#12 “Rapunzel”

Analysis and Commentary

by Lois E. Wilkins, PhD, APRN

Title

Our title, according to Hartman’s footnote #1, tells us “Rapunzel” is a type of “rampion or lamb’s lettuce.”  Rampion, or lamb’s lettuce, is an interesting lettuce, as both the tuberous root and the leaves are edible and, in addition, the leaves are shaped like a lambs tongue. Tongues, whether that of a lamb or any other mammal, are necessary for communication.  Therefore, the reader can infer from this one-word title, Rapunzel, that a communication between opposites occurs in this tale.  In many parts of the world, this herb is referred to as “bellflower.”

From this title, the significance of what is hidden, the tuberous root, and what is easily observed above the ground, the leaves, alerts the reader to the tale’s movement between what is known from observation and what occurs through intuition.  Our title further instructs the reader that the characters’ movements will be between those behaviors that occur in secret and those that take place more openly.  

With the description of “lamb’s tongue,” the tale begins with an element of innocence (purity), such as in the “innocent lambs led to slaughter.”  We can also infer that the time of year is spring, when rampion would be most prolific in the garden.  

The Initial Paragraph

In our first paragraph, we are introduced to a man and his Wife who have longed for a child.  They now know that a child is coming and that the Wife has developed an addictive craving for the salad green, rapunzel.  In their house, the Wife stays primarily in the back, gazing out a window onto the lush garden owned by a Sorceress.  This Sorceress is feared by all the people of the land because of her powers.  We learn of the Wife’s unyielding demand upon her Husband to keep her constantly supplied with the specific salad greens from the Sorceress’s garden. The Sorceress catches the Husband in the act stealing from her garden and, in anger, tells him he will pay for his thievery, having used the Husband’s thievery as an excuse to rescue the child. The Husband pleas for mercy which causes the Sorceress to let go of her anger toward him with the insistence that once the child is born, which she guarantees will be a successful pregnancy and delivery, he will allow her to take possession of the child and care for it like a mother.  When the child is born, immediately, the Sorceress appears, gives the child the name, Rapunzel, and takes her away from the Husband and Wife to raise.  The setting is rather like a Garden of Eden setting, where Eve was told to stay away from the apple; in this case, the Wife could not stay away from these specific salad greens.

As the reader recalls, another name for the rapunzel is bellflower.  Knowing our Sorceress chooses the name, Rapunzel, for the baby girl provides clues, because bells symbolically represent the balanced unity between masculine and feminine energies. As we continue to analyze our tale, we will become immersed in this child’s destiny to balance the energies of the masculine and the feminine. 

Now, at the completion of this first paragraph we are aware of three female characters—the Wife, the Sorceress, and Rapunzel, and of one masculine figure, the Husband. The story must manifest at least one other masculine figure to bring about balance.

Dramatis Personae

The Wife is our first encounter with the energies of the feminine.  She does not represent balanced feminine energy as she is demanding, greedy, and lustful.  These attributes are centered on her addictive cravings for the “rapunzel” growing over the high wall which protects the garden of the Sorceress.  She spends her time viewing this garden from her second-story window in the back of the house.  We know it is at least a second-story window, because we are told that the garden wall is a very high wall. 

Initially, not getting what she wants and craves, the “rapunzel,” she becomes “very thin.”  According to Hartman’s footnote #6, she “…literally fell off completely….” With this description, we know that her mind is, at best, fragile, and we are aware of how intensely her desire has threatened not only the loss of her mind, but her desire to go on living.  In response to this manipulative threat, her husband steals some “rapunzel” for her. 

Not being satisfied with what he initially steals for her, she resorts to making even more demands for the “rapunzel.”  Her attributes of insatiable greed, lust, and lasciviousness demonstrate behaviors consistent with an addictive, primitive feminine energy.  This personality structure is what causes our Sorceress to claim the unborn child out of her knowledge that she can protect and raise the child better than the addicted mother.

