The Egg as an Image of God and Self

 Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516) The Garden of Earthly, Museo del Prado, US Public Domain Delights,
Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516) The Garden of Earthly Delights, Museo del Prado, US Public Domain Wikimedia

In the above image by Hieronymus Bosch, we see human beings crawling out of the water into an egg. This is a wonderful image. One could say it depicts the primal creation, but backwards. The egg is an archetypal motif of the first-born. In the Vedas, the primordial egg is called Hiraṇyagarbha or Prajāpati, meaning the ‘golden egg’. The golden egg is the seed of creation, the first-born, or first cause in the act of creating the cosmos. The Ṛgveda, speaks of Hiraṇyagarbha:

yo deveṣv ādhi devā eka āsīt
He is the God of gods, and none beside him.

Carl Jung speaks of the primordial egg. He understood its relation to the deity image when he says that, “the Deity dormant and concealed in matter [is represented by] the egg.” –Carl Jung (1938, p.67) Jung further notes that the egg may also represent the potential of the liberated soul. He says:

“In alchemy the egg stands for the chaos apprehended by [the alchemist], the prima materia containing the captive world soul. Out of the egg .. will rise the eagle or the phoenix , the liberated soul.” –Carl Jung (CW 12, para, 306)

Jungian Analyst, Schwartz-Salant speaks to the appearance of an egg in dreams or imagination.

“The egg is generally an extremely positive symbol, pointing to the potential creation of a new positive attitude.” (Schwartz-Salant, 1982, p. 54)



  1. Katie Givens Kime, 2012, God is in the Egg, C.G. Jung Society of Atlanta
  2. Schwartz-Salant, 1982, Narcissism and character transformation: The psychology of narcissistic character disorders
  3. Psychology and Religion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol. 12)