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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Nagas: Sometimes the Kore slithers down to the animal kingdom

Nagas are said live in the lowest realm of Patala (the underword) called Naga-loka. US public Domain via wikimedia.
Nagas are said live in the lowest realm of Patala (the underword) called Naga-loka. US public Domain via wikimedia.

 

Carl Jung tells us that “Sometimes the Kore and mother-figures slithers down altogether to the animal kingdom. When this occurs we may see her represented as the snake, the crocodile, or other salamander-like, saurian creatures.” [1]

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Anima as Nixie and Nymph

Arjuna and river Nymph in Indian Myth and Legend by Mackenzie, Donald Alexander. 1913 US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Arjuna and river Nymph by Warwick Goble in Indian Myth and Legend by Mackenzie- 1913 US Public Domain via Wikimedia

Nymphs and nixies are found in Greek, Latin, Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Nymphs and nixies are female nature deities. These divine spirits are said to animate nature. In archetypal terms they  express the feminine elements of nature.

Carl Jung says that these nature spirits are an “instinctive version of a magical feminine being [called] the anima”. They are “spirits of forest, field, and stream” with “rather peculiar erotic charms.”  Jung associates the image with the projection and introjection of “erotic fantasy.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 53-54)

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