The Sorceress

It’s important to note that in Hartman’s translation we are dealing with a sorceress, not a witch.  A variety of the translations of this tale do identify the owner of the garden and the tower as either a witch or a fairy.  Historically, witches were believed to be connected with the devil and fairies with their ability to fly between the worlds, manifesting enchantments which could be both helpful and obstructive.  By contrast, a sorceress is known to be more in touch with Sophia (deep wisdom and knowledge of all things).  A sorceress was held in high esteem and often a part of a Royal household and, sometimes, they were referred to as alchemists.  An example would be Nostradamus, who was perhaps one of the most famous historical sorcerers, using his skills of astrology, alchemy, and other occult arts with his patron, Catherine de Medici, both wife of King Henry II and mother of King Henry III of France. 

We know our Sorceress does have knowledge that the soon-to-be mother will be incapable of properly raising her child. Because of the greedy, lustful, lascivious, and demanding nature of the soon-to-be mother, our Sorceress knows that the wife’s ability to put the child’s needs ahead of her own are of deep enough concern that the Sorceress claims the child to raise.  Our Sorceress demonstrates her caring abilities by tending to her gardens and fulfilling her role as a consultant of the occult arts for the Royal family of the land.   It is to no one’s surprise that she has knowledge of the weaknesses in the character of the soon-to-be mother and, therefore, demands from the soon-to-be father that he surrender the child-to-be at the time of birth.

When Rapunzel reaches her twelfth year of life, the Sorceress, now aware of the child’s destiny, locks her in a tower that she alone can enter.  The reader can recognize this act as one of overprotection due to her devotion to Rapunzel’s innocence and her own resistance to the natural maturing  processes.

The Husband

The Husband is unable to control the wife’s greedy, lustful, and lascivious demands

for the garden salad leaves, rapunzel. He is afraid he will lose her to death if she doesn’t not get what she desires.  Therefore, he puts himself and, ultimately, his yet-to-be-born child in harms way by stealing for his wife.  Fear is his most obvious emotion and, out of fear, he makes what seems to be poor decisions.  He does not comprehend the danger in submitting to his wife’s demands and, certainly, cannot imagine how those demands will ultimately be harmful to his child.  He is psychologically ignorant. Much like Sysiphus, continuously rolling his rock up the side of the mountain, only to have it fall back each day and to begin the journey again each morning, the father must climb the garden wall until, alas, he is discovered as a thief.

Rapunzel

Under the care of the Sorceress, Rapunzel “became the most beautiful child under the sun.”  At the age of twelve years, the Sorceress puts her in a tower in the woods that had no doors or stairs.  At the top is a small window.  When the Sorceress wants to enter, she calls Rapunzel to let down her hair.  Rapunzel has long, fine hair, as fine as spun gold.  She keeps her braided hair atop her head, only letting them down to wind them around a window hook. She lets them cascade sixty feet, the height of the tower, providing a ladder for the Sorceress to climb.

Up to this point in our tale, the only human voices Rapunzel has ever heard have been from herself and from the Sorceress,

Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair.”

In her seclusion, Rapunzel passes the time singing, and her songs are heard throughout the woods from her open tower window. 

A few years after her confinement in the tower, a prince passing through the woods on his horse, hears the beautiful melody of her songs, and it deeply touches his heart.  He investigates her tower and is disappointed to find there is no access to her—no door.  He continues to come daily to hear her beautiful voice, and one day he is witness to how the Sorceress gains entry by having Rapunzel lower the ladder of her fine, spun-gold braids of hair.  On the following day, he mimics the Sorceress’s command,

Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair.”

Rapunzel follows the command and lets her hair-ladder fall but is frightened and surprised when the King’s son finds entry to her chambers.  Yet, quickly, as the King’s son speaks most seductively with her, confessing the power of her songs giving him no rest until he could see her. She releases her fear, so much so, that when he asks her to take him to husband, she agrees.

Wanting to manifest a way to leave the tower with her newly found love, she instructs the Prince, “Each time you come, bring a skein of silk with you out of which I will braid a ladder, and when it is ready, I will climb down, and you will take me [away] on your horse.”  His horse, his power—their plan is doomed to failure, as co-dependency isn’t in Rapunzel’s nature or her destiny.

