Labor Twelve: Capturing Cerberus, Guardian of the Underworld
For his twelfth and final labor, Hercules was told that he must descend into the underworld to capture itsguard dog Cerberus, then bring the dog back to Mycenae. Cerberus had three dog-heads and a dragon’s tail. Hercules made his way to the entrance of the underworld, which was located in a particular cave. Strengthened again by the presence of Athena and also by Hermes, messenger of the gods, he stepped resolutely into the dark passageway and began the long descent.
Upon reaching the shadowy world of the dead, Hercules encountered certain beings that seemed to threaten him and so drew his sword against them. Hermes reminded him that his weapons were useless against ghosts and that he had nothing to fear from them. Hercules next sought out Hades, brother of Zeus and ruler of the underworld, to ask permission to take Cerberus back to the land of the living. Hades welcomed Hercules to do so if he was able to perform such a feat, under the condition that he not use any weapons.
Hercules proceeded until he found the fearsome, growling beast foaming at the mouths and lashing its menacing tail. Gathering his courage, Hercules leaped toward the central controlling head and threw his arms around the neck in a crushing stranglehold. Though wounded slightly by its dragon-tail, Hercules subdued the dog and led it up to the surface of the Earth. In the presence of the light, Cerberus relaxed and walked calmly alongside Hercules back to Mycenae. Eurystheus was so terrified of the otherworldly creature that he told Hercules to take it back to Hades where it belonged. Hercules did so and returned triumphant, fully redeemed, and free at last.
Having just come from the Hesperides’ garden of heavenly beauty, this last labor took Hercules, by contrast, into the dark depths of the Earth. In Greek mythology, the gods sometimes traveled to the underworld to acquire hidden wisdom. The Roman name for Hades was Pluto, which means “wealth.” Hades, therefore, represents the enrichment of the soul from unseen depths.1 It is in the underworld that Hercules ’ final act of redemption takes place, where his past sins are turned to the good and he achieves the pinnacle of enlightenment. By the twelfth labor, he has gone far enough into the depths to rise to the heights of glory.
Outside the circles of depth psychology and psychoanalysis, this paradoxical principle is poorly understood. The underworld, in psychological terms, is an aspect of the unconscious —that part of one’s inner life that lies outside of conscious awareness. Whereas much of our unconscious experience comes from collective archetypal energies, the personal aspect of the underworld is roughly equivalent to the subconscious mind. Sigmund Freud first identified the subconscious and described it as the repressed personal memories and instinctual tendencies that unconsciously govern behavior. The subconscious mind, according to Daskalos, is the home of all those negative elementals we have unconsciously created to serve the egotistic cravings of the unhealed personality and to protect us from imagined threats. These negative elementals block the free flow of vital energy through our bodies at various levels; the extent to which our lives are governed by them is the extent to which we suffer. This torment from one ’s personal underworld, the subconscious, is the experience of hell.
Salvation is the initial recognition and acceptance of the divine light, the true Spirit Self that lies beyond the physical body; healing is the progressive reconnection with the light. Healing requires that we go into the dark depths of our personal underworld to expose and bring light to its dark, unexamined recesses. By doing so, the soul &mdash that mysterious weaving of the human and divine natures — experiences its own light in a new and fulfilling way. In this process of healing, we make the discovery that every one of our “demons,” or negative elementals, was in fact hiding a “human angel,” or positive elemental. As we bring light to fear, we uncover love; beneath doubt, we find faith; under betrayal hides devotion to highest duty; false pride conceals new depths of humility; pain holds the possibility for new heights of pleasure. Enlightenment, or atonement, marks the state of “at-one-ment” with the light and the end of the healing process.
