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Herakles und die Hydra


Herakles und die Hydra


Herakles integriert seine innere Hydra.



Der griechische Held Herakles [aka "Wir -sind-die-Guten" westlichen Machthaber] begab sich in einen Kampf mit der neunköpfigen Wasserschlange Hydra [aka Terrorismus], die das Land verwüstet hatte. Er riskierte dabei, getötet zu werden.

Der Knabe Herakles stranguliert eine Schlange.
Römische Marmorstatue, 2. Jht. n. Chr.

Sein weiser Lehrer hatte Herakles vor dem Kampf folgenden verschlüsselten paradox anmutenden Rat gegeben:

Wir erheben uns im Knien,
wir erobern durch Hingabe,
wir gewinnen durch Aufgabe.


  • I. Herakles' blindwütendes Abschießen von Pfeilen in die Höhle der Hydra lockte die Riesenschlange nicht ins Freie.


  • II. Seine Deckung gab das Ungeheuer erst auf, als der griechische Held sie mit brennenden Pfeilen befeuerte, denen er Keulengeschosse folgen ließ. Kaum bekam er die Wasserschlange zu fassen, schlug Herakles siegesgewiss die Köpfe der Hydra ab. An den frischen Schnittstellen wuchsen jedoch sogleich jeweils zwei neue Köpfe nach. Die Hydra schien im Verlauf des Kampfs zu erstarken.


  • III. Am Ende seiner Kräfte und seiner Einfälle für weitere herkömmliche Unterwerfungsstrategien, und überwältigt von der Hydra, kniete sich Herakles im Sumpf nieder, womit er sich dem Element der Hydra hingab.
    (Er begab sich auf seine eigene niedrig schwingende, erniedrigte Schattenebene.)


  • IV. Waffenlos und ohne Schutzschild, auf gleicher Augenhöhe, wühlte er unterirdisch einen der neun Köpfe der Hydra hervor und hob ihn über die Wasseroberfläche. Er betrachtete, wie der Kopf im Sonnenlicht vertrocknete und abfiel, als der Wind darauf blies.
    Nacheinander hob er mit bloßen Händen die anderen Köpfe der Hydra ans Licht des Tages. Bewusst geworden und angenommen, schwand die Zerstörungsmacht der Wasserschlange zusehends.


  • V. Acht der sichtbar gewordenen Köpfe waren abgetrennt und ausgebrannt, ohne dass sie wieder nachwuchsen. Der neunte Kopf der Schlange des Bösen war unsterblich. Obwohl abgefallen, lebte er weiter. Diesen anerkannte Herakles als Juwel und begrub ihn unter einem Stein am Wegrand.
Referenzen: de.Wikipedia-Einträge Herakles und ► Hydra
Siehe auch: ► Aussöhnung zwischen Herkules und der Hydra und ► Heilung
Weisheit und ► Paradox und ► Schatten und ► Ego
See also: ► Reconciliation between Hercules and Hydra – a healing story and ► Dignity


Moral: Herakles hat seinen Schatten im Spiegel der Hydra gesehen und angenommen.
Waffenlos und überwältigt hat er, im Sumpf kniend, gelernt, dass das,
was im Licht bestehen kann, kostbar ist. Er schätzte und schützte es.

Zitate zum Thema Herakles und die Hydra / Hercules and Hydra

Zitate allgemein

General quotes


  • To achieve this intensity of soul, whether in an hour of analysis, in a close relationship, in language, study or art, takes as much sweat as shoveling through the stable with Hercules. James Hillman (1926-2013) Jewish-European US-American archetypal Jungian psychologist, author, The Essential James Hillman. A Blue Fire, S. 65, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York, 1989, reprint 1994, 1998


Future prospect

  • Someday the object is to get to the point where you can walk past the dragon and it doesn't have any teeth. You want to take the teeth out of the dragon and then you want to make that dragon something that inspired you to recognize the dragons in others so that it builds the sage in you and the compassionate heart. Audio presentation by Caroline Myss Myss.com (*1952) US American spiritual teacher, mystic, medical intuitive, bestselling author, How Times of Change Influence Your Sacred Contracts, sponsored by the "Celebrate your Life" conference, Phoenix, Arizona, archived in CMED/media, minute 1:07:36, 1:18:19 duration, 5.-8. November 2010

Herakles und die Läarnische Hydra
Gustave Moreau, französischer Maler, 1876
  • The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must per force act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalytist, founder of a new school of analytical depth psychology, author, Gerhard Adler, editor, R. F. C. Hull, translator, Aion. Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self. Collected Works of C.G. Jung Volume 9 (Part 2), "Christ, A Symbol of the Self", paragraph 126, 1935, 1951, Princeton University Press, 2nd edition 1. June 1979, 2nd revised edition 1. August 1981


  • You can't end rankism with rankism.
    To actually end rankism, you have to preserve the dignity of perpetrators while offering correction. You have to protect other people's dignity as you would have them protect yours. It's like the golden rule. Interview with Robert W. Fuller, Ph.D. robertworksfuller.com (*1936) US American professor of physics, college president, dignity and rankism researcher, lecturer, author, Standing Up to RANKISM, presented by More Than Money, Dr. Pamela Gerloff, US American rankism and dignity researcher, Project on Civic Reflection, co-author, issue 35, March 2004



