Gold trail

On the trail of eternity

1. Snow White and the Stepmother (Awareness)

The mirror in Snow White

By on 20 June 2020

The mirror in Snow White

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" asked the proud queen, Snow White's stepmother

Snow White and the Stepmother

Snow White and the Stepmother: After Snow White's mother dies, her father marries a proud, vain woman.

Brief summary of content and archetypes

Content from the fairy tale: The Stepmother

After the child was born, the mother, the good queen, died. The king then married a wicked, proud woman.
One day, when the girl was growing up, she stood in front of her mirror and learned that Snow White was a thousand times more beautiful than she was. She turned yellow and green with envy and began to hate the girl. Envy and arrogance grew higher and higher in her heart like a weed, so that she had no peace day and night.
The wicked queen, who was jealous of Snow White, called her a huntsman and said, "Take the child out into the forest, kill her and bring me back her lungs and liver as proof."

Symbols and Archetypes:
  • Snow White: Pure Love, Positive Anima(the Virgin as Archetype)
  • The evil queen as the woman in negativity: The woman in emotional lack, pain and anger is "ridden" by her inner shadow man, the "pain body" (see also The Animus).
  • The evil queen as the "evil" unconscious: The unconscious in negativity means domination by the drives. (see also The Conscious and the Unconscious) and represents the collective dimension of abuse (on this see next section).
  • Hunter: man on (woman) hunt, ripper
  • Forest: The collective unconscious in the realm of the body
  • Killing: Taking life ...
  • Lungs and liver: destroyed love and destroyed feelings

Liliana's story - still fabulous

The stepmother and the daughter

The growing daughter

(Years later, after the good queen had died and the stepmother had moved into the castle...)
- Liliana! Where are you?! Where are you again??
- Here I am, mother!
In front of her, a tall young woman stood a little breathlessly, becoming more and more beautiful. A female body began to form above her long legs. Her thick, black hair was tied carelessly at the nape of her neck, one strand falling cheekily into her face. Heated red cheeks shone on her delicate, fair skin, her steel-blue eyes flashed, while her radiant smile stiffened at the sight of her mother.

The Stepmother

The stepmother asked with a cold, threatening undertone in her voice:
- Where have you been ?
Liliana stared at the floor. The mother now spoke even more slowly:
- Again? Have you left the castle again??? You know I won't tolerate you hanging around with these servants - and the way you look again... I'll have these clothes burnt...!
Liliana wore Junker dresses, bloomers tucked into boots, and an oversized shirt knotted around her waist.

The urge for freedom and the hunter

She had once again persuaded the hunter, even begged him to take her with him on horseback on his tour through the forest. Finally, he had reluctantly agreed, because he knew that it could get him into trouble and even cost him his job. But she had promised him not to tell anyone. Years ago, when she was still a girl, he had taught her to ride. She loved horses, she loved galloping across the plains and feeling the fresh wind in her face!
- But mother...
- Nothing there! You should be ashamed of yourself! Go to your room and stay there! Do you understand? You will not eat with us tonight when your father comes with the entourage! You may only greet him briefly. I will have the dress you are to wear sent up. Afterwards you will immediately return to your room...!
- But Mother...!
- Don't argue! Go now!

Comments on this interpretation: The stepmother sees "red

Reflection: What's wrong with the stepmother?

In the red phase

With the birth of the child, the mother has entered the "red phase" (blood). The more mature she becomes, the more her masculine parts (which want to be integrated) speak out. However, these initially flood the woman with immature macho masculinity (red: fight, aggression, dominance and striving for power). The woman therefore becomes domineering and in a first phase lives female power through seduction ("white magic"). In this she feels threatened by the younger woman and especially by her blossoming daughter.

The white phase of woman: the "virgin" and innocence with love intact

This one is "a thousand times more beautiful" than she is. Her beauty is the "divine" radiance of pure, innocent love (the number 1000 is a symbol of perfection). The evil queen wants to keep the potential competitor down and even eliminate her.

The Stepmother and the Hunter

A sinister plan

The queen trembled with anger.
- Let the hunter come here!
It was not long before he appeared in the doorway. He hesitated as he entered. With his height, he almost filled the entire doorway. His beard was trimmed, his half-open leather jerkin barely concealed his athletic body and a few chest hairs peeked out from his shirt front.
- He entered.
The hunter took a few steps and stopped not far from the door.
The queen majestically crossed the room to close the door behind him. As she passed, she touched his chest with her shoulder and took a deep breath. When she had closed the door, she stood up in front of him. With her pointed fingers she stroked his manly chin.
- Well, well... my handsome young huntsman...!
- My queen...
- Oh, you remember...? - You actually remember whose grace you depend on...?
He was silent and tried to avoid her gaze. But she nailed him with hers.
- So? Do you find me beautiful...?
- Certainly, my are beautiful...!
- The most beautiful then??
- Certainly, your majesty
- In all the land...?
- Who else...?, he said and avoided her gaze by looking at the ground.

Who is the most beautiful?

- Who else...?, she said and paused thoughtfully, then she continued:
- I thought we might have taken a liking to the young princess... after all, the noble knight does not seem to be receptive to my charms...
- But my queen...!
- Silence!, she said brusquely: Now I'm talking!
She took a deep breath, then continued:
- I have a bad, disobedient servant and a disobedient daughter. They both belong to be punished! You now have two choices: Either you leave the castle today. And know: My arm is long, it will be difficult for you to find new employment - or...
She paused and said, quietly lost in thought, as if to herself:
- Yes, why should she fare better than me...?
Then she straightened up and looked at him challengingly.
- The second option is for you to deflower my daughter. I don't care how you do it. Just do it, even if you have to rape her... But know this: She will never be yours, I will personally choose a suitable husband for her!
- But my queen...
- It's time!
- ... she is still a child...!
- The choice is yours. As proof, I want from you the necklace with the dove that she has worn around her neck since childhood... Beware of betraying me! - Go now!
She turned around and left the room with rustling clothes.

Comments on this interpretation: Kill - rape?

But in the fairy tale the huntsman was supposed to kill Snow White...?

Juvenile-free: Killing instead of raping

The fairy tale has to be youth-friendly, so the word "kill" is used instead of "rape". But every child understands that something "very bad" is supposed to happen here. Killing and raping are the same thing.
When the man penetrates the woman through loveless sexual intercourse, he "takes" her body, her (soul, in her abdomen) and destroys her love (s. The Woman, 3-in-1: Spirit, Soul, Body).

Abuse - taking life

Thus, the evil queen wants to eliminate or at least "equalise" the "competitor", namely destroy her love (heart) and her life (liver), which are, after all, the strongest expression of her beauty. She wants to see a shattered heart and negative emotions. As the strongest or the "comforter" she then wants to build herself up. In this way, she takes the life force of the young woman and gains soul energy for herself.

The stepmother as a collective dimension of abuse: men are not solely to blame!

The fairy tale clearly says: the stepmother instigated, even coerced the hunter. Thus it shows the collective unconscious reality in the world. This implies that the collective consent and even applause is for those women who exercise power by appealing to men's drive through sexiness. Accordingly, it is not surprising that men just "get it off" and love is not an issue (see The Stepmother as a Collective Dimension of Abuse).

The Modern History - Lilian's Childhood and Youth

The absent father (the hunter)

Shortly after my mother died, father remarried. My stepmother Alexandra was a beautiful woman. She had no interest in me, so I was often left to my own devices from an early age. She also didn't like Father spending time with me and prevented it as much as she could. And she could. And father didn't dare stand up to her.

Instead, Alexandra's brother kept coming to visit. Bruce was not married. I guess he wasn't that bad looking, but he was smug, liked to talk a lot. He played with me, teased me ... The bigger I got, the cruder his games became and the more often he grabbed me. I hated it!

