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VOLUME 9,ii. OF THp
COLLECTED WORKS OF




AION



RESEARCHES INTO THE PHENOMENOLOGY
OF THE SELF

SECOND EDITION



BOLUNGEN SERIES XX



PRINCETON



Second edition, s

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF

C. G.JUNG

VOLUME 9, PART II

AION

RESEARCHES INTO THE
PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SELF

Translated by R. F. C. Hull

A/on, originally published in 1951, is one of
the major works of C. G. Jung's later years.

The central theme of the volume is the sym-
bolical representation of the psychic totality
through the concept of the Self, whose tradi-
tional historical equivalent is the figure of
Christ. Professor Jung demonstrates his thesis
by an investigation of the A//egor/ae Christi,
especially the fish symbol, but also of Gnostic
and alchemical symbolism, which he treats as
phenomena of cultural assimilation. The astro-
logical aspect of the fish symbol and, in par-
ticular, the foretelling of the Antichrist are dis-
cussed in detail. The first four chapters, on the
ego, the shadow, and the anima and animus,
compose a valuable summation of these key
concepts in Jung's system of psychology.

As a study of the archetype of the self, Aion
complements the first part of Volume 9, The
Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,
which is being published separately.

For the second edition, textual corrections
have been made and the notes and bibliogra-
phy have been brought up to date.



Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2013



http://archive.org/details/collectedworksof92cgju



BOLLINGEN SERIES XX

THE COLLECTED WORKS

OF

C. G. JUNG

VOLUME 9, PART II

EDITORS

SIR HERBERT READ

MICHAEL FORDHAM, M.D., M.R.C.P.

GERHARD ADLER, PH.D.

William mcguire, executive editor




The Mithraic god Aion
Roman, 2iid-^rd century



AION

RESEARCHES INTO THE
PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SELF



C. G. JUNG



SECOND EDITION




TRANSLATED BY R. F. C. HULL



BOLLINGEN SERIES XX



PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS



COPYRIGHT 1959 BY BOLLINGEN FOUNDATION INC., NEW YORK, N. Y.

PUBLISHED BY PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS

PRINCETON, N. J.



Second edition, with corrections and
minor revisions, 1968
Second printing, 1970



THIS EDITION IS BEING PUBLISHED IN THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY PRINCETON
UNIVERSITY PRESS, AND IN ENGLAND BY
ROUTLEDGE AND KEGAN PAUL, LTD. IN THE
AMERICAN EDITION, ALL THE VOLUMES
COMPRISING THE COLLECTED WORKS CON-
STITUTE NUMBER XX IN BOLLINGEN SERIES.
THE PRESENT VOLUME IS NUMBER 9 OF THE
COLLECTED WORKS, AND WAS THE EIGHTH
TO APPEAR. IT IS IN TWO PARTS, PUBLISHED
SEPARATELY, THIS BEING PART II.



Translated from the first part of Aion: Untersuchungen zur Symbolgeschichte
(Psychologische Abhandlungen, VIII), published by Rascher Verlag, Zurich, 1951.



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER 75-156

ISBN O-69I-O9759-3

MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



EDITORIAL NOTE



Volume 9 of the Collected Works is devoted to studies of the
specific archetypes of the collective unconscious. Part I, entitled
The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, is composed of
shorter essays; Part II, Aion, is a long monograph on the arche-
type of the self. The author has agreed to a modification of the
sub-title of Aion, which in the Swiss edition appeared in two
forms, "Researches into the History of Symbols" and "Contribu-
tions to the Symbolism of the Self." The first five chapters were
previously published, with small differences, in Psyche and Sym-
bol: A Selection from the Writings of C. G. Jung, edited by
Violet S. de Laszlo (Anchor Books, Garden City, New York,

1958).



EDITORIAL NOTE TO THE SECOND EDITION



For this edition corrections have been made in the text and
footnotes and the bibliographical references have been brought
up to date in relation to the Collected Works. The translation
has been corrected in light of further experience of translating
Jung's works.



TRANSLATOR'S NOTE



Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following persons,
whose translations have been consulted during the preparation
of the present work: Mr. William H. Kennedy, for extensive
use of his translation of portions of chapters 2 and 3, issued as
"Shadow, Animus, and Anima" by the Analytical Psychology
Club of New York, 1950; Dr. Hildegarde Nagel, for reference
to her translation of the original Eranos-Jahrbuch version (1949)
of "Concerning the Self," in Spring, 1951, which original ver-
sion the author later expanded into Aion, chapters 4 and 5; and
Miss Barbara Hannah and Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz, for
helpful advice with the remaining chapters. Especial thanks are
due to Mr. A. S. B. Glover, who (unless otherwise noted) trans-
lated the Latin and Greek texts throughout. References to pub-
lished sources are given for the sake of completeness.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

EDITORIAL NOTES V

translator's note vi

LIST OF PLATES viii

FOREWORD ix

I. The Ego 3

II. The Shadow 8

III. The Syzygy: Anima and Animus 1 1

IV. The Self 23

V. Christ, a Symbol of the Self 36

VI. The Sign of the Fishes 72

VII. The Prophecies of Nostradamus 95

VIII. The Historical Significance of the Fish 103

IX. The Ambivalence of the Fish Symbol 1 1 8

X. The Fish in Alchemy 126
1. The Medusa, 126 - 2. The Fish, 137 - 3. The Fish
Symbol of the Cathars, 145

XI. The Alchemical Interpretation of the Fish 154
XII. Background to the Psychology of Christian

Alchemical Symbolism 173

XIII. Gnostic Symbols of the Self 184

XIV. The Structure and Dynamics of the Self 222
XV. Conclusion 266

BIBLIOGRAPHY 27 1

INDEX 3OI

vii



LIST OF PLATES

The Mithraic god Aion

Roman, 2nd~3rd century. Museo Profano, Vatican, p: Alinari.

frontispiece

I. The Four Elements

Michael Maier, Scrutinium chymicum (1687), Emblema XVII, p. 49.

following page 250

II. The Trinity

From a manuscript by Joachim of Flora. Graphics Collection, Zurich
Central Library, B x 606. following page 254



Vlll



FOREWORD



The theme of this work 1 is the idea of the Aeon (Greek, Aion).
My investigation seeks, with the help of Christian, Gnostic, and
alchemical symbols of the self, to throw light on the change of
psychic situation within the "Christian aeon." Christian tradi-
tion from the outset is not only saturated with Persian and
Jewish ideas about the beginning and end of time, but is filled
with intimations of a kind of enantiodromian reversal of domi-
nants. I mean by this the dilemma of Christ and Antichrist.
Probably most of the historical speculations about time and the
division of time were influenced, as the Apocalypse shows, by
astrological ideas. It is therefore only natural that my reflections
should gravitate mainly round the symbol of the Fishes, for the
Pisces aeon is the synchronistic concomitant of two thousand
years of Christian development. In this time-period not only
was the figure of the Anthropos (the "Son of Man") progres-
sively amplified symbolically, and thus assimilated psychologi-
cally, but it brought with it changes in man's attitude that had
already been anticipated by the expectation of the Antichrist
in the ancient texts. Because these texts relegate the appearance
of Antichrist to the end of time, we are justified in speaking of
a "Christian aeon," which, it was presupposed, would find its
end with the Second Coming. It seems as if this expectation
coincides with the astrological conception of the "Platonic
month" of the Fishes.

i [In the Swiss edition, this foreword begins as follows: "In this volume (VIII of
the Psychologische Abhandlungen) I am bringing out two works which, despite
their inner and outer differences, belong together in so far as they both treat
of the great theme of this book, namely the idea of the Aeon (Greek, Aion).
While the contribution of my co-worker, Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz, describes
the psychological transition from antiquity to Christianity by analysing the Pas-
sion of St. Perpetua, my own investigation seeks, with the help of" etc., as above.
Dr. von Franz's "Die Passio Perpetuae" is omitted from the present volume.
-Editors.]

ix



FOREWORD



The immediate occasion for my proposing to discuss these
historical questions is the fact that the archetypal image of
wholeness, which appears so frequently in the products of the
unconscious, has its forerunners in history. These were identi-
fied very early with the figure of Christ, as I have shown in my
book Psychology and Alchemy. 2 I have been requested so often
by my readers to discuss the relations between the traditional
Christ-figure and the natural symbols of wholeness, or the
self, that I finally decided to take this task in hand. Considering
the unusual difficulties of such an undertaking, my decision did
not come easily to me, for, in order to surmount all the ob-
stacles and possibilities of error, a knowledge and caution would
be needed which, unfortunately, are vouchsafed me only in
limited degree. I am moderately certain of my observations on
the empirical material, but I am fully aware of the risk I am
taking in drawing the testimonies of history into the scope of
my reflections. I think I also know the responsibility I am tak-
ing upon myself when, as though continuing the historical
process of assimilation, I add to the many symbolical amplifica-
tions of the Christ-figure yet another, the psychological one, or
even, so it might seem, reduce the Christ-symbol to a psycho-
logical image of wholeness. My reader should never forget, how-
ever, that I am not making a confession of faith or writing a
tendentious tract, but am simply considering how certain
things could be understood from the standpoint of our modern
consciousness- things which I deem it valuable to understand,
and which are obviously in danger of being swallowed up in the
abyss of incomprehension and oblivion; things, finally, whose
understanding would do much to remedy our philosophic dis-
orientation by shedding light on the psychic background and
the secret chambers of the soul. The essence of this book was
built up gradually, in the course of many years, in countless
conversations with people of all ages and all walks of life; with
people who in the confusion and uprootedness of our society
were likely to lose all contact with the meaning of European
culture and to fall into that state of suggestibility which is the
occasion and cause of the Utopian mass-psychoses of our time.

I write as a physician, with a physician's sense of respon-
sibility, and not as a proselyte. Nor do I write as a scholar,

2 [Ch. 5, "The Lapis-Christ Parallel."]

X



FOREWORD

otherwise I would wisely barricade myself behind the safe walls
of my specialism and not, on account of my inadequate knowl-
edge of history, expose myself to critical attack and damage my
scientific reputation. So far as my capacities allow, restricted as
they are by old age and illness, I have made every effort to docu-
ment my material as reliably as possible and to assist the veri-
fication of my conclusions by citing the sources.

C. G. Jung
May 1950



XI



AION



RESEARCHES INTO THE PHENOMENOLOGY
OF THE SELF



These things came to pass, they say, that Jesus
might be made the first sacrifice in the discrim-
ination of composite natures.

Hippolytus, Elenchos, VII, 27, 8



THE EGO

Investigation of the psychology of the unconscious con-
fronted me with facts which required the formulation of new
concepts. One of these concepts is the self. The entity so denoted
is not meant to take the place of the one that has always been
known as the ego, but includes it in a supraordinate concept.
We understand the ego as the complex factor to which all con-
scious contents are related. It forms, as it were, the centre of the
field of consciousness; and, in so far as this comprises the em-
pirical personality, the ego is the subject of all personal acts of
consciousness. The relation of a psychic content to the ego forms
the criterion of its consciousness, for no content can be con-
scious unless it is represented to a subject.

With this definition we have described and delimited the
scope of the subject. Theoretically, no limits can be set to the
field of consciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension.
Empirically, however, it always finds its limit when it comes up
against the unknown. This consists of everything we do not
know, which, therefore, is not related to the ego as the centre
of the field of consciousness. The unknown falls into two groups
of objects: those which are outside and can be experienced by
the senses, and those which are inside and are experienced im-
mediately. The first group comprises the unknown in the outer
world; the second the unknown in the inner world. We call this
latter territory the unconscious.

The ego, as a specific content of consciousness, is not a sim-
ple or elementary factor but a complex one which, as such,
cannot be described exhaustively. Experience shows that it rests
on two seemingly different bases: the somatic and the psychic.
The somatic basis is inferred from the totality of endosomatic
perceptions, which for their part are already of a psychic nature
and are associated with the ego, and are therefore conscious.
They are produced by endosomatic stimuli, only some of which

3



AION



cross the threshold of consciousness. A considerable proportion
of these stimuli occur unconsciously, that is, subliminally. The
fact that they are subliminal does not necessarily mean that their
status is merely physiological, any more than this would be true
of a psychic content. Sometimes they are capable of crossing the
threshold, that is, of becoming perceptions. But there is no
doubt that a large proportion of these endosomatic stimuli are
simply incapable of consciousness and are so elementary that
there is no reason to assign them a psychic nature- unless of
course one favours the philosophical view that all life-processes
are psychic anyway. The chief objection to this hardly demon-
strable hypothesis is that it enlarges the concept of the psyche
beyond all bounds and interprets the life-process in a way not
absolutely warranted by the facts. Concepts that are too broad
usually prove to be unsuitable instruments because they are too
vague and nebulous. I have therefore suggested that the term
"psychic" be used only where there is evidence of a will capable
of modifying reflex or instinctual processes. Here I must refer
the reader to my paper "On the Nature of the Psyche," * where
I have discussed this definition of the "psychic" at somewhat
greater length.

The somatic basis of the ego consists, then, of conscious and
unconscious factors. The same is true of the psychic basis: on
the one hand the ego rests on the total field of consciousness,
and on the other, on the sum total of unconscious contents.
These fall into three groups: first, temporarily subliminal con-
tents that can be reproduced voluntarily (memory); second,
unconscious contents that cannot be reproduced voluntarily;
third, contents that are not capable of becoming conscious at all.
Group two can be inferred from the spontaneous irruption of
subliminal contents into consciousness. Group three is hypo-
thetical; it is a logical inference from the facts underlying group
two. It contains contents which have not yet irrupted into con-
sciousness, or which never will.

When I said that the ego "rests" on the total field of con-
sciousness I do not mean that it consists of this. Were that so, it
would be indistinguishable from the field of consciousness as a
whole. The ego is only the latter's point of reference, grounded
on and limited by the somatic factor described above,
l Pars. 37 iff.

4



THE EGO



Although its bases are in themselves relatively unknown and
unconscious, the ego is a conscious factor par excellence. It is
even acquired, empirically speaking, during the individual's
lifetime. It seems to arise in the first place from the collision
between the somatic factor and the environment, and, once
established as a subject, it goes on developing from further col-
lisions with the outer world and the inner.

Despite the unlimited extent of its bases, the ego is never
more and never less than consciousness as a whole. As a con-
scious factor the ego could, theoretically at least, be described
completely. But this would never amount to more than a pic-
ture of the conscious personality; all those features which are
unknown or unconscious to the subject would be missing. A
total picture would have to include these. But a total descrip-
tion of the personality is, even in theory, absolutely impossible,
because the unconscious portion of it cannot be grasped cogni-
tively. This unconscious portion, as experience has abundantly
shown, is by no means unimportant. On the contrary, the most
decisive qualities in a person are often unconscious and can be
perceived only by others, or have to be laboriously discovered
with outside help.

Clearly, then, the personality as a total phenomenon does
not coincide with the ego, that is, with the conscious personality,
but forms an entity that has to be distinguished from the ego.
Naturally the need to do this is incumbent only on a psychology
that reckons with the fact of the unconscious, but for such a
psychology the distinction is of paramount importance. Even for
jurisprudence it should be of some importance whether certain
psychic facts are conscious or not - for instance, in adjudging the
question of responsibility.

I have suggested calling the total personality which, though
present, cannot be fully known, the self. The ego is, by defini-
tion, subordinate to the self and is related to it like a part to the
whole. Inside the field of consciousness it has, as we say, free
will. By this I do not mean anything philosophical, only the
well-known psychological fact of "free choice," or rather the sub-
jective feeling of freedom. But, just as our free will clashes with
necessity in the outside world, so also it finds its limits outside
the field of consciousness in the subjective inner world, where
it comes into conflict with the facts of the self. And just as

5



AION



circumstances or outside events "happen" to us and limit our
freedom, so the self acts upon the ego like an objective occur-
rence which free will can do very little to alter. It is, indeed, well
known that the ego not only can do nothing against the self, but
is sometimes actually assimilated by unconscious components
of the personality that are in the process of development and
is greatly altered by them.

It is, in the nature of the case, impossible to give any general
description of the ego except a formal one. Any other mode of
observation would have to take account of the individuality
which attaches to the ego as one of its main characteristics. Al-
though the numerous elements composing this complex factor
are, in themselves, everywhere the same, they are infinitely
varied as regards clarity, emotional colouring, and scope. The
result of their combination- the ego- is therefore, so far as one
can judge, individual and unique, and retains its identity up
to a certain point. Its stability is relative, because far-reaching
changes of personality can sometimes occur. Alterations of this
kind need not always be pathological; they can also be develop-
mental and hence fall within the scope of the normal.

Since it is the point of reference for the field of conscious-
ness, the ego is the subject of all successful attempts at adapta-
tion so far as these are achieved by the will. The ego therefore
has a significant part to play in the psychic economy. Its position
there is so important that there are good grounds for the prej-
udice that the ego is the centre of the personality, and that the
field of consciousness is the psyche per se. If we discount certain
suggestive ideas in Leibniz, Kant, Schelling, and Schopenhauer,
and the philosophical excursions of Carus and von Hartmann, it
is only since the end of the nineteenth century that modern
psychology, with its inductive methods, has discovered the
foundations of consciousness and proved empirically the exist-
ence of a psyche outside consciousness. With this discovery the
position of the ego, till then absolute, became relativized; that
is to say, though it retains its quality as the centre of the field of
consciousness, it is questionable whether it is the centre of the
personality. It is part of the personality but not the whole of it.
As I have said, it is simply impossible to estimate how large or
how small its share is; how free or how dependent it is on the
qualities of this "extra-conscious" psyche. We can only say that

6



THE EGO



its freedom is limited and its dependence proved in ways that
are often decisive. In my experience one would do well not to
underestimate its dependence on the unconscious. Naturally
there is no need to say this to persons who already overestimate
the latter's importance. Some criterion for the right measure is
afforded by the psychic consequences of a wrong estimate, a
point to which we shall return later on.
" We have seen that, from the standpoint of the psychology of
consciousness, the unconscious can be divided into three groups
of contents. But from the standpoint of the psychology of the
personality a twofold division ensues: an "extra-conscious"
psyche whose contents are personal, and an "extra-conscious"
psyche whose contents are impersonal and collective. The first
group comprises contents which are integral components of the
individual personality and could therefore just as well be con-
scious; the second group forms, as it were, an omnipresent, un-
changing, and everywhere identical quality or substrate of the
psyche per se. This is, of course, no more than a hypothesis. But
we are driven to it by the peculiar nature of the empirical ma-
terial, not to mention the high probability that the general
similarity of psychic processes in all individuals must be based
on an equally general and impersonal principle that conforms
to law, just as the instinct manifesting itself in the individual is
only the partial manifestation of an instinctual substrate com-
mon to all men.



II

THE SHADOW

3 Whereas the contents of the personal unconscious are ac-
quired during the individual's lifetime, the contents of the col-
lective unconscious are invariably archetypes that were present
from the beginning. Their relation to the instincts has been dis-
cussed elsewhere. 1 The archetypes most clearly characterized
from the empirical point of view are those which have the most
frequent and the most disturbing influence on the ego. These
are the shadow, the anima, and the animus. 2 The most accessible
of these, and the easiest to experience, is the shadow, for its
nature can in large measure be inferred from the contents of the
personal unconscious. The only exceptions to this rule are those
rather rare cases where the positive qualities of the personality
are repressed, and the ego in consequence plays an essentially
negative or unfavourable role.

H The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole
ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow
without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it
involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as pres-
ent and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of
self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with consider-
able resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic
measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending
over a long period.

*5 Closer examination of the dark characteristics- that is, the
inferiorities constituting the shadow- reveals that they have an
emotional nature, a kind of autonomy, and accordingly an ob-
sessive or, better, possessive quality. Emotion, incidentally, is

1 "Instinct and the Unconscious" and "On the Nature of the Psyche," pars. 3978.

2 The contents of this and the following chapter are taken from a lecture deliv-
ered to the Swiss Society for Practical Psychology, in Zurich, 1948. The material
was first published in the Wiener Zeitschrift fur Nervenheilkunde und deren
Grenzgebiete, I (1948) : 4.

8



THE SHADOW



not an activity of the individual but something that happens to
him. Affects occur usually where adaptation is weakest, and at
the same time they reveal the reason for its weakness, namely a
certain degree of inferiority and the existence of a lower level
of personality. On this lower level with its uncontrolled or
scarcely controlled emotions one behaves more or less like a
primitive, who is not only the passive victim of his affects but
also singularly incapable of moral judgment.

16 Although, with insight and good will, the shadow can to
some extent be assimilated into the conscious personality, expe-
rience shows that there are certain features which offer the most
obstinate resistance to moral control and prove almost impos-
sible to influence. These resistances are usually bound up with
projections, which are not recognized as such, and their recogni-
tion is a moral achievement beyond the ordinary. While some
traits peculiar to the shadow can be recognized without too
much difficulty as one's own personal qualities, in this case both
insight and good will are unavailing because the cause of the
emotion appears to lie, beyond all possibility of doubt, in the
other person. No matter how obvious it may be to the neutral
observer that it is a matter of projections, there is little hope
that the subject will perceive this himself. He must be con-
vinced that he throws a very long shadow before he is willing to
withdraw his emotionally-toned projections from their object.

*7 Let us suppose that a certain individual shows no inclina-
tion whatever to recognize his projections. The projection-mak-
ing factor then has a free hand and can realize its object- if it has
one- or bring about some other situation characteristic of its
power. As we know, it is not the conscious subject but the
unconscious which does the projecting. Hence one meets with
projections, one does not make them. The effect of projection is
to isolate the subject from his environment, since instead of a
real relation to it there is now only an illusory one. Projections
change the world into the replica of one's own unknown face. In
the last analysis, therefore, they lead to an autoerotic or autistic
condition in which one dreams a world whose reality remains
forever unattainable. The resultant sentiment d'incompletude
and the still worse feeling of sterility are in their turn explained
by projection as the malevolence of the environment, and by
means of this vicious circle the isolation is intensified. The more



AION

projections are thrust in between the subject and the environ-
ment, the harder it is for the ego to see through its illusions. A
forty-five-year-old patient who had suffered from a compulsion
neurosis since he was twenty and had become completely cut off
from the world once said to me: "But I can never admit to my-
self that I've wasted the best twenty-five years of my life!"

18 It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own
life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of see-
ing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how
he continually feeds it and keeps it going. Not consciously, of
course- for consciously he is engaged in bewailing and cursing a
faithless world that recedes further and further into the dis-
tance. Rather, it is an unconscious factor which spins the illu-
sions that veil his world. And what is being spun is a cocoon,
which in the end will completely envelop him.

J 9 One might assume that projections like these, which are so
very difficult if not impossible to dissolve, would belong to the
realm of the shadow- that is, to the negative side of the person-
ality. This assumption becomes untenable after a certain point,
because the symbols that then appear no longer refer to the
same but to the opposite sex, in a man's case to a woman and
vice versa. The source of projections is no longer the shadow-
which is always of the same sex as the subject- but a contrasexual
figure. Here we meet the animus of a woman and the anima of a
man, two corresponding archetypes whose autonomy and uncon-
sciousness explain the stubbornness of their projections. Though
the shadow is a motif as well known to mythology as anima and
animus, it represents first and foremost the personal uncon-
scious, and its content can therefore be made conscious without
too much difficulty. In this it differs from anima and animus,
for whereas the shadow can be seen through and recognized
fairly easily, the anima and animus are much further away from
consciousness and in normal circumstances are seldom if ever
realized. With a little self-criticism one can see through the
shadow- so far as its nature is personal. But when it appears as
an archetype, one encounters the same difficulties as with anima
and animus. In other words, it is quite within the bounds of
possibility for a man to recognize the relative evil of his nature,
but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into
the face of absolute evil.

10



Ill

THE SYZYGY: ANIMA AND ANIMUS

2 What, then, is this projection-making factor? The East calls
it the "Spinning Woman" x - Maya, who creates illusion by her
dancing. Had we not long since known it from the symbolism
of dreams, this hint from the Orient would put us on the right
track: the enveloping, embracing, and devouring element points
unmistakably to the mother, 2 that is, to the son's relation to the
real mother, to her imago, and to the woman who is to become
a mother for him. His Eros is passive like a child's; he hopes to
be caught, sucked in, enveloped, and devoured. He seeks, as it
were, the protecting, nourishing, charmed circle of the mother,
the condition of the infant released from every care, in which
the outside world bends over him and even forces happiness
upon him. No wonder the real world vanishes from sight!

21 If this situation is dramatized, as the unconscious usually
dramatizes it, then there appears before you on the psychological
stage a man living regressively, seeking his childhood and his
mother, fleeing from a cold cruel world which denies him under-
standing. Often a mother appears beside him who apparently
shows not the slightest concern that her little son should become
a man, but who, with tireless and self-immolating effort, neglects
nothing that might hinder him from growing up and marrying.
You behold the secret conspiracy between mother and son, and
how each helps the other to betray life.

22 Where does the guilt lie? With the mother, or with the son?
Probably with both. The unsatisfied longing of the son for life
and the world ought to be taken seriously. There is in him a

1 Erwin Rousselle, "Seelische Fiihrung im lebenden Taoismus," PI. I, pp. 150, 170.
Rousselle calls the spinning woman the "animal soul." There is a saying that
runs, "The spinner sets in motion." I have denned the anima as a personification
of the unconscious.

2 Here and in what follows, the word "mother" is not meant in the literal sense
but as a symbol of everything that functions as a mother.

11



AION

desire to touch reality, to embrace the earth and fructify the
field of the world. But he makes no more than a series of fitful
starts, for his initiative as well as his staying power are crippled
by the secret memory that the world and happiness may be had
as a gift- from the mother. The fragment of world which he, like
every man, must encounter again and again is never quite the
right one, since it does not'fall into his lap, does not meet him
half way, but remains resistant, has to be conquered, and sub-
mits only to force. It makes demands on the masculinity of a
man, on his ardour, above all on his courage and resolution
when it comes to throwing his whole being into the scales. For
this he would need a faithless Eros, one capable of forgetting his
mother and undergoing the pain of relinquishing the first love
of his life. The mother, foreseeing this danger, has carefully in-
culcated into him the virtues of faithfulness, devotion, loyalty,
so as to protect him from the moral disruption which is the risk
of every life adventure. He has learnt these lessons only too well,
and remains true to his mother. This naturally causes her the
deepest anxiety (when, to her greater glory, he turns out to be
a homosexual, for example) and at the same time affords her an
unconscious satisfaction that is positively mythological. For, in
the relationship now reigning between them, there is consum-
mated the immemorial and most sacred archetype of the mar-
riage of mother and son. What, after all, has commonplace
reality to offer, with its registry offices, pay envelopes, and
monthly rent, that could outweigh the mystic awe of the hieros
gamos? Or the star-crowned woman whom the dragon pursues,
or the pious obscurities veiling the marriage of the Lamb?

23 This myth, better than any other, illustrates the nature of
the collective unconscious. At this level the mother is both old
and young, Demeter and Persephone, and the son is spouse and
sleeping suckling rolled into one. The imperfections of real life,
with its laborious adaptations and manifold disappointments,
naturally cannot compete with such a state of indescribable ful-
filment.

24 In the case of the son, the projection-making factor is iden-
tical with the mother-imago, and this is consequently taken to
be the real mother. The projection can only be dissolved when
the son sees that in the realm of his psyche there is an imago not
only of the mother but of the daughter, the sister, the beloved,

12



the syzygy: anima and animus



the heavenly goddess, and the chthonic Baubo. Every mother
and every beloved is forced to become the carrier and embodi-
ment of this omnipresent and ageless image, which corresponds
to the deepest reality in a man. It belongs to him, this perilous
image of Woman; she stands for the loyalty which in the inter-
ests of life he must sometimes forgo; she is the much needed
compensation for the risks, struggles, sacrifices that all end in
disappointment; she is the solace for all the bitterness of life.
And, at the same time, she is the great illusionist, the seductress,
who draws him into life with her Maya- and not only into life's
reasonable and useful aspects, but into its frightful paradoxes
and ambivalences where good and evil, success and ruin, hope
and despair, counterbalance one another. Because she is his
greatest danger she demands from a man his greatest, and if he
has it in him she will receive it.

2 5 This image is "My Lady Soul," as Spitteler called her. I have
suggested instead the term "anima," as indicating something
specific, for which the expression "soul" is too general and too
vague. The empirical reality summed up under the concept of
the anima forms an extremely dramatic content of the uncon-
scious. It is possible to describe this content in rational, scien-
tific language, but in this way one entirely fails to express its
living character. Therefore, in describing the living processes of
the psyche, I deliberately and consciously give preference to
a dramatic, mythological way of thinking and speaking, because
this is not only more expressive but also more exact than an
abstract scientific terminology, which is wont to toy with the
notion that its theoretic formulations may one fine day be
resolved into algebraic equations.

* 6 The projection-making factor is the anima, or rather the
unconscious as represented by the anima. Whenever she appears,
in dreams, visions, and fantasies, she takes on personified form,
thus demonstrating that the factor she embodies possesses all the
outstanding characteristics of a feminine being. 3 She is not an
invention of the conscious, but a spontaneous product of the

3 Naturally, she is a typical figure in belles-lettres. Recent publications on the
subject of the anima include Linda Fierz-David, The Dream of Poliphilo, and my
"Psychology of the Transference." The anima as a psychological idea first appears
in the i6th-cent. humanist Richardus Vitus. Cf. my Mysterium Coniunctionis,
pars. 9 iff.

13



AION



unconscious. Nor is she a substitute figure for the mother. On
the contrary, there is every likelihood that the numinous quali-
ties which make the mother-imago so dangerously powerful
derive from the collective archetype of the anima, which is in-
carnated anew in every male child.

2 7 Since the anima is an archetype that is found in men, it is
reasonable to suppose that an equivalent archetype must be
present in women; for just as the man is compensated by a
feminine element, so woman is compensated by a masculine
one. I do not, however, wish this argument to give the impres-
sion that these compensatory relationships were arrived at by
deduction. On the contrary, long and varied experience was
needed in order to grasp the nature of anima and animus em-
pirically. Whatever we have to say about these archetypes, there-
fore, is either directly verifiable or at least rendered probable
by the facts. At the same time, I am fully aware that we are dis-
cussing pioneer work which by its very nature can only be
provisional.

28 Just as the mother seems to be the first carrier of the projec-
tion-making factor for the son, so is the father for the daughter.
Practical experience of these relationships is made up of many
individual cases presenting all kinds of variations on the same
basic theme. A concise description of them can, therefore, be
no more than schematic.

29 Woman is compensated by a masculine element and there-
fore her unconscious has, so to speak, a masculine imprint. This
results in a considerable psychological difference between men
and women, and accordingly I have called the projection-mak-
ing factor in women the animus, which means mind or spirit.
The animus corresponds to the paternal Logos just as the
anima corresponds to the maternal Eros. But I do not wish or
intend to give these two intuitive concepts too specific a defini-
tion. I use Eros and Logos merely as conceptual aids to describe
the fact that woman's consciousness is characterized more by
the connective quality of Eros than by the discrimination and
cognition associated with Logos. In men, Eros, the function of
relationship, is usually less developed than Logos. In women, on
the other hand, Eros is an expression of their true nature, while
their Logos is often only a regrettable accident. It gives rise to
misunderstandings and annoying interpretations in the family

14



the syzygy: anima and animus



circle and among friends. This is because it consists of opinions
instead of reflections, and by opinions I mean a priori assump-
tions that lay claim to absolute truth. Such assumptions, as
everyone knows, can be extremely irritating. As the animus is
partial to argument, he can best be seen at work in disputes
where both parties know they are right. Men can argue in a very
womanish way, too, when they are anima-possessed and have
thus been transformed into the animus of their own anima.
With them the question becomes one of personal vanity and
touchiness (as if they were females); with women it is a question
of power, whether of truth or justice or some other "ism" - for
the dressmaker and hairdresser have already taken care of their
vanity. The "Father" (i.e., the sum of conventional opinions)
always plays a great role in female argumentation. No matter
how friendly and obliging a woman's Eros may be, no logic on
earth can shake her if she is ridden by the animus. Often the
man has the feeling- and he is not altogether wrong- that only
seduction or a beating or rape would have the necessary power
of persuasion. He is unaware that this highly dramatic situa-
tion would instantly come to a banal and unexciting end if he
were to quit the field and let a second woman carry on the battle
(his wife, for instance, if she herself is not the fiery war horse).
This sound idea seldom or never occurs to him, because no man
can converse with an animus for five minutes without becom-
ing the victim of his own anima. Anyone who still had enough
sense of humour to listen objectively to the ensuing dialogue
would be staggered by the vast number of commonplaces, mis-
applied truisms, cliches from newspapers and novels, shop-
soiled platitudes of every description interspersed with vulgar
abuse and brain-splitting lack of logic. It is a dialogue which,
irrespective of its participants, is repeated millions and millions
of times in all the languages of the world and always remains
essentially the same.
3 This singular fact is due to the following circumstance:
when animus and anima meet, the animus draws his sword of
power and the anima ejects her poison of illusion and seduc-
tion. The outcome need not always be negative, since the two
are equally likely to fall in love (a special instance of love at first
sight). The language of love is of astonishing uniformity, using
the well-worn formulas with the utmost devotion and fidelity,

15



AION



so that once again the two partners find themselves in a banal
collective situation. Yet they live in the illusion that they are
related to one another in a most individual way.

3 1 In both its positive and its negative aspects the anima/animus
relationship is always full of "animosity," i.e., it is emotional,
and hence collective. Affects lower the level of the relationship
and bring it closer to the common instinctual basis, which no
longer has anything individual about it. Very often the rela-
tionship runs its course heedless of its human performers, who
afterwards do not know what happened to them.

32 Whereas the cloud of "animosity" surrounding the man is
composed chiefly of sentimentality and resentment, in woman it
expresses itself in the form of opinionated views, interpreta-
tions, insinuations, and misconstructions, which all have the
purpose (sometimes attained) of severing the relation between
two human beings. The woman, like the man, becomes wrapped
in a veil of illusions by her demon-familiar, and, as the daughter
who alone understands her father (that is, is eternally right in
everything), she is translated to the land of sheep, where she is
put to graze by the shepherd of her soul, the animus.

