By Marie-Louise von Franz
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Extra resources for Archetypal Patterns in Fairy Tales (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts)
There, diamond or gold is the highest achievement, the goal to be reached. Here, on the contrary, this motif has a completely negative connotation. It is a cursed state that is represented by those forests. "17 It is the story of a princess who is ill-treated by her stepmother. She runs away with the help of a blue bull from home, and they have to pass through a silver, gold and diamond forest. The bull tells the girl never to touch a leaf because if she does there would be a catastrophe. But in each forest she can't avoid touching a leaf, and each time a three-headed, six-headed, and finally a nine-headed troll appears.
Far from being immobile and half dead, as they seem to be, their soul is far away, dancing a devil's dance with some semidemonic, semidivine figure, having the most ecstatic experiences. There you see how a religious archetype that is positive in itself can negatively affect those who aren't up to meeting it in the right way. One must never forget that it is the very same archetype which in other connections, if understood and assimilated without losing one's humanness, is of the highest positive value.
Where the hero is blind in his standpoint is precisely where the white girl strikes. But she does not get him because he stays awake and pulls the needle out. By doing so, he gets possession of the needle for future use. In other words, he is aware of his own weakness since he knows he must struggle to stay awake. After he takes the needle, he sees the princess and the white girl push aside the bed to reveal a door in the wall. Through this they go down some stairs and come out into those woods of silver, gold and diamonds.