Implications and meaning of Hydra and Scorpio

  • We can say that the hydra can mean many things:
    jealousy, vengeance, resentment, anger,
    frustrated sexuality, violence.
Scorpio is a sign of intense desire; and the hydra's many heads can mean the many desires of the uncivilized human heart. Left to grow in the darkness, they can become poisonous, and begin to destroy others. But they cannot be dealt with by repression. They must be understood, held up to the light, respected as part of oneself. And although vanquished, it is a good idea to remember that one immortal head. For Scorpio, all human beings carry within them the seeds of good and evil. Evil is not an abstract thing, or somebody else's fault; it is in everyone. Human brutality cannot be blamed on society, but ultimately only on oneself. […] the deepest meaning of Scorpio's myth:
come to terms with the hydra in yourself, and you redeem the world.
Liz Greene (*1946) US American-British astrologer, depth psychologist, combining Jungian archetypes with astrology, author, Astrology for Lovers, section The Scorpio Myth, Weiser Books, September 1990, reprint February 2009

Literary quotes

  • We have met the enemy, and he is us. Walt Kelly (1913-1973) US American animator, cartoonist, citing the character Pogo in the classic comic strip Pogo, 1971

Englische Texte – English section on Hercules and Hydra

Reconciliation between Hercules and Hydra – a healing story

                How the hero Hercules and the multi-headed Hydra of Lerna solved their conflict                


Before embarking on his mission to terminate the terrorizing nine-headed water snake Hydra, the Greek hero Hercules consulted with his mentor, the centaur Chiron. He had advised him:

Not common means will serve here; destroy one head, two grow apace. So be aware:
We rise by kneeling,
we conquer by surrendering,
we gain by giving up.


Hercules' linear mindset was puzzled. Unfamiliar with such a counterintuitive paradoxical approach, he first dismissed this counsel at hand. The hero wears his characteristic lionskin and wields a club.

Hercules and the Hydra, ~1475
Antonio del Pollaiuolo (1429-1498) Italian painter

He invested into traditional war making by sending a flood of arrows into Hydra's cavern. This strategy had failed, since the sea-snake did not emerge.
Next Hercules dipped his arrows in burning pitch, to rain them into the cavern of perpetual night, the entrance to the Underworld. The monster furiously appeared with nine angry heads breathing flame.
Whenever the hero, wearing a rag over his mouth to protect him from the fuming breath – coming from above and from outside – cut off one of its heads with his sword two new heads instantly grew from the bleeding stump.


Confronted by the known means of sheer violent force, willpower, or intellect, Hydra had grown stronger. It could not be terminated with self-righteous supremacy or the mindset of 'We against Them'.


Only when Hercules started to faint from exhaustion, he was finally willing to change his approach following Chiron's advice.
He knelt right into the mud with Hydra. From a level headed position he grasped one of Hydra's heads under the mud with his bare hands and pulled it out above him. Suspended in mid-air and plain daylight it withered away and dropped off by the wind. And so he continued with exposing the other heads following the humble path. Made conscious and owned by both sides the Hydra's heads were not dangerous any longer. His nephew Iolaus lit a torch and burned the stumps after the heads were gone, which prevented them from growing back. Hydra's destructive force was defeated, when the ninth head, still fiercely hissing, was severed.


Hercules estimated this mystically immortal head as a jewel and sheltered it beneath a rock.
So the victory was won. The sea-monster had taught him a lesson and he had taken it well.


References: en.Wikipedia entries Hercules and ► Hydra
See also: ► Dignity
Siehe auch: ► Herakles integriert seine innere Hydra.

Four stages of wrestling with inner demons – Milarepa

One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over the joint. He knew about nonduality of self and other, but he still didn't quite know how to get these guys out of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind – all the unwanted parts of himself – he didn't know how to get rid of them.


Four stages of dealing with one's inner demons
༺༻            Action             Brain/emotion·level
1.So first he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how 'we are all one.'   Cognitive   
2.He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine.
Nothing happened. The demons were still there.
3.Then he lost his patience and got angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him.   Affective   
4.Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying,
"I'm not going away and it looks like you're not either, so let's just live here together."
Integrative – 1st step


At that point, all of them left except one. Milarepa said,

"Oh, this one is particularly vicious."

(We all know that one. Sometimes we have lots of them like that. Sometimes we feel that's all we've got.) He didn't know what to do, so he surrendered himself even further. He walked over and put himself right into the mouth of the demon and said,

"Just eat me up if you want to."

Then that demon left, too.


Source: ► Pema Chödrön [Deirdre Blomfield-Brown] (*1936) US American Tibetan Buddhist nun (*1981), teacher in the
Shambhala Buddhist lineage of
Chögyam Trungpa, author, Start Where You Are. A Guide to Compassionate Living,
Shambhala Publications, Boulder, Colorado, 1st edition 9. March 2004
See also: ► Hell and ► Principle 3:1 and ► Trauma and ► Stories


Links zum Thema Herakles und die Hydra

Externe Weblinks zu den 12 Aufgaben des Herakles

  • Übersicht Hydra von Lerna, präsentiert von Drachen Wiki, betrieben durch Wikia, undatiert

Interne Links

Englisch Wiki



Letzte Bearbeitung:
05.04.2018 um 16:27 Uhr

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