Jung’s Quaternity and Alchemical Transformation

I’ve just found a great site called the Book of Thoth thanks to a link from . (Thoth is the Egyptian god of wisdom, and many believe that Thoth was actually an Atlantean priest who brought the secrets of magic to the Egyptian kingdom.) On this site I found this fascinating article by C. Clogston about Jung and his mandalas which came out of his own exploration of the drawings that erupted from his subconscious. “Mandalas are defined by Jung as magic circles, containing certain design motifs that he found to have a universal nature, across cultures and across time, whether they are the transiently created mandalas from Tibet, sand paintings from the American southwest, or illustrations from ancient, medieval, and Renaissance alchemical works. “

Clogston’s article discusses Jung’s use of the mandala in the alchemical/psychological process of individuation, and this is the process that transformational astrology examines as well.

Adding a fourth to an already established thee has a transformational effect. In geometry, a fourth point transforms the two-dimensional triad or triangle into a figure with depth, the cube and the tetrahedron…. Often it is a matter of completing a triadic figure with a fourth term, thus making it into a quaternity” [citations omitted]. Jung searches for the quaternity when a trinity is encountered, “Jung over and over again in his writings returns to the alchemical question: “Three are here but where is the fourth?” The completion of the quaternity is seen frequently in alchemical works, even whimsically, “All things do live in the three/ But in the four they merry be.”

Astrological symbolism also deals with triplicities and quaternities. There are four elements (air, earth, fire and water) and three qualities (cardinal, fixed, mutable). The concept of “squaring the circle” becomes […]

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