I love fairy tales. In fact, fairy tales relate to the archetypes and the operation of the spirit. They are much like the myths of the past, because we continue to pass them down through the generations.
The meaning of the term princess in our modern world has been sullied and tattered into meaning a woman who is spoiled, demanding, and enjoys creating drama. This was only one of the meanings of the fairy tale writers. The term princess was also an honored position of one who would eventually become queen. We know that the fairy tales also divide the archetype of queen into two categories: Evil and Benevolent.
So, what is the recipe for a beautiful princess that matures into a benevolent queen?
We will look into Jung’s theory of animus and anima. A beautiful princess is an anima-based personality. She is caring, kind, and creative. These are all expressions of emotion or feelings. She thinks of others before herself. She makes decisions based on these two facts.
The ugly step-sister or spoiled princess is an animus-based personality. She is competitive, power hungry, and vengeful. These are all expressions of ego or intellect. She thinks only of herself and her desires. She makes judgments based on her wants. (Have you noticed that there is never a king involved? The broad is like a black widow spider and kills off her mate.)
How do you know the difference? How can you be sure you are not being sucked-up to or snowed? We all know that such personalities can weasel their way into favorable positions, only later to show their true stripes. Then it is too late.
This wise queen wanted what was best not only for her son and his personal survival, but also for the kingdom in general. She wanted to make sure the new princess would be a caring and feeling type of personality who would love and cherish her child and place the welfare of the kingdom above her personal desires. So, a test was devised. A pea was placed under twenty mattresses.
The princess in the story did Feel the pea. She did not complain during the night or request to be moved to another room. She did not bring up the discomfort but waited until she was asked the next morning. She also told the truth when asked.
Ahhh! Here was a beautiful princess indeed!