Phanes Volume 2 -2019


Over the eighty years since Jung first anonymously published three of his mandala paintings in his commentary to The Secret of the Golden Flower (1929/1931:Plates 3, 6, 10; RB:159, 105, 163), a few more paintings from The Red Book and other visual works that he did
over his lifetime gradually came to light.

Viewed in isolation, they were often interpreted in ways that foregrounded their ‘universal meaning’: serving to illustrate Jungian concepts (typology, mandala, shadow, anima, wise old man etc.) as reified within the thematic format of the Collected Works, whilst remaining uprooted from their historical position within the chronology of Jung’s developing conceptual framework.

With the publication of The Red Book in 2009, however, students of Jung are finally able to examine contextually the visual images he
created to illustrate the text of Liber Novus (1913-1917), and those that are independent of its narrative, relating to Jung’s further visionary experiences and experiments between 1917-1929/30.

Now augmented by the works presented in The Art of C.G. Jung (2019), our knowledge of Jung’s visual imagery has increased extensively (save for that inside Bollingen).

This wealth of new material has enabled me to examine some of Jung’s paintings and sculptures within their proper chronological and
historical context for the first time, and to highlight their unique role within Jung’s ongoing conceptual explorations, thus confirming his statement in ‘The Way of What is To Come’, the introductory chapter to Liber Novus:

My speech is imperfect. Not because I want to shine with words, but out of the impossibility of finding those words, I speak in images’ (RB RE:123).

Not surprisingly, Jung’s newly enlarged corpus of visual works contains some surprises.

In particular, I have been able to identify some previously unrecognised—and therefore unexplored—personifications of characters who first appeared in his Black Books and Liber Novus between 1913 and 1930, as well as paintings that explicate—and in some cases anticipate—concepts that Jung was transposing from image to word in his concurrent articles and books.

This article will review the emergence of the ‘fathers’ Elijah to Ka in Liber Novus and the published sections of the Black Books.

Working from these sources and other related material, it is possible to identify five previously unrecognised images of Philemon and Ka.

Their role is then examined in paintings that include the image of the crossquartered circle and sphere, Jung’s prime example of the reconciling symbol, through which his new god, Phanês, appears, and to which he returns throughout his life. Amor Triumphat (1920-1921), one of Jung’s most moving paintings in The Red Book, epitomises the ability of the  econciling symbol to encompass complex hermeneutics, as do the figures in another of Jung’s paintings (Art:145, Cat. 66).

After a brief discussion of the first round tower at Bollingen (1923), the article concludes with the two late works where Jung eternalised the cross-quartered circle in stone: Emma Jung’s memorial (1956), and the Jung family tombstone (1961).

During the first few months of Jung’s confrontation with the unconscious, between November 1913 and April 1914, he encountered three personalities who played an important part in Liber Novus, acting as teachers and guides during his initiation process and search for a new god-image.

These were the prophet Elijah, the Babylonian Bull God Izdubar, and Philemon, magician and father of the prophets, who had given Jung the Seven Sermons to the Dead, and whom Jung came to recognise as his guru (Jung/Jaffé:174-177).1

Three years later, in 1917, another significant trio emerged in the fantasies that Jung recorded in his Black Books: Atmavictu, Ha and Ka.2

Atmavictu arrived first. On 25 April 1917, the serpent, Atmavictu’s companion over millennia, described his previous existences to Jung.

He was first an old man, then an otter, newt, earth serpent, man, and the serpent-Atmavictu. He also transformed into Philemon (RB RE:367
n. 222).

In another encounter on 20 May 1917, Philemon clarified that he had been Atmavictu; then, by error, he had become Izdubar, was
paralysed and turned into a dragon’s serpent by man.

After the serpent was consumed by fire, Philemon had come into being.

Thus he was reinterpreting the events earlier narrated and illustrated by Jung in the Izdubar episode of Liber Novus ([1913/14], LN RE:372 nn. 231-232).

Ha—a ‘black magician’ and ‘father of Philemon’—materialised a few months later, on 7 October 1917.

He explained the secret meaning of the runes that Jung had drawn in three mandala sketches whilst still on military duty at Chateau d‘Oex the previous month, and would subsequently paint in The Red Book (LN RE:325-327 nn. 155-157).3

Ha was soon followed by Ka, who appeared on 22 October 1917. With eyes of pure gold, and a body of black iron, he was Ha’s soul.

He had imparted the knowledge of the runes and the lower wisdom to Ha. Ka held a secret that Jung and his soul needed; this was love, the essence of all magic (RB RE:373 n.232).

In a Black Book entry on 20 November 1917, Ka then called Philemon his shadow and herald. He states that he is eternal, and remains, whereas Philemon is fleeting and passes on. Ka returned on 10 February 1918 to inform Jung’s ‘I’ and soul that he had built a temple as a prison and grave for the gods (ibid).

In 1919, a year of intense work on Psychological Types, accompanied by professional activities, Jung began to craft visual images of some of these personages in The Red Book and as separate creations. From Memories, Dreams, Reflections, we know that he made a painting of Philemon as a winged being with bull’s horns (Jung/Jaffé 1963:176).

Although now missing, Jung’s sketch for it has survived, drawn on or after 3 January 1919, Jung completed on Christmas Day 1915, and then as a prone figure in late 1915-early 1916, before being transformed into an egg and hatching into a new god image in ‘The
Opening of the Egg’, begun on 4 February 1917 (RB:36, 44, 64).

Philemon plays an important part in ‘The Magician’ and throughout Scrutinies. His images are discussed below. providing a terminus post quem for the painting (Art:146-147, Cats. 64-65).

He made two images of Atmavictu as a multi-legged dragon in The Red Book, completed sometime between April and November 1919 (RB:117, 119).4

They were done around the same time as his two wooden statuettes of Atmavictu, portrayed as an old, bearded six-armed Kabir, carved when Jung was in England during that summer, and the stone copy he subsequently had made for his garden at Küsnacht (Art:152-153, Cats. 67-69).

On 4 December 1919, Izdubar, Philemon, and Ka are described in the enigmatic inscription Jung attached to his Red Book Atmavictu as a
petrified head:

This is Atmavictu, the old one, after he has withdrawn from the creation. He has returned to endless history, where he took his beginning.

Once more he became stony residue, having completed his creation.

In the form of Izdubar he has outgrown and delivered ΘΙΛΗΜΩΝ and Ka from him.

ΘΙΛΗΜΩΝ gave the stone, Ka the ၀ [sun] (RB RE:372 n. 231).5

Some five years later, Jung painted the Red Book Philemon, ‘Father of the Prophet’, together with the snake, his earlier manifestation (late
1924/25, RB:154).6

There seem to be no visual representations of Ha, and Ka has previously not been recognised in Jung’s Red Book paintings or other extant

However, as the above descriptions and two other written accounts confirm, Jung depicted Ka at least five times during 1919 and 1920—
four together with Philemon—while he was exploring the relationships between Philemon, Atmavictu, Ha, and Ka in his fantasies.

Moreover, the ways in which Jung paired Ka with Philemon in four of these works highlight his efforts during this period to create a pictorial synthesis of his ideas about archetypal images and their representation in matter, and the reconciling symbol of the individuation process, which constellates the new god and the Self.

They are thus crucial visual counterparts to Jung’s written concepts in Psychological Types, or as more properly described in its English subtitle, The Psychology of Individuation (Jung 1923).

Before the publication of The Red Book, the main source of information about Ka was Jung’s account of Philemon and Ka as edited by Anelia Jaffé in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which also includes a description of painting he made of them:

[. . .] Philemon became relativized by the emergence of yet another figure, whom I called Ka. In ancient Egypt the ‘king’s ka” was his earthly form, the embodied soul (Gestaltseele).

In my fantasy the ka-soul came from below, out of the earth as if out of a deep shaft.

I did a painting of him, showing him in his earth-bound form, as a herm with a base of stone and upper part of bronze.

High up in the painting appears a kingfisher’s wing, and between it and the head of Ka floats a round, glowing nebula of stars.

Ka’s expression has something demonic about it—one might also say, Mephistophelian.

In one hand he holds something like a coloured pagoda, or a reliquary, and in the other a stylus with which he is working on the reliquary.

He is saying, “I am he who buries the gods in gold and gems.”

Philemon had a lame foot, but was a winged spirit, whereas Ka represented a kind of earth demon or metal demon. Philemon was the spiritual aspect, or “meaning” (“der Sinn”).

Ka, on the other hand, was a spirit of nature (ein Naturgeist) like the Anthroparion of Greek alchemy—with which I was still unfamiliar.

Ka was he who made everything real, but who also obscured the halcyon spirit (den Eisvogelgeist), Meaning, or replaced it by beauty, the
“eternal reflection.” (Jung/Jaffé 1963:177-178, 1971:206).

Jaffé adapted this from Jung’s passage on active imagination and The Red Book in the interviews—Protocols—recorded for Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Protocols [June 19, 1957]:23-25).7

They took place when Jung was still considering what to do with Liber Novus, hence he included frequent references to its text and characters (Shamdasani in RB RE:91-93).

In the Protocols, Jung called Ka a ‘stone soul’ (Steinseele).

Describing his painting, Jung stated that Ka is made of ‘stone or metal, like a metal herm’.

Philemon hovered above in the light, his wing visible, but Jung did not mention a ‘round, glowing nebula of  tars’ between the two figures.

Ka holds a ‘surrealistically decorated (geschmücktes) object’ in his hand, not a ‘pagoda’ or ‘reliquary’ .

Jaffé deleted the penultimate sentence in Jung’s original explanation of Ka, a quote from Goethe’s Faust, Part II. Jung had said: ‘He [Ka]
who replaces meaning with beauty, with the “eternal reflection”. “That life is ours by colourful refraction”’ (‘Am farbigen Abglanz haben
wir das Leben’: Goethe, Faust II, line 4727).8

She also altered Jung’s last sentence about the consequences of Ka’s replacing meaning with beauty. He had stated: ‘

But meaning, the master of the garden, is lost’; in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jaffé replaced ‘der Herr des Gartens’ with ‘the halcyon spirit’ (‘den Eisvogelgeist’—kingfisher spirit—in the German edition), probably because of the decision to exclude Liber Novus references, which would have linked ‘der Herr des Gartens’ with Philemon in ‘The Magician’ and the final section of ‘Scrutinies’ (RB
RE:412, 552).

In a later section of Protocols, Jung relates Philemon and Ka to the problem of the reconciliation of the opposites (Protocols:212).9

Jung’s late reflections on Ka and Philemon intimated that their functions needed to be balanced.

This conviction had taken root during the years of Liber Novus, and informs the new, moral aesthetic he presented in Psychological Types, in which idea (spiritual) and real (material), ugly and beautiful, good and evil, need to be included as part of the living psychological process in man’s psyche that that gathers up the opposites—esse in anima (1921, CW 6:§77).10

Jung’s account of Ka in the Protocols and Memories, Dreams, Reflections is clearly related to his Black Book entries of 1917-1918.

Whilst the painting he mentioned is lost, Philemon’s position and surroundings are similar to the above-mentioned sketch and painting that Jung made in 1919, suggesting that he may have reused parts of it for the lost work.

Given the above descriptions of Ka, it is clear that Jung painted him together with Philemon in Red Book mandala 105, which was completed between 27 January and 21 March 1919, shortly after the Philemon sketch (Fig. 1).

Philemon, representing ‘meaning’, the spiritual aspect, sits in a contemplative position in the upper roundel.11

The mandala’s inner circle contains a small blue sphere centred within two concentric stars, an eight-rayed white one and sixteen-rayed blue one, and set against a blue and gold cloud-like nebula. Ka, the embodying ‘stonesoul’, stands in the bottom roundel.

The mandala’s vertical composition therefore reflects the configuration of the lost painting of Philemon and Ka described in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Ka’s lower body is encased in a black herm-like column.

He has a bronze torso, flaming red hair, and holds a temple decorated with tesserae in the primary colours of blue, yellow and red. He is a daimonic being who has emerged from the black earth, formed from matter’s hardest elements, stone and metal.12

Similarly, Ka is the subject of a wooden statuette that Jung carved, probably close to the execution of Red Book 105 in 1919 (Fig. 2) (Art:119-121, Cat. 49). 13

This was a period when, as his English colleague Maurice Nicoll later reminded him, Jung was experimenting with ‘the possibilities of psycho-material transformation—i.e. if a man puts his psychic genius into a bit of wood, the wood stands up to him and in fact it is an example of psycho-transformation’

Ka’s entire herm-based body is painted black, his face has a devilish expression, half-moon golden eyes, red eyebrows, flaming red hair, and he cradles a gold, gem-studded temple in his hands.

We now know that Jung had portrayed Ka and Philemon in another painting completed sometime before 15 October 1920, when he
discussed it with Constance Long (see Appendix B).

From her summary, we learn that Jung placed them on the two sides of the work; they are the ‘personifications of dominants’: the ‘fathers’. Ka (Dionysian), is the ‘creative’ father.

He gives substance and is called ‘the one who buries the gods in gold and marble’.

Ka has a ‘tendency to imprison the gods in matter’, ‘so they are in danger of losing their spiritual meaning and becoming buried in stone’.

Thus the temple may be the ‘grave of God, as the church is the grave of Christ’; ‘the more the church develops, the more Christ dies’. Ka must be prevented from producing too much, because man must not depend on substantiation, although if too little substance is
produced, ‘the creature floats’.

‘Ka is sensation’. Philemon (Apollonian) is the other ‘father’, the one who ‘gives form and law, the formative instinct’.

He ‘gives formulation to the things within the elements of the collective unconscious, the idea (‘perhaps of a god)’, which however remains ‘floating, distant and indistinct because all the things he invents are winged’.14

Jung told Long that the transcendent function is the whole—not the picture or his rationalisation of it—‘but the new and vivifying creative spirit that is the result of the intercourse between the conscious intelligence and the creative side’. ‘Philemon is intuition’, ‘too supra-human’, Zarathustra, ‘extravagantly superior in what he says’, and ‘cold’.

Ka and Philemon ‘are bigger than the man, they are supra-human. (Disintegrated into them one is in the collective unconscious)’ (RB RE:373-4 and n. 232).

In fact, the description of this work corresponds exactly to a small painting in the Jung Family Archive, ca. 1919 (Fig. 3) (Art:126,
Cat. 54).

On the left, a monumental Ka with coned-shaped hair sits in a statuesque, Egyptian-type profile, formed by tessellated elements from
the unconcious in tones of fiery red and gold.

With his arm extended, Ka presents his gem-encrusted, golden temple, similar to those in Red Book mandala 105 and the wooden statuette of Ka. Bearded Philemon sits on the right side, with a small sphere floating above his head (symbolising
the floating ‘idea’, ‘perhaps of a god’); both are composed of greentoned, tessellated elements.15

He presents his book, ‘7 SERMONES AD MORTUOS’ (The Seven Sermons to the Dead) a cosmology formulated in words.

Between them, a priest in a red robe decorated with black and yellow motifs—‘The Man’ in Long’s summary—kneels, his back toward
us, with raised arms. He represents the inferior function.

‘The colours are barbarous, and represent the four functions’.

Jung compares the rite the priest performs to the ‘divine service for the “dead” (sermon ad mortuos)’ in the ‘Night of the Flaming Censer’ (in John Hubbard’s The Authentic Dreams of Peter Blobbs, 1916).

In the painting there is no censer; ‘it is expressed in words; invocation, adorations of god, maybe speechless … here is a word (sermo) or prayer’, relating it to the book of Sermones that Philemon holds.

In each hand he holds a small object bearing a flaming torch.

The left one, on Ka’s side, is a black snake-woman with dark hair and green tessellated ‘wings’, a symbol of Ka’s substance-giving properties.

The right one, on Philemon’s side, is a yellow bird-woman with light hair, a symbol of Philemon’s formative, winged inventiveness.

As Jung discussed with Long, the snake and bird ‘is the same anima split into halves’.

She ‘takes on the quality of the things with which she deals—with those “below” the snake or beauty, creature, and those “above” the bird or winged creature’.

