Psychology and Alchemy

What is particularly noteworthy here is the consistent development of the central symbol.

We can hardly escape the feeling that the unconscious process moves spiral-wise round a centre, gradually getting closer, while the characteristics of the centre grow more and more distinct.

Or perhaps we could put it the other way round and say that the centre—itself virtually unknowable—acts like a magnet on the disparate materials and processes of the unconscious and gradually captures them as in a crystal lattice.

For this reason the centre is (in other cases) often pictured as a spider in its web (fig. 108), especially when the conscious attitude is still dominated by fear of unconscious processes.

But if the process is allowed to take its course, as it was in our case, then the central symbol, constantly renewing itself, will steadily and consistently force its way through the apparent chaos of the personal psyche and its dramatic entanglements, just as the great Bernoulli’s epitaph says of the spiral: “Eadem mutata resurgo.”

Accordingly we often find spiral representations of the centre, as for instance the serpent coiled round the creative point, the egg. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 325