Astrology, Archetypes and the Self. Carl Jung's Mythical Journey

"Sapiens dominabitur astris" — The wise will rule the stars. (Old Latin Saying)

1. Concept of the Sun: Sun-like Gods in Different Cultures

No matter how far back we explore the realms of myth and religion, we invariably meet the Sun, a timeless and ubiquitous symbol that holds profound meaning across cultures and civilizations. The earliest forms of religious worship across cultures and continents are intrinsically linked to the Sun. This is no surprise —it is hard to ignore the physical presence of the Sun, as it dominates the heavens. Monotheism, in fact, can be traced back to solar worship, as the Sun has always been perceived as the cosmic center, the ultimate creator, and the giver of life.

Creation myths from civilizations in Babylon, Egypt, and Sumeria depict a primordial sea as the source of life, with a solar deity emerging alongside the creation of the world and humanity. In Egypt, this deity is known as Ra the Sun God, while the Navajo refer to him as Tsohanoai. The Greeks worshiped Helios, and the Aztecs offered sacrifices to two sun gods: Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca. In Japanese mythology, the sun goddess Amaterasu played a vital role and was considered the supreme ruler of the world. Even today, sun symbols represent the Japanese state.
Archaeologists interpret Neolithic monuments like Stonehenge as solar temples due to their alignment with the appearance of the sun on the horizon during the summer and winter solstices. During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained prominence, leading to what some scholars refer to as "solar monotheism." Many gods of this era possessed solar qualities. In Christianity, Christ acquired traits associated with solar deities, such as a nimbus or halo with solar rays around his head. Additionally, the winter solstice, which marked the annual rebirth of pagan solar gods like Mithras and Sol Invictus, occurring on the birth date of the Christian messiah further highlights the connection between solar worship and religious symbolism.

Around 3000 B.C., the Sumerians ruled over Mesopotamia. Their god of the sun, Shamash (Sumerian Utu), was associated with life, justice, divination, and the netherworld. Shamash was believed to bring light and warmth to the land, allowing plants and crops to flourish. The word later evolved into the Hebrew word "Shemesh," which translates to "Sun." The word "shamash" still serves to define the first candle, which is used to light the Hanukkah Menorah and is translated as the "helper." Shamash coexisted with other gods, including Sin (Sumerian: Nanna), the moon god, and Ishtar (Sumerian: Inanna), the goddess of Venus. These three formed an astral triad of divinities.

During this time, we also witness the emergence of early attempts to interpret the significance of these three gods, particularly the Sun, as reflections of the human psyche by means of astrology. The Sun was seen not only as an external force but also as an internal presence within every person. This concept was especially prominent in the context of kingship, as kings were believed to be the earthly rulers representing the will of the gods and even their reincarnation, and wore the symbol of the Sun rays — the crown.

2. Sun Within, God Within

The choice of the Sun as a figure of worship in numerous cultures goes beyond its celestial nature and life-giving qualities. It is rooted in a profound human interest in connecting the outer Sun with the inner Sun — the soul, divine spark, or inner light. The Sun represents something that each person can feel within themselves. Many religions utilize rituals as a means to establish a connection with God and access the inner realm of the divine. Prayer, for instance, serves as a ritualistic practice to establish and strengthen this connection, with prayers often being recited during the time of sunrise and sunset.

The concept of the "God within" is not a new idea. It has been expressed in various esoteric and mystical traditions such as Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, and early Jewish literature. The ancient Greeks took this concept further. In Greek mythology, the gods and goddesses, including Apollo, the Sun God, were not merely symbolic figures. They were direct personifications of natural forces, phenomena, and aspects of human experience that were observed and understood by the Greeks.

The archetypal similarity between these gods and the universal phenomena they represented explains why Greek myths, which date back over three millennia, continue to be told and retold. The Greeks perceived and portrayed gods and goddesses as entities speaking truths about human nature. They recognized that these universal truths exist not only in the heavens, or atop Mount Olympus where deities reside, but also within individuals, known by the principle of "as above, so below". In Christianity, In Luke 17:20–21, Jesus says, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!" or "See there!" For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you" (NKJV). This answer to the Pharisees question about the timing of the arrival of the kingdom of God implies that God is already present within.