The plan is for the prince to visit every evening, as the Sorceress visits during the day.  The day comes when Rapunzel, out of her ignorance and innocence, betrays herself.  Now referring to the Sorceress as Frau Gothel, she asks, “How is it that you are much heavier to pull up than the young King’s son?”  The Sorceress calls out in anger that she built this tower to keep her from all the pain of being in the world, and now Rapunzel has betrayed her.  Rapunzel’s hair is immediately cut off by the Sorceress and the braids lay about her.  Now that the veil of deceit has been lifted, the Sorceress, can see that Rapunzel is pregnant.  Rapunzel is then banished into a wilderness where she lives in misery.  

Both Rapunzel and the Prince required time separate and alone in order to become whole.  Rapunzel marginally survives with her twins, a boy and a girl, yet, she does persevere, developing her own strengths.  She continues to sing and, because of her voice, she is reunited with the now-blinded prince who needed his time alone to grow in his resilience.  Upon their reunion, falling into each other’s arms, they weep, and two of her tears touch each of his eyes, and his sight is returned.  It’s important to note that tears have been said to hold miraculous healing powers, which is evident in our tale.

Characters and Symbolism of Images Found in the Tale

Our tale opens with a Husband and Wife who have longed for a child.  Therefore, the opening image is one of balance between the masculine and the feminine.  Yet, quickly, we learn of an imbalance within the feminine as well as weakness within the masculine.  When the wife learns that she will have the long-awaited child, she demonstrates an addictive aspect of her personality. Beyond the recognized cravings experienced by some during pregnancy, her craving for the salad green, rapunzel, is on a dangerous level of craving, as her desire for it produces a behavior causing severe weight loss to the point that the Husband fears for her life.  Fear is an emotion that will permeate this tale and is used to manipulate the Husband by both his Wife and the Sorceress.  

The Husband and Wife live in a House whose property line is shared by the Splendid Garden of the Sorceress.  This Garden is protected by a high wall, requiring the Wife to look out her second-story Small Window into the garden.    Windows, like our eyes, can be symbolically representative of portals into our soul.  Given our Mother-to-Be is looking through a small window in the back of their house leads the reader to an awareness of her limited scope of perception.  The front of a house is the most public area, and the back of the house where she sits at her small window carries more significance for the shadow aspects of her personality.  Therefore, her awareness of her addiction is more limited.

In addition, this Splendid Garden, like all gardens carries the energies of growth and destruction. As it is seen in the tale, the beautiful fragrance of roses carrying the perfume of love and delight, also possesses dangerous thorns that blind the Prince.   

The High Wall surrounding the Garden provides both protection for the Garden and the reality of a class difference of the Sorceress’s connection with nobility and the more common lives of the couple. The High Wall is also the reader’s first clue of an energy of fear to be found in our Sorceress. Our Mother-to-Be has the experience of lustful desire for what is on the other side of the wall, the rapunzel, not unlike the cliché of “the grass is always greener on the other side.”  The issue of not honoring boundaries, a classic psychological tenet of the addictive personality, emerges with her desire for what is “on the other side” and her manipulation of her husband to ignore the obvious boundary—the High Wall.

The Husband chooses the Evening Twilight to enter the garden and steal some of the rapunzel for his Wife.  This time of day is indicative of endings, and it alerts the reader to forthcoming changes.  Until now, the pathology of life-threatening behavior due to the addictive desires has not brought about consequences for the couple. Now, because the greed of the Wife has gone beyond the boundary of the wall, consequences occur.  It is important for the reader to recognize, again, that it is the emotion of Fear and the husband’s awareness that this behavior of stealing the rapunzel needs to occur without daylight.  This shows us something about the psychology of the Husband and Wife living more out of  a primitive psychological structure, as Fear of the Wife dying circumvents his fear of the consequences of stealing the rapunzel. The reader’s clue into the manipulative, addictive behaviors of the Wife comes with Hartman’s footnote #5, where he explains the German word for greedy, “lüstern, ‘desirous’ or ‘greedy’ for, but also ‘lustful’ or ‘lascivious.’  The word suggests a heightened level of desirousness in the full sense of the term.”  This term, when kept in its Freudian interpretation, emphasizing the Wife’s “lascivious”  behavior is just one of the reasons that the many of the other analyses of this fairy tale have revolved around dynamics of sexuality and have not focused on the Mother-to-Be’s addictive nature.  Long before the child is born, the behavior of the Mother is brought into our awareness, giving us a clue into how it is that the Sorceress would demand such a high price for taking the rapunzel—that of taking the child away from the parents at birth.  After all, the Husband is taking salad leaves that would regenerate.  

