Lessons and Usage of the Dark Mother in Storytelling

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Today is Mother’s Day, a day when the general focus is on the loving, nurturing, self sacrificing image of the Good Mother. In literature, this figure provides our story with a sense of balance. She might be the embodiment of wisdom or the unconditional love. We all have our favorite good mother figures; the fairy godmothers, the pure-hearted queens, the women who lead their communities into action or dispense sage advice. But it’s her darker side that you can count on to really get things moving.

The Dark Mother is the bringer of lessons. She provides a catalyst to self discovery by either directly or indirectly challenging the other characters. She assists us in distinguishing between truth and illusion.

Some examples of a dark mother archetype are:

The Absent Mother: Whether not physically present or emotionally unavailable, the absent mother teaches self-reliance by forcing other characters to find their own way.

The Self-Serving Mother: Self absorbed, bitter, selfish, and conniving, the self-serving mother teaches us about boundaries.

The Evil Mother: Violent and hateful, the evil mother plays the role of destroyer but her true lesson is rebirth. In her capable hands egos are broken and heroes emerge.

What are some other attributes/lessons of the Dark Mother?

Who is your favorite dark mother figure?

Share your thoughts with us…and have a happy Mother’s Day!

By Robyn Chausse
Image by LordAlphie


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