"A Sorta Fairytale": Reviving the Kingdom
The archetypal characters weave their stories within us ...
Foreword: Language, as a mere tool and technique for encapsulating abstractions into a more manageable form, is doomed to fail at perfectly relating any profundity undisturbed. After all, how many of our words and our concepts come across binary in order to account for the perceived duality that seems to abound throughout life? However, as one harmonizes the cold, dry, still sterility of truth with the warm, moist, fertility of love, the two may merge into the most perfect synchronistic arrangement in such a way that the mediator clearly receives and perceives that which resonates most well with their own story’s creation. May we all discover the depths of the story we weave, and weave it all the better as we go.
SETTING THE STAGE
Recently, certain “characters” have come to my attention, and asked to have a certain perspective of their story told. Like any good play, while all the actors, scenes, and dynamics are important to make the show, one has to start their exploration somewhere, and there certainly is an area that begs to be delved into further. In particular, all the facets implicit in the archetype of the “evil queen” (as well as her “snow white” counterpart) are beginning to surface most prominently to me. At this time, it almost seems as though, collectively, we are experiencing a movement I’ve coined “the redemption of the evil queen.” This story structure can even be spotted in our modern culture. The Maleficent movie (with Angelina Jolie) clearly expresses this concept as the “wicked witch,” Maleficent, is portrayed as the heroine. Through the story, the audience learns about the painful circumstances that push Maleficent to a position of “evil,” seeking vengeance against Sleeping Beauty, as well as well the journey that ends with her (in this rendition…) overcoming her own inner struggles and becoming a supportive figure towards her once victim. In the show Once Upon a Time, Regina, the evil queen from Snow White’s story, is similarly found to be jaded by her own life experience, but she also eventually comes around to teaming up with her ex-adversary to further the higher good. This theme is even present in Disney’s Frozen, where the young Elsa's magical power is out of control and unharnessed, causing the masses to demonize her, resulting in her exile until she finds the inner strength, security, and love for her to re-emerge as a heroine. In Glee, the “devilish” Santana, who most fiercely ridicules and degrades those who get in her way (even friends), recently turned over a new leaf and declared she wanted to use her “bitch power for good.” In short, this theme is certainly present…but how does it all breakdown, and what might it all mean?
THE BIRTH OF AN "EVIL QUEEN"
To begin, one has to understand where an “evil queen” comes from in the first place, and that story’s archetype is related to the “suppression (and exploitation) of the Feminine.” It’s widely understood that some of our earliest cultures, and even some indigenous cultures still around today, saw the Feminine as a superior force to that of the Masculine. Sacrifices to the Earth Mother and a line of lineage primarily following the wife's family are both aspects that demonstrate that a matriarchy was originally established rather that a patriarchy, which many would say has seemed to be more in effect in the most recent years. (Honestly, the two extremes are starting to blend and merge in the “new age” as awareness grows and consciousness enlightens, but the remnants and symbols pertaining to a Masculine-oriented rule are still more prominent.) However, for whatever various reasons, a patriarchy did come to replace the old matriarchy. One could perhaps speculate that irrational superstitions were rampantly suppressive or destructive, calling for a more logic-based, and scientific, approach. Perhaps the chaotic rhythms of nature were perceived to be in need of more direct control. For whatever reason, a shift started, and the pendulum began to swing more towards the Masculine, but the Masculine’s state of evolution wasn’t exactly refined either…it was just completely opposite, and seemingly a way to escape the (perceived to be) overgrown, Feminine “tyranny.” However, in its less evolved form, the Masculine went about its “seizure of the throne” (some pun embedded…) by using tactics of great strength and direct, active force to beat back, cut down, and forcefully restrain the Feminine. At first, I’m sure the “vanquishing” was seen as a welcome victory over these chaotic circumstances, but these Masculine forces continued to escalate, and instead of simply curbing the Feminine, they somewhat unjustly seemed to extend their powers to becoming destructively punishing themselves—they weren't particularly concerned with drawing any lines of restraint while aggressively subduing the female energy. Familiar archetypes and images that portray this theme would connect with female assault and rape by men. On a larger scale, we “assault” and “rape” Mother Earth by strip-mining Her for resources, and using Her like a mere thing without any consciousness of her own. This theme extends to the wife’s expected submission to her husband, and women's inability to vote, which is actually something we've only started to step out of rather recently, even in our culture. Women became connected with weakness, unimportance, irrationality, etc., and they've been crawling out from under this suppression ever since as a result.
This change from the matriarchy to the patriarchy can be seen in the myths, fairy tales, and stories that occurred around those times of past. Hera was married off to Zeus for safe keeping, to corral her “craziness.” The female force became the awful dragon or destructive sea serpent which had to be slayed by a valiant knight. The prominent female characters became the wicked witch, the evil queen, or the nasty stepmother…or, on the flip side, the poor, innocent damsel in distress in need of a “knight in shining armor on a white horse” to save her. A female character portraying both strength and a sense of justice is rather conspicuously absent. Nowhere does this concept seem more poignant than within the myth related to Medusa. In fact, her genesis could symbolize the "ugly" effects of Masculine cruelty towards the Feminine, and why it then began to show such a deviant side…
In short, Medusa was originally a temple virgin—the Feminine embodied in a “pure” form. Well, Poseidon/Neptune became overcome by lust and raped her. Lust would certainly translate to a strong Martian (and quite Masculinely "flavored") influence of selfish desire. Its blending with Neptune suggests that this lustful desire may have been spawned through some sort of cloudy illusion of some sort regarding spiritual idealogy…or a strong force confusingly mis-asserting itself in an effort to escape the perceived Feminine tyranny…and it enacted its vengeance on a quite innocent representative of the female persuasion. Well, as if the situation wasn't bad enough at that point, Athena/Pallas/Minerva furthered Medusa’s suffering by cursing her to live out her days in the grotesque form she’s thought of today, complete with snakes for hair and a petrifying stare. Despite being blameless, the “virgin” was ravaged and punished…by another female--Athena! Granted, Athena is a rather manly goddess, representing logic, discernment, strategy, etc. Perhaps this shows how her polarity actually sides more with the Masculine (she was Zeus’ favorite…”daddy’s little girl”), or perhaps it shows Athena’s own internal frustration from feeling so removed from her own sense of Femininity. If she couldn’t be a beautiful, sensual female (instead chained to her more Masculine logic and rigidity), then perhaps her curse shows her taking out such inner frustration on, again, an innocent party. (Ironically, as Athena comes closest to a goddess of justice and fairness with her characteristic discernment and supposed wisdom, there seems to be no justice in her applying such a curse. It’s almost as though since her own Feminine had been so suppressed, it was only able to break out as an emotionally irrational display that totally contradicted some of the highest concepts that she stood for. Her own Feminine “eruption” could definitely be labeled as an “evil queen” occurrence actually…) While the Masculine takeover can be seen before Medusa’s story in the marriage of Hera to Zeus, the creation/birth of Athena, and various evil serpentine creatures emerging, this myth also seems to show how even the suppressed Feminine forces seem entrained to militantly beat down themselves… However it’s seen, Medusa, a mythically symbolic representative of the divine Feminine, was doubly abused without just cause.
So, how would you feel if you were assaulted, restrained, suppressed, beaten down, raped, etc…but not killed? Furthermore, what would be a primary motivation as you move forward? It’s easy to see how revenge, vengeance, and hatred could become one’s primary traits, and that’s exactly how the Feminine responded. Medusa made herself a thorn in the side of any who came around her, turning them to stone. The wicked witches and dark crones of lore utilized their powers in the most pragmatic ways possible as they worked to enact their plot for ultimate revenge/vengeance. The dragons and sea serpents instinctually lashed out to destroy anyone in their realm. Having been condemned, discredited, demonized, assaulted, and constrained, the Feminine power began taking extreme measures in whatever form it did surface. Hence, there was the birth of the “evil queen.”