As Rebecca Ryan has stated in her illustrator’s comments, themes of control and resiliency are central to this tale.  Fear, is evidenced by the Husband with the potential for the wife to die, and by the Sorceress, knowing the inability of the wife to care for the child and the child’s destiny.  Rapunzel, because she is protected, does not fear revealing her relationship with the Prince.

Paradoxically, the Sorceress loses her ability to successfully raise Rapunzel once she reaches 12 Years of Age (adolescence)  and, therefore, places her in the tower.  This behavior of putting her in an inaccessible tower is an example of the fear of losing control over Rapunzel.  The Sorceress chose to isolate and deny Rapunzel the experience of natural adolescent development, perhaps because she had witnessed how the Mother’s lascivious nature (sexuality) has been manipulative and destructive. 

The Sorceress, being fearful, intends to protect Rapunzel from her destiny by placing her in the Tower. The Sorceress has now entered into the role of the “too good mother.”  What starts as a sincere, benevolent care-taking role for Rapunzel has evolved into the opposite of her initial awareness.  That initial awareness was that Rapunzel’s birth mother would not be able to care for Rapunzel.  At the time of adolescence, the Sorceress requires structural support in the form of what she believes to be an impenetrable boundary—the tower.  Knowing that Rapunzel has become “the most beautiful child under the sun,” the Sorceress must provide the utmost security for her.  

Daily, the Sorceress enters the Tower by calling,

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair for me.”

The length of Rapunzel’s braids are “20 arm’s lengths.” Hartman indicates in his footnote #12 that “ell(en), an antique measure of approximately a yard.”  Therefore, it requires the use of a window hook to secure them in order to allow the Sorceress to climb up and down her ladder of hair.  From this, we know that the height of the Tower is at least 60 feet.  Hair signifies physical strength and virility and is often a tool used for seduction.  Hair that is loose and flowing represents freedom, but our Rapunzel’s hair is braided and wound about her head. Historically, in some cultures, young women before marriage were allowed to let their hair flow, but once betrothed, they would signify this “bondage” by wearing braids.  So, from our tale, we know the tower as well as her braided hair symbolize the bondage the Sorceress has over Rapunzel.  The astute reader, knowing that braids consist of at least three sections, can perceive the hint that the masculine will soon be introduced into the story.

As Rapunzel occupies her time singing, her voice is heard throughout the woods.   In her seclusion and isolation, Rapunzel has found her voice through song.  Finding her voice is another indication of her masculine energy, as the vibration of the melodies penetrate into the woods.  The Woods, being the place of all creation, is respected by those with pure hearts entering and riding along the numerous trails throughout the Woods.  One of the most pure of hearts is a King’s son, a Prince, riding on his horse (his personal power), who becomes enamored with Rapunzel’s beautiful melody.  So enamored is he with her songs, that he is determined to see her.  Finding her tower, he is dismayed to discover that there is no entrance.  Yet, he cannot stay away from the sound of her voice, and one day learns how the Sorceress, in her daily visits, climbs up and down Rapunzel’s ladder of braided hair.  To his delight, in the evening, after the Sorceress has come and gone, he repeats the demand, 

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
Let down your hair for me.”

whereupon he climbs up into the Tower.  

Initially, Rapunzel is frightened, as the tale tells us she had never seen a man before.  She overcomes her fear because of his sweet nature and he is young and handsome.  Together they decide to marry and as a result of their marriage, she becomes pregnant with twins.  They develop a plan for how she will be able to leave the tower.  Although the plan consists of Rapunzel making a ladder out of silk, which he will provide each evening when he visits, she is not aware that the plan is one that usurps her power.  She does not understand that riding out on the Prince’s horse is a movement of dependency on him.  This is her first self-betrayal.  The second self-betrayal, both of which are unconscious, is when she says, “Just tell me, Frau Gothel, how is it that you are much heavier to pull up than the young King’s son?  He is with me in an instant.”  In her rage, knowing that she has not circumvented Rapunzel’s destiny of marriage and motherhood, the Sorceress grabs Rapunzel’s hair, wraps it several times around her left hand, and with her right hand, takes a scissors and cuts off her braids.  This is symbolic of the loss of Rapunzel’s bondage to her and a shift in Rapunzel’s power of being provided for, as she is now cast into the wilderness where she lives “in great misery and woe,” providing for herself and her twins.

