There was once a man and a woman who had a daughter, and they would have lived quite happily together if the daughter had not despised men. Her father wanted her to marry, but she always refused. Many young men came of their own volition, for she was a beautiful girl. It also happened that the father would bring home young men in the evening so that they might meet his daughter. But nothing helped; the mere mention of men made the girl bad-tempered, and if any came to the house, she went off on her own.

One day her father told her that he did not bring men to the house in order to make her sad or to hurt her, but that she should remember that they had no son, and that she was their only daughter and their only child. Her mother and he would soon be old and for many years he would not be capable of providing them with food and clothing, and who would help them in their old age if they had no son-in-law?

These words made the girl very sad, and she wandered out into the great uneven, undulating plains, on which were many small hills. Suddenly a head jumped out of the earth among the hills, a head without a body, but the face was that of a very handsome man. And the young man smiled at the girl and said,

“You don't want to have a husband, but I come here to fetch you, and you must know that I come of a big and powerful race.”

For the first time in her life the young girl was happy with a young man, and she lifted up the head and put it carefully in her fur coat and carried it home when it was dark. She slipped noiselessly into the house and put the head of the handsome young man beside her couch, and lay there and talked gaily and happily with the stranger, whom she loved because he was not like other men. Her father awoke and heard the whispering and giggling from his daughter's couch and could not understand what was happening there. It was repeated during the coming nights, and the father was happy, for now he knew that at last he had a son-in-law and a hunter in the house.

From now on the girl was always happy. Formerly she had stayed away from the village during the daytime so as to avoid the men, but now she often stayed at home and hardly ever moved from her couch. But the father and mother were very much surprised never to see their son-in-law.

One day when the girl was out, it happened that the father pushed aside the fur rug on her couch to find out who kept his daughter company during the night. When he found the living head of a handsome young man, a head without a body, he was very angry. He took a meat skewer and thrust it through the young man's eye and then threw the head out onto the rubbish heap, crying,

“I have no use for a son without a body who could not hunt for us when we are old!”

The head rolled away and went farther and farther over the plains in front of the house and at last disappeared into the sea, leaving a bloody track behind it.

The following night the father and mother heard the girl crying and sobbing all through the night, and the next morning she asked where her husband was. The father answered that they had no use for such a son-in-law.

“You are talking stupidly and you have behaved foolishly,” answered the girl, “for he was a capable man and not an ordinary human being, and now I will no longer remain at home with you.”

The girl dressed and went out and followed the bloody track, which led directly to the sea. She wanted to dive into the waves, but they were as hard as wood and she could not. Then she went inland looking for a white lemming which was supposed to have fallen down from heaven, for she knew that lemmings had special magic powers hidden in them. At last she caught one and threw it into the sea, and at once the waves parted and a road opened, which she followed to the bottom of the sea.

In the distance she noticed a little house. She ran to it and looked through the window and saw an old couple with their son. The son lay on the sleeping bench and had recently lost an eye. The girl called,

“Here I am! Come out!”

The young man answered that he would not come out to her, and that he would no longer come after her, for her parents despised him. Even though the girl said she was never going back to her parents, the young man said he would never have anything more to do with her.

The girl was very much depressed, and without knowing what she was doing, she ran three times around the house in the same direction as the sun circles around in the heavens. Then she saw two ways - one led straight ahead and to the earth, and the second went up to heaven. She chose the way which led to heaven, but when the man saw that he cried out to her that she was going the wrong way and should turn around, that she was going up to heaven and would never come back again. “It's all the same where I go,” said the girl, “if you won't live with me anymore!”

Now the young man regretted his words but too late begged her to come back, for she only went higher and higher up to heaven, until she disappeared out of his sight.

The girl went on without knowing herself how she did it, and came at last to something that looked like a lid with a hole in it. But it was difficult to get to the hole, and she did not know how to get on. At last she took courage and jumped and got hold of the edge and swung herself through the opening and once more found air and heaven and land. A little to one side was a lake, to which she went and sat down so that she might die here and her body disintegrate. She didn't want to think anymore. Life no longer meant anything to her. Suddenly she heard the splashing of oars on the lake and looked up and saw a man in a kayak. Everything he had-his kayak, his oars, and his har- poon-everything was of shining copper. The girl sat quite still and scarcely dared breathe. She did not think that anybody could see her in the deep grass in which she had hidden herself. The man sang:

A woman's breast tempts a kayak,
Who crosses the shining lake
To caress soft cheeks.

As the man finished his song, he raised one arm high up toward heaven and dropped the other down toward the lake. The girl saw that the upper part of her body was naked and that her fur coat lay across the strange man's arm.

Again the man sang the song, and as he finished it and raised one arm and dropped the other, the rest of the woman's clothing flew over onto his raised arm. The girl sat there naked and ashamed, and couldn't understand what was happening to her. For the third time the man sang his song, but this time the girl lost consciousness, and when she came to herself, she was sitting beside the man in his kayak. The man rowed far away with her, far over the lake with his bright copper oars, which glistened wetly in the air. They did not speak to each other until they came to a place where they saw two houses. At the entrance to the village was a big house and in the background a small one. Then the man said in a stern voice,

“You must go into the big house, not into the little one.”

