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

  1. Dr. Parker,

    I am so excited to find your website! I have recently became very interested in jung’s work, particularly, relating to archetypes and the acceptance of one’s shadow. I read Jung’s work while a freshman in college (I’m thirty-eight now), however, at that point in my life, I was more drawn to Freud and Skinner.

    Anyways, I am not going to get too long winded here, I just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you have put into this site and let you know that is very appreciated!


    Richard Furrow

  2. You were recommended by a cyber friend in Albany, Western Australia. As an ex-Jungian analyst – who loves Jung but not necessarily Jungians – I remain drawn to the man and with people who are still exploring his prophetic nature.
    Le Cri de Merlin talks to me deeply.
    Many thanks for your endeavours,

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