In the beginning there was no war, for all things were one in Dea, and conflict could not arise. The descent into manifestation is inevitably, in one sense, a descent into war: that is, the primordial Unity of unmanifest Wholeness is broken, and conflict enters into the now-manifest cosmos.

Nonetheless, it is true to say that physical war was unknown until a very late stage in human history. War between maid and maid was quite alien to the vast majority of “matriarchal” human civilisations, as it is in Aristasia. In the first Golden Age, war raged continually, but it was waged directly against the forces of darkness on the psychic and spiritual levels. This is the authentic archetype of war — the Vikhail, or true Holy War; and from this all the glory and nobility later associated with physical battle derives. It is still fought by every contemplative and mystic.

Athena, Goddess of War

As time wore on and the descent into matter continued, the Enemy began to take on physical or quasi-physical forms. So also did the forces of good. It is from this period, many thousands of years ago, that the “mythological” creatures — dragons, centaurs, unicorns, etc. — found in legends throughout the world, have their origin. Later still, the forces of evil began to incarnate themselves in human civilisations — in the decadent “matriarchal” and proto-patriarchal states. It is in this period the Holy War descends fully to the physical level and maid first fights with maid. Finally, in the Kali yuga or Age of Iron, physical war becomes a condition of life. Kali yuga is known as the “age of quarrels” or conflicts. It is also the age when masculine images of Deity first arise and later become dominant over feminine ones.

Increasingly, all remnants of the true Holy War are lost, and war becomes merely a manifestation of the chaos and discord of the Age of Iron. This continual conflict is the inverse parody of the fact that the true soul is constantly at war with the discordant forces within her until she wins through to the primordial peace of Union with God.

From The Symbolism of Archery

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