Grimms’ fairy tales include one called ‘The Goose-Girl‘. I always liked this one and recently I decided to figure out what is so psychologically-rooted and numinously-appealing about it. The analysis will make more sense to you if you read the story at the above link, first. I do some dream-analysis, and have written this interpretation in a way that mimics the vague language of dreams.
The story indicates that the queen mother’s love for her daughter gives the young princess her strength and power. When the girl allows herself to be mistreated (despite the fact that she knows better) she gives up her power.
First to leave her is her strength, followed by her status, and finally, her freedom to speak her truth.
From there, she begins to work at something which does not suit her, which she was not meant for nor brought up to do. Some of her qualities are recognized by those who are on the same footing as she used to be, though she is a mere shade of her true self.
She is clever enough not to be completely parted with her strength, her knowledge of herself- and this consoles her.
Lower beings wish to clutch at her secret gifts, but she keeps her gifts close. Those jealous lower beings ultimately lead to her help, because they make it obvious who she truly is. Though she has lost her power to speak, those of much experience can hear and see what others cannot. This is how she finds her way back to herself.
Tricksters who would steal power from others bury themselves in trouble, and cast their own harsh sentence.~
What does the trickster signify, who steals the princess’s place from her? This thief of life steals what rightfully belongs to the young woman, who is journeying out in the world for the first time. Anyone who denies a woman power, status, and freedom to speak takes on this role of ‘thief of life’.
Unwillingness also steals strength, status, and speech. Unwilling to… speak up, on the part of the princess, and to work, on the part of her servant.
So, to be a Goose-girl means to allow oneself to be mistreated, to be compliant to the point of self-denial. Losing oneself, there is so much more to lose than it originally seems, and the way back is found through the wisdom of those who have life experience, and who are listening.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief foray into my mind, and those of the Brothers Grimm. I’m feeling good about learning life lessons from fairy-tales.