Posts Tagged ‘Carl Jung’


“Most Relevant Generalities / Major Arcana” 🗝:

The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana. Tarot deck: Rider,Waite & Smith.

Introduction and Sketch of this Post:

This is the first post of  the series on “Tarot”. 

Firstly, in section 1), I´ll present an overview of the story of Tarot, its use for divination purposes, tarot spreads, cards´positions (upright or reversed), total number of cards, division into two categories: Major and Minor Arcana.

In the second section (2) of this post, I´ll assess in-depth the Major Arcana. 

For that purpose, I´ll use the classic Rider-Waite deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman-Smith, which has been continually printed since 1909. Hence, it is easy to find in Bookstores or online nowadays.

Let´s keep in mind that the Major Arcana cards are somehow related to Carl Jung’s archetypes. They are “patterns”, inherent part of the Collective Unconscious. These cards symbolise the process we go through in our lives, aiming to become a balanced and integrated person. 

With that being said, I´ll offer the meanings of the respective 22 cards comprising this group.

In both, the upright and reversed position. Worth noting that, when you shuffle the tarot cards, they often end up facing in different directions. So basically, each card can show up in an “upright” or a reversed” position.

To end, in the third (3) section, I´ll dig into the so-called “Fool´s Journey”. The Fool card is numbered zero, and if you look closely at the cards, in sequential order, starting with the Fool, you´ll notice that them seem to tell us a story. The story of our own evolution as persons, going through different stages, with their respective struggles and victories. Along this journey, we encounter challenges, face adversity, perform labours, meet people, make hard decisions and fight opposing forces. Each step of the way brings us closer to embrace the Wholeness of Ourselves and of the World. This “journey” is, in fact a cycle. And one could go through the same cycle many times in a lifetime. Or one could just fail to reach the end of the cycle. There is of course, an implied recurring element associated with Karma here. Maybe the “Fool´s Journey” could reach its finish line in another, next life. Or did so in a past life and now he is facing a new, different challenge.

►1) Tarot. Generalities:

Story and Purpose. Rider-Waite Deck: Spreads. Positions. Major and Minor Arcana:

I own this deck!: Tarot Rider Waite boxed-deck.

1.1.⇒♦ What is Tarot and how does a Tarot Reading work?: 

The Tarot is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian Tarocchini and French Tarot. In the late 18th century, it began to be used for divination.

In  this last sense, Tarot cards are commonly used to measure potential outcomes and evaluate influences surrounding a person, an event, or both. The technical term for tarot reading is Taromancy (divination through the use of tarot cards), which is a subsection of Cartomancy (divination through cards in general).

Tarot reading is not about predictions, but more about possible outcomes as well as examining influences related to the issue at hand. These could be influences which the subject might not even be aware of before the reading.A spread is the arrangement of cards dealt in a reading.

1.2 ⇒♦Spreads:

There are many types of spreads. Usually, the querent (receiver of the reading) asks a general question, or could just picture a situation in his mind. He can keep them to himself. You (person doing the reading) can then pull six cards, representing different aspects of your past, present and future situation. You can pull three cards, instead, where the first represents the past, the second represents the present, and the third represents the future. The three card spread is called The Three Fates. Also, we have the so-called Celtic- Spread Reading, which consists of ten cards representing a variety of things including any past and future influences, personal hopes, and conflicting influences. You can check out other spreads here

1.3 ⇒♦ Positions of the Cards: Upright or Reversed:

Cards can show up in two positions: Upright or Reversed.

The Upright position represents certain Idea or Situation.

But, what happens when the card shows up in a reversed or inverted position?.

a) If the card is reversed, the meaning is almost always considered to be the opposite of the one the card might reveal when it is upright.

Although this is the predominant criteria (and, hence, the one, I´ll stick to), there are still other ways of interpreting reversals.

b) One of them could be to say that they refer to the previous card (For example: If we have an inverted Strength card (8), it might actually be referring to The Chariot (7)).

c) Other way of interpreting reversals is to say that they represent blocked energies or resistance towards what the card represents. 

d) Finally, another way of doing reversals would be to say that it indicates an unconscious influence and, hence, that the querent is not aware of it. For example: If we pulled an inverted Sun, we might say that the querent lacks awareness towards this bright, joyful influence. Maybe because it is hidden, or perhaps because it has not fully developed yet. 

e) Another point to keep in mind: some people like to switch “gender” in those cards in which a female or male figure shows up. So, If we pulled Justice (with a Female figure) in an inverted position, we could assume that the characteristics of that card might be related to a Man in the querent´s life.

As I said above, I will provide the meaning of reversed cards as the opposite to which the card reveals in its upright position. But, when doing a reading you can include other interpretation criteria, too. 

1.4 ⇒♦ The Tarot Deck. Major and Minor Arcana:

A Tarot deck has 78 cards, consisting of two types of cards: Major and Minor Arcana.

The “Trump cards” (numbered 1 to 21) and the Fool (numbered 0) are called the Major Arcana, while the ten pip and four court cards in each suit are known as Minor Arcana.

•The Minor Arcana (Lesser Secrets) Consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits (Swords, Cups, Wands and Pentacles). Each suit has 14 cards: ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Page/Jack, in each of the four tarot suits.

•The Major Arcana (Greater Secrets), consists of 22 cards, without suits: The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool. Cards from The Magician to The World are numbered in Roman numerals from I to XXI, while The Fool is the only unnumbered card, often placed at the beginning of the deck as 0.

I finally wanted to stress that when one lays out a spread or performs a reading and sees mostly Major Arcana cards,one can assume that the matter in question, and/or the querent’s life, is more profound in comparison to Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana are signposts to things, events, and people, that are meant to be taken more seriously and looked at more closely, in general, than the Minor Arcana cards will generally represent.

2) Major Arcana Cards (Rider-Waite Deck):

These are 22 cards of the Major Arcana and their respective meanings, in both the upright and reversed position.

⇒♦ 0. The Fool:

The Fool is shown at the beginning of his journey with unlimited potential. He has a bag holding off his staff and a bright sun rising up behind him.

The white rose in his left hand represents purity and innocence. He has a guardian in the little white dog warning him of danger as he approaches the edge of the cliff. The fool is unaware, as he is looking up.

The card represents beginnings, overly optimistic approaches and spontaneity. It also reminds us that, even if we are enjoying ourselves, there are always consequences facing our actions. 

•Upright: Living in the moment, feeling carefree or spontaneous, entering a new phase.
•Reversed: Being blocked, restricted.

⇒♦ I. The Magician:

When the Magician appears in a spread, it points to the talents, capabilities and resources at the querent’s disposal. It represents possibilities and the card shows that the querent has all the elements, as the four suits of the Minor Arcana (Swords, Wands, Pentacles and Cups) show up in the card. The magician is the creator of ideas and thoughts.


•Upright: Acting consciously, acknowledging your motivations. Feeling centered and committed. Being creative and energized.
•Reversed: Inability to act or react. Feeling drained. Losing focus or commitment.

⇒♦ II. The High Priestess:

The High Priestess card shows her seated between two pillars marked B and J, which stand for Boaz  and Jachin respectively (You can find these names in the First Books of Kings). Furthermore, these letters are inscribed upon the pillars of the Salomon Temple, associated with Wisdom. There is a cloth behind her depicting pomegranates, a symbol of death and the afterlife in Greek Mythology. The High Priestess is the keeper of secret knowledge, as the crystal ball on her head shows. There is a crescent moon beneath her feet, which might represent that the opportunities could increase. She is holding a book, the Tora, the Jewish sacred book. 

•Upright: Withdrawing. Being passive or calm. Seeking guidance from within. Understanding the potential and possibilities. Looking beyond the obvious.
•Reversed: Inability to find your inner voice or to look beyond.

⇒♦ III. The Empress:

The Empress depicts a woman seating in a field. She represents fertility, being a sort of Mother figure. She is surrounded by flowers and plants. There is also a heart-shaped rock with a Venus symbol on it. As we know, this symbol stands for Women.

•Upright: Nourishing life. Nurturing and caring for others. Abundance. Experiencing the senses (pleasure, beauty, etc). Feeling connected to Nature.
•Reversed: Focusing on oneself without caring for other people. Scarcity. Inhibition. Closure.

⇒♦ IV. The Emperor:

The figure in this card depicts stability, structure, power and protection. He is related to Aries, in the Horoscope. 

•Upright: Father figure. Setting directions, laws rules or boundaries. Applying reason. Creating order. Exerting control.
•Reversed: Chaos. Lack of control and order.

⇒♦ V. The Hierophant:

He is a  High Priest. He sits upon his throne as to other men kneel before him. He is a man who shares rituals, he is a leader of a flock/group, not of individuals. He represents alliances, goodness, comfort and traditional values. The Hierophant is associated with Taurus, in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Education, becoming informed. Having a belief system. Following the rules, staying within conventional bounds.
•Reversed: Being heterodox, rebel. Not sticking to traditional values. Acting crazily.

