the figure of Atmavictu went through a number of incarnations, as an old man, a bear, an otter, a newt, a serpent, then simultaneously a man and an earth serpent.
He was Izdubar, and became Philemon.
The black magician, Ha, was the father of Philemon.
Ka was the father of Salome, and also the brother of the Buddha.
Ka was Philemon’s shadow. Philemon further identified himself with Elijah and Khidr and claimed that he would become Phanes. ~The Black Books, Vol. I, Page 70
Thus Jung’s revisions, in which he now differentiated the soul into serpent, human soul, and bird, here can be seen to reflect his understanding of the tripartite nature of his soul. ~The Black Books, Vol. I, Page 69
Keep interpretation far from me, that bad prison master of science who binds the soul and imprisons it in a lightless cell, but above all protect me from the venomous serpent of critique, which is a healing serpent only on the surface, yet in your depths is infernal poison and agonizing death. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. II, Page 170
I have to crawl together out of many different corners in which I lost myself.
I return to the black serpent rod. It seems like a solid and mighty piece of death.
But death appears like a power belonging to me. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. IV, Page 227
I know where your [Elijah] serpent is. I have her.
My soul fetched her for me from the underworld.
She gives me hardness, wisdom, and magical power.
We needed her in the upperworld, since otherwise the underworld would have had the advantage, to our detriment. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. IV, Page 254
I bind the Above with the Below.
I bind God and animal. Something in me is part animal, something part God, and a third part human.
Below you serpent, within you man, and above you God.
Beyond the serpent comes the phallus, then the earth, then the moon, and finally the coldness and emptiness of outer space. ~Jung’s Soul, The Black Books, Vol. V, Page 270
Above you comes the dove or the heavenly soul, in which love and foresight are united, just as poison and shrewdness are united in the serpent.
Shrewdness is the devil’s understanding, which always detects smaller things and finds chinks where you suspect none. ~Jung’s Soul, The Black Books, Vol. V, Page 270
If I am not conjoined through the uniting of the Below and the Above,
I break down into three parts: the serpent, and in that or some other animal form I roam, living nature daimonically, arousing fear and longing. ~Jung’s Soul, The Black Books, Vol. V, Page 270
The white serpent is the lower truth, understanding and wisdom, from which all science and philosophy have developed or, been made.
The black bird is the upper error-superstition concerning the things of reality, within and without. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 294
What is past is always an obstacle for what is to come.
It must first be completely cleared away.
What time could not destroy must be artificially destroyed.
For this you need the means that mankind has always needed to arrive at the future from the past: namely severing, separating from the old, destruction of the bones.
It is truly an injury of the old, but the new live only through completely wearing out the old.
Only with unnatural means can man get out of what was natural of old and hence arrive at a new naturalness.
Exercises, that one calls [askesis] belong to this. Otherwise man is completely defenseless against the old, since the old is natural, while the new is unnatural and weak, that is it seems so to you, but the new yet prevails, and then you must suffer it instead of happily creating it yourself. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 294
He was my companion for many thousands of years.
First he was an old man, then he died and became a bear.
That too died and became a fish otter. This also died, and became a black newt.
This also died, then Atmaviktu became entered into me and immediately raised me to the threshold of splendor.
I myself am the Atmaviktu, the ancient. Formerly he erred and became a man, while he is actually an earth serpent. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 290
That was the spirit of and the error of Atmaviktu.
He is still erring and hasn’t flown into my throat yet.
When he comes near me, I swallow him, so that I become full and my stony heaviness and immobility dwindle.
I lack Atmaviktu’s soul.
If I possess it, I will enter into the gate of splendor.
I will lay myself over the gorge. I am the bridge, the living arch that leads over to the land of men and from the land of men into the golden castle. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 290
Serpent: Atmaviktu is a kobold, a conjuror of serpents, and is himself a serpent. Do I know who I am?
Soul: You should know, you blind worm.
Serpent: My name is my essence. I have been called Atmaviktu since my birth, if it has ever taken place.
Perhaps I always was and always will be. How should I know who I am? ~The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 290
Serpent: Atmaviktu? I am the kernel of the self The self is no man.
That was Atmaviktu’s error. That was my banishment and my darkness for many thousands of years.
Soul: So that is Atmaviktu!
Jung: But what is the green robe?
Serpent: That’s Atmaviktu’s cloak, which he took off as a man when he died and became an animal.
