Mary Magdalene and Feminine Psychology

New from Daimon Verlag: 

Wisdom has Built her House

Psychological Aspects of the Feminine

Edited by Andreas Schweizer & Regine Schweizer-Vüllers

260 pages, hardbound, illustrated in color, ISBN 978-3-85630-776-9

For the house of wisdom that already exists in the beyond – in the unconscious – to truly manifest within an individual human being, the whole of a person is required, along with all their four psychic functions of consciousness. This encounter with wholeness – with the divine – is a shocking event that leaves both parties – the human and the divine – renewed. The cover image of this volume portrays precisely this kind of event. It was painted by a Sicilian artist, Antonello da Messina (15th century) and it depicts L’Annunciata, The Annunciation of Mary, the fateful moment in which Mary encounters the Archangel Gabriel and becomes aware of her destiny. The angel is not depicted; we see only Mary and the shock she experiences in her encounter with the divine.

The essays in this volume by Marie-Louise von Franz, Rivkah Schärf Kluger, Gotthilf Isler, and Laurel Howe revolve around this encounter. They detail the possible union of the opposites – the divine with the human, the feminine with the masculine, the demonic with the redemptive. Ultimately, they are all about a new god-image in which the feminine – Wisdom in its feminine form – is united with the masculine. This development has been in the making within the collective unconscious for centuries and it wants to become a reality in our time.


Regine Schweizer-Vüllers, Foreword

Rivkah Schärf Kluger, The Queen of Sheba in Bible and Legends

Laurel Howe, Redeeming Mary Magdalene – The Feminine Side of the Death and Resurrection Archetype

Marie-Louise von Franz, Rumpelstiltskin

Gotthilf Isler, “The Cursed Princess” – The Redemption of the Feminine in Folk Tales

The Forest in Fairy Tales: Symbol of our Lone Nature

Marie-Louise Von Franz in her book, The Feminine in Fairy Tales, discusses the psychological meaning of the forest in fairy talesIn many tales about the developing feminine, a girl or princess retreats into a forest, hiding or taking refuge from a situation that seems destructive. In one such tale, Allerleirauh or All Fur, the heroine runs away from her father, who wants to marry her because she looks just like her late mother. Allerleirauh hides in the forest of a nearby kingdom and takes refuge in a hollow tree.

The fairy tale depicts a psychological situation in which an old, ruling attitude in the psyche (the old king) fails to recognize a new generation of feminine development (the princess). In a woman, such an attitude can live a dynamic life as her own inner masculine voice, an animus voice that is stuck in old ideas about who she “should” be. Such a voice often and loudly insists on a woman meeting expectations that do not belong to her true nature, expectations for example that insist on perfection or pleasing others. Von Franz says a retreat “into the forest” to escape such an attitude or voice in oneself symbolizes a retreat into one’s deep inner nature. Such a withdrawal from collective life necessarily involves an encounter with existential loneliness:

“Most women, since they depend so much on relationship and long for it, have great difficulty in admitting to themselves how lonely they are and in accepting that as a given situation. To retire into the forest would be to accept the loneliness consciously, and not to try to make relationships with good will, for that is not the real thing. According to my experience, it is very painful, but very important, for women to realize and accept their loneliness. The virgin soil would be that part of the psyche where there was no impact of collective human activities, and to retire to that would be to retire not only from all animus opinions and views of life, but from any kind of impulse to do what life seems to demand of one. The forest would mean sinking into one’s innermost nature and finding out what it feels like. The vegetative is also spontaneous life and offers healing to the woman destroyed by a negative animus or negative mother-complex.” ( 1982, p. 85.)