⇒♦ VI. The Lovers:

This card shows temptation, represented by the snake on the tree. We can also see two human beings, male and female,  and a spirit with open hands above them, a brilliant sun. The card is not about two people however as it is about one: the person who experiences love. It refers to falling in love with someone or … Something. This card is associated with Gemini, in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Love. Marriage or partnership. Establishing bonds. Staying true to yourself. Determining values. Facing a moral choice.
•Reversed: Loneliness. Loss in relationships. Rejection. Sticking to others´opinions or values.

⇒♦ VII. The Chariot:

It represents labour and power. There are two sphinxes. Their colors are reversed, pretty much like a Yin-Yang symbol. The driver has a Sun on his head. We can see rising and falling moons close to his neck. The complementary nature of these two opposite natures tend to echo the sphinxes pointing out to Balance.  The Chariot is related to Cancer, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Victory, reaching goals. Being determined and focussed. Feeling self-confident. Mastering emotions. Self control, discipline.
•Reversed: Putting other´s first. Resignation. Lack of determination or focus. Low self-esteem. Defeat. Confusion.

⇒♦ VIII. Strength: 

The card shows a maiden taming a lion, not with physical strength, but with strenght of character: understanding, compassion. This is symbolic of resourcefulness, of softening the power we have to control others. The card shows that harmony has been achieved as the lion seems to be happy as the woman caresses him and his tail is tucked between his legs, in a submissive attitude.  The woman has a symbol of infinite, as it appears in the card of the Magician. This represents endless possibilities. The card stresses that our strengths are much more than our physical abilities. This card is related to Leo, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Strenght and power. Refusing to get angry, maintaining composure. Caring about others, compassion. Forgiveness. Persuasion, being able to influence.
•Reversed: Hard Control. Weariness. 

⇒♦ IX. The Hermit:

The card depicts an old man, alone, leading his way through the darkness by a light, which, is actually a little shining star. The Hermit represents knowledge, inner peace and understanding of his life. The card represents solitude, withdrawal, careful thought, ruminations.

The Hermit could represent a need to be alone in order to sort out things… Or a person in the querent´s life. The Hermit is associated to Virgo, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Being introspective, looking for answers within. Withdrawing from the world. Loneliness.
•Reversed: Involvement with the world. Being with others.

⇒♦ X. Wheel of Fortune: 

We can see the letters T, A , R and O which stand for Tarot, as it its spelt. This represents endless circles. In the inner, little circle, we can see the signs for the four key elements in Alchemy: Mercury, Salt, Sulfur and Water. The Egyptian God Anubis, (painted in red) is holding the Wheel on his back. Anubis looked like a dog and was a Psychopomp and Ruler of the Underworld. Upon the wheel we can see a Sphinx, keeping the balance of the wheel itself.  There is a snake on the left of the card. Some say this snake is Typhon, a monster from Greek Mythology, representing Earth. On the four corners of the card yellow, winged creatures are reading books. This could reference the Book of Revelations. The creatures resemble a lion, a calf,  a human being and an eagle. The wheel is a circle, but carrying with it the past experiences. It represents completion, also Fate, sudden good luck, transitions and changes.

•Upright: Feeling a sense of destiny. Uncovering patterns and cycles. Turning point: altering the present course. Speed. Change.
•Reversed: Slow pace. Blocked change, no movement.

⇒♦ XI. Justice: 

The card depicts a King seated between two pillars. He has a sword in one hand and a scales of Justice in the other. It represents balance, a middle ground. This card could also be literal suggesting a Court proceeding, a conflict or the involvement of Authority to resolve a dispute. Justice is associated with Libra in the Horoscope. 

•Upright: Fairness, justice. Honesty. Responsibility. Acknowledging the truth. Accepting the consequences of your actions.
•Reversed: Avoiding the truth, disavowing your role. Shirking responsibility.

⇒♦ XII. The Hanged Man:

The card depicts a man suspended by his legs upside down from a tree. His leg is bent and his face is peaceful. There is no indication of suffering. A corona is around his head indicating wisdom. The hanged man indicates a change of perspective, swaying between different possibilities, an inability to make a decision. It is a time of internal focus , introspection and self-discovery. 

Being hung by one leg was traditionally a punishment for traitors. In that sense, what the hanged man sees as right is upside down to those who have passed judgement upon him. 


Upright: Waiting. Letting go. Accepting what is. Overturning priorities. 
•Reversed: Inability to let go. Control. Self-assertion. Struggle.

⇒♦ XIII. Death:

The Death card depicts a skeleton in dark armor,  a grim reaper upon horseback. Before him, a Priest offers prayers, a man lays dead, a young looks on with curiosity as an older child turns away in fear. Overall, we can see the range of emotions that people experience. In the Reaper´s hand there is a black flag. This card is a symbol of change, part of the cycle of death and rebirth. This card is associated with Scorpio, in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Endings. Putting the past behind you. Change or transition. Accepting the inevitable. Cutting out what isn’t necessary.
•Reversed: Beginnings. Fresh start.

⇒♦ XIV. Temperance:

The card depicts an archangel at the edge of a riverbank. One foot on land, the other in water.  He pours water from one cup into another. The card is about balance. It suggest finding compromise or agreement as well as reminder to maintain moderation. This card is associated with Sagittarius, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Showing moderation. Mitigating a harsh position. Harmony. Fostering cooperation and synthesis. Healing and flourishing.
•Reversed: Excesses. Disagreement, competition. Discord, lack of harmony.

⇒♦ XV. The Devil: 

The Devil in this card has horns, goat legs and  wings of a bat. He holds a torch in his left hand. Chained to his pedestal are a man and a woman, also with characteristics of the devil: horns and a tail, but interestingly, their chains are loose around their neck. They are capable of slipping them off. However, they choose to remain chained. The card represents addiction, vice or obsession, things to which we might choose to remain beholden. In relationships, this card could represent a  control and temptation. This card is related to Capricorn in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Being obsessed and unaware. Allowing yourself to be controlled. Being addicted. Overindulgence. Feeling hopeless.
•Reversed: Independence. Clarity. Hope and optimism. Release, freedom.

⇒♦ XVI. The Tower:

The Tower shows a tall tower pitched atop a mountain. Lightning strikes and flames burst from the building’s windows. People are leaping from the tower in desperation, wanting to flee such destruction and turmoil. 

The Tower signifies darkness and destruction on a physical scale. The Tower itself represents ambitions built on false premises. The card is associated with sudden, disruptive, rude awakening and destructive change.

•Upright: Sudden change, defeat, destruction. Erupting in anger. Letting everything go. Exposing what was hidden. Toppling from the heights
•Reversed: Victory, control. Staying together. Serenity. Calm.

⇒♦ XVII. The Star:

The card depicts a maiden  kneeling at the edge of a small pool. The woman holds two containers of water. She pours the water out to nourish the earth and to continue the cycle of fertility, 
The other container pours the water onto dry land in five rivulets, representing the five senses. The woman has one foot on the ground, representing her common sense, and the other foot in the water, representing her intuition. Behind her, shines one large star and seven smaller stars. All the stars have eight points, and eight represents Strength. 
The card entails illumination, guidance and renewal. It suggests nourishment and hope. The astrological sign of the Star is Aquarius.
•Upright: Regaining hope. Realizing an inner strength or truth. Wisdom. Being generous. Free-flowing love. Peace of mind. Calm.
•Reversed: Hopelessness, lack of faith, pessimism. Upheaval, Chaos.

⇒♦ XVIII. The Moon:

This card depicts two wolves howling at a Full Moon with a Crescent Moon inside.
The pool at the base of the card represents the subconscious mind and the crayfish that crawls out of the pool symbolises the early stages of consciousness unfolding.
The card suggests illusion, fear, anxiety. This might be a time of an emotional or mental trial and that the querent might not think clearly or could make questionable decisions as those inspired by the Lunacy of the Full Moon. The astrological sign of the Moon is Pisces.


Upright: Feeling fear. Deceiving yourself. Losing direction and purpose. 

Reversed: Being serene, untroubled, at peace. Enlightenment. 

⇒♦ XIX. The Sun: 

This is a joyful card.  The bright Sun is an image of optimism and fulfilment. The child in the card is happy. He is naked and this represents innocence and purity. The white horse upon which the child rides represents strength and purity of spirit. The horse is without a saddle and is controlled without the use of the hands.  The sunflowers in the background represent the fruitfulness of the spirit under the nourishment of the Sun.

•Upright: Understanding. Enlightenment. Believing in your worth. Greatness, shining brilliantly. Joy and enthusiasm.
•Reversed: Being tired or sad. Weariness, confusion.

