In the Dark we are without her Empress Light
“If you wake up and think you know what your dreams mean, you are usually barking up the wrong tree. The Trickster god has caught you. The unconscious loves to do that, especially with awkward shadowy things.”
- Mary Louise von Franz, The Feminine in Fairy Tales. Zürich and New York. Spring Pub. 1972.
Fairytales can carry either patriarchal or matriarchal messages, depending on how they are read. Characters such as over-inquisitive children and witches warn us at first but later become role models that explain our lives as women. A common theme in fairytales is the woman or girl bound by a spell, trapped in a tower or lost in the forest; either awaiting rescue by the male, being saved by her own wits, or living forever as an outcast, accumulating knowledge and power – the manifestation of the Witch.
In developing this work using themes from my own childhood, I researched feminist readings of fairy tales and Jungian psychology, and also had direct experience of the role of my subconscious – or the collective unconscious – in the creative process:
I dreamed of finding a finger belonging to a witch in a box, on that night both my children had the same dream.
On the following night, as I slept, a witch visited me and scratched the sole of my foot.
A few days later, in an op-shop in a strange city, I heard a frog croak, where no frog was.
My life had turned into a tale from the Brothers Grimm. The psychological inner world with its dreams and myths is as real as the outer world.
- Hayley Theyers