The word archetype comes from Greek and it denotes the first-moulded, original pattern. I see it as a divine mould, which gives birth to universally recognized symbols, images, myths and stories. We are attracted to them because we sense deep inside that they are not of this world, that they come from the divine source, from the primordial waters that were at the beginning of all creation. The fact is that the creation of all matter was possible only thanks to the existence of archetypes. Therefore archetypes shine through all matter, and even the most mundane everyday objects can be treated as sacred. Naturally, archetypes speak to us the most distinctly and the most powerfully when they are encountered through myths and symbols.
I have always loved etymology. I believe that if we can get to the roots of the word we will find out their true, archetypal meaning. The word myth means story or word in Greek. If we pair this word with logos (a principle of order and knowledge in the universe, sometimes translated as Word) we get mythology. Mythology is the most basic source for anyone who wants to learn about and experience archetypes. It is an exhaustive collection of all archetypes. At the beginning there were archetypes out of which all that is manifest was created. I believe that a symbol is the only way that an invisible archetype can communicate meaning. Symbols emanate power, the source of which are archetypes. Symbols are outward manifestations of archetypes and as such they exude otherworldly, divine power. As archetypal images they are full of mystery and seem unfathomable. Our minds are rooted in the universal sea of the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is the realm of archetypes and it is the archetypes that create, nourish and sustain our individual minds.
How does astrology fit into all this? I believe that the signs of the Zodiac, the planets and the astrological houses are expression of the archetypal cosmic mind. They are symbols, which communicate the cosmic plan for our individual souls. If we learn to interpret that divine code and express it in our lives, we will gain access to a sustaining and nourishing Source of divine power.
I find your blog quite interesting. Here is a couple of quotes for you:
[With respect to the metaphysical language of mythology and metaphysics]
“Its ‘worlds’ and ‘gods’ are levels of reference and symbolic entities which are neither places nor individuals, but states of being realizable witin you.” Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
“The myth, as the symbol, have never been understood… both in the verbal and the figurative orders” René Guénon
I think the same can be said about Plato’s archetypes or Ideas, which belong to the ‘mundus intelligibilis’, the spiritual realm.
Very illuminating quotes, thank you! Your blog contains a real wealth, I am going to spend more time perusing it.
Reading through your earlier blogposts and also here and there about Jung and his theories, I start to understand a bit of your writings about symbols and archetypes and collective un consciousness and so on. What I dont understand so well is why you indicate this concepts as divine and make them something superficial. For me this ideas and de thoughts of Jung are just inspiring because they give me new words for parts of reality I could not get hold of. Difficult to really proof scientigicly maybe, but for surely not something irrational or inexplicable.
The ‘collective unconsciousness’ gives me more understanding of my ideas about our collective historical culture, of what I call our ‘cultural evolution’. Maybe for a small part even got into our genes, but for the greatest part spread by culturalisation and communication. Indeed only for a small amount cinscious I think.
Also for archetipal symbols I dont need the divine. I’m convinced that these have their roots in the long human cooperation and exchange. What is it that you want to make them unhuman or primordial or divine? Did Jung also think this as the sources of his ideas?
For me they or not getting stronger, but weaker. More interesting than to declare this explenations divine – what do they declare than anymore – is to use them to excavate the borders of our understanding of reality.
So please symbolreader use your clear thinking and writing for futher exploration and real understanding of symbols and archetypes in stand declare them divine.
But it all depends on what divine means for you. For me it is a feeling of awe and wonder at how mysterious the universe is. I am not talking about a personal god but about the divine consciousness (nous) that permeates all being.
okay. sure universe is for a great part a mystery, as is the working of our brains and the way in which we communicate. Lost of things to be very curious about.
You may know that your blog not only inspires me for making new photopoems, but also on deeper level. I’m realy getting curious about the possibility of getting to know more of the sub, semi or half-cinsciosness by the means of symbols and archetypes. Tonight I was talking with a friend about this, and we were wondering if its possible to recognise more or less common themes and symbols in dreams of people. Or maybe also in states of psychiatric diseases or infkuenced by different types of drugs,,, Are there maybe even patterns or layers is systems of symbols or concepts to distinguish in this melange of images to describe? Is there maybe some hierarchial pattern or system to duscover in this streams of half or semi or half-unconsciousness? Is it possible to make some kind of ‘elementary syetem’ of archetipal symbols like for elements in chemistry?
Has Jung maybe already written about this, or someone else you know?
Very curious about this.
“Past cultures worldwide often shared in a single cosmic vision, and we must not let our own present fragmented fields of knowledge hinder our attempt to capture that vision.” – Bruce Masse, environmental archaeologist. I think it is possible to find a common archetypal denominator between cultures, but it will not look like the list of chemical elements. I think a good dictionary of symbols is the best there is. I love the one written by Cirlot, I have read it a few times from cover to cover.