by bonVìbré Prosim

The two pieces below are some of my attempts to write in the Jungian faery tale theatre. The first is wholly mine, and analysis of the anima. The second is an adaptation of a tale in the Karl Jung tradition, and was a task I gave to myself for studying the misstrust of my own intuition.



2. A Little Matter of Grey






Long ago there lived a queen named Virginia. Many things distinguished Virginia from other royalty with whom we are so familiar. Like her mother, and her mother's mother , Virginia had never been a princess, she had never been married, and she lived in a cave. Of course it wasn't an ordinary cave, for it held more than half the land of Hydra's 150,000 inhabitants in its nearly 200,000 rooms.

Queen Virginia's country wasn't always subterranean. For 630 years, Hydra was a powerful nation conqueror of all the lands nearby. It possessed eight great armies, and every second Spring they sallied forth to collect taxes and seek new lands to conquer.

One year King Kastro, accompanying his ""select" army, came to the sole remaining unconquered land, the sky palace of the goddess Marian. She welcomed his emissaries and presented them with more treasure than the total tribute of all the King's lands. Fearing that Marian would not properly report her treasures, Kastro's army attacked the sky palace.

Without warning the ground opened under the other seven armies of Hydra through out the world, and those men were never seen again. At the same time, the King and his "select" army found that they were each reduced to a third of their former stature, in height, breadth, and strength. Filled with such guilt were they that upon returning home their eyes refused to see and the King took his own life.

"I tire of the foolish wanton destruction by our men" , declared the widow of Kastro upon lifting the mantle of leadership, "Henceforth, we shall live as our ancestors, the miners, who traded in peace with our neighbors. Only now it will be we, and not the men, who rule and trade. As symbol to our new strength, let us build a mighty fortress - a castle like no other, a castle under the mountains. Our men shall remain as now, blind to the beauty of the earth." Using the combined strength of all its witches, the Hydra caves were built in a day, and from that day on, all men of age were given a choice: remain as a eunuch in the cave or to go out as blind farmers. Those who chose farming became frail sickly dwarfs.

The once rich lands suffered, as the Hydra women preferred mining and trading. Yet Hydra's coffers grew. Now you might think that this wealthy land of women and child-like men was prey to the world, but you are wrong. The females of Hydra were as tough and fierce as their men once were, and not once in the next three centuries was the nation severely threatened. It was to this world that Virginia became the Queen of Hydra exactly 343 years after the death of King Kastro. She became queen by virtue of being the oldest pregnant female in the country at the time of death of the previous ruler.

Virginia was a popular queen. It had been her sword that pierced the soft belly of the dragon whose fiery breath killed her predecessor. And it was her team whose calculations, years earlier, led to the discovery of a new vein of Evelight - the glowing stone which replaced candles in the castles of the wealthy around the world. In spite of Hydra's desert-like farms, royalty from afar sought her advice through their female and eunuch emissaries.

Virginia, however, was not a "settled" queen for she held a terrifying secret. You see, it had been more than a year since her work in the mine-calcularium had allowed her time to visit a farmer's pallet, and as queen she could never again participate in that activity. Further, the fatherless one kicking inside felt both like each of, and unlike any of her eight daughters and four sons. So perhaps it came of no surprise to Virginia that Marian, the patron protector of Hydra, should come as a vision in her private chambers one morning:

"That which is to come, from your womb, is both of what you have nursed in the past, and it is destined to change its world. It was sired not by a man, but by MAN. If you so desire, I can replace it now by either a girl or a boy ..... What is your wish?"

"What will happen to the child?" , asked the queen, but the goddess did not respond.

After long meditative moments, the queen spoke, "In this land, we value LIFE first, and because of this we have the finest fairest nation in the world. Other countries quarrel with neighbors, while in others siblings fight amongst themselves. Yet each year sees more nations made in our image - our League of Queens is an alliance throwing fear in the hearts of male aggressors world wide. Such stability must know no instability ... I will accept another strong willed one as those we are."

"So be it!" , said Marian.

Instantly, Virginia felt a twinge in her womb, followed by the familiar movements of a girl-child. Resisting a swoon, she saw a slight swelling in the goddess' lower abdomen as Marian slowly faded away.

Days passed and Virginia became content. Days passed and yet another country saw its King die and its Queen join the league. Days passed and a girl child was born to Virginia with such penetrating eyes and determined brow that she was named Marianna.

On the last day of Marianna's sixth year, a strange emissary came to Hydra. She was announced as Princess Sayj of Lucerna and though her tongueless retinue was small, and her gifts extremely rare, she had brought no guards. In particular, there were no males garrisoned in the barred dormitory by the cave's entrance.

Virginia had heard that Sayj's skin was not the color of freshly turned earth, but the color of the sun at setting, and she had heard that the princess' hair resembled long fingers of night, not the familiar tight curls through out the known world. In a rare impulsive mood, Virginia decided not to observe the traditional three days' petition by visitors, and, at once, summoned Sayj to the throne cavern.

