Women Who Run With the Wolves – Facades: Struck with Blindness
Many women are very sensitive and when in relationship with men they can struggle with what is good or not; for themselves.
They sometimes act against their feelings, or cannot resist temptations to take risks in getting involved to begin with. Maybe this is because they are curious, careless, adventurous, protesting, or they have simply learned to be nice and submit to the wishes of others. These stories do not always have a happy endings; as we see in the Archetype tale of Bluebeard.
It Won’t Be So Bad After All:
The Jungian psychoanalyst, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, collected stories, myths, and fairy tales about the primeval nature of women. She published them in her world bestseller “Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.”
The second story in her book is about Bluebeard, who manages to seduce a young woman who had not learned in her childhood to look behind the facades of others in order to recognize their real character.
In this tale, Bluebeard is a clever magician working in black magic and is a womanizer. Using his gift of story-telling and his great wealth, he tries to impress three sisters and their mother. He succeeds so well that he manages to marry the youngest sister.
In the tale there comes a day when he goes on a trip and leaves his wife a set of keys; while expressly forbidding her from using the smallest one in the set. As you can guess, the wife invites her sisters over to their castle and using the keys, they open all the doors and find enormous treasures.
They come to the last door which can only be unlocked by the smallest key, and in the room they discover female bodies. Bluebeard returns home and becomes aware of his wife\’s disobedience regarding the keys, and becomes so furious that he wants to kill her. The wife\’s sisters find out about Bluebeard\’s desire to kill her, so they get word to their brothers who come and take care of Bluebeard instead.
The Deeper Meaning:
In this tale, Bluebeard’s wife represents all women, and their need to learn:
- There are predators one can fall victim to.
- There are people whose tricks are hard to detect.
- There are people of weak character who simply cannot or do not want to change.
- There are those who will try to blind you with their wealth or power; it takes intentional awareness to recognize and avoid falling for it.
What Do You Respond To?
- What sort of man do you feel most strongly attracted to and why?
- How did your mother model relationships to you?
- Were you brought up to be the “nice girl” and go along, or did your mother teach you to say “NO” and live by your power?
- Were you prepared for a “life in the wild,” or were you overprotected?
- Do you love adventure and risk or are you more cautious?
- Are you tempted by the forbidden?
An Honest Look Behind the Facades:
Dr. Pinkola Estés shares that many women have experienced the Bluebeard story in their own relationships. They marry without knowing anything about the “tricks of the robber”; the masks that charming men can wear. They can then easily become victim to those partners who manipulate, dominate, and finally attack them physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Many women that fall prey to this Archetype, see it as their sacred duty to heal and rehabilitate this poor, sick man with their love. In the meantime, they spend loads of time persuading themselves that his scary “blue beard” looks almost elegant under favorable lighting.
Deep insight and high levels of awareness come with saying “NO” to these relationships; requiring one to leave their patterns of comfort. The promises made of by this type of person can sound very tempting and the advantages of a relationship that seems to be irresistible, can actually be a price far too high to pay and change one\’s life for the worse!
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this series this time next week!
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