They are ‘feeling and thinking (as the hands of man), the figures [of Philemon and Ka] are intuition and sensation.

When you get in touch with the unconscious they are like great gods’.

They are also the chthonic snake and heavenly bird aspects of the soul/anima as narrated in Liber Novus and Black Book 5 (RB RE:389 n. 252, 577), depicted by Jung in The Red Book (RB:HI ii (r) 1 and 2), and his 1916 sketch and painting of the Systema Mundi Totius (RB:364; Art:179), and they are related to the chthonic and spiritual aspects of the feminine in Red Book mandala 105.16

By holding the tension between these opposites with religious devotion, the priest has become a creative vessel for the birth of the
mysterious symbol above him, in the space between Ka and Philemon.17

The heat from their torches has constellated a blue-toned sphere from the surrounding, multicoloured elements.

A cross-quartered circle appears to surround the sphere, decorated in diagonal bands of black, red, and blue.

Jung explained to Long that this circle has ‘four colours twisted around it,’ which are ‘snake ornaments’ that would ‘become snakes if the personality tessellated head with a sphere above and runes below in Red Book 133, completed in the autumn of 1922.

The four colours are the four functions. Each function has two sides: subjective and objective, external and internal, introversion and extraversion, which are ‘constituents of individuality. . . .The individual monad is a part of the great world of eternity’.

Within this circle is an invisible child, symbolising ‘onward formulation’, bound by the centre of the circle through which, ‘via an invisible point [one enters] an enormous space in which the child appears as a constellation in the great distance, i.e. in the future’.

‘The child is future’, but appears in the individual like a Kabir-man.

Jung has created a visual image of creative fantasy, the activity that enables the transcendent function—‘a common function of real and imaginary factors’—to produce a living, reconciling symbol from the opposites of substantiation (Ka-sensation) and formulation (Philemon-intuition).18

Similar figures of Ka and Philemon appear in another of Jung’s paintings ca. 1919, which he subsequently gave to Helton Goodwin
Baynes (Fig. 4) (Art:125, 130, Cat. 53).

Their profiles materialise almost imperceivably from a background of large, irregular tesserae in subdued tones of blue and brown, although Ka’s red hairdo is clearly visible, composed of five flame-shaped segments.

Ka’s temple and Philemon’s book almost touch the tips of the blood-filled, crescent-shaped gold bowl lifted up by the priest standing between them.19

The bird- and snakewomen symbols in Cat. 54 are here replaced by two kneeling women in profile, dressed in robes of different contrasting colours, their hands raised in prayer.

As in Cat. 54, a cross-quartered circle surrounds the globe of blue light that floats above the creative feminine vessel, emerging from the
negative, scull-like space between the outlined figures of Ka and Philemon.

However, the Baynes painting also includes another figure: Phanês, the Divine Child and Jung’s new god. Jung had earlier made two nearly
identical paintings of him, now in the Jung family archive (ca. 1917:

Art:130, Cats. 50, 51).20 Two years later, he completed a similar image of 18 In ‘The Problem of Types in History’ in Psychological Types, Jung stated that fantasy ‘is intuitive just as much as sensational’, it is the ‘creative activity whence issue the solutions to all answerable questions’, the ‘mother of all possibilities’ (1923:69; slightly differently worded in 1921, CW 6:§78).

Jung treated this theme more extensively in ‘Schiller and the Type-Problem’ and in ‘Definitions: Symbol’, where sensuality and
spirituality are discussed as a pair of opposite functions to be reconciled (ibid:§§184-185, 174, 195, 200-206, 814-829).

Jung told Long that by analysing the images of the unconscious, he gave ‘a new face to the old beliefs. This gift is the transcendent
function’ (Appendix B).

This is the image of the divine child.

It means the completion of a  long path. Just as the image was finished in April 1919, and work  in the next image had already begun, the one who brought the ၀ [sun] came, as ΦΙΛΗΜΩΝ had predicted to me. I called him ΦΑΝΗΣ, because he is the newly appearing God (RB:113).21

The figural composition and positioning of Phanês are close in all three paintings. In the Baynes version, however, Jung placed Phanês on the right, in the space above Philemon’s Sermon[es] ad Mortuo[s], a visual reminder that, as Philemon had predicted, he would become Phanês (RB RE:358 n. 211).

The black-and-white decoration of Phanês’ garment in the Baynes painting also differs significantly from those in the Jung family archive and the Red Book, perhaps a further indication that Jung designed it slightly later.


The Blue Star-Sphere

The blue spheres in Cat. 54 and Cat. 53 call to mind the ‘round, glowing nebula of stars’ that floated between Ka and Philemon in the lost
painting described by Jung in Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

They are undoubtedly related to the shining blue star of man, ‘who becomes through the principium individuationis’, and is also ‘the one God to whom worship is due’.

The blue star/globe is the prime element in Jung’s cosmology as first expounded by his soul on 16 January 1916, and appears in his sketch,
and in Systema Mundi Totius nine months later (RB RE:578-579; Art:110, 178, Cat. 42; RB:364; Zervas 2019:183-184).

In the ‘Seventh Sermon to the Dead’, written on 8 February 1916, Philemon had described this ‘lonely star in the Zenith’, ‘the God and the goal of man’, adding later in the autumn of 1917 that it is ‘the blue starlight’ of the black and golden seed, life as duration (RB RE:534, 536, italics added).

