Jungian Therapy, Jungian Analysis, New York

woman, a lake spirit, and a skull:
A Chukchee (northern Siberian) story
New York city jungian therapist/analyst carl jung therapy

A Woman and a Lake-Spirit.1

The Jessup North Pacific Expedition, Edited by Franz Boas.
Memoir of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, Volume VIII.
I. Chukchee Mythology, by Waldemar Bogoras,
Leiden & New York, 1910

A girl refused to be married at the behest of her father. "To whom do you want to be married? You do not consent to be married to a man. Perhaps to a ke´lẹ you want to be married."

She paid no attention (to her father's words). At the same time, every evening she would sing outside of the tent, "From the lake, O penis, come out!"

After that she would enter (the house). Her father heard this, and said to his wife, "Oh, this daughter of ours, when we try to persuade her to marry, she quarrels with us; but to whom is she married? She is married to a ke´lẹ of the lake." They said nothing to her.  

Evening came. She went to the lake. Then she began to sing on the lake-shore. "From the lake, O penis, come out!" Then a [mere] penis appeared. She sat down upon it, and she herself copulated with it. At the dawn of the day she went home.

Jungian analysis Jungian therapy in new york: narcissism narcissistic personality disorder

Arthur receives Excalibur. Illustration: Daniel Maclise, In Alfred Tennyson: Poems London: Moon, 1857

There are related images in Polynesian myth:

Maui and Tuna (Tuamotu islands).

In: Maori Myths and Tribal Legends, Copyright Antony Alpers 1964. Longman Paul, Aukland; Johnson and Alcock, London.

Jungian analysis Jungian therapy in new york: narcissism narcissistic personality disorder

Eel. Photo: source unknown.

Hina was living with Tuna in his land beneath the sea; but she became tired of her eel-husband, also of the coldness there. One day she said to eel Tuna that she was going out to fetch food for them. Then she travelled far away, to find a new man for herself.

She came to the land of the Tane tribe. When she saw those husband-people Hina sang her chant about what she wanted:

Inland eel here--manly thing!

Eel of the sea there--watery thing!

I here am a woman for the eel-shaped one,

I have come to find him ....

Eventually Hina marries the trickster-hero, Maui. T una then comes to challenge Maui and Maui kills him.

And also this from Polynesia:

Hina and the Eel.

In: Maori Myths and Tribal Legends, Copyright Antony Alpers 1964. Longman Paul, Aukland; Johnson and Alcock, London.

A young woman, Hina-moe-atu (Hina-sleeping-with-a-god) was bathing in a fresh-water pool beneath a coral cliff. A huge eel came to her from beneath the rocks, went sliding under her vulva, and gave her pleasure with its tail. The same thing happened many times. Then, while Hina was gazing at it, the eel became a handsome young island man. Many times he came with her to her house and they made love. Then he told her he would have to leave her forever and instructed her what to do. There were torrential rains and the water rose to the threshold of her house. The eel came and laid its head in her doorway. She cut of its head with the sacred adze of her ancestor and buried it behind her house. Then she visited that place every day to see what would happen. In time a firm green shoot appeared, and from it grew two coconut palms. The coconut palm provides food and many raw materials for the economy of the island, and this is how it was created.

There are similar images in a Winnebago (native american) myth:

Folkloristics: an Introduction, Robert A. Georges, Michael Owen Jones, Indiana University Press (September 22, 1995) page 240.

Because of its huge size, Trickster carries his penis on his back coiled up in a box. Upon seeing a group of women bathing on the other side of the lake, he dispatches a penis across the water, where it lodges in the vagina of a chief's daughter. Only an old wise woman's repeated stabbings with an awl bring about the dislodging of the giant penis. Trickster laughs as he watches the scene from across the lake, but regrets the old woman's interference. "Why is she doing this when I am trying to have intercourse?" he asks. "Now she has spoiled all the pleasure."

Later he sends his penis in pursuit of a taunting chipmunk, probing for it in the hollowed out part of a tree. When he pulls his penis out, he discovers that the chipmunk has bitten off pieces and reduced it in size. Trickster captures the culprit, finds the bitten off and partially chewed penis parts, and transforms them into such useful things for humankind as potatoes, turnips, artichokes, and rice.

The story of the garden of eden is another parallel. The sexual symbolism of the serpent is suppressed in the patriarchal Judeo-Christian myth but the meaning is clear enough, especially when that myth is amplified with the Polynesian stories. The serpent introduced Eve to sex and she introduced it to Adam. Van der Goes (1436-1482) portrayed something of this.