⇒♦ XX. Judgement:

The Judgement card shows a number of naked men, women and children rising up from their graves, responding to the trumpet call of the Archangel Gabriel, a psychopomp, who hovers high above them.
The card represents absolution and rebirth. The card could suggest that this is a time of resurrection, of bringing back the Past, revisiting things and making peace with past situations that were long ago thought be to put to rest, in order to finally move forward. 

•Upright: Making a judgment. Making hard choices. Knowing what you must do. Making a fresh start. Releasing guilt. Forgiving yourself and others. Absolution.
•Reversed: Endings, feeling regretful and guilty.

⇒♦ XXI. The World:

The card depicts a woman surrounded by a wreath (symbol of Victory), holding two wands.

The figures in each of the four corners of the World card are the same figures that appear on the Wheel of Fortune. Interestingly, the World card is very much associated with the Wheel of Fortune, reflecting the cyclical progression of time and the human experience. 

The woman has one leg crossed over the other, just like the Hanged man. She is, in a sense, his opposite (i.e. the Hanged Man upright). As the Hanged Man looks inward, the woman in the World card looks outward. This card is a symbol of a completion and accomplishment. 

•Upright: experiencing wholeness and balance. Synthesis. Accomplishing your goals. Becoming involved. Feeling fulfilled.
•Reversed: Isolation, apathy, withdrawal. Lack of integration.

⇒♦Astrological Signs & Planets:

Which are their Equivalents in the Arcana Major?:

Here we have the Zodiac Signs and their respective cards in the Major Arcana:

💦Water Signs: Cancer: The Chariot Scorpio: DeathPiscis: The Moon.

🔥Fire Signs: Aries: The Emperor. Leo: StrengthSagittarius: Temperance.

💨Air Signs: Gemini: The LoversLibra: JusticeAquarius: The Star.

🌎Earth Signs: Taurus: The HierophantVirgo: The HermitCapricorn: The Devil.

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►3) The Fool´s Journey… Or the Fool´s Lifecycle:

The Fool (0) has no idea what will happen to him and sets out on his journey with only his hopes. At the start of his trip, the Fool is fresh, open and spontaneous. But he is also unaware of the hardships he will face as he travels this world.

On setting out, the Fool immediately encounters the Magician (I) and the High Priestess (II).
The Magician takes advantage of the opportunities the Fool has in himself and provides him with what he might find useful during his journey. The High Priestess provides the fertile ground in which creative events occur.

As he grows, he meets with the Empress (III). The Fool becomes more and more aware of his surroundings. Hence he comes to know Mother Earth, experiencing an awakening of his senses. The Emperor (IV) represents for the Fool a Father Figure and through him he learns about the importance of laws and rules.

III. The Empress. IV. The Emperor.

The Hierophant (V) teaches the Fool to acknowledge the value of the beliefs and traditions of his culture. The Fool learns to identify with a group and discovers a sense of belonging.

Eventually, the Fool experiences Love (VI). He wants to reach out and become half of a loving partnership. In the meantime, he also feels he need to decide upon his own beliefs.

The Fool becomes an adult, he has a strong identity and a certain mastery over himself. Through discipline and will-power, he has developed an inner control, which are characteristics of the Chariot (VII).

Over time, life presents the Fool with many challenges, some that cause them sorrow and disappointment. But he is resilient and strong. He develops Patience, Compassion and Tolerance, which are all attributes of Strength (VIII).

Sometime during his journey, the Fool begins to look inward, trying to understand his feelings and motivations. He seeks moments of solitude to find his own direction, in accordance with the Hermit card (IX).

After much soul-searching, the Fool begins to see how everything connects. The Cycles he and Nature go through remind him of a Wheel of Fortune (X). He believes in both the power of his freedom to choose and Fate. He faces changes, recognizing his destiny in the sequence of events that led him to certain turning points.

The Fool wonders about Justice (XI). He starts with himself and looks back over his life to trace his actions. He takes responsibility for his past actions so he can make amends and ensure a more honest course for the future.

Sooner or later, he faces an experience that seems too difficult to endure. This overwhelming challenge humbles him until he has no choice but to give up and let go. He feels his world has been turned upside-down. So he pauses free of pressures, like the Hanged Man (XII).

The Fool cuts out what no longer serves him, or what makes him feel bad about himself. Death (XIII) .. . and Rebirth. After al the changes, he is ready to start over.

The Fool realizes the balancing stability of Temperance (XIV) and its powerful effects. By experiencing the extremes, he has come to appreciate moderation.

But moderation doesn´t last forever and vices and excesses could prevail. The Fool confronts the Devil (XV) within himself, in the form of obsessions and addictions.

The Fool may only find release through the sudden change represented by the Tower (XVI). Sometimes only a monumental crisis can generate enough power to smash the walls of the Tower. Only the destruction of the tower will set him free.

After going through a harsh time, the Fool find serenity and calm. He looks up and sees his own Star (XVII), a reflection of his own inner Self, which replaces the negative energies of the Devil.

Woefully, he is still vulnerable to the illusions of the Moon (XVIII). The Fool’s joy is a feeling state. His positive emotions are not yet subject to mental clarity. In his dreamy condition, the Fool is susceptible to fantasy, distortion and a false picture of the truth.

However, the Sun (XIX) shines. It dispels the clouds of confusion and fear. It enlightens, so the Fool both feels and understands the goodness of the world.

The Fool´s false, ego-self has been shed and his true Self manifests. The Fool makes a deeper Judgement (XX) about his life. He forgives himself and others. He feels cleansed and absolved.

The Fool reenters the World (XXI), but this time with a more complete understanding. He has integrated all the disparate parts of himself and achieved wholeness and fulfillment.

XX. Judgement. XXI. The World.

Last, but not Least: Tarot, “Deepening Knowledge”:

🗣Before waving Goodbye, I wanted to leave you a few recommendations, as to this topic. Check them out:

•Learn the meanings of all cards and other issues. (Playlist): Reading Tarot Cards by Goodie.

Free Tarot Readings on YouTube, according to your astrological sign. I´ll recommend you my favorite Tarotist over there, who (as such!) often uses the classic Rider Waite Tarot (Or variations of it). Keep in mind that we haven´t still  gotten into the Minor Arcana. But, we have already studied the Major Arcana. Look for your Zodiac sign, over here: Carol´s Universe. (Long, in-depth monthly reading & great knowledge of the cards).

•Poetry of the Tarot:  Deborah Gregory´s poems based on Tarot Cards are excellent!.

Thanks for reading!. My next post will focus on Minor Arcana. Stay Tuned if you want to learn more about Tarot. See you!. Aquileana💕. 

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►Mythology: “Psychopomps, Border Crossers and Guiders of Souls”🌟:

“Souls on the Banks of the Acheron”, by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl. 1898


⇒♦ Introduction. Definition of Psychopomp and Sketch of this post:

A Psychopomp is a god, spirit, or demon who is responsible for guiding the spirits of the dead on their journey to the underworld. His role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage. The word comes from the Greek   ψυχοπομπός, which means “conductor of souls.” Psycho– (ψυχο) originally meant “of, or relating to the soul,” while pomps (πομπός) meant “guide” or “conductor.”

Classical examples of a Psychopomp are the ancient Egyptian god Anubis, the Greek ferryman CharonHermes and Hecate, the Roman god Mercury (equivalent: Hermes in Greek Mythology) and Archangel Gabriel in the Catholic religion, to name the most important ones.

Firstly, in the first section (I), let´s look at some examples of Psychopomps in Mythology.

By the ending of the post (section II), I´ll outline with Carl Jung´s ideas concerning “Psychopomp”. I´ll say here in advance that, according to Jung, the figure of the Psychopomp acts not only as a bridge between Life and Death,  It is also an intermediary between Conscious and the Unconscious, necessarily but not exclusively fostered thanks to the perfect Integration of Anima (each man´s feminine nature) and Animus (each woman´s male principle) in the form of the “Self”. 

I.⇒♦Some Examples of Psychopomps in Mythology:


Egyptian God Anubis.

He was originally an egyptian god of the Underworld, but became associated specifically with the embalming process and funeral rites. 

He was usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head. He was often presented in black, a color that symbolized both rebirth and the discoloration of the corpse after embalming.

One of his most important roles was as a god who ushered souls into the afterlife. He was tasked with guiding souls to Duat, the Egyptian underworld, where they would be judged according to their lives. Under Anubis’ supervision, their hearts were weighed against a feather representing truth.

If their hearts were lighter than the feather, they were allowed to continue on. If their hearts were “too heavy with sins”, Anubis would give it to Ammit, a demon known as the “Devourer of the Dead”, who would consume it.

In the Ptolemaic period (350–30 BC), when Egypt became a Hellenistic kingdom ruled by Greek pharaohs, Anubis was merged with the Greek god Hermes, becoming Hermanubis. The two gods were considered similar because they both guided souls to the afterlife.


In ancient Egypt,  Thoth created script. Besides, he was connected with the Moon and thus considered the Ruler of the Night.