The Stepmother

As a child, I missed my dear mother very much. I never wanted to be like Alexandra! She lived a lavish lifestyle, was vain and spent a lot of time in beauty salons and shopping for new clothes. As I grew up, I realised that she was jealous of me. She bullied me, treated me down and made my life miserable in every way imaginable. As soon as I could, I went my own way and was at home as little as possible.
I was pretty and it was an intoxicating feeling to notice how men fell for me. I was one of the "cool ones" because I could do whatever I wanted. At home, no one cared where I was or when I came home.

Snow White's hero's journey over seven mountains, overview:

Snow White's Hero's Path over 7 Mountains

The first phase of the Hero's Path: Awareness (1)

Good Queen or Evil Queen?

The first step on thepath to wholeness is awareness, i.e. realisation of the truth - no matter how terrible and painful it may be. The terrible truth meets Snow White in the form of the stepmother, who is truly abysmally evil and wants to destroy the young woman.
Who is she and why is she so evil? These are the questions the fairy tale is about.

On the meta-level: the good unconscious has left the king

King and queen symbolise the conscious and the unconscious.

The good queen has "died".

On the one hand, this means that the woman has fallen into negativity out of lack ("deep unconsciousness"). She has become the evil stepmother out of anger and pain (see The Pain Body of Woman). On the other hand, in a broader sense, it also means that the good unconscious (the good queen) has left King Consciousness and instead the evil unconscious has moved in, The Ego, which has a grip on the King via the urges.

The "good king" is absent.

The loving consciousness is not present, does not take responsibility, does not protect the vulnerable. The producer is "at work", on some "adventure". Possibly he is a "hunter" himself (hunting for women).

Domination of the drives and the ego and the power of the mirror

In the unconscious ("feminine", s. Water, symbol for the feminine and the unconscious.) negativity, the urges and the ego, which seeks power, reign. The feminine side of power is power through seduction(white magic).

The exterior is an important factor of female power. Thus the mirror symbolises the devilish negative drive from a sense of deficit (see The Animus of Woman). It emphasises lack and says: "It is never perfect!", and: "It is not enough!". There are always those who have more, are better or more beautiful. With the suggested lack, despair increases and with it the willingness to do what is "not good".

The stepmother as an unconscious collective reality of power

For long stretches, the world really does work like this: those who exercise power also get applause. The evil stepmother as "Mrs. World" favours her stuck-up, lazy daughters and devalues the good, servile ones (as in Cinderella). She stands for the feminine side of power through seduction and delusion (white magic). And already in more recent versions of the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic, the oppressive ruler who takes what he wants is glorified. (He represents the male side of power through oppression and violence, black magic). In the Revelation of the Bible, the two powers are referred to as "the harlot and the beast" (in the 13th chapter).

The 13th Fairy

The queen as stepmother has become the 13th fairy (as in Sleeping Beauty ). She definitely also exercises the "male" side of power: Violence against pure, innocent love by bullying and trying to kill the "good" daughter.

[S. also The stepmother in fairy tales and the collective dimension of abuse.]

The domination of the ego and the drives is a collective reality. Children are confronted with this at an early age and are drawn into the spell of power.

The films "Snow White" (2012) and the "Ice Queen" (2016)

Snow White interpretations in terms of the collective reality of power:

The films The Huntsman and the Ice Queen (2016) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), which is the prequel to it, are Snow White interpretations that go in this direction. It depicts why the good queen became evil, namely out of injury. Because her newborn daughter has died, she has retreated to her ice castle. Children are now abducted into this castle and trained to become brutal "hunters". They represent victims of the collective reality of abuse, in that they are torn from the loving security of the family and trained for power and violence. This is symbolised in the fairy tale by the evil queen and "stepmother". (S. also Abuse, the stolen life.)

(Despite a star-studded cast, the film was not a resounding success because, according to the director, it does not offer a satisfying resolution. A good resolution would have been if the heroine of the film, the best of the young hunters, had turned out to be the daughter of the queen who was believed dead).

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