Spirit, the inner light that contains no darkness, achieves its purpose through each of us individually as we follow this path of soul. We could therefore say that our fear of the underworld keeps us in that subconscious state of mind called hell. Instead of attempting to deny our inner demons, we would do well to remember those times when Jesus confronted his own. Immediately after his baptism, Jesus retreated into the wilderness for forty days and nights to confront the material and ego temptations that might have weakened his ministry by standing between him and the will of God. According to traditional church doctrine, Jesus descended into the underworld during the crucifixion, abolished death, and then victoriously ascended into new life. If we are to follow Jesus ’ example to the end, each of us must also descend into our own underworld and face our self-made “demons,” those negative elementals that hold powerful parts of the soul in bondage to death and darkness. As these negative elementals yield up their power in the light of awareness and the soul gains the experience of its own truth, we may proclaim like the Apostle Paul did, “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:55)
These personal principles of healing and spiritual enlightenment provide the background necessary to understand the final labor of Hercules. The Capture of Cerberus is really about that distant, post-apocalyptic era of planetary enlightenment when the Earth, as the material body of Mother God, finally achieves her spiritual destiny. Cerberus himself represents the law of cosmic order that controls the planetary body. The dog’s three heads symbolize the laws, or cosmic principles, controlling the physical, emotional, and mental bodies of Mother Earth. When the human race as a whole evolves to the point that we can work consciously with these laws under the guidance of the Unnamed Order of Archangels and Shamael, we will have become the masters of co-creation. Who dares to imagine the wonders that we might then evoke from the Earth and her biosphere?
Meanwhile Cerberus, representing cosmic law, will pace about in the underworld with the hosts of the “living dead,” trapped far from human consciousness until he is someday able to assist us. The “dead” are the collective negative elementals that swarm like locusts through the physical, mental, and emotional bodies of Mother Earth. Humans, created in the image of God to be stewards of the Earth, have instead been creating these destructive negative entities since the birth of our kind. And yet these collective elementals hold the untapped potential of both humanity and the Earth. Hercules’ final labor, the capture of Cerberus and ascent with him into the light of the world, represents that future act of purification, cleansing, and renewal of the Earth herself when all darkness that we have inflicted on the Earth will be brought into the light and we will finally be free to co-create a world that truly reflects our grandeur as sons and daughters of God. This world lies even beyond the New Heaven and New Earth of prophecy.
Though the greater planetary transformation represented by Hercules’ final labor will not be fulfilled until a future age, the capture of Cerberus nevertheless reminds us of fundamental soul tasks that await us now as humanity grows toward the light. In this spirit, we suggest a final meditation to facilitate the healing, cleansing, and purification of ourselves and our world.
Twelve Steps to Transforming the Collective
Negative Elementals of the Old Order of the Earth’s Consciousness
- Find a comfortable place to lie down. Starting below the feet, feel and see the white healing light flowing progressively up and throughout your body.
- With healing hands of light, build a base and pyramid in white light in front of you.
- Enter the pyramid and stand in its center. Welcome Archangels Michael (royal-blue light) on your right, Raphael (emerald-green light) on your left, Gabriel (crystal-white light) along your back, and Uriel (golden ruby-red light) along the front of your body. Attune to each order and its healing qualities by breathing in the respective colored flames of healing light.
- Step out of the pyramid through the back side into a beautiful garden, exploring the creations of nature and Mother Earth (the Divine Feminine) and her helpers, the holy archangels.
- Step into a column of indigo light and feel yourself lifted up until you are standing at the gate of the garden and temple of the Archangelic Order of the Indigo Ray.
- Visualize a radiant, indigo, circular disc on the garden gate. Place your hands on the disc and feel the energy flow through you. Repeat the following affirmation three times: “I am purified, cleansed, and renewed.”
- Enter the garden through the gate and walk to the holy temple of the Archangelic Order of the Indigo Ray. Enter the temple and step into the flames of indigo light burning on the altar, attuning to the qualities of the Archangelic Order of the Indigo Ray.
- Review Labor Twelve — Capturing Cerberus, Guardian of the Underworld — in your heart and mind, seeing Hercules in action completing the labor.
- Now ask yourself, “How can I take action in my life to cleanse, purify, and renew my personal environment and living space? How can I contribute to the cleansing, healing, and clearing of my community environment and the Earth itself? ” Send the indigo light to these areas.
- Become the flames of the indigo light. Hold the planet Earth in the palms of your hands and let the indigo flames of light transform the collective negative elementals and purify, cleanse, and clear the planet, bringing peace, divine order, and harmony.
- w see and feel the indigo light moving through the planet’s atmosphere and deep into the very core of the physical planet.
- With intention, let the indigo flames of light flow to the planet and say, “Beloved I AM Presence, Archangelic Order of the Indigo Ray, blaze your indigo light in, through, and around the collective mental, emotional, etheric, and physical bodies of the planet Earth and transform all misdirected, miscreated, and misguided energies for the highest good of all life on Earth. ” Return gradually from your journey by leaving the temple and coming down the column of light, back to awareness of your physical body.