THE BALLERINA: ARCHETYPAL DANCER
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 17, Number 1, 2008
KEY WORDS: Maiden, feminine development, stages, self-sacrifice; mother-daughter unity, heuresis, Sandplay therapy, ballerina, symbolism, symbol, girls, women, female, clinical examples, archetypal.
ABSTRACT: The author explores the symbolism of the ballerina, which may appear in the sandplay process of young girls and women. The underlying archetypes of the maiden and the feminine are explored through consideration of the career of the ballerina as well as the meanings and background of dance. As the maiden, the ballerina may represent self-sacrifice and the first stage of feminine development. She is closely linked to her mother, and the mother-daughter pair can be thought of as manifestations of the alternating cycles of the archetypal feminine. These associations are then explored further through the initial sandplay of a 10-year-old girl and the final sandplay of a 15-year-old girl.