LECTURE VII 20 November 1929
Today we will continue our discussion of the moon.
Since the problem is infinitely complicated I would like the individual members of this particular committee to tell us their impression of that subject.
Mr. Henderson: I studied the Greek material and found Selene was the original Greek goddess of the moon, but she never attained the rank of major deity. The Greeks seemed to find her too dim and were dissatisfied with her, so most of her power was usurped by Hecate, who was more useful, more of an entity. She was a more positive goddess and was in close relation with humanity in practical matters.
Dr. Jung: It is true that Hecate was more considered, but who was she in her own right?
Mr. Henderson: She had two functions, She :was the goddess of birth and fertility, but she was predominantly a witch, a goddess of black magic. Her cults were underground, and linked up with
Ishtar and Aphrodite, with infant sacrifices, and sacred prostitution.
Dr. Jung: You link her cult up with Ishtar and Aphrodite, but she is neither of these. What aspect would Hecate represent? How does she differ?
Mr. Henderson: She represents the destroying power of the moon.
Dr. Jung: Decidedly destructive.
And the name itself tells us something.
It means the one that reaches far, hits far, farther than an arrow.
The primitives believe that the magic causing of illness is worked by throwing out something substantial, like a pebble; certain American Indian tribes believe it is an icicle.
To sum her up then, you would say that she was chiefly destructive and so had to be particularly propitiated. But destruction was not her only quality, we must characterize her more closely.
Take all her qualities together:
She was a deity of black magic, of childbirth, and of the crossroads.
The main feature is the underground character, that gives you the picture.
She represents a psychic power, a factor that has all these connections–exceedingly mysterious, underground, helpful but at the same time destructive, uncanny, and working from the unconscious in a way man cannot understand.
This is a witchcraft particularity that is especially in woman’s unconscious.
In a man one can see that his ray reaches far, it is a continuity; but in woman one simply can’t account for it.
I want to give you a very interesting example.
A member of our seminar has given me permission to tell you this.
After our discussion of the cross and crescent symbolism, she went home, with the moon and the sun in her mind.
Her boy of seventeen was sick in bed, unoccupied, and she gave him his toothbrush to mark to prevent its being mixed up with his brother’s.
She left him at work and was talking with her husband downstairs about everyday matters.
Then she became conscious that she was listening and had the feeling that something might be happening to the boy, so she went up to him and found that instead of signing his name, he had made
the following picture.
Look at it in the light of our seminar.
The mother had said not a word to the boy about it.
Reading it from the bottom up, there is first the cross, then the crescent, then “Tau,” and he made the remark that it could just as well have been a cross like this X or a human body.
The star above we have not spoken of. It is from the collective unconscious, yet it is from his own unconscious just as well.
This is not merely a thought transference, it is a magic effect, a Hecate dream, the language of the collective unconscious.
It is the answer to the dream we are actually concerned with.
I make use of this particular instance to illustrate the effect.
It also shows you a most precious piece of of symbolism, and how things synchronize in a radius of several miles.
Perhaps the people upstairs or our neighbours over there are having queer dreams, we don’t know.
This is a power centre, and they are within the radius.
This hieroglyphic writing explains the sequence of our thoughts.
We shall reach the same results that this
Of course we can’t assume that it was insinuated by the unconscious of the mother; it was simply released by the mother’s attitude.
It is the same conclusion that man always has reached and always will, and this process was released in him as in our dreamer.
If touched upon, it comes up.
Compare the fantasy material of the most different patients and see how they come to similar symbols and conclusions, of course with an enormous amount of individual variation.
I have hardly ever seen such a neat result as this, it is quite amazing.
Now this Hecate aspect of the moon, was that what impressed you most, then?
Mr. Henderson: No, the cult of Artemis-the predominantly productive goddess, the goddess of the fields and childbirth, the waxing moon-balanced the cult of Hecate.
Dr. Jung: Then you would explain Hecate as chiefly destructive, the waning moon.
And we found that there was some justification for this, things don’t thrive under the waning moon.
Dr. Barrett: A friend of mine in the railway-tie business tells me that they will buy no wood cut under the waning moon.