AN "EVIL QUEEN'S" AGENDA
So, while the reign of the Masculine begins to secure its foothold, the thorn in its side then becomes the “evil queen” who will not stand to see the kingdom that defiled her in a state of harmony and stability. In “eye for an eye” fashion, and in remembrance of the trespasses made against her, the “evil queen” asserts that because of the pain inflicted on her, pain will be inflicted on others. Because her tranquil security was destroyed, so shall the peace and security of others be demolished. While it’s easier to now at least empathize with the “evil queen” due to her mistreatment, it’s also apparent that her path of vengeance and revenge in no way represents purity, kindness, goodness, or any of the traits that we all intrinsically value and seek to embody…so how and why is such “evil” allowed to exist in a just world?
Well, if “karma’s a bitch,” then what’s to say that karma can’t work itself out through an “evil queen?” Due to the scope of atrocity committed against her (as the Feminine), there does come to be a karmic imbalance asserting that rectification is indeed in order. In many ways, the “evil queen’s” vengeance is justified. She’s just “balancing the scales,” right? For a time perhaps… However, in order to be able to get her revenge, she’s clearly not going to be able to do so as a soft, weak, damsel in distress; she’s going to need to tap her power and grow it. As such, we find that the “evil queen” always possesses a rather large and demonstrative range of power. Her traditional magic and methods are quite grandiose in fact. She becomes the ultimate feminist, fighting against the evil Masculine tyranny now. She must rise above her wounds and assert, “No, I am not some mere, weak maiden. I am strong. I am powerful. This is the TRUTH!” In so doing, she walks a path of growing her powers to their absolute limits in order to carry out her vision.
AN "EVIL QUEEN'S" POWER
In order to better understand what exactly the Feminine powers are (and how they’d be expressed by an “evil queen”), one can explore the symbolism embedded in both Qabalah and astrology. In Qabalah, the left pillar (or the left-hand path…still somewhat maligned as evil, and home of the two classically “malefic” planetary energies: Mars and Saturn) on the tree of life is often associated with the Feminine, corresponding to the concepts of FORM, LAW, and TRUTH. In astrology, the Feminine elements/signs are those associated with earth and water. Therefore, it’s in examining these concepts that one can discover what Feminine powers actually are. In astrology particularly, it’s the fixed signs that would most closely pertain to power, security, and a sense of being full of their representative element’s energy. (Briefly, the cardinal signs would connect with action, drive, ambition, and initial energy. Those signs are somewhat like the “common folk” that do a lot of the work—utilizing their respective energy constantly to keep up the momentum of the element’s motions. The mutable signs would correspond with learning, wisdom, adjustment, spreading, and dispersing. Those signs would signify the students and teachers of life, discovering an implementing new ways of expressing their elements energy. The fixed signs, with all their ripeness, point towards the kings, queens, and rulers who have stored up and concentrated the bulk of their element’s power.) Since we’re examining the “evil queen’s” power, we’re speaking of her relationship to earth and water, with a focus on the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, astrologically speaking.
If one major archetype of the Feminine were picked as the place where a dark, hidden, magical power was brooded and spawned, it would be Scorpio. It should be no surprise that Scorpio is probably the most maligned sign of the zodiac. It’s often (rather negatively)associated with revenge, obsessive cravings of power and control, occult fascination, manipulation, emotional intensity, penetrating endurance, investigating the mysteries of life, and a deep-rooted propensity to engage in interpersonal confrontations. Its tie to sexuality also suggests that this is another such area of life associated (through Scorpio) with the Feminine that has been bound up, attacked, and misrepresented, leading to its darker, yet seductive, expressions emerging to attract attention towards what’s been so suppressed. It’s also a crisis-based energy, heavily associated with transformation through destruction and elimination. It rules things like death, sex, occult magick, and intense, intimate emotional dealings with others. It’s easy to see how these traits could paint the portrait of an “evil queen.” In fact, these darker levels of Scorpio all point very clearly to a general dimension of the “evil’s queen’s” motivation and method of working. Scorpio truly represents some much higher aspects that are to be revered and respected, but as a dumping ground for all our “shadow shit” so to speak, Scorpio’s misunderstood nature is a prime candidate for a place from which these darker dimensions of the Feminine power might prominently emerge from a place of being “stuck.”
On the other side (literally) is Taurus. Ruled by Venus, Taurus is typically pretty calm, stable, secure, and peaceful. It enjoys the comforts of life and deals with values, including (yet beyond) money/possessions. Although Taurus energy can be stubborn, it tends to mind its own business as long as its security is intact. However, as its energy would also be degraded in an “evil” expression, Taurus can also exhibit tendencies that an “evil queen” really brings out. In having her own security so uprooted by the assault of the Feminine, it’s easy to imagine how a powerful, Feminine, “evil queen” might be particularly focused on building up her “fortress” so that she never has to go through such an ordeal again. While Scorpio emphasizes her interpersonal desire to ravage the life of all those “others” who did her wrong, Taurus represents her personal desire for physical security…in excess. Venus and Taurus degrade to a point of seeing soaking up the sensual pleasure of life as being the bottom line. Therefore, to re-build her personal sense of value and self-esteem, an “evil queen” is also focused on having all the luxuries of life at her disposal—a castle, jewels, attendants, wine and good food, etc. In fact, her Scorpionic magick/techniques could even be part of what aids her in manifesting these delights. (The act of manifestation would also be a rather Feminine [ and Taurean] trait in itself, since it deals with birthing things into the world of form.) Therefore, having the personal resources, money, and comforts on a physical level would be desirable in order to match her “hidden resources” of occult power, symbolic of the more immaterial and unseen levels of life. In short, Taurus’ “evil queen” energy is akin to extreme decadence.
While the focus when dealing with the “queen” is in these fixed signs, we’re also largely dealing with the Feminine in general, so we shouldn’t ignore the implications inherent in the other earth and water signs of the zodiac. Still, the degradation of these energies should still be applied to their function within an “evil queen” archetype to fully flesh out the picture:
Cancer and the Moon, in a more unhealthy fashion, point to extreme emotional sensitivity and reactiveness. (If you can imagine, after being assaulted and raped, the Feminine’s inner state is probably quite emotionally unstable and reactive…) As such, rather than nurturing, Cancer’s energy pulls in for protection—erecting the barriers and “walls” that will protect the fragile inner self from further desecration. Cancer’s unstable side also lashes out reactively and is not very receptive or nurturing towards others in such a state.
The polarity point is found in Capricorn, where the ambitious drive for structure, building a monument in the world, and approval by society degrade into a cruel, cold, ruthless, and rigid pursuit of attaining authority and power out in the world, creating an enduring testament of one’s own work, and a reaching for fame becomes a settling for a reputation of infamy instead. This point, without a balance of its higher octaves, compels the “evil queen” to become the coldly calculating master of the outer world at large.
In Virgo, the dynamic of serving others can certainly twist into an expectation to be served by others. It could also be seen that Virgo’s drive for perfectionism and efficiency gets channeled into the “evil queen” perfecting her own powers. While Virgo is there to serve, she is “virgin” in that she is unmarried, and therefore solely for herself. The “evil queen” takes this to a new level. Her skills and drive for constant improvement have a very self-referential focus, pointed towards her skills and her efficiency at her work. She is essentially serving only herself, and the lessons that bring Virgo to learn of humility are strikingly absent. This is also an area where the “evil queen” masters her attention to detail and the “fine print” when it comes to working her ways out in the very real, physical world. Her ability to analyze and adjust the specifics to better suit herself is uncanny. In fact, the esoteric side of Virgo enhances the more fine-tuned, practical application of her more occult prowess from Scorpio.
Flipping over to Pisces, we see a total lack of compassion, which is usually a key trait of this sign. Instead, we find an accentuation of the “evil queen” perceiving herself as a martyr, and looking to escape the suffering of her unfortunate past. One can also see that the evil queen has plenty of imagination (a key ingredient for her magick…), although it seems to be very much draped in illusion, as the story she’s negatively fantasized around her keeps her embedded to the role of a victim within. Her ideals regarding how things should really be are also cloudy, veiled by the distortions of a confused perception. Thus, Pisces’ realm does ultimately seem to foretell, due to her degradation and ego engorgement, the suffering and self-undoing that becomes the “evil queen’s” traditional fate.
