The Esoteric Meaning Of Dios Holy Diver

The Esoteric Meaning Of Dios Holy Diver

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The Esoteric Meaning Of Dios Holy Diver

Ronnie James Dios’ Holy Diver~The Esoteric Meaning

Ronnie James Dio is the quintessential storyteller, he infuses his songs with myths, legends, and folklore, Holy Diver is a great example of this. While some scoff at his uses of rainbows, magic, fools, and dreamers, these are but some of the archetypes he uses to subtly get a message across to his listeners. Accused his entire career of being a satanist, he veiled esoteric occult knowledge in his songs for those with ears to hear, and while singers often in interviews will tell the interviewer what the song is about, don’t believe them for a minute, especially with the songs or R.J.D. He is not about to admit he is giving occult secret knowledge to his fans. In an interview he states:

“Holy Diver” is a “christ figure”, not Jesus Christ himself. This “christ figure” is “going to another world” to atone for someone else’s sins.

Well, he didn’t actually lie, he just answered the question in a more acceptable way, But we will get to the “christ figure” and the “another world” to see that in a sense he answered honestly, but again hiding the whole truth with a velvet lie. So first the lyrics.

Holy Diver
You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea
Oh what’s becoming of me?
Ride the tiger
You can see his stripes but you know he’s clean
Oh don’t you see what I mean?

Gotta get away
Holy Diver

Got shiny diamonds
Like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue
Something is coming for you, look out!
Race for the morning
You can hide in the sun ’till you see the light
Oh we will pray it’s all right

Gotta get away, get away

Between the velvet lies
There’s a truth that’s hard as steel, yeah
The vision never dies
Life’s a never-ending wheel, say

Holy Diver
You’re the star of the masquerade
No need to look so afraid
Jump, jump, jump on the tiger
You can feel his heart but you know he’s mean
Some light can never be seen, yeah!

Holy Diver
You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea
Oh what’s becoming of me? No! No!
Ride the tiger
You can see his stripes but you know he’s clean
Oh don’t you see what I mean?

Gotta get away, get away
Gotta get away, get away, yeah

Holy Diver, sole survivor
You’re the one who’s clean
Holy Diver, Holy Diver
There’s a cat in the blue coming after you, Holy Diver

Oh Holy Diver
Yeah, alright
Get away, get away, get away
Holy Diver, Holy Diver
Oh Holy Diver
Hmm hmm hmm

Holy Diver Ronnie James Dio

This song is about two things, the dreamer and the quest for truth, but the dreamer is called “Holy Diver”. So first let us define holy as Dio is using the term. Most people will picture a priest of some kind, easy to do sense on the cover of the album is a priest that is chained up being tossed in the sea by the beast, this is just a metaphor though.

Holy Diver

The person is holy because he seeks spiritual truth, he “dives” into the sea of dreams, but not ordinary dreams, these dreams are lucid dreams or astral projection. He is a diver, not a swimmer or a floater, meaning he dives straight to the heart, he doesn’t wade in, he is on a quest for the holy answers.

Midnight Sea

It is “Midnight” because one dreams at night, and the “sea” is the dreamscape or the astral realm. This is the holy diver or the “Christ figure” astrally projecting “going to another world”. He inters the sea of the astral world, surrounded by floating dreamlike fragments of your physically awakened world. One could even say that in this dream, it seems more real than the physical world.

You’ve been down too long” indicates that the person has been spending too much time in the astral world and neglecting both the physical world and his physical body, and improving their wakeful life, and thus “Oh what’s becoming of me“.

Meaning of Holy Diver
Ride The Tiger

Ride The Tiger

Ride the Tiger” refers to how an enlightened or “differentiated man” can cope with modern society – not by running away from it or trying to destroy it, but by getting on top of it and transcending it. A tiger is an animal that can be both deadly to humans, and be tamed. Thus, symbolically, it represents any and all problems that are frightening and monstrous, but that can be conquered with courage. The dreamer urges himself to “Ride the Tiger”, and symbolically conquer his fears.