The girl did what the man told her and went into the big house, and the man rowed away. It was dreary in the big house, not a soul was in it, but she had hardly entered before a small woman ran in. She wore extraordinary clothes made out of the gut of a bearded seal. She cried out to the girl to come into the other house, for the man with whom she had come was danger- ous and would kill her. The girl came out at once and went into the other house. Here a little girl, with whom the extraordinary woman dressed in gut skins lived, sat on the sleeping bench.

The young girl who had run away from the man she loved no longer thought about anything much. Sometimes she thought that she was already dead, but she heard what the others said and saw them go around the house, and the woman came and whispered to her that this time she was saved, but that the man with whom she had come was not an ordinary man, that nobody could resist him, and that soon he would come home and would be very angry that she had left his house. But the woman would help her, and she gave her a small cask filled with water in which were four small pieces of whaleskin. She told her that when the strange man came, she should hide at the entrance to the house and throw the pieces of whales kin in his face, for the woman had sung a magic song over her present, so as to make it strong.

Soon the man came back in his kayak. He sat down beside the sea and called out that she should stay quiet in his house, that he would not do her harm, and that she could never be hidden from him. Then he came flying through the air like a bird, and circled his house four times and then came to the small house. There he picked up his bird arrow but cried out that he would not kill her.

The girl stood hidden in the bend of the entry to the house and threw the pieces of whaleskin in his face. In the same moment he fell down out of the air and lost his strength. Then the three women went into his house, which was the house of the moon spirit, and it was the Man in the Moon himself which the little woman in the skins had made harmless for a time through her magic. The moon spirit is incalculable and can become dangerous; he takes, but he also gives, and man must sacrifice to him in order to share in the things over which he rules.

The three women went into his house, and up in the rafters crowds of reindeer ran about. In the corner was a big water barrel, big as an inland lake. The women went to it and looked in and saw whales and walruses and seals swimming about.

In the middle of the floor lay the shoulder blade of a whale. The women pushed it to one side and saw an opening leading down to the earth from which one could see into the dwelling places of humans. One could see the people quite clearly and hear them calling out for all the things they wanted. There were some who cried out to be given whale meat. Others said l they wanted a long life. The moon spirit is so powerful that he can give humans all these things.

The young girl looked at the countries of the earth and discovered far, far below, Tikeraq, the largest place she knew. Here there were many women's boats and many busy people. They were collecting water in small casks and throwing it up to the new moon so that they might have a good catch. It was all like a dream. She could not understand how she herself had got into all that, which she knew well from the stories that old people told. It was perhaps just a new moon, for the little woman in the skins had made the moon spirit unconscious. For as long as the moon spirit is weak, men sacrifice to him. They bring all their wishes before he becomes the big full moon, which can shine like copper.

Now the girl saw how the people prayed to the moon for a good catch. Some of the men had such strong magic formulas that their water ladles came quite near to the moon spirit's house. On the earth these water ladles were quite small, but here, through the magic words, they became enormous and were filled with cool, fresh water. These sacrifices are brought to sea animals, who often suffer from thirst. Sometimes a whale and sometimes a walrus and sometimes a seal was put into the ladles, which reached the house of the moon spirit. That meant that the man's prayer was heard and his sacrifice accepted and that he would have a good catch. But those ladles which re- mained near the earth, down by the people's dwellings, be- longed to the bad hunters who had no luck.

The young girl saw all that and remembered the pleasure that followed a catch, and she became homesick, she who a little while ago had only thought of dying.

The old woman in the skins and her little companion were sorry for her and wanted to help her get back to the earth. The three women plaited a rope out of the sinews of many animals, a very long rope which they rolled up into a ball as they plaited it. Soon it was finished, and the old woman said:

“You must shut your eyes and let yourself down. But in that minute when you touch the earth, you must open your eyes quickly. If you don't, you will never become a human again.”

The young girl fastened the end of the rope tight in the heavens and took the great ball of plaited sinews and began to let herself down. She thought it would be a very long way, but she felt the ground beneath her feet soo';er than she had expected. It happened so quickly that she didn't open her eyes quickly enough, and she was changed into a spider. From her come all the spiders of the world-all come from the girl who let herself down from heaven to the earth by a rope of plaited sinews.

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Notes

Search string here

google search Alaskan Eskimo The Woman Who Became a Spider

Alutiiq people spoke Sugstun which stems from Eskimo's.

The Alutiiq use bearded seal gut for their raincoats, or kamleikas.

Brass is an alloy of zink and copper. Thus it is a conjunctive symbol, where the zink is Luna and Copper is Sol. While the marriage of Sol and Luna is more commonly symbolised by (quick-) silver and gold, my dream replaces these with baser metals. Again, it's simplicity that is being emphasised. Whereas gold and silver are heavenly in origin, copper and zink are more earthy.

