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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

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Meditation
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Unconscious in the Astral
We have been speaking of the projection of consciousness, but strange as it seems, it is also possible to project unconsciously—to leave one’s body and not even know that one has done so! Take, for example, the peculiar experience of a New York ...
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Creating a New You
The effectiveness of visualization as a method of dealing with psychological problems has long been recognized. Sigmund Freud believed that images were the "language" of the unconscious. "Thinking in pictures … approximates more closely unconscious ...
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What is the Tarot?
The Tarot is a deck of cards that is primarily used to foretell the future. Forecasting the future, however, is only a superficial use of the massive powers of the Tarot. The Tarot is a very powerful tool that allows you to look deep inside your ...
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Review of the Tarot of Mermaids
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A Sense of Direction
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The Inner Meaning of "Congrex"
Here’s another of Lou Culling’s fancy words he was so fond of using. It just means intercourse, having sex, sleeping together. But the use of an unfamiliar word, even when the meaning is obvious, does have a certain value of "stop, look, ...
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Astrological Houses
Your astrological chart is divided into twelve sections called houses. They are numbered from the left side counterclockwise around the chart. The chart represents the planets against a background of the signs of the zodiac, and these signs rise in ...
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Transits and Progressions
Just as your birth chart shows where the planets were when you were born, at any moment another chart can be created. The planets in a chart for a particular moment are called transits. As the planets move through the zodiac, they interact with ...
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Sensitive people have gotten a bum rap. We live in a world that doesn't embrace the values of sensitivity, so we get told that we are weak, unusual, touchy, and hard to please. The sad truth is that we hear these messages in many ways throughout our lives. Even if it is from a well-meaning teacher or parent who tries to "toughen us up," the crux... read this article
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