Archive for March 22nd, 2009
I went on a long walk this morning, walking to the fishing village then beyond into the salt marshes that seem to cover most of the northern and western coastal areas of the Yucatan. I managed to get a number of different photos featuring birds, the safe harbour sheltering a variety of fishing boats, and hurricane damage that destroyed the bridge which once gave access to a distant town called Sisal. As I walked back, this turkey vulture presented herself and allowed me to photograph her. And now, you are probably wondering how a photo of a turkey vulture has made it into this Jungian blog. I will let Jung tell you something about vultures. The following is taken from a lecture to the Abernethian Society at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London in a speech called: THE CONCEPT OF THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS.
The vulture symbol (which Freud also discusses in the work mentioned) makes this view all the more plausible. With some justification he quotes as the source of the symbol the Hieroglyphica of Horapollo, a book much in use in Leonardo’s time. There you read that vultures are female only and symbolize the mother. They conceive through the wind (pneuma). This word took on the meaning of “spirit” chiefly under the influence of Christianity. Even in the account of the miracle at Pentecost the pneuma still has the double meaning of wind and spirit. This fact, in my opinion, points without doubt to Mary, who, a virgin by nature, conceived through the pneuma, like a vulture. Furthermore, according to Horapollo, the vulture also symbolizes Athene, who sprang, unbegotten, directly from the head of Zeus, was a virgin, and knew only spiritual motherhood.
In looking for more information to understand more about this visitor to my life today, I came across information about Nekhebet, the creator of life and the goddess responsible for death and rebirth. For those who follow the comments posted by others here, there have been a few regarding death and rebirth and past lives, past experiences of death and rebirth. It appears as though I am being pointed to being more open about possibilities that are foreign to my conscious repetoire of knowledge. I do know that I only hold a minute part of all that is within my field of awareness and that the collective unconscious is a repository that reduces my meagre knowledge base to less that a pinpoint of light. And so, I move on, perhaps a bit wiser for allowing a symbol from the collective unconscious to speak to me.