33 Like the anima, the animus too has a positive aspect.
Through the figure of the father he expresses not only conven-
tional opinion but- equally- what we call "spirit," philosophical
or religious ideas in particular, or rather the attitude resulting
from them. Thus the animus is a psychopomp, a mediator be-
tween the conscious and the unconscious and a personification
of the latter. Just as the anima becomes, through integration,
the Eros of consciousness, so the animus becomes a Logos; and
in the same way that the anima gives relationship and related-
ness to a man's consciousness, the animus gives to woman's
consciousness a capacity for reflection, deliberation, and self-
knowledge.

34 The effect of anima and animus on the ego is in principle
the same. This effect is extremely difficult to eliminate because,
in the first place, it is uncommonly strong and immediately fills
the ego-personality with an unshakable feeling of Tightness and
righteousness. In the second place, the cause of the effect is pro-
jected and appears to lie in objects and objective situations.
Both these characteristics can, I believe, be traced back to the
peculiarities of the archetype. For the archetype, of course, exists

16



the syzygy: anima and animus



a priori. This may possibly explain the often totally irrational
yet undisputed and indisputable existence of certain moods and
opinions. Perhaps these are so notoriously difficult to influence
because of the powerfully suggestive effect emanating from the
archetype. Consciousness is fascinated by it, held captive, as if
hypnotized. Very often the ego experiences a vague feeling of
moral defeat and then behaves all the more defensively, de-
fiantly, and self-righteously, thus setting up a vicious circle
which only increases its feeling of inferiority. The bottom is
then knocked out of the human relationship, for, like megalo-
mania, a feeling of inferiority makes mutual recognition im-
possible, and without this there is no relationship.
35 As I said, it is easier to gain insight into the shadow than
into the anima or animus. With the shadow, we have the advan-
tage of being prepared in some sort by our education, which
has always endeavoured to convince people that they are not
one-hundred-per-cent pure gold. So everyone immediately un-
derstands what is meant by "shadow," "inferior personality,"
etc. And if he has forgotten, his memory can easily be refreshed
by a Sunday sermon, his wife, or the tax collector. With the
anima and animus, however, things are by no means so simple.
Firstly, there is no moral education in this respect, and secondly,
most people are content to be self-righteous and prefer mutual
vilification (if nothing worse!) to the recognition of their pro-
jections. Indeed, it seems a very natural state of affairs for men
to have irrational moods and women irrational opinions. Pre-
sumably this situation is grounded on instinct and must remain
as it is to ensure that the Empedoclean game of the hate and
love of the elements shall continue for all eternity. Nature is
conservative and does not easily allow her courses to be altered;
she defends in the most stubborn way the inviolability of the
preserves where anima and animus roam. Hence it is much more
difficult to become conscious of one's anima/animus projections
than to acknowledge one's shadow side. One has, of course, to
overcome certain moral obstacles, such as vanity, ambition, con-
ceit, resentment, etc., but in the case of projections all sorts of
purely intellectual difficulties are added, quite apart from the
contents of the projection which one simply doesn't know how
to cope with. And on top of all this there arises a profound
doubt as to whether one is not meddling too much with nature's

17



AION



business by prodding into consciousness things which it would
have been better to leave asleep.

3 6 Although there are, in my experience, a fair number of peo-
ple who can understand without special intellectual or moral
difficulties what is meant by anima and animus, one finds very
many more who have the greatest trouble in visualizing these
empirical concepts as anything concrete. This shows that they
fall a little outside the usual range of experience. They are
unpopular precisely because they seem unfamiliar. The conse-
quence is that they mobilize prejudice and become taboo like
everything else that is unexpected.

37 So if we set it up as a kind of requirement that projections
should be dissolved, because it is wholesomer that way and in
every respect more advantageous, we are entering upon new
ground. Up till now everybody has been convinced that the idea
"my father," "my mother," etc., is nothing but a faithful reflec-
tion of the real parent, corresponding in every detail to the
original, so that when someone says "my father" he means no
more and no less than what his father is in reality. This is actu-
ally what he supposes he does mean, but a supposition of iden-
tity by no means brings that identity about. This is where the
fallacy of the enkekalymmenos ('the veiled one') comes in. 4 If
one includes in the psychological equation X's picture of his
father, which he takes for the real father, the equation will not
work out, because the unknown quantity he has introduced does
not tally with reality. X has overlooked the fact that his idea of
a person consists, in the first place, of the possibly very incom-
plete picture he has received of the real person and, in the sec-
ond place, of the subjective modifications he has imposed upon
this picture. X's idea of his father is a complex quantity for
which the real father is only in part responsible, an indefinitely
larger share falling to the son. So true is this that every time he
criticizes or praises his father he is unconsciously hitting back
at himself, thereby bringing about those psychic consequences
that overtake people who habitually disparage or overpraise
themselves. If, however, X carefully compares his reactions with
reality, he stands a chance of noticing that he has miscalculated

* The fallacy, which stems from Eubulides the Megarian, runs: "Can you recog-
nize your father?" Yes. "Can you recognize this veiled one?" No. "This veiled one
is your father. Hence you can recognize your father and not recognize him."

18



the syzygy: anima and animus



somewhere by not realizing long ago from his father's behaviour
that the picture he has of him is a false one. But as a rule X is
convinced that he is right, and if anybody is wrong it must be
the other fellow. Should X have a poorly developed Eros, he
will be either indifferent to the inadequate relationship he has
with his father or else annoyed by the inconsistency and general
incomprehensibility of a father whose behaviour never really
corresponds to the picture X has of him. Therefore X thinks he
has every right to feel hurt, misunderstood, and even betrayed.

3 8 One can imagine how desirable it would be in such cases to
dissolve the projection. And there are always optimists who be-
lieve that the golden age can be ushered in simply by telling peo-
ple the right way to go. But just let them try to explain to these
people that they are acting like a dog chasing its own tail. To
make a person see the shortcomings of his attitude considerably
more than mere "telling" is needed, for more is involved than
ordinary common sense can allow. What one is up against here
is the kind of fateful misunderstanding which, under ordinary
conditions, remains forever inaccessible to insight. It is rather
like expecting the average respectable citizen to recognize him-
self as a criminal.

39 I mention all this just to illustrate the order of magnitude
to which the anima/animus projections belong, and the moral
and intellectual exertions that are needed to dissolve them. Not
all the contents of the anima and animus are projected, how-
ever. Many of them appear spontaneously in dreams and so on,
and many more can be made conscious through active imagina-
tion. In this way we find that thoughts, feelings, and affects are
alive in us which we would never have believed possible. Nat-
urally, possibilities of this sort seem utterly fantastic to any-
one who has not experienced them himself, for a normal per-
son "knows what he thinks." Such a childish attitude on the
part of the "normal person" is simply the rule, so that no one
without experience in this field can be expected to understand
the real nature of anima and animus. With these reflections one
gets into an entirely new world of psychological experience,
provided of course that one succeeds in realizing it in prac-
tice. Those who do succeed can hardly fail to be impressed by
all that the ego does not know and never has known. This in-
crease in self-knowledge is still very rare nowadays and is usually

19



AION

paid for in advance with a neurosis, if not with something worse.
4 The autonomy of the collective unconscious expresses itself
in the figures of anima and animus. They personify those of its
contents which, when withdrawn from projection, can be in-
tegrated into consciousness. To this extent, both figures repre-
sent functions which filter the contents of the collective uncon-
scious through to the conscious mind. They appear or behave
as such, however, only so long as the tendencies of the conscious
and unconscious do not diverge too greatly. Should any tension
arise, these functions, harmless till then, confront the conscious
mind in personified form and behave rather like systems split
off from the personality, or like part souls. This comparison is
inadequate in so far as nothing previously belonging to the ego-
personality has split off from it; on the contrary, the two figures
represent a disturbing accretion. The reason for their behaving
in this way is that though the contents of anima and animus can
be integrated they themselves cannot, since they are archetypes.
As such they are the foundation stones of the psychic structure,
which in its totality exceeds the limits of consciousness and
therefore can never become the object of direct cognition.
Though the effects of anima and animus can be made conscious,
they themselves are factors transcending consciousness and be-
yond the reach of perception and volition. Hence they remain
autonomous despite the integration of their contents, and for
this reason they should be borne constantly in mind. This is
extremely important from the therapeutic standpoint, because
constant observation pays the unconscious a tribute that more
or less guarantees its co-operation. The unconscious as we know
can never be "done with" once and for all. It is, in fact, one of
the most important tasks of psychic hygiene to pay continual
attention to the symptomatology of unconscious contents and
processes, for the good reason that the conscious mind is always
in danger of becoming one-sided, of keeping to well-worn paths
and getting stuck in blind alleys. The complementary and com-
pensating function of the unconscious ensures that these dan-
gers, which are especially great in neurosis, can in some measure
be avoided. It is only under ideal conditions, when life is still
simple and unconscious enough to follow the serpentine path of
instinct without hesitation or misgiving, that the compensation
works with entire success. The more civilized, the more uncon-

20



the syzygy: anima and animus



scious and complicated a man is, the less he is able to follow his
instincts. His complicated living conditions and the influence
of his environment are so strong that they drown the quiet voice
of nature. Opinions, beliefs, theories, and collective tendencies
appear in its stead and back up all the aberrations of the con-
scious mind. Deliberate attention should then be given to the
unconscious so that the compensation can set to work. Hence it
is especially important to picture the archetypes of the uncon-
scious not as a rushing phantasmagoria of fugitive images but as
constant, autonomous factors, which indeed they are.

Both these archetypes, as practical experience shows, possess
a fatality that can on occasion produce tragic results. They are
quite literally the father and mother of all the disastrous entan-
glements of fate and have long been recognized as such by the
whole world. Together they form a divine pair, 5 one of whom,
in accordance with his Logos nature, is characterized by pneuma
and nous, rather like Hermes with his ever-shifting hues, while
the other, in accordance with her Eros nature, wears the features
of Aphrodite, Helen (Selene), Persephone, and Hecate. Both of
them are unconscious powers, "gods" in fact, as the ancient
world quite rightly conceived them to be. To call them by this
name is to give them that central position in the scale of
psychological values which has always been theirs whether con-
sciously acknowledged or not; for their power grows in propor-
tion to the degree that they remain unconscious. Those who do
not see them are in their hands, just as a typhus epidemic flour-
ishes best when its source is undiscovered. Even in Christianity
the divine syzygy has not become obsolete, but occupies the
highest place as Christ and his bride the Church. 6 Parallels like
these prove extremely helpful in our attempts to find the right

5 Naturally this is not meant as a psychological definition, let alone a metaphysi-
cal one. As I pointed out in "The Relations between the Ego and the Uncon-
scious" (pars. 296!!.), the syzygy consists of three elements: the femininity pertain-
ing to the man and the masculinity pertaining to the woman; the experience
which man has of woman and vice versa; and, finally, the masculine and femi-
nine archetypal image. The first element can be integrated into the personality
by the process of conscious realization, but the last one cannot.

6 "For the Scripture says, God made man male and female; the male is Christ,
the female is the Church." - Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, xiv, 2
(trans, by Lake, I, p. 151). In pictorial representations, Mary often takes the place
of the Church.

21



AION

criterion for gauging the significance of these two archetypes.
What we can discover about them from the conscious side is so
slight as to be almost imperceptible. It is only when we throw
light into the dark depths of the psyche and explore the strange
and tortuous paths of human fate that it gradually becomes clear
to us how immense is the influence wielded by these two factors
that complement our conscious life.
42 Recapitulating, I should like to emphasize that the integra-
tion of the shadow, or the realization of the personal uncon-
scious, marks the first stage in the analytic process, and that with-
out it a recognition of anima and animus is impossible. The
shadow can be realized only through a relation to a partner, and
anima and animus only through a relation to a partner of the
opposite sex, because only in such a relation do their projec-
tions become operative. The recognition of the anima gives rise,
in a man, to a triad, one third of which is transcendent: the
masculine subject, the opposing feminine subject, and the tran-
scendent anima. With a woman the situation is reversed. The
missing fourth element that would make the triad a quaternity
is, in a man, the archetype of the Wise Old Man, which I have
not discussed here, and in a woman the Chthonic Mother.
These four constitute a half immanent and half transcendent
quaternity, an archetype which I have called the marriage
quaternio. 7 The marriage quaternio provides a schema not
only for the self but also for the structure of primitive society
with its cross-cousin marriage, marriage classes, and division of
settlements into quarters. The self, on the other hand, is a God-
image, or at least cannot be distinguished from one. Of this the
early Christian spirit was not ignorant, otherwise Clement of
Alexandria could never have said that he who knows himself
knows God. 8

7 "The Psychology of the Transference," pars. 425ff. Cf. infra, pars. 3583., the
Naassene quaternio.

8 Cf. infra, par. 347.



22



IV

THE SELF 1

43 We shall now turn to the question of whether the increase
in self-knowledge resulting from the withdrawal of impersonal
projections- in other words, the integration of the contents of
the collective unconscious- exerts a specific influence on the ego-
personality. To the extent that the integrated contents are parts
of the self, we can expect this influence to be considerable.
Their assimilation augments not only the area of the field of
consciousness but also the importance of the ego, especially
when, as usually happens, the ego lacks any critical approach to
the unconscious. In that case it is easily overpowered and be-
comes identical with the contents that have been assimilated.
In this way, for instance, a masculine consciousness comes under
the influence of the anima and can even be possessed by her.

44 I have discussed the wider effects of the integration of un-
conscious contents elsewhere 2 and can therefore omit going into
details here. I should only like to mention that the more numer-
ous and the more significant the unconscious contents which are
assimilated to the ego, the closer the approximation of the ego
to the self, even though this approximation must be a never-
ending process. This inevitably produces an inflation of the ego, 3
unless a critical line of demarcation is drawn between it and the
unconscious figures. But this act of discrimination yields prac-
tical results only if it succeeds in fixing reasonable boundaries
to the ego and in granting the figures of the unconscious- the
self, anima, animus, and shadow- relative autonomy and reality

1 The material for this chapter is drawn from a paper, "t)ber das Selbst," pub-
lished in the Eranos-Jahrbuch 1948.

2 "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious."

3 In the sense of the words used in I Cor. 5 : 2: "Infiati estis [ire^vatdjfjievoi] et non
magis luctum habuistis" (And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned)-
with reference to a case of tolerated incest with the mother ("that a man should
have his father's wife").

23



AION

(of a psychic nature). To psychologize this reality out of exist-
ence either is ineffectual, or else merely increases the inflation
of the ego. One cannot dispose of facts by declaring them unreal.
The projection-making factor, for instance, has undeniable
reality. Anyone who insists on denying it becomes identical with
it, which is not only dubious in itself but a positive danger to the
well-being of the individual. Everyone who has dealings with
such cases knows how perilous an inflation can be. No more than
a flight of steps or a smooth floor is needed to precipitate a fatal
fall. Besides the "pride goeth before a fall" motif there are other
factors of a no less disagreeable psychosomatic and psychic
nature which serve to reduce "puffed-up-ness." This condition
should not be interpreted as one of conscious self-aggrandize-
ment. Such is far from being the rule. In general we are not
directly conscious of this condition at all, but can at best infer
its existence indirectly from the symptoms. These include the re-
actions of our immediate environment. Inflation magnifies the
blind spot in the eye, and the more we are assimilated by the
projection-making factor, the greater becomes the tendency to
identify with it. A clear symptom of this is our growing disin-
clination to take note of the reactions of the environment and
pay heed to them.

45 It must be reckoned a psychic catastrophe when the ego is
assimilated by the self. The image of wholeness then remains
in the unconscious, so that on the one hand it shares the archaic
nature of the unconscious and on the other finds itself in the
psychically relative space-time continuum that is characteristic
of the unconscious as such. 4 Both these qualities are numinous
and hence have an unlimited determining effect on ego-con-
sciousness, which is differentiated, i.e., separated, from the un-
conscious and moreover exists in an absolute space and an
absolute time. It is a vital necessity that this should be so. If,
therefore, the ego falls for any length of time under the control
of an unconscious factor, its adaptation is disturbed and the way
opened for all sorts of possible accidents.

46 Hence it is of the greatest importance that the ego should
be anchored in the world of consciousness and that conscious-
ness should be reinforced by a very precise adaptation. For this,
certain virtues like attention, conscientiousness, patience, etc.,
4 Cf. "On the Nature of the Psyche," pars. 414s., 439,ff.

24



THE SELF



are of great value on the moral side, just as accurate observation
of the symptomatology of the unconscious and objective self-
criticism are valuable on the intellectual side.

47 However, accentuation of the ego personality and the world
of consciousness may easily assume such proportions that the
figures of the unconscious are psychologized and the self conse-
quently becomes assimilated to the ego. Although this is the
exact opposite of the process we have just described it is fol-
lowed by the same result: inflation. The world of consciousness
must now be levelled down in favour of the reality of the un-
conscious. In the first case, reality had to be protected against an
archaic, "eternal" and "ubiquitous" dream-state; in the second,
room must be made for the dream at the expense of the world of
consciousness. In the first case, mobilization of all the virtues is
indicated; in the second, the presumption of the ego can only
be damped down by moral defeat. This is necessary, because
otherwise one will never attain that median degree of modesty
which is essential for the maintenance of a balanced state. It is
not a question, as one might think, of relaxing morality itself
but of making a moral effort in a different direction. For in-
stance, a man who is not conscientious enough has to make a
moral effort in order to come up to the mark; while for one who
is sufficiently rooted in the world through his own efforts it is no
small moral achievement to inflict defeat on his virtues by
loosening his ties with the world and reducing his adaptive per-
formance. (One thinks in this connection of Brother Klaus, now
canonized, who for the salvation of his soul left his wife to her
own devices, along with numerous progeny.)

48 Since real moral problems all begin where the penal code
leaves off, their solution can seldom or never depend on prece-
dent, much less on precepts and commandments. The real moral
problems spring from conflicts of duty. Anyone who is suf-
ficiently humble, or easy-going, can always reach a decision with
the help of some outside authority. But one who trusts others as
little as himself can never reach a decision at all, unless it is
brought about in the manner which Common Law calls an "Act
of God." The Oxford Dictionary defines this concept as the
"action of uncontrollable natural forces." In all such cases there
is an unconscious authority which puts an end to doubt by
creating a fait accompli. (In the last analysis this is true also of

25



AION

those who get their decision from a higher authority, only in
more veiled form.) One can describe this authority either as the
"will of God" or as an "action of uncontrollable natural forces,"
though psychologically it makes a good deal of difference how
one thinks of it. The rationalistic interpretation of this inner
authority as "natural forces" or the instincts satisfies the modern
intellect but has the great disadvantage that the apparent vic-
tory of instinct offends our moral self-esteem; hence we like to
persuade ourselves that the matter has been decided solely by
the rational motions of the will. Civilized man has such a fear
of the "crimen laesae maiestatis humanae" that whenever pos-
sible he indulges in a retrospective coloration of the facts in
order to cover up the feeling of having suffered a moral defeat.
He prides himself on what he believes to be his self-control and
the omnipotence of his will, and despises the man who lets him-
self be outwitted by mere nature.
49 If, on the other hand, the inner authority is conceived as
the "will of God" (which implies that "natural forces" are divine
forces), our self-esteem is benefited because the decision then
appears to be an act of obedience and the result a divine inten-
tion. This way of looking at it can, with some show of justice,
be accused not only of being very convenient but of cloaking
moral laxity in the mantle of virtue. The accusation, however,
is justified only when one is in fact knowingly hiding one's own
egoistic opinion behind a hypocritical facade of words. But this
is by no means the rule, for in most cases instinctive tendencies
assert themselves for or against one's subjective interests no
matter whether an outside authority approves or not. The inner
authority does not need to be consulted first, as it is present at
the outset in the intensity of the tendencies struggling for deci-
sion. In this struggle the individual is never a spectator only;
he takes part in it more or less "voluntarily" and tries to throw
the weight of his feeling of moral freedom into the scales of
decision. Nevertheless, it remains a matter of doubt how much
his seemingly free decision has a causal, and possibly uncon-
scious, motivation. This may be quite as much an "act of God"
as any natural cataclysm. The problem seems to me unanswer-
able, because we do not know where the roots of the feeling of
moral freedom lie; and yet they exist no less surely than the
instincts, which are felt as compelling forces.

26



THE SELF



50 All in all, it is not only more beneficial but more "cor-
rect" psychologically to explain as the "will of God" the natural
forces that appear in us as instincts. In this way we find our-
selves living in harmony with the habitus of our ancestral psy-
chic life; that is, we function as man has functioned at all times
and in all places. The existence of this habitus is proof of its via-
bility, for, if it were not viable, all those who obeyed it would
long since have perished of maladaptation. On the other hand,
by conforming to it one has a reasonable life expectancy. When
an habitual way of thinking guarantees as much as this there is
not only no ground for declaring it incorrect but, on the con-
trary, every reason to take it as "true" or "correct" in the psy-
chological sense. Psychological truths are not metaphysical
insights; they are habitual modes of thinking, feeling, and be-
having which experience has proved appropriate and useful.

5 1 So when I say that the impulses which we find in ourselves
should be understood as the "will of God," I wish to emphasize
that they ought not to be regarded as an arbitrary wishing and
willing, but as absolutes which one must learn how to handle
correctly. The will can control them only in part. It may be able
to suppress them, but it cannot alter their nature, and what is
suppressed comes up again in another place in altered form, but
this time loaded with a resentment that makes the otherwise
harmless natural impulse our enemy. I should also like the term
"God" in the phrase "the will of God" to be understood not so
much in the Christian sense as in the sense intended by Diotima,
when she said: "Eros, dear Socrates, is a mighty daemon." The
Greek words daimon and daimonion express a determining
power which comes upon man from outside, like providence or
fate, though the ethical decision is left to man. He must know,
however, what he is deciding about and what he is doing. Then,
if he obeys he is following not just his own opinion, and if he
rejects he is destroying not just his own invention.

52 The purely biological or scientific standpoint falls short in
psychology because it is, in the main, intellectual only. That
this should be so is not a disadvantage, since the methods of
natural science have proved of great heuristic value in psycho-
logical research. But the psychic phenomenon cannot be grasped
in its totality by the intellect, for it consists not only of mean-
ing but also of value, and this depends on the intensity of the

27



AION



accompanying feeling-tones. Hence at least the two "rational"
functions B are needed in order to map out anything like a com-
plete diagram of a given psychic content.
53 If, therefore, in dealing with psychic contents one makes
allowance not only for intellectual judgments but for value
judgments as well, not only is the result a more complete picture
of the content in question, but one also gets a better idea of the
particular position it holds in the hierarchy of psychic contents
in general. The feeling-value is a very important criterion which
psychology cannot do without, because it determines in large
measure the role which the content will play in the psychic
economy. That is to say, the affective value gives the measure of
the intensity of an idea, and the intensity in its turn expresses
that idea's energic tension, its effective potential. The shadow,
for instance, usually has a decidedly negative feeling- value,
while the anima, like the animus, has more of a positive one.
Whereas the shadow is accompanied by more or less definite
and describable feeling-tones, the anima and animus exhibit
feeling qualities that are harder to define. Mostly they are felt
to be fascinating or numinous. Often they are surrounded by an
atmosphere of sensitivity, touchy reserve, secretiveness, painful
intimacy, and even absoluteness. The relative autonomy of the
anima- and animus-figures expresses itself in these qualities. In
order of affective rank they stand to the shadow very much as
the shadow stands in relation to ego-consciousness. The main
affective emphasis seems to lie on the latter; at any rate it is
able, by means of a considerable expenditure of energy, to
repress the shadow, at least temporarily. But if for any reason
the unconscious gains the upper hand, then the valency of the
shadow and of the other figures increases proportionately, so
that the scale of values is reversed. What lay furthest away from
waking consciousness and seemed unconscious assumes, as it
were, a threatening shape, and the affective value increases the
higher up the scale you go: ego-consciousness, shadow, anima,
self. This reversal of the conscious waking state occurs regularly
during the transition from waking to sleeping, and what then
emerge most vividly are the very things that were unconscious
by day. Every abaissement du niveau mental brings about a
relative reversal of values.



5 Cf. Psychological Types, Deis., "Rational" and "Irrational.

28



THE SELF



54 I am speaking here of the subjective feeling- value, which is
subject to the more or less periodic changes described above.
But there are also objective values which are founded on a con-
sensus omnium- moral, aesthetic, and religious values, for
instance, and these are universally recognized ideals or feeling-
toned collective ideas (Levy-Bruhl's "representations collec-
tives"). 6 The subjective feeling-tones or "value quanta" are
easily recognized by the kind and number of constellations, or
symptoms of disturbance, 7 they produce. Collective ideals often
have no subjective feeling-tone, but nevertheless retain their
feeling-value. This value, therefore, cannot be demonstrated
by subjective symptoms, though it may be by the attributes
attaching to these collective ideas and by their characteristic
symbolism, quite apart from their suggestive effect.

55 The problem has a practical aspect, since it may easily hap-
pen that a collective idea, though significant in itself, is- be-
cause of its lack of subjective feeling- tone- represented in a
dream only by a subsidiary attribute, as when a god is repre-
sented by his theriomorphic attribute, etc. Conversely, the idea
may appear in consciousness lacking the affective emphasis that
properly belongs to it, and must then be transposed back into
its archetypal context- a task that is usually discharged by poets
and prophets. Thus Holderlin, in his "Hymn to Liberty," lets
this concept, worn stale by frequent use and misuse, rise up
again in its pristine splendour:

Since her arm out of the dust has raised me,
Beats my heart so boldly and serene;
And my cheek still tingles with her kisses,
Flushed and glowing where her lips have been.
Every word she utters, by her magic
Rises new-created, without flaw;
Hearken to the tidings of my goddess,
Hearken to the Sovereign, and adore! 8

56 It is not difficult to see here that the idea of liberty has been
changed back to its original dramatic state- into the shining



6 Les Fonctions mentales dans les societis inferieures.
1 "On Psychic Energy," pars. 14ft., 2off.
ZSamtliche Werke, I, p. 126.

29



AION



figure of the anima, freed from the weight of the earth and the
tyranny of the senses, the psychopomp who leads the way to the
Elysian fields.

57 The first case we mentioned, where the collective idea is
represented in a dream by a lowly aspect of itself, is certainly the
more frequent: the "goddess" appears as a black cat, and the
Deity as the lapis exilis (stone of no worth). Interpretation then
demands a knowledge of certain things which have less to do
with zoology and mineralogy than with the existence of an his-
torical consensus omnium in regard to the object in question.
These "mythological" aspects are always present, even though
in a given case they may be unconscious. If for instance one
doesn't happen to recall, when considering whether to paint the
garden gate green or white, that green is the colour of life and
hope, the symbolic aspect of "green" is nevertheless present as
an unconscious sous-entendu. So we find something which has
the highest significance for the life of the unconscious standing
lowest on the scale of conscious values, and vice versa. The fig-
ure of the shadow already belongs to the realm of bodiless phan-
toms-not to speak of anima and animus, which do not seem to
appear at all except as projections upon our fellow human be-
ings. As for the self, it is completely outside the personal sphere,
and appears, if at all, only as a religious mythologem, and its
symbols range from the highest to the lowest. Anyone who iden-
tifies with the daylight half of his psychic life will therefore
declare the dreams of the night to be null and void, notwith-
standing that the night is as long as the day and that all con-
sciousness is manifestly founded on unconsciousness, is rooted
in it and every night is extinguished in it. What is more, psycho-
pathology knows with tolerable certainty what the unconscious
can do to the conscious, and for this reason devotes to the un-
conscious an attention that often seems incomprehensible to the
layman. We know, for instance, that what is small by day is big
at night, and the other way round; thus we also know that
besides the small by day there always looms the big by night,
even when it is invisible.

58 This knowledge is an essential prerequisite for any integra-
tion-that is to say a content can only be integrated when its
double aspect has become conscious and when it is grasped not
merely intellectually but understood according to its feeling-

30



THE SELF



value. Intellect and feeling, however, are difficult to put into
one harness- they conflict with one another by definition. Who-
ever identifies with an intellectual standpoint will occasionally
find his feeling confronting him like an enemy in the guise of
the anima; conversely, an intellectual animus will make violent
attacks on the feeling standpoint. Therefore, anyone who wants
to achieve the difficult feat of realizing something not only intel-
lectually, but also according to its feeling-value, must for better
or worse come to grips with the anima /animus problem in order
to open the way for a higher union, a coniunctio oppositorum.
This is an indispensable prerequisite for wholeness.
59 Although "wholeness" seems at first sight to be nothing but
an abstract idea (like anima and animus), it is nevertheless em-
pirical in so far as it is anticipated by the psyche in the form of
spontaneous or autonomous symbols. These are the quaternity
or mandala symbols, which occur not only in the dreams of
modern people who have never heard of them, but are widely
disseminated in the historical records of many peoples and many
epochs. Their significance as symbols of unity and totality is
amply confirmed by history as well as by empirical psychology.
What at first looks like an abstract idea stands in reality for
something that exists and can be experienced, that demonstrates
its a priori presence spontaneously. Wholeness is thus an objec-
tive factor that confronts the subject independently of him, like
anima or animus; and just as the latter have a higher position in
the hierarchy than the shadow, so wholeness lays claim to a posi-
tion and a value superior to those of the syzygy. The syzygy
seems to represent at least a substantial portion of it, if not ac-
tually two halves of the totality formed by the royal brother-
sister pair, and hence the tension of opposites from which the
divine child 9 is born as the symbol of unity.

Unity and totality stand at the highest point on the scale of
objective values because their symbols can no longer be distin-
guished from the imago Dei. Hence all statements about the
God-image apply also to the empirical symbols of totality. Expe-
rience shows that individual mandalas are symbols of order, and
that they occur in patients principally during times of psychic

C. my "Psychology of the Child Archetype"; also Psychology and Alchemy,
index, s.v. "Alius Philosophorum," "child," "hermaphrodite."

31



60



AION

disorientation or re-orientation. As magic circles they bind and
subdue the lawless powers belonging to the world of darkness,
and depict or create an order that transforms the chaos into a
cosmos. 10 The mandala at first comes into the conscious mind as
an unimpressive point or dot, 11 and a great deal of hard and
painstaking work as well as the integration of many projections
are generally required before the full range of the symbol can
be anything like completely understood. If this insight were
purely intellectual it could be achieved without much difficulty,
for the world-wide pronouncements about the God within us
and above us, about Christ and the corpus mysticum, the per-
sonal and suprapersonal atman, etc., are all formulations that
can easily be mastered by the philosophic intellect. This is the
common source of the illusion that one is then in possession of
the thing itself. But actually one has acquired nothing more
than its name, despite the age-old prejudice that the name mag-
ically represents the thing, and that it is sufficient to pronounce
the name in order to posit the thing's existence. In the course
of the millennia the reasoning mind has been given every oppor-
tunity to see through the futility of this conceit, though that has
done nothing to prevent the intellectual mastery of a thing from
being accepted at its face value. It is precisely our experiences
in psychology which demonstrate as plainly as could be wished
that the intellectual "grasp" of a psychological fact produces no
more than a concept of it, and that a concept is no more than a
name, a flatus vocis. These intellectual counters can be bandied
about easily enough. They pass lightly from hand to hand, for
they have no weight or substance. They sound full but are hol-
low; and though purporting to designate a heavy task and obli-
gation, they commit us to nothing. The intellect is undeniably
useful in its own field, but is a great cheat and illusionist outside
of it whenever it tries to manipulate values.
61 It would seem that one can pursue any science with the intel-
lect alone except psychology, whose subject- the psyche- has
more than the two aspects mediated by sense-perception and
thinking. The function of value- feeling- is an integral part of
our conscious orientation and ought not to be missing in a psy-
chological judgment of any scope, otherwise the model we are
trying to build of the real process will be incomplete. Every

10 Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, Part II, ch. 3. 11 [Cf. infra, par. 340.]

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THE SELF



psychic process has a value quality attached to it, namely its
feeling-tone. This indicates the degree to which the subject is
affected by the process or how much it means to him (in so far
as the process reaches consciousness at all). It is through the
"affect" that the subject becomes involved and so comes to feel
the whole weight of reality. The difference amounts roughly to
that between a severe illness which one reads about in a text-
book and the real illness which one has. In psychology one pos-
sesses nothing unless one has experienced it in reality. Hence a
purely intellectual insight is not enough, because one knows
only the words and not the substance of the thing from inside.

62 There are far more people who are afraid of the unconscious
than one would expect. They are even afraid of their own
shadow. And when it comes to the anima and animus, this fear
turns to panic. For the syzygy does indeed represent the psychic
contents that irrupt into consciousness in a psychosis (most
clearly of all in the paranoid forms of schizophrenia). 12 The
overcoming of this fear is often a moral achievement of un-
usual magnitude, and yet it is not the only condition that must
be fulfilled on the way to a real experience of the self.

6 3 The shadow, the syzygy, and the self are psychic factors of
which an adequate picture can be formed only on the basis of
a fairly thorough experience of them. Just as these concepts
arose out of an experience of reality, so they can be elucidated
only by further experience. Philosophical criticism will find
everything to object to in them unless it begins by recognizing
that they are concerned with facts, and that the "concept" is
simply an abbreviated description or definition of these facts.
Such criticism has as little effect on the object as zoological criti-
cism on a duck-billed platypus. It is not the concept that mat-
ters; the concept is only a word, a counter, and it has meaning
and use only because it stands for a certain sum of experience.
Unfortunately I cannot pass on this experience to my public.
I have tried in a number of publications, with the help of case
material, to present the nature of these experiences and also the
method of obtaining them. Wherever my methods were really
applied the facts I give have been confirmed. One could see the

12 A classic case is the one published by Nelken: "Analytische Beobachtungen
uber Phantasien eines Schizophrenen." Another is Schreber's Memoirs of My
Nervous Illness.



