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Archetypal Elements

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  1. Archetypal Elements Jung believed that the direct experience of nature was the most powerful influence on the perception of ancient humans. Thus, the elements found in the natural world are some of the most important symbolic images.

  2. TREE • The embodiment of life • The point of union between the three realms (heaven, earth, water) • Ancient people believed tree = abundant creative energy • The world axis around which the world is organized • Divinity • Creativity

  3. TREE EXAMPLES… • The trees in The Wizard of Oz • The trees in The Lord of the Rings • Others?

  4. FOREST • A place of darkness, chaos and uncertainty • Contrast to order and openness of cultivated land • Symbol of mystery & transformation • To those who show no fear, a place of peace and refuge • A symbol of the unconscious

  5. FOREST EXAMPLES… • In most mythology- a home to sorcerers and enchanters • Forests in fairy tales • Others?

  6. GARDEN • A place of perfection and peace, but in the center there is something evil which will bring about the fall of the garden

  7. GARDEN EXAMPLES… • Garden of Eden in Genesis • The Secret Garden • Others?

  8. FLOWER • A symbol of paradise • Feminine beauty • Youth, vitality • Impermanence, fragility

  9. FLOWER EXAMPLES… • The flower in The Beauty and the Beast • Roses on Valentine’s Day • Others?

  10. FIRE • A sign of humankind’s intelligence and civilization • A source of fear • Purification • Sacrifice • Alchemy

  11. FIRE EXAMPLES… • The Phoenix • Prometheus • Others?

  12. WATER • Rebirth and destruction • Purification • Redemption • The passing of time • Boundary between countries or between life and death • In Hindu beliefs, rivers symbolize purification (the Ganges can wash away all shortcomings)

  13. WATER EXAMPLES… • Greek flood story • Genesis flood story • Country musician Garth Brooks: “The River” • Others?

  14. EARTH • Womb/tomb • Typically associated with matriarchal society • Valley = protective, feminine symbol; associated with fertility, cultivation, and water • Cave = feminine symbol: heart of world, the unconscious, entrance to the underworld, initiation, protection, or wisdom.

  15. EARTH EXAMPLES… • The term “Mother Earth” • Others?

  16. WILDERNESS • A place in the natural world where testing or trial occurs

  17. WILDERNESS EXAMPLES… • The Call of the Wild • White Fang • Into the Wild • Vision quest in Native American traditions • Others?

  18. MOUNTAIN • A “high” place of worship • Meeting place of heaven and earth • Symbolized masculinity, eternity, ascent from animal to spiritual in nature • Typically associated with power • Typically associated with patriarchal societies

  19. Ziggurats Acropolis The pyramids Others? MOUNTAIN EXAMPLES…

  20. MOON • The light of night • Changes shapes • Follows cycles • Connections to romantic interludes • According to Jung, the moon was the first object man worshipped • Typically feminine symbol (28-day phase)

  21. MOON EXAMPLES… • “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…” • It’s a Wonderful Life– the idea of lassoing the moon • Others?

  22. SUN • The light of day • Worshipped- but not until thousands of years after the moon • Causes good and harm • Associated with gods and high kings • Typically masculine symbol

  23. SUN EXAMPLES… • Louis the XIV (the sun king) • Many cultures have a sun god- Indian, Mayan, Egyptian, etc. • Others?