Fitcher’s Bird and the Return of Spiritual Life to Nature
Lecture and Workshop
Laurel Howe, M.A., Diplomate Jungian Analyst
Fitcher’s Bird, the Fairy Tale:
Fitcher’s Bird is a fairy tale about a wizard who lives in riches, deep in the forest. For a long
time he has been kidnapping maidens and taking them to his home, where he offers each of
them the key to a forbidden room and an egg. All of the maidens end up dead except for the
heroine, who is clever enough to trick the wizard and break his spell. What does this mean when young feminine energy is being murdered before it has a chance to make its way into
life? And what is it about heroine that brings about a completely new situation?
Friday Night Lecture:
On Friday night, we read the fairy tale and discussed how to interpret fairy tales from an archetypal perspective so we can under-
stand what they mean psychologically.
On Saturday, Laurel Howe delved more deeply into the individual motifs of Fitcher’s Bird, including wizard, maiden, forest, key,
and egg so we could understand how the fairy tale might be an alchemical tale about a nature spirit like Mercurius that becomes
destructive when forced into a worldview or an attitude that is too narrow. Dreams and artwork helped us explore how the wizardly
spirit appears especially in women as the so-called “negative animus,” and how we may eventually realize him as a light-bringer with
enormous spiritual potential and a desire to be realized in our lives.
Laurel Howe's Bio:
Laurel Howe is a Diplomate Jungian analyst and sand play therapist with a private practice in Denver, Colorado. She earned her
analytic diploma from The Centre for Research and Training in Depth Psychology according to C.G. Jung and Marie-Louise von
Franz, Zürich, Switzerland. She is a faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute of Colorado and the Boulder Association of Jungian
Analysts. Laurel is the author of War of the Ancient Dragon: Transformation of Violence in Sand Play, a detailed study of the
uncanny alchemical process of a six-year-old boy (Fisher King Press). She lectures internationally about Mary Magdalene and the
alchemical nature of sand play.
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