Literally, the good king and the page gather up a feast for the peasant and then head out to deliver the riches (or medicine) where it is needed most. Page and monarch brave the elements to complete the task.
My analyst teaches me that archetypal forces are inexhaustible. Our inner good monarchs—be them kings or queens—have a limitless supply of resources for us. And it is our job to connect with such spiritual and psychological forces. It is often the younger parts within us that are best equipped for this job. Blessed are the children within us. We came into the world already knowing how to do this. But then we forget as time goes on. The king needs his page and the page needs his king.
Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer
Walk my footsteps good, my page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly
The snow and the cold night begin to wear down the young page here. He has a limited ability to withstand the elements. But the good king has miraculous powers and tells the boy to walk boldly in his footsteps in order to feel warm again and find the strength to carry on.
Symbolically, this is the dark night of the soul. The inner boy’s ego strength can only take him so far before he begins to run out of energy. This is something many recovering and recovered alcoholics know quite well. We need to rely on higher powers when ego strength fails. We must always combat the archetypal with the archetypal. Our humanness is no match for such greatness. Luckily, those higher forces reside within all of us. We have access to the good king and/or good queen always.
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
We end with a miracle. The boy finds heat and strength in the Saint’s footsteps. And then this is linked to Christianity and masculinity and a reminder that we should take care of the less fortunate. We absolutely should take care of the less fortunate. But the miraculous forces within are, of course, not exclusively available to Christian men. They are accessible to all human beings, regardless of religious beliefs or gender. The Christian religion is only one of many ways to access these psychological and spiritual forces.
While we should definitely help the marginalized and struggling people of the world, we also need to take care of the marginalized and struggling parts within ourselves. And maybe this is the first task we should complete. Spiritual and psychological poverty have nothing to do with how much money one has in the bank or what property one might own.
So literally, we have a story about the importance of helping less fortunate people. And symbolically we have a reminder that we need to be mindful of the spiritual and psychological poverty within ourselves. The good news is that there are inexhaustible sources of spiritual wealth that we can access at any time and psychological health is something that we all can address right now if we are bold enough to do so.
So let's all be good to ourselves, okay?
Rally the good king and queen within you. They are inside always. My analyst teaches that every human being has access to these archetypal forces. Walk in the good monarch’s footsteps boldly. Feed the poor within you. And keep your inner page believing in miraculous powers. May you see the light that is everywhere and may it guide you well in the coming year. Let’s all keep walking boldly together.