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relationships in the bud. Since precisely in the area of relationship and feeling, men are often strangely, touchingly, naively unconscious, such a woman often has an easy time of it. She always “sees” how things stand with him inwardly long before he himself knows, and she takes her measures. A man is helpless against this with his naive masculine strength or affects. He has to take the time, with the help of his inner “fox,” to find out what game is being played with him. A Norwegian fairy tale, “The Companion,” and a North German variant of it, “The Enchanted Princess,” shed more light on this problem.4 A peasant lad went out into the world, and the first thing he encountered was an unburied corpse in a village. The deceased had diluted wine or run up debts, and thus no one wanted to bury him. So out of compassion the lad paid for the burial with his last pennies, and shortly thereafter a stranger attached himself to him and promised him his help. This was the spirit of the buried corpse. With the help of the stranger, the lad acquired from three witches a sword, a spool of golden thread, and a hat that made the wearer invisible. Then he and his traveling companion arrived at a royal castle where a princess set her suitors riddles. If the suitor did not guess the riddle, he was executed. The lad took up the challenge. When night came, the princess rode off on a goat “to her darling,” but the lad followed her invisibly wearing his magic hat. In one version the “darling” is a troll, in the other, an old white-bearded man who lives inside a mountain, where he keeps an altar on which spiny fish and a fiery wheel appear. The lad eavesdropped while the princess and the evil spirit made up the riddle they intended to pose, and thus twice fulfilled the task. The third time the riddle was to be: “What am I thinking about?” which was to be the head of the mountain spirit. Then the lad chopped off the spirit’s head with his magic sword and hid it in a cloth. When the princess asked, “What am I thinking about?” he threw down the head at her feet. Now the lad had won, and after the princess had further cleansed herself from the spell by bathing in milk, their wedding was celebrated. Here the freed spirit of the dead man, the companion, plays the role of the helpful fox, and we see what he really is. He was a “debtor,” that is, he is a shadow aspect of the man that has become conscious. By paying off the “debt” of his dark side, that is, by becoming conscious of his own less positive side, he is now capable of winning his battle with the evil riddle–

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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