The Brandenburg Gate: Gateway to the Heart
by Martin Samson
It was the full moon before the summer solstice this morning, a good day to go and do some earth healing. I caught the train into Berlin to visit the Brandenburg Gate. Coming up from the underground station I was met with the busy noise of summer tourism, concrete pavements, the American embassy and a scaffolding company erecting a fenced off stage right around the gate for some concert. I wondered how I would be able to find any quiet to meet this place. How could Robert Coon include this over urbanised place within the structures of the earth’s heart chakra along with Glastonbury and Montserrat in Barcelona?
The gate was originally a city gate to the fortress town and let people into the large ‘Tiergarten’ - the animal park. Over the centuries it has gone through many transformations. Although the current structure was conceived as a gate for peace it became a victory gate at the end of the thirty years war at the end of the eighteenth century; was completely withdrawn into solitude and walled off within a vesica piscis shaped enclosure to all people during the cold war; and now has at last come into its fullness as a symbol of world peace since the Berlin Wall came down. This transformation is not the immediate experience as atop the twelve Doric columns is a chariot pulled by four horses abreast ridden by the goddess Victory carrying a staff adorned with the laurel wreath within which is an iron cross and an eagle landing upon it! The first impression is that of the universal symbol of military domination from Rome to Nazi Germany and still visible atop many cities such as Paris and London in almost exactly the same form. It is hard to imagine how this war symbol, compared to the very caring and compassionate feminine aspects of the queen Victoria fountain in London, could be part of the heart centre of the world.
I began to walk around the gate and on the northern side is a building with a small room of silence. I entered and sat there a while. Slowly images emerged in my mind of histories and events that had happened around this place: many of great suffering and loss, many of the traumas of war and many others blurred by the pain held in this place by this structure. I felt the pain of humanity held in the consciousness of a renewed gesture that the world has now given this gate. The goddess Victory is now Eirene or Peace and she yearns to bring her blessings out of the deep suffering of this place which now represents the full integration of East and West with each other.
I walked further as I was still searching for a place to help enliven the subtle energies of this landscape temple, albeit completely covered in manmade symbols. I came around the other side and walked into the animal garden and found myself amongst a forest of beautiful trees with pathways weaving in and out of carefully tended lawn sanctuaries. A little further in and a large pool of water met me: the basin of Venus. I had found the place where mystical contemplation could be added to the heart of this city. The basin is a long pool of water with a rounded centre where an old oak tree stands alone amongst the beech and linden trees surrounding the pool. The statue of Venus is long gone and now at the foot of the pool is a monument to music, another transformed energy in this mystical forest. However, the water was cold and dark, still and sleepy.
I had a small red stone in the shape of a heart in my pocket which I took in my hand and stood at the monument of music and Venus and looked upon the length of water towards the oak tree and began to chant ancient sounds of awakening. Within a short time a few crows had come to listen along with some sparrows and the aquamarine undines raised their heads above the water in eager hungry attentiveness. As I let my perceptions ease and broaden I felt Venus standing next to me. She was moving through her forms of Beauty and Jealousy, a very apt picture of humanities story of destruction through revenge and covetousness that I felt here in Berlin. As I looked I saw the pool was filled with red and white lotus flowers and whilst I continued my singing and chanting a gentle meeting and transformation happened: Kuan Yin, the one who hears the cries of the world and the avatar of compassion, appeared on the water. She came towards us and embraced Venus, giving her a deep and new possibility of redeeming power. Venus, the human story of destruction through jealousy, can find a new healing path through compassion from suffering and lead us to a new way of transforming our humanity. I began to realize how truly this place is a very important part of the heart of humanity. A place that has witnessed, heard and held so much suffering yet awakens compassion as a force in the soul and mind of humanity. I prayed a prayer I know that speaks of the fully transformed humanity that acts out of our highest virtues into the stone and threw it into the pond next to the red lotuses. I asked them to allow this wish for humanity to grow into the world from this pool of creative waters.
As I moved further into the forest I walked past a statue of an Amazon woman on a horse and felt the real battle for our humanity in this journey to transform jealousy into compassion. At the same time I felt Kuan Yin was walking next to me and as we walked and spoke we watched the mystical creatures of the forest watching us from behind trees and bushes offering us deep gratitude for bringing the awakening song of old. We were led along a path into the rose garden where two magnificent stags with full antlers greeted us and I could feel Cerrenos touching the stars above the heart of the world and letting their starlight further enliven this temple as the radiant fragrance of roses permeated my soul. A deep marriage of star and earth light in my heart left me feeling truly blessed to have been witness to this mid-summer solstice cosmic dance.
As I walked back across the cobbled court of Pariser Platz to the underground station I turned to have one last look at the gate. There was a golden filled violet aura around the gate with a large sun like radiance over the forest behind it. The chariot atop the gate with its four horses felt more like the mythological images of ancient mystical imaginations of the world foundations found in Enochian traditions and the goddess Peace was radiant with her staff now looking like an ancient Celtic Sun Cross with the Eagle of Enlightenment settling into its heart. There she rides from the Stars to the Earth settling Her blessing upon this gate, no longer the edge of a fortress but the gateway to the heart centre of a cultural stage where arts are performed and the world meets in the ongoing marriage of our humanity.
As I walked and travelled home I began to see what I hadn’t taken time to look at before. Every bridge I crossed (Berlin is full of rivers, canals and lakes) had magnificent art work on it, mermaids and mermen, female sphinx, and water gods of all kinds. The ancient builders of this city knew!
And at last that night in my mid-summer dream I met Berlin! Who is the being Ber? Possibly an ancient Gothic word meaning bog or marsh, out of which the city grew? Or more likely the great bear who has become her symbol? I saw the great chariot above the Brandenburg Gate again and now it had become filled with the mid-summer sun: a chariot of the sun carrying all the light of the world into the earth. Yet within the sun light there are stars, just as the night is filled with stars so too do they shine into the world in the light of the sun. At this June solstice time of the year the great mother bear is the starlight within the sun. And behold who is the light of the bear: Alban Artan, the Light of Arthur! At mid June the light within the sun is that of the great bear. Berlin, a place where the Light of Arthur blesses the heart of humanity through the great chariot of peace atop the gate to the heart centre of the world.