“The opposites and their symbols are so common in the texts that it is superfluous to cite evidence from the sources. On the other hand, in view of the ambiguity of the alchemists’ language, which is “tam ethice quam physice” (as much ethical as physical), it is worth while to go rather more closely into the manner in which the texts treat of the opposites. Very often the masculine-feminine opposition is personified as King and Queen (in the Rosarium philosophorum also as Emperor and Empress), or as servus (slave) or vir rubeus (red man) and mulier candida (white woman);5 in the “Visio Arislei” they appear as Gabricus (or Thabritius) and Beya, the King’s son and daughter.6 Theriomorphic symbols are equally common and are often found in the illustrations.7 I would mention the eagle and toad (“the eagle flying through the air and the toad crawling on the ground”), which are the “emblem” of Avicenna in Michael Maier,8 the eagle representing Luna “or Juno, Venus, Beya, who is fugitive and winged like the eagle, which flies up to the clouds and receives the rays of the sun in his eyes.” The toad “is the opposite[…]”
C. G. Jung. “The Collected Works of C.G. Jung: Complete Digital Edition.” Princeton University Press, 2014-03-01T05:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
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