Hermes Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, egyptian God of Knowledge. Hence, the two gods were worshipped as one in what had been the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks called Hermopolis.


Among Ancient Greeks, God Hermes had many attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”

Furthermore, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld. This last job required the fleet-footed Hermes to be able to traverse between worlds with ease, which probably explains why he’s also the god of border crossings. It was also his job to lead the souls of the dead to the entrance of Hades, where they waited for Charon to pick them up. Hermes was the only Olympian god able to visit Heaven, Earth, and Hades, a fact he enjoyed bragging about to the other gods. 


Charon was the ferryman of the dead, an underworld daimon (spirit) in the service of Hades. He received the shades of the dead from Hermes,  who gathered them from the upper world and guided them to the shores of  River Acheron.

Unlike many other Psychopomps, Charon did not do this for free; he required a donation to be given to him.

The fee for his service was a single obol, a coin  a silver coin worth a sixth of a drachma, which was placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial (It was known as Charon´s obol).

People who are unable to pay the fee were doomed to wander the shores of the river for a hundred years.

Since most Greeks, understandably, did not want to wander in the mists and marshes, they buried their dead with coins to pay the ferryman; this tradition is still retained in many parts of Greece.


Hecate was the Greek Goddess of  Crossroads, Magic, Witchcraft, The Night, Ghosts and Necromancy. 

She was sometimes portrayed as wearing a glowing headdress of stars, while in other legends she was described as a “Phosphorescent Angel” of the Underworld.

Hecate’s magic was that of death and the underworld, but also of oracles, of herbs and poisons, protection and guidance. 

Her torches provided light in the darkness, much like the Moon and Stars do at night, taking the seeker on a journey of initiation, guiding them as the psychopomp, like she guided Persephone on her yearly journey to and from Hades

Hecate’s retinue included the souls of those who died before their time, particularly children, or who were killed by force.

As she was the goddess of purifications and expiations, she was usually accompanied by Stygian dogs, from Hades’ domains. Dogs were closely associated with Hecate in the Classical world. In art and in literature Hecate is constantly represented as dog-shaped or as accompanied by a dog. Besides, her approach was heralded by the howling of a dog.


Thanatos was the Ancient Greek personification of Death. He was a minor figure, usually depicted as a winged youth, carrying a sword. Besides, he was is almost universally shown with his brother, Hypnos, the God of Sleep.

Thanatos was regarded as merciless and indiscriminate, hated by – and hateful towards — mortals and gods alike.

According to Sigmund Freud, humans have a Life/Love instinct—which he named “Eros“—and a Death drive, which is commonly called  “Thanatos”. This postulated “Thanatos instinct” or “Death Drive” allegedly compels humans to engage in risky and self-destructive acts that could lead to their own death.

II.⇒♦Carl Jung´s Concept of “Psychopomp”: 

The Perfect Integration between Anima (Eros) and Animus (Logos):

In Jungian psychology, the Psychopomp is a mediator between the Unconscious and Conscious realms. 

Carl Jung used the word to refer to a psychic factor that mediated between the conscious and the unconscious. This might be personified in dreams and myths as a God/Goddesses, or even as an animal. The raven, for example, is seen in Celtic folklore to be a Psychopomp, and is a role that peeps out in Edgar Allan Poe´s poem “The Raven”. One specific mythological character is The Morrigan, a female figure from Irish mythology. She was associated with sovereignty, prophecy, war, and death on the battlefield. And, she often appeared in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors.

Back to the word “Psychopomp”, Jung didn´t alter the meaning of the original Greek word.

Anima and Animus.

But, he instead added the concepts of Anima and Animus, as  the ultimate connectors between the individual soul and purpose. 

Anima is a man´s feminine nature representing Eros or Love. Whilst Animus is a woman´s male image, representing Logos or Spirit.

Jung clarifies that he uses  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. While, in men, Eros (the function of relationship) is usually less developed than Logos. 

The Anima-Animus complex reminds us of the Yin Yang symbol, which basically describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent.

Jung says: “When Yang had reached its greatest strength, the dark power of Yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday when Yang breaks up and begins to change into Yin”. (Carl Yung, CW 13. Alchemical Studies. P. 13)

The union of Anima and Animus, for Jung, is the Self; and, in symbolic terms: the Psychopomp as mediator between the Conscious and the Unconscious.

The perfect integration of Anima and Animus, in the elevated role of Psychopomp, represents, somehow a gate to the Unconscious, which somehow reminds us of Plato´s Perfect Ideal of Love, as per his dialogue “Symposium”.

According to Jung, the Anima and Animus are the guardians of the threshold, because they are the bridge to the Unconscious. Through understanding projection, the opposites in the Anima/Animus complex can be united, ultimately releasing these forces to act as mediators between the Conscious and Unconscious standpoints.

This integration or union of opposites is symbolized by the Psychopomp, the main archetype of the Self.

The Self is defined by Jung as: “The totality of the Conscious and Unconscious Psyche”. (Carl Jung, CW 12, P. 247). Jung describes the Self as a perfect circumference: “The Self is not only the centre, but also the whole circumference which embraces both Conscious and Unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the Centre of Consciousness. (Carl Jung. “Memories, dreams and reflections”, Page 398).

As to the Psychopomp, Carl Jung says: 

“For the Animus (Logos) when on his way, on his quest, is really a Psychopomps, leading the soul to the stars whence it came…  On the way back out of the existence in the flesh, the Psychopomp develops such a cosmic aspect, he wanders among the constellations, he leads the soul over the rainbow bridge into the blossoming fields of the stars”. (Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1229).


♦Links Post:



This is a special section in which I will display all the awards I have received during 2017. To simplify, I will follow the same rules for all the awards as otherwise I wouldn´t be able to do it … 😉 Meaning: 1. Thank the blogger who have nominated you. 2. Display the logo on your blog. 3. Nominate at least 7 bloggers for each award and tell them about the nomination. As I often do, I will nominate bloggers who have previously nominated me for other awards, favorite bloggers, new followers and bloggers who have recently liked my posts. Please, know these choices are quite random, I am sorry I couldn´t include everyone! 😇 … As to my nominees, I will link back to one of their newest posts as an easier way to inform them about the nomination. If you have been nominated and want to follow along the nomination process, you´ll find your respective award in the gallery below, as the slideshare goes, click on it and save it (see award, per number). If you are a Free Award Blog, all is fine: just take this mention as a shout-out. 😀

1♦Thank you very much Baattyaboutbooks for bestowing me with the Blogger Recognition Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Tea by Leaf 2. Sentinel of Phantasm 3. Inese 4. 3cstyle 5. Maria KethyProfumo  6. Aweni 7. Urbanbiharan. 🌟💫🌟

2♦Thank you very much Inese, from Making Memories for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Leggypeggy 2. Le dessous des mots 3. Wordsmusicandstories 4. Michaelstephenwills 5. Radhikasreflection 6. Queenyasaaawrites 7. Umacearenseescreveu. 🌟💫🌟

3♦Thank you very much Maria KethuProfumo for the Liebster Award. 

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Baattyaboutbooks  2. LifeBlog 3. Ijeoma 4. Shivangi Mishra 5. Undomestic Writer 6. Annika Perry 7. Ladyfromhamburg. 🌟💫🌟

4♦Thanks so much Ijeoma for thinking of me and bestowing me with the Mystery Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Shehanne Moore 2. Tuesdays with Laurie 3. A Russian Affair 4. The Chicago Files 5. English language thoughts 6. Broad Blogs 7. Moody Here

5♦Thanks so much 3cstyle and LifeBlog for the Unique Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Jeri Walker 2. Graffitiluxandmurals 3. Chasingart 4. Forgotten Meadows 5. I lost my Lens Cap 6. TravelTalesofLife 7. Leonivo. 🌟💫🌟

6♦Thank you very much Shivangi Mishra for bestowing me with the One Lovely Blog Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Arohii 2. D.G.Kaye 3. Scvincent 4. Luciana Cavallaro 5. Brenda Davis Harsham 6. Mabel Kwong 7. Gildaspoems. 🌟💫🌟

7♦Thank you very much Undomestic Writer and Aweni for the Versatile Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Colleen Chesebro 2. Kathleen Vail 3. Linnea Tanner 4. Sally G Cronin 5. Balroop Singh 6. Jeanleesworld 7. Impact Words.  🌟💫🌟

8♦Thanks so much (again) to Shehanne Moore for bestowing me with the Miranda Sings Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Found In France 2. Luce 3. Incredible Poetry 4. Jazzizzin 5. Artibookreviews 6. Muddling through my middle age 7. Maryjdresselbooks. 🌟💫🌟

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9♦ Last, but not least: Thanks so much Shehanne Moore for  thinking of me for the “Music that Means Something Challenge”. In this case, you have to choose five (5) special songs and add the respective videos if you wish. 

