Visions Semnars

We come now to the region above.

When we speak of things above, we mean, psychologically, a ruling principle, the eternal ideals above our heads, the good God above, the law, superior consciousness; all leading, or redeeming principles are thought of as being above.

Therefore, people often object to the idea that the unconscious is below, under the feet; they insist that there is something unconscious above, a sort of superior unconscious.

Of course to speak of the unconscious as under our feet is just a facon de parler, whatever is above is equally in the sphere of the psychological unconscious, only in a different role.

So we find above-up on the left of the map-the constellation of Perseus, the famous hero who killed the monster that was threatening Andromeda.

He was one of the old heroes of Greece, like Heracles and Theseus; they belonged to the very remote hero ancestors.

He was the son of Zeus and Danae, and he was created by a miracle; Zeus could not get to that girl because she was walled into an iron room, so he had to come in through the roof as a golden shower of rain, and in that form he impregnated Danae.

This son Perseus overcame all sorts of horrors, the Graeae, for instance, those three horrible women of fate, who had only one eye and one tooth between them.

Then he acquired a helmet which made him invisible like Siegfried, and a pair of winged soles and a diamond sickle like Hermes-all sorts of beautiful things.

He also rode a marvellous horse, and he killed the Gorgon and got the head.

Then comes the story of Andromeda, who was the daughter of a king and was destined to be a sacrifice to an awful sea monster.

She was fastened naked to a rock and the monster was making for her, when Perseus came walking through the air on his winged soles, holding in his hand the Gorgon’s head, and at the moment when the monster came out of the sea, Perseus confronted him with that head of Medusa, whereupon the monster became instantly transformed into stone.

You see, Perseus is the hero who was invented to fight this enormous monster in the sea, that always threatened to swallow the king’s beautiful daughter.

The motif of the sacrifice of the most beautiful girl to the monster repeats itself very often in myths. What is this beautiful daughter?

Miss Hannah: The Self.

Dr. Jung: Why should that be a beautiful girl?

I am quite certain that my Self is not a beautiful girl.

These were not fairy tales, they were really myths, they were sacred texts to be narrated for healing or magical purposes, and they were invented by medicine men, they are absolutely masculine.

Andromeda is his anima, his soul, who was to be captured by the monster in the sea, just spirited away.

By that fact, we know that the soul was always in the possession of the unconscious, even at a time when the intellect was beginning to develop; and only sacrifice could sever the connection and save mankind from its all-devouring and ever threatening power.

It was necessary to invent a myth of a hero to kill the monster, this formidable activity of the unconscious.

So the sign of Perseus leads directly to the sign of Andromeda; the hero who overcomes the dragon liberates the soul from the curse of unconsciousness.

Now the constellation of Andromeda is separated from the sphere of Aries by another little constellation, the so-called triangulum.

What is the triangle in comparison with Perseus and Andromeda?

It lies in the immediate vicinity, but a bit earlier than that group of stars which indicate the beginning of philosophy.

You see, it is an abstract symbol; if a triangle occurred in a dream, you would interpret it as an abstract thought.

Mr. Allemann: It is an intellectual concept.

Dr. Jung: Yes, an intellectual concept here becomes the leading symbol.

According to astrological reckoning, in about the year 1000 B.C. the intellect began to stir in man through the vicinity of the triangulum; abstract ideas appear, and philosophy ensues, projecting a sort of philosophical concept up into heaven as a guide.

It is no longer Perseus, the mystical hero, doing great deeds and liberating mankind from the leviathan in the sea; it is now philosophy, it is abstract human notions.

But they receive their light from the particularly brilliant stars of Andromeda, and that belongs to the field of the anima.

So one could say that wisdom was then influenced less by man-of course by man primarily, but chiefly through the anima.

And there, out of the anima, appears the figure of Sophia that one finds in the Gnostic development of the anima, also in the second part of Faust.

Moreover, as Aries would be under the masculine principle-the beginning of the intellectual predominance, of the abstract idea-the compensatory feminine principle then appears, and from that time on we have a world which is under the feminine principle.

The age of the Fishes begins here, and that is influenced until the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries by the unconscious Virgo.

Fishes also symbolize little children, and one sees that influence in the Christian symbolism, the little lambs as well as the Fishes.

The Pope still wears a ring with the picture of the miraculous draft of fishes, meaning that he is pulling all the peoples of the earth into his net.

But the ruling principle of that part of Fishes would be feminine, it was most certainly the church, Ecclesia Mater, or the Virgin Mother, the Heavenly Bride, etc., and that would last up to about the sixteenth century.

Then begins a new period of time which is usually calculated from the Thirty Years’ War, or the Reformation-with great justification because that was the age when the great discoveries of the world took place, when the vertical position of the Fish came to an end and the horizontal extension began.

Until then the development of civilization was like a Gothic spire, our ancestors were all concentrated upon the narrow peninsula Europe, and beyond this very little of the world was known. ~Visions Seminars, Page 729-730