Psychological Types is Volume 6 of the Bollingen series. It was first published by Jung in 1921, after a fallow period of a few years. Remember, Jung’s ground breaking Symbols and Transformations of the Libido had been published in 1912. Nine years is a long time to remain silent in the field of Psychology in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. But it stands to reason that an internal and purely Psychic Alchemy had probably been triggered in Jung himself and he needed the time to accustom his Sailor’s legs to the New Lands that he himself had discovered. Lands sculpted by the Power of the Imagination and filled with Powerful, Numinous Symbols full of Transformative Energy. I think it would be an understatement to say that the Symbols of Transformation that Jung discovered in the Psychology of the Unconscious ended up Transforming Jung himself. And when we think of Transformation, one of the things we often think about is beautiful, remarkable, Alchemy! But now… also… Dragons.
Jung only mentions the Dragon three times in Psychological Types. He describes the Dragon, or Dragons, as “SPECIFIC ANIMAL” and then gives us a page number…
References to the Dragon or Dragons in Jung’s Psychological Types
From Part Five Section Five
The Nature of the Uniting Symbol in the Poetry of Spitteler (Prometheus and Epimetheus):
SPECIFIC ANIMAL Dragon page 263
SPECIFIC ANIMAL Dragon page 265
From Part Eleven, Definitions
Definition of SELF:
SPECIFIC ANIMAL Dragon page 460
Read the whole definition of SELF. Incredible stuff! Really! And Jung actually ties it directly to the Dragon and then mentions his previous Work on the Dragon in Symbols of Transformation.
So… there is NOTHING anecdotal about what Jung has to say about the Dragon, and Dragons, and we have AT LEAST SIX more major books of Jung to search through and I bet we will find the Amplification of the Dragon Symbol to be exceedingly rich. My memory of much of it is pretty vague because it has been since 1981 that I have read these passages and books and in some ways it feels like I am looking at all of this through a fresh set of eyes.
But it WAS in 1981 that I watched the new film, Excalibur, and the Arthurian Mythos, in general, had really captured my Imagination at that time, and, of course, the Imago of the Dragon figured prominently throughout the Arthurian Mythos.
In some sense, the Dragon isn’t just what the Hero goes out to slay. We learn, again and again, from a deeper study of the Hero versus Dragon Myth that it was a meeting and a melding, a joining together of Forces of Nature to form an Alliance.
We learn the importance of the Raising of the Sword…
Not just Excalibur.
The Thytanikan Sword.