Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Now, I am not advocating a return to the primitive world of the past; but from time to time, I think about the story of the man who was clinically dead and then brought back to life. The first thing that he said was, “I have seen God, and She is black.” And I wonder if, in man’s creation of God in his own image, whether we may not have lost sight of the value of the Goddess within. And I wonder whether, in our espousal of science and achievement, we may not have abandoned living and being for advancement and doing. And it is not that the solution is necessarily to become involved in a return to witchcraft, but it is important to find some way to get in touch with the feminine within you.

So I come at last to the climax, my advice to women on how to get ahead in the world. Don’t do it the way most men would do it. Don’t get caught up in the North American business ethic. Don’t mistake the stereotypic male for the masculine ideal. Don’t be seduced by the ephemeral grandiosity of egocentric “power thrusting.” Don’t sell your birthright for a mess of pottage. Rather, consider the power of the archetypal Goddess, the Eternal Feminine. Put yourself in touch with the joyous child within you; and do it with panache; for if you do, no power on earth will be able to hold you back. And you’ll go a long way, baby.



Asimov, I., Words from the Myths. New York: New American Library, 1961.

Landsberg, M., Who said women are all bad? Almost everybody. Toronto: The Toronto Star, 17 February 1983.

Lipovenko, D., “Depressingly little” change in job status. Toronto: The Globe & Mail, 21 February 1983.

Schwartz‑Salent, N., Narcissism and Character Transformation. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1982.

Searles, H.P., “The Self in the countertransference.” Issues in Ego Psychology vol.2 (1979), no.2.

von Franz, M.‑L., The process of individuation. In C. G. Jung, Man and His Symbols. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1964.

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continuedWomen’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Now, you may wonder what this has to do with women’s lib, witchcraft, and sex. The answer is that few of us are likely to undergo the transforming power of psychoanalysis, so we have to find some other way to get in touch with the archetypal energies of the Goddess within; and witchcraft is one possible option. You may recall that in Greek mythology Zeus was king of the gods. He was married to Hera, and they had a son by the name of Ares who was the cruel and bloody god of war. When Ares went into battle, his sons Phobos (or fear) and Deimos (terror) prepared his chariot. There were also times, however, when Ares made love and not war; at least he managed to find time between battles to get together with Aphrodite (whom Botticelli reminds us rose from the sea foam on a scallop shell) for long enough to produce a son by the name of Eros, whom the Romans knew as Cupid. The love between Cupid and Psyche is one of the great love stories of all time, but it is more than just a love story. Psyche is the Greek word for “soul,” and the deeper meaning of the story of Cupid and Psyche is that, while the soul may be condemned for a period of time to undergo misery and hardship, still, if it is faithful and true, it will eventually return to heaven and be reunited with love. However, this is not a love story, and I digress.

Although Zeus was married to Hera, he was as immoral as he was immortal, and he had many children by many different mates. The twins, Apollo and Artemis, he fathered on Latona, daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. Apollo was considered to be the god of the sun, and he later came to be associated with Lucifer because of a reference in Isaiah to Lucifer, son of the morning. Artemis was goddess of the moon, and she came to be associated with the Roman goddess Diana, and it is as Diana that she is most familiar to us today. Lucifer and Diana had an incestuous affair, and Diana gave birth to Aradia who eventually came down to earth and taught men and women the secrets of witchcraft. This, according to the legend, was because the church and the aristocracy were treating the poor with such cruelty that Diana felt they needed to be provided with some means of self-defense. In fact, the Church of the Middle Ages was truly becoming the Church Militant, flexing its muscles in the battle to suppress all non‑Christian and non‑patriarchal expressions of religion. In particular, it wanted to suppress the Old Religion and the sexuality that was associated with it. The witch trials and the documents which supported them were, at one and the same time, like neurosis, both an expression of and a defense against the demonic in man and, in particular, against sexuality. But witchcraft was not easy to suppress. The persecution of witches lasted for almost 600 years and only came to an end when science began to supplant religion as the major guiding force in men’s lives. And even then, witchcraft continued to be suppressed, only becoming legal again in England, for example, in the 1950’s, probably in response to the increasing dissatisfaction with science as saviour in human affairs.

