Markell, Mary Jane
IMAGES OF THE WHALE IN SANDPLAY BY WOMEN WITH ISSUES OF MOLEST
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 3, Number 2, 1994
KEY WORDS: whale, symbol, women, molest, sandplay therapy, clinical example, night sea journey.
ABSTRACT: Archetypal images of the whale are reviewed cross-culturally and from earliest prehistoric times. A powerful shamanic image, the whale suggests mythic powers of Loss and Return, as well as healing. A further exploration of the Western mythology of Jonah and the Night Sea Journey in the belly of the whale presents an archetypal motif of descent, regression, and journey into the transpersonal realm for a purposeful encounter between the ego and the Self leading ultimately to transformation. These initiatic mysteries are then related to the frequently observed use of the whale in sandplay processes by women of molest. The whale motif becomes both a return to the Mother as well as a transcendent symbol capable of uniting paradoxical opposites and restoring a lost sense of wholeness. Three clinical cases are reviewed.