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woman really represented a mother goddess, whom one could of course only identify with the Mother of God. Conversely, however, the particular popularity of “black madonnas” seems to suggest a longing for a more earthy, darker form of this mother imago. The name given to the figure in a Russian variant seems to be particularly revealing in this respect. There she is called “Maria the Cursed,” and in the forbidden thirteenth room she is swinging on a swing. This swinging surely points to a movement of opposites within the figure itself,111 which can only be interrupted through an intervention on the part of human consciousness. This fairy-tale figure, the black woman, is in fact an archetypal figure that could be characterized as the shadow of the Virgin Mary, analogous to Satan as the shadow of Yahweh. However, in the case of God and Satan, an irreconcilable rift opened up, whereas this dark woman seems much less unequivocally cut off from the light. She embodies a somewhat darker aspect of the anima image in men and the Self in women, which in the dogmatic figure of Mary is inadequately represented and therefore is driven down into the unconscious. Here the witchlike features of the figure are particularly revealing. In this connection, Jung, in Psychological Types, pointed out that the belief in witches was psychologically of a piece with the increasing prominence of the cult of Mary.112 Through the anima image of the man being assimilated to the general symbol of Mary (whereas before that in courtly love it was represented by a lady the man chose himself ), it lost its individual expression and the potential for further individual differentiation. “Since the psychic relation to woman was expressed in the collective worship of Mary, the image of the woman lost a value to which human beings had a natural right.” As a result, this individual value sank into the unconscious and there animated infantile-archaic dominants. The relative devaluation of the real woman was compensated for by demonic features—woman appeared as a persecutor and witch. “The consequence of increasing Mariolatry was the witch hunt. . . .” What Jung elucidates here particularly in relation to the anima problem can also be applied to the development of a woman, which is to say that women’s individual potential for development was also inhibited by this cultural-historical situation.113 However, these potentialities for feminine individuation are archetypally personified in the present tale, and the tale shows how this germ of individuation must prevail in the face, simultaneously, of a false image of woman in the collective consciousness (the old queen) and an archaic mother and female image in the collective

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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