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Sleeping Beauty - Death and Resurrection of Love (Introduction)

The 13th Fairy in Sleeping Beauty

By on 21 May 2021

The 13th Fairy in Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty - Death and Resurrection of Love

(Introduction to Fairy Tales)

The fairy tale Sleeping Beauty is about the lost wholeness and the dying and resurrection of love. Life as a celebration of wholeness, symbolised by the twelve golden plates, is destroyed by the Thirteen, the evil fairy, who pronounces a curse. What does this mean? and how can wholeness be achieved again and thus the happy ending? Questions like these are the themes of Sleeping Beauty.

Click here to go directly to the start of the fairy tale:
Sleeping Beauty and the Wholeness of the Twelve


Sleeping Beauty - the fairy tale

First a short version of the well-known fairy tale:

Sleeping Beauty - brief content of the fairy tale

The birth, the feast and the twelve golden plates

A child, a princess, was born to the proud king and the happy queen. They wanted to give a feast to which twelve fairies were invited, who were to bless the child with good gifts. They were to sit at the table at twelve golden plates. However, there was a thirteenth fairy. There was no plate for her and she was not invited to the feast.

Blessing and curse

The feast took its course and eleven of the fairies had already bestowed their blessings on the girl. But then the thirteenth fairy burst in unexpectedly and pronounced a curse on the girl. She would prick herself on a spindle on her 16th birthday and die.
Fortunately, the twelfth fairy had not yet pronounced her blessing. So it was possible for her to soften and transform the death curse: Beauty would not die, but only fall into a deep sleep for 100 years.

Sleep and the thorn hedge

This is how it happened. The king had had all the spindles in the country burnt, but one was still hidden in the tower room of the castle. The princess pricked herself on this spindle on her 16th birthday. A drop of blood flowed and immediately she fell into a deep sleep and with her the whole castle. An impenetrable hedge of thorns grew up around it, in which all princes who wanted to get through to the princess got stuck.

 The Prince and the Wedding

Only after the 100 years had passed did a prince manage to gain access to the castle and the princess. The thorns turned into a hedge of flowers.

Enraptured by the beauty of the sleeping woman, he kissed her. Then she awoke and soon the wedding was celebrated.

The themes in the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty

12 gold plates

The Feast and the Twelve Golden Plates: Wholeness

Life should be a celebration that leads to wholeness. This is symbolised by the twelve golden plates.

The number 12 represents wholeness in a special way. Namely, it considers the relationship aspect and the goal of being completely reconciled with oneself and thus also with the "inner family". This means that the inner images of father, mother, daughter and son (=4) are seen in the light of love in all areas of life (youth, adulthood, mature age = 3). This results in: 12 = 4 x 3.

Life as a festival with blessings and curses

The Blessing of the Twelve Fairies

Every human being receives good gifts in his or her life that help him or her on the path to wholeness. They are symbolised in the fairy tale by the gifts of the twelve good fairies.

The Thirteen

In the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, the focus is on the question of what spoils the celebration of life. The thirteenth fairy as supernatural greatness and spiritual identity appears with a death curse that at first seems inevitable. She symbolises the ego, the identity of negativity and separation.

[see The Twelve and the Thirteen at a Glance.]

The Curse: Love Died

The word "curse" describes a negative fact in the shadows from which there is no escape, which rather shows negative effects in the light of life.
The curse of the thirteenth fairy is that the virgin will die. This is always the case with the first sexual intercourse. However, in a deeper sense, the virgin as an archetype also symbolises pure, unconditional and miracle-working love. Every woman carries this love in her heart. But if the woman is traumatised, her love can be destroyed and "die". This has been a theme since the beginning of human culture.

[S. The Bible's account of the Fall and the Mystery of the Serpent; Family Secrets and Collective Secrets as a Curse, The Great Original Sin and Inanna, Sumerian Goddess of Love (Introduction)].

The Hedge of Thorns and Sleep: Negativity of the Woman

Violation of the woman: love died

If the woman experiences selfish and unloving sexual intercourse, abuse or pain, then she gets into negativity and is separated from her positive life force and her spiritual power of love. This negativity of the woman is the female drive (see The Pain Body of the Woman - Dark Ruler in the Shadow).

Thorns: aloofness

As a result, she falls into the grip of anger and feelings of revenge. When she lives power to take what she wants in the future, she becomes, in the language of fairy tales, a witch or an evil fairy. Because of the injury she has experienced, she no longer allows any man to really get close to her, and those who try die in the thorns that have grown around her.

Sleep: unconsciousness from negativity

The woman in negativity is in unconsciousness and believes herself to be in the right, for example, to take revenge on those who have wronged her (see Strong Emotions and the Unconscious). This is why the fairy tale speaks of 100 years of "sleep". Sleep is repeatedly a symbol of unconsciousness in the traditions (see The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, The Seven Loaves).

The Prince and the Wedding: Resurrection of Love

The path through the underworld, the shadows

It is a long road back to reconciliation. It leads through The Underworld and includes the confrontation with the shadow. Once this is integrated through love, the celebration of life and wholeness can begin.

The Prince and the Resurrection of Love

By reconciling herself with her own weakness and with her body, the wounded woman can begin to love herself again, and her pure love thus rises again. By integrating her masculine parts, (animus) she also regains access to her physical strength and her spiritual power. These are symbolised by the prince as positive animus and Christ figure.

Holy Wedding

Overcoming the shadows is then followed by wholeness and eternal life. They seal the happy end, symbolised by the wedding of prince and princess.

[S. The Holy Wedding.]

Holy Wedding

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