You can see his stripes but you know he’s clean”, here Dio shows his infinity for dichotomy, which he will also express differently later. To see his stripes is to say he is still looking at the tiger from afar, stripes are a primordial symbol of danger, it triggers out fight-flight, or freeze, but the second part of this dichotomy says “but you know he’s clean” is saying the tiger is not as dangerous as he looks, the word clean here most like means pure, meaning the tiger has no ulterior motives, he is only what he is, and in eastern thought, Tigers are vehicles for some gods as well.

Oh don’t you see what I mean” is a plea from the dreamer both to himself as the dreamer and to his waking self to understand the symbolism of the Tiger and to have courage and face his fears, the truth comes at a risk and a coast, once you are riding the tiger you can never let go, you must go wherever the tiger takes you. Most people in their wakened self, that is the physical world, and not the “woken” person who sees that life is just a dram and illusion, the majority of us are not ready to let go of the physical plain and ride the tiger.

Gotta get away
Holy Diver

Here, the waking self is speaking to the dreaming self, and the dreaming self is speaking to itself since they are one and the same, and deciding to run away from the tiger instead of conquering it.

Shiny Diamonds

Shiny Diamonds” are the things we desire, be it riches or sacred knowledge and spiritual insights. “Like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue”, he is seeing the shiny diamonds as the eyes of the tiger, he knows that the tiger is the vehicle to truth and freedom of the physical world, yet he is still hesitant to ride the tiger. He has run from the tiger, still overcome by a fear of the cat in the blue, and his fear of the tiger keeps him from pursuing his desire.

Race for the morning

Gripped in his fear he speeds up the dream to wake from or return to his physical body ( morning representing the waking body) to escape this dream, and thus reaching day and wakefulness he hides now from his dream in the sun, he has seen the light and has woke from the dream. “Oh we will pray it’s alright” at this point the dreamer now awake in his physical body feels hopeless and feeling there is nothing he can do at this point is pray that it’s alright, having not conquered his fears.

Gotta get away-get away

Once again facing not only his fear of the tiger, but now overcome by the physical world and its problems, he again wants to get away, and hide.

Between the velvet lies

What is velvet? It is something soft and comforting, here is used as a metaphor for religions, who tell us velvet lies, watered-down truths, and half-truths to keep us subservient and living in fear, it is not the words in the religious texts themself that is a prison for the soul, but the keepers of the text who led the blind sheep with its interpretations as we see in his next line, “there’s a truth that’s hard as steel”, meaning to find the true reality of all things that exists independent of our perceptions, we must “read between the velvet lies”.

The “vision” that “never dies” is our soul’s eternal perception of reality, which is only briefly viewing our mortal life, as if it were a dream. “Life’s a never-ending wheel” is that ultimate realization, that the soul exists outside of earthly concepts of time, and cycles through waking worlds like our earth. Thus, the realization here is that life is but a dream.

You’re the star of the masquerade

Midnight Sea
Astral Projection

learning that we are just observers in this dream and that we are conscious of the dream we become the stars of the masquerade, meaning we do not change the dream, we are still part of but understand we are not the physical body masquerading behind the mask of our ego. And being aware of this we have “No need to look so afraid” of the dream that we believe to be our reality.

Jump on the tiger

We see the poetic dichotomy again. This time, “You can feel his heart”, as opposed to “You can see his stripes” indicates that the dreamer has this time actually “jumpedon the tiger, and is now so close that he can feel its heart. This is the positive half of the dichotomy, synonymous with “you know he’s clean”, and is followed by “you know he’s mean” to express the meaning of the tiger once again.

Some light can never be seen” also must be taken in context with an earlier verse to be fully understood. Earlier, “seeing the light” represented the end of the dream. But this end is different from his waking and seeing the light of day, this represents his ego death, he has ridden the tiger and also has experienced death, never seeing “the light”, and now awakened in his physical body, he now has the strength to face his fears in his wakened life knowing that the ultimate light can never be reached in this world, that life is a dream within a dream, and that he is the dreamer and the dream.

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