Many religions incorporate the Sun symbolism, anticipating the second coming of their prophets, just as the Sun is expected to rise again next morning. Whether it is the second coming of Christ in Christianity, the arrival of the Mashiach in Judaism, or the future Buddha, Maitreya, in Buddhism, these figures are expected to bring enlightenment in the next age and fill people with inner light. Their purpose is to ignite our inner Sun and unite us with the divine, even if it takes the second attempt following the initial one of them merging into darkness, just as the Sun does in the evening.

Additionally, just as the Sun rises from an unknown darkness each morning and sets back into darkness in the evening, human beings emerge from the unknown darkness of birth and return to it at death. There is a shared hope that, like the Sun, some immortal fragment will survive death and be reborn in some form, at some time, and in some place. This is similar to Mesopotamian mythology, where Shamash, the Sun God, was known to emerge from his underground sleeping chamber and journey across the skies, filling the entire sky with light.
Around 3000 BC, the Sumerians invent the first Zodiac as a means to observe, describe, and understand the Sun, and astrology emerges.

Astrology begins to play a central role in attempts to understand the inner workings of the Sun and other known planets. People seek to see the connection between the external luminary and its impact on individuals in order to not only find God, but also to connect with him from within. The idea that the Sun is not only an external celestial body but also a living force that shapes people's inner experiences and the cosmic rhythms that influence human existential experiences gains recognition, and gods either inherently bear sun-like features or are intertwined with the realms of light and darkness, which are extensions of the Sun.

3. Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung, born in 1875 in the village of Kesswil, Switzerland, is widely recognized as one of the most prominent figures in psychology. In his pursuit to understand the human soul, Jung drew inspiration from a diverse range of sources. It is hard to tell for sure what drove Jung's incessant search for truth. A significant factor could be attributed to his father, Protestant Reverend Paul Jung, who grappled with doubts about religion. While he may have lacked in terms of strong belief or financial resources, he bestowed upon his son an inquisitive mind in pursuit of answers. While his father did not find God, Jung seemed to be determined to discover his own.
Alongside his work in psychiatry and clinical psychology, he engrossed himself into spiritualism, scrying, hypnosis, German Romanticism, Christian mysticism, Gnostic, Taoist and Hermetic writings, and medieval literature and astrology, which gradually started to take more of his time and attention. Jung's interest in integrating ancient knowledge into his work was further ignited by influential theurgists like Plotinus, Iamblichus, and Proclus. Their inclusion of astrology in their cosmological perspectives resonated with Jung's belief in its power and its reflection of the psyche.

Alan Leo, a prominent figure in Britain, played a significant role in shaping Jung's understanding of astrology. Leo modernized the understanding of astrology as a tool for character insight, rather than of mere prediction, which captivated Jung, who studied Leo's books to deepen his knowledge in this field. In a letter to Freud in 1911, Jung says, "My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth."

Sigmund Freud saw Jung as the heir to his legacy and the potential long-standing head of the International Psychoanalytic Association. However, Jung chose a different path. At the turn of the twentieth century, he decided to part ways with Freud and classic psychoanalysis, establishing his own teaching known as "analytical psychology." The collision happened on the basis of the libido and drive theory, among other things.

In accordance with Freud's theory, drives — or inner motivators — are primarily sexual and developmental, with destructive urges permeating consciousness from the dark unconscious of the ID and being restrained by the regulating Super-Ego, the voice of conscience and morality. The conflict between the ID and the Super-Ego gives rise to symptoms of neurosis. In Freud's view, myth held a secondary position. Although Freud based his pivotal Oedipus complex theory on the myth of Oedipus, who unknowingly commits patricide and marries his mother, the mythic narrative is essentially a poetic portrayal of every son's unconscious desire to overthrow his father and take his place to possess his mother. Freud viewed myths as corroborating evidence for sexual urges within his theory.

In contrast, Jung believed libido — the driving force of life — was not solely confined to sexual or aggressive drives, as Freud had asserted, but that it encompassed the raw psychic energy of life, embodying the creative impulse. For Jung, the primacy lay with myth. He wrote, "Myths... consist of symbols that were not invented but happened." This implies that myths represent events that have happened to various people throughout different times and cultures. These myths come to life within an individual's psyche through archetypes, influencing one's thoughts, behaviors, and worldview. Mythical narratives are not consciously constructed; they arise from the depths of the human unconscious and the history of humankind. Therefore, according to Jung, psychology is impossible without history. Hence, the essence of astro-mythology is to shed light onto the realm of unconscious psychology and make clear the connection between human urges, motivations, desires, and the mythic symbolism that permeates our existence.

In a 1913 essay, Jung explored the mythic theme of death and resurrection through the concept of the Sun. He observed, "This motif is found in countless myths all over the world... The meaning immediately lying behind it is astro-mythological: the sun is swallowed by the sea monster and is born again in the morning" (Jung, Collected Works 4, para.477). According to Jung, each person sets out on a personal mythic journey, consciously grappling with the challenges of life and inner conflicts in a more creative and aware manner.

4. World Soul and Collective Unconscious

According to Plato, the World Soul (Anima Mundi) is a divine, eternal entity that animates and orders the cosmos: "This world is indeed a living being endowed with soul and intelligence … a single living visible entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related."

This concept of an "ensouled reality" resonated with Jung, who recognized and echoed the ideas put forth by Plato, Plotinus, Gnosticism, and Kabbalah regarding the creation of the world. Jung believed that divine sparks, known as scintillae, were dispersed throughout the fabric of the world, infusing all elements of creation with a touch of divinity: scintillae "dispersed or scattered at God's command in and through the fabric of the great world into all fruits of the elements everywhere." This divine essence could be found not only in humans but also in plants, animals, rocks, and soil.

Jung connected the idea of the an all-extensive World Soul with the collective unconsciousness. "The idea of the anima mundi coincides with that of the collective unconscious whose centre is the self" (Jung 1944/1968b, para. 265). He went on to suggest that the individual psyches are bearers of the collective unconscious: "Individual psyches are identical with each other, and where they function as if they were the one undivided psyche the ancients called anima mundi or the psyche tou kosmou" (Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II.).

In his exploration of the collective unconscious, Jung drew upon the ancient alchemical: "God is a circle whose center is everywhere." He saw both the macrocosm (the collective unconscious) and the microcosm (the individual unconscious) as identically structured, containing the same energy and natural forces responsible for the phenomena of life and the psyche. Freud viewed the unconscious mostly as a dark place where individuals repress undesired memories and traumatic experiences. These repressed experiences can resurface in the form of neurosis or somatic illnesses and can only be released when remembered, discussed, and relived.

Though this statement holds a lot of truth, as many talking therapies still rely on it to work with trauma, negative emotions, and childhood experiences, Jung had a different understanding. He saw the unconscious as a repository of world wisdom, a wellspring of knowledge that could be accessed through the understanding of archetypes. This wisdom from the World Soul, or Collective Unconscious, often manifests in dreams, symbols, and images, as well as through myths and in religions. By tapping into this vast pool of wisdom, individuals can gain insight and guidance, allowing themselves to navigate their lives with greater understanding and self-awareness. Dreams, symbols, and images serve as gateways to this collective wisdom, providing glimpses into the profound interconnectedness of the human psyche with the larger fabric of the World Soul.

5. Archetypes, Myths and the Collective Unconscious

For Jung, the collective unconscious was woven from mythological motifs. He viewed mythology as a projection of the collective unconscious, making the myths of different cultures its true expressions. Jung suggested that the collective unconscious could be studied through the analysis of individuals and by exploring the multifaceted patterns of mythology. Archetypes provided these patterns. The myths embody archetypal stories that resonate with our shared human experience, making them recognizable even when encountered for the first time, and that's why even children love to hear stories about them.

C. G. Jung introduced the archetypes, or mental structures, as primary mental images that comprise the content of the collective unconsciousness. The word "archetype" originates from Ancient Greece, where it was known as "archétypon" and meant "first-moulded" or "original which is copied" — akin to a prototype. Archetypes are considered prototypes or dominant forms of organizing human experiences. They shape the nature of human symbolism, dreams, fairy tales, and myths. These archetypes can express religious sentiments and serve as collective symbols with profound meaning.

