As the sun returns it reaches like a bridge across the divide between Heaven and Earth to stir the cold body of the feminine back into life. This return of the king is essential because it is the masculine, the active principle, that must kick-start the inertia for change. But there is new purpose here too, for the king is returning from descent.
When we descend into the underworld, as we do every winter, it is our dark and wounded feminine, our feeling self, that we find there. All those unwanted feelings hung upon the hooks like old coats, many in child sizes.
Our masculine selves, the active principle within us that thinks and does, now knows about this hidden feminine, having embodied her suffering. This knowledge is transformative because he now rallies to her defence. This is why we make New Year’s resolutions because we return with a strong sense that something must be done to create change.
For the returning sun to awaken the seed it must first break through the cold crust of the earth. This breaking through, this release of power, is also required of us to cross this bridge. But power resides in the house of anger and of all the feelings this is probably the most repressed in our culture.
But our anger is our essential and elemental fire. It is our power to say “No! Stop! Enough!” Without it, we are defenceless. With it, we are empowered. How we use it is up to us. This power is the sun’s power and now we reclaim it from the shadow just as the sun is reclaimed from the underworld. This is the primal push of the masculine towards life made all the more urgent by the lessons learnt in descent. “You will not do that to me again! I am worth more than that! I will break free!” So the horse kicks open the stable door and runs. The dog rips off his muzzle and barks. The eagle breaks out of his cage and soars.
Ian Siddons Heginworth is an environmental arts therapist, founder of the Devon-based Wild Things community programme and author of Environmental Arts Therapy and the Tree of Life, Spirit’s Rest Books. www.environmentalartstherapy.co.uk