My Nominees for this musical challenge are: 1. Charlotte Hoather 2. Sylvester L.Anderson 3. It starts with a coffee 4. Wanderer haiku 5 Lifesfinewhine 6. Yadadarcyyada 7. Nishthaexploringlife.🌟💫🌟

My choices for Shehanne´s  “Music that Means Something, Challenge” (9♦) will be exclusively Lana del Rey´s songs. Lana is great. She often tells us a story, and to a certain extent we can all relate to her “characters”. Her songs often refer to summer memories, art, detachment, loneliness, random lovers, Love as an Ideal; self discovery and freedom…  😌 

These are my five (5) chosen videos by Lana del Rey: 1. Ride  2. Love 3. Change 4. Terrence Loves you 5. Carmen.

And… as a Bonustrack, I will also add five (5) more songs by Lana. In this case, “unreleased songs”. Here they go: 1. Because of You 2. Every Man Gets his Wish 3. Break my Fall 4. Cherry Blossom 5. Queen of Disaster

Check out the playlists for all the songs below. 💛⭐️💛

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🎼🎹►Five Official Songs by Lana Del Rey: 

🎼🎹►Five Unreleased Songs by Lana Del Rey: 


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► “Hermes & Writing in Ancient Greece”: “Collaboration with Alan Severs”✍️:

Statue of Hermes/Mercury. Roman copy. 200 AD.


“Hermes”, by W. B. Richmond. From “The magazine of art” vol. 9, 1886.

♠Divided into three sections, this article revolves around three main themes: Hermes, as The Greek God of Writing and his equivalents in other cultures; Plato´s derogatory ideas of writing, amidst the prevailing Oral Tradition; and how this eventually would change, as writing became a most accepted form, when the Greeks adopted the Phoenician Alphabet.

Greek God Hermes was the equivalent of the egyptian God Thoth, and from both of them resulted a Hybrid God: Hermes Trismegistus.

Hermes´roman counterpart was Mercury

In Norse Mythology, his Homologous figure was Odin.

Hermes and his associated figures are described in the first section.

♠The second section refers to Plato´s dialogue “Phaedrus”, emphasizing Socrates´quite negative statements concerning writing in that dialogue.

In “Phaedrus”Plato denies the legitimacy of the written word in favour of the oral tradition. With that purpose, Socrates tells us a myth, featuring Thoth (also known as Theuth and Hermes´egyptian equivalent).

Greece’s transition to literacy, was slow, and it augmented and transformed the traditions of oral culture which had for centuries been instrumental in the handing down of certain forms of cultural knowledge.

Before the advent of writing, Greek citizens’ knowledge of their history, the ways of their gods, and the attitudes, mores, and taboos of their society were orally transmitted. This occurred not only through parent-to-child communication and transmission within a community, but also through the poetry of the bards, most notably Homer and Hesiod.

The third section  delves into this issue, taking into account how writing effectively evolved in Ancient Greece.

As a matter of fact, Writing went through different phases, summed up as follows:

>Linear A Script: It was the written language of the Minoans of Crete, remains undecipherable.

>Linear B Script: It consists of the Mycenaean Civilization and the only partially decipherable Linear B script of Crete. 

>Phoenician Alphabet: It was the alphabet of ancient Phoenicia, which first came to Greece sometime before the 8th century BCE, from whence it spread.

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Section I. Hermes, Thoth, Hermes Trismegistus, Mercury and Odin:

Hermes was son of Zeus and one of the Pleiades, Maia

Hermes, Greek God. 540 BC

The name Hermes appears to have originated in the word for “stone heap.”

Probably since prehistoric times there existed in Crete and in other Greek regions a custom or erecting a herma, consisting of an upright stone surrounded at its base by a heap of smaller stones. Such monuments were used to serve as boundaries or as landmarks for wayfarers. A connection existed between these simple monuments and the deity named Hermes.

Hermes had many attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. Besides, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld. 

He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”. 

The Greek God Hermes, as God of Writing, finds his analogue in Egypt as the ancient Wisdom God Thoth (sometimes spelled Thouth, Theuth or Tahuti). 

Thoth, Egyptian God of Writing.

Thoth was important in many myths of Pharaonic Egypt: he played a role in the creation myth, he was recorder of the gods, and the principal pleader for the soul at the judgment of the dead. It was he who invented writing. According to relevant sources, he wrote all the ancient texts, including the most esoteric ones, including “The Book of Breathings”, which taught humans how to become gods.

In ancient Egypt,  Thoth created script. Besides, he was connected with the moon and thus considered the ruler of the night.

Furthermore, Thoth acted as an emissary between the contending armies of Horus (Egyptian God of the sky and kingship) and Seth (god of the desert, storms, disorder and violence in ancient Egyptian). Thoth eventually came to negotiate the peace treaty between these two gods. His role as a mediator between the opposites is thus made evident, perhaps prefiguring the role of the alchemical Mercury as the “medium of the conjunction.”

Both Hermes and Thoth were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures.

Hermes, the Greek god of interpretive communication, was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, to become the patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps, guiding souls to the afterlife. Hermes Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

As Alan Severs says in his post “The Grammar of Magic”:

“Writing and magic have always been closely associated. The Egyptian God Thoth was thought to be  the inventor of writing and the patron of every magical art. The considerable cultural contact and resulting overlap over the centuries because of conquest and trade between Egypt, Greece and Rome led to the deities Hermes and Mercury who shared many of the same attributes as Thoth before they all further blended together, creating the composite figure that was to later an immeasurable influence in the history of ideas, Hermes Trismegistus”.

Last, but not least: there is still another Egyptian parallel. Specifically, in the figure of Anubis. In classical mythology, Hermanubis was a god who combined Hermes with Anubis (given that they were both conductors of souls).

Hermes Trismegistus, floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Siena. 1480s.

Hermes´roman equivalent, Mercury had essentially the same aspects as Hermes. He also wore winged shoes and a winged hat, and carried the caduceus, a herald’s staff with two entwined snakes that was Apollo‘s gift to Hermes. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, and a tortoise, referring to Mercury’s legendary invention of the lyre from a tortoise-shell.

Like Hermes, he was also a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade. He was also, like Hermes, the Romans’ psychopomp, whose ability was to lead the newly deceased souls to the afterlife.

Thoth. Hermes Trismegistus and Mercury.

Another related God, given his attributes, is Odin.

Odin is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic people, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania through the tribal expansions of the Migration Period and the Viking Age. In the major mythological Old Norse texts, the Poetic and Prose Eddas, Odin is depicted as one-eyed and long-bearded, frequently wielding a spear named Gungnir, and wearing a cloak and a broad hat. He is often accompanied by his animal companions: two wolves and two ravens named Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory). As well as being the Germanic equivalent of Hermes, Odin appears to have marked shamanistic tendencies as he frequently has ecstatic visions in other realms after undergoing various trials and ordeals.

In Norse Mythology he was associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry and the runic alphabet. In the long Eddic, gnomic poem Havamal (The Words of Odin the High One) Odin sacrifices himself to himself by hanging from a tree (presumably Yggdrasil, the World Tree) for nine days and nine nights in order to obtain knowledge of the runes, which is suggested throughout Norse mythology as being a symbolic alphabet used for magical purposes. 

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►Section II. Plato´s dialogue “Phaedrus”, in which Socrates pronounced himself in favour of the prevailing Oral Tradition and, thus, against writing:

In his dialogue “Phaedrus”; Plato denies the legitimacy of the written word as capable of conveying knowledge in any truly significant way.

In this dialogue, Socrates puts the case against writing into the mouth of  Thamus, the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus.

When Thamus is presented by the god Theuth (Thoth) with the invention of writing, Thoth claims it “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories, for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered”. But Thamus replies:

‘Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise’. (Plato´s “Phaedrus”. Line 140 and following).
Socrates adds his own conviction that written words are inhuman, unresponsive to questioning, and indiscriminate as to whom they address themselves. At best, they can only “remind him who knows the matter about which they are written” (Plato´s “Phaedrus”. Line 278).

Walter Ong points out in his book “Orality and Literacy” [*Click here to read book] that these denunciations can by the modern reader as the same ones levelled by many against computers. This analogy is instructive because it allows us to understand in some small way the nature of the enormous change that was taking place in early Greek culture at the time of Socrates and Plato: the transition from a dominantly oral mode of transmitting knowledge to a slowly emerging literate one.

The Egyptian god Thoth, or Tehuti, in the form of an ibis. With him is his associate, the ape, proferring the Eye of Horus.

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►Section III. Towards a Literate Society: Writing in Ancient Greece:

1) >Linear A and Linear B Scripts:

Linear A (1700 BC)  was the written language of the Minoans of Crete. It consists of 60 phonetic symbols representing syllables and 60 symbols representing sounds and concrete objects or abstract ideas. There is no consensus on how to translate the Linear A symbols

Linear B (1450 BC) was first studied by Sir Arthur Evans, but it was not until 1952 that it was deciphered by Michael Ventris.

