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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Collective Unconscious

DEFINITIONS

Collective Unconscious: In the writings of psychologist Carl Jung and his followers, the deepest stratum of the unconscious that contains material relating not to the individual but to humanity as a whole. The most important presences in the collective unconscious are the archetypes. According to Jungian theory, these are reflections of primal instincts, and also the patterns on which gods and other mythic entities are based. Contacting the archetypal patterns of the collective unconscious in a conscious and balanced way is an important part of the process of individual, the goal of Jungian psychological work.
source: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, by John Michael Greer

Collective Unconscious:

A concept from the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, the function of the Personal Consciousness that bridges to the collective racial, cultural, mythic, even planetary memories and the world of archetypes of the Universal Consciousness, making them available to the Psyche mainly through the Sub-Conscious Mind.

The memories of all of humanity, perhaps of more than human, and inclusive of the archetypes. The contents of the collective unconscious seem to progress from individual memories to universal memories as the person grows in his or her spiritual development and integration of the whole being. There is some suggestion that this progression also moves from individual memories through various groups or small collectives—family, tribe, race, and nation—so the character of each level is reflected in consciousness until the individual progresses to join in group consciousness with all humanity. This would seem to account for some of the variations of the universal archetypes each person encounters in life.




ARTICLES

What Is Rune Meditation?
Before the runes can be effective for works of magic or divination, they must be understood on the intuitive level and made to come alive in the unconscious. This will occur over time simply by using them, but the process can be encouraged through ...
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The Higher Self
The higher self is that part of your psyche which links you with what one writer calls "the supply of infinite love, wisdom and energy in the universe." Mystics who have experienced it in its pure form describe it as a blinding white light. Mystics ...
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What You Should Not Expect from Magic
Everyone who gets into ritual magic has pretty much the same goal—he or she wants to rule the world. They may not admit it even to themselves, but they are thinking: Suppose, just suppose, I could learn to hurl lightning bolts from my fingertips, ...
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What is Divination?
Prophesy and information by "occult" methodologies.  By reading naturally produced signs ranging from the shape of clouds to the positions of planets (astrology). By reading artificially produced signs ranging from tea leaves to the throwing ...
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What Is Hypnosis?
Exactly what is hypnosis, or more accurately, self-hypnosis? Self-hypnosis is a self-induced, altered state of mental consciousness that allows you to give constructive suggestions directly to your subconscious mind. More simply put, you cause ...
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Shamanic Consciousness
To understand the sacred, other world journey of the shaman, it is necessary to first understand shamanic consciousness. To begin with, consciousness is usually divided into two primary types: The focused, waking consciousness in which we are alert ...
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Visualization Power
Visualization is an extraordinarily powerful instrument. In focusing our psychological and psychic powers and drawing on the untapped potential of the unconscious, we are dealing with forces that in some ways seem almost magical. One writer on ...
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The Robin Wood Tarot—A Review
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
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Principles of Ceremonial
Magical ceremonial can be built up and elaborated to forms of great subtlety and complexity, but the initial principles which cause its creation are simple in the extreme. In the first place, ceremonial is a different thing from meditation, and it ...
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The Dynamic Way to Success
You have heard of—maybe even used—the technique called "positive thinking." That technique is based on creative visualization, which is an easy, effective method for tapping into the innate power of the mind. Some people apply visualization without ...
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The Norse Universe
The universe has nine planes divided into three levels within Yggdrasil, the World Tree. In some sense the World Tree is like the Kabalistic Tree of Life for it is here that all the gods, forces, and their relations to manifested life and being are ...
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I've written a number of books for Llewellyn over the years—believe it or not, my upcoming release is number eight—but far and away the most popular one was my third, The Goddess Is in the Details. And I have to confess, it was my favorite too. (Shhh…don't tell the other books. They'll cry, and I'll have to give them each a... read this article
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