Seal Four – The Pale Horse

When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. Rev 6:7-9

The fourth seal rings alarm bells. The Lamb reveals to John some very dramatic things that take place within human consciousness as it develops further. These are described to us in signs that we must try to make sense of and apply to the development of our own consciousness. To be able to do this we must increase our knowledge of our own being; not just physically and mentally but by becoming more aware of how our soul and spirit guide our body through life. John sees all that he has written down from “the spirit”; from the perspective of his own spirit. This is a very different view of the world from that which we gain through our body’s senses.

Down the ages the wisdom teachers have emphasised the importance of the injunction “Know yourself!” This too, is the purpose of these reflections on the Revelation to John. To know ourselves by applying a few basic principles. To know ourselves is not simply a self-centred awareness of what goes on within us – physically or spiritually – but rather to become conscious of our place in the whole universe. More than that, that we become conscious of our role in the universe; how every emotion, thought, and deed, creates this universe – for better or worse. As our awareness increases we realise the enormous responsibility that we have to ensure that our actions are creative. Furthermore, to realise that what we deem to be creative may actually be destructive, and vice versa.

The fourth seal deals with the will, our soul-will if you like. Of our three soul functions, we are least aware of our will. We can clearly see our thoughts, our feelings rise and fall in a bit of a fog, but we are often blind to the way we use our will. The domain of our will is in the third and highest soul region, the one we are in the throes of developing at present. We can call this region the spiritual soul or Consciousness Soul, the area where our awareness can gain real clarity. It is also the region where the power of the will can be misused. Then our interactions with each other are tinged with manipulative undertones.

Kristina Kaine from The Virgin and Harlot, an interpretation of the Book of Revelation

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Ottheinrich-Bibel (ca.1530-1532) illustrated by Matthias Gerung, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

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