Archetypes represent preexisting patterns of being and behaving, perceiving and responding. They are housed within the collective unconscious, a part of the unconscious that is not individual but universal, shared by human beings across cultures. These patterns have been described in personalized ways in different cultures, often personified as gods and goddesses.

Archetypes evoke feelings, imagery, and themes that are universal and form part of our human inheritance. When one interprets a myth containing an archetype appearing as a god or a goddess, they grasp its meaning in relation to their own life and might recognize it within themselves as an internal force, determinant of their mental life, which might be unconsciously guiding their decisions and their behavior.

Long before Jung, the Platonic tradition also considered archetypes to be not just psychological but also cosmic in nature — a concept that Jung found significant when incorporating astrology into his understanding of archetypes. Astrology supported the ancient idea of an Anima Mundi, or World Soul, in which the human psyche participates. From this perspective, Jung viewed the collective unconscious as intrinsically connected to the cosmos itself. If gods are archetypes described and "projected" by the psyche onto the heavens, then they can be observed and explained, exactly what astrologers attempted to do. This is where astrology became helpful to Jung, as it provided a description of twelve archetypes (gods) corresponding to the twelve zodiac signs, divided into four elements constituting the four "functions" by which people experience the world: fire (intuition), earth (sensation), air (thinking), and water (feeling).

In accordance with Plotinus, astrology can be seen as the interpretation of divine symbols in the heavens, which embody and reflect the ever-changing patterns inherent in the World Soul (Anima Mundi) or, in Jung's terms, the libido, the energy of life. The cycles of planets reflect the fluctuations of libido at any given time — how archetypes change over time and thus mirror what occurs in the individual unconscious. This understanding allows for the exploration of archetypes through dreams, symbols, and images, providing insight into the interplay between the individual psyche and the collective unconscious.

6. The Jungian Concept of Self and its Connection to the Sun

Jung proposed that the concept of "God" actually represents the most powerful and effective "position" that the psyche can attain. When the presence of God is not within us, we immediately identify with every impulse instead of recognizing it as something separate from ourselves. In this context, the Self represents the God within. Through the process of self-realization and unity, the individual becomes the vessel through which "God seeks his goal." The Self, hence, is the ultimate position, symbolizing the integration of both the unconscious and conscious aspects of an individual's being. Jung often represented the Self using symbols such as a circle, square, or mandala.

The process of integrating the various aspects of personality to create the Self is known as individuation. In this regard, astrology proved to be a valuable tool for Jung, as it aligned with his conclusions. Astrologically, the Self is represented by the position of the Sun in the natal chart. Similar to the Sun, the Self can be seen as the core of human nature, the essence that defines one's individuality, the very center of one's existence that provides light and energy, and the stabilizing force within. With this understanding, Jung was able to weave horoscopic themes into his description of the individuation process.

In a lecture at Fordham University, Jung likened the human experience of the psyche to that of the Sun. The universal journey of birth and death can be imagined as a solar narrative, offering the promise of rebirth and assigning psychological meaning to a natural celestial event.
7. Individuation of the Self

Jung associated the process of individuation with a sense of psychological freedom. He drew parallels between individuation and the mythic journey of the soul through the planetary spheres — a symbolic ascent from Saturn, the distant, cold and lonely planet in its astrological interpretation — to the Sun, which represents freedom of will, individuality, and inner warmth. Individuation entails breaking free from the subordination to archetypal forces and integrating unconscious elements with consciousness. It involves moving from the linear ego, the center of consciousness, to the cyclical and multidimensional Self, which unites consciousness and the unconscious in a harmonious unity. Eventually, the strong Self assumes a central position within the individual, and they become the rulers of their own life, akin to how the Sun symbolically occupies a central position in galaxy, with other planets (representing gods or archetypes) orbiting around it, not vice versa.

The journey to individuation requires shedding false aspects of the Persona and transcending the influences imposed by archetypes, confronting and integrating the suppressed Shadow, establishing a connection with the Anima or Animus (the female and male sub-parts of the psyche), and ultimately reaching self-realization. Jung believed that archetypes or planetary "gods" are encountered by individuals along their path and can only be addressed on a psychological level.