Switching gears to look through the lens of the Qabalah, the “evil queen’s” power signature can be seen to coincide with an imbalance between the left and right pillar. In fact, her extreme leanings towards the left pillar are what make her individual characteristics so blatantly apparent and outstanding. This side is also often referred to as the “pillar of severity,” and the “evil queen” certainly shows that face quite well and to the extreme.
Starting at the top with Binah (ruled by Saturn), the “evil queen” does indeed seem to have mastered the outer forms in the world. She presents to the world that she is able to acutely understand and calculate the true nature of the world in order to submit it to her obedience—she has “mastered” it (the world of form), for it is Her. She is also able to use her own brand of force to bind, contain, and constrain others. Her oppressive nature also engenders a great deal of fear in its consideration. All of these traits are reminiscent of Saturn's power through Binah. She is keenly aware and understanding of the truth behind the structures and timing that determine the ways in which energy collapses into form, and this power is used to further her vengeance.
With Geburah (ruled by Mars), we may immediately notice the Feminine destructive force in action. (Mars is also the more classical [and personal] ruler of Scorpio, again re-emphasizing a connection to destruction.) Her ability to break through walls and destroy through the force of her will seems unparalleled. This point also gives her a strong ability of analytical discernment on a higher, more spiritually based, level. With such, she is able to sever those things that are "out of order" with her work, yet (like the personal side of Mars) her use of this largely impersonal power is often subjected to her mostly selfish, and ego-based, desires, passions, and drives. With this energy, she also shows no lack of initiative when it comes to putting action to work in her affairs.
Finally, in Hod (ruled by Mercury), we can be sure that an “evil queen” has quite a reservoir of cunning and intelligence. Symbolic of the local mind, this area showcases the ability to reason, work with symbols, and use language, tools, and techniques effectively. It’s the realm of facts, so a vast knowledge base is at her disposal…but such knowledge is without the bounds of ethics, morals, and love, which are all found on the complementary pillar.
To integrate this, all three of these arenas focus on the world of form, law, and truth. The “evil queen” is quite capable of mastering this world, fully understanding the essential truth of cosmic laws that allow her to control the outer world of form. These concepts and understanding are also inherent in her mastery of Self elevation. In a rather one-sided way, the “evil queen” does understand her inherent divinity--far removed is she from the idea of being a poor, helpless female. To the contrary, she has taken the concept of her divinity to stretch the idea that “you are a god” to the extreme. Her mastery of the world does seem to imbue her with many magical, and godlike, powers. However, this hubris that “blows up” her ego to inordinate proportions is also responsible for the fundamental elements of her downfall…
WHY IS HER POWER "ALLOWED"?
As we now can see what the nature of the Feminine powers are, and how they are apt to express when degraded to an “evil” extreme, we must return to the question of why and how such gross displays of power run amok are allowed to continue. While it could be true that there’s a certain level of “karmic retribution” necessary that allows the Feminine’s “dark underbelly” to lash out and sting back at its antagonistic nemesis, it’s also pretty clear that She seems to take this role and ability to the extreme, becoming an oppressive force herself. Well, to offset this unsettling reality, the “evil queen” must make insidious use of her cunning, power, occult knowledge, and worldly mastery in order to “bend” the “laws” to her will….It can be done, and it would most appropriately be called “black magick.” Black magick is, loosely defined, the act of using magical, metaphysical, and occult power in ways that solely serve to gratify the ego of oneself, quite often at the expense of others to whom it may do harm. (As even Aliester Crowley, a rather self-admitted “dark sorcerer” proclaimed, “Do as Thou Will shall be the whole of the Law,” he also noted that “Love is the Law, Love under Will.” While there can be “painful” forms of “tough” love that life includes and induces, “do no harm” is another metaphysical concept that helps to keep one “straight and narrow,” although it’s often probably not followed by black magicians too well, especially when Law and Love become convoluted to enact ego-based desires.)
So it is that the “evil queen” is able to, through her supreme occult understanding, engender horrors that inflict pain and suffering on those she deems in need of punishment. In these situations, the higher truth of Love seems absent or veiled, but it is still in effect. Through the knowledge of Truth regarding her divine nature, the “evil queen” may indeed be able to heal all physical wounds, in touch with the immortal nature of her divinity. She may be able to change her shape through her abilities related to glamour, illusion, and the ultimate malleability of the world of form. Through this line, she can also manifest most any physical item through these principles at work along the Feminine “vine” of power. Basically, all manner of magick becomes “real” and under her control through the mastery she has attained. Still, where are the consequences when she does do harm, and how does she continue to perpetrate such harm on others? Well, from a broader perspective, in consideration of the right timing, techniques, and manipulation, one conclusion is her ability to transfer karma’s backlash to other recipients. (One might recall the “evil queen” from the recent Snow White and the Huntsman using the youth of young maidens to keep her own youthful exuberance intact, transferring the karmic nature of her aged characteristics into them.) Through the Feminine connection with karma, mastery of such understanding places her in a unique position to delegate and manipulate karma (the chain of cause and effect) across what would be rather set boundaries for others. In this way, she is able to “sidestep” many “negative” features and consequences of her many magickal actions…for a time and to an extent…
However, while the range of her magickal calculations and understanding may allow her to escape and avoid personally experiencing the direct consequences of the harm she inflicts, evading such karma in her present dealings, there is (thankfully) a “higher Law” and form of karma that does truly supersede any individual’s skill and mastery at utilizing “spiritual loopholes” in order to further a severely perverse and “evil” path. (These higher Truths are, to a point, considered and navigated by the “evil queen” in the attempt to offset ramifications that are understood, but the more engorged and bloated the ego becomes, the less one is able to clearly comprehend the unifying factors involved on these still higher levels.) As such, when the black magick of an “evil queen” succeeds in causing harm to others, the Universe responds in form to “swallow up” that grievance and allow the pain and suffering to provide a catalyst for some sort of learning, growth, or higher good/love. The “positive” flip side to that magick’s effect may be realized consciously at a later point by the party afflicted, or it may continue to sting as an “injury” to the conscious individual while the higher “good” operates upon their karma or life from a transpersonal perspective.
Regardless, the scales are balanced. The reason behind this dynamic can be understood in that the entire world of form is, ultimately, an illusion. All forms are born/manifest, exist, reach some peak, decay, and are gone. For the “evil queen’s” magick to produce a glamour or illusion in the sense that the manifestation is not tangible (manipulating others by projecting some imaginary monster to create fear, enticing one with a vision of gold to promote greed, or sequestering desperation by casting the image of a loved one in peril…and so on), it’s immediately evident that her power is such that it can sway the emotions of others without actually “touching” them. (A great deal of her power is quite potent from this level alone.) To push the envelope further by generating a physical phenomenon (burning someone to death with fire, manifesting an actual dagger to stab someone, etc.), the “evil queen” is asserting a metaphysical understanding of all forms (including those which are physically tangible) to be illusionary, which such high magick demonstrates as it either brings a physical form (“crystalized illusion”) into being, or removes one from the world (“erasing” an object/person). Still, as previously mentioned, such strong tangible changes made to our dimension of existence come with consequences. A chain reaction, or ripple effect, must assimilate that situation into a broader, yet still inclusive and loving, perspective. (It’s akin to the concept of Geburah’s Martian “destruction” being harmonized through Chesed/Jupiter’s principle of “grace.”) Depending on the degree of experience and mastery the “evil queen” has achieved, she may be able to skillyfully calculate, plan, and adjust accordingly to magicakally ameliorate these “ripples” to be unproblematic for her. Sometimes, the pain and suffering she causes is underhandedly used to provide lessons to those she affects regarding the ultimate impermanence and illusionary nature of life and its various attachments.
However, it seems to be the case that the “evil queen” is eventually thwarted by some blind spot in herself, mixed with a grandiose ego inflation from the extent of her power’s range and extent. This may lead to her being “sloppy” about calculating the necessary rectifications for her actions (which still could carry post-mortem transpersonal consequences beyond her knowledge or understanding of course…), or it may just lead to an excess in her indiscriminate use of magick (which does harm), eventually becoming a large “burden” on Life and the Universe, reaching thresholds that make the possibilities and potential for her actions to be assimilated towards higher or broader loving results extremely limited, if not nonexistent. As such, a turning point is reached, and Life/God/Universal Mind must usher forward a force that will change the trajectory of what the “evil queen” is doing. This is essentially what calls forth the activation of “snow white” and “prince charming."
