Who are the Four Horsemen?

DSC0019Marden090805In Alchemy of the Apocalypse, we begin with alchemy and end with alchemy, creating a powerful container for transmuting into love our contractions and fear.

But in the middle, the “apocalypse” segment of Alchemy of the Apocalypse goes into detailed description of the four horsemen that gallop forth from the opening of the scroll in the Book of Revelation.

Who are these four horsemen and why do they emerge before the vision of catastrophe? 

The scroll that is unfurled portrays an intense potential timeline that results from these four horsemen being released. If this vision is counsel for us to heed, then it truly behoves us to understand what these horsemen represent.

The horsemen are archetypes for our unleashed fears in the face of approaching intensity.

MardenCentrecloseup1What arises in us in the face of scary intensity? Our usual first reaction to approaching unknown intensity is to engage our minds to try to figure it out. We think incessantly and try to pin down what is happening so that we can gain control over whatever it is. This “head first” approach is the first horseman. He gallops forth wearing a crown (read: mental), aiming his arrow at whatever will catch his attention. He represents our imbalanced, customary, habitual reaction to Fear of the Unknown.

In our panic as the intensity continues to approach despite our efforts to pin it down, what arises next? The second horseman thunders out with sword swinging. He is called War. Destroy it before it gets you! This is Fear of Power,that leads to the dual edge of abuse of power and powerlessness.

Then when all is left in chaotic disarray, what arises next from this frantic hysteria? Gather up whatever we can. The third horseman emerges with his scales, weighing and measuring what we might be able to save, assessing the value of the meager remainders and stowing them away. This horseman represents Fear of Lack and Suffering, and will do what it takes to survive.

And then, when this whirlwind of panic inevitably fails, what next? Out comes Death on his pale horse, followed by Hades. The ultimate Fear of Annihilation and Damnation, where we are confronted by our failure and guilt.

Marden-dst-2054How can Alchemy neutralize and redirect these misguided responses to fear?

These horsemen must be lured back into the stables, so that we may become stable. Each of these archetypal horsemen has immense power urging it on, that if not given over to panic, can be reclaimed for the good of the whole. 

  • Fear of the Unknown is steadied throughTrust and Humility.
  • Fear of Power is neutralized throughRespect.
  • Fear of Lack and Suffering heals through Gratitude.
  • Fear of Annihilation and Damnation finds redemption through Forgiveness and Love.

The power to transmute and transfigure the dark force of unleashed fear is a natural outcome of alchemical presence, clarifying for us into a strength and beauty that transcends and transmits the Perfecting Light of Love.

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