Fairy tales are fierce narratives of human shadow and its transformation. Hansel and Gretel depicts raw childhood trauma: parents abandon their children in the forest in order to feed themselves. Then the children discover a magical, edible cottage, only to be entrapped by a cannibalistic witch. Everyone is starving, a metaphor for psychic insufficiency. The children’s loyalty to one another gives rise to strategy and bravery, yielding riches and redemption—the reward for engaging danger with valor. Marie-Louise von Franz, one of Jung’s closest collaborators, recognized that fairy tales are maps of everyone’s unconscious. This tale invites us to consider how we handle our internal hungers. What might we be starving for? Have we abandoned inner children to the wilderness of the unconscious? Does a witch within threaten to devour tender potential? Or can we, like Hansel and Gretel, rise above our primal forest with consciousness and courage and find the treasure of wholeness?
Here’s the dream we analyze:
“I’m on an ocean beach looking out to my one-room house that juts out on a dock above where the waves break. The house could use some work and a coat of paint, but there’s a feeling of pride as I gaze over it. I look down and notice I’m wearing a peasant dress, which is not at all my style and better suited for a little girl. A craggy cliff looms to the left side of the beach. From around the cliff, two sea monsters appear swimming, nearing my house on the water. I wasn’t afraid of them, but watched them calmly. As they approach, they begin to rock the walls of the house, and I continue to watch powerlessly as they wrest it from its dock and tear it out to sea. The sea monsters retreat over the horizon and the house begins to sink. I am then inland but not far from the beach, at a pub in a seaside town. I see my parents in a booth, engaged in a fiddle contest. They are my parents, I know this to be sure, but they are monstrous apparitions, soft as puppets and with frightfully large heads. I try to tell them about my house and that it is gone, expecting some kind of comfort or perhaps an invitation to stay with them. They glance my way but they don’t acknowledge me or that I’m in distress. The fiddle contest goes on uninterrupted. The barkeep tells me that if I’m not there for the fiddle contest, then I will have to leave. The dream ends as I struggle to breathe.”
M. Night Shyamalan Film: The Visit, : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfQnRjkuvaY
Erich Neumann: The Origins and History of Consciousness. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0691163596/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_050QS0734HKDZG2S7BJD
John Hill. At Home In The World: Sounds and Symmetries of Belonging. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1685030211/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_E3T32X59A0E42D239D26
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