Soul: Yet what is the robe?
Serpent: His humanity. ~The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 291
Soul: Tell me, why did Atmaviktu become a man?
Serpent: It was unavoidable. He became sick from longing for man.
His head hurt, because he could not think what he did.
Therefore he became a man for the sake of healing. He remained in this state, and that was his error, since no one can become their own mantle.
He realized this and died, in that he went into the forest and became a bear.
Through this men became more human and began to build castles and left the forests to the bears.
As they spread and increased their power, they cleared out the woods.
Then Atmaviktu died for the third time and drew himself back as an otter into the water.
Once more men spread themselves and built ships and headed to new shores.
Then Atmaviktu died for the fourth time and became a black newt and drew himself back into the waters under the earth.
But men conquered the whole earth and flooded everything with their might.
However in the darkness Atmaviktu found his own self again, namely, myself, the white, self-illuminating serpent, which feeds on fire and has also swallowed the last error of Atmaviktu. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 291-292
So listen-a golden serpent is the way, a shimmering serpent bridge over a black grave-a dark gate behind splendor-a red light in the darkness of the background-that is evil.
I make it out.
You did well in not taking this way.
Should I take it?
So may the eye of evil take me-to a red cave-serpents of blood on the walls -a white gate- a long passage upward in wide halls, countless gates- up onto the roof on narrow steps-above is a worldwide prospect-I blossom like a fire on a mountain top-I glow through eternities-can you still see me- a distant light-itself a star lost in infinities-but, behold a thread-many threads spun from star to star-on a dizzying bridge infinitely long-it is reached, the first star-also a world. ~Jung’s Soul, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 286
I come from below, from the great cave, in which I lived for many thousands of years.
I became white and blind from sheer darkness.
My young have got feet, and I gnawed my tail, not from hunger but in self-contemplation.
I lived from fire and drank liquid earth.
Therefore I have become as solid as white marble and as cold as ice. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 289
Man of the West! I speak to you. Your air is nebulous. let light in.
There is a clear day to the East, while the west glows in ruddy twilight.
A new sun rises in the east. look eastward. listen eastward.
A voice comes from there.
A fluttering fire smoldered there, now it’s with you.
What did we do? We grasped it.
We made serpent-like plantlike forms. You built vaults and high arches. Is there something under them?
Do you keep something safe there? Empty air, that’s what.
We have no roof while you have only roofs.
That’s why I seek your roof. I want to live with you: I, the patient taciturn one.
I make strange things with a slow hand, I fill the vaults with rare decoration. Do you give me shelter?” ~ A Man of the East, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 274
But the soul became the steps of its ladder, closest, nearest, near, far, further, furthest.
First she is my own being, then she is a serpent and a bird, then she is mother and father, then even further away Salome and Elijah. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 238
The daimon of sexuality approaches our soul as a serpent. She is half human soul and is called thought-desire. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 226
The serpent descends and cunningly lames the phallic daimon, or else goads him on.
She bears up the too-crafty thoughts of the earthly, those thoughts that creep through every hole and cleave to all things with craving and blind desire. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 226
Although the serpent does not want to, she must be of use to us.
She flees our grasp, thus showing us the way, which our human wits could not find. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 226
Serpent, you chthonic origin, most despicable beast, we need your wisdom. let mother go, and twist high into your suffering.
You are must become the savior. The cross awaits you.
You must be lifted up on the mountain of torment and exposure. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 217
On February 29, 1916. Toni Wolff noted,
“Sexuality = Collective general feelings = in the unconscious. Abraxas head, lion, as danger: cosmic thoughts.
More conventional: general collective and cosmic intellectual thoughts. —unconscious Abraxas tail and serpent, sexuality as danger (dream 26 II 1916)” (Diary L, p. 178). ~The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 261, fn 268
I will for your sake, but the gigantic cloud of eternal night is awful.
I see a yellow shining stroke from the top left of this cloud in the irregular shape of a streak of lightning, and behind it an indeterminate reddish light in the cloud. It does not move.
Beneath the cloud I see a dead black serpent and the lightning stuck in its head like a spear.
A hand, as large as that of a God, has thrown the spear and everything has frozen into a gloomy vivid image.
What is it trying to say?
Do you recall that image that you painted years ago, in which the black and red man with the black and white serpent is struck by the ray of God?
