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time, and at the same time the three is “the One that has become knowable.”127 Thus the threefold birth in this fairy tale could well be interpreted as the birth of a divine child, but with the additional nuance that this new divine child manifests itself three times, that is, by taking form within the earthly time flow. This makes these boys close to the Mercurius triunus, whom Jung interpreted as a correspondentia or analogia Christi in physical nature.128 In “The Green Maiden,” the three boys are the sons of the king and of the golden stag, which latter clearly suggests Mercurius. When in “Mary’s Child” the heroine sees the Holy Trinity in the forbidden chamber, the finger with which she touches their splendor is turned into gold. Could we perhaps draw the conclusion that in the destiny of the godchild something is repeated here that was prefigured in the destiny of her godmother, the domina creaturae and mother of the Trinity? Also the three little sons of Mary’s Child, while they are dwelling with Mary in the beyond, play with the globe of the world! It is as though the three boys represented an earthly reflection of the “metaphysical” trinity. This can also be connected with a charm for the protection of their flocks spoken by the dairymen of Uri in the springtime, in which the Trinity also takes the form of three boys:129 “The dear cattle walk, over many days and through the year, over many ditches. I hope and trust that there they meet the three boys. The first is God the Father, the second God the Son, and the third is God the Holy Spirit, who watch over my cattle for me. . . .”130 Drawing the Trinity symbol in and down into such an earthly, human form compensates for a perception of the Godhead in which it is set too far “out there,” too far away in some metaphysical realm, in such a way that human relations to it are in danger of getting lost. By contrast, in the motif of the three boys an interiorization of the contents of Christian belief may be anticipated, similar in some respects to that hinted at in the works of the Romantics and to that made possible by Jung’s psychological understanding of the religious symbol. But this development in which the Christian God image becomes real and understandable within the inner psyche could represent only the first step, on the basis of which the problems of darkness, evil, and the fourth element can first be posed in a real way. However, it is just this last problem that our fairy tale does not go so far as to resolve, for we do not learn where the woman goes, nor do we find out anything about the one who cursed her. This incompleteness of the tale’s lysis is connected

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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