A frisson of excitement swept through me the instant I saw this tree. Simultaneously the words ‘Elfin Ladder’ sprang to my lips.
I don’t really believe in elves, nor therefore their ladders. I knew I had been brought to experience this tree for a reason though and I recognised in my experience and in my term ‘Elfin Ladder’, a verbalisation of the phenomenon that Jung called the Archetype.
Jung described an encounter with an Archetype as recognisable in image and emotion. The profundity of the impact of such an encounter implies its deep and primitive origin, its importance as a signpost, when it turns up, to things that are beyond our understanding. My instant ‘recognition’ of what I saw as an Elfin Ladder, bears out Jung’s theory. ‘Elfin Ladder’ is as primitive a description of a natural phenomenon as you can probably get!
Is it that when we experience an archetypal ‘collision’, it means something is arriving on the edge of our consciousness – from out of our unconscious – our Wasteland – something demanding our inspection? Is it the crossroads Robert Frost describes in ‘The Road Less Travelled’? An Archetype presents a crossroads, and an invitation to choose the road less often travelled. Is it less travelled because it’s less often visible – a one-off, special offer, today only road into our psyches/souls/deeper selves?
I think so. Walking this road pushes the edge of our consciousness a little further out. We nibble away just a bit more of our ignorance, our Wasteland. Something beyond our understanding, no longer is.
Look out for Elfin Ladder: Episode II, when I’ll add more to this argument that unless we safeguard and use our Wild Lands we’ll never get rid of our Waste Lands. “Oh, is that what I’m rabbiting on about?” Ann asks her Animus.
Watch out in Elfin Ladder: Episode II for my apologies to Fibonacci, Mandelbrot and all the other famous and clever people my Animus will get me to write about but hasn’t yet bothered to tell me about.
- Jung for Dummies: Animus Planet (psychologytoday.com)