Rev 6 v 3-4
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.
Here we have a tremendously powerful red horse ridden by the second horseman who carries a great sword. He rides above the earth over two armies pitched against one another. A full moon is illuminated in the space above the earth.
This horse gallops above the earth but close enough for us to see two armies set against one another. If we regard the globe it is East against West. A destroyed and ruined tower crumbles and burns under a back hoof of the horse. The horse’s head is bent down and forward in determination. This path is relentless once it is begun, it seems to suggest. The horseman holds his sword perpendicular to the world and straight up into space. It divides the image; the world in two. Yet the horseman’s visage is one of gentleness and peace despite the message that he takes peace from the earth. Recall the word’s of Christ in the Gospels – Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” What does this signify? It is yet another allusion that these horsemen of the apocalypse are facets of Christ and we have to try and understand this with new eyes and new thinking.
Whereas in the icon of the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, there is a pool of water revealed through the cracked earth, here is the full moon out in space. The full moon is an allegory of our emotions; revealed and seen in their entirety by Almighty God, who can see into men’s hearts. The pitched battle of the two armies is that within ourselves as we battle to overcome the influences of the little heart. The little heart is treacherous and fills us full of desire and unsettling emotions. The wild animals, as David would call them in the Psalms. The division this horseman brings is the separation of our small selves ridden with ego from the larger self of the divine soul. There is a great need for us to do battle in order to separate out what is useful for our lives and what is not. To learn to recognise those parts within us that do and cause evil among men, those influences that cause us to slay one another physically, intellectually, emotionally and psychologically. Most of us would never think to kill another person but how many times a day do we slay each other with our tongues through gossip and meddling? This is the little murder and we commit it thousands of times in our lives and it is far more damaging as it destroys not only our own souls, but that of the listener and that of the poor victim.
When we reach the next stage of the evolution of our consciousness we have to do battle with this side of our nature we have to divide ourselves from our self. There can be no peace until this is done, not in our selves, our communities or the world. It is this venomous heart inside us all we have to discern, understand, forgive, accept and finally learn to love. Only then will we become able to master our own inner house and bring outer peace and harmony.
October 4, 2011 | Categories: Apocalypse Icons - art and meditations, Uncategorized | Tags: Apocalypse, apocalyptic art, Book of Revelation, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, horse, horseman, icons, red, Sacred Art, second | Leave a comment