Sirin and Alkonost: the anima can appear as a bird

Sirin and Alkonost – Birds of Joy and Sorrow by Vasnetsov Sirin Alkonost- 1896. US public domain via wikimedia.
Sirin and Alkonost – Birds of Joy and Sorrow by Vasnetsov Sirin Alkonost- 1896. US public domain via wikimedia.

Carl Jung noted that the anima “can appear as a … bird” [1].

In the image above, we see the Sirin and Alkonost, birds of joy and sorrow. They have the body of a bird and head of a woman. The Sirin and Alkonost emerged in Russian mythology, as “bird-maidens of paradise who would come down to earth to bring their sweet song to man” [2] The sirin in pictured in white and the alkonost in black. “The sirin usually wore a crown,… she was identified as the heavenlybird of happiness” [3]. Her counterpart is the alkonost, bird of sorrow.

References:

  1. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)
  2. Music in Art By Alberto Ausoni
  3. Russian Folk Art By Alison Hilton

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