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posing princess. She, however, is not really so evil herself but has rather fallen into the clutches of a troll or sorcerer, who actually is an embodiment of the old Germanic Wotan. Interpreted in terms of the outer woman, she was a very nice woman, but one who was possessed by an evil animus— something like a Kari Woodenskirt in whose case the troll rather than the bull had been victorious. But we must also look at her as an inner figure in the man himself, as a wicked anima figure. In modern psychological language this would amount to something like the following: The anima embodies the capacity for relationship in the man, his feeling, the state or condition of his affects. In the case of our fairy tale, everything would have been just fine in this regard were it not for the fact that the princess had fallen under the influence of the demon. Feeling was unconsciously warped into a lie by the mountain spirit, so that it could not function. But the mountain spirit himself is a raw power of nature. What this means on a practical level is that a man with such an anima might, for example, imagine that he loves a woman though in reality he is after her bank account; or he might confuse love and sexuality; or he might fail to follow a genuine feeling because it would imperil his position in society. In this way, he is inadvertently serving a primitive god called Mammon, or sex, prestige, or any other dark affective impulse, and imagining that this is his genuine feeling. In such a case, what has to be done is literally, as the fairy tale so beautifully shows, to get to the bottom of things, which means getting behind this distorted state of feeling, which makes any genuine love impossible, and disabling the destructive background influence. The freeing of a maiden from a dragon that is depicted so often in fairy tales expresses something similar, except that the dragon embodies the “cold” drivenness of the sexual instinct, whereas the mountain spirit represents “Wotanic” possession. As long as a man has not freed his anima from such a background influence, the woman often feels that he is only “in love” with her but does not love her—that his feeling is autoerotic and caught up in illusion; and what in our day complicates the problem still further is that feeling takes time, and this is something the modern man has very little of. He must fight for it if he is to take his “Mistress Soul” seriously. But only when he succeeds in freeing his inner anima is he really proof against the tricks of malevolent or cold, power-hungry women and capable of finding relationships in which he can have confidence.

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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