33



AION



moons of Jupiter even in Galileo's day if one took the trouble
to use his telescope.

6 4 Outside the narrower field of professional psychology these
figures meet with understanding from all who have any knowl-
edge of comparative mythology. They have no difficulty in rec-
ognizing the shadow as the adverse representative of the dark
chthonic world, a figure whose characteristics are universal. The
syzygy is immediately comprehensible as the psychic prototype
of all divine couples. Finally the self, on account of its empirical
peculiarities, proves to be the eidos behind the supreme ideas
of unity and totality that are inherent in all monotheistic and
monistic systems.

6 5 I regard these parallels as important because it is possible,
through them, to relate so-called metaphysical concepts, which
have lost their root connection with natural experience, to liv-
ing, universal psychic processes, so that they can recover their
true and original meaning. In this way the connection is re-
established between the ego and projected contents now formu-
lated as "metaphysical" ideas. Unfortunately, as already said,
the fact that metaphysical ideas exist and are believed in does
nothing to prove the actual existence of their content or of the
object they refer to, although the coincidence of idea and reality
in the form of a special psychic state, a state of grace, should not
be deemed impossible, even if the subject cannot bring it about
by an act of will. Once metaphysical ideas have lost their capac-
ity to recall and evoke the original experience they have not
only become useless but prove to be actual impediments on the
road to wider development. One clings to possessions that have
once meant wealth; and the more ineffective, incomprehensible,
and lifeless they become the more obstinately people cling to
them. (Naturally it is only sterile ideas that they cling to; living
ideas have content and riches enough, so there is no need to
cling to them.) Thus in the course of time the meaningful turns
into the meaningless. This is unfortunately the fate of meta-
physical ideas.

66 Today it is a real problem what on earth such ideas can
mean. The world- so far as it has not completely turned its back
on tradition- has long ago stopped wanting to hear a "message";
it would rather be told what the message means. The words that
resound from the pulpit are incomprehensible and cry for an

34



THE SELF



explanation. How has the death of Christ brought us redemp-
tion when no one feels redeemed? In what way is Jesus a God-
man and what is such a being? What is the Trinity about, and
the parthenogenesis, the eating of the body and the drinking of
the blood, and all the rest of it? What connection can there be
between the world of such concepts and the everyday world,
whose material reality is the concern of natural science on the
widest possible scale? At least sixteen hours out of twenty-four
we live exclusively in this everyday world, and the remaining
eight we spend preferably in an unconscious condition. Where
and when does anything take place to remind us even remotely
of phenomena like angels, miraculous feedings, beatitudes,
the resurrection of the dead, etc.? It was therefore something of
a discovery to find that during the unconscious state of sleep
intervals occur, called "dreams," which occasionally contain
scenes having a not inconsiderable resemblance to the motifs of
mythology. For myths are miracle tales and treat of all those
things which, very often, are also objects of belief.
6 7 In the everyday world of consciousness such things hardly
exist; that is to say, until 1933 only lunatics would have been
found in possession of living fragments of mythology. After this
date the world of heroes and monsters spread like a devastating
fire over whole nations, proving that the strange world of myth
had suffered no loss of vitality during the centuries of reason
and enlightenment. If metaphysical ideas no longer have such a
fascinating effect as before, this is certainly not due to any lack
of primitivity in the European psyche, but simply and solely to
the fact that the erstwhile symbols no longer express what is
now welling up from the unconscious as the end-result of the
development of Christian consciousness through the centuries.
This end-result is a true antimimon pneuma, a false spirit of
arrogance, hysteria, woolly-mindedness, criminal amorality, and
doctrinaire fanaticism, a purveyor of shoddy spiritual goods,
spurious art, philosophical stutterings, and Utopian humbug,
fit only to be fed wholesale to the mass man of today. That is
what the post-Christian spirit looks like.



35



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF

68 The dechristianization of our world, the Luciferian develop-
ment of science and technology, and the frightful material and
moral destruction left behind by the second World War have
been compared more than once with the eschatological events
foretold in the New Testament. These, as we know, are con-
cerned with the coming of the Antichrist: "This is Antichrist,
who denieth the Father and the Son." x "Every spirit that dis-
solved! Jesus ... is Antichrist ... of whom you have heard
that he cometh." 2 The Apocalypse is full of expectations of ter-
rible things that will take place at the end of time, before the
marriage of the Lamb. This shows plainly that the anima Chris-
tiana has a sure knowledge not only of the existence of an
adversary but also of his future usurpation of power.

6 9 Why- my reader will ask- do I discourse here upon Christ
and his adversary, the Antichrist? Our discourse necessarily
brings us to Christ, because he is the still living myth of our
culture. He is our culture hero, who, regardless of his historical
existence, embodies the myth of the divine Primordial Man, the
mystic Adam. It is he who occupies the centre of the Christian
mandala, who is the Lord of the Tetramorph, i.e., the four sym-
bols of the evangelists, which are like the four columns of his
throne. He is in us and we in him. His kingdom is the pearl of
great price, the treasure buried in the field, the grain of mus-
tard seed which will become a great tree, and the heavenly

1 1 John 2 : 22 (DV).

2 I John 4 : 3 (DV). The traditional view of the Church is based on II Thessalo-
nians 2 : 3ff., which speaks of the apostasy, of the SivOpw-rros rijs avofxias (man of
lawlessness) and the vlbs rijs d7rw\et'as (son of perdition) who herald the coming of
the Lord. This "lawless one" will set himself up in the place of God, but will
finally be slain by the Lord Jesus "with the breath of his mouth." He will work
wonders /car' evepyeiav rod oarava. (according to the working of Satan). Above all,
he will reveal himself by his lying and deceitfulness. Daniel 1 1 : 36ft. is regarded
as a prototype.

36



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



city. 8 As Christ is in us, so also is his heavenly kingdom. 4
7 These few, familiar references should be sufficient to make
the psychological position of the Christ symbol quite clear.
Christ exemplifies the archetype of the self. 5 He represents a
totality of a divine or heavenly kind, a glorified man, a son of
God sine macula peccati, unspotted by sin. As Adam secundus
he corresponds to the first Adam before the Fall, when the latter
was still a pure image of God, of which Tertullian (d. 222) says:
"And this therefore is to be considered as the image of God in
man, that the human spirit has the same motions and senses as
God has, though not in the same way as God has them." 6 Origen
(185-254) is very much more explicit: The imago Dei imprinted
on the soul, not on the body, 7 is an image of an image, "for my
soul is not directly the image of God, but is made after the like-
ness of the former image." 8 Christ, on the other hand, is the

3 For "city" cf. Psychology and Alchemy, pp. 104s.

4 'H paaiXela rov 6eov ivrbs vfiwv toriv (The kingdom of God is within you [or
"among you"]). "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall
they say, Lo here! or, lo there!" for it is within and everywhere. (Luke 17 : 2of.)
"It is not of this [external] world." (John 18 : 36.) The likeness of the kingdom
of God to man is explicitly stated in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13 : 24,
Cf. also Matthew 13 : 45, 18 : 23, 22 : 2). The papyrus fragments from Oxyrhyn-
chus say: . . . if /3ao-[i\eta riav ovpavtav] ivrbs v/xcov []
yvu> ravTtjv evp'ij[cei\ eavrovs yvwaeade kt\. (The kingdom of heaven is within you,
and whosoever knoweth himself shall find it. Know yourselves.) Cf. James, The
Apocryphal New Testament, p. 26, and Grenfell and Hunt, New Sayings of
Jesus, p. 15.

5 Cf. my observations on Christ as archetype in "A Psychological Approach to the
Dogma of the Trinity," pars. 226ff.

6 "Et haec ergo imago censenda est Dei in homine, quod eosdem motus et sensus
habeat humanus animus, quos et Deus, licet non tales quales Deus" (Adv. Mar-
cion., II, xvi; in Migne, P.L., vol. 2, col. 304).

7 Contra Celsum, VIII, 49 (Migne, P.G., vol. 11, col. 1590): "In anima, non in
corpore impressus sit imaginis conditoris character" (The character of the image
of the Creator is imprinted on the soul, not on the body). (Cf. trans, by H. Chad-
wick, p. 488.)

8 In Lucam homilia, VIII (Migne, P.G., vol. 13, col. 1820): "Si considerem Domi-
num Salvatorem imaginem esse invisibilis Dei, et videam animam meam factam
ad imaginem conditoris, ut imago esset imaginis: neque enim anima mea spe-
cialiter imago est Dei, sed ad similitudinem imaginis prioris effecta est" (If I
consider that the Lord and Saviour is the image of the invisible God, I see that
my soul is made after the image of the Creator, so as to be an image of an image;
for my soul is not directly the image of God, but is made after the likeness of the
former image).

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AION

true image of God, 9 after whose likeness our inner man is made,
invisible, incorporeal, incorrupt, and immortal. 10 The God-
image in us reveals itself through "prudentia, iustitia, modera-
tio, virtus, sapientia et disciplina." u
7 1 St. Augustine (354-430) distinguishes between the God-
image which is Christ and the image which is implanted in
man as a means or possibility of becoming like God. 12 The God-
image is not in the corporeal man, but in the anima rationalis,
the possession of which distinguishes man from animals. "The
God-image is within, not in the body. . . . Where the under-
standing is, where the mind is, where the power of investigating
truth is, there God has his image." 13 Therefore we should re-
mind ourselves, says Augustine, that we are fashioned after the
image of God nowhere save in the understanding: ". . . but
where man knows himself to be made after the image of God,

9 De principiis, I, ii, 8 (Migne, P.G., vol. 11, col. 156): "Salvator figura est sub-
stantiae vel subsistentiae Dei" (The Saviour is the figure of the substance or sub-
sistence of God). In Genesim homilia, I, 13 (Migne, P.G., vol. 12, col. 156): "Quae
est ergo alia imago Dei ad cuius imaginis similitudinem factus est homo, nisi
Salvator noster, qui est primogenitus omnis creaturae?" (What else therefore is
the image of God after the likeness of which image man was made, but our
Saviour, who is the first born of every creature?) Selecta in Genesim, IX, 6
(Migne, P.G., vol. 12, col. 107): "Imago autem Dei invisibilis salvator" (But the
image of the invisible God is the saviour).

10 in Gen. horn., I, 13 (Migne, P.G., vol. 12, col. 155): "Is autem qui ad imaginem
Dei factus est et ad similitudinem, interior homo noster est, invisibilis et incor-
poralis, et incorruptus atque immortalis" (But that which is made after the image
and similitude of God is our inner man, invisible, incorporeal, incorrupt, and
immortal).

11 De princip., IV, 37 (Migne, P.G., vol. 11, col. 412).

12 Retractationes, I, xxvi (Migne, P.L., vol. 32, col. 626): "(Unigenitus) . . . tan-
tummodo imago est, non ad imaginem" (The Only-Begotten . . . alone is the
image, not after the image).

13 Enarrationes in Psalmos, XLVIII, Sermo II (Migne, P.L., vol. 36, col. 564):
"Imago Dei intus est, non est in corpore . . . ubi est intellectus, ubi est mens,
ubi ratio investigandae veritatis etc. ibi habet Deus imaginem suam." Also ibid.,
Psalm XLII, 6 (Migne, P.L., vol. 36, col. 480): "Ergo intelligimus habere nos
aliquid ubi imago Dei est, mentem scilicet atque rationem" (Therefore we under-
stand that we have something in which the image of God is, namely mind and
reason). Sermo XC, 10 (Migne, P.L., vol. 38, col. 566): "Veritas quaeritur in Dei
imagine" (Truth is sought in the image of God), but against this the Liber de
vera religione says: "in interiore homine habitat Veritas" (truth dwells in the
inner man). From this it is clear that the imago Dei coincides with the interior
homo.

38



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



there he knows there is something more in him than is given to
the beasts." 14 From this it is clear that the God-image is, so to
speak, identical with the anima rationalis. The latter is the
higher spiritual man, the homo coelestis of St Paul. 15 Like
Adam before the Fall, Christ is an embodiment of the God-
image, 16 whose totality is specially emphasized by St. Augustine.
"The Word," he says, "took on complete manhood, as it were in
its fulness: the soul and body of a man. And if you would have
me put it more exactly- since even a beast of the field has a 'soul'
and a body- when I say a human soul and human flesh, I mean
he took upon him a complete human soul." 17
72 The God-image in man was not destroyed by the Fall but
was only damaged and corrupted ("deformed"), and can be
restored through God's grace. The scope of the integration is
suggested by the descensus ad inferos, the descent of Christ's
soul to hell, its work of redemption embracing even the dead.
The psychological equivalent of this is the integration of the
collective unconscious which forms an essential part of the indi-
viduation process. St. Augustine says: "Therefore our end must
be our perfection, but our perfection is Christ," 18 since he is the
perfect God-image. For this reason he is also called "King." His
bride (sponsa) is the human soul, which "in an inwardly hidden
spiritual mystery is joined to the Word, that two may be in one
flesh," to correspond with the mystic marriage of Christ and the
Church. 19 Concurrently with the continuance of this hieros

14 Enarr. in Ps., LIV, 3 (Migne, P.L., vol. 36, col. 629): "... ubi autem homo
ad imaginem Dei factum se novit, ibi aliquid in se agnoscit amplius esse quam
datum est pecoribus."

15 1 Cor. 15 : 47.

16 In Joannis Evangelium, Tract. LXXVIII, 3 (Migne, P.L., vol. 35, col. 1836):
"Christus est Deus, anima rationalis et caro" (Christ is God, a rational soul and
a body).

17 Sermo CCXXXVII, 4 (Migne, P.L., vol. 38, col. 1124): "(Verbum) suscepit totum
quasi plenum hominem, animam et corpus hominis. Et si aliquid scrupulosius
vis audire; quia animam et carnem habet et pecus, cum dico animam humanam
et carnem humanam, totam animam humanam accepit."

18 Enarr. in Ps., LIV, 1 (Migne, P.L., vol. 36, col. 628).

19 Contra Faustum, XXII, 38 (Migne, P.L., vol. 42, col. 424): "Est enim et sancta
Ecclesia Domino Jesu Christo in occulto uxor. Occulte quippe atque intus in
abscondito secreto spirituali anima humana inhaeret Verbo Dei, ut sint duo in
carne una." Cf. St. Augustine's Reply to Faustus the Manichaean (trans, by
Richard Stothert, p. 433): "The holy Church, too, is in secret the spouse of the

39



AION

gamos in the dogma and rites of the Church, the symbolism
developed in the course of the Middle Ages into the alchemical
conjunction of opposites, or "chymical wedding," thus giving
rise on the one hand to the concept of the lapis philosophorum,
signifying totality, and on the other hand to the concept of
chemical combination.
73 The God-image in man that was damaged by the first sin
can be ''reformed" 20 with the help of God, in accordance with
Romans 12:2: "And be not conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove
what is . . . the will of God" (RSV). The totality images which
the unconscious produces in the course of an individuation
process are similar "reformations" of an a priori archetype (the
mandala). 21 As I have already emphasized, the spontaneous sym-
bols of the self, or of wholeness, cannot in practice be distin-
guished from a God-image. Despite the word ^era^op^ovaBe ('be
transformed') in the Greek text of the above quotation, the
"renewal" (dyaKaiVwo-is, reformatio) of the mind is not meant as
an actual alteration of consciousness, but rather as the restora-
tion of an original condition, an apocatastasis. This is in exact
agreement with the empirical findings of psychology, that there
is an ever-present archetype of wholeness 22 which may easily
disappear from the purview of consciousness or may never be
perceived at all until a consciousness illuminated by conversion
recognizes it in the figure of Christ. As a result of this "anam-
nesis" the original state of oneness with the God-image is re-
stored. It brings about an integration, a bridging of the split in
the personality caused by the instincts striving apart in different
and mutually contradictory directions. The only time the split

Lord Jesus Christ. For it is secretly, and in the hidden depths of the spirit, that
the soul of man is joined to the word of God, so that they are two in one flesh."
St. Augustine is referring here to Eph. 5 : 3 if.: "For this cause shall a man leave
his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be
one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."

20 Augustine, De Trinitate, XIV, 22 (Migne, P.L., vol. 42, col. 1053): "Reforma-
mini in novitate mentis vostrae, ut incipiat ilia imago ab illo reformari, a quo
formata est" (Be reformed in the newness of your mind; the beginning of the
image's reforming must come from him who first formed it) (trans, by John
Burnaby, p. 120).

21 Cf. "Concerning Mandala Symbolism," in Part I of vol. 9.

22 Psychology and Alchemy, pars. 323ft.

40



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



does not occur is when a person is still as legitimately uncon-
scious of his instinctual life as an animal. But it proves harmful
and impossible to endure when an artificial unconsciousness-
a repression- no longer reflects the life of the instincts.

74 There can be no doubt that the original Christian concep-
tion of the imago Dei embodied in Christ meant an all-
embracing totality that even includes the animal side of man.
Nevertheless the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern
psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of
things but specifically excludes it in the form of a Luciferian
opponent. Although the exclusion of the power of evil was
something the Christian consciousness was well aware of, all it
lost in effect was an insubstantial shadow, for, through the doc-
trine of the privatio boni first propounded by Origen, evil was
characterized as a mere diminution of good and thus deprived
of substance. According to the teachings of the Church, evil is
simply "the accidental lack of perfection." This assumption
resulted in the proposition "omne bonum a Deo, omne malum
ab homine." Another logical consequence was the subsequent
elimination of the devil in certain Protestant sects.

75 Thanks to the doctrine of the privatio boni, wholeness
seemed guaranteed in the figure of Christ. One must, however,
take evil rather more substantially when one meets it on the
plane of empirical psychology. There it is simply the opposite
of good. In the ancient world the Gnostics, whose arguments
were very much influenced by psychic experience, tackled the
problem of evil on a broader basis than the Church Fathers. For
instance, one of the things they taught was that Christ "cast off
his shadow from himself." 23 If we give this view the weight it

23 Irenaeus (Adversus haereses, II, 5, 1) records the Gnostic teaching that when
Christ, as the demiurgic Logos, created his mother's being, he "cast her out of
the Pleroma- that is, he cut her off from knowledge." For creation took place
outside the pleroma, in the shadow and the void. According to Valentinus {Adv.
haer., I, 11, 1), Christ did not spring from the Aeons of the pleroma, but from the
mother who was outside it. She bore him, he says, "not without a kind of
shadow." But he, "being masculine, ' cast off the shadow from himself and
returned to the Pleroma (/cat tovtov [Xpierbv] p.kv are &ppeva vwapxovTa diroKo^apra
&
behind in the shadow, and deprived of spiritual substance, ' there gave birth to
the real "Demiurge and Pantokrator of the lower world. ' But the shadow which
lies over the world is, as we know from the Gospels, the princeps huius mundi,
the devil. Cf. The Writings of Irenaeus, I, pp. 45L

41



AION

deserves, we can easily recognize the cut-off counterpart in the
figure of Antichrist. The Antichrist develops in legend as a per-
verse imitator of Christ's life. He is a true avn/u/xov wvevfia, an
imitating spirit of evil who follows in Christ's footsteps like a
shadow following the body. This complementing of the bright
but one-sided figure of the Redeemer- we even find traces of it
in the New Testament- must be of especial significance. And
indeed, considerable attention was paid to it quite early.

7 6 If we see the traditional figure of Christ as a parallel to the
psychic manifestation of the self, then the Antichrist would cor-
respond to the shadow of the self, namely the dark half of the
human totality, which ought not to be judged too optimistically.
So far as we can judge from experience, light and shadow are so
evenly distributed in man's nature that his psychic totality
appears, to say the least of it, in a somewhat murky light. The
psychological concept of the self, in part derived from our
knowledge of the whole man, but for the rest depicting itself
spontaneously in the products of the unconscious as an arche-
typal quaternity bound together by inner antinomies, cannot
omit the shadow that belongs to the light figure, for without it
this figure lacks body and humanity. In the empirical self, light
and shadow form a paradoxical unity. In the Christian concept,
on the other hand, the archetype is hopelessly split into two
irreconcilable halves, leading ultimately to a metaphysical dual-
ism-the final separation of the kingdom of heaven from the
fiery world of the damned.

77 For anyone who has a positive attitude towards Christianity
the problem of the Antichrist is a hard nut to crack. It is noth-
ing less than the counterstroke of the devil, provoked by God's
Incarnation; for the devil attains his true stature as the adver-
sary of Christ, and hence of God, only after the rise of Chris-
tianity, while as late as the Book of Job he was still one of God's
sons and on familiar terms with Yahweh. 24 Psychologically the
case is clear, since the dogmatic figure of Christ is so sublime
and spotless that everything else turns dark beside it. It is, in
fact, so one-sidedly perfect that it demands a psychic comple-
ment to restore the balance. This inevitable opposition led very
early to the doctrine of the two sons of God, of whom the elder

24 Cf. R. Scharf, "Die Gestalt des Satans im Alten Testament."

42



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



was called Satanael. 25 The coming of the Antichrist is not just a
prophetic prediction- it is an inexorable psychological law
whose existence, though unknown to the author of the Johan-
nine Epistles, brought him a sure knowledge of the impending
enantiodromia. Consequently he wrote as if he were conscious
of the inner necessity for this transformation, though we may be
sure that the idea seemed to him like a divine revelation. In
reality every intensified differentiation of the Christ-image
brings about a corresponding accentuation of its unconscious
complement, thereby increasing the tension between above and
below.
78 In making these statements we are keeping entirely within
the sphere of Christian psychology and symbolism. A factor that
no one has reckoned with, however, is the fatality inherent in
the Christian disposition itself, which leads inevitably to a re-
versal of its spirit - not through the obscure workings of chance
but in accordance with psychological law. The ideal of spiritu-
ality striving for the heights was doomed to clash with the ma-
terialistic earth-bound passion to conquer matter and master the
world. This change became visible at the time of the "Renais-
sance." The word means "rebirth," and it referred to the re-
newal of the antique spirit. We know today that this spirit was
chiefly a mask; it was not the spirit of antiquity that was reborn,
but the spirit of medieval Christianity that underwent strange
pagan transformations, exchanging the heavenly goal for an
earthly one, and the vertical of the Gothic style for a horizontal
perspective (voyages of discovery, exploration of the world and
of nature). The subsequent developments that led to the En-
lightenment and the French Revolution have produced a world-
wide situation today which can only be called "antichristian" in
a sense that confirms the early Christian anticipation of the "end
of time." It is as if, with the coming of Christ, opposites that
were latent till then had become manifest, or as if a pendu-
lum had swung violently to one side and were now carrying out
the complementary movement in the opposite direction. No
tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to
hell. The double meaning of this movement lies in the nature of
the pendulum. Christ is without spot, but right at the begin-
ning of his career there occurs the encounter with Satan, the
25 "The Spirit Mercurius," par. 271.

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AION



Adversary, who represents the counterpole of that tremendous
tension in the world psyche which Christ's advent signified. He
is the "mysterium iniquitatis" that accompanies the "sol iusti-
tiae" as inseparably as the shadow belongs to the light, in exactly
the same way, so the Ebionites 26 and Euchites 27 thought, that
one brother cleaves to the- other. Both strive for a kingdom: one
for the kingdom of heaven, the other for the "principatus huius
mundi." We hear of a reign of a "thousand years" and of a "com-
ing of the Antichrist," just as if a partition of worlds and epochs
had taken place between two royal brothers. The meeting with
Satan was therefore more than mere chance; it was a link in the
chain.
79 Just as we have to remember the gods of antiquity in order
to appreciate the psychological value of the anima /animus
archetype, so Christ is our nearest analogy of the self and its
meaning. It is naturally not a question of a collective value
artificially manufactured or arbitrarily awarded, but of one that
is effective and present per se, and that makes its effectiveness
felt whether the subject is conscious of it or not. Yet, although
the attributes of Christ (consubstantiality with the Father, co-
eternity, filiation, parthenogenesis, crucifixion, Lamb sacrificed
between opposites, One divided into Many, etc.) undoubtedly
mark him out as an embodiment of the self, looked at from the
psychological angle he corresponds to only one half of the arche-
type. The other half appears in the Antichrist. The latter is
just as much a manifestation of the self, except that he consists
of its dark aspect. Both are Christian symbols, and they have the
same meaning as the image of the Saviour crucified between two
thieves. This great symbol tells us that the progressive develop-
ment and differentiation of consciousness leads to an ever more
menacing awareness of the conflict and involves nothing less
than a crucifixion of the ego, its agonizing suspension between
irreconcilable opposites. 28 Naturally there can be no question

26 Jewish Christians who formed a Gnostic-syncretistic party.

27 A Gnostic sect mentioned in Epiphanius, Panarium adversus octoginta haereses,
LXXX, 1-3, and in Michael Psellus, De daemonibus (in Marsilius Ficinus, Auc-
tores Platonici [Iamblichus de mysteriis Aegyptiorum], Venice, 1497).

28 "Oportuit autem ut alter illorum extremorum isque optimus appellaretur Dei
films propter suam excellentiam; alter vero ipsi ex diametro oppositus, mali dae-
monis, Satanae diabolique filius diceretur" (But it is fitting that one of these two
extremes, and that the best, should be called the Son of God because of his excel-



44



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



of a total extinction of the ego, for then the focus of conscious-
ness would be destroyed, and the result would be complete un-
consciousness. The relative abolition of the ego affects only
those supreme and ultimate decisions which confront us in
situations where there are insoluble conflicts of duty. This
means, in other words, that in such cases the ego is a suffering
bystander who decides nothing but must submit to a decision and
surrender unconditionally. The "genius" of man, the higher
and more spacious part of him whose extent no one knows, has
the final word. It is therefore well to examine carefully the psy-
chological aspects of the individuation process in the light of
Christian tradition, which can describe it for us with an exact-
ness and impressiveness far surpassing our feeble attempts, even
though the Christian image of the self- Christ- lacks the shadow
that properly belongs to it.
80 The reason for this, as already indicated, is the doctrine of
the Summum Bonum. Irenaeus says very rightly, in refuting the

lence, and the other, diametrically opposed to him, the son of the evil demon, of
Satan and the devil) (Origen, Contra Celsum, VI, 45; in Migne, P.G., vol. 11, col.
1367; cf. trans, by Chadwick, p. 362). The opposites even condition one another:
"Ubi quid malum est . . . ibi necessario bonum esse malo contrarium. . . .
Alterum ex altero sequitur: proinde aut utrumque tollendum est negandumque
bona et mala esse; aut admisso altero maximeque malo, bonum quoque admissum
oportet." (Where there is evil . . . there must needs be good contrary to the
evil. . . . The one follows from the other; hence we must either do away with
both, and deny that good and evil exist, or if we admit the one, and particularly
evil, we must also admit the good.) (Contra Celsum, II, 51; in Migne, P.G., vol. 11,
col. 878; cf. trans, by Chadwick, p. 106.) In contrast to this clear, logical statement
Origen cannot help asserting elsewhere that the "Powers, Thrones, and Prin-
cipalities" down to the evil spirits and impure demons "do not have it- the con-
trary virtue- substantially" ("non substantialiter id habeant scl. virtus adversaria"),
and that they were not created evil but chose the condition of wickedness
("malitiae gradus") of their own free will. (De principiis, I, vin, 4; in Migne, P.G.,
vol. 11, col. 179.) Origen is already committed, at least by implication, to the
definition of God as the Summum Bonum, and hence betrays the inclination to
deprive evil of substance. He comes very close to the Augustinian conception of
the privatio boni when he says: "Certum namque est malum esse bono carere"
(For it is certain that to be evil means to be deprived of good). But this sentence
is immediately preceded by the following: "Recedere autem a bono, non aliud est
quam effici in malo" (To turn aside from good is nothing other than to be per-
fected in evil) (De principiis, II, ix, 2; in Migne, P.G., vol. 11, cols. 226-27). This
shows clearly that an increase in the one means a diminution of the other, so
that good and evil represent equivalent halves of an opposition.

45



AION

Gnostics, that exception must be taken to the "light of their
Father," because it "could not illuminate and fill even those
things which were within it," 29 namely the shadow and the
void. It seemed to him scandalous and reprehensible to suppose
that within the pleroma of light there could be a "dark and
formless void." For the Christian neither God nor Christ could
be a paradox; they had to have a single meaning, and this holds
true to the present day. No one knew, and apparently (with a
few commendable exceptions) no one knows even now, that the
hybris of the speculative intellect had already emboldened the
ancients to propound a philosophical definition of God that
more or less obliged him to be the Summum Bonum. A Protes-
tant theologian has even had the temerity to assert that "God
can only be good." Yahweh could certainly have taught him a
thing or two in this respect, if he himself is unable to see his
intellectual trespass against God's freedom and omnipotence.
This forcible usurpation of the Summum Bonum naturally has
its reasons, the origins of which lie far back in the past (though
I cannot enter into this here). Nevertheless, it is the effective
source of the concept of the privatio boni, which nullifies the
reality of evil and can be found as early as Basil the Great
(330-79) and Dionysius the Areopagite (2nd half of the 4th
century), and is fully developed in Augustine.

81 The earliest authority of all for the later axiom "Omne
bonum a Deo, omne malum ab homine" is Tatian (2nd cen-
tury), who says: "Nothing evil was created by God; we ourselves
have produced all wickedness." 30 This view is also adopted by
Theophilus of Antioch (2nd century) in his treatise Ad Autoly-
cum. sl

82 Basil says:

You must not look upon God as the author of the existence of evil,
nor consider that evil has any subsistence in itself [tStav inrooratnv
rov kclkov dvai\. For evil does not subsist as a living being does, nor
can we set before our eyes any substantial essence [ovaiav ewiroo-Tarov]
thereof. For evil is the privation [cn-ep^cn?] of good. . . . And thus
evil does not inhere in its own substance [v ISia v-n-dpia], but arises

29 Adv. haer., II, 4, 3. 30 Oratio ad Graecos (Migne, P.G., vol. 6, col. 829).

31 Migne, P.G., vol. 6, col. 1080.

46



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



from the mutilation [n-qpwfiamv] of the soul. 32 Neither is it uncreated,
as the wicked say who set up evil for the equal of good . . . nor is
it created. For if all things are of God, how can evil arise from
good? 33

83 Another passage sheds light on the logic of this statement. In
the second homily of the Hexaemeron, Basil says:

It is equally impious to say that evil has its origin from God, be-
cause the contrary cannot proceed from the contrary. Life does not
engender death, darkness is not the origin of light, sickness is not
the maker of health. . . . Now if evil is neither uncreated nor
created by God, whence comes its nature? That evil exists no one
living in the world will deny. What shall we say, then? That evil is
not a living and animated entity, but a condition [Sia&o-is] of the soul
opposed to virtue, proceeding from light-minded [paOvfiots] persons
on account of their falling away from good. . . . Each of us should
acknowledge that he is the first author of the wickedness in him. 34

8 4 The perfectly natural fact that when you say "high" you
immediately postulate "low" is here twisted into a causal rela-
tionship and reduced to absurdity, since it is sufficiently obvious
that darkness produces no light and light produces no darkness.
The idea of good and evil, however, is the premise for any moral
judgment. They are a logically equivalent pair of opposites and,
as such, the sine qua non of all acts of cognition. From the
empirical standpoint we cannot say more than this. And from
this standpoint we would have to assert that good and evil, being
coexistent halves of a moral judgment, do not derive from one
another but are always there together. Evil, like good, belongs
to the category of human values, and we are the authors of moral
value judgments, but only to a limited degree are we authors of
the facts submitted to our moral judgment. These facts are
called by one person good and by another evil. Only in capital
cases is there anything like a consensus generalis. If we hold with
Basil that man is the author of evil, we are saying in the same
breath that he is also the author of good. But man is first and

32 Basil thought that the darkness of the world came from the shadow cast by the
body of heaven. Hexaemeron, II, 5 (Migne, P.G., vol. 29, col. 40).

33 Homilia: Quod Deus non est auctor malorum (Migne, P.G., vol. 31, col. 341).

34 De spiritu sancto (Migne, P.G., vol. 29, col. 37). Cf. Nine Homilies of the
Hexaemeron, trans, by Blomfield Jackson, pp. 6if.

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AION

foremost the author merely of judgments; in relation to the facts
judged, his responsibility is not so easy to determine. In order
to do this, we would have to give a clear definition of the extent
of his free will. The psychiatrist knows what a desperately diffi-
cult task this is.
8 5 For these reasons the psychologist shrinks from metaphysical
assertions but must criticize the admittedly human foundations
of the privatio boni. When therefore Basil asserts on the one
hand that evil has no substance of its own but arises from a
"mutilation of the soul," and if on the other hand he is con-
vinced that evil really exists, then the relative reality of evil is
grounded on a real "mutilation" of the soul which must have an
equally real cause. If the soul was originally created good, then
it has really been corrupted and by something that is real, even
if this is nothing more than carelessness, indifference, and frivol-
ity, which are the meaning of the word paBvjda. When something
-I must stress this with all possible emphasis- is traced back to
a psychic condition or fact, it is very definitely not reduced to
nothing and thereby nullified, but is shifted on to the plane of
psychic reality, which is very much easier to establish empirically
than, say, the reality of the devil in dogma, who according to the
authentic sources was not invented by man at all but existed
long before he did. If the devil fell away from God of his own
free will, this proves firstly that evil was in the world before
man, and therefore that man cannot be the sole author of it,
and secondly that the devil already had a "mutilated" soul for
which we must hold a real cause responsible. The basic flaw in
Basil's argument is the petitio principii that lands him in in-
soluble contradictions: it is laid down from the start that the
independent existence of evil must be denied even in face of the
eternity of the devil as asserted by dogma. The historical reason
for this was the threat presented by Manichaean dualism. This
is especially clear in the treatise of Titus of Bostra (d. c. 370),
entitled Adversus Manichaeos^ where he states in refutation
of the Manichaeans that, so far as substance is concerned, there
is no such thing as evil.

John Chrysostom (c. 344-407) uses, instead of o-rep^ats (priva-
tio), the expression Iktpott^ tov ko.\ov (deviation, or turning away,

35 Migne, P.G., vol. 18, cols. n$2t.

48



86



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



from good). He says: "Evil is nothing other than a turning away
from good, and therefore evil is secondary in relation to good." 36

8 7 Dionysius the Areopagite gives a detailed explanation of evil
in the fourth chapter of De divinis nominibus. Evil, he says, can-
not come from good, because if it came from good it would not
be evil. But since everything that exists comes from good, every-
thing is in some way good, but "evil does not exist at all" (to

8c KCLKOV OVTC OV IcTTlV) .

88 Evil in its nature is neither a thing nor does it bring anything
forth.

Evil does not exist at all and is neither good nor productive of

good \ovk ecrrt Ka66\ov to kclkov ovt ayadbv ovre dya0o7roi6vj .

All things which are, by the very fact that they are, are good and
come from good; but in so far as they are deprived of good, they
are neither good nor do they exist.

That which has no existence is not altogether evil, for the abso-
lutely non-existent will be nothing, unless it be thought of as sub-
sisting in the good superessentially [Kara to wrcpovmov]. Good, then,
as absolutely existing and as absolutely non-existing, will stand in
the foremost and highest place [ttoWw npoTepov wrepi8pvp.vov], while
evil is neither in that which exists nor in that which does not exist
[to 8c kclkov ovtc iv Tois ovctlv, ovtc iv tois p,yj ovctlv]- 37

8 9 These quotations show with what emphasis the reality of
evil was denied by the Church Fathers. As already mentioned,
this hangs together with the Church's attitude to Manichaean
dualism, as can plainly be seen in St. Augustine. In his polemic
against the Manichaeans and Marcionites he makes the follow-
ing declaration:

For this reason all things are good, since some things are better than
others and the goodness of the less good adds to the glory of the
better. . . . Those things we call evil, then, are defects in good
things, and quite incapable of existing in their own right outside
good things. . . . But those very defects testify to the natural good-
ness of things. For what is evil by reason of a defect must obviously
be good of its own nature. For a defect is something contrary to
nature, something which damages the nature of a thing- and it can

36 Responsiones ad orthodoxas (Migne, P.G., vol. 6, cols. 1313-14).

37 Migne, P.G., vol. 3, cols. 716-18. Cf. the Works of Dionysius the Areopagite,
trans, by John Parker, I, pp. 53ft*.

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AION

do so only by diminishing that thing's goodness. Evil therefore is
nothing but the privation of good. And thus it can have no existence
anywhere except in some good thing. ... So there can be things
which are good without any evil in them, such as God himself, and
the higher celestial beings; but there can be no evil things without
good. For if evils cause no damage to anything, they are not evils; if
they do damage something, they diminish its goodness; and if they
damage it still more, it is because it still has some goodness which
they diminish; and if they swallow it up altogether, nothing of its
nature is left to be damaged. And so there will be no evil by which
it can be damaged, since there is then no nature left whose goodness
any damage can diminish. 38

9 The Liber Sententiarum ex Augustino says (CLXXVI):
"Evil is not a substance, 39 for as it has not God for its author, it

38 "Nunc vero ideo sunt omnia bona, quia sunt aliis alia meliora, et bonitas
inferiorum addit laudibus meliorum. . . . Ea vero quae dicuntur mala, aut vitia
sunt rerum bonarum, quae omnino extra res bonas per se ipsa alicubi esse non
possunt. . . . Sed ipsa quoque vitia testimonium perhibent bonitati naturarum.
Quod enim malum est per vitium, profecto bonum est per naturam. Vitium
quippe contra naturam est, quia naturae nocet; nee noceret, nisi bonum eius
minueret. Non est ergo malum nisi privatio boni. Ac per hoc nusquam est nisi
in re aliqua bona. ... Ac per hoc bona sine malis esse possunt, sicut ipse Deus,
et quaeque superiora coelestia; mala vero sine bonis esse non possunt. Si enim
nihil nocent, mala non sunt; si autem nocent, bonum minuunt; et si amplius
nocent, habent adhuc bonum quod minuant; et si totum consumunt, nihil
naturae remanebit qui noceatur; ac per hoc nee malum erit a quo noceatur,
quando natura defuerit, cuius bonum nocendo minuatur." {Contra adversarium
legis et prophetarum, I, 41".; in Migne, P.L., vol. 42, cols. 606-7.) Although the
Dialogus Quaestionum LXV is not an authentic writing of Augustine's, it reflects
his standpoint very clearly. Quaest. XVI: "Cum Deus omnia bona creaverit,
nihilque sit quod non ab illo conditum sit, unde malum? Resp. Malum natura
non est; sed privatio boni hoc nomen accepit. Denique bonum potest esse sine
malo, sed malum non potest esse sine bono, nee potest esse malum ubi non fuerit
bonum. . . . Ideoque quando dicimus bonum, naturam laudamus; quando dici-
mus malum, non naturam sed vitium, quod est bonae naturae contrarium repre-
hendimus." (Question XVI: Since God created all things good and there is
nothing which was not created by him, whence arises evil? Answer: Evil is not a
natural thing, it is rather the name given to the privation of good. Thus there can
be good without evil, but there cannot be evil without good, nor can there be evil
where there is no good. . . . Therefore, when we call a thing good, we praise its
inherent nature; when we call a thing evil, we blame not its nature, but some
defect in it contrary to its nature, which is good.)

39 "Iniquity has no substance" (CCXXVIII). "There is a nature in which there is
no evil- in which, indeed, there can be no evil. But it is impossible for a nature
to exist in which there is no good" (CLX).

50



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



does not exist; and so the defect of corruption is nothing else
than the desire or act of a misdirected will." 40 Augustine agrees
with this when he says: "The steel is not evil; but the man who
uses the steel for a criminal purpose, he is evil." 41

These quotations clearly exemplify the standpoint of Diony-
sius and Augustine: evil has no substance or existence in itself,
since it is merely a diminution of good, which alone has sub-
stance. Evil is a vitium, a bad use of things as a result of errone-
ous decisions of the will (blindness due to evil desire, etc.).
Thomas Aquinas, the great theoretician of the Church, says with
reference to the above quotation from Dionysius:

One opposite is known through the other, as darkness is known
through light. Hence also what evil is must be known from the
nature of good. Now we have said above that good is everything
appetible; and thus, since every nature desires its own being and its
own perfection, it must necessarily be said that the being and per-
fection of every created thing is essentially good. Hence it cannot
be that evil signifies a being, or any form or nature. Therefore it
must be that by the name of evil is signified the absence of good. 42

Evil is not a being, whereas good is a being. 43

That every agent works for an end clearly follows from the fact
that every agent tends to something definite. Now that to which
an agent tends definitely must needs be befitting to that agent, since
the latter would not tend to it save on account of some fittingness
thereto. But that which is befitting to a thing is good for it. There-
fore every agent works for a good. 44

St. Thomas himself recalls the saying of Aristotle that "the
thing is the whiter, the less it is mixed with black," 45 without
mentioning, however, that the reverse proposition: "the thing is
the blacker, the less it is mixed with white," not only has the
same validity as the first but is also its logical equivalent. He

40 Augustini Opera omnia, Maurist edn., X, Part 2, cols. 2561-2618.

41 Sermones supposititii, Sermo I, 3, Maurist edn., V, col. 2287.

42 Summa theologica, I, q. 48, ad 1 (trans, by the Fathers of the English Dominican
Province, II, p. 264). 43 Ibid., I, q. 48, ad 3 (trans., p. 268).

44". . . Quod autem conveniens est alicui est illi bonum. Ergo omne agens agit
propter bonum" (Summa contra Gentiles, III, ch. 3, trans, by the English
Dominican Fathers, vol. Ill, p. 7).

45 Summa theologica, I, q. 48, ad 2 (trans., II, p. 266, citing Aristotle's Topics,
iii, 4).

51



AION



might also have mentioned that not only darkness is known
through light, but that, conversely, light is known through dark-
ness.

93 As only that which works is real, so, according to St. Thomas,
only good is real in the sense of "existing." His argument, how-
ever, introduces a good that is tantamount to "convenient, suf-
ficient, appropriate, suitable." One ought therefore to translate
"omne agens agit propter bonum" as: "Every agent works for
the sake of what suits it." That's what the devil does too, as we
all know. He too has an "appetite" and strives after perfection-
not in good but in evil. Even so, one could hardly conclude from
this that his striving is "essentially good."

94 Obviously evil can be represented as a diminution of good,
but with this kind of logic one could just as well say: The tem-
perature of the Arctic winter, which freezes our noses and ears,
is relatively speaking only a little below the heat prevailing at
the equator. For the Arctic temperature seldom falls much lower
than 230 C. above absolute zero. All things on earth are
"warm" in the sense that nowhere is absolute zero even approxi-
mately reached. Similarly, all things are more or less "good,"
and just as cold is nothing but a diminution of warmth, so evil
is nothing but a diminution of good. The privatio boni argu-
ment remains a euphemistic petitio principii no matter whether
evil is regarded as a lesser good or as an effect of the finiteness
and limitedness of created things. The false conclusion neces-
sarily follows from the premise "Deus = Summum Bonum,"
since it is unthinkable that the perfect good could ever have
created evil. It merely created the good and the less good (which
last is simply called "worse" by laymen). 46 Just as we freeze
miserably despite a temperature of 230 above absolute zero, so
there are people and things that, although created by God, are
good only to the minimal and bad to the maximal degree.

95 It is probably from this tendency to deny any reality to evil
that we get the axiom "Omne bonum a Deo, omne malum ab
homine." This is a contradiction of the truth that he who
created the heat is also responsible for the cold ("the goodness
of the less good"). We can certainly hand it to Augustine that

46 in the Decrees of the 4th Lateran Council we read: "For the devil and the
other demons as created by God were naturally good, but became evil of their
own motion." Denzinger and Bannwart, Enchiridion symbolorum, p. 189.

52



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



all natures are good, yet just not good enough to prevent their
badness from being equally obvious.



96 One could hardly call the things that have happened, and
still happen, in the concentration camps of the dictator states an
"accidental lack of perfection"- it would sound like mockery.

97 Psychology does not know what good and evil are in them-
selves; it knows them only as judgments about relationships.
"Good" is what seems suitable, acceptable, or valuable from a
certain point of view; evil is its opposite. If the things we call
good are "really" good, then there must be evil things that are
"real" too. It is evident that psychology is concerned with a
more or less subjective judgment, i.e., with a psychic antithesis
that cannot be avoided in naming value relationships: "good"
denotes something that is not bad, and "bad" something that is
not good. There are things which from a certain point of view
are extremely evil, that is to say dangerous. There are also things
in human nature which are very dangerous and which therefore
seem proportionately evil to anyone standing in their line of
fire. It is pointless to gloss over these evil things, because that
only lulls one into a sense of false security. Human nature is
capable of an infinite amount of evil, and the evil deeds are as
real as the good ones so far as human experience goes and so far
as the psyche judges and differentiates between them. Only un-
consciousness makes no difference between good and evil. Inside
the psychological realm one honestly does not know which of
them predominates in the world. We hope, merely, that good
does- i.e., what seems suitable to us. No one could possibly say
what the general good might be. No amount of insight into the
relativity and fallibility of our moral judgment can deliver us
from these defects, and those who deem themselves beyond good
and evil are usually the worst tormentors of mankind, because
they are twisted with the pain and fear of their own sickness.

9 8 Today as never before it is important that human beings
should not overlook the danger of the evil lurking within them.
It is unfortunately only too real, which is why psychology must
insist on the reality of evil and must reject any definition that
regards it as insignificant or actually non-existent. Psychology is
an empirical science and deals with realities. As a psychologist,

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AION



therefore, I have neither the inclination nor the competence
to mix myself up with metaphysics. Only, I have to get polemical
when metaphysics encroaches on experience and interprets it
in a way that is not justified empirically. My criticism of the
privatio boni holds only so far as psychological experience goes.
From the scientific point of view the privatio boni, as must be
apparent to everyone, is founded on a petitio principii, where
what invariably comes out at the end is what you put in at the
beginning. Arguments of this kind have no power of convic-
tion. But the fact that such arguments are not only used but are
undoubtedly believed is something that cannot be disposed of
so easily. It proves that there is a tendency, existing right from
the start, to give priority to "good," and to do so with all the
means in our power, whether suitable or unsuitable. So if Chris-
tian metaphysics clings to the privatio boni, it is giving expres-
sion to the tendency always to increase the good and diminish
the bad. The privatio boni may therefore be a metaphysical
truth. I presume to no judgment on this matter. I must only
insist that in our field of experience white and black, light and
dark, good and bad, are equivalent opposites which always predi-
cate one another.
99 This elementary fact was correctly appreciated in the so-
called Clementine Homilies, 47 a collection of Gnostic-Christian
writings dating from about a.d. 150. The unknown author un-
derstands good and evil as the right and left hand of God, and
views the whole of creation in terms of syzygies, or pairs of oppo-
sites. In much the same way the follower of Bardesanes, Marinus,
sees good as "light" and pertaining to the right hand (8eidV), and
evil as "dark" and pertaining to the left hand (aptarepov) , 48 The
left also corresponds to the feminine. Thus in Irenaeus (Adv.
haer., I, 30, 3), Sophia Prounikos is called Sinistra. Clement
finds this altogether compatible with the idea of God's unity.

*7 Harnack (Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, p. 332) ascribes the Clementine
Homilies to the beginning of the 4th cent, and is of the opinion that they contain
"no source that could be attributed with any certainty to the 2nd century." He
thinks that Islam is far superior to this theology. Yahweh and Allah are un-
reflected God-images, whereas in the Clementine Homilies there is a psychological
and reflective spirit at work. It is not immediately evident why this should bring
about a disintegration of the God-concept, as Harnack thinks. Fear of psychology
should not be carried too far.
48 Der Dialog des Adamantius, HI, 4 (ed. by van de Sande Bakhuyzen, p. 1 19).

54



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



Provided that one has an anthropomorphic God-image - and
every God-image is anthropomorphic in a more or less subtle
way - the logic and naturalness of Clement's view can hardly
be contested. At all events this view, which may be some two
hundred years older than the quotations given above, proves
that the reality of evil does not necessarily lead to Manichaean
dualism and so does not endanger the unity of the God-image.
As a matter of fact, it guarantees that unity on a plane beyond
the crucial difference between the Yahwistic and the Christian
points of view. Yahweh is notoriously unjust, and injustice is
not good. The God of Christianity, on the other hand, is only
good. There is no denying that Clement's theology helps us to
get over this contradiction in a way that fits the psychological
facts.

It is therefore worth following up Clement's line of thought
a little more closely. "God," he says, "appointed two king-
doms [BaaiXelas] and two ages [afovas], determining that the pres-
ent world should be given over to evil [wovrjpu], because it is small
and passes quickly away. But he promised to preserve the future
world for good, because it is great and eternal." Clement goes
on to say that this division into two corresponds to the structure
of man: the body comes from the female, who is characterized
by emotionality; the spirit comes from the male, who stands for
rationality. He calls body and spirit the "two triads." 49

Man is a compound of two mixtures [4>vpaixa.Twv, lit. 'pastes'], the
female and the male. Wherefore also two ways have been laid before
him - those of obedience and of disobedience to law; and two king-
doms have been established - the one called the kingdom of heaven,
and the other the kingdom of those who are now rulers upon
earth. ... Of these two, the one does violence to the other. More-
over these two rulers are the swift hands of God.

That is a reference to Deuteronomy 32 : 39: "I will kill and I
will make to live" (DV). He kills with the left hand and saves
with the right.

49 The female or somatic triad consist of kiridvu'ta (desire), dpyri (anger), and
X6x7? (grief); the male, of \oy 107x6s (reflection), yvwais (knowledge), and
(fear). Cf. the triad of functions in "The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairy-
tales," Part I of vol. 9, pars. 425ft.

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AION



These two principles have not their substance outside of God, for
there is no other primal source [dpx 7 ?]- Nor have they been sent forth
from God as animals, for they were of the same mind [6/xdSo|ot] with
him. . . . But from God were sent forth the four first elements-
hot and cold, moist and dry. In consequence of this, he is the
Father of every substance [ovo-i'as], but not of the knowledge which
arises from the mixing of the elements. 50 For when these were com-
bined from without, choice [irpoaipecn
child. 51

That is to say, through the mixing of the four elements in-
equalities arose which caused uncertainty and so necessitated
decisions or acts of choice. The four elements form the fourfold
substance of the body (reTpaytvrjs tov crw/xaros ovcria) and also of
evil (tov irovrjpov). This substance was "carefully discriminated
and sent forth from God, but when it was combined from with-
out, according to the will of him who sent it forth, there arose,
as a result of the combination, the preference which rejoices in

evils [17 kclkoi<; x

101 The last sentence is to be understood as follows: The four-
fold substance is eternal (oiW dei) and God's child. But the
tendency to evil was added from outside to the mixture willed

by God (/caTa rrjv tov deov fiovkrjcnv e|o> Trj Kpdau o~o(x(Si^r)Ktv). Thus

evil is not created by God or by any one else, nor was it pro-
jected out of him, nor did it arise of itself. Peter, who is engaged
in these reflections, is evidently not quite sure how the matter
stands.

102 It seems as if, without God's intending it (and possibly with-
out his knowing it) the mixture of the four elements took a
wrong turning, though this is rather hard to square with Clem-
ent's idea of the opposite hands of God "doing violence to one
another." Obviously Peter, the leader of the dialogue, finds it
rather difficult to attribute the cause of evil to the Creator in
so many words.

">3 The author of the Homilies espouses a Petrine Christianity
distinctly "High Church" or ritualistic in flavour. This, taken

50 p. de Lagarde (Clementina, p. 190) has here . . . wdffTjs ovcrlas . . . otfcrrjs
yvwfirjs- The reading ov ttjs seems to me to make more sense.

51 Ch. Ill: Tys fierh ry\v icpaaiv.

52 The Clementine Homilies and the Apostolical Constitutions, trans, by Thomas
Smith et al., pp. 3i2ff. (slightly modified).

56



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



together with his doctrine of the dual aspect of God, brings him
into close relationship with the early Jewish-Christian Church,
where, according to the testimony of Epiphanius, we find the
Ebionite notion that God had two sons, an elder one, Satan,
and a younger one, Christ. 53 Michaias, one of the speakers in the
dialogue, suggests as much when he remarks that if good and
evil were begotten in the same way they must be brothers. 54

In the (Jewish-Christian?) apocalypse, the "Ascension of
Isaiah," we find, in the middle section, Isaiah's vision of the
seven heavens through which he was rapt. 55 First he saw Sam-
mael and his hosts, against whom a "great battle" was raging in
the firmament. The angel then wafted him beyond this into the
first heaven and led him before a throne. On the right of the
throne stood angels who were more beautiful than the angels on
the left. Those on the right "all sang praises with one voice,"
but the ones on the left sang after them, and their singing was
not like the singing of the first. In the second heaven all the
angels were more beautiful than in the first heaven, and there
was no difference between them, either here or in any of the
higher heavens. Evidently Sammael still has a noticeable influ-
ence on the first heaven, since the angels on the left are not so
beautiful there. Also, the lower heavens are not so splendid as
the upper ones, though each surpasses the other in splendour.
The devil, like the Gnostic archons, dwells in the firmament,
and he and his angels presumably correspond to astrological
gods and influences. The gradation of splendour, going all the
way up to the topmost heaven, shows that his sphere interpene-
trates with the divine sphere of the Trinity, whose light in turn
filters down as far as the lowest heaven. This paints a picture of
complementary opposites balancing one another like right and
left hands. Significantly enough, this vision, like the Clementine
Homilies, belongs to the pre-Manichaean period (second cen-
tury), when there was as yet no need for Christianity to fight
against its Manichaean competitors. It might easily be a descrip-

53 Panarium, ed. by Oehler, I, p. 267.

54 Clement. Horn. XX, ch. VII. Since there is no trace in pseudo-Clement of the
defensive attitude towards Manichaean dualism which is so characteristic of the
later writers, it is possible that the Homilies date back to the beginning of the 3rd
cent., if not earlier.

55 Hennecke, N eutestamentliche Apokryphen, pp. 3ogff.

57



AION



tion of a genuine yang-yin relationship, a picture that comes
closer to the actual truth than the privatio boni. Moreover, it
does not damage monotheism in any way, since it unites the
opposites just as yang and yin are united in Tao (which the
Jesuits quite logically translated as "God"). It is as if Mani-
chaean dualism first made the Fathers conscious of the fact that
until then, without clearly realizing it, they had always believed
firmly in the substantiality of evil. This sudden realization
might well have led them to the dangerously anthropomorphic
assumption that what man cannot unite, God cannot unite
either. The early Christians, thanks to their greater unconscious-
ness, were able to avoid this mistake.

1Q 5 Perhaps we may risk the conjecture that the problem of the
Yahwistic God-image, which had been constellated in men's
minds ever since the Book of Job, continued to be discussed in
Gnostic circles and in syncretistic Judaism generally, all the
more eagerly as the Christian answer to this question- namely
the unanimous decision in favour of God's goodness 56 - did not
satisfy the conservative Jews. In this respect, therefore, it is sig-
nificant that the doctrine of the two antithetical sons of God
originated with the Jewish Christians living in Palestine. Inside
Christianity itself the doctrine spread to the Bogomils and
Cathars; in Judaism it influenced religious speculation and
found lasting expression in the two sides of the cabalistic Tree
of the Sephiroth, which were named hesed (love) and din (jus-
tice). A rabbinical scholar, Zwi Werblowsky, has been kind
enough to put together for me a number of passages from
Hebrew literature which have bearing on this problem.

106 R. Joseph taught: "What is the meaning of the verse, 'And
none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the
morning?' (Exodus 12 : 22.) 57 Once permission has been granted
to the destroyer, he does not distinguish between the righteous
and the wicked. Indeed, he even begins with the righteous." 58
Commenting on Exodus 33 : 5 ("If for a single moment I should
go up among you, I would consume you"), the midrash says:
"Yahweh means he could wax wroth with you for a moment-

66 Cf. Matt. 19: 17 and Mark 10: 18.

57 A reference to the slaying of the first-born in Egypt.

58 Nezikin I, Baba Kamma 60 (in The Babylonian Talmud, trans, and ed. by
Isidore Epstein, p. 348 [hereafter abbr. BT\, slightly modified).

58



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



for that is the length of his wrath, as is said in Isaiah 26 : 20,
'Hide yourselves for a little moment until the wrath is past'-
and destroy you." Yahweh gives warning here of his unbridled
irascibility. If in this moment of divine wrath a curse is uttered,
it will indubitably be effective. That is why Balaam, "who
knows the thoughts of the Most High," 59 when called upon by
Balak to curse Israel, was so dangerous an enemy, because he
knew the moment of Yahweh's wrath. 60

i7 God's love and mercy are named his right hand, but his
justice and his administration of it are named his left hand.
Thus we read in I Kings 22 : 19: "I saw the Lord sitting on his
throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his
right hand and on his left." The midrash comments: "Is there
right and left on high? This means that the intercessors stand
on the right and the accusers on the left." 61 The comment on
Exodus 15:6 ("Thy right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, thy
right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy") runs: "When the chil-
dren of Israel perform God's will, they make the left hand his
right hand. When they do not do his will, they make even the
right hand his left hand." 62 "God's left hand dashes to pieces;
his right hand is glorious to save." 63

108 The dangerous aspect of Yahweh's justice comes out in the
following passage: "Even so said the Holy One, blessed be He:
If I create the world on the basis of mercy alone, its sins will be
great; but on the basis of justice alone the world cannot exist.
Hence I will create it on the basis of justice and mercy, and may
it then stand!" 64 The midrash on Genesis 18 : 23 (Abraham's
plea for Sodom) says (Abraham speaking): "If thou desirest the
world to endure, there can be no absolute justice, while if thou
desirest absolute justice, the world cannot endure. Yet thou
wouldst hold the cord by both ends, desiring both the world and
absolute justice. Unless thou forgoest a little, the world cannot
endure." 65

59 Numbers 24: 16. 60 Zera'im I, Berakoth 7a (BT, p. 31).

61 Midrash Tanchuma Shemoth XVII.

62 Cf. Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos . . . and Rashi's Commentary, trans, by
M. Rosenbaum and A. M. Silbermann, II, p. 76.

63 Midrash on Song of Sol. 2 : 6.

64 Bereshith Rabba XII, 15 (Midrash Rabbah translated into English, ed. by
H. Freedman and M. Simon, I, p. 99; slightly modified).

65 Ibid. XXXIX, 6 (p. 315).

59



AION

10 9 Yahweh prefers the repentant sinners even to the righteous,
and protects them from his justice by covering them with his
hand or by hiding them under his throne. 66

no With reference to Habakkuk 2 : 3 ("For still the vision awaits
its time. ... If it seem slow, wait for it"), R. Jonathan says:
"Should you say, We wait [for his coming] but He does not, it
stands written (Isaiah 30 : 18), 'Therefore will the Lord wait,
that he may be gracious unto you.' . . . But since we wait and
he waits too. what delays his coming? Divine justice delays it." 67
It is in this sense that we have to understand the prayer of
R. Jochanan: "May it be thy will, O Lord our God, to look upon
our shame and behold our evil plight. Clothe thyself in thy
mercies, cover thyself in thy strength, wrap thyself in thy lov-
ing-kindness, and gird thyself with thy graciousness, and may
thy goodness and gentleness come before thee." 68 God is prop-
erly exhorted to remember his good qualities. There is even a
tradition that God prays to himself: "May it be My will that
My mercy may suppress My anger, and that My compassion may
prevail over My other attributes." 69 This tradition is borne out
by the following story:

R. Ishmael the son of Elisha said: I once entered the innermost
sanctuary to offer incense, and there I saw Akathriel 70 Jah Jahweh
Zebaoth 71 seated upon a high and exalted throne. He said to me,
Ishmael, my son, bless me! And I answered him: May it be Thy
will that Thy mercy may suppress Thy anger, and that Thy com-
passion may prevail over Thy other attributes, so that Thou mayest
deal with Thy children according to the attribute of mercy and
stop short of the limit of strict justice! And He nodded to me with
His head.? 2

111 It is not difficult to see from these quotations what was the
effect of Job's contradictory God-image. It became a subject for
religious speculation inside Judaism and, through the medium

66 Mo'ed IV, Pesahim 119 (BT, p. 613); Nezikin VI, Sanhedrin II, 103 (BT,
pp. 6g8ff.). 67 Nezikin VI, Sanhedrin II, 97 (BT, p. 659; modified).

QSZera'im I, Berakoth 16b (BT, p. 98; slightly modified). 69 Ibid. 7a (p. 30).

70 "Akathriel" is a made-up word composed of ktr = kether (throne) and el, the
name of God.

71 A string of numinous God names, usually translated as "the Lord of Hosts."

72 Zera'im I, Berakoth 7 (BT, p. 30; slightly modified).

60



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



of the Cabala, it evidently had an influence on Jakob Bohme. In
his writings we find a similar ambivalence, namely the love and
the "wrath-fire" of God, in which Lucifer burns for ever. 73

Since psychology is not metaphysics, no metaphysical dualism
can be derived from, or imputed to, its statements concerning
the equivalence of opposites. 74 It knows that equivalent oppo-
sites are necessary conditions inherent in the act of cognition,
and that without them no discrimination would be possible.
It is not exactly probable that anything so intrinsically bound
up with the act of cognition should be at the same time a prop-
erty of the object. It is far easier to suppose that it is primarily
our consciousness which names and evaluates the differences be-
tween things, and perhaps even creates distinctions where no
differences are discernible.

I have gone into the doctrine of the privatio boni at such
length because it is in a sense responsible for a too optimistic
conception of the evil in human nature and for a too pessimistic
view of the human soul. To offset this, early Christianity, with
unerring logic, balanced Christ against an Antichrist. For how
can you speak of "high" if there is no "low," or "right" if there
is no "left," of "good" if there is no "bad," and the one is as real
as the other? Only with Christ did a devil enter the world as the
real counterpart of God, and in early Jewish-Christian circles
Satan, as already mentioned, was regarded as Christ's elder
brother.

But there is still another reason why I must lay such critical
stress on the privatio boni. As early as Basil w r e meet with the
tendency to attribute evil to the disposition (SmfleoW) of the soul,
and at the same time to give it a "non-existent" character. Since,
according to this author, evil originates in human frivolity

73 Aurora, trans, by John Sparrow, p. 423.

74 My learned friend Victor White, O.P., in his Dominican Studies (II, p. 399),
thinks he can detect a Manichaean streak in me. I don't go in for metaphysics,
but ecclesiastical philosophy undoubtedly does, and for this reason I must ask
what are we to make of hell, damnation, and the devil, if these things are eternal?
Theoretically they consist of nothing, and how does that square with the dogma
of eternal damnation? But if they consist of something, that something can hardly
be good. So where is the danger of dualism? In addition to this my critic should
know how very much I stress the unity of the self, this central archetype which
is a complexio oppositorum par excellence, and that my leanings are therefore
towards the very reverse of dualism.

6l



AION



and therefore owes its existence to mere negligence, it exists,
so to speak, only as a by-product of psychological oversight, and
this is such a quantite negligeable that evil vanishes altogether
in smoke. Frivolity as a cause of evil is certainly a factor to be
taken seriously, but it is a factor that can be got rid of by a
change of attitude. We can act differently, if we want to. Psy-
chological causation is something so elusive and seemingly un-
real that everything which is reduced to it inevitably takes on
the character of futility or of a purely accidental mistake and is
thereby minimized to the utmost. It is an open question how
much of our modern undervaluation of the psyche stems from
this prejudice. This prejudice is all the more serious in that it
causes the psyche to be suspected of being the birthplace of all
evil. The Church Fathers can hardly have considered what a
fatal power they were ascribing to the soul. One must be posi-
tively blind not to see the colossal role that evil plays in the
world. Indeed, it took the intervention of God himself to deliver
humanity from the curse of evil, for without his intervention
man would have been lost. If this paramount power of evil is
imputed to the soul, the result can only be a negative inflation
-i.e., a daemonic claim to power on the part of the unconscious
which makes it all the more formidable. This unavoidable con-
sequence is anticipated in the figure of the Antichrist and is
reflected in the course of contemporary events, whose nature is
in accord with the Christian aeon of the Fishes, now running
to its end.
li 5 In the world of Christian ideas Christ undoubtedly repre-
sents the self. 75 As the apotheosis of individuality, the self has
the attributes of uniqueness and of occurring once only in time.
But since the psychological self is a transcendent concept, ex-
pressing the totality of conscious and unconscious contents, it

75 It has been objected that Christ cannot have been a valid symbol of the self,
or was only an illusory substitute for it. I can agree with this view only if it refers
strictly to the present time, when psychological criticism has become possible,
but not if it pretends to judge the pre-psychological age. Christ did not merely
symbolize wholeness, but, as a psychic phenomenon, he was wholeness. This is
proved by the symbolism as well as by the phenomenology of the past, for which-
be it noted- evil was a privatio boni. The idea of totality is, at any given time,
as total as one is oneself. Who can guarantee that our conception of totality is
not equally in need of completion? The mere concept of totality does not by any
means posit it.

62



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



can only be described in antinomial terms; 76 that is, the above
attributes must be supplemented by their opposites if the tran-
scendental situation is to be characterized correctly. We can do
this most simply in the form of a quaternion of opposites:

UNITEMPORAL



UNIQUE



UNIVERSAL



ETERNAL



This formula expresses not only the psychological self but
also the dogmatic figure of Christ. As an historical personage
Christ is unitemporal and unique; as God, universal and eternal.
Likewise the self: as the essence of individuality it is unitempo-
ral and unique; as an archetypal symbol it is a God-image and
therefore universal and eternal. 77 Now if theology describes
Christ as simply "good" and "spiritual," something "evil" and
"material" - or "chthonic" - is bound to arise on the other
side, to represent the Antichrist. The resultant quaternion of
opposites is united on the psychological plane by the fact that
the self is not deemed exclusively "good" and "spiritual"; conse-
quently its shadow turns out to be much less black. A further
result is that the opposites of "good" and "spiritual" need no
longer be separated from the whole:



GOOD



SPIRITUAL



MATERIAL OR CHTHONIC



76 Just as the transcendent nature of light can only be expressed through the
image of waves and particles.

77 Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, pars. 323ft., and "The Relations between the Ego
and the Unconscious," pars. 398ft.

63



AION

1 7 This quaternio characterizes the psychological self. Being a
totality, it must by definition include the light and dark aspects,
in the same way that the self embraces both masculine and
feminine and is therefore symbolized by the marriage qua-
ternio. 18 This last is by no means a new discovery, since accord-
ing to Hippolytus it was known to the Naassenes. 79 Hence
individuation is a "mysterium coniunctionis," the self being ex-
perienced as a nuptial union of opposite halves 80 and depicted
as a composite whole in mandalas that are drawn spontaneously
by patients.

118 It was known, and stated, very early that the man Jesus, the
son of Mary, was the principium individuationis. Thus Basili-
des 81 is reported by Hippolytus as saying: ''Now Jesus became the
first sacrifice in the discrimination of the natures [v\oicpivri
and the Passion came to pass for no other reason than the dis-
crimination of composite things. For in this manner, he says, the
sonship that had been left behind in a formless state [anopsia] . . ,
needed separating into its components [
same way that Jesus was separated." 82 According to the rather
complicated teachings of Basilides, the "non-existent" God be-
got a threefold sonship (vlorijs). The first "son," whose nature
was the finest and most subtle, remained up above with the
Father. The second son, having a grosser (iraxv^pio-Tepa) nature,
descended a bit lower, but received "some such wins: as that
with which Plato . . . equips the soul in his Phaedrus." 83 The
third son, as his nature needed purifying (air oKaOdpms), fell deep-
est into "formlessness." This third "sonship" is obviously the
grossest and heaviest because of its impurity. In these three
emanations or manifestations of the non-existent God it is not
hard to see the trichotomy of spirit, soul, and body (irvev/m#cov,
\pvxiKov, uapKLKov). Spirit is the finest and highest; soul, as the
ligamentum spiritus et corporis, is grosser than spirit, but has
"the wings of an eagle," 84 so that it may lift its heaviness up to

78 Cf. "The Psychology of the Transference," pars. 425s.

79 Elenchos, V, 8, 2 (trans, by F. Legge, I, p. 131). Cf. infra, pars. 358ft.

80 Psychology and Alchemy, par. 334, and "The Psychology of the Transference,"
pars. 457ft. 81 Basilides lived in the 2nd cent.

82 Elenchos, VII, 27, 12 (cf. Legge trans., II, p. 79).

83 Ibid., VII, 22, 10 (cf. II, pp. 69-70).

84 Ibid., VII, 22, 15 (II, p. 70). The eagle has the same significance in alchemy.

64



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



the higher regions. Both are of a "subtle" nature and dwell, like
the ether and the eagle, in or near the region of light, whereas the
body, being heavy, dark, and impure, is deprived of the light
but nevertheless contains the divine seed of the third sonship,
though still unconscious and formless. This seed is as it were
awakened by Jesus, purified and made capable of ascension
(avaS pofxrj), 85 by virtue of the fact that the opposites were sepa-
rated in Jesus through the Passion (i.e., through his division
into four). 86 Jesus is thus the prototype for the awakening of the
third sonship slumbering in the darkness of humanity. He is the
"spiritual inner man." 87 He is also a complete trichotomy in
himself, for Jesus the son of Mary represents the incarnate man,
but his immediate predecessor is the second Christ, the son of
the highest archon of the hebdomad, and his first prefiguration
is Christ the son of the highest archon of the ogdoad, the
demiurge Yahweh. 88 This trichotomy of Anthropos figures cor-
responds exactly to the three sonships of the non-existing God
and to the division of human nature into three parts. We have
therefore three trichotomies:

85 This word also occurs in the well-known passage about the krater in Zosimos.
(Berthelot, Alch. grecs, III, li, 8: dva8pap. eirl rb yivos rb adv.
86 1 must say a word here about the horos doctrine of the Valentinians in
Irenaeus (Adv. haer, I, 2, 2ff.) Horos (boundary) is a "power" or numen iden-
tical with Christ, or at least proceeding from him. It has the following synonyms:
bpodeT7)s (boundary-fixer), fieraywyevs (he who leads across), Kap-Kiarr\% (eman-
cipator), \vrpwTT]$ (redeemer), cravpos (cross). In this capacity he is the regulator
and mainstay of the universe, like Jesus. When Sophia was "formless and shape-
less as an embryo, Christ took pity on her, stretched her out through his Cross
and gave her form through his power," so that at least she acquired substance
(Adv. haer., I, 4). He also left behind for her an "intimation of immortality."
The identity of the Cross with Horos, or with Christ, is clear from the text, an
image that we find also in Paulinus of Nola:

". . . regnare deum super omnia Christum,
qui cruce dispensa per quattuor extima ligni
quattuor adtingit dimensum partibus orbem,
ut trahat ad uitam populos ex omnibus oris."

(Christ reigns over all things as God, who, on the outstretched cross, reaches out
through the four extremities of the wood to the four parts of the wide world,
that he may draw unto life the peoples from all lands.) (Carmina, ed. by Wilhelm
Hartel, Carm. XIX, 639*?., p. 140.) For the Cross as God's "lightning" cf. "A
Study in the Process of Individuation," pars. 535L

87 Elenchos, VII, 27, 5 (Legge trans., II, p. 78).

88 Ibid., VII, 26, 5 (II, p. 75).

65



AION
I II III

First sonship Christ of the Ogdoad Spirit

Second sonship Christ of the Hebdomad Soul

Third sonship Jesus the Son of Mary Body

11 9 It is in the sphere of the dark, heavy body that we must look
for the a/xo P La, the "formlessness" wherein the third sonship lies
hidden. As suggested above, this formlessness seems to be prac-
tically the equivalent of "unconsciousness." G. Quispel has
drawn attention to the concepts of ayvuala in Epiphanius 89 and
kvbr\rov in Hippolytus, 90 which are best translated by "uncon-
scious." 'AfjLop4>ia, ayvuvia, and b.v6r)rov all refer to the initial state
of things, to the potentiality of unconscious contents, aptly
formulated by Basilides as ovk bv cnrkpua tov kogixov iro\vtJiop
kclI iroXvovaiov (the non-existent, many-formed, and all-empower-
ing seed of the world). 91

120 This picture of the third sonship has certain analogies with
the medieval filius philosophorum and the filius macrocosmi,
who also symbolize the world-soul slumbering in matter. 92 Even
with Basilides the body acquires a special and unexpected sig-
nificance, since in it and its materiality is lodged a third of the
revealed Godhead. This means nothing less than that matter is
predicated as having considerable numinosity in itself, and I
see this as an anticipation of the "mystic" significance which
matter subsequently assumed in alchemy and- later on- in
natural science. From a psychological point of view it is par-

89 Panarium, XXXI, 5 (Oehler edn., I, p. 314).

90 Elenchos, VII, 22, 16 (Legge trans., II, p. 71). Cf. infra, pars. 298ft.

91 Ibid., 20, 5 (cf. II, p. 66). Quispel, "Note sur 'Basilide'."

92 With reference to the psychological nature of Gnostic sayings, see Quispel's
"Philo und die altchristliche Haresie," p. 432, where he quotes Irenaeus (Adv.
haer., II, 4, 2): "Id quod extra et quod intus dicere eos secundum agnitionem et
ignorantiam, sed non secundum localem sententiam" (In speaking of what is
outward and what is inward, they refer, not to place, but to what is known and
what is not known). (Cf. Legge, I, p. 127.) The sentence that follows immediately
after this- "But in the Pleroma, or in that which is contained by the Father,
everything that the demiurge or the angels have created is contained by the
unspeakable greatness, as the centre in a circle"- is therefore to be taken as a
description of unconscious contents. Quispel's view of projection calls for the
critical remark that projection does not do away with the reality of a psychic
content. Nor can a fact be called "unreal" merely because it cannot be described
as other than "psychic." Psyche is reality par excellence.

66



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



ticularly important that Jesus corresponds to the third sonship
and is the prototype of the "awakener" because the opposites
were separated in him through the Passion and so became con-
scious, whereas in the third sonship itself they remain uncon-
scious so long as the latter is formless and undifferentiated. This
amounts to saying that in unconscious humanity there is a latent
seed that corresponds to the prototype Jesus. Just as the man
Jesus became conscious only through the light that emanated
from the higher Christ and separated the natures in him, so the
seed in unconscious humanity is awakened by the light emanat-
ing from Jesus, and is thereby impelled to a similar discrimina-
tion of opposites. This view is entirely in accord with the psy-
chological fact that the archetypal image of the self has been
shown to occur in dreams even when no such conceptions exist
in the conscious mind of the dreamer. 93



I would not like to end this chapter without a few final re-
marks that are forced on me by the importance of the material
we have been discussing. The standpoint of a psychology whose
subject is the phenomenology of the psyche is evidently some-
thing that is not easy to grasp and is very often misunderstood.
If, therefore, at the risk of repeating myself, I come back to
fundamentals, I do so only in order to forestall certain wrong
impressions which might be occasioned by what I have said,
and to spare my reader unnecessary difficulties.

The parallel I have drawn here between Christ and the self
is not to be taken as anything more than a psychological one,
just as the parallel with the fish is mythological. There is no
question of any intrusion into the sphere of metaphysics, i.e., of
faith. The images of God and Christ which man's religious
fantasy projects cannot avoid being anthropomorphic and are
admitted to be so; hence they are capable of psychological elu-
cidation like any other symbols. Just as the ancients believed
that they had said something important about Christ with their
fish symbol, so it seemed to the alchemists that their parallel
with the stone served to illuminate and deepen the meaning of
the Christ-image. In the course of time, the fish symbolism

93 Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, pars. 52ft., 122ft., and "A Study in the Process of
Individuation," pars. 542, 550, 58 if.

67



AION

disappeared completely, and so likewise did the lapis philoso-
phorum. Concerning this latter symbol, however, there are
plenty of statements to be found which show it in a special light
-views and ideas which attach such importance to the stone
that one begins to wonder whether, in the end, it was Christ who
was taken as a symbol of the stone rather than the other way
round. This marks a development which - with the help of cer-
tain ideas in the epistles of John and Paul - includes Christ in
the realm of immediate inner experience and makes him appear
as the figure of the total man. It also links up directly with the
psychological evidence for the existence of an archetypal con-
tent possessing all those qualities which are characteristic of the
Christ-image in its archaic and medieval forms. Modern psy-
chology is therefore confronted with a question very like the
one that faced the alchemists: Is the self a symbol of Christ, or
is Christ a symbol of the self?
2 3 In the present study I have affirmed the latter alternative.
I have tried to show how the traditional Christ-image concen-
trates upon itself the characteristics of an archetype- the arche-
type of the self. My aim and method do not purport to be any-
thing more in principle than, shall we say, the efforts of an art
historian to trace the various influences which have contributed
towards the formation of a particular Christ-image. Thus we
find the concept of the archetype in the history of art as well as
in philology and textual criticism. The psychological archetype
differs from its parallels in other fields only in one respect: it
refers to a living and ubiquitous psychic fact, and this naturally
shows the whole situation in a rather different light. One is then
tempted to attach greater importance to the immediate and liv-
ing presence of the archetype than to the idea of the historical
Christ. As I have said, there is among certain of the alchemists,
too, a tendency to give the lapis priority over Christ. Since I
am far from cherishing any missionary intentions, I must ex-
pressly emphasize that I am not concerned here with confessions
of faith but with proven scientific facts. If one inclines to regard
the archetype of the self as the real agent and hence takes Christ
as a symbol of the self, one must bear in mind that there is a
considerable difference between perfection and completeness.
The Christ-image is as good as perfect (at least it is meant to be
so), while the archetype (so far as known) denotes completeness

68



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



but is far from being perfect. It is a paradox, a statement about
something indescribable and transcendental. Accordingly the
realization of the self, which would logically follow from a rec-
ognition of its supremacy, leads to a fundamental conflict, to a
real suspension between opposites (reminiscent of the crucified
Christ hanging between two thieves), and to an approximate
state of wholeness that lacks perfection. To strive after teleiosis
in the sense of perfection is not only legitimate but is inborn
in man as a peculiarity which provides civilization with one of
its strongest roots. This striving is so powerful, even, that it can
turn into a passion that draws everything into its service. Nat-
ural as it is to seek perfection in one way or another, the arche-
type fulfils itself in completeness, and this is a TeAetWi? of quite
another kind. Where the archetype predominates, completeness
is forced upon us against all our conscious strivings, in accord-
ance with the archaic nature of the archetype. The individual
may strive after perfection ("Be you therefore perfect- ri Add-
as also your heavenly Father is perfect." 94 ) but must suffer from
the opposite of his intentions for the sake of his completeness.
"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present
with me." 95
24 The Christ-image fully corresponds to this situation: Christ
is the perfect man who is crucified. One could hardly think of a
truer picture of the goal of ethical endeavour. At any rate the
transcendental idea of the self that serves psychology as a work-
ing hypothesis can never match that image because, although it
is a symbol, it lacks the character of a revelatory historical event.
Like the related ideas of atman and tao in the East, the idea of
the self is at least in part a product of cognition, grounded
neither on faith nor on metaphysical speculation but on the
experience that under certain conditions the unconscious spon-
taneously brings forth an archetypal symbol of wholeness. From
this we must conclude that some such archetype occurs uni-
versally and is endowed with a certain numinosity. And there is
in fact any amount of historical evidence as well as modern case
material to prove this. 90 These naive and completely uninflu-
enced pictorial representations of the symbol show that it is
given central and supreme importance precisely because it

94 Matt. 5 : 48 (DV). 95 Rom. 7:21 (AV).

96 Cf. the last two papers in Part I of vol. 9.

69



AION



stands for the conjunction of opposites. Naturally the conjunc-
tion can only be understood as a paradox, since a union of oppo-
sites can be thought of only as their annihilation. Paradox is a
characteristic of all transcendental situations because it alone
gives adequate expression to their indescribable nature.

25 Whenever the archetype of the self predominates, the in-
evitable psychological consequence is a state of conflict vividly
exemplified by the Christian symbol of crucifixion- that acute
state of unredeemedness which comes to an end only with the
words "consummatum est." Recognition of the archetype, there-
fore, does not in any way circumvent the Christian mystery;
rather, it forcibly creates the psychological preconditions with-
out which "redemption" would appear meaningless. "Redemp-
tion" does not mean that a burden is taken from one's shoulders
which one was never meant to bear. Only the "complete" per-
son knows how unbearable man is to himself. So far as I can
see, no relevant objection could be raised from the Christian
point of view against anyone accepting the task of individuation
imposed on us by nature, and the recognition of our whole-
ness or completeness, as a binding personal commitment. If he
does this consciously and intentionally, he avoids all the un-
happy consequences of repressed individuation. In other words,
if he voluntarily takes the burden of completeness on himself,
he need not find it "happening" to him against his will in a
negative form. This is as much as to say that anyone who is
destined to descend into a deep pit had better set about it with
all the necessary precautions rather than risk falling into the
hole backwards.

126 The irreconcilable nature of the opposites in Christian psy-
chology is due to their moral accentuation. This accentuation
seems natural to us, although, looked at historically, it is a legacy
from the Old Testament with its emphasis on righteousness in
the eyes of the law. Such an influence is notably lacking in the
East, in the philosophical religions of India and China. Without
stopping to discuss the question of whether this exacerbation of
the opposites, much as it increases suffering, may not after all
correspond to a higher degree of truth, I should like merely to
express the hope that the present world situation may be looked
upon in the light of the psychological rule alluded to above. To-
day humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irrec-

70



CHRIST, A SYMBOL OF THE SELF



oncilable halves. The psychological rule says that when an in-
ner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.
That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and
does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must
perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.



7



VI

THE SIGN OF THE FISHES

l2 7 The figure of Christ is not as simple and unequivocal as one
could wish. I am not referring here to the enormous difficulties
arising out of a comparison of the Synoptic Christ with the
Johannine Christ, but to the remarkable fact that in the herme-
neutic writings of the Church Fathers, which go right back to
the days of primitive Christianity, Christ has a number of sym-
bols or "allegories" in common with the devil. Of these I would
mention the lion, snake (coluber, 'viper'), bird (devil = noc-
turna avis), raven (Christ = nycticorax, 'night-heron'), eagle,
and fish. It is also worth noting that Lucifer, the Morning Star,
means Christ as well as the devil. 1 Apart from the snake, the fish
is one of the oldest allegories. Nowadays we would prefer to call
them symbols, because these synonyms always contain more than
mere allegories, as is particularly obvious in the case of the fish
symbol. It is unlikely that 'IxOv? is simply an anagrammatic
abbreviation of 'if^o-oik] Xfpioro?] [eov] Y[ids] 25[jp], 2 but rather

1 Early collections of such allegories in the Ancoratus of Epiphanius, and in
Augustine, Contra Faustum. For nycticorax and aquila see Eucherius, Liber for-
mularum spiritalis intelligentiae, cap. 5 (Migne, P.L., vol. 50, col. 740).

2 Augustine (City of God, trans, by J. Healey, II, p. 196) relates how the former
proconsul Flaccianus, with whom he had a conversation about Jesus, produced a
book containing the songs of the Erythraean Sibyl, and showed him the passage
where the above words, forming the acrostic 'ixOvs, are themselves the acrostic
for a whole poem, an apocalyptic prophecy of the Sibyls:

"Iudicii signum tell us sudore madescet,
E coelo Rex adveniet per saecla futurus:
Scilicet in carne praesens ut iudicet orbem.
Unde Deum cement incredulus atque fidelis
Celsum cum Sanctis, aevi iam termino in ipso.
Sic animae cum carne aderunt quasjudicat ipse . . ."
(In sign of doomsday the whole earth shall sweat.
Ever to reign a king in heavenly seat
Shall come to judge all flesh. The faithful and
Unfaithful too before this God shall stand,
Seeing him high with saints in time's last end.
78



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



the symbolical designation for something far more complex. (As
I have frequently pointed out in my other writings, I do not
regard the symbol as an allegory or a sign, but take it in its
proper sense as the best possible way of describing and formu-
lating an object that is not completely knowable. It is in this
sense that the creed is called a "symbolum.") The order of the
words gives one more the impression that they were put together
for the purpose of explaining an already extant and widely dis-
seminated "Ichthys." 3 For the fish symbol, in the Near and
Middle East especially, has a long and colourful prehistory, from
the Babylonian fish-god Oannes and his priests who clothed
themselves in fish-skins, to the sacred fish-meals in the cult of the
Phoenician goddess Derceto-Atargatis and the obscurities of the
Abercius inscription. 4 The symbol ranges from the redeemer-
fish of Manu in farthest India to the Eucharistic fish-feast cele-
brated by the "Thracian riders" in the Roman Empire. 5 For our
purpose it is hardly necessary to go into this voluminous ma-
terial more closely. As Doelger and others have shown, there
are plenty of occasions for fish symbolism within the original,
purely Christian world of ideas. I need only mention the regen-
eration in the font, in which the baptized swim like fishes. 6
2 g In view of this wide distribution of the fish symbol, its
appearance at a particular place or at a particular moment in
the history of the world is no cause for wonder. But the sudden
activation of the symbol, and its identification with Christ even
in the early days of the Church, lead one to conjecture a second

Corporeal shall he sit, and thence extend
His doom on souls . . .) (Ibid., p. 437.)

The Greek original is in Oracula Sibyllina, ed. John Geffcken, p. 142. [For Augus-
tine's explanation of the discrepancy in the acrostic, see Healey trans., II, p. 196.-
Editors.]

3 Cf. Jeremias, The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, I, p. 76, n. 2.

4 From this inscription I will cite only the middle portion, which says: "Every-
where I had a travelling companion, since I had Paul sitting in the chariot. But
everywhere Faith drew me onward, and everywhere he set before me for food a
fish from the source, exceeding great and pure, which a holy virgin had caught.
And he offered this fish to the friends to eat, having good wine, a mixed drink
with bread." See Ramsay, "The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia," p. 424.

5 Cf. the material in Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period,
V, pp. i 3 ff.

6 Doelger, TXGTS: Das Fischsymbol in friihchristlicher Zeit.

73



AION



source. This source is astrology, and it seems that Friedrich
Muenter 7 was the first to draw attention to it. Jeremias 8 adopts
the same view and mentions that a Jewish commentary on
Daniel, written in the fourteenth century, expected the coming
of the Messiah in the sign of the Fishes. This commentary is
mentioned by Muenter in a later publication 9 as stemming from
Don Isaac Abarbanel, who was born in Lisbon in 1437 and died
in Venice in 1508. 10 It is explained here that the House of the
Fishes (X) is the house of justice and of brilliant splendour
(U in ^). Further, that in anno mundi 2365, 11 a great conjunc-
tion of Saturn (f?) and Jupiter (U ) took place in Pisces. 12 These
two great planets, he says, are also the most important for the
destiny of the world, and especially for the destiny of the Jews.
The conjunction took place three years before the birth of
Moses. (This is of course legendary.) Abarbanel expects the
coming of the Messiah when there is a conjunction of Jupiter
and Saturn in Pisces. He was not the first to express such expec-
tations. Four hundred years earlier we find similar pronounce-
ments; for instance, Rabbi Abraham ben Hiyya, who died about
1136, is said to have decreed that the Messiah was to be ex-
pected in 1464, at the time of the great conjunction in Pisces;
and the same is reported of Solomon ben Gabirol (1 020-70). 13
These astrological ideas are quite understandable when one con-
siders that Saturn is the star of Israel, and that Jupiter means
the "king" (of justice). Among the territories ruled by the
Fishes, the house of Jupiter, are Mesopotamia, Bactria, the Red
Sea, and Palestine. 14 Chiun (Saturn) is mentioned in Amos 5 : 26

7 Sinnbilder und Kunstvorstellungen der alten Christen (1825), P- 49* Muenter
mentions Abrabanel (sic) here, "who in all probability drew on older sources."

8 Op. cit., p. 76.

9 Der Stern der Weisen (1827), pp. 54&\

10 Isaac Abravanel (Abarbanel) ben Jehuda, Ma'yene ha-Yeshu'ah ("Sources of
Salvation" - A Commentary on Daniel. Ferrara, 1551).

11 Corresponding to 1396 b.c.

12 Actually the conjunction took place in Sagittarius (/*). The coniunctiones
magnae of the water trigon (2>, TIT.. X) fall m tne y ear s 1800 to 1600 and 1000
to 800 B.C.

13 Anger, "Der Stern der Weisen und das Geburtsjahr Christi," p. 396, and Ger-
hardt, Der Stern des Messias, pp. 54L

1* Gerhardt, p. 57. Ptolemy and, following him, the Middle Ages associate Pales-
tine with Aries.

74



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



as "the star of your god." 15 James of Sarug (d. 521) says the
Israelites worshipped Saturn. The Sabaeans called him the "god
of the Jews." 16 The Sabbath is Saturday, Saturn's Day. Al-
bumasar 17 testifies that Saturn is the star of Israel. 18 In medieval
astrology Saturn was believed to be the abode of the devil. 19
Both Saturn and Ialdabaoth, the demiurge and highest archon,
have lion's faces. Origen elicits from the diagram of Celsus that
Michael, the first angel of the Creator, has "the shape of a
lion." 20 He obviously stands in the place of Ialdabaoth, who is
identical with Saturn, as Origen points out. 21 The demiurge of
the Naassenes is a "fiery god, the fourth by number." 22 Accord-
ing to the teachings of Apelles, who had connections with
Marcion, there was a "third god who spoke to Moses, a fiery
one, and there was also a fourth, the author of evil." 23 Between
the god of the Naassenes and the god of Apelles there is evi-
dently a close relationship, and also, it appears, with Yahweh,
the demiurge of the Old Testament.
!29 Saturn is a "black" star, 24 anciently reputed a "maleficus."
"Dragons, serpents, scorpions, viperes, renards, chats et souris,
oiseaux nocturnes et autres engeances sournoises sont le lot de
Saturne," says Bouche-Leclercq. 25 Remarkably enough, Saturn's
animals also include the ass, 26 which on that account was rated

15 "Ye have borne Siccuth your king and Chiun your images, the star of your god,
which ye made to yourselves" (RV). Stephen refers to this in his defence (Acts
7 : 43): "And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your
god Rempham." "Rempham" ("Pofupa), is a corruption of Kewan (Chiun).

16 Dozy and de Goeje, "Nouveaux documents pour 1'etude de la religion des
Harraniens," p. 350. 17 Abu Ma'shar, d. 885.

18 Gerhardt, p. 57. Also Pierre dAilly, Concordantia astronomie cum theologia,
etc., fol. g4 (Venice, 1490): "But Saturn, as Messahali says, has a meaning which
concerns the Jewish people or their faith."

19 Reitzenstein, Poimandres, p. 76.

20 Contra Celsum, VI, 30 (trans, by H. Chadwick, p. 345).

21 Ibid., VI, 31: "But they say that this angel like unto a lion has a necessary
connection with the star Saturn." Cf. Pistis Sophia, trans, by Mead, p. 47, and
Bousset, Hauptprobleme der Gnosis, pp. 352ft.

22 Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 7, 30 (Legge trans., I, p. 128).

23 ibid., VII, 38, i (cf. Legge trans., II, p. 96).

24 Hence the image of Saturn worshipped by the Sabaeans was said to be made of
lead or black stone. (Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus, II, p. 383.)

25 L'Astrologie grecque, p. 317.

26 Bouche-Leclercq (p. 318) conjectures one of the known classical "etymologies,"
namely an onos (ass) contained in Kronos (Saturn), based on a joke aimed at the

75



AION



a theriomorphic form of the Jewish god. A pictorial representa-
tion of it is the well-known mock crucifixion on the Palatine. 27
Similar traditions can be found in Plutarch, 28 Diodorus, Jose-
phus, 29 and Tacitus. 30 Sabaoth, the seventh archon, has the form
of an ass. 31 Tertullian is referring to these rumours when he says:
"You are under the delusion that our God is an ass's head," and
that "we do homage only to an ass." 32 As we have indicated, the
ass is sacred to the Egyptian Set. 33 In the early texts, however,
the ass is the attribute of the sun-god and only later became an
emblem of the underworldly Apep and of evil (Set). 34
3 According to medieval tradition, the religion of the Jews
originated in a conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn, Islam in
U 6 2 , Christianity in if 6 S , and the Antichrist in U 6 d . 35



Megarian philosopher Diodoros. But the reason for the Saturn-ass analogy prob-
ably lies deeper, that is, in the nature of the ass itself, which was regarded as a
"cold, intractable, slow-witted, long-lived animal." (From the Greek bestiary cited
by Bouch-Leclercq.) In Polemon's bestiary I find the following description of the
wild ass: "Given to flight, timid, stupid, untamed, lustful, jealous, killing its
females" (Scriptores physio gnomici graeci et latini, I, p. 182).
27 A possible model might be the Egyptian tradition of the martyrdom of Set,
depicted at Denderah. He is shown tied to the "slave's post," has an ass's head,
and Horus stands before him with a knife in his hand. (Mariette, Denderah,
plates vol. IV, pi. 56.) 28 Quaestiones convivales, IV, 5.

29 Contra Apionem, II, 7-8 (8off.). (Cf. trans, by H. St. J. Thackeray and R. Mar-
cus, I, pp. 325ff.) 30 The Histories, trans, by W. H. Fyfe, II, pp. 204ff.

31 Epiphanius, Panarium, ed. Oehler, I, p. 184.

32 Apologeticus adversus gentes, XVI (Migne, P.L., vol. 1, cols. 364-65; cf. trans.
by S. Thelwall, I, pp. 84f.).

33 Plutarch, De hide et Osiride, in Moralia, pp. 77, 123. In ch. 31 Plutarch states
that the legend of Set's flight on an ass and of the fathering of his two sons
Hierosolymus and Judaeus is not Egyptian, but pertained to the 'IouSca/cd.

34 in the Papyrus of Ani (ed. E. A. W. Budge, p. 248) a hymn to Ra says: "May
I advance upon the earth; may I smite the Ass; may I crush the evil one (Sebau);
may I destroy Apep in his hour."

35 Albumasar, Lib. II, De magnis coniunctionibus, tract. I, diff. 4, p. a8r (1489): "If
(Jupiter) is in conjunction with Saturn, it signifies that the faith of the citizens
thereof is Judaism. . . . And if the moon is in conjunction with Saturn it sig-
nifies doubt and revolution and change, and this by reason of the speed of the
corruption of the moon and the rapidity of its motion and the shortness of its de-
lay in the sign." Cf. also Pierre d'Ailly, Concordantia, etc., fol. d8r. J. H. Heideg-
ger (Quaestiones ad textum Lucae VII, 12-ij, 1655) says in ch. IX that Abu
Mansor (= Albumasar), in his sixth tractate, in the Introductio maior, connects
the life of Christ, like that of Mahomet, with the stars. Cardan ascribes c5 H

76



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



Unlike Saturn, Jupiter is a beneficent star. In the Iranian view
Jupiter signifies life, Saturn death. 36 The conjunction of the
two therefore signifies the union of extreme opposites. In the
year 7 B.a this famed conjunction took place no less than three
times in the sign of the Fishes. The greatest approximation
occurred on May 29 of that year, the planets being only 0.21
degrees apart, less than half the width of the full moon. 37 The
conjunction took place in the middle of the commissure, "near
the bend in the line of the Fishes." From the astrological point
of view this conjunction must appear especially significant, be-
cause the approximation of the two planets was exceptionally
large and of an impressive brilliance. In addition, seen helio-
centrically, it took place near the equinoctial point, which at
that time was located between T and X, that is, between fire
and water. 38 The conjunction was characterized by the important
fact that Mars was in opposition ( $
logically, that the planet correlated with the instincts stood in
a hostile relationship to it, which is peculiarly characteristic of
Christianity. If we accept Gerhardt's calculation that the con-
junction took place on May 29, in the year 7 B.C., then the posi-
tion of the sun- especially important in a man's nativity- at
Christ's birth would be in the double sign of the Twins. 39 One



to Christianity, <$ T? to Judaism, $ d $ to Islam, and according to
him (5 9 signifies idolatry ("Commentarium in Ptolemaeum De astrorum
Judiciis," p. 188).

36 Christensen, Le Premier Homme et le premier roi dans I'histoire legendaire
des Iraniens, part 1, p. 24. 37 Gerhardt, Stern des Messias, p. 74.

38 Calculated on the basis of Peters and Knobel, Ptolemy's Catalogue of Stars.

39 Medieval astrologers cast a number of ideal horoscopes for Christ. Albumasar
and Albertus Magnus took Virgo as the ascendent; Pierre d'Ailly (1356-1420), on
the other hand, took Libra, and so did Cardan. Pierre d'Ailly says: "For Libra
is the human sign, that is, of the Liberator of men, [the sign] of a prudent and
just and spiritual man" (Concordantia, etc., cap. 2). Kepler, in his Discurs von
der grossen Conjunction (1623; p. 701), says that God himself marked "such
great conjunctions as these with extraordinary and marvellous stars visible in
high heaven, also with notable works of his divine Providence." He continues:
"Accordingly he appointed the birth of his Son Christ our Saviour exactly at
the time of the great conjunction in the signs of the Fishes and the Ram, near
the equinoctial point." Seen heliocentrically, the conjunction took place just
in front of the equinoctial point, and this gives it a special significance astro-
logically. Pierre d'Ailly (Concordantia, etc., fol. b r ) says: "But a great conjunc-
tion is that of Saturn and Jupiter in the beginning of the Ram." These con-

77



AION



thinks involuntarily of the ancient Egyptian pair of hostile
brothers, Horus and Set, the sacrificer and the sacrificed (cf.
n. 27, on Set's "martyrdom"), who in a sense prefigure the drama
of the Christian myth. In the Egyptian myth it is the evil one
who is sacrificed on the "slave's post." 40 But the pair of brothers
Heru-ur (the "older Horus") and Set are sometimes pictured as
having one body with two heads. The planet Mercury is corre-
lated with Set, and this is interesting in view of the tradition that
Christianity originated in a conjunction of Jupiter with Mer-
cury. In the New Kingdom (XlXth dynasty) Set appears as
Sutech in the Nile delta. In the new capital built by Rameses
II, one district was dedicated to Amon, the other to Sutech. 41 It
was here that the Jews were supposed to have done slave-labour.
1 3 1 In considering the double aspect of Christ, mention might

be made of the legend of Pistis Sophia (3rd cent.), which also
originated in Egypt. Mary says to Jesus:

When thou wert a child, before the spirit had descended upon thee,
when thou wert in the vineyard with Joseph, the spirit came down
from the height, and came unto me in the house, like unto thee,
and I knew him not, but thought that he was thou. And he said
unto me, "Where is Jesus, my brother, that I may go to meet him?"
And when he had said this unto me, I was in doubt, and thought
it was a phantom tempting me. I seized him and bound him to the
foot of the bed which was in my house, until I had gone to find you
in the field, thee and Joseph; and I found you in the vineyard,
where Joseph was putting up the vine-poles. And it came to pass,
when thou didst hear me saying this thing unto Joseph, that thou
didst understand, and thou wert joyful, and didst say, "Where is

junctions occur every 20 years and take place every 200 years in the same trigon.
But the same position can only recur every 800 years. The most significant posi-
tions are those between two trigons. Albumasar (Be magnis coniunc, tract. 3,
diff. i, fol. D 8r) says they manifest themselves "in changes of parties and offices
and in changes of the laws and ... in the coming of prophets and of prophesy-
ing and of miracles in parties and offices of state."

40 Crucifixion was a well-known punishment for slaves. The Cross with a snake
on it, instead of the Crucified, is often found in medieval times [Psychology and
Alchemy, fig. 217], and also in the dreams and fantasy-images of modern people
who know nothing of this tradition. A characteristic dream of this sort is the
following: The dreamer was watching a Passion play in the theatre. On the way
to Golgotha, the actor taking the part of the Saviour suddenly changed into a
snake or crocodile. 4iErman, Die Religion der Agypter, p. 137.

78



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



he, that I may see him?" And it came to pass, when Joseph heard
thee say these words, that he was disturbed. We went up together,
entered into the house and found the spirit bound to the bed, and
we gazed upon thee and him, and found that thou wert like unto
him. And he that was bound to the bed was unloosed, he embraced
thee and kissed thee, and thou also didst kiss him, and you became
one. 42

l 32 It appears from the context of this fragment that Jesus is
the "truth sprouting from the earth," whereas the spirit that
resembled him is "justice [Sikcuoo-wt?] looking down from heaven."
The text says: "Truth is the power which issued from thee when
thou wast in the lower regions of chaos. For this cause thy power
hath said through David, 'Truth hath sprouted out of the
earth,' because thou wert in the lower regions of chaos." 43
Jesus, accordingly, is conceived as a double personality, part of
which rises up from the chaos or hyle, while the other part
descends as pneuma from heaven.

'33 One could hardly find the ^vkoKpiv^o-^, or 'discrimination of
the natures' that characterizes the Gnostic Redeemer, exempli-
fied more graphically than in the astrological determination of
time. The astrological statements that were quite possible in
antiquity all point to the prominent double aspect M of the birth
that occurred at this particular moment of time, and one can
understand how plausible was the astrological interpretation of
the Christ-Antichrist myth when it entered into manifestation
at the time of the Gnostics. A fairly old authority, earlier
anyway than the sixth century, which bears striking witness to
the antithetical nature of the Fishes is the Talmud. This says:

Four thousand two hundred and ninety-one years after the Creation
[a.d. 530], the world will be orphaned. There will follow the war of
the tanninim [sea-monsters], the war of Gog and Magog, 45 and then

42 Pistis Sophia, Mead trans., pp. n8f., slightly modified.

43 Cf. the fish that Augustine says was "drawn from the deep."

44 In this connection mention should be made of the "Saviour of the twins"
((Twriipes) in Pistis Sophia (Mead trans., pp. 2, 17, and elsewhere).

45 Also mentioned in the Chronique of Tabari (I, ch. 23, p. 67). There Anti-
christ is the king of the Jews, who appears with Gog and Magog. This may be an
allusion to Rev. 20 : 7L: "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall
be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are

79



AION



the Messianic era; only after seven thousand years will the Holy
One, blessed be He, set up his world anew. R. Abba, the son of
Raba, said, It was taught: after five thousand years. 46

The Talmud commentator Solomon ben Isaac, alias Rashi
(1039-1105), remarks that the tanninim are fishes, presumably
basing himself on an older source, since he does not give this
as his own opinion, as he usually does. This remark is important,
firstly because it takes the battle of the fishes as an eschatological
event (like the fight between Behemoth and Leviathan), and
secondly because it is probably the oldest testimony to the anti-
thetical nature of the fishes. From about this period, too- the
eleventh century- comes the apocryphal text of a Johannine
Genesis in which the two fishes are mentioned, this time in un-
mistakably astrological form. 46a Both documents fall within the
critical epoch that opened with the second millennium of the
Christian era, about which I shall have more to say in due
course.



in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to
battle" (AV).

Graf von Wackerbarth (Merkwiirdige Geschichte der weltberuhmten Gog
und Magog, p. 19) relates from an English "History of the World," which came
out in German in 1760, that the Arab writers say the "Yajui" were "of more
than ordinary size," whereas the "Majui" were "not more than three spans
high." This story, despite the obscurity of its origins, points to the antithetical
nature of Gog and Magog, who thus form a parallel to the Fishes. Augustine
interprets "the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and
Magog" as, respectively (Gog), tectum, 'roof or 'house,' and (Magog) de tecto,
'he that comes out of the house': "Ut illae sint tectum, ipse de tecto." That is to
say the nations are the house, but the devil dwells in the house and comes out of
it. (City of God, Healey trans., II, p. 286.) On Augustine is based the Com-
pendium theologicae veritatis (Venice, 1492), which was attributed in turn to
Albertus Magnus, Hugh of Strasbourg, and John of Paris. It is our main source
for the Antichrist legend. With reference to Augustine it says (Libell. 7, cap. 11)
that Gog means "occultatio" (concealment), Magog "detectio" (revelation). This
corroborates the antithetical nature of Gog and Magog at least for the Middle
Ages. It is another instance of the motif of the hostile brothers, or of duplication.
Albumasar (tract. 4, diff. 12, f. 8r) calls the sixth "clima" (inclination towards the
Pole) that of Gog and Magog, and correlates it with Gemini and Virgo.
MNezikin VI, Sanhedrin II (BT, p. 658). R. Hanan ben Tahlifa, into whose
mouth this prophecy is put, is mentioned in the list of Amoraim (teachers of
the Talmud) and lived in the 2nd cent. a.d. 46a Cf. infra, pars. 225ft.

80



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



134 The year 531 is characterized astronomically by a conjunc-
tion of U and ^> in Gemini. This sign stands for a pair of
brothers, and they too have a somewhat antithetical nature. The
Greeks interpreted them as the Dioscuri ('boys of Zeus'), the
sons of Leda who were begotten by the swan and hatched out
of an egg. Pollux was immortal, but Castor shared the human
lot. Another interpretation takes them as representing Apollo
and Heracles or Apollo and Dionysus. Both interpretations sug-
gest a certain polarity. Astronomically, at any rate, the air sign
Gemini stands in a quartile and therefore unfavourable aspect
to the conjunction that took place in the year 7 b.c. The inner
polarity of X may perhaps shed light on the prophecy about the
war of the tanninim, which Rashi interprets as fishes. From the
dating of Christ's birth it would appear, as said, that the sun
was in Gemini. The motif of the brothers is found very early
in connection with Christ, for instance among the Jewish Chris-
tians and Ebionites. 47

1 35 From all this we may risk the conjecture that the Talmudic
prophecy was based on astrological premises.

1 3 6 The precession of the equinoxes was a fact well known to
the astrologers of antiquity. Origen, helped out by the observa-
tions and calculations of Hipparchus, 48 uses it as a cogent argu-
ment against an astrology based on the so-called "morphomata"
(the actual constellations). 49 Naturally this does not apply to the
distinction already drawn in ancient astrology between the
morphomata and the coSia vo-qra (the fictive signs of the zodiac). 50
If we take the 7,000 years mentioned in the prophecy as anno
mundi 7000, the year denoted would be a.d. 3239. By then the

47 Epiphanius, Panarium, XXX (Oehler edn., I, pp. 24off.).

48 Hipparchus is supposed to have discovered the precession. Cf. Boll, Sphaera,
p. 199, n. 1.

4 Origen, Commentaria in Genesim, torn. Ill, i, 14, 11 (Migne, P.G., vol. 12,
col. 79): "There is indeed a theory that the zodiacal circle, just like the planets,
is carried back from setting to rising [or: from west to east], within a century by
one degree; . . . since the twelfth part [1 zodion] is one thing when conceived in
the mind, another when perceived by the senses; yet from thut which is conceived
only in the mind, and can scarcely, or not even scarcely, be held for certain, the
truth of the matter appears." The Platonic year was then reckoned as 36,000
years. Tycho Brahe reckoned it at 24,120 years. The constant for the precession
is 50.3708 seconds and the total cycle (360 ) takes 25,725.6 years.
60 Bouch-Leclercq, p. 591, n. 2; Knapp, Antiskia; Boll, Sphaera.

8l



AION

spring-point will have moved from its present position 18 de-
grees into Aquarius, the next aeon, that of the Water Carrier.
As an astrologer of the second or third century would be
acquainted with the precession, we may surmise that these dates
were based on astrological considerations. At all events the Mid-
dle Ages were much concerned with the calculation of coniunc-
tiones maximae and magnae, as we know from Pierre d'Ailly
and Cardan. 51 Pierre d'Ailly reckoned that the first coniunctio
maxima (U 6 ^ in T) after the creation of the world took
place in 5027 B.C., while Cardan relegated the tenth conjunction
to a.d. 3613. 52 Both of them assumed the lapse of too large an
interval between conjunctions in the same sign. The correct
astronomical interval is about 795 years. Cardan's conjunction
would accordingly take place in the year a.d. 3234. For astro-
logical speculation this date is naturally of the greatest impor-
tance.
l 37 As to the 5,000 years, the date we get is a.d. 1 239. This was an
epoch noted for its spiritual instability, revolutionary heresies
and chiliastic expectations, and at the same time it saw the
founding of the mendicant orders, which injected new life into
monasticism. One of the most powerful and influential voices
to announce the coming of a "new age of the spirit" was Joachim
of Flora (d. 1202), whose teachings were condemned by the
Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. He expected the opening of
the seventh seal in the fairly near future, the advent of the
"everlasting gospel" and the reign of the "intellectus spiritu-
alis," the age of the Holy Ghost. This third aeon, he says, had
already begun with St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine
Order (the first monastery was supposed to have been built a
few years after 529). One of Joachim's followers, the Franciscan
friar Gerard of Borgo San Donnino, proclaimed in his Intro-
ductorius in evangelium aeternum, which appeared in 1254 in
Paris, that Joachim's three main treatises were in fact the ever-
lasting gospel, and that in the year 1260 this would replace the

51 The theory of the conjunctions was set down in writing by the Arabs about
the middle of the 9th cent., more particularly by Messahala. Cf. Strauss, Die
Astrologie des Johannes Kepler.

52 With his estimate of 960 years between two coniunctiones maximae, Pierre
d'Ailly would also arrive at a.d. 3613.

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THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



gospel of Jesus Christ. 53 As we know, Joachim saw monasticism as
the true vehicle of the Holy Ghost and for this reason he dated
the secret inception of the new era from the lifetime of St. Bene-
dict, whose founding of the Benedictine Order revived monas-
ticism in the West.

To Pierre d'Ailly the time of Pope Innocent III ( 1 1 98-1 2 1 6)
had already seemed significant. About the year 1 189, he says, the
revolutions of Saturn were once again completed ("completae
anno Christi 1 189 vel circiter"). He complains that the Pope had
condemned a treatise of Abbot Joachim, 54 and also the heretical
doctrine of Almaricus. 55 This last is the theological philosopher
Amalric of Bene (d. 1204), who took part in the widespread
Holy Ghost movement of that age. It was then, too, he says, that
the Dominican and Franciscan mendicant orders came into
existence, "which was a great and wonderful thing for the Chris-
tian church." Pierre d'Ailly thus lays stress on the same phe-
nomena that struck us as being characteristic of the time, and
further regards this epoch as having been foretold in astrology.

The date for the founding of the monastery of Monte Cas-
sino brings us very close to the year 530, which the Talmud
prophesied would be a critical one. In Joachim's view not only
does a new era begin then, but a new "status" of the world- the
age of monasticism and the reign of the Holy Ghost. Its begin-
ning still comes within the domain of the Son, but Joachim sur-
mises in a psychologically correct manner that a new status-
or, as we would say, a new attitude- would appear first as a more
or less latent preliminary stage, which would then be followed
by the fructification the flower and the fruit. In Joachim's day
the fruition was still in abeyance, but one could observe far and
wide an uncommon agitation and commotion of men's spirits.
Everyone felt the rushing wind of the pneuma; it was an age of
new and unprecedented ideas which were blazoned abroad by
the Cathari, Patarenes, Concorricci, Waldenses, Poor Men of

53 This period around the year 1240 would, from the astrological standpoint, be
characterized by the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Libra, in 1246.
Libra is another double sign with a pneumatic nature (air trigon), like Gemini,
and for this reason it was taken by Pierre d'Ailly as Christ's ascendent.

54 At the Lateran Council, 1215. Cf. Denzinger and Bannwart, Enchiridion sym-
bolorum, pp. io,off.

55 "His teaching is to be held not so much heretical as insane," says the decree.

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AION



Lyons, Beghards, Brethren of the Free Spirit, "Bread through
God," 56 and whatever else these movements were called. Their
visible beginnings all lay in the early years of the eleventh cen-
tury. The contemporary documents amassed by Hahn throw a
revealing light on the ideas current in these circles:

Item, they believe themselves to be God by nature without dis-
tinction . . . and that they are eternal. . . .

Item, that they have no need of God or the Godhead.

Item, that they constitute the kingdom of heaven.

Item, that they are immutable in the new rock, that they rejoice
in naught and are troubled by naught.

Item, that a man is bound to follow his inner instinct rather
than the truth of the Gospel which is preached every day. . . .
They say that they believe the Gospel to contain poetical matters
which are not true. 57

l 4 These few examples may suffice to show what kind of spirit
animated these movements. They were made up of people who
identified themselves (or were identified) with God, who deemed
themselves supermen, had a critical approach to the gospels, fol-
lowed the promptings of the inner man, and understood the
kingdom of heaven to be within. In a sense, therefore, they were
modern in their outlook, but they had a religious inflation
instead of the rationalistic and political psychosis that is the
affliction of our day. We ought not to impute these extremist
ideas to Joachim, even though he took part in that great move-
ment of the spirit and was one of its outstanding figures. One
must ask oneself what psychological impulse could have moved

56 Hahn, Geschichte der Ketzer im Mittelalter, II, p. 779: ". . . some who under
the name of a false and pretended religious order, whom the common folk
call Beghards and Schwestrones or 'Brod durch Gott'; but they call themselves
Little Brethren and Sisters of the fellowship of the Free Spirit and of Voluntary
Poverty."

57 "Item credunt se esse Deum per naturam sine distinctione . . . se esse
aeternos . . .

"Item quod nullo indigent nee Deo nee Deitate.

"Item quod sunt ipsum regnum coelorum.

"Item quod sunt etiam immutabiles in nova rupe, quod de nullo gaudent, et
de nullo turbantur.

"Item quod homo magis tenetur sequi instinctum interiorem quam veritatero
Evangelii quod cottidie praedicatur . . . dicunt, se credere ibi (in Evangelio)
esse poetica quae non sunt vera." (Hahn, II, pp. 77gf.)

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THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



him and his adherents to cherish such bold expectations as the
substitution of the "everlasting gospel" for the Christian mes-
sage or the supersession of the second Person in the Godhead by
the third, who would reign over the new era. This thought is so
heretical and subversive that it could never have occurred to him
had he not felt himself supported and swept along by the revolu-
tionary currents of the age. He felt it as a revelation of the Holy
Ghost, whose life and procreative power no church could bring
to a stop. The numinosity of this feeling was heightened by the
temporal coincidence- "synchronicity"- of the epoch he lived
in with the beginning of the sphere of the "antichristian" fish in
Pisces. In consequence, one might feel tempted to regard the
Holy Ghost movement and Joachim's central ideas as a direct
expression of the antichristian psychology that was then dawn-
ing. At any rate the Church's condemnation is thoroughly under-
standable, for in many ways his attitude to the Church of Jesus
Christ comes very close to open insurrection, if not downright
apostasy. But if we allow some credence to the conviction of these
innovators that they were moved by the Holy Ghost, then an-
other interpretation becomes not only possible but even prob-
able.

That is to say, just as Joachim supposed that the status of
the Holy Ghost had secretly begun with St. Benedict, so we
might hazard the conjecture that a new status was secretly
anticipated in Joachim himself. Consciously, of course, he
thought he was bringing the status of the Holy Ghost into
reality, just as it is certain that St. Benedict had nothing else in
mind than to put the Church on a firm footing and deepen the
meaning of the Christian life through monasticism. But, uncon-
sciously-and this is psychologically what probably happened-
Joachim could have been seized by the archetype of the spirit.
There is no doubt that his activities were founded on a numi-
nous experience, which is, indeed, characteristic of all those who
are gripped by an archetype. He understood the spirit in the
dogmatic sense as the third Person of the Godhead, for no other
way was possible, but not in the sense of the empirical arche-
type. This archetype is not of uniform meaning, but was orig-
inally an ambivalent dualistic figure 58 that broke through again

68 Cf. "The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," pars. 3g6ff.

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AION



in the alchemical concept of spirit after engendering the most
contradictory manifestations within the Holy Ghost movement
itself. The Gnostics in their day had already had clear inti-
mations of this dualistic figure. It was therefore very natural,
in an age which coincided with the beginning of the second Fish
and which was, so to speak, forced into ambiguity, that an
espousal of the Holy Ghost in its Christian form should at the
same time help the archetype of the spirit to break through in
all its characteristic ambivalence. It would be unjust to class so
worthy a personage as Joachim with the bigoted advocates of
that revolutionary and anarchic turbulence, which is what the
Holy Ghost movement turned into in so many places. We must
suppose, rather, that he himself unwittingly ushered in a new
"status," a religious attitude that was destined to bridge and
compensate the frightful gulf that had opened out between
Christ and Antichrist in the eleventh century. The antichristian
era is to blame that the spirit became non-spiritual and that the
vitalizing archetype gradually degenerated into rationalism,
intellectualism, and doctrinairism, all of which leads straight to
the tragedy of modern times now hanging over our heads like a
sword of Damocles. In the old formula for the Trinity, as
Joachim knew it, the dogmatic figure of the devil is lacking,
for then as now he led a questionable existence somewhere on
the fringes of theological metaphysics, in the shape of the mys-
terium iniquitatis. Fortunately for us, the threat of his coming
had already been foretold in the New Testament- for the less
he is recognized the more dangerous he is. Who would suspect
him under those high-sounding names of his, such as public
welfare, lifelong security, peace among the nations, etc.? He
hides under idealisms, under -isms in general, and of these the
most pernicious is doctrinairism, that most unspiritual of all
the spirit's manifestations. The present age must come to terms
drastically with the facts as they are, with the absolute opposition
that is not only tearing the world asunder politically but has
planted a schism in the human heart. We need to find our way
back to the original, living spirit which, berause of its ambiva-
lence, is also a mediator and uniter of opposites, 59 an idea that
preoccupied the alchemists for many centuries.

59 "The Spirit Mercurius," pars. 284ft:., and "A Psychological Approach to the
Dogma of the Trinity," pars. 257ft.

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THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



l 4 2 If, as seems probable, the aeon of the fishes is ruled by the
archetypal motif of the hostile brothers, then the approach of
the next Platonic month, namely Aquarius, will constellate the
problem of the union of opposites. It will then no longer be
possible to write off evil as the mere privation of good; its real
existence will have to be recognized. This problem can be
solved neither by philosophy, nor by economics, nor by politics,
but only by the individual human being, via his experience of
the living spirit, whose fire descended upon Joachim, one of
many, and, despite all contemporary misunderstandings, was
handed onward into the future. The solemn proclamation of
the Assumptio Mariae which we have experienced in our own
day is an example of the way symbols develop through the ages.
The impelling motive behind it did not come from the ecclesi-
astical authorities, who had given clear proof of their hesitation
by postponing the declaration for nearly a hundred years, 60 but
from the Catholic masses, who have insisted more and more
vehemently on this development. Their insistence is, at bottom,
the urge of the archetype to realize itself. 61

43 The repercussions of the Holy Ghost movement spread, in
the years that followed, to four minds of immense significance
for the future. These were Albertus Magnus (1193-1280); his
pupil Thomas Aquinas, the philosopher of the Church and an
adept in alchemy (as also was Albertus); Roger Bacon (c. 1214-c.
1294), the English forerunner of inductive science; and finally
Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1327), the independent religious
thinker, now enjoying a real revival after six hundred years of
obscurity. Some people have rightly seen the Holy Ghost move-
ment as the forerunner of the Reformation. At about the time
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries we find also the begin-
nings of Latin alchemy, whose philosophical and spiritual con-
tent I have tried to elucidate in my book Psychology and Al-
chemy. The image mentioned above (par. 139) of "immutability
in the new rock" bears a striking resemblance to the central idea
of philosophical alchemy, the lapis philosophorum, which is
used as a parallel to Christ, the "rock," the "stone," the "corner-

60 [Although Mary's Immaculate Conception was declared de fide by Pope
Pius IX in 1854, by the bull Ineffabilis Deus, her Assumption was not defined as
part of divine revelation until 1950.- Editors.]

61 fCf. "Psychology and Religion," par. 122, and "Answer to Job," pars. 748ft ]

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AION



stone." Priscillian (4th cent.) says: "We have Christ for a rock,
Jesus for a cornerstone." 62 An alchemical text speaks of the
"rock which is smitten thrice with Moses' rod, so that the waters
flow forth freely." 63 The lapis is called a "sacred rock" and is
described as having four parts. 64 St. Ambrose says the water
from the rock is a prefiguration of the blood that flowed from
Christ's side. 65 Another alchemical text mentions the "water
from the rock" as the equivalent of the universal solvent, the
aqua permanens. QQ Khunrath, in his somewhat florid language,
even speaks of the "Petroleum sapientum." 67 By the Naassenes,
Adam was called the "rock" and the "cornerstone." 68 Both
these allegories of Christ are mentioned by Epiphanius in his
Ancoratus, and also by Firmicus Maternus. 69 This image, com-
mon to ecclesiastical and alchemical language alike, goes back to
I Corinthians 10 : 4 and I Peter 2 : 4.
l 44 The new rock, then, takes the place of Christ, just as the
everlasting gospel was meant to take the place of Christ's mes-
sage. Through the descent and indwelling of the Holy Ghost
the vloTijs, sonship, is infused into every individual, so that
everybody who possesses the Holy Ghost will be a new rock, in
accordance with I Peter 2:5: "Be you also as living stones built
up." 70 This is a logical development of the teaching about the

62 Opera, ed. G. Schepps, p. 24.

63 Cf. Aurora Consurgens (ed. von Franz), p. 127: "this great and wide sea smote
the rock and the metallic waters flowed forth."

64 Musaeum hermeticum (1678), p. 212: "Our stone is called the sacred rock, and
is understood or signified in four ways." Cf. Ephesians 3:18. The Pyramid Text
of Pepi I mentions a god of resurrection with four faces: "Homage to thee, O
thou who hast four faces. . . . Thou art endowed with a soul, and thou dost
rise (like the sun) in thy boat . . . carry thou this Pepi with thee in the cabin
of thy boat, for this Pepi is the son of the Scarab." (Budge, Gods of the Egyptians,
I, p. 85.)

65 Explanationes in Psalmos, XXXVIII: "In the shadow there was water from
the rock, as it were the blood of Christ."

66 Mylius, Philosophia reformata (1622), p. 112: "Whence the philosopher brought
forth water from the rock and oil out of the flinty stone."

67 Von hylealischen Chaos (1597), p. 272.

68 Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 7, 34I (Legge trans., I, p. 129). Reference is also
made here to the "stone cut from the mountain without hands" (Daniel 2 : 45),
a metaphor used by the alchemists.

69 De errore projanarum religionum, 20, 1.

70 Cf. the building of the seamless tower (church) with "living stones" in the
"Shepherd" of Hermas.

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THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



Paraclete and the filiation, as stated in Luke 6 : 35: "You shall
be sons of the Highest," and John 10 : 34: "Is it not written in
your law: I said, you are gods?" The Naassenes, as we know, had
already made use of these allusions and thus anticipated a
whole tract of historical development- a development that led
via monasticism to the Holy Ghost movement, via the The-
ologia Germanica direct to Luther, and via alchemy to modern
science.

l 45 Let us now turn back to the theme of Christ as the fish. Ac-
cording to Doelger, the Christian fish symbol first appeared in
Alexandria around a.d. 200; 71 similarly, the baptismal bath was
described as a piscina (fish-pond) quite early. This presupposes
that the believers were fishes, as is in fact suggested by the gos-
pels (for instance Matt. 4 : 19). There Christ wants to make
Peter and Andrew "fishers of men," and the miraculous draught
of fishes (Luke 5 : 10) is used by Christ himself as a paradigm
for Peter's missionary activity.

46 A direct astrological aspect of Christ's birth is given us in
Matthew 2 : iff. The Magi from the East were star-gazers who,
beholding an extraordinary constellation, inferred an equally
extraordinary birth. This anecdote proves that Christ, possibly
even at the time of the apostles, was viewed from the astro-
logical standpoint or was at least brought into connection with

71 Doelger, IX8T2: Das Fischsymbol, I, p. 18. Though the Abercius inscription,
which dates from the beginning of the 3rd cent, (after a.d. 216), is of importance
in this connection, it is of doubtful Christian origin. Dieterich (Die Grabschrift
des Aberkios), in the course of a brilliant argument, demonstrates that the "holy
shepherd" mentioned in the inscription is Attis, the Lord of the sacred Ram
and the thousand-eyed shepherd of glittering stars. One of his special forms
was Elogabal of Emera, the god of the emperor Heliogabalus, who caused the
hieros gamos of his god to be celebrated with Urania of Carthage, also called
Virgo coelestis. Heliogabalus was a gallus (priest) of the Great Mother, whose
fish only the priests might eat. The fish had to be caught by a virgin. It is con-
jectured that Abercius had this inscription written in commemoration of his
journey to Rome to the great hieros gamos, sometime after a.d. 216. For the same
reasons there are doubts about the Christianity of the Pectorios inscription at
Autun, in which the fish figures too: *'E(T0ie irv . . . , ixOvv lx tj3V iraXa/xcus
'Ix&vi xP Ta % &P a XtXat'w Seo-Trora awrep'. "Eat . . . (reading uncertain), holding
the fish in the hands. Nourish now with the fish, I yearn, Lord Saviour." Prob-
able reading: mvawv instead of ireivawv. Cf. Cabrol and Leclercq, Dictionnaire
d'archeologie chretienne, XIII, cols. 2884ff., "Pectorios." The first three distichs
of the inscription make the acrostic Ichthys. Dating is uncertain (3rd~5th cent.).
Cf. Doelger, I, pp. i2ff.

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astrological myths. The latter alternative is fully confirmed
when we consider the apocalyptic utterances of St. John. Since
this exceedingly complex question has been discussed by those
who are more qualified than I, we can support our argument
on the well-attested fact that glimpses of astrological mythology
may be caught behind the stories of the worldly and other-
worldly life of the Redeemer. 72
HI Above all it is the connections with the age of the Fishes
which are attested by the fish symbolism, either contemporane-
ously with the gospels themselves (''fishers of men," fishermen
as the first disciples, miracle of loaves and fishes), or immedi-
ately afterwards in the post-apostolic era. The symbolism shows
Christ and those who believe in him as fishes, fish as the food
eaten at the Agape, 73 baptism as immersion in a fish-pond, etc.
At first sight, all this points to no more than the fact that the
fish symbols and mythologems which have always existed had
assimilated the figure of the Redeemer; in other words, it was
a symptom of Christ's assimilation into the world of ideas pre-
vailing at that time. But, to the extent that Christ was regarded
as the new aeon, it would be clear to anyone acquainted with
astrology that he was born as the first fish of the Pisces era, and
was doomed to die as the last ram 74 (apvLov, lamb) of the declining
Aries era. 75 Matthew 27 : 15ft. hands down this mythologem in

72 1 refer particularly to Boll, Aus der Offenbarung Johannis. The writings of
Arthur Drews have treated the astrological parallels with- one can well say-
monomaniacal thoroughness, not altogether to the advantage of this idea. See
Der Sternenhimmel in der Dichiung und Religion der alten Volker und des
Christentums.

73 Religious meal. According to Tertullian (Adversus Marcionem, I, cap. XIV;
Migne, P.L., vol. 2, col. 262) the fish signifies "the holier food." Cf. also Gooden-
ough, Jewish Symbols, V, pp. 41ft.

74 0rigen, In Genesim horn. VIII, 9 (Migne, P.G., vol. 12, col. 208): "We said
. . . that Isaac bore the form of Christ, but that the ram also seems no less to
bear the form of Christ." Augustine (City of God, XVI, 32, 1) asks: "Who was
that ram by the offering whereof was made a complete sacrifice in typical
blood . . . who was prefigured thereby but Jesus . . . ?" For the Lamb as
Aries in the Apocalypse see Boll, Aus der Offenbarung Johannis.

75Eisler, Orpheus- The Fisher, pp. 5 iff. There is also a wealth of material in
Eisler's paper "Der Fisch als Sexualsymbol," though it contains little that would
help to interpret the fish-symbol, since the question puts the cart before the
horse. It has long been known that all the instinctual forces of the psyche are in-
volved in the formation of symbolic images, hence sexuality as well. Sex is not

90



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



the form of the old sacrifice of the seasonal god. Significantly
enough, Jesus's partner in the ceremony is called Barabbas, "son
of the father." There would be some justification for drawing
a parallel between the tension of opposites in early Christian
psychology and the fact the zodiacal sign for Pisces (K) fre-
quently shows two fishes moving in opposite directions, but
only if it could be proved that their contrary movement dates
from pre-Christian times or is at least contemporary with Christ.
Unfortunately, I know of no pictorial representation from this
period that would give us any information about the position of
the fishes. In the fine bas-relief of the zodia from the Little
Metropolis in Athens, Pisces and Aquarius are missing. There
is one representation of the fishes, near the beginning of our
era, that is certainly free from Christian influence. This is the
globe of the heavens from the Farnese Atlas in Naples. The first
fish, depicted north of the equator, is vertical, with its head
pointing to the celestial Pole; the second fish, south of the
equator, is horizontal, with its head pointing West. The picture
follows the astronomical configuration and is therefore natural-
istic. 76 The zodiac from the temple of Hathor at Denderah (ist
cent, b.c.) shows the fishes, but they both face the same way. The
planisphere of Timochares, 77 mentioned by Hipparchus, has
only one fish where Pisces should be. On coins and gems from
the time of the emperors, and also on Mithraic monuments, 78
the fishes are shown either facing the same way or moving
in opposite directions. 79 The polarity which the fishes later
acquired may perhaps be due to the fact that the astronomical
constellation shows the first (northerly) fish as vertical, and the
second (southerly) fish as horizontal. They move almost at right



"symbolized" in these images, but leaps to the eye, as Eisler's material clearly
shows. In whatsoever a man is involved, there his sexuality will appear too. The
indubitably correct statement that St. Peter's is made of stone, wood, and metal
hardly helps us to interpret its meaning, and the same is true of the fish symbol
if one continues to be astonished that this image, like all others, has its manifest
sexual components. With regard to the terminology, it should be noted that
something known is never "symbolized," but can only be expressed allegorically
or semiotically . 76 Thiele, Antike Himmelsbilder, p. 29.

77 Boll, Sphaera, PL I, and Eisler, The Royal Art of Astrology, PL 5, following
p. 164. 78 Gaedechens, Der Marmorne Himmels globus.

79 Cumont, Textes et monuments, II.

9 1



AION



angles to one another and hence form a cross. This counter-
movement, which was unknown to the majority of the oldest
sources, was much emphasized in Christian times, and this leads
one to suspect a certain tendentiousness. 80
48 Although no connection of any kind can be proved be-
tween the figure of Christ and the inception of the astrological
age of the fishes, the simultaneity of the fish symbolism of the
Redeemer with the astrological symbol of the new aeon seems
to me important enough to warrant the emphasis we place upon
it. If we try to follow up the complicated mythological ramifica-
tions of this parallel, we do so with intent to throw light on the
multifarious aspects of an archetype that manifests itself on the
one hand in a personality, and on the other hand synchro-
nistically, in a moment of time determined in advance, before
Christ's birth. Indeed, long before that, the archetype had been
written in the heavens by projection, so as then, "when the time
was fulfilled," to coincide with the symbols produced by the
new era. The fish, appropriately enough, belongs to the winter
rainy season, like Aquarius and Capricorn (atyoKepw?, the goat-
fish). 81 As a zodiacal sign, therefore, it is not in the least remark-
able. It becomes a matter for astonishment only when, through
the precession of the equinoxes, the spring-point moves into this
sign and thus inaugurates an age in which the "fish" was used
as a name for the God who became a man, who was born as a
fish and was sacrificed as a ram, who had fishermen for disciples
and wanted to make them fishers of men, who fed the multitude
with miraculously multiplying fishes, who was himself eaten as a
fish, the "holier food," and whose followers are little fishes, the
"pisciculi." Assume, if you like, that a fairly widespread knowl-
edge of astrology would account for at least some of this sym-

80 See the two fishes in Lambspringk's symbols (Mus. herm., p. 343), represent-
ing at the same time the opposites to be united. Aratus (Phaenomena, Mair
trans., p. 401) mentions only the higher position of the northern fish as com-
pared with the southern one, without emphasizing their duality or opposition.
Their double character is, however, stressed in modern astrological speculation.
(E. M. Smith, The Zodia, p. 279.) Senard (Le Zodiaque, p. 446) says: "The fish
. . . swimming from above downwards symbolizes the movement of involution
of Spirit in Matter; that . . . which swims from below upwards, the movement
of evolution of the Spirit-Matter composite returning to its Unique Principle."

81 Capricorn V3 or 3.

9*



THE SIGN OF THE FISHES



bolism in certain Gnostic-Christian circles. 82 But this assump-
tion does not apply when it comes to eyewitness accounts in
the synoptic gospels. There is no evidence of any such thing. We
have no reason whatever to suppose that those stories are dis-
guised astrological myths. On the contrary, one gets the impres-
sion that the fish episodes are entirely natural happenings and
that there is nothing further to be looked for behind them.
They are "Just So" stories, quite simple and natural, and one
wonders whether the whole Christian fish symbolism may not
have come about equally fortuitously and without premedita-
tion. Hence one could speak just as well of the seemingly for-
tuitous coincidence of this symbolism with the name of the new
aeon, the more so as the age of the fishes seems to have left no
very clear traces in the cultures of the East. I could not main-
tain with any certainty that this is correct, because I know far
too little about Indian and Chinese astrology. As against this,
the fact that the traditional fish symbolism makes possible a
verifiable prediction that had already been made in the New
Testament is a somewhat uncomfortable proposition to swallow.
The northerly, or easterly, fish, which the spring-point
entered at about the beginning of our era, 83 is joined to the
southerly, or westerly, fish by the so-called commissure. This
consists of a band of faint stars forming the middle sector of the
constellation, and the spring-point gradually moved along its
southern edge. The point where the ecliptic intersects with the
meridian at the tail of the second fish coincides roughly with the
sixteenth century, the time of the Reformation, which as we
know is so extraordinarily important for the history of Western
symbols. Since then the spring-point has moved along the south-
ern edge of the second fish, and will enter Aquarius in the



82 A clear reference to astrology can be found in Pistis Sophia, where Jesus con-
verses with the "ordainers of the nativity": "But Jesus answered and said to
Mary: If the ordainers of the nativity find Heimarmene and the Sphere turned
to the left in accordance with their first circulation, then their words will be
true, and they will say what must come to pass. But if they find Heimarmene or
the Sphere turned to the right, then they will not say anything true, because
I have changed their influences and their squares and their triangles and their
octants." (Cf. Mead trans., p. 29.)

83 The meridian of the star "O" in the commissure passed through the spring-
point in a.d. n, and that of the star "a 113" in 146 B.C. Calculated on the basis
of Peters and Knobel, Ptolemy's Catalogue of Stars.

93



AION

course of the third millennium. 84 Astrologically interpreted, the
designation of Christ as one of the fishes identifies him with the
first fish, the vertical one. Christ is followed by the Antichrist, at
the end of time. The beginning of the enantiodromia would fall,
logically, midway between the two fishes. We have seen that
this is so. The time of the Renaissance begins in the immediate
vicinity of the second fish, and with it comes that spirit which
culminates in the modern age. 85

84 Since the delimitation of the constellations is known to be somewhat arbitrary,
this date is very indefinite. It refers to the actual constellation of fixed stars,
not to the zodion noeton, i.e., the zodiac divided into sectors of 30 each. Astro-
logically the beginning of the next aeon, according to the starting-point you
select, falls between a.d. 2000 and 2200. Starting from star "O" and assuming
a Platonic month of 2,143 years, one would arrive at a.d. 2154 for the beginning
of the Aquarian Age, and at a.d. 1997 if you start from star "a 113." The latter
date agrees with the longitude of the stars in Ptolemy's Almagest.

