Laying Down the Sword

Many years ago, I fell in love with the season of Michaelmas, celebrated on September 29th, the folklore of which is connected with St. George fighting a dragon, calling upon the Archangel Michael to offer courage in doing so.

The Perseid Meteor Showers in August are said to offer the forging of the sword, preparing us to face our dragons during Michaelmas time, which seems to extend toward All Souls Day on November 1st, or even the season of Advent.

Over the years, I’ve faced many inner dragons, as well as many outer ones. I’ve called upon the courage of Michael to support me in taming them, learning to place them in service of the good.

Taming our dragons requires a willingness to work with them, rather than simply fighting against them.

This is not to say there may not be dragons we simply must banish from our lives in order to move forward on our path, but often the dragons are there for us to tame and bring into service of what is truly ours to offer in our lifetime.

These dragons might arrive in the form of the wounds of trauma, emotional unrest, self-doubt or fear, unresolved disputes, unmade decisions, illness, unresolved karma, and ultimately anything that makes us uncomfortable or seems to thwart our ability to harvest the fruits of our efforts.

The societal tendency is to ignore, push away or express hatred toward these dragons. Clients repeatedly and understandably express how they just want to “get rid of it” or “make it stop” when referring to such dragons they’re facing.

This approach of either destroying or imprisoning the dragons usually requires either some kind of violence or suppression that doesn’t allow for a deeper understanding of why those dragons exist in the first place, or how they might serve us.

Is this not the way we see our culture playing out before us, seeking to “get rid of” or even dehumanize, i.e. “lock up” those who don’t conform or make us uncomfortable? Clearly that approach is not working to create a world of equity, peace, love, or wisdom.

What if our dragons are messengers…uncomfortable yet critical aspects of our being asking to be seen and heard?

What if our dragons are guides able to show us the gifts we’re here to bring forth in this life?

These questions are rarely asked, and if we don’t pause to contemplate these questions, both within ourselves and for the dragons we see in the world and their impact on humanity and the earth as a whole, we completely miss opportunities to grow and evolve.

We remain trapped in patterns of anxiety, overwhelm, depression, self-doubt, and fear.

We become so wrapped up in the modern scientific epistemology of prediction and control that we forget to consider that which is beyond our control, and perhaps even offered as a gift from an invisible realm we have little ability to measure or fully understand.

There’s so much we don’t understand, and learning to accept not knowing or being uncomfortable allows us to move beyond the extremes of division against others, and instead learn to live in harmony with others.

The sword that is historically used in folklore to “tame the dragons” has typically been seen as yet another symbol of our patriarchal dominance culture that seeks obedience and conformity at the cost of our own unique expression and creativity.

What if we could tame our dragons without the sword?

What if the sword could be a symbol of strength that doesn’t require a dominating form of welding, but asks to be laid down in a gesture of peace?

We can honor the symbol of strength that the sword holds, even feeling into its forging within us as the meteor showers fall each year. But I am suggesting a new perspective with which to see the sword, a new way to consider how it is to be wielded.

What discomforts have you been seeking to “get rid of” or “make stop?”

What inner strength would it take for you to lay down your sword as a symbol of that strength in peaceful, healing expression?

May we find our way to lay down the sword, heal the divide, and open to new ways of seeing beyond old definitions and dogmas.

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