Sir Gawain and The Green Knight – pt.1

by | Mar 2, 2021 | Videos

We explore the symbolic structure of the first part of the the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as he encounters the Knight. We look at the cosmological and ontological structure set up as Sir Gawain accepts to make an impossible promise.

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  1. Alfons Kuchlbacher

    Thank you again. I read LOTR (again) and therefore I thought of Treebeard and the Ents. But also (because I like Jethro Tull) I thought of the english folklore around “Jack In The Green” (or Jacks – pl.)
    In the wikipedia article about Jack-In-The-Green it is explained, that this comes from the May Day celebrations and started in the 18th century and was revived in later years. But Ian Anderson once mentioned, that the Jacks-in-the-green are elve-like characters who watch over all growing things through the winter when they lost their “green”. So he follows the interpretation of Lady Raglan and her interpretation of “The Green Man”. This was rejected because there is no “historical evidence”. But if you look at this controverse symbolicly, then of course there are connections.
    And allow me to put in the lyrics from Ian Anderson:
    “Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green?
    With his long tail hanging down.
    He sits quietly under every tree —
    in the folds of his velvet gown.
    He drinks from the empty acorn cup
    the dew that dawn sweetly bestows.
    And taps his cane upon the ground —
    signals the snowdrops it’s time to grow.

    It’s no fun being Jack-In-The-Green —
    no place to dance, no time for song.
    He wears the colours of the summer soldier —
    carries the green flag all the winter long.

    Jack, do you never sleep —
    does the green still run deep in your heart?
    Or will these changing times,
    motorways, powerlines,
    keep us apart?
    Well, I don’t think so —
    I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

    The rowan, the oak and the holly tree
    are the charges left for you to groom.
    Each blade of grass whispers Jack-In-The-Green.
    Oh Jack, please help me through my winter’s night.
    And we are the berries on the holly tree.
    Oh, the mistlethrush is coming.
    Jack, put out the light.”
    Ian Anderson also wrote a song about “Jack Frost” who could be considered as the antagonist of Jack-in-the-green.
    This is terrible, if you open the box of symbolism, there is no bottom…

  2. Chris Ehardt

    In esoteric teaching it is believed that the kings of old all the way back to Adam were in a vegetable state. Adam produced Eve through parthenogenesis. The snake represents the condensing into animal from vegetable. Our etheric bodies are the vegetable part of us. As we condensed from pure spirit to vegetable to animal our consciousness that was outside of us in pure imaginative state, slowly was embodied in us. Like the story of Noah. We left the realm of imagination(spirit world), pure consciousness where all the giants, angels and such dwelled to the “flood”. We went back to a primordial state and the only creature who didn’t make the boat was the Unicorn. The unicorn representing the 3rd eye. So we lost our clairvoyance and connection to the spirit world. The flood being the sub-conscience that washed all the monsters of old away. They lie under the depths of our collective unconscious. Or something like that…