Linear B  is generally seen as a more simplified and less pictorial version of the earlier scripts . It is also far more cursive in its shape. The script consists of about 87 symbols, which each represent a syllable, as well as some ideograms which represent an entire word or idea. It seems that the Myceneans used writing not to keep historical records but strictly as a device to register the flow of goods and produce into the palaces from a complex, highly centralized economy featuring regional networks of collection and distribution. [To see examples of  decipherments of Linear A and Linear B Minoans tablets, please visit this guest post at “The Shield of Achilles”].

2) >The Phoenician Alphabet in Greece:

The alphabet of most modern languages was originated in ancient Phoenicia (11oo BC) and first came to Greece sometime before the 8th century BC, from whence it spread. Homer’s “Illiad” and “Odyssey”, written around 800 BC, are early examples of the Greek use of the Phoenician alphabet, as are the classics “Theogony” and “Works and Days”, by Hesiod.  Homer’s poems appear to have been recorded shortly after the script’s invention: an inscription from Ischia in the Bay of Naples, dated 740 BC, appears to refer to a text of the “Iliad”; and illustrations inspired by the Polyphemus episode in the “Odyssey” were found in Mykonos in 715 BC.

Herodotus claimed that the Phoenician alphabet was brought by Cadmus to Boeotia where he founded the city of Thebes.

The early Greek alphabet, based on the alphabet of the Phoenicians, was different from the linear and hieroglyphic scripts preceding it in that each symbol represents a single consonant as opposed to a syllable.

The Phoenician alphabet consisted of 22 characters with vowel sounds built into the symbols. The Greeks modified the Phoenician alphabet by changing some of the symbols as well as creating separate vowels.  They also made their alphabet more phonetically correct.

By using individual symbols to represent vowels and consonants, the Greeks created a writing system that could, for the first time, represent speech in an unambiguous manner. Furthermore, while Linear B seems to have only been used for inventories and lists, the Greek alphabet was used for literary purposes. Writing became not simply a means of recording events, but also an art form in itself.

⇒Writing from right to left. Bidirectional writing. Writing from left to right:

In the earliest versions of the alphabet, the Greeks complied with the Phoenician practice of writing from right to left and the letters had a left-facing orientation.

A good example of writing from right to left is shown in the inscription on the so-called Nestor’s Cup, a clay drinking vessel of the 8th century BC, which bears a famous inscription.

The text of the inscription runs:

Nestor’s cup, good to drink from.
Whoever drinks from this cup, him straightaway
the desire of beautiful-crowned Aphrodite will seize.

The so-called Nestor’s cup from Pithekoussai, Ischia and its inscription.

This was followed by a period of bidirectional writing, which means that the direction of the writing was in one direction on one line but in the opposite direction on the next, a practice known as boustrophedon.

During the 5th century BCE, however, the direction of Greek writing was standardized as left to right, and all the letters adopted a fixed right-facing orientation. 


So far, we have seen that there are clear and effective similarities, when it comes to certain Gods.

Gods Hermes, Thoth (and the hybrid resulting of both: Hermes Trismegistus); as well as Mercury and Odin, they all represent similar ideas.

They all seem to be fused in an eclectic space of cultural juxtaposition, despite the cultural differences.

This could prove Carl Jung´s thesis of the Collective Unconscious. According to him, the human collective unconscious is populated by archetypes and universal symbols, shared among beings of the same species.

Worth noting that Hermes and his equivalents were mainly considered here keeping in mind their specific roles as “Gods of Writing”.

Plato was a keen defender of Oral tradition, against writing. This is evident particularly in his dialogue “Phaedrus”, in which Socrates (by retelling an Egyptian myth), states that Writing will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory.

Pisistratus (6th century BC/ 527 BC) was tyrant of Athens whose unification of Attica and consolidation and rapid improvement of the city’s prosperity helped to make possible it’s later preeminence in Greece.

Pisistratus clearly supported Oral tradition. And he did so, by specifically encouraging Dramatic Arts and TheatreIndeed, theatre was a key technological factor of specialization in Greek culture. The choral poetry offered a fissure through which the choir was first sung until the actors took over in order to visually stage the oral poetry.

Probably, this was the most evident symptom of the transition from an Oral culture to a hybrid, semi-oral or audiovisual Culture, which dominated the fifth century BC and classicism. At last, by the end of the century, Writing prevailed.

When introducing writing, (Linear A, Linear B, and especially alphabetic writing), the Ancient Greeks privileged the visual sense against other senses such as seeing or hearing. Alongside this change, their conception of space and time was also altered, going from discontinuous to a linear, homogeneous conception. Hence, the chronological narrative and History itself arose as new types of discourses.

By objectifying words and making meaning accessible to a much longer and more intense meaning of what is orally possible, writing fostered private thought and increased awareness of individual differences.

Thus, Writing led to free initiative and creativity of the Ancient Greek society as a plural “whole”, while preserving the value of the individual forms. Such a tendency could be also considered a “call for democracy”, as a political correlate of literacy, expressivity, abstraction and individualization.

♠About Alan Severs: Alan defines himself as an occasional writer of fiction, poetry; and essays on modernism, mysticism, mythology, magic and mystery. His blog, Cakeordeathsite covers many of these and other interesting subjects. Please check it out hereThank you, Alan! 🐬

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Click to visit Alan´s blog.-

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“Mercury” by Evelyn De Morgan. 1873

“Mercury” by Evelyn De Morgan. 1873.

guarda_griega1_3-1 (1)


(Roman name: Mercury) was the messenger of the Gods.

It was Hermes´duty to guide the souls of the dead down to the underworld, which is known as a psycho pomp.

Carl Jung often speaks of Hermes as psycho pomp, spiritual friend, or personal guide.

He says: “From the earliest times, Hermes was the psycho pomp of the alchemists, their friend and counselor, who leads them to the goal of their work. He is like a teacher mediating between the stone and the disciple… To others the friend appears in the shape of Christ or Khidr or a visible or invisible guru, or some other personal guide or leader figure”. (Carl Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. 1934–1954. Vol.9 Part 1. CW 9I, para. 283).

One of his most famous regular roles was as as God of Crossroads, leader of souls to the river Styx in the underworld, where the boatman Charon would take them to Hades.

He was also portrayed as an emissary and messenger of the gods: an intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He has been viewed as the protector and patron of herdsmen, thieves, oratory and wit, literature and poetry, athletics and sports, invention and trade for being cunning and full of tricks.

He was also the patron of of luck and revered by gamblers and merchants undertaking new enterprises.

hermes05Hermes was son of Zeus and one of the Pleiades, Maia

He was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. Zeus had impregnated Maia at the dead of night while all other gods slept. When dawn broke amazingly he was born.

Maia wrapped him in swaddling bands, then resting herself, fell fast asleep. Hermes, however, squirmed free and ran off to Thessaly.

This is where Apollo, his brother, grazed his cattle. Hermes stole a number of the herd and drove them back to Greece. He hid them in a small grotto near to the city of Pylos and covered their tracks.

Before returning to the cave he caught a tortoise, killed it and removed its entrails. Using the intestines from a cow stolen from Apollo and the hollow tortoise shell, he made the first lyre.

When he reached the cave he wrapped himself back into the swaddling bands.

When Apollo realized he had been robbed he protested to Maia that it had been Hermes who had taken his cattle. Maia looked to Hermes and said it could not be, as he is still wrapped in swaddling bands. Zeus the all powerful intervened saying he had been watching and Hermes should return the cattle to Apollo. As the argument went on, Hermes began to play his lyre.

The sweet music enchanted Apollo, and he offered Hermes to keep the cattle in exchange for the lyre. Apollo later became the grand master of the instrument, and it also became one of his symbols.

Hermes was also known as something of a trickster, stealing at one time or another Poseidon’s trident, Artemis’ arrows, and Aphrodites girdle.

Hermes appears in Homer´s  Iliad. He is most often described by Homer as ‘Hermes the guide, slayer of Argos’ and ‘Hermes the kindly’.

In Homer´s Odyssey, Hermes helps Odysseus, especially on his long return voyage to Ithaca. 

Another hero helped by the god was Perseus. Hermes gave him an unbreakable sword and guided him to were the Gorgon Medusa was.

Hermes is usually depicted with a broad-brimmed hat or a winged cap, winged sandals and the heralds staff (kerykeion in Greek, or Caduceus in Latin).

He was often shown as a shaft with two white ribbons, although later they were represented by serpents intertwined in a figure of eight shape, and the shaft often had wings attached.

Symbols of Hermes were the turtle, the stork, the rooster, the goat, the number four.

Originally Hermes was a phallic god, being attached to fertility and good fortune, and also a patron of roads and boundaries.  It is also possible that since the beginning he has been a deity with shamanic attributes linked to divination, reconciliation,magic, sacrifices, and initiation and contact with other planes of existence, a role of mediator between the worlds of the visible and invisible.