ENTER "SNOW WHITE" AND "PRINCE CHARMING" (MERGED AS "THE WHITE KNIGHT")
While the contrast between an “evil queen” and a “snow white” archetype is easily received and intuitively understood by those who would consider their different characteristics, we need to outline some essential basics about what this “snow white” archetype truly is. Words like love, innocence, purity, etc. could all be used to accurately allude to it. This archetype is prevalent in the story of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, (Disney’s) The Little Mermaid, and course, Snow White. However, with the exception of the more modern Snow White and the Huntsman, the “snow white” character isn’t exactly the one to vanquish the “evil queen.” It’s actually a “prince charming” that does this. (“Snow white’s” purity and innocence is a passive [Feminine] component that brings about the “evil queen’s” downfall; the “prince charming” is really the active [Masculine] force of that purity that helps bring about the transformation of circumstances through his devotion and service towards the “snow white.”)
Considering other general fairy tale archetypes, it’s usually a knight that’s “pure of heart” who is able to find his way through some maze of problematic situations in order to inevitably “slay the dragon.” A strong, just man seems to be the force that kills the sea serpent or puts an end to some evil’s reign of terror, thereby freeing the “snow white” damsel in distress. As such, the Feminine component of this pairing represents the more ideal (“fairest”) qualities of the Feminine, usually portrayed in a weakened, yet innocent state—the poor, helpless damsel. Also, quite often this “innocent Feminine” character is a princess, or in some way next in line to rule over a kingdom that’s currently adversely affected by the “evil queen.” She represents the true and rightful Feminine ruler, whose power has been usurped and its expression perverted. This “snow white” is also vehemently abhorred by the “evil queen” in that she symbolizes the pure ideals of the Feminine principle that she, herself, has deviated and exploited, further indicating her inner frustration with herself and an inner fear that she could be overthrown, since she is not the rightful sovereign ruler and is misusing power… In another way, the “evil queen’s” distaste for “snow white” can be explained as her repulsion towards the concept of “weakness,” which “snow white” also seems to embody through her more passive fragility. As such, the “evil queen” is in no way willing to consider her own possible weaknesses, wishing instead to eradicate all symbols of such.
The Masculine component of this, in order to “save” this pure Feminine embodiment from destruction by the “evil” Feminine, stands for the ideal Masculine characteristics, which can be understood by examining the elemental expressions of air and fire, as well as the right pillar of Qabalah’s tree of life. Since the force that rectifies the evil queen’s (Feminine) “errors” is essentially Masculine, I’d prefer to merge the archetypal concepts of “snow white” and “prince charming” together to be referenced as the “white knight.” It should be understood though, that while it is the ideal Masculine’s exaltation that this label describes, the actual character that fulfills this role could be a female herself (adding a sense of female empowerment to the mix as she would be “saving herself.”) This “female savior” is clearly the approach that Snow White and the Huntsman creatively employs. In any regard, the “white knight” (male or female) is “summoned” to in some way confront the “evil queen” and rescue the weakened ideal Feminine.
THE "WHITE KNIGHT'S" POWER
Understanding how the “white knight” may be brought forward, and understanding the general traits that they must represent, it’s necessary now to explore the more specific qualities they must embody to effectively deal with the “evil queen.” Since the “evil queen’s” core is the Feminine axis of power and security (found in watery Scorpio and earthy Taurus), the Masculine’s core sense of power would relate to the fire and air fixed signs of Leo and Aquarius.
Since “purity of heart” is a primary qualification of a good hero, it seems appropriate to start with the archetype that rules the heart, Leo. Besides signifying a pure, generous, and loving heart (at it’s ideal level), Leo also symbolizes kings and children. Therefore, the “white knight” would indeed have the innocence of a child and have an air of regality and leadership about them. (They are, after all, usually in line for, or in connection to, the rulership of the kingdom.) The idea of them standing out among others is also implied—destined for recognition through a sense of “big presence” about them. At this ideal level, they’d also be well-received and liked by others who applaud who they are. The best form of this lion energy also makes them very courageous about fighting for their love and themselves, while they may be easily wounded through their heart as well. All of these traits help the “white knight” to “shine” (the sun rules Leo) as an energetic force of love and purity.
On the opposite side, Aquarius’ ideal form of energy demonstrates the “white knight’s” collective vision to elevate the community of their kingdom’s people. While Aquarius’ highest expression would indicate that the “white knight” has good relations and standing with their friends and groups of affiliation, and have something rather unique or unconventional about them, it’s the revolutionary, breakthrough energy of this archetype (focused heavily on themes of freedom and liberation) that seems especially needed to deal with the oppression of an “evil queen.” In line with the nature of Uranus (Aquarius’ transpersonal ruler), the “white knight” would be someone that symbolizes a sudden (and ultimately favorable) disruption/reversal of the rigid confinement of the “evil queen’s” perverse authority. It’s also interesting to note how the mythic story of the “knight’s quest for the holy grail” fits in with the Aquarian archetype. In short, only a knight with a “pure heart” is able to find the hidden castle through a magical mist. His aim and desire for using the grail must be pure and unselfish as well, and this use is usually tied to some sort of healing of the land and/or its people. The Aquarian symbol of the “water bearer” is indeed connected with the idea of pouring forth selfless humanitarian waters of service/love/healing/aid over the collective. Thus, Aquarian energy subjugates the desires/praise of the individual in favor of the needs of the group. This is exactly the kind of stance that the “white knight” embodies with this energy signature.
While it’s these two signs as the ideal, Masculine “axis of power” that hold the greatest importance, it’s worthwhile to examine the other fire and air signs’ ideal expression as the “white knight” may demonstrate them:
Through Aries, the “white knight” would be courageous, action-oriented, rearing to fight for his cause, and full of stamina. The archetypal mission of overthrowing an evil oppressor (usually symbolized with more Masculine definition traditionally though) is also present with Aries. This bravery is also catalyzed by a self-referential understanding of their own spiritual identity connected with personal power and innocence and a willingness to stand strong in the face of adversity because they do know their divine identity at a core level.
In Gemini, we find that the “white knight” possesses a swiftness of mind (and body) and an ability to adjust quickly to situations. They would learn quickly from their experiences, making change in their strategies as needed, and their thinking and communicating ability would be acute. The twin symbolism of this sign could also suggest that they’re able to see both sides of any given predicament, and could even intellectually empathize (aided by their warm and generous Leo heart) with the position of their adversary through a more mental understanding of the pain and suffering that has jaded them so much. As such, they may attempt to offer intellectual solutions or changes of perspective geared towards helping to change the “evil queen’s” mind, but as the story seems to go, no change is made…
With Libra we’d add in the obvious qualities of being “fair” (in appearance and in their ethics) and graceful, as well as being generally harmonious. The “white knight” would be quite chivalrous through the higher expressions of Libran energy, and also quite romantic in regards to their notion of love. While the Libran influence doesn’t particularly add much gusto to their fighting inclination, an urge to balance the scales from injustice could provoke a more assertive dimension of this archetype.
Finally, Sagittarius imbues the “white knight” with an open-mind, a nomadic sense of exploration (how often is the “white knight” just traveling through the woods on his own when he runs across “snow white”?...), high-minded spiritual/moral ideas, a sense of being lucky, and the ability to (if needed) positively motivate a community with enthusiasm regarding a grand, new vision for how things can and should be without an oppressive tyranny. Sagittarius is also, in addition to Aquarius, another archetype concerned with freedom and idealism, which the “evil queen” definitely seems opposed to allowing.
All of these energies’ ideal expressions can easily be seen as “white knight” traits, but there are still dimensions to this makeup that come by considering the right hand path of Qabalah. While the “evil queen” has been shown to demonstrate a strong leaning towards the left, it’s subsequently necessary for the “white knight” to embody a surplus of qualities found from the right pillar, often called the “pillar of mercy.” This pillar is also, in contrast with the left side, associated with FORCE (or ENERGY), [the] WORD, and LOVE.
