The power of projections to hit psychic targets serves both defensive and integrative functions. Projections are a natural aspect of psychic functioning, as we know from watching children at play: we first see inner images “out there” in order to experience them internally.
Projections give shape to affects and archetypal images, from the hero to the healer, the derelict to the destroyer. We also tend to project our shadows outward, attributing disliked or undeveloped aspects of ourselves to others. In The Wizard of Oz Dorothy and her companions project the power to change their lives onto the wizard.
When they discover he is only “the man behind the curtain” they recognize their projections as illusions and are able to see the wizard more objectively. Withdrawing projections allows us to become more empowered and whole.
“There is a group of young women/girls – I am either one of them or I am all of them (that’s the sense I get). There is the knowledge that one of us has to make a sacrifice for the group. The youngest is chosen – a beautiful girl (maybe age 10-12) with long dark hair in shiny curls. She is kind and willing to sacrifice. She is led to an old stone building by two of the other girls (twins with bobbed dark hair and a harsher personality). Instructions for the sacrifice are in the building. The next day the girls/women return to find the sacrifice was completed. The youngest has had to sacrifice herself to make a bowl of soup for the others. The red tomato and herb soup was made with her outer layers – skin and flesh. The sacrifice was made willingly and for the benefit of the group.”