Kore as Anima Figure

Gretchen and Mephistopheles- 19th century. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Gretchen and Mephistopheles- 19th century. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

Kore is the symbolic image of feminine innocence. The Kore image often appears as unknown young girl. Jung says

“As a matter of practical observation, the Kore often appears in woman as an unknown young girl, not infrequently as Gretchen or the unmarried mother.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 311)

 

The image is relevant to both men and women. In men the kore is an often an anima image. In women the kore is often a part of the supraordinate personality. Carl Jung says:

“The figure of the Kore that interests us here belongs, when observed in a man, to the anima ; and when observed in a woman to the type of supraordinate personality.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 311)

In the above painting, Gretchen receives the jewel box of Mephisto in the house of the neighbor. For both men and women, the kore may express spiritual innocence and/or potential for spiritual renewal. Jung says:

“The maiden’s helplessness exposes her to all sorts of dangers, for instance of being devoured by reptiles or ritually slaughtered like a beast of sacrifice. Often there are bloody, cruel, and even obscene orgies to which the innocent child falls victim. Sometimes it is a true nekyia, a descent into Hades and a quest for the “treasure hard to attain,” occasionally connected with orgiastic sexual rites or offerings of menstrual blood to the moon. (CW 9i, par. 311)

Reference:

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

 

 

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