Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cinderella #320 Marie Louise von Franz on Baba Yaga, Doves, and Fire


Mourning dove in my back yard. 

Cinderella #320 Marie Louise von Franz on Baba Yaga, Doves, and Fire
Once upon a time, in Zurich, there was a woman who studied fairy tales, and lectured on their meaning. Here is what she had to say about the Russian tale of Vasilisa, or Wassilissa, who is sent out into the woods to fetch fire from the witch, Baba Yaga. After the girl has overcome several trials with the witch, keeping house and cooking and cleaning for her, Baba Yaga returns home in her flying mortar and pestle. Then the witch took "from the fence the burning skull with the flaming eyes, put it on a pole and gave it to Wassilissa, saying,'This is the fire for your stepsisters, take it and carry it home." So the girl does of course, but the light from the eyes follows the sisters no matter where they turn, driving them to madness, and then death. Thus, Wassilissa inherits the house and lives comfortably on alone. Here is what von Franz had to say about the burning eyes. "If we put [the fire] into psychological language, they refused to become conscious and unrealized consciousness becomes a burning fire, coals of fire on their heads!" Dr. C.G. Jung believed, according to von Franz, that "not becoming conscious when one has the possibility of doing so is the worst sin." On helper animals: "If you do not listen tot the helper animal or bird, or whatever it is, if any animal give you advice and you don't follow it, then you are finished. In the hundreds and hundreds of stories that that is the one rule which seems to have no exception." On doves and ravens: "...Then Noah sent a dove, which brought him back a twig, so he knew that there was land again. From this, the Church Fathers in the Middle Ages took the raven to be representative of the devil and the dove representative of the Holy Ghost and the good principle in the Godhead."
From: von Franz, M.L. (1957) Shadow and Evil in Fairytales. Dallas, TX: Spring Publications, Inc. 

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