Starting at the top with Chokmah, the “white knight” is the embodiment of God’s outpouring burst of infinite energy—pure force. It’s essentially God’s endless love shooting forth limitlessly. While Chokmah traditionally carries no planetary signification, modern approaches are beginning to assign Uranus to it, which I feel is a very accurate placement. The “white knight’s” propensity to find their way out of predicaments all of a sudden, or to suddenly reverse what seems to be a rather unfortunate situation for them, is partially due to a Chokmah/Uranian influence. These qualities and archetypes begin to overlap with many that are associated with Aquarius, which, again, is also ruled by Uranus. (This influence would also be responsible for any sudden insights or ideas for action that come to mind unpredictably.) In short, Chokmah’s influence of unlimited divine energy arouses the “white knight” to be able and break through the many obstacles and hindrances they face.
Below, at Chesed (with Jupiter assigned to it), we get a sense of the “white knight’s” devotional inclination towards a spiritual ideal of love, mercy, and compassion, as well as another indication for their “good luck.” It’s often the case that the “white knight” experiences several “lucky breaks” or near misses when it comes to their quest. Something appears for them that later becomes of great use or they happen to make the right/best decision regarding a choice they don’t really understand the nature of. In these ways, they are able to spontaneously synthesize a better totality from the various situations they encounter. Sometimes an attack from the “evil queen” might be narrowly evaded or be made miraculously impotent. All of these would be positive Jupiterian influences in favor of the “white knight.” The dynamic behind this “luck” would actually be that God/Life/Universal Mind are conspiring with the “white knight.” (Remember, Life is seeking a remedy for the overgrown “evil.”) This is related to the “grace of God” which is classically reserved for the meek, humble, pure, innocent, just, etc. The nature of the “white knight’s” purity is what puts them in resonant frequency with this divine aid of transpersonal love, and their success is due in large part to this energy.
At the final spot, Netzach, we reach the level of personal love, which Venus (its symbolic planet) is famous for. The Libran traits of seeking harmony and peaceful relations with others in general could also be made here. In that Venus’ mode of action is magnetic, the “white knight” may also characteristically seem to attract the assistance of others at key or pivotal points in their journey. Overall, this influence brings them into a positive position with regard to the realm of feelings. Their personal love nature is quite strong, as they show good-will towards all met along their path. Often this is demonstrated as they may temporarily suspend their primary quest in order to help or be of assistance to someone met along the way. Usually, their kindness is repaid at a later point in some way that does serve to further their main quest. Love, and all pleasant emotions, tends to radiate from their core, and it’s often this inner constitution that will also attract the help or involvement of even wild animals. (The purity of a “white knight’s” love draws small birds and squirrels to them, allows them to get close enough to touch/mount a wild horse [or unicorn], and may also aid them in the taming/calming of some usually ferocious or aggressive beast.) In short, Netzach’s energy in the “white knight” is demonstrative of their personal love nature.
From these three points, it’s easy to make the connection with the right pillar and love. (As a sidenote, it's truly “love” as a verb, while the left pillar also stands for “love,” but as a noun…) Its concept of force/energy relates to the fact that it is their vibrant nature and drive to actively open a situation to change that propels the “white knight.” The concept of “the word” is representative of such energy that sets action and change in motion. Something is spoken and then it is done. The magic of words is a metaphysical idea also, as is the more simple understanding that speech is what asserts something to be done, or directs a perception around doing something. To see it clearer, it can also be pointed out that it is the word, or force, or energy which (through due process) collapses into form in a way that obeys natural (including divine) law; both form and law being concepts of the left pillar. However, to rectify the imbalance, a “white knight” seems mostly aligned with the forces correlating with the right.
THE "WHITE KNIGHT" DEFEATS THE "EVIL QUEEN"
So, it should be much clearer what sort of energetic configuration and dynamic the “white knight” is working with as they set out to overthrow the “evil queen’s” tyranny. Keeping all that in mind, let’s look at some typical situations involved with the undoing of the “evil queen.” To start off, the “white knight” may actually try to reason with her initially (using all the logic of his “airy” nature). Remember, God/Life/Universal Mind is backing a “white knight” for the purpose of ending the harm being done. Since the power of love is a major feature, it’s understandable that an attempt to show the “evil queen” love, compassion, and empathy with her situation might be made alongside a request that she end her “wicked ways.” Of course, these “talk tactics” don’t seem to really make a dent in her cold and hardened heart… (It’s almost like the cops giving a warning and/or asking for the assailant to “come out with your hands up” before they have to bust in with guns blazing when their “offer” is declined.) At that point, while a “white knight” may be filled with courage and valor, direct assault on the “evil queen” seems useless. Her occult knowledge is more than capable of deflecting the usual attacks, protecting herself, and dispelling or making impotent those weapons and overt tactics used against her. Quite often, the “white knight” will usually leave the first round damaged themselves, if not somehow confined or exiled off to some far-away place from which to attempt a return to try again. (These results could both be seen too – perhaps “snow white” and “prince charming” are separated as the “evil queen” imprisons or harms “snow white” and somehow banishes “prince charming.”) Usually, the “evil queen” seems sufficiently smug with her ability to evade any real problem, and may continue on without feeling concerned of any threat. At that time, although they may seem to have to begin again from square one, the “white knight” will attract additional support, come across lucky breaks, and experience sudden reversals of their misfortune. They may come across important information or artifacts, rally an army of help, or discover some blessing about what seemed to be their abject circumstances. If the “evil queen” does find the persistence of the “white knight” to be bothersome, she may attempt to thwart them further, but these attempts will be offset by these same qualities of luck, love, and good will. As the “evil queen” begins to consider that the “white knight” may indeed be more formidable than first thought, she may reach a point of hysteria and desperation with regard to her drive to obliterate the perceived nuisance. However, the more her desperation grows, so does her inattention to detail, and her tactics may often get sloppier and less finely calculated. She begins to seek out any use of power that could eliminate the problem, and this often only further exacerbates her dilemma if she reaches for even darker, less understood, magick to come to her aid. In the end, we all know who wins and who loses…
So what form does the “evil queen’s” defeat come in? Well, sometimes the “white knight” discovers a secret weakness she has and exploits that area leading to her demise. (Perhaps she has some sort of protection that is removed or she’s linked with some source of her power that’s destroyed. Perhaps she has a specific vulnerability to something that is found out prior to their showdown. In this case, the “evil queen” is vanquished, often with some sudden Uranian blow. (I’d wager that quite often she’s slayed, although some versions may have her simply made forever impotent and exiled.) Another approach is sometimes that the “white knight” will come to understand the nature of the “evil queen’s” power as being based in fear and illusion. The more they understand that, the more their approach is one of cultivating fearlessness, so as not to be susceptible to her techniques of terror. In understanding the illusionary truth of her magick, fortifying their courage, the “white knight” may find that even her more tangible manifestations of power are received more as simple “smoke and mirrors,” having less overall effect. While this increasingly intensifies the frustration of the “evil queen,” the “white knight” seems to portray more and more calmness and tranquility. As seen in the made for TV movie Merlin, a climax point might then culminate when the “white knight” openly declares that all the power of the “evil queen” is false and decides to simply walk away from her. With a larger consensus also believing this, and possibly seeing how invulnerable the “white knight” seems to have become, her power begins to decline even further. In such a case, her ending isn’t necessarily abrupt (via Uranus), but perhaps rather gentle and diffusive (like Venus and Jupiter). The evil queen may then melt, dissolve, fade away, or implode in some fashion (if a dramatic flair is desired to be present). In the sequel to The Neverending Story, the “evil queen” is “forced” to embody the power of love (symbolic of a sudden, reversing change of heart) through a magic wish, and since she’s cultivated herself to be so unpleasant, that power of love causes her to become too unstable to exist as she is, obliterating her form, which is just a passing illusion in the world really, as she is rather ironically aware (without her distorted ego). In any case, the “evil queen” is then no more. Sadly, whatever the case may be, the poor “evil queen” (who we know and understood was originally the victim of some abuse or atrocity) is simply destroyed instead of rehabilitated. Sure, the “white knight” gave out his warning and offered a “last chance redemption,” but as poisoned as she’d become, more than that would be necessary to remedy the situation another way, and no other remedy is traditionally seen. An even more curious point to consider is that while “snow white” and “prince charming” are re-united for a “happily ever after” moment, returning to their rightful place ruling over the kingdom, fairy tales and myths don’t typically seem to tell us much about the continuing reign of the “white knight” afterwards…
"HAPPILY EVER EVER"? THE KINGDOM WITHOUT ANY STRONG "QUEEN"
Although it’s easy to side with the “white knight” in the story, seeing their traits as being “good” or “better,” they are, ultimately, just a swing of the pendulum in a different direction. When one begins to consider a rule under the characteristics of the “white knight,” it’s possible to see another imbalance on the rise. With the success of the “white knight,” the weak, fair maiden is again safe under the protection of the valiant Masculine hero, which is often (in a patriarchy) placed in the position to rule. (The fair maiden seems pretty much degraded to a figurehead status…) While the Masculine ideals are all quite noble, an overextended engorgement in that direction spells disaster in that it indicates the potential for the creation of an “evil king,” which I will briefly touch on shortly. Beforehand though, the binary symbolism from Qabalah’s tree of life can help elaborate on the fundamental issue that initially surfaces.
