Cirlot on guardians
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A Dictionary of Symbols – J E Cirlot
Just as the powers of the Earth must be defended, so, by analogy, must all mythic, religious and spiritual wealth or power be protected against hostile forces or against possible intrusion by the unworthy. Hence the familiarity of the 'keeper of the treasure' in legends; almost invariably, this guardian is a griffin or dragon, or else a warrior endowed with superhuman powers.
In temples, the idea of defence is implicit in the spatial organisation and confirmed by the disposition of the walls, the doors and towers. In the Far East, the guardians are usually fabulous monsters. In western countries, the same function may be performed by the figures inscribed on doorways.
From the psychological point of view, guardians symbolise the forces gathered on the threshold of transition between different stages of evolution and spiritual progress or regression. The 'guardian of the threshold' must be overcome before Man can enter into the mastery of a higher realm.
The source of the experienceCirlot, J E
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsBeauty, art and music