Igaluk is a lunar god in Inuit mythology (also known as Aningan). His sister is Malina is a solar goddess. They chase each other in the sky as moon and sun respectively. Tulok, a warrior and nemesis of Igaluk wanted to kill him. On finding this out Malina came together with her brother in an eclipse which shattered Tulok in to pieces = stars.

Tarqiup Inua is the moon spirit in Inuit mythology, meaning 'master of the moon'. From wikipedia, “In Inuit mythology, an inua (plural inuat, literally “possessor”) is a spirit or soul that exists in all people, animals, lakes, mountains, and plants. They were sometimes personified in mythology. The concept is similar to mana. For arctic people, human and animals are equal - All life has the same kind of soul or “life essence” (inua). This creates a predicament that, in order to survive people must kill other creatures that are like them. Recognition of this dilemma lies at the centre of hunting practice, which is based upon respect and reciprocity. The hunter will only succeed if the animal chooses to give its life as a gift in return for moral and respectful behaviour on the part of the whole community. For example, after a seal has been killed fresh water is poured into its mouth so that its soul will not be thirsty and it will tell the other seals of the respect shown to it.”

Inuit Mythology : “The Inuit cosmos is ruled by no one. There are no divine mother and father figures. There are no wind gods and solar creators. There are no eternal punishments in the hereafter, as there are no punishments for children or adults in the here and now.”

Cf. §413, CW9i about the loss of one eye.

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Commentary

I find this tale to have a a peculiar flow; it starts in reasonably anecdotal narrative and slowly gets more complicated and further from the anecdotal starting point. It seems to change suddenly with the head :). This aside it does seem to follow - from the limited reading I did of other Inuit or Eskimo tales (and north American Indian funnily enough) a similar path: the family unit, hunting being a big proponent on continuation and ending in a “and that's why such and such is like it is”. For e.g. in the story of Igaluk and his sister Malina, 'and that is why the sun chases the moon', and with Tulok, 'that is why there are stars', …and in some of the other creation myths of this culture (around Sedna for e.g. when her fingers are severed by her father in the different versions), there seems to be a 'and that is why…' ending. So I had to get comfortable with the narrative compared to say, Grimm tales. The tale also doesn't readily lend itself to the M/F analysis of the tale structure, i.e. we start with a mother, father and daughter so, M/F/f and end up with a spider! …where as in the Grimm tales we can often see the narrative objectives with the constellating masculine/feminine elements. So I'm not sure here where to draw the 'ending' except perhaps to spend some more time looking at what the ending, i.e. spider, says…we now have; M/F & spider :) …the M/F aren't mentioned again, so we're left with a spider. In this regard it could be said that the journey here does not end well for the woman as she starts as a human and ends as a spider, in the psychological sense then she has regressed in her views as opposed to evolving, growing, individuating. As a spider - an arachnid (not an insect), she has fallen back into the animal kingdom, and thus perhaps further back into the instinctual level. She was not able to emerge from the journey with her experience, the experience broke her and this part of her - from a psychological point of view - has actually gone deeper into the unconscious, and is unlikely I'd say then to re-emerge again without great effort.

With this in hand, it seems to be a tale for the feminine and dealing with her confrontation of the masculine and how she is to approach the masculine and what may 'happen' or result with an attitude…that has a bit of a 'moral' element to it, but I don't mean it in that way. I mean more in the sense of the journey that would result from an attitude and the archetypal constellations and complexes of a lady with a masculine narcissistic wound. It's funny, 'cause the tale doesn't talk of a wound it just starts with the girl not being interested in men or the masculine in its traditional guises. This at first seems good as she is independent, strong willed etc …many aspects that in our modern society we really appreciate and consider good in the emerging maternal power. However, there seems to be a cautionary tale here of this journey or attitude. It's a bit of a shift for as I mentioned 'cause the Inuit and other similar cultures (North American Indian, Alaskan) have a more dominant maternal mythology that I am not readily familiar with. For e.g. many of their creation myths are of the spiderwoman or involve the spider woman. The deities of Sun and Moon are reversed; feminine is solar, masculine is lunar. Although this is found in other mythology I've not encountered it as the dominent attitude…which is refreshing in some ways. So with this in mind I see the tale as more of a feminine journey with a much lesser masculine influence in its constellation…although the masculine certainly does enter. Another thought, in her attitude there is no reciprocity of the 'Inua' (possessor) of life that is so valuable in the cultural myth of hunting and being at one with nature.

There was once a man and a woman who had a daughter, and they would have lived quite happily together if the daughter had not despised men. Her father wanted her to marry, but she always refused. Many young men came of their own volition, for she was a beautiful girl. It also happened that the father would bring home young men in the evening so that they might meet his daughter. But nothing helped; the mere mention of men made the girl bad-tempered, and if any came to the house, she went off on her own.

