Thunderbolt The thunderbolt (or lightning) is celestial fire as an active force, terrible and dynamic. The thunderbolt of Parabrahman, the fire-ether of the Greeks, is a symbol of the supreme, creative power. Jupiter possesses this attribute by way of emphasizing his demiurgic nature. At the same time, the flash of lightning is related to dawn and illumination. Because of these parallels, lightning is con- nected with the first sign of the Zodiac, symbolic of the spring- principle and of the initial stage of every cycle (40). The thunderbolt is held to be an emblem of sovereignty. The winged thunderbolt expresses the ideas of power and speed (8). Jupiter’s three thunderbolts symbolize chance, destiny and providence—the forces that mould the future (8). In the majority of religions we find that the godhead is hidden from man’s gaze, and then suddenly the lightning-flash reveals him mo- mentarily in all his active might. This image of the Logos piercing the darkness is universal (9). The vajra, the Tibetan symbol for both ‘thunderbolt’ and ‘dia- mond’, is also connected with the world-axis (22); but, if the cross or crucifix, the steps and the sacrificial stake, are all symbols of man’s longing for the higher world, the thunderbolt expresses the inverse: the action of the higher upon the lower, It is also related to the glance from the third eye of Shiva (or Siva), the destroyer of all material forms.
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