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Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Ignaz Tauber

Dear Dr. Tauber, 13 December 1960

Many thanks for your kind suggestion that I write a commentary on my Bollingen symbols. Nobody is more uncertain about their meaning than the author himself.

They are their own representation of the way they came into being.

The first thing I saw in the rough stone was the figure of the worshipping woman, and behind her the silhouette of the old king sitting on his throne.

As I was carving her out, the old king vanished from view.

Instead I suddenly saw that the unworked surface in front of her clearly revealed the hindquarters of a horse, and a mare at that, for whose milk the primitive woman was stretching out her hands.

The woman is obviously my anima in the guise of a millennia-old ancestress.

Milk, as lac virginis, virgin’s milk, is a synonym for the aqua doctrinae one of the aspects of Mercurius, who

had already bedeviled the Bollingen stones in the form of the trickster. The mare descending from above reminded me of Pegasus.

Pegasus is the constellation above the second fish in Pisces; it precedes Aquarius in the precession of the equinoxes.

I have represented it in its feminine aspect, the milk taking the place of the spout of water in the sign for Aquarius.

This feminine attribute indicates the unconscious nature of the milk.

Evidently the milk has first to come into the hands of the anima, thus charging her with special energy.

This afflux of anima energy immediately released in me the idea of a she-bear, approaching the back of the anima from the left.

The bear stands for the savage energy and power of Artemis.

In front of the bear’s forward-striding paws I saw, adumbrated in the stone, a ball, for a ball is often given to bears to play with in the bear-pit.

Obviously this ball is being brought to the worshipper as a symbol of individuation.

It points to the meaning or content of the milk.

The whole thing, it seems to me, expresses coming events that are still hidden in the archetypal realm.

The anima, clearly, has her mind on spiritual contents.

But the bear, the emblem of Russia, sets the ball rolling. Hence the inscription: Ursa movet molem.

There’s not much more I can tell you, but as a sign of the times I would like to cite the opinion of one of my critics.

He accuses me of being so uneducated that I don’t even know that the sun moves into Pisces from Aquarius and not the other way round!

Such is the level of my public.

With best greetings to you and your wife,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 615-616