Faust’s Dream

Faust's Dream, by Luis Ricardo Falero- 1880. Sotheby's. US Public Domain.
Faust’s Dream, by Luis Ricardo Falero- 1880. Sotheby’s. US Public Domain. Click to enlarge.

FAUST: What is your name?

MEPHISTOPHELES: The question seems absurd / For someone who despises the mere word, / Who treats appearances as vain illusion / And seeks the truth in such remote seclusion.

Continue reading “Faust’s Dream”

Anima as Witch

Luis Ricardo Falero, 1878, Departure of the Witches, US Public Domain
Luis Ricardo Falero, 1878, Departure of the Witches, US Public Domain

Carl Jung speaks of the relationship between the anima image and the witch. He says:

“she changes into all sorts of shapes like a witch, and in general displays an unbearable independence that does not seem at all proper in a psychic content. Occasionally she causes states of fascination that rival the best bewitchment, or unleashes terrors in us not to be out-done by any manifestation of the devil…. She is a mischievous being who crosses our path in numerous transformations and disguises, playing all kinds of tricks on us, causing happy and unhappy delusions, depressions and ecstasies, outbursts of affect, etc… The witch has not ceased to mix her vile potions of love and death; her magic poison has been refined into intrigue and self-deception, unseen though none the less dangerous for that.” (9i, para. 54)

This image by Luis Ricardo Falero was painted in 1878. It captures the mischievous aspect of the anima image.

Water as ‘spirit that has become unconscious’

(Water) Dragon, Katsushika Hokusai, 17th Century, Japanese, US Public Domain vua Wiki.
(Water) Dragon, Katsushika Hokusai, 17th Century, Japanese, US Public Domain vua Wiki.

Carl Jung tells us that “water is the commonest symbol for the unconscious” CW 9i, para 40).

“The lake in the valley is the unconscious, which lies, as it were, underneath consciousness, so that it is often referred to as the ‘subconscious,’ usually with the pejorative connotation of an inferior consciousness. Water is the ‘valley spirit,’ the water dragon of Tao, whose nature resembles water- a yang in the yin, therefore, water means spirit that has become unconscious.” (Carl Jung, )

Reference:

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

The Relation between Pan and Panic

Young Pan, 20 c., L Bakst, US Public Domain
Young Pan, Léon Bakst, 1911, US Public Domain

Pan-like figures are found in cultures around the world. Carl Jung tells a story of the “nocturnal God” he heard of in Kenya. He says:

“The elders of the Elgonyi tribe in Kenya gave me exactly the same description of the nocturnal god whom they call the “maker of fear.” “He comes to you,” they said, “like a cold gust of wind, and you shudder, or he goes whistling round in the tall grass” -an African Pan who glides among the reeds in the haunted noontide hour, playing on his pipes and frightening the shepherds… Thus, in the dream, the breath of the pneuma frightened another pastor, a shepherd of the flock, who in the darkness of the night trod the reed-grown shore in the deep valley of the psyche.” (CW v. 9I, para.36)

Continue reading “The Relation between Pan and Panic”

Mary as Earth Covered by the Blue Tent of the Sky

Tintoretto, 1573, Mary with the child, adored by the Evangelists Mark and Luke, US Public Domain
Tintoretto, 1573, Mary with the child, adored by the Evangelists Mark and Luke, US Public Domain

In the image above, we see Mary with Child. She wears the celestial cloak. Carl Jung speaks to the archetypal significance of this:

“Blue is the color of Mary’s celestial cloak; she is the earth covered by the blue tent of the sky…”

Mary is earth covered by Sky. She is Queen of Heaven. She is “Mother of God” (p. 87). Jung continues:

“According to the dogma she is only beata, divine. Moreover, she represents the earth, which is also the body and its darkness. That is the reason why she, the all-merciful, has the power of attorney to plead for all sinners, but also why, despite her privileged position (it is not possible for the angels to sin), she has a relationship with the Trinity which is rationally not comprehensible, since it is so close and yet so distant.”

Jung understands that it is Mary’s relation to the earth and body that gives her the power to redeem. As related to earth, Jung also relates the mother image to the matrix, the vessel. Jung says:

“As the matrix, the vessel, the earth, she can be interpreted allegorically as the rotundum, is characterized by the four cardinal points.”

Reference:

  1. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 8) by C. G.-  p. 87