It appears as an eight-rayed blue star in Red Book mandalas 84, 86-97 (autumn 1917-January 1919); then as particles that diminish in size and coalesce to form an egg-shaped, speckled blue background, interspersed with gold tesserae, similar in technique to Red Book 72 and
79, done before June 1917.

the small blue sphere and surrounding stars in the centre of mandala 105 discussed above; and as an eight-rayed star in the centre of Mandala 107, both done sometime between January 27 and March 21, 1919 (RB:105, 107).

The Circle, Cross, and the Cross-quartered Circle Jung first developed the image of the cross-quartered circle in The Red Book. 22

Its textual source is the overwhelming vision in ‘Nox Tertia’ witnessed by Jung’s ‘I’ in the madhouse:

[…] the sun now rises in red glory, solitary and magnificent—in it is a cross from which a serpent hangs—or is it a bull, slit open, as at the slaughterhouse, or is it an ass? I suppose it is really a ram with a crown of thorns—or is it the crucified one, myself? (18 January 1914, RB RE:350).

It is a symbol of the synthesis of the opposites, and of individuation, which Jung later called an elemental mandala. As he commented in
Memories, Dreams, Reflections:

The imagination attempts to sketch the image of the invisible as something which stands behind the phenomenon.

I am thinking […] of the simplest basic form of the mandala, the circle, and  its simplest division, the quadrant, or […] the cross. (Jung/Jaffé

Significantly, Jung introduced the circle and the cross in the elaborate historiated initial at the beginning of ‘Mysterium’, where his
‘I’ encounters Elijah, Salome, and the snake (RB:HI v (r)).

Jung placed a small golden cross over Elijah, and in the blue-rayed shield in the lower left border; and a gold circle over Salome, and in the centre of

the red cephalopodic form on the lower right border.

They symbolise the opposites of foresight/Logos/masculine and feeling/Eros/feminine, which need each other and must be united (RB RE:177 n. 161, 179-83).23

The circle and cross next appear together as a cross-quartered, goldwinged, sun disc in ‘Dies II’ in Liber Secundus, where it is one of several
symbols of rebirth (RB:HI 22). Both were done in the autumn of 1915.

Sometime during 1919, the same year that he created Red Book mandala 105, Jung had a series of visions featuring a sphere, which he
then painted.

They include an eight-rayed blue star, and a blue sphere circumscribed by a gold cross-quartered circle, whose arms are highlighted
in red or decorated with red and blue mosaics (Art:137 and Cats. 56-61).

Their design is close to the cross-quartered blue sphere in Cat. 54 (Fig. 3), probably done at about the same time. In Cat. 61 (Fig. 5), Jung interpreted the Ka and Philemon energies necessary to achieve individuation more abstractly. Chthonic Ka is symbolised by an upright black cone with red flames at the bottom of the painting; spiritual Philemon by a descending yellow cone at the top, whose apex penetrates a blue circle.24

The energic field generated between them produces the reconciling symbol: the blue sphere, circumscribed by a gold cross-quartered circle with red arms.

Jung subsequently included it in Red Book paintings between 1920 and 1925.25


But God will come to those who take their suffering upon themselves under the law of love, and he will establish a new bond with them (RB RE:354 n. 203, italics added).

In his Red Book painting 127, Amor Triumphat (Love Triumphs) (Fig. 6), Jung chose the reconciling symbol of the cross-quartered
circle as the vessel best able to synthesise the major themes that had emerged in Liber Novus and were then conceptually developed in Psychological Types, particularly in Chapters II and V (1921).26

Begun in May 1920, when Types was finished, Jung only completed Amor Triumphat on 9 January 1921.27 He designed a separate iconic image for each section of the cross-quartered circle, setting them against a background of coloured opposites: blue arabesques on a red field.

The inscription below the painting attests to the pain it had caused him:

[…] It expresses I know not what kind of grief, a fourfold sacrifice. I could almost choose not to finish it. It is the inexorable wheel of the four functions, the essence of all living beings imbued with sacrifice (RB RE:381 n. 240, italics added).

Unlike Jung’s 1917 mandala sketches and related paintings in The Red Book, and his patients’ mandalas that document the personal process of individuation and assimilation of the four psychological functions, Amor Triumphat is a multi-layered opus that presents a vision of the collective process of mankind and cultural history, integrated with the personal process of individuation, including that of Jung.28

The functions in Amor Triumphat are wounded gods that, having once been dominant, needed to be sacrificed.

Jung had expressed this in the mantic section of ‘Splitting of the Spirit’:

Everything that becomes too old becomes evil, the same is true of your highest. Learn from the suffering of the crucified God that one can also betray and crucify a God, namely the God of the old year. If a God ceases being the way of life, he must fall secretly. (RB RE:160).

Once sacrificed, the gods remain repressed in the collective unconscious.29

Modern individuals (and Jung) must acknowledge their sacrifice, and come to terms with them, in order to reconcile the dominant and repressed opposites (Jung 1921, CW 6:§115).

Hence Jung employed black—a colour of grief and mourning—for the outlines of the cross-quartered circle.

Reintegration of the repressed gods is necessary for individuation,  nd for the creation of the new god through Man in the coming age.30

In ‘Nox secunda’, Jung had explained that one ‘should have reverence for what has become, so that the law of love may become redemption through the restoration of the lower and of the past […]’ (RB RE:346, italics added).

This occurs through the reconciling symbol produced by the transcendent function, as Jung himself had experienced during the years of
Liber Novus, and subsequently explained (Jung 1916c, CW 8:§§131-193; 1916b:417, 436, 441; 1921, CW 6:§184).

