… The Book of Revelation is a notoriously difficult text to understand
because of its symbolism and iconography,
however, chapter twelve, which concerns us here,
is relatively straightforward.
It commences with a vision: ‘And there appeared
a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed in the sun,
and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars…’
This is an astrological description of Virgo, but wait,
‘…And she being with child cried, travailing in birth,
and pained to be delivered.’
If the Virgin is to give birth then it must be the Great Goddess Isis or the
Virgin Mary, or at any rate the Star of the Sea, Stella Maris…
Already we start to see the problem.
The iconography may be precise,
but its interpretation can still be ambiguous,
or could the ‘images-of-heaven’ encompass all of these exemplars?
‘…And there appeared another wonder in heaven,
a great red dragon, having seven heads
and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads…’
Lying alongside the constellation of Virgo in the night sky,
coiling around her, is Hydra, and in Greek mythology,
Hydra appears as a many headed snake, but wait,
‘…And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven
and did cast them to earth.’
Not all the stars of the firmament are visible at any one time,
about a third of them move in and out of view over the rim of
the earth’s horizon during the course of a year.
Just as the ‘night-time’ at any one location
is caused by the shadow of the earth
passing across the face of the sun,
a third of the night sky
is also obscured by the earth’s horizon.
Bodies, planetary or otherwise,
moving through space are shadowed.
But what to make of this psychologically?
The ‘shadow-side’ of our personality, obscured by a continually
attention seeking conscious mind,
resides in the unconscious, and whilst lurking there,
shrouded in shade, it can be regarded as our own ‘personal devil’.