To facilitate this process, Jung introduced a technique called active imagination. In this technique, he suggested that individuals recreate dream images and engage in conversations with the archetypal figures dwelling within the collective unconscious. Through this dialogue, a connection would be established between the potent archetypal forces that seek to assert control over the individual and the consciousness, helping to resolve inner conflicts.

At the center of the psyche would then stand the central timeless and total archetype, the Sun, which individuals discover and refine during the process of individuation as they engage with the dominant archetypes within the collective unconscious. The Sun archetype would represent the ultimate expression of the Self, making it whole and integrated, a key aspect of the individuation journey.

8. Connection between the Self, the Sun and the Archetypes in Astrology

The connection between the Self, the Sun, and the archetypes in astrology is a fascinating topic that sheds light on why Sun-sign horoscopes continue to captivate people's attention. These horoscopes essentially describe 12 archetypes that represent how the Self, described by Jung, can manifest in our lives. Thus, popularity of such horoscopes does not necessarily serve as a guide on what will happen next week, but provide a space for reflection, allowing readers to explore and understand the ups and downs of their own lives through the lens of time.

Sun-sign horoscopes endure because they offer a symbolic narrative that resonates with the human psyche, and because of that, millions of people are drawn to the idea that their Sun sign might encapsulate a unique facet of their identity, acting as a cosmic guide on their journey towards self-realization.

In his book Symbols of Transformation, Jung explains a personal transformation as a change "into a figure who passes from joy to sorrow, from sorrow to joy, and like the sun, now stands high at the zenith and now is plunged into the darkest night, only to rise again in new splendor" (Collected Works vol. 4, para. 251). The Sun symbolizes the cyclical nature inherent in the journey of the Self, echoing universal themes of resilience, transformation, and rebirth.
The 12 zodiacal signs endeavor to express or reflect the 12 archetypal forces through which the Self can manifest. Each archetype consists of two sides: the shadow side (the concept which Jung was unveiling in meticulous details), which brings forth qualities that the psyche tends to repress, ignore, and not recognize, and the benevolent side, which helps the Self express itself wholly and positively. Both sides are interconnected, and recognizing the negative qualities of each archetypical-zodiacal power helps the Self express and experience the positive ones. As Jane Shinoda described it, "Every archetype is associated with particular 'God-given' or 'goddess-given' gifts and potential problems."
Let's try to connect the astrological interpretations, archetypes, gods, and the psychological features of the Self:

1. Archetype: Warrior.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Aries.
Greek God Ares.
Benevolent qualities: Bravery, Autonomy, Leadership.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Violence, Impatience, Impulsiveness, Short temper.

2. Archetype: Farmer.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Taurus.
Greek Goddess Aphrodite.
Benevolent qualities: Stability, Matter-of-Factness, Strength, Tenacity.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Possessiveness, Stubbornness, Lack of spontaneity, Regressiveness.

3. Archetype: Jester.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Gemini.
Greek God Hermes.
Benevolent qualities: Communicability, Flexibility, Wittiness, Writing/Storytelling Skills.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Facetiousness, Dismissive Attitude, Volatility, Instability.

4. Archetype: Mother.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Cancer.
Greek Goddess Artemis.
Benevolent qualities: Loyalty, Empathy, Protectiveness, Caringness, Compassion, Candidness.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Possessiveness, Overprotectiveness, Closedness, Emotional Restraint, Hypersensitivity, Reclusiveness.

5. Archetype: King.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Leo.
Greek God Apollo.
Benevolent qualities: Ability to inspire others, Dignity, Generosity, Enjoyment, Willpower, Creativity, Artisticity.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Egotism, Vanity, Recklessness, Cruelty, Drama-seeking.

6. Archetype: Craftsman.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Virgo.
Greek God Hephaestus.
Benevolent qualities: Conscientiousness, Professionalism, Precision, Attentiveness, Orderliness, Healing and self-healing abilities.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Criticism and self-criticism, Dryness and lack of emotion, Perfectionism, Pettiness.

