What is a threshold guardian and what is its purpose?
The threshold guardian is a guard that defends an area against unauthorized parties. In contrast to a threshold that is not alive, a guardian is a vital force that we can confront and ally ourselves with. Symbolically, the threshold guardian can be the keeper of a great amount of taboo areas reaching from moral to spiritual.
A “threshold guardian” is a personification of a psychic barrier.
Example: You fear to enter an new area of knowledge or experience. Because you are confronting yourself with the topic it will appear in a dream one day. In the dream you see a barrier in front of the entrance to another area (threshold) (f.e. closed door, concrete wall, river, mountainside). Now it could be that you are not willing to be stopped by this barrier. In this case (sometimes right away) the psyche places a threshold guardian in front of the threshold – this may be a giant, a monster, a demon, a black dog, a knight, a death mask and so on.
A threshold as barrier is a passive obstacle of the psyche.
A threshold guardian is an active obstacle of the psyche – a force that is ready to fend off your actions (not only making it harder for you to move forward like the threshold). Therefore threshold guardians are fears that became active, moral or religious taboos, conventions and regulations that are trying to prohibit the endeavor.
"I come to a flat rock basin that is filled with completely clear water. The water is getting deeper near a scarp. At the deepest point of the basin a dark cave leads inside the face of the rock. Full of joy I jump into the wonderful water. It washes off all the impurities. Subsequently, the guardian of the rock basin – a small child – appears and prohibits the entrance to the lake to everyone that is not pure. I hear a rumbling from inside the cave and welters issue from inside it. I let myself carry by the smoothed waves that reach me.
As the cave stops emitting waves I enter through the rocky gate. I have the feeling that this is the entrance to the netherworld – to the world beyond. I end up in a gigantic, bleak cave. Inside I find humanoid being with black shells on which there are reliefs of bones. None of these people seems to be hostile towards me. Then I see the goddess of the underworld Kali arriving with a huge wagon. She is very beautiful, adorned with blue and cyan gems and has huge, dark and arched eyes. As I come closer to her my sleeve touches an elaborated peacock which is fully covered in turquoises. Due to my touch it comes alive. I offer my arm to it and the godly bird of Vishnu climbs on it without hesitation. I join Kali on her wagon and the vehicle begins moving faster and faster. I go the backside of the chariot where I see numerous people that are clinging to a bamboo latticework. They are holding on tightly so they do not fall from the wagon while it is moving. I do the same thing. The ones who fall from the chariot are being reborn. The place where they land becomes their gate to reincarnation. The longer one can hold on to the wagon the better are the offered opportunities for the new embodiment. I want to stay until the end tho...
While doing so I dreamed many dreams – each one a lifetime. One dream is important in particular. I must not forget it...”