Dreamer's Refuge

A Student of Sense and Nonsense

Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post, as most of these entries are rather more like a stream of consciousness rather than an attempt to prove, argue or discuss a topic.

On the one hand I want to celebrate the life of Toni Wolff (who is pictured in the article image), without whom I think Jung would not have been able to survive the confrontation with the unconscious.

She went into the depths with him, where his wife could not, or would not go.

On the other hand, I want to bring up the marvelous work she did by introducing the world to the archetypal structures of the feminine psyche that exists in mythology, and in our everyday world.

Structural-forms-of-the-feminine-psyche-Toni-Wolff

It is a short booklet and is in the public domain, and well worth reading.

A few examples of these “types” in history, and mythology, though it must be noted that these exist both in negative and positive form, and all four exist in each women. Usually however, one is more “predominant”, as in left or right handed people, one feels more “natural” than the others.

Feminine Psychology

Hetaria: Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren

The Hetaria is the inspiration of her partner, either by her beauty, intellect, or other ways she fills the common saying “Behind every great man there’s a great woman”. Toni Wolff was that woman for Jung. She was his inspiration and guide through some of his hardest times after his split with Freud.

Mother: Mother Teresa, Virgin Mary

The Mother is the natural “caretaker” of both children and her partner. Some do not fill this role naturally, and some are not happy until they know everyone around them is emotionally and psychologically cared for.

Medial Woman: Toni Wolff, Sister Faustina Kowalska

The Medial Woman is perhaps the rarest of the four, but she brings the mystical, awe inspiring and sometimes downright primal experience to the world, and her partner. She brings to light the shadow (things people hide from themselves) of the person or situation she is brought into. This, I think, was Toni Wolff’s predominant “type”. In many ways she understood the unconscious symbolism even better than Jung.

Amazon: Lucille Ball, Oprah Winfrey

The Amazon is a woman who is the compatriot, and equal comrade in arms, of her partner. She shows her equality not by rhetoric, but by action. She seizes the opportunity to excel in whatever task she puts her mind to, and ignores, or is above the petty insecurities of (powerful) men that feel threatened by her. When her position is questioned or undermined, she speaks up immediately and directly. She is also complementary to her partner (as he is to her) and will accept aid (and vice versa) when that is warranted.

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