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On the trail of eternity

The king and the wild man - the iron man (start in 7)

Eisenhans - the wild man

By on 23 April 2020

The Wild Man

The King and the Wild Man - the higher consciousness

Initial situation and start: The theme of the fairy tale "der Eisenhans" (the iron hen)

In the fairy tale "Der Eisenhans", the king and the wild man represent the conscious and the unconscious with the wild power of the drive.

What is hidden in the unconscious - the king and the wild man

The fairy tale first shows the theme at stake, taking a "higher" divine-spiritual perspective. It is the view of the all-embracing consciousness ("FATHER") on the wholeness of the Seven. This presupposes man's path to kingship in his own life and also means the integration of the unconscious into consciousness. (S. The Consciousness and the Unconscious).

First of all, the fairy tale simply states: Something is not in order, something is missing, hidden in the shadows. But it wants to be integrated. What might this be?

The answer in the first part of the fairy tale text

The King and the Wild Man (the theme: 7)

The King's Castle and Forest

Once upon a time there was a king who had a large forest near his castle; game of all kinds ran around in it. But hunters were always disappearing in the forest. Those who had gone into the forest never returned. So the king and his entourage avoided the forest.

The Hunter and the Dog

One day a hunter came and asked the king to be allowed to hunt in the forest. The king warned him, but the hunter would not be dissuaded and insisted that he was not afraid.
With the king's permission, he soon went into the forest. His dog quickly picked up a scent that led him to a dark pond in the middle of the forest.

The dark pond

As soon as he reached the spot, the hunter saw an arm reach out of the water, grab the dog and pull it into the depths. Undeterred, he returned to the castle and fetched three men with buckets. They scooped the water out of the pond.

The wild man, the iron man

At the bottom, a wild, hairy man emerged, brown all over his body. The hunters captured him and brought him to the castle. There was great amazement at the wild man.

The king and the wild man: "To the stocks with him!"

The king, however, had him put in an iron cage in his court and forbade him to open the door of the cage on pain of death. The queen herself had to take custody of the key.

From now on, everyone could go into the forest again with confidence.

Symbols and interpretations 

The King and His Forest: The Conscious and the Unconscious

The castle represents the king's realm of life. The king in turn symbolises the consciousness, while the queen and the kingdom symbolise the unconscious (see The Conscious and the Unconscious). The forest specifies which area of the unconscious is involved. It symbolises the realm of the body. Here there are problems ...

The hunter and his dog: drive and animal nature

Hunters (as carnivores) symbolise Men hunting women. (Grass-eaters, on the other hand, such as unicorns, deer, cows, etc., symbolise women as "fair game"). When hunters "disappear" in the forest, this is a reference to the fact that men can "sink" into unconsciousness because of the drive. The hunter and the dog thus symbolise the drive and the animal nature of the king. Logically, the dog therefore also leads directly to the pond ...

The dark pond: the soul, the unconscious and gradual awareness

The pond as a body of water symbolises the unconscious in the realm of the soul. Since it lies in the king's forest, it is his soul, which, however, lies hidden in the unconscious, in the dark, namely in the body (forest) and holds a dark secret... Bucket by bucket, the water is now skimmed off, which is an indication of becoming conscious step by step.

The wild man at the bottom: the animal in man

At the bottom, a loamy, hairy, utterly wild man emerges. He represents the still wild, untamed and libidinous power, one of the oldest mythological themes of mankind. Thus already the Babylonian king Gilgamesh had to deal with an exceedingly strong and wild hairy being (Enkidu). (S. The Gilgamesh Epic, c. 1500 BC). 

The King and the Wild Man in the Pillory: Condemning the Urge
They mean that awareness of urges is condemned in a first step by norms and taboos and publicly denounced in society. But this has nothing to do with the integration of the shadows, which leads to wholeness and is the goal of this fairy tale.
The Queen's safekeeping of the key - for security purposes
Why did the queen have to keep the key?

It serves the security - of all involved. For safety from what? The feared is the drive and its power. This drive is kept safe in the queen's bed - under her pillow. She is thus the "guardian of morality", just as the great feminine actually contains the aspect of law and the deity of fate in addition to the life instinct in the body. [S. Water - symbol for the feminine and the unconscious. and Feminine wholeness - the goddess, white / red / black..]

The goal for King Consciousness: the integration of the shadow

First stage of awareness: projection of the shadow

In consciousness ("king"), morality and condemnation of wild energy prevail. Norms, traditions and religions have brought impulsiveness (the "wild man") to the light of consciousness, i.e. made it a theme, but also condemned it. It is publicly denounced ("That's not proper!", "Look ... So bad!"). It is a projection of the shadow, figuratively represented in the fairy tale by the cage in the middle of the castle courtyard. (Its statement is namely: "Not me, but the other one!").

Kingship in life through integration of the shadow

The goal for the king and for the human being who wants to achieve dominion in his own life is to integrate these wild parts through love, becauseonly the integration of the shadow leads to wholeness.

Let's see how our modern hero approaches the matter.

A new, modern story emerges from the above interpretations:

The King and the Wild Man - the story told differently

I am Thomas and I am telling you my story here.

The King and his Forest

The way I see it, I try to live my life well and decently, faithfully and conscientiously. I have been in a committed relationship for a long time. It is important to me to be in control of my life, so I am wary of deviations and grey areas.

The hunter and his dog

Because many men's careers and lives have been ruined because they couldn't control their urges. Of course, like most, I experienced wild years in my youth. But the sexual escapades I used to have from time to time weren't really fulfilling either.

The dark pond

I already know that such tendencies are also present in me - as in every human being. But I am convinced that a meaningful, orderly life is more valuable than a chaotic life in which one simply follows the pleasure principle. In the end, you are left even emptier.

The king and the wild man in the pillory

Values are important to me. I have colleagues who don't give it a second thought, they just do what they want, pull in one woman after another ... But that really can't be it. Everyone knows that this leads nowhere!

Starting point of the fairy tale and transition:

There is "something" in the shade ...

Life is under control, but the wild personality parts are not yet integrated, but condemned (drive, unconscious, "feminine"). But they are the access to true masculinity and also to conscious life in power and authority.

The task of the hero: Integrating the repressed and rejected

It is about achieving wholeness through the integration of the shadows. The shadow has two aspects: the inner child and the opposite-sex personality parts.

Transition: Departure for the Heroes' Trail!

In the further course of the fairy tale, the focus is on what the heroic path of the king's son will look like and what tests he will have to pass, after the layout has first been made from this higher perspective.

For the heroic path of the king's son, this representation as an overview:

The heroic path of Eisenhans

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