The girl is of a good age to receive men, i.e. she's not too young or too old but in a good time and perhaps the right time. Perhaps it is that her father 'wanted' her to marry that is not healthy but as we read in the next paragraph and from my earlier notes this is not so poignant as it rather seems to fit with the scene of a number of tales, a family requires the next generation to provide (good hunting) for the next generation. On all accounts if we look at the normal setup, M/F/f we have a good family, healthy but a daughter with an attitude towards men and it is this attitude that precipitates the rest of the story. The story also in some ways mirrors the tales of Sedna and how she came to be. Generally considered a vengeful goddess, hunters must placate and pray to Sedna to release sea animals for the hunt.

One day her father told her that he did not bring men to the house in order to make her sad or to hurt her, but that she should remember that they had no son, and that she was their only daughter and their only child. Her mother and he would soon be old and for many years he would not be capable of providing them with food and clothing, and who would help them in their old age if they had no son-in-law?

These words made the girl very sad, and she wandered out into the great uneven, undulating plains, on which were many small hills. Suddenly a head jumped out of the earth among the hills, a head without a body, but the face was that of a very handsome man. And the young man smiled at the girl and said,

“You don't want to have a husband, but I come here to fetch you, and you must know that I come of a big and powerful race.”

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The fact that she is sad is good in as much as she is not without awareness or compassion for the situation and goes in 'search' and it is here that I'm guessing she finds her solution to the problem. It turns out the solution is kind of a half measure as she gets a husband as her father requests but she has missed the point of the hunting and necessity for the husband. Not that a husband should be a 'necessity' but in the cultural context and narrative of this tale it is important that the husband fits a certain mould. One could perhaps point out here - and its hinted at later when the girl, in heaven, 'remembers the feeling after a kill' - that there isn't any mention of the fact that the daughter could do the hunting. In our modern culture the story would end here and the girl would not have gone in search for a husband but rather with her string will just put her fist down and said “I'll do the hunting!”…and perhaps that is what she has done ;)
It's important that the head comes from a 'powerful race'…he no doubt does although there is no intimation towards what that power is other than he's a head! Also, he comes to fetch her…she is presented with a solution to the problem. Also, just as a side note, how the hell is a head supposed to 'fetch her'!? :)

For the first time in her life the young girl was happy with a young man, and she lifted up the head and put it carefully in her fur coat and carried it home when it was dark. She slipped noiselessly into the house and put the head of the handsome young man beside her couch, and lay there and talked gaily and happily with the stranger, whom she loved because he was not like other men. Her father awoke and heard the whispering and giggling from his daughter's couch and could not understand what was happening there. It was repeated during the coming nights, and the father was happy, for now he knew that at last he had a son-in-law and a hunter in the house.

From now on the girl was always happy. Formerly she had stayed away from the village during the daytime so as to avoid the men, but now she often stayed at home and hardly ever moved from her couch. But the father and mother were very much surprised never to see their son-in-law.

Its great that she's happy now although the relationship is completely without Eros, there is no passion, there is no body. This is an interesting thing 'cause it raises the question of where the love and relationship lies. Is it possible to fall in love with someone's head and not care at all for their body, for sex? Its been shown that sex can be a great driver for relationships, the body but there is not often mention of falling for the head, for conscious mind. From a psychological point of view it is incomplete as the person is both corporeal and psyche, both mind and body…how much of either is enough? that's a good question!! There's definitely a larger discussion here…for sure. For this tale though I think it is unhealthy as the precepts have been set around the hunter figure and the head does not fulfil that. I will refrain from the speculative investigation or conjecture that the head, being from a powerful race could support the hunting requirements etc. That said, perhaps the tale is touching too on the rigidity of the cultural norms??…again, I think speculative and not what the tale is saying. The fact that the girl is now happy, satisfied and confident it great - she can face the world, walk through the village…she is fulfilled, content. This is important - she is satisfied. Again though it raises the question of her satisfaction and whether or not it is healthy - psychologically, where a person is both body and mind, and she is happy with a mind partner only. Again, not going to go down the route of whether a woman needs a partner etc, that is the physical existence of things. Psychologically there is no balance as her animus is a head and not a full partner who could hunt with her!! :)

One day when the girl was out, it happened that the father pushed aside the fur rug on her couch to find out who kept his daughter company during the night. When he found the living head of a handsome young man, a head without a body, he was very angry. He took a meat skewer and thrust it through the young man's eye and then threw the head out onto the rubbish heap, crying,

“I have no use for a son without a body who could not hunt for us when we are old!”

The fathers reaction to the head seems fine to me. The skewering of his eye seems a little harsh. I'm not quite sure why he does that. If the father is the dominant masculine influence within the girls/female psyche then perhaps this is showing the limits of this guy as a hunter - he can't defend himself and his 'powerful race' pedigree don't seem to be helping him much here. As a symbol of consciousness and ego taking an eye removes the world perspective, it hinders the conscious perspective on things and forces and internal perspective - but he doesn't take out both eye's, just one of them so the guy can still see. The head incorporates all the senses (even touch), site, smell, hearing, taste but misses any phenomenological ability; it can't travel anywhere, it can't journey without assistance. Perhaps this is another telling indication of where the girl is at, she is stagnated even though she has found her husband as the father requested she has stagnated and is the dominant force in her journey - her animus cannot walk without her help, so she is in complete control of where they are. But still, why the one eye? Things moving from two dimensions to one?…a lack of peripheral vision? All these retard the heads 'function' so to speak, but why one eye - I do not know. He's now become a cyclops. In Greek mythology the cyclops was related to giants, strength, dull intelligence I think, and brute force. Also, as a one eyed guy his hunting skills would be severely retarded without his depth perception - which two eyes bring. So the head has no depth perception, and therefore no ability to judge distance or positioning - perhaps this is it. Psychologically speaking her conscious, rational, masculine, logical head is now unable to reason and see 'both sides' or assess perspective? (perhaps I'm reaching a bit here).