Since the power of the “evil queen” was derived from the left pillar, and she is no more, the power at play is now an oversaturation of those qualities found from the right side. Granted, the ripeness of those right hand qualities were necessary to confront and engage such a strong left-handed approach (symbolized through the “evil queen”), but without any resistance from the force of the left to rub against, the right hand qualities are just as ill-equipped for complete sovereign ruling, only for different reasons.
First off, the unlimited energy of Chokmah and Uranus are highly unstable. There are no limits or boundaries, or anything about them, that suggests a reigning in or temperance. Those energies are constantly in motion, often erratic, and highly uncontrollable. All of those qualities in a leader forecast a lack of discipline and inability to create a structure to support the people.
Chesed and Jupiter’s reliance on grace and luck can also make such a ruler over-confident in disproportion to their true abilities, and it can lead to an over-indulgence in an approach of just waiting for things to happen, or trusting that “God will take care of it” for all problems. There becomes a lack of personal responsibility and initiative, ironically blended with an inflated sense of one’s importance because of their various “divine lucky breaks.”
Down in Netzach with Venus, an overly loving and merciful ruler might let things get out of hand with its people because of a lack of discrimination in matters, mingled with a desire to always be seen as loving and kind. There would be a strong reluctance to doll out any harsh punishments. This can also give (in addition to Jupiter’s overconfidence) a Venusian sense of inflated self-love. Their personal values may become more decadent (not unlike the negative end of the Taurean spectrum that the “evil queen” experienced), causing them to desire, and believe they deserve, more and more comfort and fine things in return for how loving they believe themselves to be.
Through those three descending channels, it’s possible to see how even the “white knight” may degrade, then also being utterly unfit to rule and direct their people. The “antidote” lies in the middle path on the tree of life, often referred to as the pillar of moderation or consciousness. However, before exploring this wonderful solution, let’s take a look at how that overly focused “pillar of mercy” energy can act when the once ideal Masculine force becomes the new source of unbalanced oppression as an “evil king.”
AN "EVIL KING" EMERGES
Starting in the axis of Masculine power with Leo, what once expressed a generous, childlike heart can become a childish sense of self-importance and exaggerated ego. The “applause” from the kingdom’s people can give the “evil king” the sense that they’re special and beyond the rules of more common people. They may tend to expect to be wined and dined with all the pleasures of life, taking needless risk and chances from their craving for more, and find themselves unwilling or unable to manage affairs that don’t pertain to their sense of fun and importance.
In Aquarius, their altruistic concern for the collective and what’s best for the group may become rather fixed and attached to their idea of what’s best being carried out, regardless of whether or not there’s a better approach. (While Uranus rules Aquarius, Saturn was the traditional ruler, and it’s still considered to be a co-ruler. The more “negative” expression of Aquarian energy can be seen to reflect this stubbornness and fixedness with regards to their opinions and intellectual conclusions.) The Uranian influence can also make the king’s actions and decisions seem more erratic and disruptive than progressive and innovative. Whatever it was about them that seemed to be a positive expression of uniqueness may also be seen to be degraded into perverse abnormalities. The “evil king” may have certain unusual fetishes that he insists be accommodated, and these strange and eccentric desires could run contrary to the good of his people.
With Aries, the “evil king” is much more prone to indulge in their increasing selfishness. They may begin to act rather impulsively, arrogantly, aggressively, and more openly antagonistically. The influence in this sign from Mars also accentuates a potential bloodlust and willingness to engage in combat and battle in order to achieve their selfish goals. (More likely, the “evil king” will dispatch troops to fight his war for him with no regard for any loss of life as long as his own is safe and his goal is achieved.)
From Libra, the “evil king’s” qualities of insincerity are more obvious. While the Arian influence definitely increases a self-orientation, the paradoxical influence of Libra may seem to have a focus on others, but it’s really just an approach of “saving face” and self-effacement. All displays that seem indicative that he is concerned for others would most likely trace to his own selfish attempt to ameliorate any potential confrontation with his people by pacifying them in some nominal manner. What once was an approach of fairness will eventually be seen more and more as being out of balance and untterly unfair. He may also neglect making decisions or taking action that’s sequestered by his people, putting their important matters off and refusing to deal with them reasonably. For what’s usually a rather kind and gentle sign, the perversion of an “evil king” still manages to bring out the worse from this archetype.
With Sagittarius, an “evil king’s” traits of over-indulgence and carelessness come out further into the open. With regards to philosophy, spirituality, and religion, their stance may become rather dogmatic, and they may force their perspective upon their people, mandating a certain religious path be adhered. They may also be seen as being quite hypocritical in consideration of the beliefs they push, appearing instead to be extremely unethical and immoral. Their grand visions and aims for their kingdom may also never seem to come to pass, as their focus and attention is more scattered and possibly unrealistic.
Gemini’s negative traits expressed by an “evil king” could manifest in a very superficial demeanor. While he may believe himself to be very learned and intelligent, the more likely truth is that he has skimmed over a many topics that he now considers himself to an expert on. The inability to make decisions (as symbolized through Libra) could be seen here in Gemini also as opinions fluctuate from one possibility to another unceasingly. They’ll likely be a source of agitation for their people and those that they work with because they’re constantly changing their minds while expecting that each decree they make be adhered to, while as soon as it is, it may be switched to something else. Like the negative end of Aquarius’s Uranian influence, these Gemini tendencies don’t suggest a stability that’s needed for the structure of a kingdom and society to adequately grow and thrive.
It should be obvious that the reign of an “evil king” is in no way superior to that of an “evil queen.” Since the archetypes shift surrounding a more Masculine “evil,” instead of a “snow white” damsel that represents a weakened ideal Feminine, it is the “prince charming” archetype that now embodies the guise of a weakened ideal Masculine, detestable to the “evil king.” This “prince charming” will symbolize all the pure Masculine traits that have been perverted, so their sense of innocence, generousity, kindness, courage, altruism, and rapport with the people will all be trademarks. However, just as the damsel exhibits the undeveloped ideal qualities, so is the “prince charming” more or less undeveloped (and weaker) in comparison to the Masculine strength of the “evil king.” Also, while the “evil queen” may have seemed more ruthless in her attempt to destroy or confine her “snow white” damsel counterpart, the “evil king” will seek to diminish the “prince charming” lad differently. (It can also be noted that an “evil queen’s” authority seems to come from outside the kingdom-- a hidden form of rule that is not acknowledged by the people despite their subjection to it. To the contrary, an “evil king” is often found to be “legitimately” placed on the throne of a kingdom, destroying it from the inside through neglect and ego-based selfishness. It’s for the aim of at least appearing “good” in the public eye that an “evil king” cannot as directly do away with a “do-gooder” “prince charming.”) In fact, the “evil king” may offer his “prince charming” some sort of esteemed position in his court. (It may also be that the innocent, and somewhat naive, “prince charming” is somehow next in line to the throne once the king is gone, exacerbating his fear and hatred of him.) As such, any friendliness the “evil king” expresses is merely an insincere gesture to draw his “enemy” closer to him. The king may attempt to have the “prince charming” killed by someone else (so as not to dirty his own hands). He might even give him the honored position of leading his troops into a battle in hopes that he’ll be killed in the wake. He could use some tenet of his dogmatic religious beliefs to justify the “prince charming’s” exile or punishment possibly also. Whatever the case, the “evil king” uses the power and resources at his disposal to eliminate “prince charming” from behind the scenes of his kingdom’s public notice and awareness of his motives.
