Divine Union: creative force & origin

Mural depicting the Shiva lingam in base from the Mehrangarh Fort Palace in Jodhpu. Creative Commons via Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.
Shiva lingam in base from a mural at the Mehrangarh Fort Palace in Jodhpu. Creative Commons via Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.
In Symbols of Transformation, Carl Jung explores the dynamic relation between the masculine and feminine poles of the psyche. This relation is revealed in images of “sacred cohabitation”. One such image is the Lingam and Yoni. Jung says:

“The motif of continuous cohabitation is expressed in the well-known lingam symbol found everywhere in Indian temples: the base is a female symbol, and within it stands the phallus.”

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Yoni and the mother archetype

Idol at Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam. Photo by Subhashish Panigrahi. Creative Commons.

In the image above, we see an icon photographed at the Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam. The image is of the goddess, her yoni clearly exposed. Yoni is a Sanskrit word for the womb or vagina.

In Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung speaks of the relationship between the yoni and the mother archetype. This relation expands to include anything that takes the form of the vagina or womb: “Hollow objects such as ovens and cooking vessels are associated with the mother archetype, and, of course, the uterus, yoni, anything of a like shape.” (Carl Jung, 9i, para. 157)

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Lingam: the companion of the chthonic mother

Linga and Shiva of Parashurameshvara temple of Gudimallam, Andhra Pradesh, India Shunga 1st century BC sandstone. US public Domain via wikimedia.
Linga and Shiva of Parashurameshvara temple of Gudimallam, Andhra Pradesh, India Shunga 1st century BC sandstone. US public Domain via wikimedia.

In Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung notes that “the companion to the chthonic mother is the ithyphallic Hermes or a lingam.” He adds “In India this symbol is of the highest spiritual significance” [1]

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