The head rolled away and went farther and farther over the plains in front of the house and at last disappeared into the sea, leaving a bloody track behind it.

The father, as the dominent masculine in this psychological constellation has stamped his authority here as there was not a strong enough hunter to take his place, to kill the father. The head disappears in to the sea…in to the depth of the unconscious, the father figure has risen up.

The following night the father and mother heard the girl crying and sobbing all through the night, and the next morning she asked where her husband was. The father answered that they had no use for such a son-in-law.

“You are talking stupidly and you have behaved foolishly,” answered the girl, “for he was a capable man and not an ordinary human being, and now I will no longer remain at home with you.”

I wonder if this constant intimation towards the exceptionality of this head both by his own acclaim and now the girls, “he was a capable man and not an ordinary human being”, is a pointer to the delusion of the situation as it never comes to bear that he is exceptional at any point throughout the tale…at no time do we see any of his non-ordinary'ness except that he manages to live without a body! She now 'kills' or loses both her parents and has no masculine counterpart - she is not whole. She wants to be whole, i.e. a male partner but is fixated on the head still as we see she goes after him, so has no real growth in understanding of why her father did what he did. I guess we could say that he is smart as he tells her that she is taking the wrong path - as we'll see shortly.

The girl dressed and went out and followed the bloody track, which led directly to the sea. She wanted to dive into the waves, but they were as hard as wood and she could not. Then she went inland looking for a white lemming which was supposed to have fallen down from heaven, for she knew that lemmings had special magic powers hidden in them. At last she caught one and threw it into the sea, and at once the waves parted and a road opened, which she followed to the bottom of the sea.

I couldn't find much on lemmings except that back in 1530 or so it was proposed that lemmings did 'fall out the sky' and this was accepted as an explanation…so along with the 'flat earth' society it doesn't surprise me that lemmings have some mythological significance around their origins and existence.

In the distance she noticed a little house. She ran to it and looked through the window and saw an old couple with their son. The son lay on the sleeping bench and had recently lost an eye. The girl called,

So back to the girl now, she goes deep into the unconscious layers below the ocean. I can't decide if this journey is healthy or not because she doesn't go to the ocean as it is meant but rather parts the ocean unnaturally so to speak to get to where she wants - she doesn't join the fish or seek the help of the sea creatures or Sedna, rather she distorts the terrain to find him. The recession to the deep is also not healthy without a guide as we'll see later where she doesn't know what she does. She really is awash in the unconscious domain/journey.

“Here I am! Come out!”

The young man answered that he would not come out to her, and that he would no longer come after her, for her parents despised him. Even though the girl said she was never going back to her parents, the young man said he would never have anything more to do with her.

He's not much of a man really if he can't accept being rejected by the inlaws! Her choice in man bears out to be not so good….he's also a bit of a 'mommy's boy' if he is back home with his parents. Putting him into a more juvenile position than her who has left her parents at least.

The girl was very much depressed, and without knowing what she was doing, she ran three times around the house in the same direction as the sun circles around in the heavens. Then she saw two ways - one led straight ahead and to the earth, and the second went up to heaven. She chose the way which led to heaven, but when the man saw that he cried out to her that she was going the wrong way and should turn around, that she was going up to heaven and would never come back again. “It's all the same where I go,” said the girl, “if you won't live with me anymore!”

