Through a Jungian Lens

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Sol and Luna in Conflict

with 8 comments

While waiting for the full moon to appear, I am taking advantage of any appearance of those moments when the moon is visible.  The full moon is due to appear on the 26th of June, another two days.  In addition to the full moon, a sighting of a partial lunar eclipse is possible here early in the morning.  Of course, all of this is dependent upon the absence of cloud cover.  Just another note looking forward in time; there is a full solar eclipse on July 11th.   Now, if I can get any and all of these photo possibilities, the SoFoBoMo project will have a good range of subject material.  July 13th is the final day of my project.

Today’s photo is “gentle” and “peaceful” for me.  Night hasn’t yet arrived and yet the moon is present.  I was lucky in that I caught a bird in the photo as well as the branches of a tree.  I wanted to have a sense of “earth” as well as the moon.  I had hoped to have a sense of being grounded and looking upward as if searching for inspiration.  I can’t say that I found any inspiration, but I did relax and stop thinking about the task of taking moon photos for the project.  Strange how the project has transformed into a conflict within me, one that doesn’t make the least bit of sense when I think that the project isn’t something that anyone is requiring me to complete, nor is there any reward for its completion.  Obviously, for me, the project isn’t at the centre of this conflict; the project is something onto which I have shifted an inner conflict that has arisen out of the “Sol” / “Luna” archetypes.  Put simply, in my opinion, the conflict is not consciousness versus unconsciousness, but more of a conflict between my shadow and my soul.  Let me explain a bit here.

My shadow, in Jungian terms, is masculine (for a woman, the shadow is feminine); my soul, in Jungian terms, is feminine (for a woman, the soul is masculine).  As I write about the sun, “Sol,” as a masculine archetype, I find that somehow my shadow is creeping into the dialogue and claiming power.  And the sun is about power, isn’t it?  Without the sun there is no life.  The same can’t be said for the moon, “Luna.”  With the moon being the feminine archetype, an archetype loaded with potentially “negative” aspects in comparison to the sun, the moon is devalued and the feminine with it.  And in the process, my soul is devalued.  I can’t have it two ways.  Or, can I?

How can I move from an either/or situation?  Jung does suggest that one can’t resolve the conflict by choosing either of the two polarities.  Somehow, I have to find some other option.  Jung often offers ideas based on ancient alchemical beliefs and processes.  Somehow, alchemically, masculine and feminine must fuse into one.  This is a process that can only be done, psychologically, through becoming more conscious of one’s “self.”

The only problem with the work of becoming more conscious of oneself is that one needs the presence of other to mirror the self.  I can only see myself more fully in becoming aware of how others see and react to me – both men and women.  Men hold the projections of my shadow, women hold the projections of my soul.  Both, together help fill in the blank spaces.  This is no different than the sun being able to only get a sense of self through reflection.  The moon can only get a sense of self because of the light of the sun.  Both are separated by time and space, apparently independent.   Yet, if either were all alone, there would be no consciousness.  Nothing but light or nothing but darkness.  This is a conflict that can only be solved in having the two separate states join together into a marriage of sorts.  And even then, they remain in conflict – a necessary conflict if one is to ever become more conscious of the light and darkness that lies within each of us.


8 Responses

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  1. I think the fusion into one comes from gaining the knowledge about all of our ‘parts’. With knowledge comes understanding of ourself, and incorporation into a whole – or more whole – pieces of the jigsaw fit together.

    Lotus Light

    June 25, 2010 at 6:26 am

    • This is my work, attempting to gain this knowledge of “my” parts. And in the process, and in the sharing of this work here in cyberspace, perhaps some will hear and recognize something worth following in their own core. Thanks, Lotus.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  2. THis is what I have been thinking and unable to articulate: We don’t know good unless we have experienced evil. We don’t appreciate rich, unless we have known lack. Without black, white is meaningless. The shadows and lines of a lily define the purity it represents.

    Without pain, I know no pleasure. I don’t accept the pain, but still it is there and knowing this is what has caused the fulfillment with which I am able to live, when I am able to live it. I cannot know satisfaction all the time, but when I experience it, I know what it is because I know what dissatisfaction is.

    I think all these concepts: Dark and light, good and evil, white and black, sun and moon, shadow and reflection are part of the evolution, nay, the creation of life.

    Is that too far fetched?

    • You are articulating this quite well 🙂 I don’t think this is something that can be accomplished without a lot of investment of time and energy and honesty.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm

  3. How much do you agree with the classical concept of Shadow=same gender and Soul is opposite gender? I remember studying it but it seemed few if any of my teachers thought it much apt – a sort of early/classic Jungian concept abandoned with time. Perhaps you can expand on it some day?


    June 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    • UrSpo – I have to admit that I am not “classical” in orientation. As I wander through Jung’s works, I get the feeling that neither was he. There are dark sides to both shadow and soul – there are light sides to both as well. Gender? As a man, I see and understand the world through the filter of my gender as it occurs in my particular case. Not all men have the same filter. That said, equating soul and shadow with gender (as well as sun and moon) is problematic. Still, it does serve me as a point of departure as I search for my own words.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 27, 2010 at 7:52 am

  4. I really, really appreciate you exploring the bent you are currently on. I feel as if I am crying tears which i then use to annoint myself with healing. Yes, those are very Christian concepts but they are what I know, how I can say what I feel, which is almost impossible, but I am trying…

    • Thank you for sharing your resonance to this post and other posts. One has to speak from what one knows and honour that as one moves forward to a new way of knowing. Nothing is thrown out. What was taken as truth becomes just a stepping stone towards a larger truth. Be.

      Robert G. Longpré

      June 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

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