Wow- how did that last one get so long? Sheesh. Truthfully that happens a lot. I guess it's because I'm not just doing symbolic interp- I'm aiming at bringing symbolism into everyday life. In my opinion symbolism by itself is useless- just another stumbling block. It's just another way to stay in your head, to think you know something other people don't, etc. Any philosophy should be applied in the philosopher's life. If it doesn't work- no good. I happen to know that there are all kinds of trained counselors out there who haven't done a real lick of personal inquiry. Good luck to them, but I do not agree with that stance, though it's pretty challenging to take my own advice.
Next : "She went from her home, and traveled further and further, till she came to the end of the world, and there was the sun; but it was so hot and fierce that it scorched the little child, and she ran away in such a hurry that she ran into the moon. Here it was quite cold and dismal, and she heard a voice say, "I smell man's flesh," which made her escape from the moon as quickly as she could, and at last she reached the stars."
As you may know, the sun and the moon are big time alchemical symbols. When presented together, sun would represent the archetypal masculine, the moon the archetype of the feminine. When not integrated, not joined in the hieros gamos or sacred inner marriage, they are a symbol of opposites, like black and white. They represent dualistic consciousness, not the unity consciousness of the drakon ouroboros. Below, a depiction of the alchemical marriage from an old text; the former two are now one.
Let's imagine the depressed father, and his inner daughter by proxy, really wants to know how to heal this situation of depression, of lost children. The girl's journey is a wee alchemical instruction manual in answer to that question. First; go far enough out on elemental limbs that you experience undesirable states of imbalance. Thus she traveled further and further away from home, just as happens to most of us in adolescence and adulthood. It's the outer experiential limits of "the world" we came here to explore. Pushing the duality's limits somehow is what people naturally do to more or less of an extent, experiencing fear and pleasure, attraction and repulsion. We are all explorers of this far out corner of the universe.
So let's say the instruction manual here says "Learn about duality consciousness." Learn how the fiery nature of the sun burns up our relationship with the inner child, as the father's anger killed his relationship with his own inner child. She runs away "in a hurry", as we humans usually do from our discomfort, only to blindly run into the sun's opposite, the moon. We are flesh and blood pendulums. The archetypal water element Moon symbolizes can be experienced in our lives as cold, ice, lack of movement and feeling, depression, without masculine fire.
As long as we spend our lives running from one side of duality to another, rather than developing the ability to observe our discomfort, observe how we got so far out of whack as to "feel the burn" of some old suffering, some fear or another once again, we will probably repeat the habitual ping pong game of reacting to the events we observe happening in the world around us as well as the internalized voices in our heads. We won't be taking responsibility for our experience if we are running back and forth between the moon and the sun; between our likes and dislikes, our anger and depression, our ego trips and our self hatred, our desires and our resistances.
Stars are symbols of destiny, of our innate gifts that come from our cosmic being which our soul asks to be expressed. The stool symbolism is here enhanced by the star's wonderful chairs. Each of us has a "wonderful chair", like the sister's little stool, a place we can discover where we are in loving accord with the light-being that we are, with our own star power; I feel I am sitting on that chair when I interact with the symbolic world, for example. The tarot card XVII refers to the same principle. Notice the balanced design in Place's card above, the red and white flowing from the Venus figure's breasts. Red and white (feminine earth, masculine air and light) is one way to depict the opposites in alchemy, rather than as black and white. Notice also the 7 planets that surround the star (5 of them are represented by their symbols); we do have 7 ravens here. I will address that later.
The Star card is linked with the special star mentioned; the Morning Star, for the Morning Star is none other than Venus. As the card above also shows, Venus is associated with water (rather than earth, the other feminine element). The goddess Aphrodite/Venus was goddess of earthly love (physical union) as well as the unity consciousness aspect of water.
