We start out this article with a short passage by depth psychologist Dr Carl G Jung, MD regarding the alchemical symbolism of Sol (the Sun) and the King.
The passage is taken from Jung's book entitled "Mysterium Coniuntionis." The "Mysterium", completed in the final years of Dr Jung's life, is considered by many to be the summa of Jungian Depth Psychology. It's also (unfortunately) considered to be the most difficult of his writings to wade though and gain a grasp of.
So hang in there with me...
But according to Jung, one of the things the Sun represents (reflects or symbolizes) is ego-consciousness... I exist! I am a separate, unique entity! I am different from everyone else!
I create! I grow! I shine!
And in this maturation process, we struggle mightily to separate ourselves from the archetypal world of "The Mothers..." This process is aptly illustrated in the cycle of the astrological Zodiac by the passage from the maternal sign of Cancer ruled by the Moon and into the heroic sign of Leo ruled by the Sun.
Thus, during the first half of our life journey, we engage in the task of developing our birth Sun Sign energies. We grow up... We learn to stand on our own two feet... We learn how to shine by gaining our own individual "standing" in the world... This is the process of discovering and mining the gold of our birth Sun's energy! In growing up and standing on our own two feet - we pass from the archetypal world of the "Mothers" into the archetypal world of the "Fathers."
"Where there is much light, the shadow is deep." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
But during the growth and the development of our Sun Sign energies - somewhere along the journey of discovering and defining "who we are"... we initially had to leave out some very crucial and vital elements of "who we are"... The parts of ourselves that we left out have now "fallen into Shadow."
"The Shadow" contains those parts of ourselves we've chosen to "give away" during the developmental process of growing into to adulthood. We've chosen to give away these unwanted parts, because these parts didn't fit into our ego concept of "who we are" and/or "who we should be."
You see.... while growing up - society, our friends, and our parents were constantly sending us messages regarding what they considered to be "acceptable" behavior and what they considered to be "unacceptable" behavior. As young pliable children, hungry for love and approval, we quickly learned how to adapt, "fit in," and please those around us.
In order to do this, we had to hide away all our more "unacceptable" thoughts and behaviors. As children, we forcibly stuffed all those nasty unacceptable thoughts and behaviors far away and down into our psychic basements. Driven deep underground, these "unacceptable" thoughts and behaviors eventually fell into the "so not me" Shadow.
As grown adults we mistakenly believed all those nasty unacceptable thoughts and behaviors were buried away and forgotten. We mistakenly thought they were in a place, where they'd never, ever bother us again. We were wrong!
And those unwanted, forgotten, and left out elements of who we are contain much needed vital energy and life-force... they contain stuff that we need to be whole.
So then one day...
If we choose to accept the courageous challenge of the Sun's renewal - then we spend the second half of our life journey reclaiming all those forgotten, left out vital elements of "who we are"... We begin the task of renewing the wounded King... and the reclaiming and redemption of "the Shadow."
Just like the continuous cycle of the Sun - we begin our own personal process of renewing our birth Sun's energies... Yes, the Sun has set... but the Sun shall rise again!
So then... early in life, the planets function as divine messengers that reflect and add to the natural unfolding, emergence, growth, and development of our Sun's energies (the building of our ego-consciousness).
Later in life, these same planets now act as messengers and helpers that reflect and add to the continuing renewal process of our Sun's energies and in the redemption of "the Shadow"... they are crucial elements in our becoming whole.
The King is dead, long live the King!