In the early part of the 5=6 ritual, of the R.R. et A.C. (the Second Order following the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.), the candidate is symbolically bound to a cross (which symbolizes the elements). This voluntary subordination of the ego to the Higher Self at length liberates the ego from the onslaught of the unconscious complexes. This is symbolized by the dropping away of the heads of the dragon from the Sephiroth (shown above).
(Artwork is copyright © 1995 by Pontus Lindqvist)