Amor Triumphat is Jung’s visual depiction of Christianity’s contemporary limitations, and a solution for the individual and religio-cultural future of western mankind.

By continuing to honour and augment the law of love (RB RE:345-346, 353, 370), ‘Love Triumphs’. In the painting, Jung succinctly illustrates the argument that he would present two years later at the Polzeath seminars in Cornwall: ecclesiastic Christianity had repressed one’s relation to nature, the animal, inferior man, and creative fantasy (Jung/Harding 1923:16-18, italics added).

In the lower left quadrant of Amor Triumphat, a pine tree has been nearly felled by the axe imbedded in its trunk, its wood chips scattered
around the horizontal strip of grass.

This icon denotes the pre-Christian era when men worshiped vegetation gods. 31

The partially axed tree signifies man’s sacrifice of nature—the sensation function (green in Liber Novus and Jung’s later works) necessary for adaptation to ecclesiastic added; worded slightly differently in 1921, CW 6:§§105-107). 30

This process was described by Jung in a letter to Joan Corrie on 29 February 1919 (RB RE:535 n.123). 31

In ‘Psychology of the Unconscious’, Jung amplified the myth of Attis, the son-lover of Agdistis-Cybele who, driven mad by his mother’s incestuous love, castrated himself under a pine-tree.

In an annual ritual, his effigy was hung on a garland-decked pine tree, which was then cut down and taken into Cybele’s cave.

Jung noted that in some versions, Attis was equated with the pine tree, and cited an antique bas-relief where Attis grows out of a tree, symbolising the ‘“life-principle” of vegetation inherent in the tree’: (1912:401-402, revised with a different interpretation in 1956, CW 5:§§659-662).

By depicting an axed pine tree in Amor Triumphat, Jung may thus also have alluded to Attis’s symbolic castration. .

In the upper right quadrant, a man hangs crucified on a three-peaked mound, wearing a blue loincloth, blood dripping from his wounds.

This icon depicts Christ, the son of God who willingly sacrificed himself for man’s redemption.35

It symbolises man’s sacrifice of the thinking function (blue in Jung’s colour symbolism) in the service of Christianity. In Psychological
Types, Jung presented Tertullian (with whom he closely identified) as an example of the sacrificium intellectus.36

However, by splitting himself from the Devil, Christ had rejected his ‘inferior brother’: evil and the inferior man were repressed. Hence the God-man must also be sacrificed to make way for the birth of a new god, suitable for the post-Christian age. 37

This is the subject of the upper left quadrant, where a man (similar to Jung’s ‘I’ in The Red Book) lies bleeding on a ‘bed of nails’ scattered
around the four-curved section of grass.

His torso and lower body bend beneath the weight of a red cross-quartered circle enclosing a blue sphere, whose outer circumference is rimmed in black, repeating that of the framing circle.

A central star is hidden behind the intersection of the cross bars, but its rays emanate outward: man’s far-off and solitary star and the ‘one god’ a murderous hand against their brothers if they had atoned for the ox with the velvet eyes? (ibid:335-347, 377-378, 391).

In ‘The Role of the Unconscious’, Jung reiterated that Christianity had suppressed the animal element in man, using a patient’s dream of
an injured bull (1918, CW 10:§31).

In the Polzeath seminars, he argued: ‘the animal is replaced in the same way as is nature […].

As a brother of man the animal is a function of man […]. The repressed libido for animal relationship is living in the unconscious […]. [It] animates divine images of a historical nature in dreams, when the dream speaks of animal it does so instead of saying divine’ (Jung/Harding 1923:17, 20-24).

In the Visions seminars (1930-1934), he described the sacrificial bull as an ‘antique god’ that represents an ‘inferior feeling, an emotional condition’, a divine metaphysical transcendent principle, which can be symbolized as a god in the form of an animal’ (1997, 2:1112-1115).

Writing before the publication of Liber Novus, Paul Bishop emphasised the Nietzschean and Thus Spoke Zarathustra overtones in Jung’s early (pre-1913) Dionysian conviction that the ‘animal’ instincts needed to be recuperated from their suppression during the Christian era in order to ‘activate the whole man’ (1995:61-68; 2002:123-125). See also Bishop (2017:182-195); Domenici (2019:197-202).

(RB RE:580). An icon of the individuated man, this is Jung’s vision of the coming era.38 Having sacrificed Christianity’s god-image, recognised evil, and redeemed his inferior self and other repressed functions, Man—Jung—willingly suffers so that the gods can be born through him and made human:

When the God enters my life, I return to my poverty for the sake of the God. I accept the burden of poverty and bear all my ugliness and ridiculousness, and also everything reprehensible in me […] with this I prepare the way for the God’s doing (‘Nox Quarta’, ibid:366-367).39

This process has occurred through creative fantasy, the intuitive function that was only partially repressed during the Christian era, but
continued as a procreative power in the unconscious, where it conceived the future reconciling symbol that would be born into consciousness by the transcendent function, through individuation (Jung/Harding 1923:24).

Although Amor Triumphat envisions a totality, it is also ‘the inexorable wheel of the four functions’, ‘the essence of all living beings’,
which will continue to rotate. In ‘The Way of the Cross’, Jung had reflected: [T]he soul of humanity is like the great wheel of the zodiac that
rolls along the way […].

