For fifteen years to the very day, there will be no price to pay.
But on that day when you have no care.
She shall wander alone up a winding stair.
And there in the darkness we shall meet.
My task will almost be complete.
Spinning wheel & silver thread,
She'll be pireced by a spindle & fall down dead.
This shall be your reward oh foolish King.
This shall be the wish of the uninvited guest.
Anne Maria Clarke: Adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty
Everyone was shocked and stunned. The Queen wept bitterly as she rocked the tiny child endlessly back and forth.
But just then the twelfth fairy came forward and whispered to the king and Queen.
Do you not remember I too have a wish to make?
So calm yourselves & hear my words, for soon we must leave your mortal world.
And then, lighter than air the misty blue figure rose high above the new born child and spoke to the entire gathering.
Although it is true what my sister has said,
Beauty will prick her finger yett she'll not fall down dead.
Death will not claim her, so dry your tears,
Instead she will sleep for One Hundred Years.
Remember! Remember! Remember!
To penetrate the mystery we must - as with all such tales, think symbolically. The girl at the heart is called Beauty! She does not have a regular name precisely because she is a symbol and not an ordinary girl. She is Beauty!
What happens to her - happens to Beauty within the entire Kingdom - and by inference in our world too.
Other characters are symbols too of course - like the 13th Fairy. The King has not invited her to his daughter's Christening Party - but she turns up anyway & and casts the fateful spell. The King, as we have seen represents the dominant principal in the realm; the rational, logical, matter of factness of the material world. In contrast - the 13th fairy represents the irrational, the repressed - the unconscious with all it's unresolved dimensions. She comes because she has to - because the kingdom has fallen into a state of inbalance that is not sustainable. The masculine - the yang, has overidden the feminine, the lunar, the yin and the soul, without which it is impossible to thrive individually or collectively.
Come in my dear, whispered the old woman, beckoning the girl toward her.
Do you know what I am doing?
I do not, replied the girl. I have never seen such a contraption before. What is it?
It is a spindle my child, the only one left in the whole land and I am spinning my fine silver thread upon it. Would you like to try?
The princess was fascinated by the strange contraption and was eager to try herself, yet no sooner
had she sat down to spin than she pricked her finger and fell down upon the cold stone floor.
There was not a living thing in the whole palace that remained awake for all that was mortal slipped into a deep and dreamless river of sleep.
....and in that same instant the sun darkened and faded from the skies and a dense forest of cruel thorn encircled the entire palace.
For One Hundred Years, all was lost & hidden from view.
Remember, Remember, Remember.
The realm of myth and fairy-tale is full of symbols of longing for the lost soul. The soul that once was and which might one day be re-animated and return.
Such tales speak not only to that which might slumber within the self, but to that which slumbers and is lost within the collective too.
In some ways the Sleeping Court symbolises Western civilisation or perhaps the whole modern world, where the feminine principle has lain under a spell for many centuries.
Some people say we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift - a great change in our collective values - a revalueing of our relationships to each other & to our world. And maybe this is true. We have an incredible opportunity to change right now - in order to do so - we need to ask some interesting questions.
'What is it in us that at a certain moment
suddenly falls asleep?
'Who lies hidden within us?
And who will come at last to awaken
us, what aspect of ourselves?
To give an answer, supposing we had
it, would break the law of the fairy
tale. And perhaps no answer is
necessary. It is enough that we ponder
upon and love the story and ask
ourselves the question.'
ALL ABOUT THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
Anne Maria Clarke
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