We see now how lost she is without a guide. Three times around the house is curious - a very masculine number but not a complete number. The incomplete household? There is the mirror image: the girl, her mother and father, him as the unconscious counterpart; him, his mother and father. Her masculine has not developed and her attitude has not allowed a worthy masculine figure to develop.
She chooses the way to heaven. Normally I would associate the skies with a masculine perspective and the earth with the feminine mother earth view…but am not sure here. The tale with a feminine sun, and masculine moon seem to be the other way around. She leaves the ground and I assume heads for the land of the gods in the heavens…the story doesn't say 'sky', it says 'heaven'…not sure the interpretation is just so, or if it is significant. The fact that the head knew it was bad suggests he has some smarts and awareness of what is going on here and how to conduct oneself in the unconscious realm but she is having none of it. The elevation though is not I think to a higher consciousness for e.g. as may be perceived in other tales - this is an unfettering from the world and in fact a letting go, an accention into the clouds with no feet firmly on the ground - I don't see this as a good thing. That said, as mentioned, things could be reversed in this tale - so the ascension is actually deeper into the unconscious and this is not a higher level of conscious awareness, rather it is a regression further and further into the depths or her psyche as she tries to find herself/return home? Its an encounter with the Moon spirit, 'Tarqiup Inua'. Actually, the more I think about it here is where we see the constellation of the girls psyche, M/F/f and M/F/m(head) in this tale - so it is not a balanced setup and she has no masculine animas other than her father to partner with and she's left him behind - her unconscious anima is a head!!…and he's no longer with her. I wonder too if the unconscious M (the heads father) was part of the eye poking, I'm sure he was…and was responsible for bringing his son back to himself. They are counterparts of each other. The conscious and unconscious views. She sees men as nothing but heads and thus could not at all be interested in anything but a head hence her rejection of anything wanting to offer more than a head; a logical, rational perspective with no eros, no physical engagement. There was no fantasy of love or romance or holding hands, it is purely mental. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with that, especially in this day and age, but within the taboos of a tribe or for when this tale was told it would not be good to not want a husband I reckon. The modern woman, power-suits, and career paths would not feature here :)

Now the young man regretted his words but too late begged her to come back, for she only went higher and higher up to heaven, until she disappeared out of his sight.

The girl went on without knowing herself how she did it, and came at last to something that looked like a lid with a hole in it. But it was difficult to get to the hole, and she did not know how to get on. At last she took courage and jumped and got hold of the edge and swung herself through the opening and once more found air and heaven and land. A little to one side was a lake, to which she went and sat down so that she might die here and her body disintegrate. She didn't want to think anymore. Life no longer meant anything to her. Suddenly she heard the splashing of oars on the lake and looked up and saw a man in a kayak. Everything he had-his kayak, his oars, and his har- poon-everything was of shining copper. The girl sat quite still and scarcely dared breathe. She did not think that anybody could see her in the deep grass in which she had hidden herself. The man sang:

A woman's breast tempts a kayak,
Who crosses the shining lake
To caress soft cheeks.

As the man finished his song, he raised one arm high up toward heaven and dropped the other down toward the lake. The girl saw that the upper part of her body was naked and that her fur coat lay across the strange man's arm.

Again the man sang the song, and as he finished it and raised one arm and dropped the other, the rest of the woman's clothing flew over onto his raised arm. The girl sat there naked and ashamed, and couldn't understand what was happening to her. For the third time the man sang his song, but this time the girl lost consciousness, and when she came to herself, she was sitting beside the man in his kayak. The man rowed far away with her, far over the lake with his bright copper oars, which glistened wetly in the air. They did not speak to each other until they came to a place where they saw two houses. At the entrance to the village was a big house and in the background a small one. Then the man said in a stern voice,

“You must go into the big house, not into the little one.”

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This whole bit is quite curious and I'm sure could be a discussion at length in and of itself. The moon spirit Inua is interesting. The copper element of the moon is referring I think to the copper coloured moon at the eclipse and the fact that given the astrological phenomena of seeing the moon through high proportions of the earths atmosphere which turn the moon red or copper coloured on the horizon as the atmosphere around the earth impedes blue and green colours of the spectrum getting through I should imagine the Inuit or Eskimo people would see a copper moon more than most. Particularly at the lunar eclipse. This is perhaps what the copper refers too. In the cultural context this would have told those hearing the story that it was the moon spirit.
It is also a associated with the base metal brass in alchemy, where the earth metal copper and zinc make brass. Analogous with gold and (quick)silver (=mercurial spirit). Where there is no great mother or father in Inuit mythology I'll stop here but keep these ideas in mind as unconscious precepts. In Greek mythology copper is associated with Aphrodite/Venus. Interesting that they are both Goddesses of love. So back to the kayak dude - he too brings out the nakedness, the sexual exposure of the girl by stripping her clothes away to reveal who and what she is - a woman, with a body, not just a head. That she was hiding and he exposed her is important…and he did it with words - hereto not really prominent as a theme in the tale - of passion and sex, “a woman's breasts”, “caress soft cheeks”. This is good stuff!…stuff she hadn't encountered or been open to before. Now its happening without her consent and she loses consciousness!…ha! What an awakening. A real initiation. Although now it is deep and etherial…not sweaty and physical.
Its odd these houses. I can't really make it out why a big one at the front of the village and a small one in the background except that it is in someway akin to the previous scene - her home with her parents (consciousness, or the conscious ego perspective) and the small house of the head (the unconscious) only now the distance is not as great. Perhaps this is a good and a bad thing, or rather, not bad, but very dangerous where the unconscious and the conscious are so close and there is not any distinction. The fact that they are separate houses is good then I suppose (I'm really reaching here!!).
With the big house, little house its almost like she's back where she started sort of…but not of course.
I like the idea of the Man on the Moon kyaking the moon across the waters of the sky. This would make sense from a cultural point of view I think (like Helios riding his charriot carrying the sun across the sky). He is making his journey and by the power - bewitching - of the moon she is naked, you hear that quite often :) Lovers getting caught up in the 'power of the moon'.

The girl did what the man told her and went into the big house, and the man rowed away. It was dreary in the big house, not a soul was in it, but she had hardly entered before a small woman ran in. She wore extraordinary clothes made out of the gut of a bearded seal. She cried out to the girl to come into the other house, for the man with whom she had come was dangerous and would kill her. The girl came out at once and went into the other house. Here a little girl, with whom the extraordinary woman dressed in gut skins lived, sat on the sleeping bench.

Now we see a completely different constellation of the F/f in the little house. There are no men here except bad men, i.e. the moon spirit. The bearded seal clothing mention is interesting but I'm not sure exactly why it is mentioned and I'm not overly familiar with the cultural reference. The bearded seal gut was used to make waterproof clothing and also windows as it was see-through, strong and waterproof. In this regard I wonder if there is an element of transparency of the woman's body?…the clothing was 'extraordinary'…but why is this pertinent. I'm not sure. Perhaps it was a measure of her closeness to Sedna? There is clearly some contention between this woman and the moon spirit as she has the measure of him…I wonder if it is something to do with the Igaluk (moon) and Malina (sun) sibling relationship. As this woman has powers that include using whaleskin it makes me wonder. On the up side, she has a guide now. The constellation of three is here again;
M = (heaven) Moon Spirit = (unconscious) heads father = (conscious ego) her father
F = (heaven) the lady with extraordinary clothing = (unconscious) Heads mother = (conscious ego) her mother
** f = (heaven) little girl ~ (unconscious) head ~ (conscious ego)Her
…its not entirely analogous but there is a triad that keeps popping up through her journey.

The young girl who had run away from the man she loved no longer thought about anything much. Sometimes she thought that she was already dead, but she heard what the others said and saw them go around the house, and the woman came and whispered to her that this time she was saved, but that the man with whom she had come was not an ordinary man, that nobody could resist him, and that soon he would come home and would be very angry that she had left his house. But the woman would help her, and she gave her a small cask filled with water in which were four small pieces of whaleskin. She told her that when the strange man came, she should hide at the entrance to the house and throw the pieces of whales kin in his face, for the woman had sung a magic song over her present, so as to make it strong.

Soon the man came back in his kayak. He sat down beside the sea and called out that she should stay quiet in his house, that he would not do her harm, and that she could never be hidden from him. Then he came flying through the air like a bird, and circled his house four times and then came to the small house. There he picked up his bird arrow but cried out that he would not kill her.

He circles the house four times - a complete number. I wonder if he isn't so bad after all but that this dominant feminine figure in the extraordinary clothing (the girl having her clothes taken by the moon spirit) is perhaps not as benevolent as may first appear. That said, he would keep her there - which is not a good thing. Even if he looked after her she would never return from her journey and never awaken.
The whaleskin is very curious. It doesn't say if the water was sea water or pure water but I'm guessing it is fresh water, so not salted. The whaleskin pieces make me think of Sedna when she clung to the side of the boat, had her fingers chopped off and they turned to the animals of the sea. The whale and dolphin I know are very sacred creatures amidst a number of cultures and are thought to be akin to humans - particularly dolphins. The whale skin is odd though. The four pieces being a number of wholeness. She has used magic on it - so she is a bit like a psychopomp perhaps? The whaleskin being powerful as it comes from the most powerful creature in the sea. I'm sure a whale would have had significant influence on this tale as in reality it would have provided food for a long time, it would have been a good hunt…all these things valuable, and perhaps the skin was used for magic?…I really don't know.
Also, I have no idea about the arrow - why he picked that up. It makes me think of cupid in the moon spirit Venus like demeanour but I don't know.

The girl stood hidden in the bend of the entry to the house and threw the pieces of whaleskin in his face. In the same moment he fell down out of the air and lost his strength. Then the three women went into his house, which was the house of the moon spirit, and it was the Man in the Moon himself which the little woman in the skins had made harmless for a time through her magic. The moon spirit is incalculable and can become dangerous; he takes, but he also gives, and man must sacrifice to him in order to share in the things over which he rules.

So the new moon is immanent, it is only a short while that the magic of the woman will hold. Of the moon (Igaluk) chasing the sun (Malina) there is a version where he is so keen to catch her that he doesn't eat so gets thinner and then needs to recuperate before he can continue the pursuit of his sister. I wonder if this well dressed woman then is akin to the solar element of things. I would normally associate the sun/solar with masculine but here (in this mythology) it is clearly the feminine influence that will have nothing to do with the moon. Interestingly, the reason Igaluk chases Malina (in one version at least) is that he saw that his sister was the most attractive woman and therefore wanted to sleep with her so each night when it was dark he would subdue her and have his way until she found him out by rubbing soot on her assailant to identify him when light came. So he seems a pretty sexual guy…as you'd expect with the moon and she will have none of it. The solar feminine influence in this well dressed woman would caution her against him too - perhaps this is for her own good as he may trap her there never to return to earth but I have the feeling that they are also just reinforcing her attitude, and perhaps not helping her. As we see later on, it is in his house that the portal to earth (reality) sits, not with the little house, not with the woman. So the way back to earth is 'with him'…its a bit like the Princess in the Tree (if I remember correctly)…where the way back was known to the one who holds them.