There is no part of the wheel that does not come around again […]. For these are all things which are the inborn properties of human nature. It belongs to the essence of forward movement that what was returns. […]

The meaning 38 Its origins may be a dream that Jung had prior to 9 February 1914, which he mentions in ’The Magician’ {5}:

‘I saw my body lying on sharp needles and a bronze wheel rolling over my breast crushing it. I must think of this dream whenever I think of love’ (RB RE:437). Jung wrote in the Draft of Layer 2 of ‘Divine Folly’: ‘[Christ’s] own way led him to the cross for humanity’s own way leads to the cross.

My way also leads to the cross, but not to that of Christ, but to mine, which is the image of the sacrifice and of life.’(ibid:332 n. 164).

The ‘image’ is the reconciling symbol—of sacrifice and life—weighing on man’s chest in this section of Amor Triumphat. Significantly, in the
revised edition of Psychological Types, Jung added the following amplification to his original discussion of Christ carrying his Cross, as Mithras carried his bull, to the place of sacrifice:

‘The cross, or whatever other heavy burden the hero carries, is himself, or rather the self, his wholeness, which is both God and animal—not merely the empirical man, but the totality of his being, which is rooted in his animal nature and reaches out beyond the merely human to the divine.

His wholeness implies a tremendous tension of opposites paradoxically at one with themselves, as in the cross, their most perfect symbol’ (1950, CW 5:§460); it provides a late exegesis of this quarter of Jung’s painting and the reconciling symbol.

Fig. 7 . ‘We Fear and We Hope’, ca. 1920-23. Art, Cat. 66. Private collection © The Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung, Zurich.

lies in the manner and the direction of the recurring creation’(RB RE:394, italics added).40


The cross-quartered circle also features in Cat. 66 (Art:147), which, based on style, Jung probably painted sometime between 1920 and

A gold circle inscribed with a red cross on a green background decorates the chest of the hooded figure who is clearly Parsifal, holding the holy spear (Fig. 7).42

Placed between four other figures, they float before the right arm of the monumental ‘father’ Philemon.

The conceptual background to the painting is sketched in

Psychological Types. Jung interpreted Wagner’s Parsifal in terms of the suffering caused by the tension of the opposites represented by the
Grail (the ‘light, celestial, feminine’) in the keeping of Amfortas, and the power of Klingsor, the magician who had stolen the holy spear (the
‘dark, earthly, masculine’) and kept Kundry (instinctive life-force and the libido lacking in Amfortas) under his spell.

The innocent Parsifal, free from the opposites, rescues the Kundry-libido from its ‘state of restless, compulsive instinctuality’, thereby becoming a ‘deliverer, the bestower of healing and renewed life-force, the reconciler of the opposites’.

When he reunites the Grail and holy spear at the end of the opera, Kundry dies, which Jung interprets as libido liberated ‘from its naturalistic, undomesticated form’, thereby enabling energy to erupt as a new stream of life, symbolised by the glowing Grail.43

Jung linked the Grail with Gnostic vessel symbolism (1921,

CW 6:§396, 401, 409), and to the relativity of God in man (i.e. God as a psychological value), which enables regression to a primitive
condition that ‘keeps man in touch with Mother Earth’ (ibid:§415).

After discussing the late 13th century German mystic, Meister Eckhart, and his concept of God in the human soul, Jung turns to the soul
(anima) as perceived in analytical psychology: a personification of unconscious contents, the birthplace of God, and ‘a creative function
[that] gives birth to its dynamis in form of a symbol (ibid:§§416-426 ).

In Jung’s painting, Parsifal bears the reconciling symbol on his tunic. He holds the reclaimed spear that has healed Amfortas in his left

An elderly ‘cleric’ stands to his left, dressed in a red cassock and scull-cap, his Latin pectoral cross a symbol of the outmoded ecclesiastical
Christian era. He may be ‘the red pope’ cited in Long’s summary as related to Ka, the devil’s brother, and the Antichrist (Appendix B).

A white-bearded man and wimpled woman are positioned behind Parsifal on either side: the exact identification of these three figures remains unclear.45

The female figure to Parsifal’s right, however, appears to be the redeemed Kundry; he places his hand encouragingly on the nape of her
neck. Jung has clothed her in opposites: a simple earth-toned garment that is belted by a garland of roses, a flower associated with feminine spirituality. Kundry is clearly energised, associated not with her death in Wagner’s opera, but with the Grail’s ‘newly-streaming life’ (Jung 1923:270, slightly differently worded in 1921, CW6:§371).

Thus Kundry represents the soul-image or anima, whose daemonic and divine aspects have been reunited by her redemption.46 This identification is confirmed

by her profile and hairdo, which are identical to those of the two anima bird-women in Cat. 54 (Fig. 3), the kneeling women in Cat. 53 (Fig. 4), and a painted wooden bust of a blue-eyed, black-haired woman carved by Jung at around this period, later described as his anima (Art:107, Cat. 39).

The drama intimated, but not yet realised, in the painting pivots around the enigmatic inscription Jung penned on the verso, which was
probably his own, as it relates to the painting, rather than to any identifiable literary source:

We fear and we hope: will you sacrifice the laurel of eternity to the bridal expectant earth? our feet stand in the void and are granted no beauty and fulfilment. will the promise be broken? will the eternal marry the temporal? (Art:147).

All five protagonists are indeed suspended in mid-air. Philemon

stares into the future, his open hand gesturing towards the two spheres half embedded the watery depths below his feet. Parsifal and the ‘cleric’ gaze down apprehensively, but Kundry and the two rear figures have turned to face the spheres.

