Fairy tales are full of slender towers of white marble piercing cloud filled skies. The lofty height of the spires sweeps our imagination up and away from the mundane world and into the creative space of dreams and stories. In moving the eye and the mind upwards, towers have us dreaming of more, of better, of dreams come true. Enchanted by the mysterious spell of the tower we smile, but there is a darker side to these dreamy spires.
Usually they contain something precious which is locked away from us, removed from the world and held in suspended otherworldly time. We can’t see into the tower, but we know that what it contains would delight and fulfil us, if only we could get there. Seeing the tower creates a longing to climb it. In fairy tales there is often a golden haired princess, hidden away by her father, awaiting rescue and release back into life. In this way the tower is a symbol of being stuck.
Some part of us has been locked away from us, by a part of us which is wise and thinks it knows what’s for the best. The princess within us all is vulnerable and innocent, she wears no armour and greets the world with soft smiles and laughter. Carefree and childlike this part of us longs to skip through the world which is our life, looking with fresh eyes and a creative spirit filled with possibilities. She longs to bring openness to change, and an innocent trust and belief that the world still has some good things in store for us.
The sky changes as a storm blows in, and this storm might also set our inner prince off on a quest searching for the golden haired
princess. Her hair is golden simply because she represents something eternal and untarnishable, no matter how long she is locked away in the tower. I love the hope that this can give us, in other words it’s never to late to start living more openly. It’s never too late to look for change when our lives feel unsatisfying. The prince represents our youthful courage, to feel the fear but go on the quest anyway. All change is frightening, but with some light armour and a good horse anything is possible. Determination, focus and will power will drive us forwards despite the fear in our belly, and the armour will shield us from all who have us stay the same. The precious jewel in the tower calls us onwards in hope.
The stone and bricks of the tower symbolise the way we can build up a rigid way of seeing ourself. We might even feel quite proud of all we have achieved in the world. The storm blowing might damage the tower itself, sending its stones tumbling back down to earth. In the same way, sudden changes or storms in our lives, can crumble the existing a views we hold of ourself. It can feel like devastation, and utter loss as our preciously held sense of self is pulled apart. There is a tarot card called the Tower, which has exactly this meaning. It shows a tower being struck by lightening and crumbling, and it symbolises the sudden breakdown of previously held understandings of the world, and of ourselves.
But don’t worry, all is not lost, even if the tower does crumble. Remember the treasure within, the golden haired princess. She will be released by the towers destruction. With the release of the old rigid structures, which felt safe, but might I fact have been holding us back, there is the potential for fresh hope. The creative spirit full of growth and joy can be released back into our lives either by our own courage to seek change, or by unforeseen change crumbling away our old certainties. Either way the containment of the tower has passed its usefulness, and the golden haired princess is free to roam and play once more.
This post was inspired by the challenge theme ‘height’, at where’s my back pack. Click the link to see more takes on height.