbringer is sometimes hard to control and has a tendency to injure or even kill Elric’s sibblings. Elric’s wife was killed that way. One one side, the blade without Elric is just a piece of forged metal, but in his hand it becomes a lethal weapon and a scary soul harvesting machine that nourrishes both the blade and his bearer. On the other side, Elric knows that something evil is lurking inside this blade,[297] that it tends to harm the people he loves the most, but without it Elric is nothing but a human wreck and has a hard time to do even the most simple and basic things in life.

Tree of Life Attribution

The magical weapon of Geburah are the sword, spear, scourge and burin, (Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 13) all of these explicitely suggesting warfare and bloodletting.


[296] Talking about this “double edge” Parson says: “We cannot suppress our brother’s liberty without suppressing our own and we cannot murder our brothers without murdering ourselves. We will stand together as men for human freedom and human dignity or we will fall together, as animals, back into the jungle.”
[297] Michael Moorcock, Elric the Stealer of Soul, Ballantine Books: New York, p. 40


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