Esoteric St. George
I said I don’t care about babies in Palestine, in a land so far away, but, actually, I do have a link to Palestine—for Palestine’s patron saint is England’s patron saint, St. George.
In Arabic he is called al-Khidr, “the Green Man”—he is older than Christianity and Islam, in fact; and he is synonymous with the prophet Elijah (al-Khidr, Elijah, and St. George—these are the same man). Al-Khidr is a trickster associated with the sea—with spring, with the lush green.
It is why in England we have the tradition of the Green Man (a figure who, though pagan, decorates many churches), and al-Khidr also lies behind the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight—the man who asks Gawain three riddles, three being a magic number.
Al-Khidr instructed Moses, long ago—he emerged from the sea to teach Moses. But he detected that Moses was impatient, so he said, “Surely you cannot have patience with me. And how can you have patience about things about which your understanding is not complete?”. But Moses swore to be patient, since he desired to learn.
So the two men boarded a boat—but just out of port al-Khidr put a hole in it and it began to sink; and Moses cried out, “Why do you risk the crew? They might drown!”. And Al-Khidr rebuked him, because he broke his oath, “Did I not say that you will not be able to have patience with me?".
Then, on shore, al-Khidr kills a boy with no provocation—and Moses cries out in astonishment. But al-Khidr rebukes him once again and Moses promises to be silent, or else excuse himself from the presence of a servant of God.
The men arrive in a village—but every door is closed to them. This time, al-Khidr harms no one—instead, he sets to work to repair a decrepit wall in the village centre and makes no request for payment. Once again astonied, Moses asks why al-Khidr did not “exact some recompense for it”.
Al-Khidr replies: “This shall be separation between me and you; now I will inform you of the significance of that with which you could not have patience. Many acts which seem to be evil, malicious, or somber actually are merciful.
The boat was damaged to prevent the crew from falling into the hands of pirates who kill every captive, the boy was killed for he would grow up to commit murder and would shame his pious family—and he will be replaced by a virtuous child.
Finally, beneath the wall lies a treasure buried by a righteous man who died and left two orphans—it has been repaired so that it lasts until they are full grown, so that the treasure will not be revealed to other men before them.”
So al-Khidr is also the holy fool—he whose actions are apparently irrational, malicious, or obscene but actually do the will of God in a hidden way.
He tried to teach Moses—but Moses still did things like collaborate with some desert spirit to harden the heart of Pharaoh and bring punishment upon Egypt. It’s a shame to harden the hearts of men, not open them—but as the story shows, Moses was an impatient man…with much still to learn.
Al-Khidr has a special role in Sufism—he is a man who has been illuminated directly from God without human mediation. It is said that he drank from the Fountain of Life or drank accidentally from the river of the Waters of Life and so became immortal. Hence he is a primordial figure who predates all religions, and wanders the earth freely.
For Sufis he symbolises access to the divine mystery itself and he rules over “the Men of the Unseen”.
He is the destroyer of false prophets—and it is said that when the false Messiah comes a man will challenge him and be sliced in two and then the two halves will rejoin, and this man will be al-Khidr. Indeed, it was Elijah who chastised the Jews because they broke the covenant—and rabbinic scholars refer all unresolved disputes “to the time Elijah returns” to this day, and keep a 5th cup for him on their holy days (the 5th cup being the quintessence, the 5th occult element).
However, al-Khidr is a prophet who is not a prophet, although he acts like a prophet and may be called a prophet—he has divine revelation without sainthood, and even without sainthood he has the highest powers of sainthood; and so he can reach beyond the universal manifestation taken in its total unfolding (al-Arsh, in Islam) and has all God-sent scriptures in his memory.
Yet he is still just an ordinary person, almost a nobody, who is graced with immortality and initiatic significance—hence Elijah and St. George are mounted, but their progenitor al-Khidr is pictured seated on the ground. In his humble obscurity, humour, association with greenery, and primordial power he is somewhat like Tolkien’s figure Tom Bombadil.
In truth, he has a Persian origin—for he is also Anahita, whose shrine in Iran is Pir-e Sabz (“the green shrine”); she is the goddess of foliage, associated with the amanita muscaria (the “red cap” mushrooms said to inspire the sacred drink of the Zarathustrians). Hence he has an Indo-Aryan origin, and appears in his female personification as Anahita—and he is green like the Emerald Tablets of Thoth in Egypt, the primal esoteric link.
So he comes with the spring, as with St. George on the 23rd of April and the 6th of May in the Islamic world (the same date with the old Eastern liturgical calendar)—he brings the mercy rain of spring.
The legend of St. George in Christianity and Islam is not really about a single event—rather it is about a man who, having drunk the water of life, is granted martyrdom repeatedly; hence, in the Christian tradition, St. George kills the dragon after he has been martyred.
This is because the saint lives beyond history—the place where he eternally slays the dragon, though he does not really kill it; rather, he transfixes it with his lance (so he binds his ego, the dragon being the overcome ego—which still exists but is rendered still).
It is from the story of Gawain and the Green Knight that the Order of the Garter emerges. Its motto, honi soit qui mal y pense (“shame on him who thinks ill of it”), appears on British coins to this day—it originates in the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and, while the authorship is contested, both possible authors were members of the Order of the Garter. The poem is 600 years old, and the Order of the Garter is the world’s oldest chivalric association.
It’s notable that in 2021 a film was made, The Green Knight, that cast an Asian man as Gawain—this is no accident, it is an intentional move to destroy an Indo-Aryan warrior initiation. As it happens, it itself is dishonourable—being based on deceit as to its true intentions, Hollywood not usually being overly-interested in 600-year-old poems generally considered “boring” (except for the purposes of cultural subversion and the destruction of man’s connection with the divine).
In conclusion, the “green man” is a primordial Indo-Aryan tradition of initiation. It is initiation for those who go “directly to God without intermediaries”—or “the way of the private face”. It is a way that the Koran says is “God’s private knowledge of Himself”; and it is this knowledge that al-Khidr keeps—it is associated with the bees (which, as I have noted elsewhere, symbolise the gatherers of wisdom and the honeycomb of heaven).
When al-Khidr sits on the barren desert, the earth turns white, then green—he is the one who knows, like the bees, that it is enough to be and not to say.
Al-Khidr is the teacher for all “solitaries”—for all saints “outside” the community of believers; for all lone knights, like Sir Gawain on his quest. He is for everyone who would know God directly—without church, temple, or synagogue.
Hence I say, let the land of al-Khidr be free—let the Zionist dragon be slayed, let the Zionist dragon be slayed, let the Zionist dragon be slayed. And let the land turn green with laughter.