Eve and the Apple. Hugo van der Goes, 1436-1482. Vienna Diptych, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Chukchee story continues:  

Then her father said to her, "Go and fetch some wood!" She obeyed. Meanwhile they went to the lake, he and his wife, and they deceived it (by this song): "From the lake, O penis, come out!" Then from the lake a penis was thrust out. They caught it and cut it off. Thus they killed it.  

The wood-carrier came home. Evening was approaching. The girl quickly cooked food. Evening came. Then again she went out to the lake. Then she was secretly watched. Again she began to sing, "From the lake, O penis, come out!" Nothing appeared. Another time, "From the lake, O penis, come out!" After that she even began to cry. "Oh, how strange!" Then again, "From the lake, O penis, come out!" Nothing (appeared).  

Then she cried. She sorrowed much for the penis. Her house-mates were secretly watching her. Oh, oh! but it was not there. She finished crying, and again (sang), "From the lake, O penis, come out!" She cried much, as if she were sorrowing for a dead (husband). At last she came home. She could not do anything.

On the next day she went to the open country and found a bare skull.


1. This tale was left unfinished, because the next one, which was taken down earlier, and from another person, forms its continuation. The two tales form a unit; but the second half is more popular among the Chukchee, and has been found in various localities.

A Woman and a Skull.

The Jessup North Pacific Expedition, Edited by Franz Boas.
Memoir of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, Volume VIII.
I. Chukchee Mythology, by Waldemar Bogoras
. Leiden & New York, 1910

Once upon a time there was an old man and his wife. They were three in the family. Their daughter was the third. The daughter was a girl unmarried, without a husband. This daughter had a separate sleeping-room. They had two sleeping-rooms. That of the daughter was separate. She was sleeping all by herself. The parents were sleeping together.

Jungian analysis Jungian therapy in new york: narcissism narcissistic personality disorder

Three Inuit in front of a tent: Left to right- Utak Enookoolook, Uttuqak (Utak's mother) and Zipporah. Low Point, Inuktitut Natlua about 50 to 60 miles from Pond Inlet at the Navy Board Inlet. www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

Once upon a time the (young) woman went out and was walking about there. Then she found a bare skull lying in the wilderness. She put it into one leg of her breeches and took it home, this human skull. She carried it into her sleeping-room. There she concealed it. She made a cap, puckered (along the border). With that cap she covered the skull. Then every evening, as soon as the sleeping-rooms had been put in order, the woman sets the skull near the rear wall, then she laughs at it. And that bare skull also laughs a little. Jungian analysis Jungian therapy in new york: narcissism narcissistic personality disorder

Alaskan tundra. Photo: source unknown

Jungian analysis Jungian therapy in new york: narcissism narcissistic personality disorder

Human skull. Photo: source unknown

"Hm!" Her mother heard it, and said, "What may she be laughing at, this one?"

"I am laughing only at a cap, newly made and adorned." Thus she deceives her mother. Then every time when she awakes in the morning, she puts the skull in the bottom of the bag, lest they should find it.  

Once, when the girl was again walking outside, her mother took out the contents of her daughter's bag-pillow.1 She was looking for something, and therefore searched in the bag-pillow of her daughter. Suddenly she caught that skull by the mouth and took it out. She was startled. "Oh, oh, oh, horror! horror!2 What has become of our daughter? How very strange! Our [quite] unmarried daughter has become a ke´lẹ, she has become an abomination, an object of fear.3 Oh, wonder! what is she now? Not a human being. In truth, she is a ke´lẹ."  

The father presently said, "Oh, let us leave! No need of her. You speak to her to-morrow, and invite her to a walk outside with you."  

Just as before (the mother) filled her bag-pillow and closed it in the same manner. The girl came back, it grew dark, and they lay down to sleep. Again she set (the skull) in the evening before herself, and laughed at it, "Hi, hi!" And the other answered, "Hm!"  

"How wonderful you are, O woman! Why are you laughing so, being alone, quite alone in your sleeping-room?" — "No, indeed! I am only laughing at a cap, newly made and adorned."  

On the next day the mother said, "Let us go and fetch fuel." They gathered fuel, cut wood, and broke off (branches of) bushes. Then the mother said, "The wood-binding is too short. I will go and get some more. Surely, I shall be back soon." — "No, indeed, I will go." — "No, I." — "Ah, well, go and get it."  

