C.G. Jung: “It might be said that the secret of Merlin was carried on by alchemy…”

Merlin Tutoring Arthur, 14th Century

Merlin and Mercurius

Merlin represents an attempt by the medieval unconscious to create a parallel figure to Parsifal. Parsifal is a Christian hero, and Merlin, son of the devil and a pure virgin, is his dark brother. In the twelfth century, when the legend arose, there were as yet no premises by which his intrinsic meaning could be understood. Hence he ended in exile, and hence “le cri de Merlin” which still sounded from the forest after his death. This cry that no one could understand implies that he lives on in unredeemed form. His story is not yet finished, and he still walks abroad. It might be said that the secret of Merlin was carried on by alchemy, primarily in the figure of Mercurius. Then Merlin was taken up again in my psychology of the unconscious and—remains uncomprehended to this day! That is because most people find it quite beyond them to live on close terms with the unconscious. Again and again I have had to learn how hard this is for people

Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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C.G. Jung: “The ‘heart’ of Mercurius is at the North Pole.”

Carl Jung talks about the alchemical Mercurius Many treatises define Mercurius simply as fire.  He is ignis elementaris  noster naturalis ignis certissimus, which again indicates his “philosophic” nature. The aqua mercurialis is even a divine fire. This fire is “highly vaporous” (vaporosus).  Indeed, Mercurius is really the only fire in the whole procedure. He is…Click to continue

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