The Change Artist story explores the importance of reconnecting to the divine feminine for both men and women, and often that has to be done through facing the dark feminine. Both the father and daughter characters have lost connection to the feminine by being cut off from their respective mothers.
In Jungian psychology both genders have a masculine and feminine side (the animus and the anima). The dark feminine often represents a repressed aspect of a person’s feminine nature, which is a theme explored in the book, and a theme that has growing interest since the latter part of the 20th Century. Disconnecting from the feminine can lead to many problems personally, professionally and globally. Some Jungians have linked war, drug trafficking and human trafficking (the top grossing industries in the world) to a worldwide disconnect from the divine feminine.
The Change Artist explores, at an archetypal level, one of the best known characters in Slavic fairytales. She is the deadly guardian of the Underworld: the Baba Yaga. Usually found in the deepest darkest corner of the forest, she is commonly portrayed as a hideous old hag who devours those who naively stumble upon her domain. She dwells in a magical hut that is surrounded by a fence made from the leftover bleached-white bones of her victims. Those who approach her will face an underworld experience that could either end in death or enlightenment, depending upon how the person approaches and responds to the Baba Yaga. Because of this possibility of enlightenment some characters seek her out for her wisdom, and she has been known on occasion to offer guidance to lost souls that she deems as worthy.
The story of the Baba Yaga is one of many faces of the dark feminine or the Black Goddess. And the Black Goddess in archetypal literature is vital to any creative undertaking. She is fear incarnate and so people naturally resist her, but those who know how to embrace the fear earn the power to transform that negativity and destructivity into creativity.
Chuck Jones, the Warner Brothers cartoonist who is famous for characters like the Road Runner, once said that “Fear is the handmaiden of creativity.” He states that most artists must face intense fear before the creative muse is willing to alight.
Sophia has often been the name for the divine feminine especially in Eastern European culture. In order to access the divine feminine one must usually face the hidden and rejected images of ourselves again and again, as the character of Fran must do to re-integrate lost parts of herself.