This image is connected to it, since you also later painted the dead serpent, and did you not behold a gloomy image this morning, of that man in a white robe with a black face, like a mummy? ~The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 220
Soul: Three serpents that lie on a rock, coiled in a knot. A sword has hacked them.
A strong one-armed man wields the sword.
His eyes flicker in chaotic passion. It was probably a follower and pupil of Dionysus, who had lost one arm.
Where did he lose it?
He chopped it off because it seemed foul and inadequate, yes, he himself hacked off his right arm in a frenzy.
He no longer wanted to act, but simply to be driven.
One also needs to be able to be driven.
Why couldn’t he let the serpents sleep?
Who told him to set his dog on the devil’s dangerous hound that wanted to leave him? His wild and untamed drive, which he called a sense of duty, had whispered the wrong thing to him.
He wanted to be alone, to rule alone, intoxicated in solitude far from Gods and men, a castrato of his God.
Why do you despise the loving darkness of the feminine, the cooling night?
The whisper among the trees, my dark, healing speech? Why did you not speak to me? ~Jung’s Soul, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 207
I will not be your slave-what is the fortune of the earth when it burns like hellish fire?
When it makes sick, like poison?
The struggle against you is accepted. I will not rest until you have handed over your power to men.
Man must live.
You should obey.
I do not want to do without the beauty of the earth, the fragrance of the fields should not evade me, but the serpent poison should be slain, so that man can wander among the flowers. ~Salome, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 187
Now, it is graspable.
We also approach the limits of what is currently understandable and knowable.
But you now understand why God is both changing and unchanging?
It all depends from where one speaks.
When you speak of yourself out of yourself it is somewhat different from when you speak of yourself from the outside, from the world, with the eyes of the world.
Even so the two statements contradict each other, so you still are, and the beholding world also is.
The same way with God. Seen from your standpoint, he is changeable. Seen in himself, he is unchanging. He knows nothing of change since he does not know himself as a seed.
But the seed turns.
But what is a seed as a whole?
Nothing. Therefore it: the totality does not feel it.
But surely the seed feels it, since it feels abandoned and misunderstood by the totality.
But the totality does not understand the individual.
Therefore the individual must seek the way to God.
He must thus draw God into himself. But how does this happen?
This can only happen by his clearly showing God how he has turned, how he has changed. He must explain himself to him.
He must find words and expressions by which he can reach God.
Man, who must always work as the mediator for the part of God in him and the seed, can never do this through conscious devising or puzzling out, but only through the help of his soul, or through the help of someone who still has the soul of the other in them.
The seed must always turn, since that is the godhead of life. Life is movement in its innermost. ~Serpent, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 179
Philemon is frightened. He senses the danger of the earth.
He fears the beautiful serpent poison of the earth.
His foot was once lamed by a poisonous bite, but wings grew.
He knows the power of poison, so he develops the power to fly. He sees the serpent among the roses and therefore wants to be a butterfly.
However, do not let yourself be too enchanted by him, since you are a man, a brother of the earth-dwelling animals. How beautiful and familiar is the fortune of the earth!
The people you know and love, who know and love you, the trees that lovingly shade this spot of earth, the dewy flowers which greet the sun, the birds that fill the fluttering air of the dawn, shimmering leaves and flowers, the glittering surface of the water, the wind that clouds over the mountains, that is the fortune of the earth.
This is also Philemon, the one who loves.
The daimons reconcile themselves in man, who found himself, who is the source of the four streams and the spring-bearing earth.
Water flows from his peak toward the four winds.
He is the sea that gave birth to the sun, he is the mountain that carries the sun, he is the father of the four great streams, he is the cross that binds the four great daimons.
He is the incorruptible seed of the nothing that accidentally fell through space.
This seed is the beginning, younger than all beginnings, older than every end. I praise the greatness and smallness of man.
His suffering fills the earth, his fate is in the smallest and most secret things. ~Jung’s Soul, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 184
I piled up the ore-red stones-gold-shining things from ancient shafts.
If you knew what Atmaviktu the ancient brought, which ~ shimmering serpent skin he shed when he became Philemon.
Dangerous poisons, daimonic luminous things-a shimmering ground for the feet of the lovers. ~Soul, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 148
But the other sun is dark in the belly of the lower cone. You see that he who is horrified at himself has the sun as a head, and as a wheel is entirely sun, and goes straight on the serpent’s way and it is no longer straight above, but a small tail upward-that is funny!
Have you learned something? ~HA, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 153