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

According to von Franz (1964, p. 162), “The Self can be defined as an inner guiding factor that is different from a conscious personality … a regulating centre that brings about a constant extension and maturing of the personality. But this larger, more nearly total aspect of the psyche appears first as merely an inborn possibility. It may emerge very slightly, or it may develop relatively completely during one’s lifetime. How far it develops depends on whether or not the ego is willing to listen to the messages of the Self.” And the narcissistic character (and each of us to the extent that we share narcissistic character traits) is absolutely terrified of discovering the Self, for fear that emotional interaction with the unconscious will result in personality disintegration and death. However, if the narcissistic character can summon sufficient courage to begin this self‑exploration, he is most likely to find not eternal chaos but just the opposite, an inner reality that is both strong and dependable. In the process, however, the narcissistic character is brought face‑to‑face with a deeper schizoid level within himself, although one which is very different from that of the schizoid personality. In the latter case, the split‑off Self is passive, and its energy content is easily drained. But there are schizoid dynamics that are symptomatic of a different kind of split‑off Self, one which is intensely alive and exudes a sense of power, one which is connected to and sustained by the archetypal dimension of the Goddess, the feminine influence which dominated archaic cultures until it was suppressed by the development of a more patriarchal society.

When this schizoid dynamic appears, it is often indicated in dreams in the form of two children. These children are not exactly equals but, rather, one is more potent than the other, far more archetypal, “the true child of joy,” while the other is more passive, more easily depressed, and more generally masochistic. The deeper child image, the child infused with joy, comes forth much less often than the other, usually slightly older child. Relating to either child is fraught with difficulty, for the masochistic child aspect of the emerging self induces strong sadistic feelings in the analyst while the joyful child stimulates the transference to become eroticized as the patient tests the feasibility of letting himself or herself be identified with the joyful child. Both have to be accepted in a caring, kinship sense, for when both these children can become integral parts of the personality, the patient gains not only the empathy associated with successful resolution of the depressive phase of child development but also the archetypal energies of the child of joy, a new awareness of the Goddess within, and a feminine force within the personality before which egocentric masculine grandiosity pales into insignificance.

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

In classical clinical psychoanalysis, narcissistic character disorders were believed to be untreatable because of an impenetrable barrier to the establishment of any kind of transference relationship with the analyst. However, as this impenetrable barrier began to be penetrated by investigations into primitive internalized object relations and their role in the treatment of pre‑Oedipal conditions, it was found that this nihilistic belief was, in fact, far from valid. Actually, very strong transferences are established, but these strong transferences also induce strong countertransference reactions in the therapist, and these countertransference reactions tend to interfere with therapy. According to Searles (1979), “The analyst inevitably regresses in the course of the session and will experience the patient as being identified with the so‑called bad mother of the patient’s past. The analyst will inevitably react to the patient as being a very disappointing and enraging unempathetic mother….” However, if the analyst properly understands rage and hate and other negative emotions, and particularly if he or she sees them as disintegration products caused by wounds to self‑esteem, then it is sometimes possible to step out of these negative countertransference reactions or, alternatively, to metabolize them into insight when that is required. Proper use of these negative emotions enables the analyst to mirror the narcissistic character’s emerging personality until the pre‑symbolic stage of mental development is mastered and the client becomes able to appreciate the reality of the symbols involved in interpretation of his productions. When this occurs, the exhibitionistic‑grandiose Self, which has finally been “heard” by its captive audience, can transform into more realistic self‑esteem. This transformation heralds the second stage in the treatment of the narcissistic character disorder, in which the client begins an introspective examination of and investment in the Self.

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Certainly, the inferior position of women has existed for a long, long time, and there is some question as to whether women are even holding their own. In a recent article concerning changes in the status of women since the Second World War, Lipovenko (1983) reported as follows: “While the number of Canadian women working outside the home has grown rapidly since the post war years, there is ‘depressingly little change in the kind of work they do,’ says a federal report to be released today [21 February 1983]….

More than 70 per cent of women who work for pay are in clerical, service, sales, processing and fabricating jobs – and women are becoming more dominant in those traditionally female occupations, says the report for the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women….

As of 1980, one‑third of all working women do clerical work and half of them are concentrated in trade and service – the lowest paid industrial sectors, the report noted.

Since 1975, women have lost ground in two well‑paid occupations – teaching and jobs involving machines. There has been a significant drop in the number of full‑time teaching jobs going to women: new teaching jobs are going to men working full‑time and to women employed part-time….

Women’s average annual earnings in 1979 (the most recent year for which data were available) were $7,673 compared to $14,981 for men, the report said.”[1] It is within this context that I offer to women my advice on getting ahead in the world.

[1] As a 2008 update, the gender gap in salaries was $ 0.71 for women, for every $ 1.00 earned by men. The gender gap remains regardless of education. “Female high school graduates earn 27 percent less than male graduates. Female university graduates earn 16 percent less than male graduates.” (The Toronto Star, September 17, 2008).