Okay, time to stop pulling my punches…

I understand society and culture in terms of hermeneutics. Things are not always what they first seem. A thing may be both its self and a symbol pointing to something else. The ‘culture’ war is not a debate about things as they are, but things as symbols. The culture war is a debate about meaning.

The debate over children is not actually a debate about children as they are (or as they seek to define themselves) but about children as symbols.

Jung described the Kore archetype thus:

As a matter of practical observation, the Kore often appears in a woman as an unknown young girl, not infrequently as Gretchen or the unmarried mother. Another frequent modulation is that of the dancer, who is often formed from borrowings from classical knowledge, in which case the “maiden” appears as the corybant, maenad or nymph. (The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, pg 184)

Note: Corybant is derived from the priestesses of Cybele who performed wild, ecstatic dances and the maenad is a follower of the cult of Dionysus driven to orgiastic excess and nymphs are nature spirits.

Hylas and the Nymphs, Waterhouse

Hylas and the Nymphs, Waterhouse

What Jung is saying here is that the symbol of the Kore, the young girl, can appear in a chthonic, sexual form.

When, therefore, in dreams and other spontaneous products, we meet with an unknown female whose significance oscillates between the extremes of goddess and whore, it is advisable to let her keep her independence.

…the anima is bipolar and can therefore appear positive the one moment and negative the next; now young, now old; now mother, now maiden; now a good fairy, now a witch; now a saint, now a whore. Besides this ambivalence, the anima also has “occult” connections with “mysteries”, with the world of darkness in general.  (page 199)

Jung chose the word Kore as a direct reference to the myth of Persephone who is forced to spend time in the Underworld. Naturally Alice’s descent into Wonderland is recapitulation of this older myth.


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