Marie-Louise von Franz believed fairytales to be the purest and simplest expressions of the collective unconscious. Too often the interpreter regresses to a personalized approach, however, heroes and heroines are abstractions that embody collective archetypes. The innumerable variations within the same fairytale told in different cultures are like a musical theme crisscrossing humanity. In Volume 8, von Franz establishes that there is only one psychic fact to which the fairytale addresses itself, namely, the SELF.
Some fairytales emphasize the beginning phases of this experience by dwelling on the shadow, others draw attention to the anima and animus, while still others hint at the unobtainable treasure. This volume contains new and updated translations of The Interpretation of Fairytales along with Anima and Animus in Fairytales and combines them into a single volume, clarifying the Jungian approach to interpreting fairytales and offering a deep dive into anima and animus.
The anima and the animus deliver to consciousness the “life-affirming fruit.” Individuation requires engagement with these contra-sexual archetypes, but von Franz observes that “Anima and animus are not always happy to have this relationship—they lose part of their power when they are made conscious.” She further warns of the inflation resulting from possession by them and points out that the animus “loves to create an atmosphere of mist in which nobody can find orientation.” These are supra-personal elements of psychic life capable of breaking beyond the tendency of consciousness to become one-sided. This second section of Volume 8 provides an insightful explanation of a woman’s encounter with her animus and a man’s encounter with his anima.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Interpretation of Fairytales
Chapter 1. Some Theories of Fairytales
Chapter 2. Fairytales, Myths and other Archetypal Stories
Chapter 3. A Method of Psychological Interpretation
Chapter 4. A Tale Interpreted: “The Three Feathers”
Chapter 5. “The Three Feathers” Continued
Chapter 6. “The Three Feathers” Completed
Chapter 7. A Man’s Shadow
Chapter 8. The Challenge of the Anima
Chapter 9. The Woman, The Shadow, and the Animus in Fairytales
Part 2: Animus and Anima in Fairytales
Chapter 10. A Fairytale from Northern Germany: Oll Rinkrank
Chapter 11. A Turkestan Fairytale: The Magic Horse
Chapter 12. A Norwegian Fairytale: Kari, the Girl with the Wooden Frock
Chapter 13. An African Fairytale: The Magician of the Plain
Chapter 14. Anima Stories
Chapter 15. A European Fairytale: The Black Princess
Chapter 16. A Russian Fairytale: The Virgin Czarina
Index of Fairytales