Quaternity and Divinity: Symbol of God within

Mandala from 18th century with Christ, US Public Domain via wikimedia
Mandala from 18th century with Christ, US Public Domain via wikimedia

In the above image we see Christ taking up the central position in the mandala. Notice the mandala is also a quaternity. Carl Jung speaks to the quaternity:

“the quaternity is the sine qua non of divine birth and consequently of the inner life of the trinity.” (Carl Jung, CW 12, para 125)

This image may be seen as representing the divine birth, as discovery of God within. In a separate instance, Jung says:

“the ‘God within’ is … dogmatically difficult. But the quaternity as understood by the modern mind directly suggests not only the God within, but also the identity of God and man.” (Jung, CW 11, p. 73-74)

The quaternity forms the ‘archetype of wholeness.’ Jung says:

“The “squaring of the circle” is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies. But it is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the most important of them from the functional point of view. Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness.” (Jung, CW 9i)

I believe that it is evident in Jung’s work that the quatenity, as divine birth, also includes a relation to the divine mother.  For example, Jung says:

“The fourth constituent on the other hand was the earth or the body. They symbolized the latter by the Virgin. In this way they added the feminine element to their physical Trinity, producing thereby the quaternary or the circulus quadratus. (Carl Jung, CW 12 p. 76)


  1. Psychology and Religion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol. 12)
  2. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)

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