Sword

I am looking for a sword, for ritual purposes. I already got my license before I left Denmark, so I’m allowed to own a bladed weapon and carry it to its intended use, but I don’t actually own one yet.

eBay black swordI could go with a Toledo or Solingen, which is the right type and very well made. But I think it would be more fun to get something with a little more “patina”. Many of the Masonic type swords available on eBay are American Knights Templar swords, and that gets a little too ornamental for my taste. I prefer something simpler, like the ones I have added images of here.

eBay old swordThe sword as a symbol is one of great importance – at least to me personally. It offers a myriad of interpretations: It is double-edged – offering both protection (love) and justice. And it is indeed the weapon of choice for Lady Justice. Holding the sword by the blade, tip down, forms a cross. It offers discrimination, truth. A sword is also esoterically a conducer of energy (particularly if wavy), and a symbol of Air (or sometimes Spirit). And Wikipedia informs me that the Latin word for sword, Gladius, also means penis, which seems obvious for a phallic symbol. The sword in the hands of Aikido- and Iaido-master Nishio-sensei is also a guide to the Way of Peace, and to the samurai the Daisho, the two swords at their side, were Strength and Honour. Then there are the symbolism drawn from myths: The sword suspended over Damocles’ head, implying the dangers of wielding power; the sword used by Solomon as the final arbitrer between the two women; the sword used by Alexander to cut through the Gordian knot. And once my wife gave me a Katana, “to fight my own demons” – awesome, and what it’s all about.

Plus, swords are cool.

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10 thoughts on “Sword

  1. I love both the European and Japanese sword designs, but I do prefer the Japanese fighting styles. I briefly dabbled in both Aikido and Iaido, and the elegance of Iaido was simply breathtaking. I was a true beginner–never even getting to the point of moving up in ranks–but observing and learning from an Iaido Master was an unforgettable experience.

    Iaido differs greatly from fencing and other sword styles in that it is not a parry/thrust back-and-forth kind of art. (Do a Google search on iaido video to see some interesting examples.) Iaido is meant to be a quick and complete form without flourish and flair: draw, slice to kill in one motion, and replace sword. Though that may sound ugly or cold, it is very efficient and elegant, and I’m sure there are some wonderful allegorical implications behind the style. Oh, and man, is it difficult! It may look easy, but it takes LOTS of practice to become proficient. If you don’t want to get a “real” katana to play with, consider an inexpensive wooden “bokken” which provides similar weight and feel (and it’s much less dangerous.)

    The sword, in Freemasonry and elsewhere, has many meanings and implications. Learning control and discipline with any weapon is probably one of the most challenging things to do.

  2. Thanks – this is great!

    Jim, I am actually writing a short entry on Nishio Sensei and Budo. I had the honour of training with him once before his death, and the old man just radiated balance and inner power. His Iaido was the best I have ever seen. (And I should add that I only ever became a novice myself.)

  3. Bro. Munkholt,

    Nice to find you again. Have bookmarked your blog. Do not stray far from home. Try the Store Brodergave on Austerbro. They have excelent German Swords, a little expensive, but so far the prettiest I have seen.

    Their website is down, but I hope the store is still there, it is so much fun to visit.

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