Jungian Circle

I used a circular framework for my last couple of doodles (see here and here).  I call them doodles because I don’t do any planning, I just draw the next thing that comes into my head or fingers.  However, I find that I can’t do entirely spontaneous pieces – I need a framework of some sort.  A few years ago I read Jung’s autobiography.  He liked to get his patients to produce mandalas – circular pieces of art that drew out their subconscious thoughts.  When I mentioned my need for a framework for doodling, my friend Sally speculated that Jung also found that the circular framework made it easier for his patients to access the creative flow.

Just after I finished reading Jung’s book I had a dream that consisted only of a circular design that evolved in front of me.  The dream happened, serendipitously,  just before I started taking an art class that Sally was running.  She provided us with circular canvasses and circular pieces of sheet copper to stick in the centre.  I decided to use the design from my dream (slightly adapted for the materials, and embellished); the one and only time that I have literally “dreamed up” a piece.  Here is the result (sorry for the poor quality photo):

IMG_1224The elements in the design represent various aspects of the psyche and the methods I’m using to bring them into balance.  Jung theorized that the psyche is composed of three components – the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious.  He also proposed that within the collective unconscious were masculine and feminine aspects that gave men a feminine component to their psyche, and vice versa.  I have to admit that this is as far as my knowledge of Jungian philosophy goes.  In my design, I split all three of Jung’s components of the psyche into masculine and feminine parts.  These are represented in the outer circle of the design as astronomical symbols for the sun, moon, Mars and Venus, and yin and yang symbols.  The copper part represents the desired unity of the psyche with the astronomical symbol for the Earth – a cross within a circle.  The hearts represent the Buddhist practice of metta or loving-kindness, and the eight lotus petals represent the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. 

I don’t think it would qualify as a great work of art but it’s a personal piece, packed with meaning.

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Posted on May 7, 2014, in Art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. That is so cool! Love it!

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  2. Jung played an important part of my development, so pleased to hear that you are finding inspiration from his books too! Dreams will accelerate if you write them down. Lovely that you dreamt the inspiration for this one! Exciting….

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    • It seems that he’s a very inspirational man. I must read more of his books. I’d particularly like to own a copy of his Red Book but the full version is a bit pricy. I’ve seen a borrowed copy and it’s filled with marvelous artwork. Have you seen it?

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  3. It’s beautiful, personal and meaningful. Thank you for letting me see it.

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  4. Certainly packed with meaning! Is this a 3D piece? Whether 2 or 3D is’s compelling for sure.

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  5. Very beautiful piece here. And you mentioned that this is an older piece? Do you still own it?

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  6. Nice, Sarah and isn’t it just a peach to have a dream as the foundation of this piece 😀 On Jung’s side I would say that I think circular doodles, circular motions, circular shapes are so much easier because circular motion flow comes more naturally, without much effort and concentration so the mind cane be free to roam other places to the psychoanalyst’s delight 😀

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  7. Does the copper have significance (ex healing properties)? I felt very relaxed looking at in. And it made me a little worried my dreams seem to be all riled up — not all circular and peaceful. What would Jung say of the that? Beautiful keep sharing, please.

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    • I’m sorry to say that the copper had no special significance apart from it’s suitability for the embossing process.
      Don’t worry 🙂 that is the only such dream that I am aware of having. My normal dreams are much more chaotic and often full of fear. Perhaps you should try reading Jung’s autobiography (if you haven’t already) and see what it does to your dreams…

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  8. yeseventhistoowillpass

    Wow your words fill me like a dry river! I am trying to find all my friends from omtatjuan! I found you!

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  9. Both interesting and beautiful.

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  10. the image is interesting and packed with meaning.. I don’t have my glasses right now, but even I can see clearly the details.. (I am buying new reading glasses next week. Might help me read blogs..) thanks so much for all of your help with my blog yesterday.. I do feel gullible and yes, the lack of comments is a concern to me… I have decided to unfollow most blogs on my reader.. thanks again for your help. eve

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    • Thank you Eve.
      It seems to me that blogging is a lot like refining ore. There is a lot of material to sort through before one is left with a few precious nuggets. I think those nuggets are worth the effort. It’s a shame that you’re not getting a lot of feedback but I wouldn’t discount all of the likes. Your posts are very niche and deep so the majority of WordPress readers aren’t going to feel comfortable getting into a discussion about something that they probably know very little about. I think blogs like yours take more time for the right people to find. Do you make much use of tags? They make it easier for people who are interested in yours topics to find you.

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  11. I have an article on Jung and dreams called Magic Lanterns and Insights.. It is good. Do you want it.. I could post it to you? eve

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    • May I email you privately about this? I have your googlemail address that came with your comment.

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      • of course. I am so thankful to you.. I was really in a mess, trying to get round to all the blogs who liked mine.. trying to read so many with my poor eyesight, not thinking they were mostly insincere. I read other blogs too of course. I love photography and of course I like them sincerely and with joy.. Photography is my love…… eve

        eve.northrop@googlemail.com

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  12. Wow. It’s beautiful.

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  13. Your celtic circle is beautiful….I’ve always felt there is some kind of interconnection between this and buddhism. You are finding intuitively a way of expressing it!

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  14. The colors are beautiful together. I love the feeling of balance and unity. it draws me in. I must not know much about photography because the photo looked fine to me, certainly good enough for me to enjoy your Jungian Circle. Thanks for following my blog!

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  1. Pingback: Copper Knot WIP | Anglo Saxon Celt Creates

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