Robin Redbreast

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cinderella #336 The Devil's Grandma, The Great Mother, and What the Birds Were Saying


Cinderella #336 The Devil's Grandma, The Great Mother, and What the Birds Were Saying
An ancient tree...
Once upon a time, Marie Loise von Franz, a Jungian psychotherapist, lectured at the Jung Institute in Zürich. Here is what she had to say about fairy tales in general: "I take as my starting point the fact that fairy tales mirror collective unconscious material". (p.113") Of the archetypal figure of the Great Mother in fairy tales, she said: "Since the symbol of the Great Mother was too one-sided" in European, Christian culture, with its split between the pure Virgin Mother and her shadow. That shadow is the "destructive witch. In fairy tales, innumerable witches and even the Great Mother appear in many stories...There is, for instance, the figure of the devil's grandmother— or great mother; and in fairy tales, the devil therefore lives with the old woman, i.e. his own mother, the Great Mother Earth." (p.105)  Regarding helping animals, von Franz said," One must never hurt the helpful animal in fairy tales...you may temporarily disobey the advice of the helpful fox or wolf or cat. But if basically you go against it, if you do not listen to the helpful animal or bird or whatever it is, if any animal gives yo advice and you don't follow it, you are finished.In the hundreds and hundreds of stories, that is the one rule which seems to have no exception." (p. 120) Trees have a special place in German mythology. In ancient times, victims were "dedicated to the God Wotan". He is "the one who hangs on the tree, for he hung on the oak Yggdrasil for nine days and nights and then found the runes and acquired wisdom." So the trees are considered sacred. Thus, animals that live in trees are special . Here is what von Franz had to say about birds in fairy tales: " Birds "belong to Wotan...and represent the capacity for divination. Apollo is the owner of the Delphic oracle and the revealer of truth, and the same applies to Wotan. The birds, the ravens and the crows, are believed capable of knowing the future and of telling the hidden truth." (p.42)
From: von Franz, M.L. Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales (1974) Texas: Spring Publications
See: http://www.betterworldbooks.com/marie-louise-von-franz-H0.aspx?SearchTerm=marie+louise+von+franz

No comments: