Snow white - the meaning of the witch - video

snow white witch Mar 06, 2021

Snow White is arguably Disney’s greatest creation for children. This tale is perfect in its rendering. Most of us remember the horrified fascination, the queen with her magic mirror whose pronouncements lead to her jealous rage against Snow White, her step-daughter. We recall the scene where she takes a potion that will change her own appearance.

The words in the Grimm story are:

Colouring her face, she disguised herself as an old peddler woman, so that no one would recognise her.

But Disney, with deep insight, has her drink the potion that reveals her real inner nature. She becomes the witch she truly is.

As with all other tales of this nature, where an old woman, usually a step mother, acts against the well-being of those in her care, there is a deeper meaning.

The psychologist, Jung, would suggest this is the negative image of the mother that we all tuck away in our psyche’s. There is undoubtedly an element of truth in this. But the deeper interpretation sees the wicked queen as representing nature in two aspects.

Snow White’s true mother is divine and her real birth is in the heavenly realms, illustrated by the pristine nature of the snow in midwinter, and its connotations as the time of the birth of the Christos (into the world). Snow White has to find her own way back to a perception of that realm.

The false mother is self-absorbed with her (real) beauty. Nature is beautiful in so many of its forms. It is also terrible in the outcome of some of its events (earthquakes, tempests, forest fires and the like).


Nature, in terms of our inward nature, is our animality. That is where jealousy resides. And jealousy (much more than envy) is a truly destructive emotion.


Snow White’s journey is one to overcome that power (within us all) and then to overcome or transcend all that is symbolised by the seven dwarves in their house in the forest.


She, like us all, dies with the poisoned apple. She dies to her natural appreciation and experience of the spiritual realms. The poison is the illusion that the natural realms are our real home rather than a temporary habitation.


The kiss of the prince, represents the realisation through intellectual power, or intuitive insight, that the true life resides beyond nature and out of the reach of the powers of nature (represented by the jealous queen). This is what awakens her.


The Soul is described as having mind as a companion. From this perspective, Snow White is the essential purity of the Soul and the prince is the power of Mind to know what is true and what is false. Living with and in, what is false, is as good as being dead!