Melusine: ‘the anima… can appear as a snake.’

Melusine's secret discovered, from Le Roman de Mélusine, circa 1450- 1500, US Public Domain, Wikimedia.
Melusine’s secret discovered, from Le Roman de Mélusine by Jean d’Arras, ca 1450-1500. Bibliothèque nationale de France. US Public Domain, Wikimedia.

In the above image, we see Melusine, a feminine spirit, half snake and half woman. Carl Jung spoke of her as an anima figure (CW 13, para 180). Like Melusine, ‘the anima… can appear as a snake’ (CW 9i, para 358). In Alchemical Studies, Jung speaks of Melusine:

“Melusine comes into the same category as the nymphs and sirens who dwell in the watery realms…. Paracelsus tells us in De Pygmaeis that Melusina was originally a nymph who was seduced by Beelzebub into practicing witchcraft. She was descended from the whale in whose belly the prophet Jonah beheld great mysteries. This derivation is very important: the birthplace of Melusina is the womb of mysteries, obviously what we today would call the unconscious… Melusina can be interpreted as a spirit, or some kind of psychic phenomenon… For anyone familiar with the subliminal processes of psychic transformation, Melusina is clearly an anima figure. She appears as a variant of the mercurial serpent, which was sometimes represented in the form of a snake-woman by way of expressing the monstrous, double nature of Mercurius.” (para 180)

 

Reference:

  1. Carl Jung , Alchemical Studies (Collected Works of CG Jung Vol.13)
  2. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)

2 thoughts on “Melusine: ‘the anima… can appear as a snake.’

  1. The question is why does she appear as a snake is it to reflect the devouring,stealthiness and the other qualities that are associate with the snake or the things that are going on individuals life that are going on in the manner of snake

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