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one condition: that the hero keep faith with the animal. In Grimm’s tale “The Two Brothers,” a witch is able to turn one of the heroes to stone because, at her request, he has touched his helpful animals with her magic wand; but the second brother says to her, “I will not beat my animals,” and overcomes her without difficulty. The helpful animal of fairy tales often conceals an additional secret, just as our word instinct refers to secrets of nature that remain to be explored. Often, at the end of a story, the helpful animal—the fox, for example, in Grimm’s tale “The Golden Bird”45—asks the hero to cut off its paws and head. When the hero does so with a heavy heart, an enchanted prince rises from the body of the fox. In another version the hero drives his talking horse or his donkey three times around in a circle, and the animal becomes a prince or princess, or else turns out to have been God himself.46 Jung once likened the human psyche to the color scale: At the infrared end it loses itself in the depths of the instincts and somatic processes; at the ultraviolet end it reaches into the realm of the archetypes, that is, of the spirit. In the archetypal image, the meaning or latent spiritual aspect of instinct is revealed.47 Thus when a redeemed prince or god steps forth from a sacrificed animal in a fairy tale, this symbolizes the sudden disclosure of the spiritual meaning that seems to lie behind the “rightness” of animal instinct. And at the same time it means that on the one hand people should follow their unconscious instinctive impulses, but that at a certain point in the curve of their lives they will demand that they sacrifice them.48 Instinct itself demands to be sacrificed, and in so doing reveals its spiritual aspect. Ego consciousness is led to renounce what is dearest to it, a renunciation demanded by its greater inner being, the Self,49which is thus manifested in sacrifice.50 What first appeared as animal instinct and helped in times of difficulty, proves in its profoundest essence to be something human or even divine. As Meister Eckhart said: “The innermost nature of all grain is wheat and of all metal gold and of all creatures man.”51 This is the mystery of which the Christian dogma of the Incarnation gives an intimidation. An especially illuminating version of the sacrifice of a helpful animal is provided in a Turkestan tale entitled “The Magic Horse.”52 Through her father’s fault a beautiful princess falls into the hands of a diabolical maneating div (demon). “When he threw his cap into the air, the sky and the land grew dark for seven days—so great was his power.” She is constrained to follow the demon to his domain, but she takes a little magic horse from her

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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