"Sayj, where is Lucerna."

"Your revered Majesty of famed power and wisdom, I have traveled by the swiftest of horses, through three times seven valleys and mountains and by the swiftest of boats across three times seven seas. Not for advice or aid have I come, but to bring a message of urgency for your ears only."

To Virginia, Sayj presented a strange countenance indeed. She saw a woman her age whose height rivaled her own, whose body was as strong as a warrior's, and whose bearing indicated great wisdom, unlike the usual patronizing emissaries to her court. Yet Sayj emanated severe intensity overlaying that which seemed rare gentleness. This princess was clearly no one to fear, and Virginia acceded to a private audience.

"Your Highness, I have been sent by my king -"

"Representing a male?! How dare you presume such audacity!" , injected the queen as she began to summon her guards.

"PLEASE!!!", responded Sayj firmly, "I have learned much of your traditions as I approached Hydra. Yet such is the urgency of my king's message to you that I continued."

There was something almost magical in the countenance of this courier-princess. It felt to Virginia that she should acknowledge Sayj's integrity in spite of words spoken. Yes, there was pleading, but for a greater purpose than oneself. She nodded, "So, continue."

"In the jungles to the north of Lucerna, a great nation of women without men dwelt. Amazonia's strength was unmatched, though tested often, for they raided neighbors for their strongest men, who were killed when their usefulness ended. Nearly four years ago, a demon appeared in their castle. One can only speculate why all adults, save the captured third son of our king, in Amazonia disappeared. According to the survivor, the demon announced itself as Spawn of Hydra. Shortly thereafter, I returned to Lucerna, from a journey with our king's oldest two sons. We found the women in charge, and all adult males gone ... the Spawn of Hydra had visited our land, as well. My two oldest brothers became so ill that, to them, life was no alternative. But their youngest brother, the new king, chose to share power with the eldest of the women, now our queen. My search for the source of the demon led here."

Virginia was slow to overcome shock from Sayj's tale. The enormity of the princess' courage was unbelievable, as were the feelings she felt for the traveler. With no difficulty, she said, "You are the most remarkable person I've met. Your adventures will be sung by bards forever. Perhaps our land is the beginning of this evil scourge, but we have had no knowledge of it until now. Remain here by my side and we will explore all possibilities."

"Your majesty, I will remain by your side until the end of time, if you so request."

Now it should be clear to you and I that Virginia and Sayj had fallen deeply in love, and this vexed Virginia. Though there were rumors of such intense feelings between women of her land, and between men and women elsewhere, she had thought that such emotion was only natural between mother and child. And she thought, "I am Queen and not subject to every slight change of the wind. I shall remain chaste."

Thus, Sayj was given a small cavern off the Queen's quarters. They took all meals together, and, except the times when duties took Virginia to the throne cavern, they were constant companions. Wise women from afar were summoned, witches of might were sought after, and ancient tomes were consumed, however, no solution presented itself.

Slowly news of the Spawn crept in. One-by-one the lands to the north and west had suffered the fate of Amazonia and Lucerna. And a pattern evolved - enough for the calcularium to predict the demon's arrival in Hydra. Though a few "cowards" slipped away, most of Hydra remained continuing their usual tasks.

On the eve of the fated date, Virginia had a dream in which Marian appeared.

"What is your greatest wish?" , said the goddess.

"Destroy the Spawn of Hydra."

"You wish that I destroy your people? Then so ..."

"Wait, I mean the demon!"

"No Virginia, they are the same. Choose another."

"Tonight ,let me love Sayj physically and completely."

"Then so be it!" , said Marian who was transformed in to Sayj.

But when the princess disrobed, Virginia found Sayj was a he - a man. She summoned her guards who beheaded the creature on the spot. Suddenly, an apparition formed, it had the likeness of Virginia and Sayj. In her mind came, "I am the Spawn of Hydra." . All became dark ...

Virginia awoke from this nightmare in a naked sweat. As she arose, Marian appeared.

"What is your greatest wish?" , said the goddess.

"Destroy the Spawn of Hydra."

"You wish that I destroy your people? Then so ..."

"Wait, I mean the demon!"

"No Virginia, they are the same. Choose another."

Remembering her dream, Virginia paused. Then, speaking slowly, she said, "Tonight, let me love Sayj completely."

"For this you do not need me." . And Marian faded away.

Without dressing, Virginia dashed to Sayj's room. The King of Lucerna was awake and already disrobing. They held one another....

...elsewhere, Marianna and the Spawn of Hydra became as one.

