Photo credit: IMDB
This 21st. Century version of Sleeping Beauty is different from the Brothers Grimm one. Thus, a lot of good traditional & psychological meanings are distorted. However, I find it is interesting to analyse anyway. In this post, I focus on two main characters, Maleficent and Aurora, try to figure out why the princess sleeps, What is the meaning of the spinning wheel, and why Maleficent is allergic to iron.
The story begins with the breaking apart between two worlds, human and fairy. (The magical forest, Moors) This scene could mean the split between intrapsychic, the consciousness, and the unconscious. The Greedy boy, Stefan, had got good things inside but too stupid to see their value. He cut her wings of Freedom & took away her pride to trade with external material wealth & power. Greedy & selfish love usually ends up this way. Two worlds split.
Maleficent’s land is full of mythical creatures, abundant of resources, magnificent, and anything seems possible there. It’s the source of life. Thus, the human wants to take it badly. However, it cannot be taken by force but by making a good relationship.
The name of Maleficent should be Magnificent, the Best thing, the most beautiful one but the dark side get in, so it becomes Mal or bad. Moreover, it could be seen as Male, which can be “Animus Possession” in Jungian psychology, which means a female who gets possessed by negative masculine/animus side and so lacks good feminine quality. As a result, she turns wild, cruel, and vengeful, and her forest becomes dark and lifeless.
When love turns sour like thousand of thorns prick one’s heart, Maleficent’s heart is full of hatred, anger, and vengeance. The dark side takes charge, and the bright side splits off. A new character, Aurora, emerges. Aurora means light, similar to the Greek goddess of the dawn, Eos. While Maleficent represents darkness, Aurora is light, hope, a new beginning, purity, love, and consciousness. Both are two sides of the same coin.
Secretly observing the adorable baby softens Maleficent’s heart. She sees the bright side of herself through Aurora. Love grows within the interaction between them. (making a relationship with one’s mind)
Aurora can enter the magical forest only when she was sleeping. The same as when Maleficent makes Prince Phillip sleeps and walks through the thorny path to meet the sleeping Aurora (unconscious Aurora). Through a dream, one can connect with the magical forest or the unconscious.
Why the Spinning Wheel? To make a yarn has to twist fiber together and roll it before weaving them into the fabric. We wear clothes to cover our bodies for warmth, vanity, and protection. On the other hand, it could be seen as our relationship with others. We make a good relationship, and that makes us feel warm, we make a bad relationship, and it put us in trouble. There are a few words like the loom of destiny; the fabric of fate, wheel of fortune, which is similar to Eastern concept of the wheel of Dharma or Karma, means one will face the consequences of what one did. And life has up & down cycle like the spinning wheel. It’s destiny. So I will conclude here that the spinning wheel is a symbol of one’s fate according to one’s deed.
Photo credit: IMDB
Why the needle/spindle pricks the index finger? The needle could mean bad love or a bad relationship that hurt us. The needle/spindle is a tool to make a yarn, but it also could hurt us if one is not conscious when using it. In this story, the needle is made of iron, which Maleficent is allergic to (will explain in the next paragraph) For Index finger; we usually use to point to things we want. We aim to the direction we’d like to go, but when the heart is broken, lousy relationship pricks this finger. One gets lost, lacks the sense of direction, confused about what one wants, forgets who one is, loses consciousness, turns to the dark side, and thus, the princess goes asleep or goes unconscious. The unconscious dark side (the vengeful curse of Maleficent) consumes the light of consciousness (Aurora).
Why Maleficent Allergic to iron? Maleficent could be an archetypal image, which is Anima or the inner feminine side. She also can be seen as the Mother Earth as she is the master of trees, animals, and nature. She is life energy and fertility. Iron is a natural mineral but gotta be mined and cast and so on to make it becomes weapons, tools, accessories. It represents “man-made material,” which could be either positive or negative things. However, it is made from human greed. Thus, Maleficent gets hurt or weaken by iron things as they are the opposites. One raw nature (Nurture) and the other one, processed nature (exploited) It’s the greed of humans that hurt Maleficent, and that greed also destroys human themselves. [a friend told me that iron could mean masculinity/animus]
Why Maleficent gets her wings back? As her anger and vengeful feelings are gone. She kisses the light with pure love; she unites her bright side back in, results in the awaken of Aurora. The uniting leads Aurora to find the caged wings and set them free. The light, hope, and pure love set Maleficent free from darkness. She becomes full once again, be open and robust, and could defeat the greedy masculine, King Stefan.
There is no need for the thorny wall as now two worlds are united and ruled by the light. Maleficent supports Aurora. The consciousness gets positive life energy from the unconscious, no split personality, and Happy Ending.
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