7. Archetype: Judge.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Libra.
Greek God Aphrodite and Eros.
Benevolent qualities: Impartiality, Sense of Balance, Relationship-building skills, Personal charisma, Intellectuality.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Doubtfulness, Indecisiveness, Overdependence, Laziness.

8. Archetype: Actor.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Scorpio.
Greek God Hades.
Benevolent qualities: Decisiveness, Determination, Authority, Depth, Passion.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Cruelty, Rudeness, Indifferent impartiality, Power-hunger, Sexualization, Greed.

9. Archetype: Explorer.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius.
Greek God Zeus.
Benevolent qualities: Knowledgeability, Sagacity, Spirituality, Sense of Freedom, Spirit of Discovery, Storytelling or Teaching skills.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Recklessness, Adventurism, Volatility, Superficiality.

10. Archetype: Builder.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Capricorn.
Greek God Chronos.
Benevolent qualities: Industriousness, Persistence, Ambition, Realism, Patience, Goal-orientation, Reliability, Mission-driven mindset.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Regressiveness, Emotional Detachment, Rigidity, Distrust, Bitterness.

11. Archetype: Teacher.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Aquarius.
Greek God Uranus.
Benevolent qualities: Openness to new, Explorative mindset, Philanthropy, Egalitarianism, Friendliness, Intellectuality, Rebellion.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Explosiveness, Rebellion, Coldness, Tension, Unpredictability, Individuality.

12. Archetype: Martyr.
Expressed by the zodiacal sign of Pisces.
Greek God Poseidon.
Benevolent qualities: Empathy, Compassion, Selflessness, Creativity, Artisticity, Flexibility, Patience.
Shadow/repressed qualities: Overdependence, Unreliability, Instability, Self-sacrifice, Reclusiveness.

Thus, each manifestation of the Self through the Sun serves as a unique lens through which individuals can interpret their experiences. It provides a framework for understanding their own symbolic transitions — from the stern influence of Saturn to the radiant embrace of the Sun, or from the darks of the unconscious underworld of Hades to the celestial heights and joy Apollo, the symbol of light.

9. Jung and the Age of Aquarius

Why Jung? There have been many explorers of ancient knowledge, psychologists and clinicians among them. So why was it Jung who put so much emphasis on astrology in his explorations despite facing harsh criticism for being non-scientific and sometimes derision from the psychiatric and the psychoanalytic community? In two separate letters to Freud in 1911, two years before their breakup, Jung writes to his older protégé, teacher, and mentor: "At the moment, I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness." In the next letter he suggests that the zodiacal signs "depict the typical qualities of the libido at a given moment." Freud, although not explicitly addressing astrology, responded in a somewhat discouraging manner, saying, "I am aware that you are driven by the innermost inclination to the study of the occult, and I am sure you will return home richly laden... You will be accused of mysticism" (Freud-Jung Letters, 255F, p. 422.).

Jung took favor of the idea of ancient philosophers and astrologers, conceptualized in the notion of an "aion." This concept, dating back to around 125 BC, refers to both a cosmic epoch, lasting approximately 2,165 years, and a god-image, emerging from the human religious imagination, that embody the distinct qualities of the era. These epochs, tied to the precession of the equinoxes, reflect the gradual backward movement of the spring equinox through the twelve zodiacal constellations, or as Jung put it, the "precession of the archetypes." It is important to note that, in Hellenistic (or Western) astrology, the zodiacal signs are not directly aligned with the actual constellations but rather serve as dimensions of time. For example, the first sign, Aries, begins on the day of the spring equinox.

Since the 18th century, astrologers, employing varied methods of calculation, have debated whether the Age of Aquarius has already begun and the Age of Pisces has ended. The Age of Pisces is characterized by the emergence and ascent of Christianity, symbolized by the image of Christ affiliated with the symbol of Fish, and the rise and fall of empires based on religions, spreading across rivers, seas, and oceans (Pisces being a sign of the Water element) appears to be transitioning into the Age of Aquarius. The Age of Aquarius began to make its presence known in the 18th century, with the first knocks on the door heard during the first industrial revolution in 1760 and the astronomical discovery of Uranus, the planet associated with ruling the sign of Aquarius, in 1781.

