Jungian Type as a Sign of the Soul

Before I get started with this, I want to underline one of my motivations for banging on about Jung as a complement to Yeats. It isn’t just that they are talking about the same things, but that they are talking about two aspects of the same thing. In specific, Jung’s work provides grist for getting the practical dimensions of the Yeatsian spiritual work off the ground.

It does that by providing us with the tools to prepare for the Yeatsian crises, to make the most of the chain of initiatory moments that lead toward it. If we keep The Red Book in mind, it also provides lineaments for interacting with the spiritual beings that undergird this process.

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Friction Oracles, or Tugging on the Elephant

There is a family of oracles in Africa known as ‘friction oracles.’ The most common of these require that the client and diviner hold a sacred object between them and wait for subtle movements between them to indicate spiritual responses. (Yes, the Ouija Board is sort of a distant relative, though I hesitate to say that lest I see even more ads for that F***in’ movie).

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The Spirit that is Us

I keep thinking about whether or not to dig up the later edition of A Vision. From all accounts it is a very different book, with little to none of the fictional apparatus and a fair bit more straightforward elaboration. Because I like to be thorough, I probably will, but presently am enjoying the earlier text and the supporting material. Reading across the Yeatses’ sessions and W. B. Yeats’s first book makes clear the interpretive effort required to give the system philosophical form and I worry that by the time we get to the later text it will be, well, a little canned. At the very least, that later text will be even more the work of W. B. and even less that of George, and the spirits themselves make clear that the heart of the work lies in their conjoined effort.

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