It’s interesting here to note that while the “evil queen’s” power seems to be coming more from a hidden source, off to the side, her method of engagement is blunt and direct. Contrastingly, while the “evil king’s” power source is directly connected to his kingdom and people, and is readily acknowledged, the execution of his most dastardly deeds is rather hidden and arranged in private. It seems as though the point where the one power begins to work in the modality of the other (recognized as a shift from a right pillar to a left pillar approach or vice versa, or a Feminine [earth and water] approach to a Masculine [fire and air] approach or vice versa), signifies an ego engorgement; instead of achieving a true balance or harmony, the extreme approaches of the other polarity just gets activated in excess.
In any event, the “evil king’s” agenda to get rid of “prince charming” is consistent.
A "SNOW WHITE" SAVIOR
The “savior” for this flipped scenario then turns out to be a Feminine “snow white”-- a pure and powerful expression of the ideal Feminine to the rescue. This “snow white” could take the form of the king’s daughter or some other female of high status within the kingdom that is aware of the king’s degrading nature and is seeking someone to overthrow him. It could also come as a rather magical and dreamy woman that empowers “prince charming” and urges him to fulfill some destiny of saving the kingdom from its tyrannical ruler. The first step for this “snow white” (in whatever guise she takes) is to “turn on the lights” for “prince charming” and expose the lies and dark underbelly of the king’s rule. (Remember, the “evil king” presents an elaborate façade to “prince charming” so that he will believe the kingdom to be in a pleasant state.) Once “snow white” dispels this illusion, waking up the “sleeping beauty”-like “prince charming,” the ideal Masculine traits become more actively directed towards freeing the kingdom. (It should also be remembered that, regardless of the configuration being an “evil king” or “evil queen,” the “snow white” and “prince charming” archetypes are working together as the “white knight,” although the “snow white” of an “evil king” story may have a more active role when represented by a duo.) “Snow white” may also employ magical potions or spells of sleep, protection, power, etc. in order to aid “prince charming.” Like many powerful women, and a related correlation to the concept of the Scorpio power point, “snow white” could be considered the "hidden power.” (It’s often the ruling Feminine qualities that are responsible for maintaining and attracting the resources at the kingdom’s disposal, which are then more often utilized by the Masculine.) In this archetypal tale though, while “snow white” may continue to support “prince charming,” putting her investment into him being the savior, it often seems that he’s too undeveloped to successfully complete the task. In fact, his innocence and gullibility often keeps him entangled in roundabout obstacles that make him impotent for the task. (“Prince charming” in these tales may seem to be easily captured or beguiled, much to “snow white’s” dismay.)
To make matters worse, the “evil king” may discover that the “snow white” has been aiding “prince charming,” resulting in him switching his attentions to ending “snow white’s” meddling instead. At such a point, when the Feminine working from “behind the veil” is exposed as having been “nurturing” the “prince charming,” it becomes necessary to act fast, for it seems to become a race in time between who will make the best "final move." The two parties may continue to remain publicly cordial to the extent they are still “visible” to the kingdom. Bringing out any of the scandal to the public would be quite unfavorable in the eyes of the “evil king,” and without any proof, “snow white” wouldn’t have much to support her observations for the people.
THE KING/SUN AND THE QUEEN/MOON
A short excavation of the kingly symbolism will help flesh out the methods of operation at hand. While the king holds the “ordained” power of his kingdom, and can do as he pleases, pubic scandal is to be avoided as a potential that might incite the masses to riot. As long as he keeps up a certain degree of appearance, and at least minimally pacifies the masses’ request, the “evil king” is more or less able to maintain his decadent reign. Should his scandalous dealings become known by unwelcome parties, it would certainly be his prerogative to exercise his power by having them “dealt with” behind the scenes, in order to keep issues quiet if they seemed to be erupting. Ruled by the Sun, in general, a king’s archetypal modus operandi revolves around what’s “conscious” out in the “light of day.” Therefore, the more overt side of power becomes openly political, where the issues dealt with include how far ego-based abuses within an accepted structure are allowed to reach.
The queen archetypes, as we’ve explored, deal more with the subconscious and emotional aspects of power. This will correlate more with the moon, and these powers are often more hidden (or seem so), but are equal to their complement. This “hidden” factor also correlates to magical power, so even when there’s a wizard or male sorcerer, it’s the Feminine (particularly focusing around water) that’s prominent. It’s interesting to note that a king’s power is often “allowed” to reign because of the mutual agreement and empowerment of the queen and the masses—both moon symbols. (Again, one can see a queen/woman (or the “common people” in another vantage point) as the “power behind” the king/man.) In truth, these two powers work in symphony (whether it be harmonious or discordant…) to generate the overall power of a “kingdom.” The power connection can be thought of in that the power within (Feminine/moon) is what allows one to project the power outside (Masculine/sun). In the same way, the power displayed on the outside should accurately reflect the power one holds within. However, if the “outer image” (or ego) were struggling to try and project an inaccurate image, the power within would become very distorted, confused, and “stirred.” The more the incongruent separation grows, the more the tension mounts. If something is finally able to crack through the image to expose the hypocrisy, the inner contents erupt forth with a force and volatility that may tear the image (and ego…or person) apart. Consider that while the Sun rules the kings, the Moon rules the masses, which are emotionally swayed. Seeing their king exposed as an outright fraudulent evil, the people might tear him apart in a mob of lunacy. And so, that becomes the hope and aim of the “snow white.”
DEFEATING AN "EVIL KING"
“Snow white,” as a clear representative of this hidden, inner, Feminine nature already individually exhibits the drive to dismember the king since she is more solely aware of the “evil” and seeking to right it. To gather convictive evidence/position, she is pressed to express some of the more positive traits of the left pillar, previously examined through the “evil queen’s” attunement. She will utilize the Mercurian Hod intellect to continue weaving through conversations cordially and extracting information in unbeknownst ways. She must be cunning and swift to avoid trouble and to set “traps” arranged to expose his wrongdoings. She will utilize the Martian Geburah energies through her strong initiative, courage, and willingness to discern risks worth taking that may require destruction or pain for a higher creation. Finally, the Saturnian forces of Binah are used as she carefully must plan, calculate, and practice great discipline to carry out whatever her final course of action is to be—any mistakes at this point out in the world (of form) will have very real consequences in the end.
In one form or another, it seems to be that the evidence is gathered or the positions is moved into, the risks are taken (landing “snow white” in a “hot spot”), and her calculated orchestration is put to the test. Often, the king’s “under the table” methods are fruitless, leading to him taking matters into his own hands, and either the evidence reaches those who must see it to intervene in time, or there arise the right witnesses to the act to spontaneously snip it in the bud. Regardless, the “evil king” is exposed and meets his demise, while the “snow white” with her chosen “prince charming” are entrusted to then rule the kingdom.
