The Witches of Oz: Split Archetypes

My topic is about the psychological implication of monotheistic religion and Western culture that affects women until today. When Dorothy arrived to Oz, Glinda, the good witch of the north asked her a question “Are you the new witch from planet Kansas? The munchkins want to know if you are a good witch or a bad witch?” (Young, Lecture 3). If someone asked you the same question, you will probably feel offended because we grew up in a culture that witches are depicted as an evil sorceress that will inflict suffering and bad luck to humans, we even consciously include it in Halloween.

Christian theology demonized the female body and female sexuality, splitting the Goddess into asexual, virtuous Virgin Mary and the carnal prostitute Mary Magdalene (Young 81). Women silently carry the burden of this collective unconscious within the family, community and also at work; she will be put in the category of either the good witch or a bad witch. Our culture prefers a benign, peace-loving female deity who is powerful but only a partial manifestation of primal female energy. It is important to be able to imagine another possibility in which the dark energies of the Goddess could be accommodated; in the fullness of her being she is both creative and destructive (Young 82).

Dr. Young:

Jung believed there is enormous work to be done to heal the split archetype. Black-and-white thinking is typical of the young. We are supposed to grow out of it. Most people don’t seem to get very far with this important developmental project. 

As we move toward our own integration, it might become increasingly lonely. That is because we simply will not be on the same page with many of the people we know. 

The split goddess is a vivid example of the divided perspective. We are not so easily sorted into good or evil categories. Real human beings are a little of each. It is a humbling and complicated mess. It is also part of why the human spirit is so magnificent.


In a patriarchal religion, men hold all the power. In the Wizard of Oz, it is the women who are powerful. In the early scenes of home life, Aunt Em is depicted as holding more authority than Uncle Henry. The Wicked Witch and Glinda are clearly very powerful figures. By the story’s end, Dorothy recognizes and assumes her own power. Yet, the ‘Great and Wonderful Oz’ who is said to be the most powerful of all holds no real power. It is a façade. The ‘Goddess energy’ seems to be alive and well in this tale. 

Works Cited:

Young, Jonathan.  “Lecture 3. The Journey of Initiation: The Wizard of Oz”. PSY 512 Mythic Stories in Depth Psychology.” University of Philosophical Research.

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