Upon asking her magic mirror who is the ‘fairest’ of them all, the Queen sees Snow White’s reflection instead of her own.
Instantly jealous, the Queen vows to destroy her rival and in the process destroys herself.
Such is the stuff of fairy tales and compulsive relationships.
Yet while all relationships are mirrors, compulsive relationships show you something very special. Compulsive relationships show you a dangerous archetypal pattern so deeply ingrained in your psyche you’ll never see it except through someone else.
The Queen can’t deal with the insecurities stirred up by Snow White’s pretty face. So, like most of us, she projects her anger onto the ‘other’ – in this case the girl. Thus they become locked into an archetypal dynamic of destruction and renewal that neither can control. Note that in the original (unsanitised) tale, the Queen was Snow White’s real mother and she intended to eat Snow White’s heart to boost her own power.
Her mother’s treachery serves as Snow White’s initiation to adulthood (the ‘father’ is noticeably absent). When Snow White succumbs to temptation and eats the apple (fruit of the tree of knowledge), her child ‘self’ dies. It is only after a period of dormancy and mourning that she can move forward again. By the end of the story (in the original version), Snow White marries a prince and, as the new queen, Snow White behaves just like her mother. We come full circle as the new queen forces the old queen to dance herself to death wearing red-hot iron shoes.
Some years ago, I was trapped in a compulsive relationship with an older woman in Amsterdam. She was my boss. Her Chiron (healing) was conjunct my Mars/Venus (passion). It likewise set off my Moon/Mars square (anger at ‘Mother’). We had mutual Mars/Uranus (sex, sex, sex) contacts. With her, I experienced desires I’d never before (or since) known.
I was scared. I took the moral high ground and played Snow White to her Wicked Witch. Constantly, she baited me with the apple (sex), which I was never allowed to taste. Jealously, competition, and mutual admiration were the foundations of our relationship. We had much in common, but for me, the attraction lay in what she had that I didn’t.
Finally, it dawned on me that we were acting just like my mother and me. But this time I wasn’t a child. With help from transiting Pluto squaring my natal Venus/Mars I made my escape to London. I went straight from the pan into the fire.
Although my relationship with the Wicked Witch of Amsterdam had put me in touch with my long suppressed anger and thwarted ambition, another woman (my new boss) made it clear to me that I had no idea now to use it.
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