“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
― Albert Einstein
Could the unicorn be a symbol of imagination itself? Let’s start with the one thing that distinguishes a unicorn from a regular horse, i.e. the horn. The horn of the unicorn is located at the site of the third eye. From there it spirals upward, like an energy current. Our third eye is the seat of inner vision and imagination.
Horse is considered a symbol of freedom. What makes us feel more free than the ability to imagine a better future or to dream into being a creative project?
In medieval Christian mythology, the Unicorn is associated with the Virgin (Mother of God). It was said that the unicorn could only be captured by a virgin. The wild beast would rest its head on her lap and could then easily be taken captive. According to some, the unicorn itself was a symbol of Christ who longed to return to the womb of his mother (Freud would have a field day with whoever came up with this idea!)
Could this be another clue that the imagination, which patriarchal religion was keen to discourage, was symbolised by the unicorn. And perhaps the unicorn represents humanity’s longing to return to Mother God, as well as being a symbol of the imagination?
Did the patriarchal religion seek to control the mind’s propensity for flights of fancy? Did Church leaders unconsciously associate the imagination with the unicorn? Did they compress all the sacred knowledge of the Divine Feminine into this image of the unicorn and the virgin, and did they subsequently make even the archetype obsolete?
Unicorns are also associated with the Element of Water. Of course Water is the Element of psychic energy/ability. According to medieval unicorn lore, the horn of the unicorn when dipped in a body of water had the ability to purify the water of toxins and poisons.
This seems to be an allegory for how we can use the power of our imagination to heal emotional toxicity.
Unicorn powder was used to heal disease and illnesses of many kinds all the way up to the 1700’s. Never mind that there was no such thing as unicorn horn. Placebo is powerful enough for someone eating a bit of ground up narwhal powder to heal themselves by imagining that the powder is indeed ground up unicorn horn.
The unicorn seems to have had the ability to tie together the religious realm with the realm of folk-lore at least momentarily only a few hundred years ago. Now the unicorn returns to help us re-member how powerful our imagination is and to be our guide as we seek to use the imagination for the Highest Good of All.
It is, of course, no coincidence that the unicorn is mostly seen with our inner vision as silvery white. This is the colour of healing light, purity and innocence. It is also the colour of the Moon, symbol of the Goddess. The Moon is also the planet associated with the astral realm, dreamtime, intuition… and the imagination!
Now it is commonly believed – once more – that the unicorn is associated with the Divine Feminine. As She returns to help us heal our planets, so do her guides and helpers… Welcome, unicorns, and blessed be!