spinning straw, confronting the shadow

This is an article by

Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson

She writes a lovely monthly newsletter called "The Nudge" which encourages one to take risks in the creative arena, mainly put forth your knowledge into a book. You can reach her at 206.905.9343 or email her at ineedanudge@gmail.com.

talking about the tale of Rumplestiltskin...
Psychoanalyze this tale a bit and you'll see that Rumplestiltskin is part of the personality of the miller's daughter. In the Freudian vocabulary, he is her Id. For you Jungians, he is the Shadow. But whatever you call it, Rumplestiltskin represents a creative force that the girl has within her from the start. She just doesn't realize it.

And that's where we all are. We all have the power to spin straw - to transform our mundane abilities and talents - into gold - into our hearts' desire. We might need some level of desperation to see this, maybe not a threat of death, but something that shakes us out of the status quo. And even then, like the miller's daughter, we're more likely to weep and wail than to take action. We need a nudge, but we also need to be daring.
Daring to use our hidden powers - that side of us that is reckless, creative, even dangerous - that is what delivers amazing results.
It's also what terrifies us.
The miller's daughter got what she wanted - three rooms of gold, a powerful husband and a baby - and decided she no longer needed her creative muse. She sent Rumplestiltskin packing (to the netherworld, according to most versions of the tale; Freud and Jung would concur). In the traditional world of the fairy tale, anyone with an active Id is in trouble. Better to settle down.
But many of us settle down long before we fulfill our dreams. We banish our inner Rumplestiltskin way too early. We play it safe. We are terrified, actually, of how wonderful we could be if we let ourselves be our true selves. Our Id is dangerous, that's a fact. But it can be activated and controlled.
This week, think a bit about Rumplestiltskin. See if your unconscious comes up with some terrific new idea that you've never had before, simply because you've invited your Id to play a part in your life. This is precisely what happened to me this week.
And the question, remember, is not really "straw or gold?" It's really "death or gold?" Which will you choose?