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the black woman for money, in other variants he often sells her unintentionally by promising the demoness in exchange for money whatever is hidden in his house, and it is only revealed afterward that this is the still unborn girl.35 The father may here symbolically represent a traditional collective disposition;36 the figure is suitable for portraying a certain quality of inertia that is unwilling to change in the face of crisis, but prefers to sacrifice the future, the child, only to acquire enough energy to continue to persist. Here the father irresponsibly indentures his daughter to an obviously strange, witchlike figure just to be able to keep on going in the same rut. Thus the traditional masculine approach is unfavorable to the female figure. If one looks at the girl as an anima, we would have to think in terms of a habitual neglect of the anima. However, if we see her as a feminine figure of the Self, the father would represent a collective approach to women, which exercises an inhibiting influence on the development of conscious feminine individuality. This can also often be observed in individual cases of father complexes in daughters. The approach of the black wagon, moving by itself without the help of horses, is the formal beginning of the dramatic entanglement. It moves without a team of animals—without connection to the world of animal instinct—and a folk audience would immediately assume that it is being propelled by the force of magic and witchcraft, which also places the black woman in the coach in the company of black sorceresses and witches. Unknown “super-natural”—in other words, spiritual—forces are at her disposal. Also the absence of horses displaces her atmospherically from the realm of a pure mater naturae, such as, for example, an Asiatic mother goddess like Cybele, or the Celtic goddess Epona, or the Germanic goddess Freyja, whose chariots are always drawn by animals. The woman of our story has something unnatural about her, which is consonant with the motif of her being cursed or in need of redemption. The spiritual component of the black woman emerges more clearly in a Hessian variant of the tale,37 in which the girl is carried off to a black castle by a beautiful black-clad virgin. At the end of the fourth year, the child looks into the forbidden room and sees there “four black virgins engrossed in reading books who seem at that moment to get frightened.” This book reading also seems to hint at magic and secret knowledge, which once again removes the figures from the realm of pure nature beings. The quaternity of the black women in this last version, moreover, clearly points to the nature of the black woman as being related to

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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