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psychological point of view, a completely coherent sequence of events.81 A further possibility in the present tale is that seeing the black woman had such unfortunate consequences because it was the girl alone who saw the dark figure of the Self while still without a connection to the king, that is, while she was still in a state without the potentiality for a spiritual understanding that would have helped her to relate to the experience with clarity. Perhaps it was for this reason that destiny led her first on the sidetrip to the union with the king before the second phase of her confrontation with the black woman was constellated. At the court the young queen bears a boy. She becomes a mother herself, and at this moment the problem of the “dark mother” reappears. The symbol of the boy, seen in the framework of female psychology, indicates a potentiality for conscious, creative enterprise, which here comes to life but is at once seemingly destroyed again by an evil stroke of fate.82 The fact that there are three births indicates a dynamic element.83 Various details have already shown that there is something like a hidden spiritual element connected with the black woman. This is hinted at by the “spirit-driven” coach, the book reading of the young black women (in the variant), and in the self-fulfilling wishful thinking that is possible in the black woman’s castle.84 But this spiritual element, so long as it is part of the black woman’s realm, seems very ambiguous, in dubious proximity to black magic and witchcraft. At last in the realm of consciousness (the king’s court), it is transformed through a new birth into a creative spirituality.85 But precisely at this moment the problem of the black woman is constellated afresh at the ultimate level of intensity, and through her persistent lying the queen not only loses her child three times, but is also struck deaf, dumb, and blind and falls under suspicion of infanticide. She is, as it were, identified from the outside as the black woman, the horrific mother, and she loses every possibility for human expression and contact. It is as though it were now she who was in the forbidden chamber. Interpreted on the personal level, this corresponds to a state of severe depression, if not of psychological dissociation.86 And although the queen in this critical situation gives birth to a child twice more, that is, although her positive feminine being is preserved, this cannot emerge into the light, for the “shadow” of the black woman covers her completely. We should try to keep in mind what an almost supernatural and heroic sacrifice the queen’s persistence in her lie means, for in so persisting she

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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