©bonvibre&daughters 8/27/93


Some years ago there worked in a poor college in southern America, a physicist who, though he had no opportunity or money for research, had a fine family and home. On the wall opposite his office door was a large picture of young Isaac Newton in front of Trinity College with an inscription, "and the world was changed forever."
Each evening before returning home, the physicist would recline upon his office chair for a few minutes and gaze at ol' Issac. So restful, so beautiful as the echoes of students left the halls. And so often did he then dream of the great days when university professors were respected and their words sought by the entire world. As a child, he heard his grandmother's tales of the university professors for which she cooked and cleaned. His teacher's teacher's teacher (six times) claimed to have been taught by Newton. So our physicist felt proud to be kin to a great man.

It was during one of these times, when he heard a sharp small voice calling from down the hall...
"Physicist...physicist...save me!"
He rushed out of reverie, chair, and room and saw a small grey figure being dragged in to a room.
"Physicist...physicist...save me!"

The good physicist, seeing trouble, obligingly dashed down the hall, frightened the attackers, and ran back with a little grey women, three feet tall and as light as a feather, in his arms. She had astounding youthful beauty, but the grey gave an aura of royalty and great age. He set her down in his office chair.

"Thank you sir", said the grey lady. "Since you've obliged me so kindly, I am prepared to grant you any wish as your reward. But think well and make it snappy, it is Walpurgis Nacht you know, and I'm going to join my friends for a night's revelry."
The physicist did not believe the tiny female, but as everyone has a secret wish, he thought it no harm to say, "The only wish I have could never come true."
"Only one?" cried the grey lady in amazement. "You have only one wish, and here I stand ready to grant you two or three? What is this one great wish?"
"I wish I could be transported back three hundred years," The physicist said dreamingly, raising his eyes to the picture, "when the man portrayed in that picture lived in dignity, a man's efforts were respected, and the world was unpolluted."
"Well, well!" laughed the grey pixie, "That's an easy one. Just shut your eyes for a moment and open them when I say."

Intending to humor the grey Lady, the physicist did as he was told. But when he opened his eyes moments later, he thought himself asleep. The building in front of him was real, as was the horse and carriage passing behind, and the distinguished gentleman approaching.
"There you are!" said the little grey lady. "There is your wish. Are you contented?"

Just then, a soldier to his right aimed his sword at the physicist threatening, "You lazy black pig. Where is the barrel of beer for the pub." To show he meant business, the soldier swung his sword just past the ear of the now frightened physicist.

The physicist said quickly to the grey lady who was enjoying the show, "I have one more wish. I wish to reign here as my teacher's teacher's teacher (six times) times."
"Then so shall you", answered the grey witch softly, "Just close your eyes for a moment."

When the physicist opened his eyes, everything had changed, his life as well. His slave's rags were exchanged for finery of the upper class; he lay on a cot in a large room, the wooden walls covered were hung with shields and paintings of ancestors. A dull pain throbbed in his head and fresh vomit seeped in the bed beside him. The door opened and in hobbled an old servant.
"Forgive my delay, noble sir, but as the streets are clogged with people escaping the bubonic plague, I had difficulty getting through these healing fluids."
As the physicist's drank from an unwashed flask, the servant told how the plague progressed. It was not good news, "Many of your students are gone and the remainder are tired and hungry, sir, there are too many people to treat, and their ranks are being regularly thinned by the disease."
"But the papers, my man, WHAT OF MY WORKS?"
"I have obeyed you, noble sir," the servant answered, "and have had them taken to the home of young Isaac in Woolsthorpe that he study your ideas on light, gravity, and the calculus....HARK! Sir! Don't close your eyes! They say that marks the end!"
Seconds later, all became dark. The physicist awakened later and lay there weak for an indeterminate length of time, and then began to smell smoke. Finally, he heard a soldier shouting, "Burn in hell you blackguard. Burn for bringing this scourge from the African continent. Prey forgiveness for your crimes, you murderer of gentle men, women, and babies. BURN! BURN! BURN!"

As the heat grew, his terror grew and he cried desperately for the little grey lady. In a moment his grantor squeezed under the door.
"Grant me a third wish, puh-lease." he begged. "Let me go home and I'll never make foolish wishes again."
"Your wish is granted. Close your eyes as before."
A moment later he was back in his office. As he stared at the picture it slowly browned as if burning slowly...but he was content.

That night by the TV, he related that which had occurred to his wife and sons, and they laughed heartily. His wife said he must have dozed off and dreamed. Agreeing with her, he laughed as well.
However, the physicist's youngest son, having more imagination than his brothers, was struck soundly by the tale. Seven years later, the young man went with a reduced version of the picture to the Newton House in Woolsthorpe. After three years effort there and in Cambridge, he came upon letters indicating that most of Newton's work came from the only "black heathen" to teach in Trinity College.

The youth contemplated for a moment eagerly fingering the treasure, thinking what this material would mean at home. Yet he quickly accepted the great wealth offered by England to keep silent. As he flew home to present his gift to his father, he once again glanced at the picture. First to the side of the College, then from behind an apple tree, a little grey figure appeared. Unafraid, the boy sat motionlessly whispering, "Thank you, noble lady."

©bonvibre&daughters 7/21/88