The three women went into his house, and up in the rafters crowds of reindeer ran about. In the corner was a big water barrel, big as an inland lake. The women went to it and looked in and saw whales and walruses and seals swimming about.

In the middle of the floor lay the shoulder blade of a whale. The women pushed it to one side and saw an opening leading down to the earth from which one could see into the dwelling places of humans. One could see the people quite clearly and hear them calling out for all the things they wanted. There were some who cried out to be given whale meat. Others said l they wanted a long life. The moon spirit is so powerful that he can give humans all these things.

The young girl looked at the countries of the earth and discovered far, far below, Tikeraq, the largest place she knew. Here there were many women's boats and many busy people. They were collecting water in small casks and throwing it up to the new moon so that they might have a good catch. It was all like a dream. She could not understand how she herself had got into all that, which she knew well from the stories that old people told. It was perhaps just a new moon, for the little woman in the skins had made the moon spirit unconscious. For as long as the moon spirit is weak, men sacrifice to him. They bring all their wishes before he becomes the big full moon, which can shine like copper.

Now the girl saw how the people prayed to the moon for a good catch. Some of the men had such strong magic formulas that their water ladles came quite near to the moon spirit's house. On the earth these water ladles were quite small, but here, through the magic words, they became enormous and were filled with cool, fresh water. These sacrifices are brought to sea animals, who often suffer from thirst. Sometimes a whale and sometimes a walrus and sometimes a seal was put into the ladles, which reached the house of the moon spirit. That meant that the man's prayer was heard and his sacrifice accepted and that he would have a good catch. But those ladles which remained near the earth, down by the people's dwellings, be- longed to the bad hunters who had no luck.

The young girl saw all that and remembered the pleasure that followed a catch, and she became homesick, she who a little while ago had only thought of dying.

I really don't know what to make of all these animals in the rafters. It is clear that the moon lives there and perhaps the animals there show he has a good relationship with Sedna?…I don't know, perhaps he is hoarding, and is a bad man?…the magic whaleskin was not good for him so perhaps this is an indication. Her new found guide in the heavens is helping her. I'm going to say that he is ok as a god as these animals are perhaps available that he may respond to the prayers and offerings from below, but a bit like the stories with gods where they are happy to have a mortal join them for company, in this regard he is not helpful and would trap her there. Psychologically speaking then she would be stuck in unconscious identification and talk to people about the 'man on the moon.'
The porthole is there though, to the world the girl knows and she longs to return. Its as though she has been able to think again after getting lost in the unconscious. It is curious what brings her back - the recollection of the hunt, or making a catch. This thing that the masculine aspect fulfills in the tale. The very thing her father was asking her to appreciate, and understand that they needed it. It is this innate longing and fulfillment feeling that bridges the gap between her lost journey and returning to earth. I fear though that she has experienced some of the moon but not grown or changed - she has not been allowed to encounter him or for her to get to know her body and sex and the need for a masculine partner. She has travelled to the heavens but hasn't really experienced it…perhaps I'm being harsh. The fact that she is still able to identify with her conscious experiences is good and that porthole is like the phone in the movie the Matrix…she needs to answer it and travel back through :)

The old woman in the skins and her little companion were sorry for her and wanted to help her get back to the earth. The three women plaited a rope out of the sinews of many animals, a very long rope which they rolled up into a ball as they plaited it. Soon it was finished, and the old woman said:

“You must shut your eyes and let yourself down. But in that minute when you touch the earth, you must open your eyes quickly. If you don't, you will never become a human again.”

The young girl fastened the end of the rope tight in the heavens and took the great ball of plaited sinews and began to let herself down. She thought it would be a very long way, but she felt the ground beneath her feet sooner than she had expected. It happened so quickly that she didn't open her eyes quickly enough, and she was changed into a spider. From her come all the spiders of the world - all come from the girl who let herself down from heaven to the earth by a rope of plaited sinews.

Its kind of like they were setting her up a bit - this long ball of plaited sinews only to hit the ground so soon. A plait is three strands, and incomplete number, a masculine number. It is interesting too, the spider; my brief reading has verified certain colloquial ideas and highlighted some facts. The adult female spider is generally much larger than the male adult. Very often the female will kill the male after they have mated. Sometime a male may survive two or three matings but in general she will eat the guy. This image of the female spider resulting from a woman that did not seek any real masculine counterpart - was happy with a head, and then was 'schooled'/guided by the solar figure of the extraordinarily well dressed woman fits quite well. There is no partner there and she is destined to catch her prey - hunt - alone. She is a spinster for evermore, a 'spinner of thread' - like a spider. She went on the journey but has actually regressed and is now unable to relate it back to her conscious life.

What type of woman is this? Von Franz mentions of this tale:
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She also mentions that this ending is typical of more primitive tales where if a taboo was broken it would end badly.

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