Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Doorway Opens in St Petersburg - Arch Symbolism

Terrorist attack in the St Petersburg Metro Station... through the arches
Being stuck at home sick with the flu again I had more time to catch up with the news and live broadcasts. Watching the terrible events in St Petersburg, Russia on April 3rd, I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the fear and dread that played out over and over in repeated video clips of the moments straight after the explosion on the metro.

The sounds of screaming, and off-camera shrieks of panic, and translations of ‘Oh my God!’ were simply heartbreaking. Watching the blood soaked people being dragged along the platform, and others scrambling through crushed, broken windows before collapsing to the floor. Truly horrific.

Looking at the aftermath photos of the striking St Petersburg Metro construction courtesy of RT news channel, I felt compelled to learn more about the place. Here is a sample of what I’ve come across.
Posiedon at the Metro?
Beautiful reliefs and art throughout the Metro and Museum

Symbolism of a high order in the Metro?

The symbolism of one post-terror attack picture stands out. It’s the arches of the subway station with the halted carriage and bomb wrecked doors and windows. Early pics have the bloodied people, body parts, and rescuers. The latest palatable ones show the cordoned off area of these arches.

There is some interesting stuff on the symbolism of the Arch from http://imagesinthemind.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/arch-symbol.html and also http://www.ssje.org/symbols.html which you might find interesting… I’ve reposted here in brief…

Arches are structures with deep spiritual and psychic resonance.  They embody and symbolize many things: strength and support, lightness and openness within density, a beginning and an end.  Arches are entry points into liminal space.  In mythology, arches or doorways are understood as thresholds in time and space (chronos, the temporal world) through which one passes to enter another kind of time and space (kairos, the spiritual world).  Arches are iconic: while grounded in the present, they draw one’s gaze upwards to a higher ideal or tran¬scendent reality.  In the New Testament, the arch is also a fundamentally Johannine symbol.  In John’s gospel we hear Jesus saying, “I am the way,” “I am the doorway to the sheepfold.”

We find the arch a strong and inspiring image, yet the arch is also a paradoxical image which is built on weakness.  Many centuries ago Leonardo da Vinci wrote that “an arch is nothing else than a strength caused by two weaknesses; for the arch in buildings is made up of two segments of a circle, and each of these segments being in itself very weak desires to fall, and as one withstands the downfall of the other, the two weaknesses are converted into a single strength.”

So, what does an arch stand for in symbolism? Let’s decipher it, shall we… look at the images – doesn’t the arch remind you of something – like a gate or a doorway? Well, that is exactly what it symbolizes. An arch is a gateway – a door to something beyond it – a passageway to something more to follow….which is why their use in bridges today is interesting! - Because with a bridge you can walk through the door and reach the other side.

Arches appear on Tarot cards as well – and consequently, each of these cards has a significant aspect of transition within their meaning as well.

It is easy to see how, on a deep psychological level, arches can signify a period of transition – a passage from where one moves to another place. Transitions signify change – and the arch represents the passageways or doorways of that process. The process can be inner or outer – that is, something within could be changing (perhaps the personality, the vision, the perspective) or the change could be in the outer world aspect of life (perhaps profession change, appearance change, change in residence). Or, the process can be happening on both levels.

Has some kind of doorway been blown open now?

St Petersburg Metro Symbol.... esoteric...