85 Modern astrological speculation likewise associates the Fishes with Christ: "The
fishes . . . the inhabitants of the waters, are fitly an emblem of those whose
life being hid with Christ in God, come out of the waters of judgment without
being destroyed [an allusion to the fishes which were not drowned in the
Deluge!- C.G.J. ] and shall find their true sphere where life abounds and death
is not: where, for ever surrounded with the living water and drinking from its
fountain, they 'shall not perish, but have everlasting life.' . . . Those who shall
dwell for ever in the living water are one with Jesus Christ the Son of God,
the Living One." (Smith, The Zodia, pp. 28of.)



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VIT

THE PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS

l 5 The course of our religious history as well as an essential
part of our psychic development could have been predicted
more or less accurately, both as regards time and content, from
the precession of the equinoxes through the constellation of
Pisces. The prediction, as we saw, was actually made and coin-
cides with the fact that the Church suffered a schism in the six-
teenth century. After that an enantiodromian process set in
which, in contrast to the "Gothic" striving upwards to the
heights, could be described as a horizontal movement outwards,
namely the voyages of discovery and the conquest of Nature.
The vertical was cut across by the horizontal, and man's spiritual
and moral development moved in a direction that grew more
and more obviously antichristian, so that today we are con-
fronted with a crisis of Western civilization whose outcome
appears to be exceedingly dubious.

'5 1 With this background in mind, I would like to mention the
astrological prophecies of Nostradamus, written in a letter 1 to
Henry II of France, on June 27, 1558. After detailing a year
characterized, among other things, by U 6 V with $ , 2
he says:

1 Printed in the Amsterdam edition of the Vrayes Centuries et Propheties de
Maistre Michel Nostredame (1667), PP- 9^-

2 According to the old tradition the conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury, as
mentioned above, is characteristic of Christianity. The quartile aspect between
Mercury and Mars "injures" Mercury by "martial" violence. According to
Cardan, $ $ signifies "the law of Mahomet" (Comment, in Ptol., p. 188).
This aspect could therefore indicate an attack by Islam. Albumasar regards
IX c5 $ in the same way: "And if Mars shall be in conjunction with him
(Jupiter), it signifies the fiery civilization and the pagan faith" (De magn. con-
iunct., tract. I, cliff. 4, p. a8 r ). On the analogy of history the evil events to come
are ascribed to the crescent moon, but one never reflects that the opponent of
Christianity dwells in the European unconscious. History repeats itself.

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AION



Then the beginning of that year shall see a greater persecution
against the Christian Church than ever was in Africa, 3 and it shall
be in the year 1792, at which time everyone will think it a renova-
tion of the age. . . . And at that time and in those countries the
infernal power shall rise against the Church of Jesus Christ. This
shall be the second Antichrist, which shall persecute the said Church
and its true vicar by means of the power of temporal kings, who
through their ignorance shall be seduced by tongues more sharp
than any sword in the hands of a madman. . . . The persecution
of the clergy shall have its beginning in the power of the Northern
Kings joined by the Eastern ones. And that persecution shall last
eleven years, or a little less, at which time the chief Northern king
shall fail. 4

52 However, Nostradamus thinks that "a united Southern king"
will outlast the Northern one by three years. He sees a return
of paganism ("the sanctuary destroyed by paganism"), the Bible
will be burned, and an immense blood-bath will take place: "So
great tribulations as ever did happen since the first foundation
of the Christian Church." All Latin countries will be affected
by it.

53 There are historical determinants that may have moved
Nostradamus to give the year 1792 as the beginning of the new
aeon. For instance, Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, basing himself on
Albumasar, writes in his Concordantia 5 on the eighth coniunc-
tio maxima (U 6 ^ in t), which had been calculated for 1693:

And after that shall be the fulfilment of ten revolutions of Saturn
in the year 1789, and this will happen after the said conjunction,
in the course of ninety-seven years or thereabouts. . . . This being
so, we say that if the world shall endure until then, which God
alone knows, then there will be many and great and marvellous
changes and transformations of the world, especially as concerns
law-giving and religious sects, for the said conjunction and the
revolutions of Saturn will coincide with the revolution or reversal
of the upper orb, i.e., the eighth sphere, and from these and other
premises the change of sects will be known. . . . Whence it may

3 Where Roman Christendom succumbed to Islam.

4 The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus, trans, and ed. by H. C. Roberts,
pp. 23 iff.

5 D 7V to 8r, div. 2, cap. 60 and 61. Cf. also Thorndike, A History of Magic and
Experimental Science, IV, p. 102.

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THE PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS



be concluded with some probability that this is the time when the
Antichrist shall come with his law and his damnable sects, which
are utterly contrary and inimical to the law of Christ; for, being
human, we can have no certainty with regard to the time and the
moment of his coming. , . . Yet, despite the indeterminate state-
ment that he will come at approximately that time, it is possible to
have a probable conjecture and a credible hypothesis in accordance
with the astronomical indications. If, therefore, the astronomers
say that a change of sects will occur about that time, then, according
to them, a Mighty One will come after Mahomet, who will set up an
evil and magical law. Thus we may surmise with credible prob-
ability that after the sect of Mahomet none other will come save
the law of the Antichrist. 6

l 54 In connection with the calculation of the year 1693, Pierre
d'Ailly quotes Albumasar as saying that the first coniunctio
maxima of Saturn and Jupiter took place anno mundi 3200. To
this Albumasar added 960 years, which brings us to a.d. 1693 as
the year of the eighth coniunctio maxima. 1 In Part III of his
book, chapter 17, Pierre d'Ailly criticizes this view and calls it a
"false deduction." In his treatise against "superstitiosos astrono-
mos," 1410, he maintains that the Christian religion should not
be brought under astrological laws. He was alluding in particu-
lar to Roger Bacon, who had revived the theory that Christianity
was under the influence of the planet Mercury. Pierre d'Ailly

6 "Et post illam erit complementura 10 revolutionum saturnalium anno Christi
1789 et hoc erit post dictam coniunctionem per annos 97 vel prope. . . . His
itaque praesuppositis dicimus quod si mundus usque ad ilia tempora duraverit,
quod solus deus novit, multae tunc et magnae et mirabiles alterationes mundi
et mutationes futurae sunt, et maxime circa leges et sectas, nam cum praedicta
coniunctione et illis revolutionibus Saturni ad hoc concurret revolutio seu
reversio superioris orbis, id est, octavae sphaerae per quam et per alia praemissa
cognoscitur sectarum mutatio . . . Unde ex his probabiliter concluditur quod
forte circa ilia tempora veniet Antichristus cum lege sua vel secta damnabili,
quae maxime adversa erit et contraria legi Christi; nam licet de adventu sui
determinato tempore vel momento haberi non possit humanitus certitudo. . . .
Tamen indeterminate loquendo quod circa ilia tempora venturus sit potest
haberi probabilis coniectura et verisimilis suspicio per astronomica iudicia. Cum
enim dictum sit secundum astronomos circa ilia tempora fieri mutationem
sectarum et secundum eos post machometum erit aliquis potens, qui legem
foedam et magicam constituet. Ideo verisimili probabilitate credi potest, quod
post sectam machometi nulla secta veniet, nisi lex antichristi."

7 Concordantia, etc., fol. b 5.

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AION

held that only superstitions and heretical opinions were astro-
logically influenced, and especially the coming of the Anti-
christ. 8

55 We are probably right in assuming that these calculations
were known to Nostradamus, who proposed 1792 as an improve-
ment on 1789. Both dates are suggestive, and a knowledge of sub-
sequent events confirms that the things that happened around
that time were significant forerunners of developments in our
own day. The enthronement of the "Deesse Raison" was, in fact,
an anticipation of the antichristian trend that was pursued from
then onwards.

J 56 The "renovation of the age" might mean a new aeon, and
it coincides in a remarkable way with the new system of dating,
the revolutionary calendar, which began with September 22,
1792, and had a distinctly antichristian character. 9 What had
been brewing up long beforehand then became a manifest
event; in the French Revolution men witnessed the enantio-
dromia that had set in with the Renaissance and ran parallel
with the astrological fish symbol. The time seemed a significant
one astrologically, for a variety of reasons. In the first place this
was the moment when the precession of the equinoxes reached
the tail of the second fish. 10 Then, in the year 1791, Saturn was
in T, a fiery sign. Besides that, tradition made use of the
theory of maximal conjunctions u and regarded the year of the
eighth coniunctio maxima- 1693- as a starting-point for future
calculations. 12 This critical year was combined with another

8 Cf. Thorndike, IV, p. 103.

9 In classical usage renovatio can have the meaning of the modern word "revolu-
tion," whereas even in late Latin revolutio still retains its original meaning of
"revolving." As the text shows, Nostradamus thought of this moment (1791) as
the climax of a long-standing persecution of the Church. One is reminded of
Voltaire's "crasez l'infame!"

10 There is nothing to suggest that a conscious attempt was made to prophesy
on the basis of the precession.

11 Conjunctions in Aries were regarded as such, at least as a rule. o Aries is the
spring-point.

12 1 cannot claim to have understood Pierre d'Ailly's argument. Here is the
text (Second treatise, ch. 60, "De octava coniunctione maxima"): "Et post
illam erit complementum 10 revolutionum saturnalium anno Christi 1789 et hoc
erit post dictam coniunctionem per annos 97 vel prope et inter dictam coniunc-
tionem et illud complementum dictarum 10 revolutionum erit status octavae
sphaerae circiter per annos 25 quod sic patet: quia status octavae sphaerae erit

98



THE PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS



tradition basing itself on periods of ten revolutions of Saturn,
each period taking three hundred years. Pierre d'Ailly cites
Albumasar, who says in his Magnae coniunctiones: "They said
that the change shall come when ten revolutions of Saturn have
been completed, and that the permutation of Saturn is particu-
larly appropriate to the movable signs" (r, So, =^=, V3). 13 Accord-
ing to Pierre d'Ailly, a Saturn period came to an end in 1 1 B.C.,
and he connects this with the appearance of Christ. Another
period ended in a.d. 289; this he connects with Manichaeism.
The year 589 foretells Islam, and 1189 the significant reign of
Pope Innocent III; 1489 announces a schism of the Church, and
1789 signalizes- by inference- the coming of the Antichrist.
Fantasy could do the rest, for the archetype had long been ready
and was only waiting for the time to be fulfilled. That a usurper
from the North would seize power 14 is easily understood when
we consider that the Antichrist is something infernal, the devil
or the devil's son, and is therefore Typhon or Set, who has his
fiery abode in the North. Typhon's power is triadic, possessing
two confederates, one in the East and one in the South. This
power corresponds to the "lower triad." 15
'57 Nostradamus, the learned physician and astrologer, would
certainly have been familiar with the idea of the North as the
region of the devil, unbelievers, and all things evil. The idea,

anno 444 post situm augmentationum [reading uncertain], quae secundum
tabulas astronomicas sunt adaequatae ad annum Christi 1320 perfectum, et ideo
anno Christi 1764, quibus annis si addas 25, sunt anni 1789 quos praediximus.
Unde iterum patet quod ab hoc anno Christi 1414 usque ad statum octavae
sphaerae erunt anni 253 perfecti." (And after that shall be the fulfilment of 10
revolutions of Saturn to the year 1789, and this shall be after the said con-
junction for 97 years or thereabouts, and between the said conjunction and
that fulfilment of the 10 revolutions there shall be a standstill of the eighth
sphere for about 25 years, which is evident from this: that the standstill of the
eighth sphere shall be in the 444th year after the position of the augmentations,
which according to the astronomical tables are assigned to the end of the year
of Christ 1320, that is the year of Christ 1764, and if you add 25 years to this,
you arrive at the year 1789 aforesaid. Hence it is again evident that from this
year of Christ 1414 to the standstill of the eighth sphere there will be 253
complete years.)

13 Fol. d 6.

14 It is not clear from the text whether the same "persecution" is meant, or a
new one. The latter would be possible.

15 Cf. "The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," pars. 425^, 436ff.

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AION



as St. Eucherius of Lyons (d. 450) remarks, 16 goes back to Jere-
miah 1 : 14: "From the north shall an evil wind break forth
upon all the inhabitants of the land," 17 and other passages such
as Isaiah 14 : 12L:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou rut down to the ground, which didst weaken the
nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit on the mount
of assembly in the far north. 18

The Benedictine monk Rhabanus Maurus (d. 856) says that
"the north wind is the harshness of persecution" and "a figure
of the old enemy." 19 The north wind, he adds, signifies the
devil, as is evident from Job 26 : 7: "He stretcheth out the north
over the empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." 20
Rhabanus interprets this as meaning that "God allows the devil
to rule the minds of those who are empty of his grace." 21 St.
Augustine says: "Who is that north wind, save him who said: I
will set up my seat in the north, I will be like the most High?
The devil held rule over the wicked, and possessed the nations,"
etc. 22
15 8 The Victorine monk Garnerius says that the "malign spirit"
was called Aquilo, the north wind. Its coldness meant the
"frigidity of sinners." 23 Adam Scotus imagined there was a
frightful dragon's head in the north from which all evil comes.
From its mouth and snout it emitted smoke of a triple nature, 24
the "threefold ignorance, namely of good and evil, of true and

16 Migne, P.L., vol. 50, col. 740.

17 "Ab Aquilone pendetur malum super omnes habitatores terrae" (DV).

18 "Quomodo cecidisti de coelo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris? corruisti in terram
qui vulnerabas gentes? Qui dicebas in corde tuo: in caelum conscendam, super
astra Dei exaltabo solium meum, sedebo in monte testamenti, in lateribus
Aquilonis" (trans, is AV; last line RSV).

19 Migne, P.L., vol. 112, col. 860.

20 This is an obvious analogy of the pneuma brooding on the face of the deep.
21 ". . . quod illorum mentibus, qui gratia sua vacui, diabolum Deus dominari
permittit."

22 Enar. in Ps. XLVII, 3; Migne, P.L., vol. 36, col. 534.

23 Sancti Victoris Parisiensis Gregorianum; Migne, P.L., vol. 193, cols. 59L

24 Allusion to the lower triad.

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THE PROPHECIES OF NOSTRADAMUS



false, of fitting and unfitting." 25 "That is the smoke," says Adam
Scotus, "which the prophet Ezekiel, in his vision of God, saw
coming from the north," 2Q the "smoke" of which Isaiah speaks. 27
The pious author never stops to think how remarkable it is that
the prophet's vision of God should be blown along on the wings
of the north wind, wrapped in this devilish smoke of threefold
ignorance. Where there is smoke, there is fire. Hence the "great
cloud" had "brightness round about it, and fire flashing forth
continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming
bronze." 28 The north wind comes from the region of fire and,
despite its coldness, is a "ventus urens" (burning wind), as
Gregory the Great calls it, referring to Job 27 : 2i. 29 This
wind is the malign spirit, "who rouses up the flames of lust in
the heart" and kindles every living thing to sin. "Through the
breath of evil incitement to earthly pleasures he makes the
hearts of the wicked to burn." As Jeremiah 1:13 says, "I see a
boiling pot, facing away from the north." In these quotations
from Gregory we hear a faint echo of the ancient idea of the fire
in the north, which is still very much alive in Ezekiel, whose
cloud of fire appears from the north, whence "an evil shall
break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land." 30
*59 In these circumstances it is hardly surprising that Nos-
tradamus warns against the usurper from the north when fore-
telling the coming of the Antichrist. Even before the Reforma-
tion the Antichrist was a popular figure in folklore, as the
numerous editions of the "Entkrist" 31 in the second half of the

25 De tripartito tabernaculo, III, c. 9; Migne, P.L., vol. 198, col. 761. Adam
Scotus speaks of the "darkness of the smoke from the north." Pseudo-Clement
(Homilies, XIX, 22) stresses "the sins of unconsciousness" (agnoia). Honorius of
Autun (Speculum de mysteriis ecclesiae; Migne, P.L., vol. 172, col. 833) says: "By
the north, where the sun lies hidden under the earth, Matthew is meant, who
describes the divinity of Christ hidden under the flesh." This confirms the
chthonic nature of the triad.

26 Ezek. 1 : 4: "And I saw, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north, and a
great cloud . . ."

27 Isaiah 14: 31: "Howl, O gate, cry, O city, all Philistia is thrown down, for a
smoke shall come from the north, and there is none that shall escape his troop."

28 Ezek. 1 : 4.

29 "A burning wind shall take him up and carry him away; and as a whirlwind
shall snatch him from his place" (In Expositionem bead Job Moralia; Migne,
P.L., vol. 76, cols. 54, 55).

30 Jer. 1 : 13L 31 Cf. Symbols of Transformation, par. 5C5.

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AION

fifteenth century show. 32 This is quite understandable in view
of the spiritual events then impending: the Reformation was
about to begin. Luther was promptly greeted as the Antichrist,
and it is possible that Nostradamus calls the Antichrist who was
to appear after 1792 the "second Antichrist" because the first
had already appeared in the guise of the German reformer, or
much earlier with Nero or Mohammed. 33 We should not omit
to mention in this connection how much capital the Nazis made
out of the idea that Hitler was continuing and completing the
work of reformation which Luther had left only half finished.

160 From the existing astrological data, therefore, and from the
possibilities of interpreting them it was not difficult for Nos-
tradamus to predict the imminent enantiodromia of the Chris-
tian aeon; indeed, by making this prediction, he placed himself
firmly in the antichristian phase and served as its mouthpiece.

!6i After this excursion, let us turn back to our fish symbolism.

32 The text of the various mss. is supposed to go back to the Compendium
theologicae veritatis of Hugh of Strasbourg (13th cent.). Cf. Kelchner, Der
Enndkrist, p. 7.

33 So in Giovanni Nanni (1432-1502). See Thorndike, IV, pp. 263ft.



102



VIII

THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
OF THE FISH

l6 In addition to the "pisciculi Christianorum," the shepherd
and the lamb play, as we know only too well, an almost greater
role in Christian allegory, and Hermes Kriophoros (the "ram-
bearer") became the prototype of the "good shepherd," the
tutelary god of flocks. Another prototype, in his capacity as
shepherd, was Orpheus. 1 This aspect of the Poimen gave rise to
a figure of similar name in the mystery cults, who was popu-
larized in the "Shepherd" of Hermas (2nd century). Like the
"giant fish" mentioned in the Abercius inscription, 2 the shep-
herd probably has connections with Attis, both temporally and
regionally. Reitzenstein even conjectures that the "Shepherd"
of Hermas derives from the Poimandres writings, which are of
purely pagan origin. 3 Shepherd, ram, and lamb symbolism coin-
cides with the expiring aeon of Aries. In the first century of our
era the two aeons overlap, and the two most important mystery
gods of this period, Attis and Christ, are both characterized as
shepherds, rams, and fishes. The Poimen symbolism has under-
gone such thorough elaboration at the hands of Reitzenstein
that I am in no position to add anything illuminating in this
respect. The case is somewhat different with the fish symbol. Not
only are the sources more copious, but the very nature of the
symbol, and in particular its dual aspects, give rise to definite
psychological questions which I should like to go into more
closely.

l6 3 Like every hero, Christ had a childhood that was threatened
(massacre of the innocents, flight into Egypt). The astrological
"interpretation" of this can be found in Revelation 12 : 1: "A
woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,

lEisler, Orpheus- The Fisher, pp. 51ft. 2 [Cf. par. 127, n. 4.]

3 Poimandres, pp. 32ft.

IO3



AION



and on her head a crown of twelve stars." She is in the pangs
of birth and is pursued by a dragon. She will give birth to a
man-child who shall "rule the nations with a rod of iron." This
story carries echoes of numerous kindred motifs in East and
West, for instance that of Leto and Python, of Aphrodite and
her son, who, when pursued, leapt into the Euphrates and were
changed into fishes, 4 and of Isis and Horus in Egypt. The Syrian
Greeks identified Derceto-Atargatis and her son Ichthys with
the constellation of the Fishes. 5

16 4 The mother-goddess- and the star-crowned woman of the
Apocalypse counts as one- is usually thought of as a virgin
(irapBivo^, virgo). The Christmas message, 'H irapBivo^ reroKev, avd
&<> (the virgin has brought forth, the light increases), is pagan.
Speaking of the so-called Korion in Alexandria, Epiphanius 6
says that on the night of the Epiphany (January 5/6) the pagans
held a great festival:

They stay up the whole night singing songs and playing the flute,
offering these to the images of the gods; and, when the revelries of
the night are over, after cock-crow, they go down with torches into
a subterranean sanctuary and bring up a carved wooden image,
which is laid naked on a litter. On its forehead it has the sign of the
cross, in gold, and on both its hands two other signs of the same
shape, and two more on its knees; and the five signs are all fashioned
in gold. They carry this carved image seven times round the middle
of the temple precincts, to the sound of flutes and tambourines and
hymns, and after the procession they carry it down again into the
crypt. But if you ask them what this mysterious performance means,
they answer: Today, at this hour, the Kore, that is to say the virgin,
has given birth to the Aeon.

16 5 Epiphanius expressly states that he is not telling this of a
Christian sect, but of the worshippers of idols, and he does so
in order to illustrate the idea that even the pagans bear invol-
untary witness to the truth of Christianity.

4 Eisler, The Royal Art of Astrology, p. 107.

5 Bouch-Leclercq, L'Astrologie grecque, p. 147. For the relation of the gyne
(woman) to the zodiacal sign Virgo see Boll, A us der Offenbarung Johannis,
p. 122.

6 Panarium, LI, 22, Oehler edn., Part 3, pp. 632^ This passage is not in the older
editions of the Panarium, since it was discovered only recently in a ms. at Venice.

104



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



166 Virgo, the zodiacal sign, carries either a wheat-sheaf or a
child. Some authorities connect her with the "woman" of the
Apocalypse. 7 At any rate, this woman has something to do with
the prophecy of the birth of a Messiah at the end of time. Since
the author of the Apocalypse was supposed to be a Christian, the
question arises: To whom does the woman refer who is inter-
preted as the mother of the Messiah, or of Christ? And to
whom does the son of the woman refer who (translating the
Greek literally) shall "pasture (TrotfxaiveLv) the pagans with an iron
staff"?

,6 7 As this passage contains an allusion on the one hand to
the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 66 : 7, 8 and on the other to
Yahweh's wrath (Psalm 2 : 9 9 ), it would seem to refer in some
way to the future rebirth of the Messiah. But such an idea is
quite impossible in the Christian sphere. Boll 10 says of the
description of the "lamb" in Revelation 5 : 6ff.: "This remark-
ably bizarre figure with seven horns and seven eyes cannot pos-
sibly be explained in Christian terms." Also, the "lamb" de-
velops some very unexpected peculiarities: he is a bellicose
lamb, a conqueror (Rev. 17 : 14). The mighty ones of the earth
will have to hide from his wrath (Rev. 6 : 15ft.). He is likened
to the "lion of the tribe of Judah" (Rev. 5 : 5). This lamb, who
is reminiscent of Psalm 2 : 9 ("Thou shalt break them with a rod
of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel"),
rather gives one the sinister impression of a daemonic ram, 11 and
not at all of a lamb who is led meekly to the slaughter. The
lamb of the Apocalypse belongs, without doubt, to the cate-
gory of horned monsters mentioned in these prophecies. One
must therefore consider the question whether the author of the
Apocalypse was influenced by an idea that was in some sense
antithetical to Christ, perhaps by a psychological shadow-figure,

7 Boll, pp. 12 iff.

8 "Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was de-
livered of a man child."

9 "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces
like a potter's vessel." 10 Boll, p. 44.

11 His eyes signify the "seven Spirits of God" (Rev. 5:6) or the "seven eyes of
the Lord" (Zech. 4 : 10). The Lamb stands with the seven angels before God's
throne, as Satan did with the sons of God (Job 1 : 6), so that God is described
under the aspect of Ezekiel's vision and is thought of in Yahwistic terms- an
"umbra in lege"!

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AION

an "umbra Jesu" which was united at the end of time with the
triumphant Christ, through an act of rebirth. This hypothesis
would explain the repetition of the birth myth and also the
curious fact that so important an eschatological expectation as
the coming of the Antichrist receives but scant mention in the
Apocalypse. The seven-horned ram is just about everything that
Jesus appears not to be. 12 He is a real shadow-figure, but he
could not be described as the Antichrist, who is a creature of
Satan. For although the monstrous, warlike lamb is a shadow-
figure in the sense that he is the counterpart of the lamb who
was sacrificed, he is not nearly so irreconcilable with Christ as
the Antichrist would have to be. The duplication of the Christ-
figure cannot, therefore, be traced back to this split between
Christ and Antichrist, but is due rather to the anti-Roman re-
sentment felt by the Jewish Christians, who fell back on their
god of vengeance and his warlike Messiah. The author of the
Apocalypse may have been acquainted with Jewish speculations
known to us through later tradition. We are told in the Bere-
shith Rabbati of Moses ha-Darshan that Elias found in Bethle-
hem a young woman sitting before her door with a newborn
child lying on the ground beside her, flecked with blood. She
explained that her son had been born at an evil hour, just when
the temple was destroyed. Elias admonished her to look after the
child. When he came back again five weeks later, he asked about
her son. "He neither walks, nor sees, nor speaks, nor hears, but
lies there like a stone," said the woman. Suddenly a wind blew
from the four corners of the earth, bore the child away, and
plunged him into the sea. Elias lamented that it was now all up
with the salvation of Israel, but a bath kol (voice) said to him:

It is not so. He will remain in the great sea for four hundred years,
and eighty years in the rising smoke of the children of Korah, 13
eighty years under the gates of Rome, and the rest of the time he
will wander round in the great cities until the end of the days
comes. 14

168 This story describes a Messiah who, though born in Bethle-
hem, is wafted by divine intervention into the Beyond (sea =
unconscious). From the very beginning his childhood is so

12 That is, if we disregard passages like Matt. 21 : 19 and 22 : 7 and Luke 19 : 27.

13 [Cf. Num. 16.- Editors.] 1 4 Wunsche, Die Leiden des Messias, p. 91.

106



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



threatened that he is scarcely able to live. The legend is sympto-
matic of an extraordinary weakness of the Messianic element in
Judaism and the dangers attending it, which would explain the
delay in the Messiah's appearance. For 560 years he remains
latent, and only then does his missionary work begin. This in-
terlude is not so far off the 530 years mentioned in the Tal-
mudic prophecy (cf. par. 133), near enough anyway for us to
compare them, if we take this legend as referring to Christ. In
the limitless sea of Jewish speculation mutual contacts of this
sort are more likely to have occurred than not. Thus the deadly
threat to the Messiah and his death by violence is a motif that
repeats itself in other stories, too. The later, mainly Cabalistic
tradition speaks of two Messiahs, the Messiah ben Joseph (or
ben Ephraim) and the Messiah ben David. They were compared
to Moses and Aaron, also to two roes, and this on the authority
of the Song of Solomon 4:5: "Thy two breasts are like two
young roes that are twins." 15 Messiah ben Joseph is, according
to Deuteronomy 33 : 17, the "firstling of his bullock," and
Messiah ben David rides on an ass. 16 Messiah ben Joseph is the
first, Messiah ben David the second. 17 Messiah ben Joseph must
die in order to "atone with his blood for the children of Yah-
weh." 18 He will fall in the fight against Gog and Magog, and
Armilus will kill him. Armilus is the Anti-Messiah, whom
Satan begot on a block of marble. 19 He will be killed by Messiah
ben David in his turn. Afterwards, ben David will fetch the new
Jerusalem down from heaven and bring ben Joseph back to
life. 20 This ben Joseph plays a strange role in later tradition.
Tabari, the commentator on the Koran, mentions that the Anti-
christ will be a king of the Jews, 21 and in Abarbanel's Mashmi'a
Yeshu'ah the Messiah ben Joseph actually is the Antichrist. So he
is not only characterized as the suffering Messiah in contrast to

15 Targum on Canticles 4 : 5 in The Targum to The Song of Songs, p. 50.
Wunsche, p. 111. In the Zohar the Messiah is called "Mother." Schoettgen,
Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae, II, p. 10. Cf. also the "Saviour of the twins" in
Pistis Sophia (above, par. 133, n. 44).

16 Zohar, trans, by H. Sperling and M. Simon, II, p. 358: "Hence it is written
of him [the Messiah] that he will be 'poor and riding on an ass . . .' (Zech.
12:9)." Also Wunsche, p. 100. 17 Ibid., p. 114. 18 Ibid., p. 115.

19 Armilus or Armillus - "PwfivXos, the Antichrist. Methodius: "Romulus, who
is also Armaeleus." 20 Wunsche, p. 120.

21 Chronique of Tabari, I, ch. 23, p. 67.

107



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the victorious one, but is ultimately thought of as his antag-
onist. 22
l6 9 As these traditions show, the above-mentioned weakness of
the Messianic element consists in a split which in the end be-
comes a complete polarity. This development is foreshadowed
in Persian religious literature, in the pre-Christian idea of an
enantiodromia of the great time-periods, and the deterioration
of goodness. The Bahman Yast calls the fourth Iron Age "the
evil sovereignty of the demons with dishevelled hair of the race
of Wrath." 23 On the other hand, the splitting of the Messiah
into two is an expression of an inner disquiet with regard to the
character of Yahweh, whose injustice and unreliability must
have shocked every thoughtful believer ever since the time of
Job. 24 Job puts the problem in unequivocal terms, and Chris-
tianity gave an equally unequivocal answer. Jewish mysticism,
on the other hand, went its own way, and its speculations hover
over depths which Christian thinkers have done their utmost to
cover up. I do not want to elaborate this theme here, but will
mention as an example a story told by Ibn Ezra. In Spain, he
says, there was a great sage who was reputed to be unable to
read the Eighty-ninth Psalm because it saddened him too much.
The verses in question are:

I will not remove from him my steadfast love,

or be false to my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant,

or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Once for all I have sworn my holiness:

I will not lie to David.
His line shall endure for ever,

his throne as long as the sun before me.
Like the moon it shall be established for ever;

the witness in the skies is sure. Selah!
But now thou hast cast off and rejected,

thou art full of wrath against thy anointed.
Thou hast renounced the covenant with thy servant;

thou hast trodden his crown in the dust.

22 Bousset, The Antichrist Legend, p. 111.

zzPahlavi Texts, trans, by E. W. West, p. 193.

24 Cf. the opposition between mercy and justice in God's nature, supra, pars.

io8ff.

108



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



Thou hast breached all his walls;

thou hast laid his strongholds in ruins. 25

It is the same problem as in Job. As the highest value and
supreme dominant in the psychic hierarchy, the God-image is
immediately related to, or identical with, the self, and every-
thing that happens to the God-image has an effect on the latter.
Any uncertainty about the God-image causes a profound uneasi-
ness in the self, for which reason the question is generally
ignored because of its painfulness. But that does not mean that
it remains unasked in the unconscious. What is more, it is
answered by views and beliefs like materialism, atheism, and
similar substitutes, which spread like epidemics. They crop up
wherever and whenever one waits in vain for the legitimate
answer. The ersatz product represses the real question into the
unconscious and destroys the continuity of historical tradition
which is the hallmark of civilization. The result is bewilder-
ment and confusion. Christianity has insisted on God's goodness
as a loving Father and has done its best to rob evil of substance.
The early Christian prophecy concerning the Antichrist, and
certain ideas in late Jewish theology, could have suggested to us
that the Christian answer to the problem of Job omits to men-
tion the corollary, the sinister reality of which is now being
demonstrated before our eyes by the splitting of our world:
the destruction of the God-image is followed by the annulment
of the human personality. Materialistic atheism with its Utopian
chimeras forms the religion of all those rationalistic movements
which delegate the freedom of personality to the masses and
thereby extinguish it. The advocates of Christianity squander
their energies in the mere preservation of what has come down
to them, with no thought of building on to their house and
making it roomier. Stagnation in these matters is threatened in
the long run with a lethal end.

As Bousset has plausibly suggested, the duality of the apoc-
alyptic Christ is the outcome of Jewish-Gnostic speculations
whose echoes we hear in the traditions mentioned above. The
intensive preoccupation of the Gnostics with the problem of
evil stands out in startling contrast to the peremptory nullifica-
tion of it by the Church fathers, and shows that this question

25 Psalm 89 : 33ft.

109



AION



had already become topical at the beginning of the third cen-
tury. In this connection we may recall the view expressed by
Valentinus, 26 that Christ was born "not without a kind of
shadow" and that he afterwards "cast off the shadow from him-
self." 27 Valentinus lived sometime in the first half of the second
century, and the Apocalypse was probably written about a.d. 90,
under Domitian. Like other Gnostics, Valentinus carried the
gospels a stage further in his thinking, and for this reason it does
not seem to me impossible that he understood the "shadow" as
the Yahwistic law under which Christ was born. The Apocalypse
and other things in the New Testament could easily have
prompted him to such a view, quite apart from the more or less
contemporaneous ideas about the demiurge and the prime
Ogdoad that consists of light and shadow. 28 It is not certain
whether Origen's doubt concerning the ultimate fate of the
devil was original; 29 at all events, it proves that the possibility
of the devil's reunion with God was an object of discussion in
very early times, and indeed had to be if Christian philosophy
was not to end in dualism. One should not forget that the theory
of the privatio boni does not dispose of the eternity of hell and
damnation. God's humanity is also an expression of dualism, as
the controversy of the Monophysites and Dyopnysites in the
early Church shows. Apart from the religious significance of
the decision in favour of a complete union of both natures, I
would mention in passing that the Monophysite dogma has a
noteworthy psychological aspect: it tells us (in psychological
parlance) that since Christ, as a man, corresponds to the ego,
and, as God, to the self, he is at once both ego and self, part and
whole. Empirically speaking, consciousness can never compre-

26 He was, it seems, a cleric, who is said to have been a candidate for the
episcopal see in Rome.

27 Irenaeus, Adv. haer., I, 11, 1 (Roberts/Rambaut trans., I, p. 46).

28 Doctrine of the Valentinian Secundus (ibid., I, p. 46).

29 De oratione, 27: ". . . so that that supreme sinner and blasphemer against
the Holy Ghost may be kept from sin through all this present age, and here-
after in the age to come from its beginning to its end be treated I know not
how" (. . . ita ut summus ille peccator et in Spiritum sanctum blasphemus per
totum hoc praesens saeculum a peccato detineatur, et post haec in futuro ab
initio ad finem sit nescio quomodo tractandus), thus giving rise to the view that
"even the devil will some day be saved." [Cf. alternative trans, by J. E. L. Oulton
and H. Chadwick, p. 304.]

