Zombie Apocalypse: a symbol of collective transformation

 Gajda, Tegning af en Zombi. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Gajda, Tegning af en Zombi. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

What cannot be worked through at the conscious level is often worked through at the unconscious level, in dreams and fantasy. cf. Carl Jung  (CW 5, para 4-45). When encountering that which we cannot dream, we confront the limits of sense.

Film and art may present an unconscious attempts to work through collective transformation at the limits of reason and sense. In zombie movies and the growing zombie apocalypse movement, we may be seeing an attempt to dream ‘apocalyptic’ change.

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Yakshas: personifications of spirit

Terracota Yakshas, Sunga period- 1st century BC; found in West Bengal)- Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York. US public domain via wikimedia
Terracota Yakshas, Sunga period- 1st century BC; found in West Bengal)- Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York. US public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung calls spirit an “immaterial substance or form of existence”. Yet this “immaterial substance” tends “towards personification” [1].

In the image above, we see Yakshas as personification of the nature spirits. “Yakshas were deities connected with water, fertility, trees, the forest, and the wilderness. Yakshis were their female counterparts and were originally benign deities connected with fertility.

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Unicorn: representation of spirit

Wissembourg_St-Jean_44
Alsace , Bas-Rhin , Wissembourg, Protestant Church St. John, St. Catherine Chapel , Fresco ” Lady and the Unicorn ” (XIV ) US Public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung tells us that the unicorn is an image of spirit (CW 14, para. 3).

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Harpies: anima image

The "Peruvian harpy" Coloured etching. ImprintParis (Rue St. Jacques) : Ednauis et Rapilly, c. 1700 and 1799. US public domain via welcome library
The “Peruvian harpy” Coloured etching.
Imprint Paris (Rue St. Jacques) : Ednauis et Rapilly, c. 1700 and 1799. US public domain via welcome library
In the above image we see a harpy with two tails, horns, fangs, winged ears, and long wavy hair. Harpy from the Greek word harpazein (ἁρπάζειν), “to snatch” [1].

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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:

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