As to Hermes Trismegistus, he may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth

In Hellenistic Egypt, the Greeks recognised the congruence of their god Hermes with Thoth, egyptian God of Knowledge. 

Hence, the two gods were worshipped as one in what had been the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks called Hermopolis.

There is still another Egyptian parallel, specifically, in the figure of Anubis. In classical mythology, Hermanubis was a god who combined Hermes with Anubis. Hermes and Anubis’s similar responsibilities (they were both conductors of souls) led to the god Hermanubis.

Icons of Hermes were displayed in front of houses and where roads intersect. He was seen as guiding people in transition.

Hermes was worshiped throughout Greece, especially in Arcadia, and festivals in his honor were called Hermoea. 


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On the Left: “Parnaso” by Andrea Mantegna, 1497. On the Right: Detail Hermes and Pegasus.

On the Left: “Parnaso” by Andrea Mantegna, 1497. On the Right: Detail Hermes and Pegasus.

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►Galleries: “Hermes, the Messenger of Gods”:


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Links Post:


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Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~

Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~


► “My Poem Tempus Fugit at La Poesía no Muerde” 

[December 10th, 2015].~

I am very glad to tell my readers that my poem “Tempus Fugit” has been featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”. I initially wrote the poem in Spanish, based in an image called “Il tempo che passa e il tempo che resiste”provided by Angela Caporaso (Caserta – Italy) so I am attaching the image, the poem in Spanish and its translation to English…

“La Poesía no Muerde” is a blog hosted by Hélène Laurent. It is a collective blog in spanish which prompts are usually triggered by images that might lead to poems or poems that once published are waiting to be illustrated with photographs or creative images, such as collages or digital creations… With that being said, I hope that you take a peek and subscribe if you enjoy it, which I am sure you will…

As to the poem I was making reference to, you can check out the original post here. It is also included in La Poesía no Muerde, fourth literary magazine, page 42.

•~~~•  •~~~ • •~~~• •~~~•  •~~~•  •~~~•


►La Poesía no Muerde / Poetry doesn´t Bite

~ Poem~“Tempus Fugit”:

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tempus fugit

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tempus fugit english

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►Last but not Least: Four Awards:



Thank you very much to Millie Thom from the namesake blog, Irena from Books and Hot Tea,  Yemie from Straight from the Heart and Luis López from ByLuis7 for nominating me for an Epic Awesomeness Award, a Dragon’s Loyalty Award a Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award and a Bloguera con Buen Rollo Award, respectively… Please make sure to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven´t already done so… 

*Note*: If you have been nominated, check out the four awards which are displayed at the end. Click on the respective logo to save it.

♠Rules for the Epic Awesomeness Award:

•Display the award on your blog.
•Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who nominated you.
•Present at least 7 deserving bloggers with the award.
•Link your awardees in the post.
•Write about the indirect questions above… just let it flow… 

Question 1→You are awesome; tell us why… what does awesome mean to you?… 

Awesome… I guess it means extremely good… But, on the other hand, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as and adjective, which implies that something or someone causes feelings of fear and wonder: causing feelings of awe. 

I was think of Immanuel Kant… In his book, “Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime” (1764),  Immanuel Kant describes the feeling of the sublime and the feeling of the beautiful.

Some of his examples of feelings of the beautiful are the sight of flower beds, grazing flocks, and daylight.  

As to Kant, they “occasion a pleasant sensation but one that is joyous and smiling”. 

Feelings of the sublime are the result of seeing mountain peaks, raging storms, and night. These ones, according to Kant, “arouse enjoyment but with horror”. Kant said that Beauty and the Sublime can be joined or alternated…

So, I am that “awesomeness” could be a sort of dual feeling at times… Isn’t idealization or admiration a sort of sublimation?. … Don´t we experience a sort of shivering dizziness when we come across something/someone awesome after all?.

Question 2→You are my friend; tell us about other blogger friends …

I have met extraordinary bloggers and I felt a sort of deep connection with many of them… Even when Virtuality would seem a veiled reality, at times… I´d rather call it an alternative Reality, at least, using as measurement parameter, our Reality … I find so many beautiful posts, I learn every single day something new due to my blogger friends… For the record, I am now thinking that Twitter is also a great tool. I believe that it is a very efficient way to catch up with blogs you really like and to do so almost daily…

My seven nominees for the Epic Awesomeness Award are: 1. Jeri Walker #Editor 2. Life as we See It 3. Straight from the Heart 4. House of Heart 5. A Chaos Fairy Realm 6 Books and Hot Tea 7. A Writer’s Path.


♠Rules for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award:

•Display the award on your blog.
•Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who nominated you.
•Present 6 deserving bloggers with the award.
•Link your awardees in the post.
•Write 7 things about you.

→The 7 facts about me are… 

 1. I am a scorpion in the horoscope and was born one day before my mom, but, needless to say, a few decades after her… 2. I’m very superstitious. 3. I am extremely cynical when arguing with someone… I usually know how to leave my opponent speechless… 4. I love cats, I not only speak to them, but I speak with them 5. I hate ignorance by conviction 6. Once I´ve started a series on Netflix I enjoy, I seldom set it aside before having completely finished it. 7.  I believe in God, despite my rational faith in the Theory of Evolution.

My six nominees for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award are: 1. Shehanne Moore 2. ByLuis7 3. Scribble and Scrawl  4Millie Thom 5. Micheline’s Blog 6. Scattered Thoughts

♠Rules for the Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award: 

•Display the award on your blog.
•Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who nominated you.
•Present at least 7 deserving bloggers with the award.
•Link your awardees in the post.
•Answer to the following questions below. 

1.What’s your life’s philosophy? I will mention three principles, concerning this question. a. Be tolerant… your opinion is just a personal, thus relative, standpoint. b. Be Patient. Try to get the whole picture, before jumping in… c. Give people the benefit of the doubt, until all doubts are vanished. 

2.One word that best describes you would be?… Steadfast. 

3.What’s the one best thing for you about being female, or if being the case male?… Honestly, I believe that women are more gracious and gorgeous, and our sexuality is an endless driving loop … Plus we don´t have to shave our faces each morning.

4.Who’s that one person, (could be your regular boy/girl next door or a celebrity crush or a pet or even a stuffed toy) you’d really fancy being marooned with for three whole days and nights on a deserted island and why?... I won´t put down details here regarding my personal life… To avoid awkwardness, I´ll carry the stuffed toy… *Successful deterrent maneuver*. 

5.What would you say was the craziest, nuttiest thing you’ve ever found yourself doing?… Any of the stuff I might do if I ever get more than I can take… *Free interpretation*.

My seven nominees for the Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award are:  1. Brittney Sahin 2. People Forward 3. Claudia Moss 4. Course of Mirrors 5. Tails Around the Ranch 6. Souldier Girl  7. The Genealogy of Style

♠Rules for the Bloguera con Buen Rollo Award: 

•Display the award on your blog.
•Announce your win with a post and link the blogger who nominated you.
•Present at least 6 deserving bloggers with the award.
•Link your awardees in the post.
•Answer to the following questions below.

1.How frequently do you post on your blog?. Once in three weeks or once a month… 

2. Was it hard for you to choose the name of your blog?. Not that much… I knew I wanted to include Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and then the hero Achilles popped up… Aquileana is a sort of Hybrid resulting of their juxtaposition.

3. Please, recommend me a book to read and review. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. 

4. Please, recommend me a song. This Is The Life –and many others- by Amy Macdonald.

5. Which would be your recommendation regarding your blog?. Read it slowly and click on the red links, i.e trackbacks.

6. Do you share your posts on Social Media?. Yes, I do. On Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.

7. Which one would you say is your favorite character whether from movies, series or books… I would say that Lady Mary Crawley from the series Downtown Abbey. At least, lately…

My six nominees for the Bloguera con Buen Rollo Award are: 1. My Space in the Immense Universe 2. Postcards from Kerry 3. Travels with Choppy 4. Fatima Saysell 5. Sherrie Miranda 6. Lorna´s Voice.

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Merry Christmas from Aquileana

Merry Christmas, for all those who celebrate them, and Happy New Year, everyone 💛☀️. My next post will be exclusively a Guest Post… 

See you Soon, in 2016 💛. Much Joy and Love. Aquileana ☺️



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►Greek Mythology: “Myrrha, Adonis and Persephone”(Myths and Interpretation):



“Myhrra assisted by Lucina, the Goddess of Birth” by Jean de Court (1560).



As we know from the previous postAdonis, Myrrha’s son, was raised up for both Goddess Persephone and Aphrodite.

Myrrha’s mother (being more precise, Adonis’ grandmother) had said that her daughter Myrrha was even more beautiful than Aphrodite herself . This was taken as offensive by the goddess of Beauty, who took revenge on that.

And in this case she took revenge of Myrrha’s mother by punishing her daughter, cursing Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father, Cinyras.

