Skip to content


January 18, 2011

A skiff pulled up to the beach, and three rough-looking men jumped out. They grabbed Estella and dumped her into the bottom of the skiff, and pushed off. They pulled unevenly at the oars, sending the skiff zigzagging out toward the open ocean, where a black ship with dark sails hove to. Estella was frightened; none of these men were the one she saw yesterday, and they looked very different from the people in her village.



When the unhealthy masculine takes over, it feels like an abduction; we are possessed by a force that does not have our best interests at heart. Other fairy tales and myths reflect a similar abduction of the negative masculine. In the myth of Persephone, she is abducted from the meadow where she is picking flowers by Hades and taken to the underworld. At the beginning of Grimm’s tale Fitcher’s Bird (or The Feather Bird), the wizard, disguised as an old beggar, approaches a house with three beautiful daughters to ask for food, and “when the eldest girl came out and offered him a piece of bread, he only touched her and she was compelled to jump into his sack.”

How susceptible are we to that touch? If we are raised in a patriarchal culture, it’s likely we are like the daughter and compelled to jump right in. We may first need to develop awareness that we have been taken. In Fitcher’s Bird, the first two daughters each separately meet the same terrible fate (death), and the third finally finds the proper way through. This is common in fairy tales and it is true in life as well; it often takes a few times before we realize that we have fallen again into the same trap. It is also instructive about the true nature of the dysfunctional masculine; despite what might appear to be a friendly and giving exterior, the reality is quite the opposite.

Notice too that there is always furtiveness and deception behind these abductions. Hades waits until Persephone has wandered far from her mother, the goddess Demeter, and the others in the meadow before snatching her away, so no one even knows where she has gone. The wizard disguises himself to gain access to the daughters. In our tale, they take Estella hurriedly and in early morning, when no one will see. We find out too that the stranger turns out to be an intermediary; we never see him again. He is simply an agent, a respectable looking fraud acting on behalf of the shadowy side. Still, he is an aspect of that shadow, a go-between who helps ensure that the dysfunctional masculine can take over.

How do you become susceptible to being taken over by the unhealthy masculine? How do you know when you have been taken over?

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: