Carl Jung: Da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks
For instance, Leonardo da Vinci, so obsessed himself by the importance of the feminine in man that even his sexual instincts. were transformed accordingly, expressed the Ariadne pattern of redemption and abandonment by the masculine spirit in that heart-rending painting·
The Virgin of the Rocks, so prophetic of what was to come.
“You see,” Jung was to say to me many years later of this painting, “there is the eternally feminine ·soul of man where it belongs in the dark feminine earth and see how tenderly and confidently she holds· in her arms the child-our greater future self.
But make no mistake, Leonardo saw her there not only in her Christian role but also joined to her pagan aboriginal version.
That is why the painting is so meaningful.
She is not just Mary the Mother of Jesus but the feminine soul of man, the everlasting Ariadne, her immediate uses fulfilled, forgotten and abandoned on the rocks.
Rediscovered as she was briefly in the Renaissance,
Leonardo’s prophetic self foresaw already that she was about to be abandoned again, and the wonder, the really new element about her is that, unlike Ariadne, she is not in tears.
She is content, confident, and unresentful because she is also the love that endureth and beareth all things and beyond faith and hope knows that in the end the child will grow and all will be well.” ~Laurens van der Post; Jung and the Story of our Time, Page 160