So the mother went home. When she came home, her husband had broken camp and loaded a boat. He loaded the tent on the boat. They were setting off for the opposite shore. They left their daughter and cast her off. When they had almost finished, the girl could not wait any longer; therefore she went to look. She was moving along the steep river-bank when she saw that boat loaded, and (her father's) work finished. Oh, she ran on and rushed to them. Just as she came, they went aboard and her father pushed off. The girl held on to the steering-paddle, but her father struck her with a paddle4 on the wrist. So she let go of the steering-paddle. They left her, and set off far away for the other shore.

Two men in hooded parkas landing kayaks on a gravel beach, Noatak village. Photo: Edward S. Curtis, 1927, copyright 1929. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The daughter was left quite alone at the camp-site. Even though a house had been there, there was now nothing at all, no house. Therefore she began to weep, and put that bare skull outside. Then she pushed it with her foot, and said, weeping, "This one is the cause5 of (it) all. What has he done, the bad one? They have left me, they have cast me off. Oh, dear!"  

Then the bare skull been to speak, "You make me suffer, indeed. Do not push me with your foot. Better let me go and procure a body for myself, only do not push me so. Go and make a wood-pile, make a fire, then throw me into the flames." — "Oh, all right! Then, however, I shall quite alone. I can talk with you at least." — "Obey me, indeed. You are suffering, quite vainly we suffer together. I shall procure a body for myself."  

Oh, she made a fire. It blazed up. Then the skull spoke to her again, and said, "Well, now, throw me into the fire! Then stay with head drawn back into the collar of your dress, in this manner, and do not look up. Indeed, no matter who may look upon you, or what voices you may hear, do not look up!"

Jungian analysis Jungian therapy in new york: narcissism narcissistic personality disorder

Campfire. Photo: source unknown.

She obeyed, threw (the skull) into the fire, then staid with head drawn back and bent down. Thus she remained. Then the fire blazed up with a noise for a long time. Then it went out.

She remained with her head bent down, then she began to hear a noise, a clattering of runners; then also, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!" from a herd; loud voices, "Ah, ah, ah; ah, ah, ah!" and whistling. Then a caravan clattered by, still she continued to sit with head bent down. The clattering came nearer, and the cries, "Waġo´, yaġo´!" Then a man called her from the front. "Well, there, what are you doing? Oh, she looked up. A large caravan was coming. The herd was quite big. The man, her husband, was standing in front of her, clad in a shirt made of thin furs, in the best of skins.

Chukchi reindeer herder, Siberia. Bryan & Cherry Alexander, ArcticPhoto

They built a camp, and put up the tent. He was quite rich in reindeer. Then, in truth, she began to feel quite well.

Male caribou, Alaska. Photo: Dean Biggins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Public Affairs, WO3772-023

In the beginning of the cold, early in the fall, (the parents of the woman) saw smoke rising. "Come, say, what settlement have we noticed just now? Come, let us go and visit it." They crossed with a boat, her parents, the father with the mother, "Oh, sit down in the outer tent. I shall cook some food for you." She prepared for cooking, and filled the kettle with meat and fat.  

While she was cooking, she broke some thigh-bones to extract the marrow. When the meal was finished, she gave them the marrow (with the bone splinters). "Eat this marrow!" They ate the marrow, but the thigh-bone splinters stuck in their throats and pierced them. Thus she killed them, and they died.

Finished. I have killed the wind.6

[Told by Rịke´wġi, a Maritime Chukchee man, at Mariinsky Post, in October, 1900.]


1. The pillows of the sleeping-rooms serve as bags. Compare Vol. VII of this series, p. 171.

2. Keke´ is an interjection of fear, used by women.

3. The root of this word signifies "superstitious fear." It is also applied to the peculiar sounds supposed to be characteristic of the voice of the spirits (cf. Volume VII of this series, p. 437).

4. "Genuine paddle," in contrast to the large and broad steering-paddle.

5. {Is the cause.} ẹḷo´n ŭm ê´tịm is used as an expression of spite, as a kind of compound interjection.

6. On the shores inhabited by the Chukchee, wind and bad weather continue for weeks, preventing all hunting and travelling. During those days the people stay in the inner room of the house and while away the time of unavoidable leisure by telling endless stories. The story-telling is considered a magic means of laying the wind. This idea is expressed in the last sentence. The same idea prevails among some American tribes (see, for instance, Franz Boas, Chinook Texts, p. 112).