HO



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



hend the whole, but it is probable that the whole is uncon-
sciously present in the ego. This would be equivalent to the
highest possible state of reAeiVns (completeness or perfection).

7 2 I have dwelt at some length on the dualistic aspects of the
Christ-figure because, through the fish symbolism, Christ was
assimilated into a world of ideas that seems far removed from
the gospels- a world of pagan origin, saturated with astrological
beliefs to an extent that we can scarcely imagine today. Christ
was born at the beginning of the aeon of the Fishes. It is by no
means ruled out that there were educated Christians who knew
of the coniunctio maxima of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces in
the year 7 B.C., just as, according to the gospel reports, there
were Chaldaeans who actually found Christ's birthplace. The
Fishes, however, are a double sign.

73 At midnight on Christmas Eve, when (according to the old
time-reckoning) the sun enters Capricorn, Virgo is standing on
the eastern horizon, and is soon followed by the Serpent held
by Ophiuchus, the "Serpent-bearer." This astrological coin-
cidence seems to me worth mentioning, as also the view that the
two fishes are mother and son. The latter idea has a quite special
significance because this relationship suggests that the two fishes
were originally one. In fact, Babylonian and Indian astrology
know of only one fish. 30 Later, this mother evidently gave birth
to a son, who was a fish like her. The same thing happened to
the Phoenician Derceto-Atargatis, who, half fish herself, had a
son called Ichthys. It is just possible that "the sign of the prophet
Jonah" 31 goes back to an older tradition about an heroic night
sea journey and conquest of death, where the hero is swallowed
by a fish ("whale-dragon") and is then reborn. 32 The redemp-
tory name Joshua 33 (Yehoshua, Yeshua, Gr. lesous) is con-
nected with the fish: Joshua is the son of Nun, and Nun means
'fish.' The Joshua ben Nun of the Khidr legend had dealings
with a fish that was meant to be eaten but was revived by a drop
of water from the fountain of life. 34

30 Namely Piscis Austrinus, the "Southern Fish," which merges with Pisces and
whose principal star is Fomalhaut. 31 Matt. 12 : 39, 16 : 4; Luke 11 : 29L

32 Cf. Frobenius, Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes, and my Symbols of Transforma-
tion, pars. 3o8ff. 33 "Yahweh is salvation."

34 Koran, Sura 18. Cf. "Concerning Rebirth," pars. 244^, and Vollers, "Chidher,"
p. 241.

Ill



AION



2 74 The mythological Great Mothers are usually a danger to
their sons. Jeremias mentions a fish representation on an early
Christian lamp, showing one fish devouring the other. 35 The
name of the largest star in the constellation known as the South-
ern Fish- Fomalhaut, 'the fish's mouth'- might be interpreted
in this sense, just as in fish symbolism every conceivable form
of devouring concupiscentia is attributed to fishes, which are
said to be "ambitious, libidinous, voracious, avaricious, lascivi-
ous"- in short, an emblem of the vanity of the world and of
earthly pleasures ("voluptas terrena"). 36 They owe these bad
qualities most of all to their relationship with the mother- and
love-goddess Ishtar, Astarte, Atargatis, or Aphrodite. As the
planet Venus, she has her "exaltatio" in the zodiacal sign of the
fishes. Thus, in astrological tradition as well as in the history of
symbols, the fishes have always had these opprobrious qualities
attached to them, 37 while on the other hand laying claim to a
special and higher significance. This claim is based - at least in
astrology - on the fact that anyone born under Pisces may expect
to become a fisherman or a sailor, and in that capacity to catch
fishes or hold dominion over the sea- an echo of the primitive
totemistic identity between the hunter and his prey. The Baby-
lonian culture-hero Cannes was himself a fish, and the Christian
Ichthys is a fisher of men par excellence. Symbologically, he
is actually the hook or bait on God's fishing-rod with which the
Leviathan- death or the devil- is caught. 38 In Jewish tradition
the Leviathan is a sort of eucharistic food stored up for the

35 jeremias, The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, p. 76. This
lamp has never been traced.

36 Picinellus, Mundus symbolicus (1680-81), Lib. VI, cap. I.

37 Bouche-Leclercq, p. 147.

38 How closely the negative and the positive meanings are related can be seen
from the fish-hook motif, attributed to St. Cyprian: "Like a fish which darts
at a baited hook, and not only does not lay hold of the bait along with the
hook, but is itself hauled up out of the sea; so he who had the power of death
did indeed snatch away the body of Jesus unto death, but did not observe that
the hook of the Godhead was concealed therein, until he had devoured it; and
thereupon remained fixed thereto."

Stephen of Canterbury (Liber allegoricus in Habacuc, unavailable to me) says:
"It is the bait of longed-for enjoyment that is displayed in the hook, but the tena-
cious hidden hook is consumed along with the bait. So in fleshly concupiscence the
devil displays the bait of pleasure, but the sting of sin lies hid therein." In this
regard see Picinellus, Lib. VI, cap. 1.

112



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



faithful in Paradise. After death, they clothe themselves in fish-
robes. 39 Christ is not only a fisher but the fish that is "eucha-
ristically" eaten. 40 Augustine says in his Confessions: "But [the
earth] eats the fish that was drawn from the deep, at the table
which you have prepared for them that believe; for the fish was
drawn from the deep in order to nourish the needy ones of the
earth." 41 St. Augustine is referring to the meal of fishes eaten by
the disciples at Emmaus (Luke 24 : 43). We come across the
"healing fish" in the story of Tobit: the angel Raphael helps
Tobit to catch the fish that is about to eat him, and shows him
how to make a magic "smoke" against evil spirits from the heart
and liver of the fish, and how he can heal his father's blindness
with its gall (Tobit 6 : iff.).

75 St. Peter Damian (d. 1072) describes monks as fishes, because
all pious men are little fishes leaping in the net of the Great
Fisher. 42 In the Pectorios inscription (beginning of the fourth
century), believers are called the "divine descendants of the
heavenly fish." 43

7 6 The fish of Manu is a saviour, 44 identified in legend with
Vishnu, who had assumed the form of a small goldfish. He begs
Manu to take him home, because he was afraid of being de-

39 Scheftelowitz, "Das Fisch-Symbol im Judentum und Christentum," p. 365.

40 Cf. Goodenough, Jewish Symbols, V, pp. 4 iff.

41 Lib. XIII, cap. XXI. (Cf. trans, by F. J. Sheed, p. 275, modified.)

42 "The cloister of a monastery is indeed a fishpond of souls, and fish live there-
in" (Picinellus, Mundus).

An Alexandrian hymn from the 2nd cent, runs:

"Fisher of men, whom Thou to life dost bringl

From the evil sea of sin

And from the billowy strife

Gathering pure fishes in,

Caught with sweet bait of life."
(Writings of Clement of Alexandria, trans, by W. Wilson, I, p. 344.) Cf. Doelger,
'IX0TS, I, p. 4. Tertullian (De baptismo, cap. I) says: "But we little fishes, after
the example of our TX9T2 Jesus Christ, are born in water, nor have we safety
in any other way than by permanently abiding in (that) water." (Trans, by
S. Thelwall, I, pp. 231-32.) The disciples of Gamaliel the Elder (beginning of
1st cent.) were named after various kinds of fishes. (Abot de Rabbi Nathan,
cap. 40 [cf. trans, by J. Goldin, p. 166], cited in Scheftelowitz, p. 5.)

43 Pohl, Das Ichthysmonument von Autun, and Doelger, I, pp. i2ff.

44 "I will save thee." Shatapatha Brahmana (trans, by J. Eggeling, I [i.e., XII],
p. 216).

US



AION



voured by the water monsters. 45 He then grows mightily, fairy-
tale fashion, and in the end rescues Manu from the great flood. 46
On the twelfth day of the first month of the Indian year a
golden fish is placed in a bowl of water and invoked as follows:
"As thou, O God, in the form of a fish, hast saved the Vedas that
were in the underworld, so save me also, O Keshava!" 47 De
Gubernatis and other investigators after him tried to derive the
Christian fish from India. 48 Indian influence is not impossible,
since relations with India existed even before Christ and various
spiritual currents from the East made themselves felt in early
Christianity, as we know from the reports of Hippolytus and
Epiphanius. Nevertheless, there is no serious reason to derive
the fish from India, for Western fish symbolism is so rich and at
the same time so archaic that we may safely regard it as autoch-
thonous.
*77 Since the Fishes stand for mother and son, the mythological
tragedy of the son's early death and resurrection is already im-
plicit in them. Being the twelfth sign of the Zodiac, Pisces de-
notes the end of the astrological year and also a new beginning.
This characteristic coincides with the claim of Christianity to
be the beginning and end of all things, and with its eschato-
logical expectation of the end of the world and the coming of
God's kingdom. 49 Thus the astrological characteristics of the
fish contain essential components of the Christian myth; first,
the cross; second, the moral conflict and its splitting into the
figures of Christ and Antichrist; third, the motif of the son of a
virgin; fourth, the classical mother-son tragedy; fifth, the danger
at birth; and sixth, the saviour and bringer of healing. It is
therefore not beside the point to relate the designation of Christ
as a fish to the new aeon then dawning. If this relationship
existed even in antiquity, it must obviously have been a tacit

45 De Gubernatis, Zoological Mythology, II, pp. 334^

46 Shatapatha Brahmana (Eggeling trans., pp. 2i6ff.).

47 Doelger, I, p. 23. Keshava means 'having much or fine hair,' a cognomen
of Vishnu. 48 ibid., pp. 2 iff.

49 Origen (De oratione, cap. 27): ". . . as the last month is the end of the year,
after which the beginning of another month ensues, so it may be that, since
several ages complete as it were a year of ages, the present age is 'the end,' after
which certain 'ages to come' will ensue, of which the age to come is the begin-
ning, and in those coming ages God will 'shew the riches of his grace in kind-
ness' [Eph. 2 : 7]" (Oulton/Chadwick trans., p. 304).

114



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



assumption or one that was purposely kept secret; for, to my
knowledge, there is no evidence in the old literature that the
Christian fish symbolism was derived from the zodiac. More-
over, the astrological evidence up to the second century a.d. is
by no means of such a kind that the Christ/Antichrist antithe-
sis could be derived causally from the polarity of the Fishes,
since this, as the material we have cited shows, was not stressed
as in any way significant. Finally, as Doelger rightly emphasizes,
the Ichthys was always thought of as only one fish, though here
we must point out that in the astrological interpretation Christ
is in fact only one of the fishes, the role of the other fish being
allotted to the Antichrist. There are, in short, no grounds what-
ever for supposing that the zodion of the Fishes could have
served as the Ichthys prototype.

Pagan fish symbolism plays in comparison a far greater
role. 50 The most important is the Jewish material collected by
Scheftelowitz. The Jewish "chalice of benediction" 51 was some-
times decorated with pictures of fishes, for fishes were the food
of the blessed in Paradise. The chalice was placed in the dead
man's grave as a funerary gift. 52 Fishes have a wide distribution
as sepulchral symbols. The Christian fish occurs mainly in this
connection. Devout Israelites who live "in the water of the
doctrine" are likened to fishes. This analogy was self-evident
around a.d. 100. 53 The fish also has a Messianic significance. 54
According to the Syrian Apocalypse of Baruch, Leviathan shall
rise from the sea with the advent of the Messiah. 55 This is prob-
ably the "very great fish" of the Abercius inscription, corre-
sponding to the "fish from the fountain" mentioned in a

50 Especially noteworthy is the cult of the dove and the fish in the Syrian area.
There too the fish was eaten as "Eucharistic" food. (Cumont, Les Religions
orientales dans le paganisme romain, pp. 108-9, 2 55~57-) The chief deity of the
Philistines was called Dagon, derived from dag, 'fish.'

51 rb -rrorripiov rijs evXoylas'- calix benedictionis (I Cor. 10 : 16, DV).

52 Scheftelowitz, p. 375. 53 Ibid., p. 3.

54 Cf. Goodenough, V, pp. 35ft - .

55 At the same time "Behemoth shall be revealed from his place . . . and then
they shall be food for all that are left." (Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha,
II, p. 497.) The idea of Leviathan rising from the sea also links up with the vision
in II Esdras 13 : 25, of the "man coming up from the midst of the sea." Cf. Charles,
II, p. 579, and Wischnitzer-Bernstein, Symbole und Gestalten der jiidischen Kunst,
pp. i22f. and 134I

115



AION

religious debate at the court of the Sassanids (5th century). The
fountain refers to the Babylonian Hera, but in Christian lan-
guage it means Mary, who in orthodox as well as in Gnostic
circles (Acts of Thomas) was invoked as 7^777, 'fountain.' Thus
we read in a hymn of Synesius (c. 350): Hayd Trcr/d^, apx&v dpxd,
pi$ibv pi^a, piovds el p.ovabuv, kt\. (Fountain of fountains, source of
sources, root of roots, monad of monads art thou.) 56 The foun-
tain of Hera was also said to contain the one fish (pbvov IxOvv)
that is caught by the "hook of divinity" and "feeds the whole
world with its flesh." 57 In a Boeotian vase-painting the "lady of
the beasts" 58 is shown with a fish between her legs, or in her
body, 59 presumably indicating that the fish is her son. Although,
in the Sassanid debate, the legend of Mary was transferred to
Hera, the "one fish" that is hooked does not correspond to the
Christian symbol, for in Christian symbology the crucifix is the
hook or bait with which God catches Leviathan, 60 who is either
death or the devil ("that ancient serpent") but not the Messiah.
In Jewish tradition, on the other hand, the pharmakon athana-
sias is the flesh of Leviathan, the "Messianic fish," as Scheftelo-
witz says. The Talmud Sanhedrin says that the Messiah "will
not come until a fish is sought for an invalid and cannot be pro-
cured." 61 According to the Apocalypse of Baruch, Behemoth as
well as Leviathan 62 is a eucharistic food. This is assiduously
overlooked. As I have explained elsewhere, 63 Yahweh's two pre-
historic monsters seem to represent a pair of opposites, the one
being unquestionably a land animal, and the other aquatic.

56 Wirth, Ans orientalischen Chroniken, p. 199.

57 Ibid., pp. 161, 19L

58 [Cf. Neumann, The Great Mother, ch. 14 and pi. 134. - Editors.]

59 Eisler, Orpheus- The Fisher, PI. LXIV.

60 See Psychology and Alchemy, fig. 28.

61 Scheftelowitz, p. 9; from the Talmud Nezikin VI, Sanhedrin II (BT, p. 662).
Cf. the kcrdU -kivLuv in the Pectorios inscription, supra, p. 8gn.

62 A passage in Moses Maimonides (Guide for the Perplexed, trans, by M. Fried-
lander, p. 303) has bearing on the interpretation of Leviathan. Kirchmaier (Dis-
putationes Zoologicae, 1736, p. 73) cites it as follows: "Speaking of these same
things Rabbi Moses Maimon says that Leviathan possesses a [universal] combina-
tion (complexum generalem) of bodily peculiarities found separate in different
animals." Although this rationalistic author dismisses the idea as "nugatory," it
nevertheless seems to me to hint at an archetype ("complexum generalem") of
the "spirit of gravity."

63 Psychological Types (1923 edn., pp. 333ft.).

Il6



THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FISH



J 79 Since olden times, not only among the Jews but all over the
Near East, the birth of an outstanding human being has been
identified with the rising of a star. Thus Balaam prophesies
(Num. 24 : 17):

I shall see him, but not now,

I shall behold him, but not nigh;

a star shall come forth out of Jacob. . . .

180 Always the hope of a Messiah is connected with the appear-
ance of a star. According to the Zohar, the fish that swallowed
Jonah died, but revived after three days and then spewed him
out again. "Through the fish we shall find a medicament for the
whole world." 64 This text is medieval but comes Irom a trust-
worthy source. The "very great 65 and pure fish from the foun-
tain" mentioned in the Abercius inscription is, in the opinion
of Scheftelowitz, 66 none other than Leviathan, which is not only
the biggest fish but is held to be pure, as Scheftelowitz shows by
citing the relevant passages from Talmudic literature. In this
connection we might also mention the "one and only fish" (eU
ixovos IxOvs) recorded in the "Happenings in Persia." 67

6-1 Scheftelowitz, p. 10. Cf. Matt. 12 : 39 and 16 : 4, where Christ takes the sign

of the prophet Jonah as a sign of the Messianic age and a prefiguration of his

own fate. Cf. also Goodenough, Jewish Symbols, V, pp. 470.

65 Uafifxeyed-qs. 66 Pp. 7f.

67 Ta ev Uepaidc irpaxdivra (Wirth, p. 151).



117



IX

THE AMBIVALENCE OF THE FISH SYMBOL

181 According to the Syrian Apocalypse of Baruch (29 : iff.), the
time preceding the coming of the Messiah falls into twelve parts,
and the Messiah will appear in the twelfth. As a time-division,
the number twelve points to the zodia, of which the twelfth is
the Fishes. Leviathan will then rise out of the sea. "The two
great sea monsters which I created on the fifth day of creation
and which I have preserved until that time shall then be food
for all who are left." 1 Since Behemoth is unquestionably not a
sea-animal, but one which, as a midrash says, "pastures on a
thousand mountains," 2 the two "sea monsters" must be a dupli-
cation of Leviathan. And as a matter of fact, he does appear to
be divided as to sex, for there is a male and a female of the
species. 3 A similar duplication is suggested in Isaiah 27:1: "In
that day, the Lord with his sore and great strong sword shall
punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that
crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon [Vulgate: whale]
that is in the sea." This duplication gave rise in medieval
alchemy to the idea of two serpents fighting each other, one
winged, the other wingless. 4 In the Book of Job, where Levi-
athan appears only in the singular, the underlying polarity
comes to light in his opposite number, Behemoth. A poem by
Meir ben Isaac describes the battle between Leviathan and
Behemoth at the end of time, in which the two monsters wound
each other to death. Yahweh then cuts them up and serves them

1 Charles, II, p. 497, modified.

2 Midrash Tanchuma, Lev. 11:2 and Deut. 29 : 9; cited in Scheftelowitz, pp. 39L

3 Talmud, Nezikin III, Baba Bathra (BT, I, p. 296). The female Leviathan has
already been killed by Yahweh, salted, and preserved for the end of time. The
male he castrated, for otherwise they would have multiplied and swamped the
earth.

4 A typical pair of opposites. Cf. the struggle between the two dragons in
hexagram 2, line 6, in the / Ching (Wilhelm/Baynes trans., I, pp. 14-15).

Il8



THE AMBIVALENCE OF THE FISH SYMBOL



as food to the devout. 5 This idea is probably connected with the
old Jewish Passover, which was celebrated in the month of Adar,
the fish. In spite of the distinct duplication of Leviathan in the
later texts, it is very likely that originally there was only one
Leviathan, authenticated at a very early date in the Ugarit texts
from Ras Shamra (c. 2000 B.C.). Virolleaud gives the following
translation:

Quand tu frapperas Ltn, le serpent brh
Tu acheveras le serpent 'qltn,
Le puissant aux sept tetes.

182 He comments: "It is remarkable that the two adjectives brh
and 'qltn are the ones which qualify, in Isaiah 27 : 1, a particu-
larly dangerous species of serpent which we call Leviathan, in
Hebrew Liviatan." 6 From this period, too, there are pictures of
a fight between Baal and the serpent Ltn, 7 remarkable in that
the conflict is between a god and a monster and not between
two monsters, as it was later.

18 3 We can see from the example of Leviathan how the great
"fish" gradually split into its opposite, after having itself been
the opposite of the highest God and hence his shadow, the
embodiment of his evil side. 8

j84 With this splitting of the monster into a new opposite, its
original opposition to God takes a back seat, and the monster is
now in conflict either with itself or with an equivalent monster
(e.g., Leviathan and Behemoth). This relieves God of his own
inner conflict, which now appears outside him in the form of a
hostile pair of brother monsters. In later Jewish tradition the
Leviathan that Yahweh fought with in Isaiah develops a tend-
ency, on the evidence cited by Scheftelowitz, to become "pure"
and be eaten as "eucharistic" food, with the result that, if one
wanted to derive the Ichthys symbol from this source, Christ as

5 Cf. the Midrash Tanchuma.

6 "Note complementaire sur le poeme de Mot et Alei'n," p. 357.

7 Virolleaud, "La legende de Baal, dieu des Pheniciens," p. ix.

8 Perhaps an echo of this psychological development may be found in the views
of Moses Maimonides, who writes that in the Book of Job (ch. 41) Yahweh
"dwells longest on the nature of the Leviathan, which possesses a combination of
bodily peculiarities found separate in different animals, in those that walk, those
that swim, and those that fly" (Guide for the Perplexed, p. 303). Accordingly
Leviathan is a kind of super-animal, just as Yahweh is a kind of superman.

1*9



AION

a fish would appear in place of Leviathan, the monstrous ani-
mals of tradition having meanwhile faded into mere attributes
of death and the devil.
l8 5 This split corresponds to the doubling of the shadow often
met with in dreams, where the two halves appear as different or
even as antagonistic figures. This happens when the conscious
ego-personality does not contain all the contents and components
that it could contain. Part of the personality then remains split
off and mixes with the normally unconscious shadow, the two
together forming a double - and often antagonistic - personality.
If we apply this experience from the domain of practical psy-
chology to the mythological material under discussion, we find
that God's monstrous antagonist produces a double because the
God-image is incomplete and does not contain everything it
logically ought to contain. Whereas Leviathan is a fishlike crea-
ture, primitive and cold-blooded, dwelling in the depths of the
ocean, Behemoth is a warm-blooded quadruped, presumably
something like a bull, who roams the mountains (at least in later
tradition). Hence he is related to Leviathan as a higher, superior
creature to a lower, inferior one, rather like the winged and the
wingless dragon in alchemy. All winged beings are "volatile,"
i.e., vapours and gases, in other words pneuma. Just as in Augus-
tine Christ the fish is "drawn from the deep," 9 so in II Esdras
13 : 2ff. the "man" came out of the sea like a wind. His appear-
ance was heralded by an eagle and a lion, theriomorphic sym-
bols which greatly affrighted the prophet in the same way that
Behemoth inspired chiefly terror in Job. The fish drawn from
the deep has a secret connection with Leviathan: he is the bait
with which Leviathan is lured and caught. This fish is probably
a duplication of the great fish and stands for its pneumatic
aspect. It is evident that Leviathan has such an aspect, because
he, like the Ichthys, is eucharistic food. 10 That this doubling
represents an act of conscious realization is clear from Job
26 : 12, where we are told that Yahweh smote Rahab "by his
understanding" (tebuna). Rahab, the sea monster, is cousin
german to Tiamat, whom Marduk split asunder by filling her
up with Imhullu, the north wind. 11 The word tebuna comes

9 Confessions, Sheed trans., p. 275. 10 Cf. Goodenough, V, pp. 51ft.

11 The motif of splitting is closely related to that of penetration and perforation
in alchemy. Cf. also Job 26 : 13: "His hand pierced the fleeing serpent" (RSV).

120



THE AMBIVALENCE OF THE FISH SYMBOL



from bin, 'to separate, split, part asunder'- in other words, to
discriminate, which is the essence of conscious realization. 12 In
this sense Leviathan and Behemoth represent stages in the de-
velopment of consciousness whereby they become assimilated
and humanized. The fish changes, via the warm-blooded quad-
ruped, into a human being, and in so far as the Messiah became,
in Christianity, the second Person of the Trinity, the human
figure split off from the fish hints at God's incarnation. 13 What
was previously missing in the God-image, therefore, was the
human element.

186 The role of the fish in Jewish tradition probably has some
connections with the Syrophoenician fish cult of Atargatis. Her
temples had pools with sacred fishes in them which no one was
allowed to touch. 14 Similarly, meals of fish were ritually eaten
in the temples. "This cult and these customs, which originated
in Syria, may well have engendered the Ichthys symbolism in
Christian times," says Cumont. 15 In Lycia they worshipped the
divine fish Orphos or Diorphos, the son of Mithras and the
"sacred stone," Cybele. 16 This god is a variant of the Semitic
fish-deities we have already mentioned, such as Oannes, the
Babylonian Nun, Dagon, and Adonis, whom the Greeks called
Ichthys. Fish offerings were made to Tanit in Carthage and to
Ea and Nina in Babylon. Traces of a fish cult can be found in
Egypt too. The Egyptian priests were forbidden to eat fish, for
fishes were held to be as unclean as Typhon's sea. "All abstain
from sea-fish," observes Plutarch. According to Clement of
Alexandria, the inhabitants of Syene, Elephantine, and Oxy-
rhynchus worshipped a fish. Plutarch 17 says it was the custom
to eat a broiled fish before the door of one's house on the ninth
day of the first month. Doelger inclines to the view that this
custom paved the way for the eucharistic fish in Christianity. 18

18 7 The ambivalent attitude towards the fish is an indication of
its double nature. It is unclean and an emblem of hatred on
the one hand, but on the other it is an object of veneration. It

12 For this information I am indebted to Dr. Riwkah SchSrf.

13 II Esdras is a Jewish text written at the end of the ist cent. a.d.

14 Cumont, Les Religions orientales, p. 255.

15 Ibid., pp. 108-9, 2 56- 16 Eisler, Orpheus- The Fisher, p. 20.

17 De hide et Osiride, cap. VII (Babbitt trans., V, p. 19).

18 'IXGT2, I, p. 126. The risen Christ ate of a broiled fish (Luke 24 : 42).

121



AION



even seems to have been regarded as a symbol for the soul, if we
are to judge by a painting on a late Hellenistic sarcophagus.
The mummy lies on a lion-shaped bier, and under the bier are
the four Canopic jars, the lids representing the four sons of
Horus, three of them with animal heads and one with a human
head. Over the mummy there floats a fish, 19 instead of the usual
soul-bird. It is clear from the painting that the fish is an oxyrhyn-
chus, or barbel, one of the three most abominated fishes, which
was said to have devoured the phallus of Osiris after he had
been dismembered by Typhon (Set). 20 Barbels were sacred to
Typhon, who is "that part of the soul which is passionate, im-
pulsive, irrational, and truculent." 21 Because of their voracious-
ness, fishes were regarded in the Middle Ages as an allegory of
the damned. 22 The fish as an Egyptian soul-symbol is therefore
all the more remarkable. The same ambivalence can be seen in
the figure of Typhon /Set. In later times he was a god of death,
destruction, and the desert, the treacherous opponent of his
brother Osiris. But earlier he was closely connected with Horus
and was a friend and helper of the dead. In one of the Pyramid
Texts he and Heru-ur (the "older Horus") help Osiris to climb
up to heaven. The floor of heaven consists of an iron plate,
which in places is so close to the tops of the mountains that one
can climb up to heaven with the help of a ladder. The four
corners of the iron plate rest on four pillars, corresponding to
the four cardinal points. In the Pyramid Texts of Pepi I, a song
of praise is addressed to the "ladder of the twin gods," and the
Unas text says: "Unas cometh forth upon the Ladder which his
father Ra hath made for him, and Horus and Set take the hand
of Unas, and they lead him into the Tuat." 23 Other texts show
that there was enmity between Heru-ur and Set because one was
a god of the day and the other a god of the night. The hiero-
glyph for Set has as a determinative the sign for a stone, or else

19 Spiegelberg, "Der Fisch als Symbol der Seele," p. 574. Cf. Goodenough, V, fig. 9,
where the mummy appears in the form of a fish.

20 The oxyrhynchus fish was regarded as sacred all over Egypt. Cf. Budge, The
Gods of the Egyptians, II, p. 382; Plutarch, De Iside, cap. XLIX (Babbitt trans.,
V.p. 19).

21 Ibid. (pp. i2of.).

22 Picinellus, Mundus symbolicus, Lib. VI, cap. I.

23 Budge, II, pp. 24 if. Cf. Christ's transfiguration in the presence of Moses and
Elias (Matt. 17 : 4), and the "Saviour of the twins" in Pistis Sophia.

122



THE AMBIVALENCE OF THE FISH SYMBOL



the unidentified Set-animal with long ears. There are paintings
showing the heads of Heru-ur and Set growing out of the same
body, from which we may infer the identity of the opposites
they represent. Budge says: "The attributes of Heru-ur changed
somewhat in early dynastic times, but they were always the
opposite of those of Set, whether we regard the two gods as per-
sonifications of two powers of nature, i.e., Light and Darkness,
Day and Night, or as Kosmos and Chaos, or as Life and Death,
or as Good and Evil." 24

188 This pair of gods represent the latent opposites contained in
Osiris, the higher divinity, just as Behemoth and Leviathan do
in relation to Yahweh. It is significant that the opposites have
to work together for a common purpose when it comes to help-
ing the one god, Osiris, to reach the heavenly quaternity. This
quaternity is also personified by the four sons of Horus: Mestha,
Hapi, Tuamutef, and Qebhsennuf, who are said to dwell "be-
hind the thigh of the northern heaven," that is, behind the
thigh of Set, whose seat is in the constellation of the Great Bear.
The four sons of Horus are Set's enemies, but on the other hand
they are closely connected with him. They are an analogy of the
four pillars of heaven which support the four-cornered iron
plate. Since three of the sons are often shown with animal heads,
and one with a human head, we may point to a similar state of
affairs in the visions of Ezekiel, from whose cherubim-figures the
well-known symbols of the evangelists (three animals, one angel)
are derived. 25 Ezekiel says, furthermore (1 : 22): "Over the heads
of the living creatures [the cherubim] there was the likeness of
a solid plate, shining like terrible crystal, spread out above their
heads," and (1 : 26, RSV): "And above the solid plate that was
over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appear-
ance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was
a likeness as it were of a human form."

*89 In view of the close ties between Israel and Egypt an inter-
mingling of symbols is not unlikely. What is remarkable, how-
ever, is that in Arab tradition the region round the heavenly
Pole is seen in the form of a fish. Qazvini says: "The Pole can

24 Budge, II, p. 243.

25 Daniel 3 : 25 may be of relevance in this connection: the three men in the
burning fiery furnace, who were joined by a fourth, a "son of God."

123



AION

be seen. Round it are the smaller Benat na'sh 26 and dark stars,
which together form the picture of a fish, and in its midst is the
Pole." 27 This means that the Pole, which in ancient Egypt
denoted the region of Set and was at the same time the abode of
the four sons of Horus, was contained, so to speak, in the body
of a fish. According to Babylonian tradition Anu has his seat in
the northern heaven; likewise Marduk, as the highest god,
world-creator and ruler of its courses, is the Pole. The Enuma
Elish says of him: "He who fixes the course of the stars of heaven,
like sheep shall pasture the gods all together." 28

*9 At the northern point of the ecliptic is the region of fire
(purgatory and the entrance to the Anu-heaven). Hence the
northern corner of the temple built around the tower at Nippur
was called the kibla (point of orientation). In like manner the
Sabaeans and Mandaeans, when praying, turn towards the
north. 29 We might also mention the Mithraic liturgy in this
connection: in the final vision Mithras appears, "holding the
golden shoulder of a young bull. This is the constellation of the
Bear, which moves and turns the heavens round." The text piles
endless fire-attributes on this god, who obviously hails from the
north. 30

19 1 These Babylonian ideas about the significance of the north
make it easier for us to understand why Ezekiel's vision of God
came from that quarter, despite the fact that it is the birthplace
of all evil. The coincidence of opposites is the normal thing in
a primitive conception of God, since God, not being an object
of reflection, is simply taken for granted. At the level of con-
scious reflection, however, the coincidence of opposites becomes
a major problem, which we do everything possible to circum-
vent. That is why the position of the devil in Christian dogma
is so very unsatisfactory. When there are such gaps in our collec-
tive ideas, in the dominants of our conscious orientation, we
can count with absolute certainty on the existence of comple-
mentary or- to be more precise- compensatory developments in
the unconscious. These compensating ideas can be found in the
speculations of alchemy. We can hardly suppose that ideas of

26 Lit., 'daughters of the bier', presumably mourning women who walk ahead of
the coffin. Cf. Ideler, Untersuchungen iiber den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der
Sternnamen, p. 11. 27 Ibid., p. 15. 28 Jeremias, p. 22.

29 Ibid., p. 33. 30 Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, pp. 8ff.

124



THE AMBIVALENCE OF THE FISH SYMBOL



this sort remained totally unconscious so far as the adepts were
concerned. What they were aiming at was a more or less con-
scious restoration of the primitive God-image. Hence they were
able to propound paradoxes as shocking as that of God's love
glowing in the midst of hell-fire, 31 which is represented as being
no more than the Christian conception of God in a new but
necessary relation to everything hell stands for. Above all it
was Jakob Bohme who, influenced by alchemy and the Cabala
equally, envisaged a paradoxical God-image in which the good
and the bad aspects appertain to the same divine being in a way
that bears comparison with the views of Clement of Rome.
'92 Ancient history gives us a divided picture of the region to
the north: it is the seat of the highest gods and also of the ad-
versary; thither men direct their prayers, and from thence blows
an evil pneuma, the Aquilo, "by the name whereof is to be
understood the evil spirit"; 32 and finally, it is the navel of the
world and at the same time hell. Bernard of Clairvaux apos-
trophizes Lucifer thus: "And dost thou strive perversely to-
wards the north? The more thou dost hasten toward the heights,
the more speedily shalt thou go down to thy setting." 33 The
"king of the North" in Nostradamus has to be understood in
the light of this passage. At the same time, it is clear from
St. Bernard's words that the heights of power to which Lucifer
strives are still associated with the north. 34

31 Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, par. 446.

32 Garnerius, in Migne, P.L., vol. 193, col. 49.

33 Tractatus de gradibus superbiae, in Migne, P.L., vol. 182, col. 961.

34 One of the bad qualities of the north wind ("The north wind numbs with
cold" = the numbness of the evil spirit, who "hardens the hearts of the wicked"),
was responsibl

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