In her rage now at the Prince, the Sorceress waits for evening, hears his demand that Rapunzel let her hair down, and she does.  The Prince climbs up the ladder of Rapunzel’s golden braids, finds the furious Sorceress, who tells him in a single sentence that she is aware that they are about to have children and that he will never see Rapunzel again.  She also predicts his loss of sight.  The Prince, in his despair, leaps down from the tower, from which he came away with his life, but the thorns into which he fell struck out his eyes.  After many years in the woods, he arrives into the wilderness where Rapunzel lives pitifully with their twins which she bore, a boy and a girl.  Hearing her familiar voice, though he was blind, he moves toward the sound of it, and when Rapunzel recognizes him, they fall into an embrace, whereupon two of her tears fall into his eyes and his sight is restored.  He then takes her to his kingdom, where they live happily and contentedly for a long time.

The Numerology of the Fairy Tale 

The first number obvious in this tale is the number Two (2), as there is a husband and a wife.  Along with being the number for feminine energy, number two symbolizes duality.  In our tale there are two windows—the window in the back of the house through which the Mother-to-be looks upon the rapunzel in the garden and the window in the tower.  Rapunzel is the name to be given to the child upon her birth, and is also the name of the salad green.  In addition, there are two social classes, that of nobility and that of the commoner.  There is the birth of twins, a boy and a girl, and there is the duality of night and day.  There are also two mothers, the birth mother and the Sorceress.  Under the Sorceress we have the benevolent, protective mother of the child, Rapunzel, and we also have the overprotective malevolent mother of the adolescent, maturing to marriage and motherhood, Rapunzel.

From the two, we move to the Three (3), with this number being the masculine number, represented by the classic braiding of Rapunzel’s hair, which alerts us that a masculine figure will emerge and, in fact, does emerge with the appearance of the King’s son.  In addition, we recognize three feminine figures at the beginning of our tale—the Mother, the Sorceress, and Rapunzel and only one masculine figure, indicating that another masculine figure will appear.

The 20 Arm’s Length of measurement is two, which is the number for feminine. (20 X 3 = 60) gives us 60; divided by two, it yields 30, which gives us the number Three (3), representing the masculine energy.  The number 6 also represents (1 + 5); the number one (1) is destiny and the number five (5) is family.  By the end of our tale, there are five adults represented, the Sorceress, the Husband and Wife, Rapunzel and the Prince.

The Sorceress shuts Rapunzel in a tower at the age of Twelve (12).  When we look at the number twelve (12), the numerological breakdown is (1 + 2 = 3), which is destiny (#1) + duality/feminine energy (#2) which equals the number 3, which is representative of masculine energy.  Psychologically, adolescence is the time when girls begin repressing masculine energy.  The literature is full of examples of girls that were good in sports or in math and science, suddenly don’t want to compete with the boys.  Our Sorceress, in her Sophia wisdom, places Rapunzel inside the Tower, which represents phallic masculine energy at a very unconscious level for Rapunzel and for the Sorceress.   The Tower is a #1 (destiny), as it provides the setting for the gestation of Rapunzel during her adolescence and maturing process in its phallic masculine energy representation.  The external movement of the masculine energy occurs when Rapunzel meets and marries the Prince.

By the same token, the Sorceress, living out of her destiny (#1), uses her feminine energy (#2) in her care taking role with her stewardship both of her garden/land and her role as consultant for the nobility of this kingdom.  Unconsciously, she manifests masculine energy (#3) by providing the Tower to contain Rapunzel.