Kundry raises a multi-coloured wreath—the ‘laurel of eternity’—in her right hand. Kundry-as-anima, as a psychological function of man able to mediate consciousness and the unconscious, is poised to sacrifice this symbol of the greatest value to the ‘bridal expectant earth’ in order to liberate the newly formed symbol below.47

By marrying the eternal, figured as the giant blue globe decorated with red and overlapping dark blue forms, and the temporal, figured as the smaller translucent sphere hovering before the blue one, teeming with multi-coloured squiggles of life,48 the anima would unite the above and below, God and man.49

The painting is poised on the brink of action, but its outcome remains unknown: ‘we fear and we hope’.

However, the unresolved drama in the painting also alludes to Jung’s intuition that man’s quest for the Holy Grail conceals a precious secret that, in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, he first dated to his youth, and subsequently linked with his alchemical studies of the exiled philosophers’ stone, unam vas, unus lapis (Jung/Jaffé 1963:160-161, 262-264).

In the unpublished Protocols, Jung likened the eternal quest for the ‘unfindable’ Grail with the secret of individuation, a necessarily incomprehensible mystery, and an ‘inner process of dying before surrendering oneself’ (Protocols:308-309; see Kingsley 2018:110, 140; Bishop 2019:424).

In another passage from Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung related the Christian hero Parsifal to the magician Merlin, his exiled dark
brother, ‘son of the devil and a pure virgin’, who continues to roam the forest in an unredeemed form (Jung/Jaffé 1963:216). This parallel is more extended in the Protocols, where Jung stated that Merlin is for Parsifal, what Mephistopheles is for Faust: the dark ‘brothers’, necessary for wholeness (Protocols:211-212).

Hence as pairs they are similar to Christ and the devil, his ‘dark brother’, good and evil requiring reconciliation in the new god, and to Philemon as the inverse of Christ and Ka as the devil’s brother, the Antichrist (Appendix B).

Most interestingly, Jung then brings in Philemon and Ka, the magician and the one ‘who makes things real’, as ‘the opposites brought together; hence the realisation of man and his shadow, the problem of the opposites. “I am both”! This is the result of incarnation’ (the temporal united with eternity) (ibid:212).50

Might the sacrifice of the ‘laurel of eternity’ in Jung’s painting be an attempt to redeem the vanished Merlin, thereby uniting the opposites of Parsifal and his dark brother, a marriage of the eternal and the temporal?


Jung incorporated the cross-quartered circle into the design of the pavement for his round tower at Bollingen, also begun in 1923. One cross 49 This links back to the soul’s three-fold nature in Liber Novus and Black Book 5: ‘I bind the Above with the Below. I bind God and animal’ (RB RE:388-389 and n. 252; 577).

arm is aligned with the tower’s original entrance and a window opposite, and the other with the hearth and another window, thus encircling and orienting the ‘ground position’ that supported his ‘confession in stone’, linked with the maternal hearth and Emma Jung (Protocols:157, 211, 297;

MDR:212-224).51 In the mandala created for the wall of Jung’s bedroom above, the cross-quartered circle forms the point of departure, generating the complex geometric figures and sixteen-pointed star that emanate outward (reproduced by Gaillard 1998:221).52

It was subsequently an essential element in Jung’s ‘mandala’ therapy of the 1920s and ‘30s, and figures repeatedly in his studies on alchemy and later writings, particularly Mysterium Coniunctionis (1941-54) and Aion (1959).53

Most movingly, however, Jung immortalised the crossquartered globe and cross in two late commemorative works in stone.

Within the pediment of the memorial he devised for his wife Emma Jung at Bollingen (1956), he created a sacred coniunctio (Fig. 8).

The cross-quartered sphere, Parsifal’s emblem in Cat. 66, and a prime symbol for Jung and his life’s work, rests on the upper rim of a chalice, symbol of the Grail, Emma, and her life’s work.

The following year, he employed it for the four corners of his design for the Jung family tombstone, erected at his death in 1961 (Fig. 9: Art:169-170, Cats. 78 and 79, 171, Cat. 80 and Fig. 60).

The imagery in both also links back to the border of the Red Book Philemon: the crescent-vessel and cross-quartered globe below his round temple (Philemonis Sacrum, a reflection of Jung’s tower), and the crossquartered circles that mark the painting’s corners (RB 154; MDR:222 n. 5).


By employing a contextual approach incorporating image and textual material, I have been able to identify the figures of Philemon and
Ka in several Red Book paintings and newly published visual works by Jung that were developed concurrently or in response to Jung’s visionary material from 1917.

This has enabled me to document the visual formation of one of Jung’s primary symbols of creative fantasy, the cross-quartered circle, as a product of the creative tension held between the two ‘fathers’,

Philemon and Ka, and to trace chronologically and historically the way it remained a ‘living thing’ for Jung, a container able to synthesise visually some of his core concepts, including individuation, the transcendent function, sacrifice, the grail and the redemptive feminine vessel.

The forthcoming publication of Jung’s Black Books will undoubtedly reveal more about Philemon, Ka, and other personifications that he
recorded and visually portrayed after the completion of Liber Novus.

Meanwhile we can discover a great deal about their evolving attributes and interactions, and the creation and development of the reconciling symbol by studying Jung’s extant visual works of 1919-1923, which document his pressing need—and ability—to form in matter the thoughts that his soul gave him, by means of Philemon’s and Ka’s abilities: intuition and sensation. ~Diane Finiello Zervas