These events set the stage for the new epoch, which emerged, curiously enough, just at the time of Carl Jung's birth in the second half of the 19th century. The Uranian epoch marked a significant shift for humanity, occurring in the mid to late 19th century, with the second industrial revolution, mass urbanization, the Wright Brothers' historic flight in 1903 (Aquarius being a sign of the Air element), and the exponential improvement of technology-based solutions that revolutionized the way people would live. These changes spurred transformative ideas in the fields of psychology, technology, medicine, and other various industries, revolutionizing the countryside and the traditional ways of working the land that had persisted for centuries. The Age of Aquarius strongly imprinted the archetypal qualities of Aquarius onto the collective unconscious and appears to continue to do so with no end in sight.
Carl Jung not only seemed to herald the new epoch and unite the old and the new knowledge. In his natal horoscope, the opposites of Aquarius and Leo dominate. Aquarius was rising the moment of his birth, and the Sun was placed in Leo, the sign which is natively ruled by the Sun in astrology. The precession of the equinoxes at the time Carl Jung was born aligned directly with his own positions in the natal chart, thus perfectly connecting the collective unconscious of the new age with the individual unconscious of Carl Jung himself. Given this astrological alignment, it is not surprising that Jung found the symbolism of Aion personally and deeply relevant and brought revolutionary ideas in psychology, incorporating the archetypes of the Aquarian age in his own individual journey.
The rupture between Jung and Freud can also be examined through the lens of the Aquarian nature. The shadow of Aquarius is rebellion, while the benevolent side is the acquisition of individuality, ultimately leading to the process of individuation, and that is how Jung himself managed to express his Self and create his very unique teaching.

10. Conclusion

Throughout history, various cultures have sought to understand the essence of the human soul and its connection to the external world. This search has led to the recognition of the Sun as a symbol representing both the source of energy and life for humanity, but also the realization of our inner creative potential.

Mythology emerged as a way to express and describe the archetypal forces that govern our psychological experiences. Through his thorough studies of the religions, mythology, and astrology, Carl Jung incorporated the archetypes into psychology and suggested that myths depict archetypes as fundamental elements of the human psyche, shared by individuals worldwide. Appearing across civilizations, times, and cultures in myths and religious stories, they reflect the human journey of self-discovery and self-understanding, recognizable to the extent that even children understand and are able to identify such archetypes.

At the core of these archetypes lies the Self, representing the integration of the individuality and the expression of creativity and willpower, akin to the astrological interpretation of the Sun. The cyclical nature of the Sun resonates deeply with many people, as we too, like the Sun, tend to experience cycles of growth, transformation, and renewal, and for this reason the vestiges of the Sun as the highest deity still show in different religions.

As a means of connecting with our inner Sun, our true Self, Jung introduced the process of individuation, which helps bridge the gap between the unconscious and conscious experience and helps us deal with the shadow sides of the archetype in order in illuminate and use their benevolent qualities. Astrology became indispensable to Jung in both tracing the presence of the World Soul (Anima Mundi) within the individual unconscious of the people and their relationship with the world, and describing the symbol of the Sun which ancient people saw as a deity, as the reflection of our own Self, the god within, the journey to reach, which allows us to embrace our individuality and connect with the divine. The Age of Aquarius, whether one believes in it or not, aligned astrologically with Jung's natal chart, allowing him to experience first-hand how the collective unconscious, the precession of archetypes, influences the individual unconscious — in this case, his own.


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Greetings! My name is Boris Herzberg and I am a psychoanalytic therapist, relationship consultant and ICF coach.
I help individuals and couples come to terms with their relationship to self and each other and explore ways to move towards a new way of living or being.

I work in a psychoanalytic paradigm but I would describe my therapy approach as adaptive, because I see each person as a unique being and thus work in a holistic way - with people, not with problems.

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Experience with more than 1700 clients in personal sessions and groups (+600 in educational formats)

Author of the book "The path to yourself. Practical guide to self-development". Contributing author for Psychology Today

Lecturer for self-actualization, relationship building, self-confidence strengthening and overcoming emotional crises (more than 60 offline and online events)

Born in 1980, have lived in 3 countries, in a civil union, loving father of 3 amazing kids and faithful servant to 2 wayward cats

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