Von Franz amplifies a variety of fairytale motifs to show that the magical realm is alien to the profane and mundane realm of ordinary daily life. She was one of Analytical Psychology’s most original thinkers and here she presents a lucid, concise exploration of the archetypal symbols found in fairytales.
Fairytales, like myths, provide a cultural and societal backdrop that helps the human imagination narrate the meaning of life’s events. The remarkable similarities in fairytale motifs across different lands and cultures inspired many scholars to search for the original homeland of fairytales. While peregrinations of fairytale motifs occur, the common root of fairytales is more archetypal than geographic. A striking feature of fairytales is that a sense of space, time, and causality is absent. This situates them in a magical realm, a land of the soul, where the most interesting things happen in the center of places like Heaven, mountains, lakes, and wells.