When Venus appears as the Morning Star she obviously refers to our cosmic light-beingness or "higher" consciousness. This aspect of our being is sometimes also depicted as masculine- and in Judeo-Christian tradition, called Lucifer, "Light-Bringer". Though Lucifer became associated with Satan or the Devil at some point in Christianity, the morning star and/or Lucifer has millennia of association with enlightenment. It's partly because of its governing of the dawn, a metaphorical "new day" in our consciousness. Thus The Odyssey mentions over and over again "rosy-fingered dawn".
The whole matter of Venus as Morning Star is complex and fascinating, but I'll move on after pointing out that Lucifer is associated with Jesus, in fact, who says "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." That's for the reasons mentioned; he (as Christ consciousness) is that seat where we are self realized, where we "rest when we are tired" of the ceaseless motion of the winds of the conditioned, desirous mind.
"So the Morning Star gave the maiden the key, and told her to wrap it up carefully in her little handkerchief, and showed her the way to the iceberg."
The fact that the sister is a maiden in this sentence indicates she is now on the threshold of adulthood, in the cultural milieu previous to the whole idea of adolescence, a recent invention. It's a very typical age for these old transformational tales; it's the age of Cinderella, the Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, etc.
What sort of key would Venus, Lucifer, a star, give to us? What would help us in cocreating the grandest version of ourselves that we could be? What would unlock our destinies? In other versions of the story the key is variously described as wood, as a chicken drumstick, and other materials. However, the point is not what the key is made of- for the key is lost. That is the point. The wrapping of the key in the handkerchief is probably a reference to "veiling"; something which is lost in another realm of consciousness, just as our dreams disappear when we waken. This is the case with our fates and destinies, as I remarked in the last post. Our incarnate forgetfulness can be symbolized by veiling.
At the gate she finds the handkerchief empty; "she had forgotten the advice of the kind stars". Therefore, the key is the advice; the key is the knowledge of her authentic, connected loving self, that special seat, we could say (or the authentic self of the father and brothers, the whole psyche we are dealing with here). Most of us do lose the key when we take the veil of Earthly incarnation.
There are other ways and reasons for watery emotions to be frozen; the movie Frozen, a recent Disney fairy tale I liked, uses a combination of suffering (a "frozen heart") and perfectionism, both of which can stop the flow of watery emotions. Frozen water can also mean a disconnection from soul, since water also represents soul's unity consciousness.
I'm going to save the last bit in the house of the seven ravens for another post- or this one will be too long. Here's the theme song (or most popular song) from Frozen. It's got some very interesting alchemy, albeit a bit contradictory; water has so many forms...
not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go!
Can't hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
It's funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go.
You'll never see me cry.
Here I'll stand, and here I'll stay.
Let the storm rage on.
My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back; the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go.
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.
Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway...
ROBERT LOPEZ, KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ
The princess/queen Elsa had been holding in her feelings since childhood due to a tragedy that she feels guilty about- as well as trying to be the perfect example of a princess. A good prescription for freezing- but her skill has always been to work with ice anyway! Her destiny is to learn how to master her gift of ice. Once she lets that power flow, her life is transformed.
However, the song actually indicates one way in which this icy way of being dovetails with the archetypal masculine, as in the wooden key. Wood symbolizes the hardness of the masculine, as opposed to feminine softness. This is evident in terms of human sexual "parts", ahem. Thus her ability to "let it go", to disengage from the past, to slam the door on folks' opinions, test the limits and break through, not cry, to build a crystalline structure, are all very masculine. She's "one with the wind and sky"- more archetypal masculine air.
Remember the last post, the meme using the Last Airbender image, "The Element of Freedom- Air"? Well Elsa is touching on the mastery of that element when she says "No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I'm free!" If we really know that, we are done with the dualistic ways of being in the world, bouncing back and forth between the moon and sun.
She's got some earth element there, too; "My power flurries through the air into the ground", "here I'll stand", similar to our story maiden's "Here I'll sit". Notice also "I'll rise like the break of dawn"; there's our Morning Star and the dawn Jesus mentions in the Christian gospel. Alchemy makes wonderful poetry!