Callanish Stones on All Souls Night
I was thinking about all of this today because I have started another piece depicting a person with one wing. It's a theme/motif I've been working with for many years, and is for me a deeply personal symbol of my inner self. I knew these winged or half-winged figures were emotionally connected to me, but at first I thought they were just a representation of my favorite fairytale, Hans Christian Anderson's "The Wild Swans", which I had read over and over again as a child.
Here's a short summary, if you don't want to read the whole story, but it basically involves a girl whose 11 brothers have been turned into swans by - who else? - their wicked stepmother. A fairy tells their sister she can reverse the spell by knitting shirts out of nettles for her brothers, but of course everything goes wrong, and she has to dress them in the shirts before the last one is finished, leaving the youngest brother with one wing instead of an arm.
Book of Dreams, first page spread
At some point, I realized that that, subconsciously, the one-winged figures represented more than an attachment to a favorite storybook character; on some deeper psychological level, I identified with them. Too bad Carl Jung's not around to figure that one out, I thought. I briefly researched Jung's archetypes, but none of them seem to shed any light on this. Perhaps I unconsciously see myself as not fully human; it's true that in many ways animals make more sense to me than people do. Some sort of transformational process feels closer to the mark, though; maybe it represents the hope for change, a desire to become something better than I am. Or, could it be that my neighbor's alien theory wasn't so far off after all...? :~)
Anyway, here is the new piece thus far:
No, she doesn't have a wing yet - but stay tuned; I will post any further progress as it happens.