Author Archives: Symbol Reader

The Sirens as Psychopomps and Muses of the Underworld

I came across this beautiful description of the Sirens in Karl Kerenyi’s Gods of the Greeks (first published in 1951). It seems that far form being the evil seductresses often portrayed in literature, they were in fact guides of the … Continue reading

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Gender and the Cosmic Shift

Natural History Museum of Bern, Switzerland is currently running an exhilarating, colourful exhibition called “Queer – Diversity is in our Nature.” The thesis of the curators seems to be that the animal kingdom is rich and diverse with numerous examples … Continue reading

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Reading The Red Book (33)

“One can certainly gain outer freedom through powerful actions, but one creates inner freedom only through the symbol.” C.G. Jung, The Red Book, Liber Secundus, chapter XX Chapter XX of Liber Secundus, the middle part of Jung’s Red Book, has … Continue reading

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Reading The Red Book (32)

Chapter XIX of Liber Secundus (part II of The Red Book) is called The Gift of Magic. The Soul wants Jung to accept the gift of magic represented by “a black rod, formed like a serpent-with two pearls as eyes-a … Continue reading

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Master Arnold Böcklin

Arnold Böcklin (born in 1827) was a Swiss symbolist painter, whose work The Plague (1898) has recently emerged as the emblem of our moment in time. It seems that through his symbolist lens he managed to capture the timeless terror … Continue reading

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Reading The Red Book (31)

“Little good will come to you from outside. What will come to you lies within yourself. But what lies there!” C.G. Jung, The Red Book, chapter XVIII (Liber Secundus) Chapter XVIII of Liber Secundus is called The Three Prophecies. The … Continue reading

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The Power of Wildness in the Times of Dystopia

At least for me, it has been a season for dystopian novels. After finishing Handmaid’s Tale and its sequel The Testaments, I moved on to reread 1984. When a cruel new law was recently passed in Poland forbidding abortion in … Continue reading

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The Doll as a Symbol

The doll is a curious and polyvalent symbol. On the one hand, there is no shortage of creepy dolls in horror movies. Furthermore, in his Dictionary of Symbols, Juan Eduardo Cirlot speaks of dolls solely in the context of psychopathology … Continue reading

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Reading The Red Book (30)

“I feel the things that were and that will be. Behind the ordinary the eternal abyss yawns. The earth gives me back what it hid.” Liber Secundus, chapter XVII Chapter XVII of Liber Secundus, the second part of The Red … Continue reading

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Carl Jung and the Ways of Hermes

Before I continue my journey through Jung’s Red Book, I would like to draw your attention to an excellent essay by Lance S. Owens, The Hermeneutics of Vision: C.G. Jung and Liber Novus. You can download it here along with … Continue reading

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