Preparing for the girls workshop, I have been wondering how I can empower them to self-actualisation. Right on cue my subconscious answered my questions and started dreaming of fairy tales, the myths of our time. They holds more keys than I initially realised. Having dreamt of Snow White, I found myself contemplating the Brother Grimm`s story which led me to Carl Jung.
1. Thinking she does not have an adequate father, because he cannot protect her from her jealous, shadow female self--that is manifested in the story as her evil step mother--who is beautiful but vain and relies on her beauty to have power over people and her kingdom. In actuality her father is adequate, because he knows that only she can save herself from her shadow through integration, but at this time, she is unaware of her own power to integrate her shadow self and she feels victimised and blames her father for being inadequate.
2. Her encounter with a strong masculine psyche--the huntsman--who tries to protect her from danger by refusing the requests of the queen (her shadow self) to kill her, but unable to protect her fully, leaves her in the dark woods (her repressed psyche)-nearly killing her with his own strength.
3. Her next encounters with men or the masculine archetypes-Mr. Majority. The seven dwarfs. Dwarf like because they are not fully men (half men) who protect her and help her to keep her house (her psyche) clean and tidy, whilst they work hard in the darkness (not fully self-actualised) for jewels (money) although they do not fully protect her-they tell her to not open the door to her shadow self so as to keep her innocent, almost child-like and captive in their house, which is also her house of her inner psyche without her shadow self.
4. She, through her own innocence and denial of her shadow self, is not able to recognise her shadow self, which is the step-mother in her disguise as a farmer's wife. However, her innocent psyche, opens a window to let her desires in-opens the window of the house (but not the door) to her shadow self and tastes the forbidden apple (her own desire) and that final bite nearly kills her as she realises the destructive nature of her shadow self or her ego desires--instead of fighting back she falls asleep and shuts up...she shuts up, because the apple (her continuous ego desire) is stuck in her throat, silencing her and causing her to be a silent witness to her own ego desires.
5. In her sleep, connecting with her subconscious desires, she is able to learn and integrate her shadow self and in this silent acceptance of her shadow self, her prince (her masculine twin and unification with the masculine) finds her and awakens her-they are able to join in unification of masculine and feminine and rule the kingdom together
6. Finally she invites the step-mother- her shadow into her own kingdom for her to the wedding (unification with the masculine) and she dances herself to death (integration) harmlessly. Snow White has to learnt to ‘shut up’ the endless complaints made by the shadow and witness her own rage and discover a way of expressing it harmlessly, that is, to observe their rage 'dance itself out harmlessly'. This is preferable to becoming their own victim once again. Then a person can decide to stop the previous useless and harmful actions and take charge of their own life, or as in the story, rule their own kingdom, with her prince.