The Colors in the Fairy Tale 

In our fairy tale, it is the fresh Green, the new green of the rapunzel to which the Mother-to-Be is so addicted.  In the psychopathology of addiction, the ever-present belief that, “This time will be different” permeates the disease process. The color green is about growth and, in the stages of alchemy, there is a “greening” before the alchemist’s gold appears.  In contrast to the healthy attributes of the color green, there is also the green of envy, or the toxicity when bile builds up in a person. In our tale, as we are told of the Mother-to-Be’s significant, life-threatening weight loss. Therefore, it is implied that any available fat is being digested as a function of bile. The Mother-to-Be’s greedy craving for the rapunzel increases as she enviously gazes from her window day after day into the Sorceress’s splendid garden.  As the owner/caretaker of the splendid garden filled with the most beautiful flowers and vegetables, the Sorceress is the cultivator of the positive attributes of new life and new growth found in the color green. 

Now that we are aware of the significance of green in all of its expressions, how could it come as a surprise that Rapunzel is in possession of beautiful hair, the color of spun Gold?  The product of the “greening” both from the birth Mother’s destructive, envious, even mean-spirited expression of the color green (manipulating the birth father) to the Sorceress’s splendid garden of renewal and growth could not help but combine to bring forth the lovely ladder of gold; literally the green that brings about the gold, the greening of the gold (an alchemical expression).

The rainbow of Beautiful Flowers found in the Sorceress’s splendid garden tells the reader that this tale will bring about wholeness.  As with a rainbow, all colors find expression, as the light penetrates the water molecules, bringing into vision all the colors in the spectrum. This is not unlike the wholeness found in the naming of rapunzel, as bellflower and, then, naming the child Rapunzel. The reader is encouraged to refer back to Rebecca Ryan’s comments on her painting of Rapunzel for another view into the power of how color speaks throughout this story.

Alchemy

There are a variety of ways in which we can enter into the alchemy of this fairy tale, beginning with recognition of nature’s evolution from Spring’s green renewal (the splendid garden)—to growth and maturing in the Summer (Rapunzel’s first twelve years of life)—through the time of the golden harvest in the Fall (Rapunzel’s discovery of her voice and her soul mate)—culminating in the death and barrenness of Winter (Rapunzel’s time in the wilderness and the time of the grief and suffering of the sightless Prince).  This time of winter allows what needs to die, to die, and what must live, to come back in the spring, showing the cycles of life.

The spiritual alchemy found in Maria Prophetissa’s axiom for this fairy tale could be stated in this manner, The One (1) of destiny in our tale for Rapunzel is to move beyond the Piscean Age and into the Aquarian Age of balance and harmony with feminine and masculine energies.  The Two (2) of duality not only represents the dual natures of the masculine and feminine has been polarized now, with the emergence of the Three (3), her containment in the Tower as the gestating crucible for her life allowing her to manifest the Four (4), which is the wholeness represented by the family system, which at the end of our story has Rapunzel, the Prince, the boy, and the girl now living out of the Aquarian energies which allows a return to the One (1) of each of their destinies evolving even more deeply into the Aquarian age.

Basic alchemical elements are represented in our tale in this manner: Overtly, the earth is represented by the Splendid Garden; air has representation in how sound is carried from the voice that Rapunzel finds through her singing; fire, by the passion of marriage which produces the twins of Rapunzel and the Prince, as well as the passion for life, growth, and change; water is evident with the experience of colors as in the example of the beautiful flowers in the garden and, of course, with the healing tears that restore the sight of the Prince.

Chakra Significance in The Fairy Tale

The Root Chakra is the chakra of survival, the home of life-force energy.  In our tale, the husband fears that the wife will not live/survive if she does not get the rapunzel from the garden.  Movement of this life force travels ideally through all the other chakras.  In our tale, through each character, the reader is shown where such movement is arrested or nonexistent and, finally, where it finds manifestation in the family system of Rapunzel and the Prince.

In our tale, the 2nd Chakra or the chakra of procreation is seen in the long-awaited pregnancy of the couple, ultimately giving birth to Rapunzel, and the imbalance of the greedy, addictive desires described by the Mother-to-Be’s behaviors in her manipulation of the husband in order to have the rapunzel.  In addition, the 2nd Chakra is also clearly evident in Rapunzel giving birth to twins.  As the 2nd Chakra is connected with the reptilian brain, the label of primitive psychological development is given to someone whose need for the enjoyment of food, drink, and sexuality is at a base level of pleasure seeking.

