The Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz is a 28 volume Magnum Opus from one of the leading minds in Jungian Psychology. Volume 1, released on her 106th birthday, is to be followed by 27 more volumes over the next 10 years. Volume 2 turns to the Hero’s Journey within fairytales.
The Hero’s Journey is about the great adventure that leads to a cherished and difficult to obtain prize. In these fairytales, the Self is often symbolized as that treasured prize and the hero’s travails symbolize the process of individuation. In its many manifestations, the hero embodies the emerging personality. “In the conscious world, the hero is only one part of the personality—the despised part—and through his attachment to the Self in the unconscious is a symbol of the whole personality.”
Von Franz’s prodigious knowledge of fairytales from around the world demonstrates that the fairytale draws its root moisture from the collective realm. This volume continues where Volume 1 left off as von Franz describes the fairytale, “suspended between the divine and the secular worlds (…) creating a mysterious and pregnant tension that requires extreme power to withstand.” The resistance of the great mother against the hero and his humble origins, as well as the hero freeing the anima figure from the clutches of the unconscious are universal archetypal patterns. The spoils retrieved by the hero symbolize new levels of consciousness wrested from the unconscious.