With a “happily ever after” that doesn’t continue forward, one might not consider that “snow white” could begin resenting taking a backseat to the Masculine power she now puts before her. Should “prince charming” be inadequate to rule as well through issues of an oppressive “evil king” nature or simply prove too "green" and inexperienced for the task, then “snow white,” being the truthfully more developed leading archetype of the scenario as it's been, might not appreciate taking a subordinate position in the kingdom. Alas, if she should find herself and her magic (which “prince charming” certainly didn’t mind the aid of…) repressed, discredited, or abused, by her husband/king, the Feminine’s urge to resurface could take the intense sort of proportions that are found in the eventual creation of an “evil queen,” and the stories roll forward once more…
A SOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
So how do we mitigate these fluctuating archetypes affectively? Marriage. The “evil” archetypes certainly correspond to Jung’s shadow concept, or even the occult notion of the Dweller on the Threshold, all of which suggest the dark, unconscious, primal, rejected aspects of our Self. Contrastingly, the “snow white”/"prince charming" or “white knight” are indicative of an individual’s indwelling anima or animus, which is where the more positive, but unrealized or unaccepted, aspects of our Self are projected. It’s in exposing both sides of this shadow to the light and assimilating and integrating them together honorably that the true nature of the Self can shine, and this is analogous with our accessing our Higher Self, or Holy Guardian Angel. It’s not about a “tit for tat” balance, which would suggest a still stagnancy if achieved, but rather a dynamic harmony that’s able to move between the differing polarities as necessary without getting polarized indefinitely on one extreme or the other. The over saturation of any particular point will usually wind up with one “syncing into” (pun intended) the more degraded attributes eventually. Movement and adaptation to other modalities is what allows for the archetypes to circulate their highest, and most ideal, forms. While it’s the extremes in each position that create the character features each archetype seems to embody in their pattern, the lesson is truly one of finding the middle ground. Besides the flow cycling through the signs of the zodiac, this is most clearly represented by the middle pillar of the Qabalistic tree of life.
The middle path is considered to be one of consciousness that mediates between the right and left columns. At the top is Keter, which like Chokmah is not traditionally assigned a planet. However, since it symbolizes a unified state of Oneness and Pure Being (the Godhead), removing all boundaries of separation and ego orientation, modern approaches have assigned it Neptune, which shares some similar attributes astrologically. This is the “goal” so to speak of all Life, and so this point is at the very top of the entire diagram.
Below it is a point that’s not considered to be a true part of the others, but it still is dealt with—Daath. It’s not a “Sefirot” as the others are, and its nature seems somewhat more sterile, inorganic, or just different. It is described as almost like a record of all knowledge, somewhat inert in itself, but also total and complete outside time. Its universal knowledge is beyond individual comprehension, as indicated by its placement above the point of Tiphareth (discussed shortly.) It’s this Daath point that feeds into the Understanding of Binah and the Wisdom of Chokmah. For some, Pluto can be ascribed here, which works in certain ways. Pluto’s archetype is about the necessity of evolution, and it also centers around deep, hidden knowledge and truth, as flavored by Hades’/Pluto’s association with the underworld. This resonance with death also works with Daath being something different than the other 10 traditional Sefiroth (although I wouldn’t truly call it dead…) There is something about Pluto that forces us to make changes in accordance with deep karmic issues of unfolding that the evolution of life demands. Sometimes these changes are painful, especially when there is resistance built up as the old forms are decaying and being torn away. However, one can connect that Daath (or Pluto as an agent of Daath) is simply proceeding to roll forward through its endless cosmic record, and all forms must (at their highest level) obey what is “written” so to speak as universal knowledge. There are certainly some hidden mysteries (appropriately) about this point’s role in the mix, but it does have a conscious, albeit it somewhat sterile, ring to it.
In pretty much the exact middle of the tree is Tiphareth, classically associated with the Sun. This is the core point for our individuality and conscious being, often ascribed a label of “beauty.” At its highest form, it represents our “Higher Self” or “Holy Guardian Angel.” This point is also associated with “Christ Consciousness.” In this middle, central position, the forces of Tiphareth are symbolic of the harmonization of the other surrounding Sefiroth. Particularly, it blends the forces of the left with those of the right, and those from above with those from below. The points above it in connection are Geburah (on the left) and Chesed (on the right), and so there is a blending and balancing of the concepts of severity and grace, discrimination and devotion,breaking down and building up, etc. Those two forces above are considered to be representative of transpersonal mind and transpersonal love. Below, Tiphareth harmonizes the forces of Hod (on the left) and Netzach (on the right). Those two forces represent the personal mind and personal love. At it’s best, this point represents the state of one being in true alignment with their Self at the highest level, and when one is able to effectively blend and balance all the traits of the personal and transpersonal across the right and left pillars, one is most aptly able to serve as a beacon of light for others. (Of course, similar to the Sun and Leo, too much pride in one’s individuality can make one suffer a downfall of ego-based hubris if these forces are not able to flow through an individual in both a personal and transpersonal fashion, without getting polarized to one extreme or the other.
Below Tiphareth is the realm of the Moon, Yesod. This is representative of the astral world and one’s more personal subconscious mind. Here we have the lowest aspect of personal consciousness before all the subtle processes from above finally crystalize into manifest form. Yesod is the point where the personal dimension of consciousness is influenced by one’s attunement to both Netzach and Hod--one’s personal desires and feelings and one’s personal mind, symbols, and techniques. This point is also analogous with understanding how things come into our world. We think of, and thus construct, an image or idea of something (Hod), and then by feeling our way into magnetic resonance with it, we attract it (Netzach). Yesod is the point in consciousness where these two dimensions mingle, coalescing into an “astral form” before coming down into being a “physical form.” Thus, in the astral world of Yesod, one is in the inner realm of imagination, filled with the moving, changing embodiments of our ideas, desires, etc. The forms and symbols created are the shell or body aspect, while the feelings and “flavors” that go with the ideas and symbols are a fluctuating force that creates the movement for these forms by breathing life into them. As such, the beings met within the astral world of Yesod do have a life of their own. One downside to this realm is that not all the beings and energies there are necessarily fully developed in a way that is in one’s personal best interest—they are all forms with correlations within, but they must be navigated through our higher attunement as we learn to focus on those that we truly do desire to manifest, while ceasing to feed energy into those imaginary notions and visions that would be most upsetting were they to become anything other that passing pipedreams.
The final, and lowest, point on the tree is Malkuth, “The Kingdom” of God on earth. This is simply the realm of physical manifestation. Everything from the higher, subtle points eventually meets in its output at this level. It can also be likened to an outer behavior. All the inner workings and unseen dimensions bear their fruit at this final, outer, physical level. Thus, it is a consciousness of physical sensation and awareness down in the three-dimensional world.
When one is effectively able to “marry” the forces from the right and left into healthy, aligned consciousness, as expressed by the higher ideals from the middle pillar, the world ceases to exist and operate in such a binary, polarized, black and white state of “this or that,” good or evil, etc. Therefore, part of our "goal" in Life is to bring these forces into a harmonic equilibrium. When we find this middle pillar is distorted in expression to some degree, it’s a good indication that we’re leaning more heavily on the attributes of either the left or the right.
GETTING THE PICTURE DISTORTED
Along this middle pillar, the attainment of a state of consciousness represented by Kether (the "pure being" of Oneness) is a rather large order, and it’s hard to truly conceive of it from the position of being embodied into a physical form. Also, Daath represents a transpersonal, infinite level of knowledge which is rather impossible to understand in full. As such, the highest point it is said for humans to be able to rise to in full consciousness is that of Tiphareth, which is still quite a hefty task. It could be said that, in general, most people fluctuate between this truly conscious and awakened state, and a more subconsciously compelled state of reactive response to stimuli, fed from the thoughts and feelings we habitually entertain without questioning, which is more akin to Yesod. Still some may experience consciousness from the totally concrete, objective position of Malkuth, having their consciousness dwell solely on what is in the outer, physical, concrete, objective world, without too much consideration of the role their thoughts and feelings have in shaping it. (Any higher realizations would be “sleeping” or dormant.) Realistically, we all fluctuate and operate among all three of these points with different frequencies along the spectrum. However, as we each gradually become more conscious and aware, our vision rises slowly up towards the actualization of our core Self’s potential in Tiphareth, slowly seeking to operate more and more from that level. One of the trickiest, stickiest places that we often get lost in along the way is Yesod, the realm of the Moon.
Yesod, and the influence of the Moon, can be confusing and distracting to navigate. It’s easy to get emotionally pulled in a direction that generates from the cravings of base, personal desires. It’s also easy to focus on the perfection of a particular form without regard