The scientific explanation that he gave was that wood recently exposed to polarized light doesn’t last as well.
Miss von Konig: In Sweden the wood cut in the waning moon is exposed to wood worms while in the waxing moon while in the waxing moon it is not.
Mrs. Sawyer: In France, before the Revolution, the forestry laws prohibited the cutting of wood except during the waning moon.
Otherwise it was so full of sap that it would not dry.
Dr. Jung: These are practical concrete evidences of the influence of the waning moon, which fit in with what we hear about planting in the waxing moon.
I know a man with a great estate in South Africa who, on principle, plants everything under the waxing moon because he has always observed that only so did they flourish.
I didn’t just trust that notion, but all these primitive beliefs seem to be true somehow, although we do not understand them.
A meteorologist will prove to you that the weather does not change with the moon, and yet the idea keeps on occurring, so I am by no means convinced that the weather has nothing to do with it.
A rational explanation is no explanation.
We just have to wait till these things become confirmed through experimentation.
Astrology, for instance, presents amazing suggestions which would be important if verified, but that has never been done. They ought to work out their researches statistically.
A Frenchman, Paul Flambart, made an attempt to verify certain irrational statements.
He has done some scientific research work in connection with the so-called aerial trigone: If the whole zodiac is designed in sections of a circle, then the three points, the months represented by Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, form the aerial trigon.
These are air-signs, and air means mind or spirit.
The old saying was that one born under these signs was apt to be spiritual or intellectual; that quality was given him at birth.
So Flambart took one hundred nativities of men remarkable for their intelligence, and he found that, though the birth-dates were everywhere on the circle, there was an extraordinary accumulation on each point of the trigon, so one could say that the majority of such nativities were associated with the corners of the aerial trigon, with intelligence.
This is of the nature of a scientific truth, but astrologers are proverbially reluctant to make such researches.
They prefer to swim in intuition.
To work scientifically is too much trouble; each horoscope would take three hours and one would need thousands of them.
Astrology is a dark science, a Hecate science.
Now we are emphasizing the waning moon. Have you anything more to say about Artemis?
Mr. Henderson: The two, Hecate and Artemis, were practically interchangeable, but Artemis was more the waxing moon with the idea of fertility. They supplanted Selene, who was not defined enough, so her cult was split up into the cults of these two goddesses, Artemis and Hecate, who were more practical and nearer to the people.
Dr. Jung: Yes, Selene is a bit dim.
The moon is exceedingly paradoxical, and so one has to split up the conception of its personality.
It is too upsetting to think in paradoxical terms.
That is the sign of a differentiated mind, only very advanced philosophers think paradoxically.
Few can stand it.
So the Artemis side of the moon goddess was bright and positive and the dark side hushed up; or the dark uncanny Hecate side was expressed and the good side hushed up.
It was as if poison might produce some very good effect; or, if God wouldn’t help, surely the Devil would lend a hand.
I think you have here a valuable picture of the double character of the moon. What was your material, Mrs. Sawyer?
Mrs. Sawyer: What impressed me the most was the double meaning of the moon-on the side of life, and on the side of death.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and that coincides with what I know of primitives.
One sees this lack of definition especially in the central conception of mana that we were discussing.
Modern explorers are bewildered at their way of applying the terms mana and taboo.
No distinction exists to them, because their dreams are like reality and their reality like dreams.
Any concept is like any other concept.
In Egypt one finds contradictory myths in neighbouring villages, or even in the same temple about one and the same god.
Their way of thinking is utterly incomprehensible to us.
The primitive consciousness is so dim that they simply can’t see differences, they are quite naive, they can only feel very keenly how they are affected.
So very different things become as one to them, because they produce the same effect.
They are astonished, for instance, with no reference to what astonishes them, the word “astonish” becomes a dynamic conception and they say it is astonishing, mulungu. I gave you such examples.
So we don’t find differentiated views of the moon in primitive beliefs.
Later when we do find it in Greek mythology it represents the progress of the human mind through many thousands of years.
Mrs. Crowley: Did not moon worship precede sun worship in the Semitic religions?
Dr. Jung: Did you read the Babylonian literature?
There it is true that the worship of the moon goddess is exceedingly ancient, but I think that Shem2may be just as old.
Mrs. Crowley: I wondered if the moon was not very important to them because of their nomadic lives? The moon might be as important to nomadic tribes as the sun would be to agricultural people.
Dr. Jung: Yes, though that is difficult to confirm because nomadic tribes leave no culture and no temples.
The pre-Islamic cult was of the stars and the moon.
The nocturnal sky is exceedingly impressive to one who travels by night, as you say, but in the oldest Babylonian temples, one finds sun worship as well as moon worship.
One sees the sun god at one end of the temple against the wall, and a statue of the king of equal size just opposite.
Man and god opposite to one another, of equal value, it is very interesting.
In Egypt, also, Pharaoh is the equal of the gods and is depicted in the form of Osiris and of Ra, and identified with the sun.
Naturally, he wouldn’t identify with the moon.
Mrs. Fierz: It struck me as strange from the point of view of development that first you have a dragon like Mummu-Piamut, or a heavenly cow, the mother of the moon goddess, who creates the world and eats it afterwards. Then later came the various different moon goddesses, and then in the course of development, comes a unifying principle again, as for example in the Golden Ass, 11th chapter. Again they are the same, they are unified. Even if the names are different, the meaning of these goddesses in all countries is the same. So in the late Roman times, they could take up the worship of any foreign goddess because the underlying meaning would be identical. I think that here is a parallel to individual psychology.
Dr. Jung: Your view has more to do with the psychology of the moon symbolism in general.
You would reduce the specific moon goddesses to the conception of an original world animal, a heavenly cow who produces and then eats the world.
Well, that is perfectly true, an extraordinary conception of something even back of the gods, something that is doing and undoing.
But this doesn’t enter our actual discussion; we must keep to a differentiated concept of the moon deity.
If we go behind the moon, then we must go behind the sun; the story of the heavenly cow has no more to do with the moon than the sun, it is back of both.
It is a profound intuition similar to the idea of Osiris, Isis, and Nephtys in the same womb.
Osiris is the sun, Isis and Nephtys are the moon.
There is also the Egyptian idea of the primordial mother Nu or Nut, also called the primordial waters, in whose womb were the sun and the moon before any created thing.
That is still more primitive and also a more advanced idea.
Later perhaps humanity will see that these most primitive superstitions were the intuitive perception of a most accurate truth.
Scientific ideas are always transitory, because they are based on theory.
Modern physics is crumbling.
When I was a student “emanation,” for instance, was ridiculed as completely absurd, but now we are coming back to it.
Here we are with the Einstein theory, which is understood as a sort of cosmic emanation.
Now, Dr. Draper, won’t you tell us what you got from your researches about the moon?
Dr. Draper: The thoughts that were started by the researches were tinged by the mechanistic puzzle I have been in and so they took a biological trend. It seemed to me that there was an interesting analogy between the bisexual character of the moon and the bisexual character of animals. There are reversals of sex in the cock, fowl, and pigeon, as if things were adapted to self-fertilization in order to secure permanence, and that this suggests the means of overcoming death. I was also interested in the soma drink. The gods drank of it and revived.
Dr. Jung: Did you look up the Hindu material for that, Dr. Harding?
Dr. Harding: There are two sets of myths. In the moon there grew a soma-tree from which the gods extracted a drink which gave them immortality. And there is also the myth of Varuna, the moon who churned the cosmic ocean and produced the soma. Then there is a moon-tree that grows on the earth from which a drink is extracted called soma.
Dr. Jung: Yes, soma is a mythological drink in the Vedic religion, magical like the wine in the Christian sacrament, or in the -Dionysian mysteries.
It is a revivifying drink which is also intoxicating.
If I were a good Christian, I should be against the substitution of a non-alcoholic for a spirituous wine, for the touch of intoxication is absolutely indispensable.
If Christ, the founder, had intended that the wine should be non-intoxicating, he would have said to drink water.
In the Manichaean mysteries, the holy food was the melon.
The communion table was laden with gorgeous fruits, especially the melon, which was the sacrificial fruit because it demanded the sun in order to ripen and therefore contained the most particles of light.
So when man ate the melon, he was likely to assimilate an enormous amount of light, and then the black substance, the devil, was overgrown.
Christ chose wine, and the Catholic Church would never allow the wine to be non-alcoholic.
As they would not allow the communion bread to be of any other kind of flour than wheat.
And holy oil must be olive oil, and the candles must be made in a certain way.
But the war brought a change; because of the scarcity of olive oil, by a special permission of the Pope they were allowed to substitute little electric bulbs, but that was only because of the misery of the times.
The Catholic Church is very reasonable in such a case, but in the major things she would hold to tradition most faithfully.
The point is that when one modifies these things, when one protests, it becomes just heresy; the Protestants without knowing it upset tradition in its most essential points. That wine is the blood of the Lord.
When they let these beliefs go it means that they are on the point of disintegration; the Protestants are split up into more than four hundred denominations
as a matter of fact.
Catholicism, on the other hand, is linked up with the inviolability of such principles; it must be wine, it must have the touch of intoxication.
One of the oldest ideas of the intoxicating drink is the Vedic drink, soma.
The Rig-Veda is of an amazing age, it is supposed to go back to 5000 B.C., and the idea of soma already occurs there.
And now we hear that it is linked up with the moon; the moon tree provided a drink for gods and man.
This is very important symbolism.
Dr. Draper: Perhaps the exhilaration produced by the soma drink was the same as that which follows deep rapid breathing. The subjective effect of quick superoxygenation of the blood is almost the same as that which follows drinking alcohol. Is there some analogy here?
Dr. Jung: Yes, all these things have also a physical basis.
Primitives sometimes know things ahead of the scientists.
The modern theory of malaria was known by the natives in eastern Africa before the white man knew that it was the anopheles mosquito that caused it. So they had probably found out the connection between deep breathing, the accumulation of oxygen, and alcoholic effects.
Hatha Yoga has particularly to do with breathing exercises, they try to spiritualize themselves through deep breathing.
In Chinese Yoga there are rites where breathing is suppressed; there is a standstill of respiration, which is replaced by inner breathing.
Dr. Draper: The North American Negro is not happy unless he has a razor in one pocket and in the other the left hind foot of a graveyard rabbit, caught in the light of the moon. Is it man’s attempt to solve the death problem?
Dr. Jung: It is the animal instinct that they want, and the foot is part of the animal. That it must come from the graveyard means that it must be impregnated with the qualities, or the mana, of the
dead, so it is a charm that has to do with the whole complex of questions that we are concerned with under the heading of moon symbolism.
It is an apotropaic charm because it comes from the dead; if they inherit some amulet from their forefathers, for instance, it is good against spirits and against their own death.
Just as rain is produced by pouring water, or a wind by sailors’ whistling or hammering the main-mast, making a noise like sails in a wind.
They say, “Stop your whistling, or there will be too much wind!”
Inoculation is the same principle, simply a piece of moon symbolism in practical application.
The soma drink is an apotropaic drink against death-when one drinks this, one cannot die; that medicine comes from the land of the dead, moonland, the moon-tree, it is the medicine of immortality.
Gilgamesh travels toward the Westland, to the land of the setting sun.
Then there is the myth of the Babylonian Utnapishtim, which antedates the Noah legend by a thousand years.
They both cross over a great flood and are removed to the Westland to live an eternal life.
They are seeking immortality in the land of the dead.
Anything that comes from death protects one from death.
So our holy communion wine comes from the dead; we eat the dead body of Christ and drink his blood, and it gives us life.
It is exactly the same as the primitive idea of soma.
Then there is the other side of the moon, the lunatic side, which Dr. Harding has mentioned, the moon madness which has to do with the moon as mind.
Intoxication is artificial madness.
A sma.ll dose is exceedingly important in order to bring up one’s irrational side; a little madness is good-to be a bit upset-but more is dangerous.
In the soma ceremonies, if one gets very drunk one falls from grace.
St. Paul in writing to the Corinthians complained that they ate and drank too much; it was a terrible misuse of something sacred.
The temptation is to drink deep gulps.
In the asylums, the insane are permitted to take communion but they ask for a whole bottle full, and one has to rescue the chalice.
That middle line suggested by the mystery cults is exceedingly critical and delicate.
Drink more and one comes down into the flesh with a bump; drink too little and one is not irrational enough.
The purpose is to do away with our ordinary cramped consciousness.
Even the primitive is just as intent as we are on our daily habits, our routine.
The real purpose of the religious ceremonial is to revivify.
It was created to lift man out of the ordinary, to disturb his habitual ways, that he may become aware of things outside.
Many a man, from his accursed circle, has drunk to escape, and discovered the extraordinary beauty of the world and embraced the world, when ordinarily they are terrible beasts.
They have discovered the beauty of drunkenness and embrace wine for the divine quality of it, opening their hearts, opening up avenues to mankind.
One real moment like that may be a moment of revelation.
The primitives needed it as much as we do.
The original idea of the Agapes was a mild orgy, eating together, feasting, drinking the sacred wine, the blood of the earth.
They kissed each other in a brotherly and sisterly fashion, and this was also the reason why St. Paul had to complain.
They took it too literally-it lost some of its spiritual flavour.
But it was an attempt at real communion.
Now compare our communion with what it was originally.
It destroys the whole meaning to substitute non-alcoholic wine.
There should be a cult licence that, under the restriction of the taboo, one can do certain things otherwise impossible.
In the Agape one might kiss his neighbour’s wife and feel like anything.
One could choose his place I suppose.
Otherwise it would be awful, so we have to allow for human nature.
People were doubtless as they are today–0ne is careful to lean to the right instead of the left.
It is really not blasphemous if we enter into the psychology of all these moon and soma ceremonials.
Those things were done in the light of the moon, it might have been very dazzling.
The nights of the dancing were relatively safe, and then, within the framework of a taboo, man could do what ordinarily he could not do.
For instance, the primitives in performing a ceremony do not do it as they would themselves, but as their ancestors might have done it.
They identify with those ancestors-the heroes-and perform ceremonies which were perhaps very obscene.
Then they would be normal citizens again-perfectly all right.
In our day, a certain Christian sect, I forget what they call themselves, nominate a board of trustees who are called evangelists and apostles, even angels and archangels.
They symbolize the heavenly hierarchy on earth and are in a wonderful new condition-Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith in the daytime and archangels in the evening.
I suppose they also identify with the heroes, one stage on the way to the very original carnival when they changed into animals, their totem ancestors.
In the cult of Dionysos, the Corybantes were a wild, orgiastic band of dancers.
They wore animal skins and goats’ horns, to be as much like satyrs as possible, and the girls were nymphs in their lovely nakedness, like maenads, and then things really happened.
In Athens it was rather obscene; a huge indecent phallus was carried in the parade.
Even in Rome as Goethe saw it, during the carnival in the ecclesiastical state, the old Priapus god, in the form of Pulcinello, walked about disturbing the women.
This was in the eighteenth century, in the very heart of Christendom, and that symbol was intended to suggest animal increase, animal sexuality.
It was a survival of the old religious festivals though of course no longer connected with the church ….
But now only the intoxicating wine is left. In our rituals, even in the Catholic Church, no space is left for orgiastic licence.
Now, more than in any other time, man has no chance whatever in that respect.
We need that ceremonial licence.
When we get drunk, we become pigs and lose our respectability, we have no taboo-frame in which to do it.
We haven’t served God, we have only been intoxicated.
In those days a man could keep his respecta6iiity and serve God a bit too much and then it was a grand thing;
I pity thepeople who don’t know what wine means in that aspect.
There are no taboo forms under which we can get safely and religiously drunk, not to speak of kissing our neighbour’s wife.
Well, I wanted to give you some aspects of the peculiar grotesqueness connected with the moon, a twisting of all the sacred elements.
It is more difficult to sum up the symbolism of the moon than of the sun. The moon has an extra twist. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 390-400