Khidr: angel of the mystics

Sufi Saint Khidr (the Green One) - c.18 Century. US Public Domain.
Sufi Saint Khidr (the Green One) – c.18 Century. US Public Domain.

Khidr is known as the “green prophet” or the ‘green one.” Khiḍr is said to appear to individuals and initiate them into the mystical path. Most people seek to learn religious truths from another human being– a master, guru, or teacher. Khidr comes in the form of illumination and initiates individuals directly into deep truth. Cobb (1992) tells us “One’s Khidr is, for the Sufis, the angel of one’s being, the person-archetype who initiates into archetypal awareness, by instilling ‘an aptitude for theophanic vision’. Khidr frees the individual from literal religion and literal psychology.”

Carl Jung spoke of Khidr in The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. He tells a story of meeting a Sufi man in Kenya, who spoke of Khidr:

“During my trip through Kenya, the headman of our safari was a Somali who had been brought up in the Sufi faith. To him Khidr was in every way a living person, and he assured me that I, might at any time meet Khidr,…He told me I might meet Khidr in the street in the shape of a man, or he might appear to me during the night as a pure white light, or-he smilingly picked a blade of grass-the Verdant One might even look like that.”

Khidr can be seen as an archetype of immanence. He is the “green one”, the “verdant one”. He is the divine as it appears within a blade of grass or within the mind of a mystic. Nothing is more simple than this and nothing is more profound; the divine is all around us and within us. Khidr is the angel of our being, awaiting to ‘initiate’ us into this simple and beautiful truth.


Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī & William (1983) The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi – Page 356

Noel Cobb – 1992 Archetypal Imagination: Glimpses of the Gods in Life and Art – Page 194