This is the ancient Russian folktale that inspired Bly and Marion Woodman’s “The Maiden King.” It tells the story of a boy named Ivan, who is a stark contrast to Campbell’s ‘Hero with a Thousand Faces.’
As they say in the book, “In our fairy tale, however, Ivan has no face at all, an ordinary being with a thousand forgetfulnesses. Ironically, the young woman he sets out to rescue in our tale ends up rescuing him. The modest face he finally achieves is the result of his persistence and the persistence of the feminine in holding the tension of the opposites. It is a face that unites ecstasy and the Underworld. Together, our hero and his beloved tap into the power that can unite all opposites, a union that is seen in the fairy tale’s title, ‘The Maiden Tsar.’ ”
The story begins with a boy whose father was a merchant who had to go away often, and hired a tutor to care for the boy, asking her to teach his boy to fish. One day they go out on the water, until they see thirty silver ships approaching on the horizon, and one ship of gold…
This is an exclusive recording of the 1996 Minnesota Men’s Conference. Register and attend the next Conference in Ely, Minnesota by visiting http://www.minnesotamensconference.com
Founded by Robert Bly in 1984, the Minnesota Men’s Conference celebrates the telling of old stories, the gifts of poetry and music, and opening our hearts to grief, wildness, and joy. We all want richness and meaning in our everyday lives; this six-day conference in September is a unique opportunity to speak honestly in a community of men.