The Goddess: no archetype can be reduced to a simple formula

The Ten Mahavidyas,Siva and Sakti, with Serpent Coiled Shri Yantra. Creative Commons via toyin adepoju.
The Ten Mahavidyas,Siva and Sakti, with Serpent Coiled Shri Yantra. Creative Commons via toyin adepoju.

Carl Jung reminds us that “no archetype can be reduced to a simple formula”( CW 9i, para 301). The archetype is a “vessel which we can never empty, and never fill. It has a potential existence only, and when it takes shape in matter it is no longer what it was. It persists throughout the ages and requires interpreting ever anew. The archetypes are the imperishable elements of the unconscious, but they change their shape continually” (ibid).

In the image above, we see the ten Mahavidyas surrounding Shiva and Shakti. The ten Mahavidyas illustrate the variance in the goddess archetype.

Reference:

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