Aphrodite appears here as a trouble maker. It is not the first time that she had looked for acknowledgment of her Beauty.

We must keep in mind here the Judgement of Paris in which Aphrodite offered Helen the most beautiful mortal woman, to Prince Paris of Troy, in exchange of that famous Golden apple labeled for the fairest one.

Retaking the preceding points, roman poet Ovid referred to Myrrha’s story in “Metamorphoses,” Book 10, lines 467-518.

Myrrha was the daughter of King Cinyras and Queen Cenchreis of Cyprus.

Myrrha felt attracted to her father. Knowing the love was forbidden she fought it as hard as she could to avoid her feelings. But as he couldn’t do so, she tried to kill herself. Just before she was goindg to commit suicide, Myrrha was discovered by her nurse who finally dissuaded her.

Myrrha confided her forbidden love to the nurse. The nurse tried to make Myrrha suppress the infatuation, but could not calm the girl. Finally the nurse agreed to help Myrrha get into her father’s bed if she promised that she would not try to kill herself again.

The women got their opportunity during a feast. Myrrha’s father, King Cinyras, was drunk in his bed. The nurse helped Myrrha to get into the bed by telling the King she was a young woman who was deeply in love with him.



"Myrrha and Cinyras". Engraving by Virgil Solis for Ovid's Metamorphoses. Book X.

“Myrrha and Cinyras”. Engraving by Virgil Solis for Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”. Book X.



In this manner, Myrrha and the nurse were able to deceive Cinyras. The affair lasted several nights in complete darkness to conceal Myrrha’s identity. One night, Cinyras wanted to know the identity of the girl with whom he had conducted the affair. Upon bringing in a lamp, and seeing his crime, the king drew his sword and attempted to kill her but she could escape.

After becoming pregnant of her own father Myrrha walked for nine months, lost in her own guilt.

Zeus finally took pity on her and transformed her into a myrrh tree.

When it came time for the birth, the Myrrh tree was somehow assisted by the birth goddess Lucina and six water nymphs. The tree appeared to wrench and finally cracked and delivered a baby boy, who would be later called Adonis.



"The Birth of Adonis".  Engraving by Bernard Picart for Ovid's "Metamorphoses", Book X, 476-519.

“The Birth of Adonis”. Engraving by Bernard Picart for Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”.



Aphrodite found the baby by the myrrh tree. She sheltered Adonis as a new-born baby and entrusted him to Persephone, the wife of Hades, who was the God of the Underworld

Aphrodite fell in love with the beautiful youth (possibly because she had been wounded by Eros’ arrow).

Persephone was also taken by Adonis’ beauty and refused to give him back to Aphrodite.

The dispute between the two goddesses was settled by Zeus 

Adonis was to spend one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. Thus he decided to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite.

Adonis’ death was tragic. He was killed (castrated) by a wild boar and died in Aphrodite’s arms, who sprinkled his blood with nectar from the anemone.  

It was said that Adonis’ blood turned the Adonis River, or Abraham River, red each spring.

After Adonis’ death, Aphrodite was so sad that Zeus decided to make Adonis immortal, allowing him to leave the underworld, to spend eight months of the year with Aphrodite.

He always, however, had to return to Hades and remain there the other four with Persephone.



"The Death of Adonis" by Giuseppe Mazzuoli.(1709). The State Hermitage Museum

“The Death of Adonis” by Giuseppe Mazzuoli.(1709). The State Hermitage Museum



Something worth highlighting here. There is a remarkable analogy between Adonis’ stay in both the Underworld and the World of the Living and Persephone’s myth, being also this Goddess one of the women (with Aphrodite) who raised Myrrha’s child, Adonis. 

This is shown specifically by the fact that Persephone (Demeter’s virgin daughter) was abducted by Hades, King of the Underworld.

According to the myth, Hades planted a meadow full of the narcissus flowers in order to entice Persephone. When she pulled on the flower, the Underworld opened up and Hades sprang up, carrying her off.

Later on, he gave Persephone a pomegranate. As she ate it, the fruit somehow cemented her marriage to Hades. Thus, she was bound to Hades for six months of each year, winter and autumn.

Persephone was allowed by her husband to join her mother in the World of Living, but only when summer and springtime arrived. 



►”Greek Myths of Myrrha. Symbolism and Interpretation”:

Critical interpretation of this myth has considered Myrrha’s refusal of conventional sexual relations to have provoked her incest, with the ensuing transformation to tree as a silencing punishment. It has been suggested that the taboo of incest marks the difference between culture and nature and that Ovid’s version of Myrrha showed this.

Myrrha’ s love for his father may be related to the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Jung.

The Electra complex is a girl’s psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl’s phallic phase, a boy’s analogous experience is the Oedipus complex.

As a psychoanalytic metaphor for daughter–mother psychosexual conflict, the Electra complex derives from the 5th-century BC Greek Mythological character Electra, who plotted matricidal revenge with Orestes, her brother, against Clytemnestra, their mother, and Aegistus, their stepfather, for their murder of Agamemnon, their  father. This story is told by Sofocles in his tragedy and by Aeschylus in his trilogy “Oresteia” (Second tragedy, “The Libation Bearers”).


►Greek Myths of Myhrra, Adonis and Persephone. Symbols and Meanings”:

•Myrrha, transformed into a Myrrh Tree: Punishment. Myrrha is transformed and rendered voiceless making her unable to break the Taboo of Incest. The word “myrrh” in Ancient Greek was related to the word μύρον (mýron), which became a general term for perfume.

•Myrrha having sexual relationships with her father: Myrrha’s behavior here might be linked to the hero archetype, known as “The Fall”. It describes a descent in action from a higher to a lower state of being, an experience which might involve defilement, moral imperfection, and/or loss of innocence. This fall is often accompanied by expulsion from a kind of paradise as penalty for disobedience and/or moral transgression.

•Myrrha feeling guilty while she is pregnant: This attitude might be associated with, was is known in the Hero Pattern, an Unhealable Wound. Here, the wound, physical or psychological, cannot be healed fully. This would also indicate a loss of innocence or purity. Often the wounds’ pain drives the sufferer to desperate measures of madness. 

•Adonis, castrated by a Wild Boar: Adonis Castration might be considered equal to a Father-Castration, performed by Cinyras (Myhrra’s father and Adonis’  father and grandfather at the same time).

Castration is here performed as an extreme punishment which leads to death. It also entrains the fact that Adonis won’t be able to have sons or daughters with his substitute mothers (Aphrodite and/or Perspehone).

The symbology of Wild Boar is that of truth, courage and confrontation.

In some native Indian tribes Wild Boar was used as a way to teach young braves how to be honest and find their courage when they told a lie to the tribe.

•Aphrodite sprinkling Adonis’ blood with nectar from the anemone: Anemone blossom stories are mostly about death – that’s why its blossom is often liken with being forsaken or left behind. In the Greek version of Adonis’ death, the Anemone is a plant that symbolizes unfading love. 

For the Christian version of the meaning of anemones, it’s a symbol of the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross.  That’s the reason why you’ll see a bunch of anemones on several paintings of the crucifixion.

•Adonis’ death and resurrection: The most common of all situational archetypes, Death and Rebirth grow out of the parallel between the cycle of nature and life. The cycle of death and rebirth was linked with the regeneration of vegetation and the crop seasons in ancient Greece. Besides, this myth is related to the perennial nature of beauty, as Adonis died only to be reborn in the underworld.

•Adonis’ blood, which turned the Adonis River, or Abraham River, red each spring: Red (Blood and river colors) Red represents sacrifice; violent passion, disorder, sunrise, birth, fire, emotion, wounds, death, sentiment, mother. Rivers/Streams: They represent life force and life cycle

•Adonis resurrected, spend his time with both Persephone in the Underworld and Aphrodite in The World of Living: Beyond the fact that both Goddesses raised Adonis, this metaphor might be linked to the double dichotomy Light-Life / Darkness-Death. In which Light usually suggests hope, renewal, life and intellectual illumination; whilst darkness implies the unknown, death, ignorance, or despair.

It might be also related to the opposites Hell (Underworld)/Heaven: Hell represents the diabolic forces that inhabit the universe and heaven the God Forces.

•Persephone eating the pomegranate that Hades gave her: In this myth, the pomegranate is related to the changing of seasons and might be also considered as a symbol of indivisibility of marriage. Seasons: Spring: It represents Birth and New Beginnings. Summer: Associated to maturity and Knowledge. Autumn: Linked to Decline, nearing Death, growing old. Winter: Representing Death, sleep, hibernation.

•Persephone’s realms: The Underworld: Black space. Black color: It represents darkness, chaos, mystery, the unknown, death, the unconscious and evil.

•Persephone released from the Underworld by HadesAs Persephone came back to the Living World to spend six months of each year with her mother Demeter, the flowers and crops grow great. 



►Links Post:–%20Early%20American%20Lit/ArchetypesandSymbols.pdf

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