The podcast reviewed here is the 19th in John Bett’s series on Jungian analytic psychology. In this episode Betts continues with his analysis of the Grimm’s fairy tale ‘The Nixie of the Millpond’. He examines more symbols from the story including feet, the summit, the colours green, blue and black, the comb, hair, the spindle and a number of other symbols. I decided to augment my reading with the use of video!
Betts contrasts toads….
During my search on YouTube I came across a cull of toads in Australia, a mass migration of toads in China before an earthquake, screaming frogs and ‘angry’ frogs. These are undoubtedly complex creatures with many associations and these will probably vary from one country to another. The meaning of the fairy tale may thus have varied even during the time in which it was first disseminated. Betts goes on to examine other symbols from the fairy tale – the wind
and the meadow. This link to a UNESCO video about the everlasting water cycle in the Yaku Island off Japan, contains references to many aspects of the story – the blossoming flowers, summits, the amorphous transformative nature of water.
When I was watching these videos, they did have a very powerful effect much richer than my imagination had conjured. Perhaps because of the videos themselves they seemed to augment the tale itself and it became apparent how much nature played a role in the story being told. Looking at it from this perspective I wondered whether the translation from a rural to an urban setting (depending on where the audience is based) transforms the meaning of the story to some extent. I wonder also if the use of YouTube videos can be another means for amplification! Thus the person would choose a symbol from the story and use it as a keyword in the You Tube search engine. The search terms would have to be refined. For instance a search for the colour blue returned fo0tball clubs and music videos in the returns which might bias the cultural representation of concepts. It is all too easy using this approach to move far away from the original narrative and to get lost. So it’s useful to listen to Betts description of the process and how he structures his analysis. Undoubtedly this type of analysis takes a lot of supervised practice and it is very useful to see this analysis in action. Betts has impressively maintained a very high production standard to his podcasts with clear narration and a crisp quality to the sound which optimises the complex ideas he is conveying.
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