In 1950, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, noted psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Carl Jung, carved this stone cube and set in on the Lake Zurich shore of his retreat home, Bollingen Tower, inscribing it on three sides. On the side shown in this photograph, Jung created this fascinating and powerful mandala centered on Telesphorus, the Greek demi-god of healing, surrounded by a Greek inscription, which states,
“Time extending through the ages is a child playing at a game of chance. The child is king. This is Telesphorus, who roams through the dark regions of this cosmos and glows like a star out of the depths. He points the way to the gates of the sun and to the land of dreams.”
I find it very intriguing that he included astrological symbols in his carvings, namely the sun (circle on left), moon (crescent on right), mercury (on Telesphorus’ clothing) venus (left of moon), mars (under Telesphorus), saturn (above Telesphorus) and jupiter (right of sun). To learn more about this and save me from re-telling what somebody else has already written, I highly recommend reading: Astrological Symbols and the Greek Inscription on Jung’s Bollingen Stone.
I also find it intriguing that of the four lines he uses to separate the mandala, 3 of them are angular steps while the one on the lower right is curved, as if a serpent approaching Telephorus. I wonder what that means? This might offer some insight: Snake Symbol Significance in Dreams.
Early on in my exploration of mandalas, I discovered Carl Jung’s work with them, which he calls “the psychological expression of the totality of the self.” In realizing their significance in his own self-discovery journey, he had his patients create mandalas which enabled him to identify emotional disorders and helped them work towards wholeness in their personality.
For me the symbols of mandalas and the symbology within them speaks far greater volumes and reveals so much more than any mere words can say. I’ve used them for my own journey of self discovery and spiritual growth.
In creating them during my sessions with others, I’m able to help people gain insights into their lives, provide a clearing of energy, a raising of their vibration, and a sharing of guidance on how best for them to move forward.
Yes, creating and coloring mandalas can be fun and relaxing. However, when we open our hearts, minds and souls to them, the insights they offer us along our journey of self discovery and wholeness is priceless.
For More Insights into Carl Jung, His Work with Mandalas, and The Stone Carving…
- Carl Jung’s Psychological Diagnosis Using Mandalas by Bhavika
- Care of the Soul: Happy Accidents by Thomas Moore (explains how this stone carving came to be and its significance)
- Archetype of Wholeness: Jung and the Mandala by Peter Patrick Barreda
- The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence as posted on the Library of Congress web site
- An Interview with Carl Jung (video) interview: John Freeman
- An In-Depth Interview with Carl Jung (video) interviewer: Dr. Richard Evans