The 3rd Chakra is considered the center of personal power and control.  In our tale, the Mother-to-Be’s need to control her husband in order to get her desires met is viewed as pathologically unbalanced.  This solar plexus energy of control is manifest most aggressively through the Sorceress in her desire to provide for Rapunzel, taking her from her birth Mother who is dominated by her 2nd Chakra.  Not surprisingly, at the age of twelve, when Rapunzel is entering puberty and when her own 3rd Chakra is coming into dominance, is the time the Sorceress locks her in the tower, attempting to circumvent Rapunzel’s natural development into maturing sexuality and identifying her own desires.  This is how the sorceress attempts to keep Rapunzel from following her true destiny, that of being a wife and a mother.

The 4th Chakra is the Heart Chakra and is dominated by the element of air.  In our story, the heart of the Prince is captivated by the sounds of Rapunzel’s songs.  This Heart Chakra offers the space for integration of the three lower chakras and the three higher chakras, “It is only through the heart that one can see clearly.” (Saint-Exupéry)  The integration inferred here is actualized in our tale when Rapunzel and the Prince are reunited as a family unit with their children, a boy and a girl.

The 5th Chakra, the Throat Chakra,is most evident with Rapunzel finding and using her voice through song.  Rapunzel, finding her voice, has emerged into a higher level of consciousness than her birth parents, who were stuck in the first three chakras of survival, sexuality, and control.

The 6th Chakra, the seat of transcendent intuition, can be seen when the Sorceress, living with her non-ego attachment, protects Rapunzel for the first twelve years, her childhood. 

The 7th Chakra is the Crown Chakra, the Chakra of transcendence and, therefore, the chakra of the sacred marriage.  The “happily ever after” tenet in this and, in any fairy tale, speaks to the ultimate union of the ego with the Self.  Awareness that we are all one is not a disorganizing catapult into invisibility, but is a rebirth into the dynamic of co-creation.

Spirituality in the Fairy Tale

On some level, no matter how dark the initial reading of a fairy tale may be, if analyzed, the final message is one of hope.  At the core of humanity’s struggle to find meaning in life is the truth that within each person lives a spark of the Divine.  In the fairy tale, “Rapunzel,” the Sorceress, with her all-knowing Sophia wisdom, takes on the role of the Divine Creator character.  Yet, even as we follow her evolution through the tale, she moves from an omnipotent, benevolent savior role with Rapunzel into a dark, withholding, controlling, malevolent role.  The specific translation from which we are analyzing this tale does not reflect any further role of our Sorceress beyond that of being catalytic for the individual growth and ultimate reunion of Rapunzel and the Prince.  

On one hand, our Sorceress is promoting the movement from the Piscean Age of patriarchal monotheism as she has protected Rapunzel from such masculine energy influence. On the other hand, she moves into the Aquarian Age, where balanced masculine and feminine energies co-exist in harmony.   This is not only represented by Rapunzel giving birth to twins, but also in the reuniting that occurs after both the Prince and Rapunzel had spent time alone, thereby becoming more balanced.  

Never does the reader sense weakness in Rapunzel.  Her isolation in the Tower facilitates her balanced growth of masculine and feminine energies and what seems like a horrific self-betrayal when she alerts Frau Gothel to the existence of the Prince is, in fact, a necessary catalytic force—a force into a new world order of the harmony and balance of the Aquarian Age. At this point in our tale, we can recognize that, in fact, co-creation occurs both for Rapunzel and for the Sorceress.  

Movement is experienced in the tale beginning with the Father moving beyond the established boundary of the garden wall—removing the child from the birth Mother and Father through the vibrations found in the voice of Rapunzel’s songs—to the flowing of healing tears.  

Movement from the vertical Piscean Age into the wholeness of the Aquarian Age is evident through the understanding of this analysis.  Movement that continues the back-and-forth repetition does not promote growth.  In our tale, horizontal movements are seen in the very beginning with the awareness of the long-awaited pregnancy and with the vibrancy of the splendid garden.  We can contrast this with the vertical movements of climbing over the wall and climbing up and down the ladder of Rapunzel’s hair.  A basic tenet of depth psychology tells us that opposites (back-and-forth, up-and-down), once exhausted, provides the opportunity for a new creation, in this case, movement into the Aquarian Age.