The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen by H.C. Andersen is an extraordinary story, containing the primary dangers of man.
We have the following main players in the story:
- The Devil, who creates the troll-mirror who distorts the perceived reality.
- The Snow Queen, which palace and gardens are in the lands of permafrost. She is successful in abducting Kay after he has fallen victim to the splinters of the troll-mirror.
- An old sorceress, who maintains a cottage on the river, with a garden that is permanently in summer. She seeks to keep Gerda with her, but Gerda’s thought of roses (the flower most favored by herself and Kay) awakens her from the old woman’s enchantment.
- Kay, a little boy, who falls victim to the splinters of the troll-mirror and the blandishments of the Snow Queen.
- Gerda, the heroine of this tale, who succeeds in finding and saving Kai from the Snow Queen.
- The Rose.
The two children, who like brother and sister, grow up together as in the garden of Eden.
When they became ‘I’ conscious Kay got a splint from the troll-mirror in his eye, and now saw a distorted view of the world, where the beautiful became ugly, and the ugly became beautiful, or in other words, he lost sight of the magical, the spiritual, which he could still see as a child. He fell victim to materialism or the Ahrimanic, symbolized through the Snow Queen (Lilith), who kills love and compassion in his heart by her everlasting winter. He could no longer enjoy the Roses.
Gerda went seeking for Kay, to get him home again, but she felt victim to the old sorceress, who also tried to kill the love and compassion through the everlasting summer, a reminiscent of the old Eden, symbolizing the retreat into the spiritual, or the Luciferic. She was saved by her love to the Rose, which the sorcerer has banished from her garden. It is interesting that many abridged versions don’t have this part of the story included.
Through Gerda’s love and tears Kay is saved from from his frozen condition, and the Rose makes him cry causing the glass splinter to fall from his eye.
When they came home again they were grown up.
The story ends with:
The grandmother sat in the bright sunshine, and read aloud from the Bible: “Unless ye become as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
And Kay and Gerda looked in each other’s eyes, and all at once they understood the old hymn:
“The rose in the valley is blooming so sweet, And angels descend there the children to greet.”
There sat the two grown-up persons; grown-up, and yet children; children at least in heart; and it was summer-time; summer, glorious summer!
It is interesting that the girl is susceptible to the lures of Lucifer and the boy is susceptible to the lures of Ahriman, and that she gets him out of the clutches of Ahriman.
Moira Li-Lynn Ong connects the story to depression, which is the Ahrimanian sickness of today, in The shattered mirror as symbol of depression:
The tale begins with the shattering of a magical mirror, its pieces spreading over the world. When a shard enters a person’s eye, they only see the negative aspects of things. When it enters someone’s heart, it turns to ice. The symptoms of depression are eerily similar, including irritability, negative thoughts and perhaps even worse, numbness.
The story shifts thereafter to a little boy and girl, Kay and Gerda. They can be regarded as anam cara, soul-friends. Alternatively, they may be seen as halves of the same soul. Initially, their relationship is happy and loving, reflecting a person in harmony with himself.