Atmavictu and Telesphorus


Illumination page 117


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Atmaviktu first appears in Black Book 6 in 1917. There is a sculpture of him in Jung’s garden in Küsnacht. In “From the earliest experiences of my life” Jung wrote: “the unconscious supplied me with a name. It called the figure Atmavictu – the ‘breath of life.’ It is a further development of that quasi-sexual object of my childhood, which turned out to be the ‘breath of life’, the creative impulse. Basically, the manikin is a kabir” (JA, pp. 29-30, Cf. Memories, pp. 38-9). The figure of Telesphorus is like Phanes in Image 113. Telesphorus is one of the Cabiri, and the daimon of Aesclepius. He was also regarded as a God of healing, and had a temple at Pergamon in Asia Minor. In 1950, Jung carved an image of him in his stone at Bollingen, together with a dedication to him in Greek, combining lines from Heraclitus, the Mithraic Liturgy and Homer (Memories, p. 254).


“ATMAVICTU. (iuvenis adiutor [a youthful supporter]); TELESFORS (spiritus malus in homnibus quibusdam [evil spirit in some men]).

The dragon wants to eat the sun and the youth beseeches him not to. But he eats it nevertheless.”

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The Red Book by C. G. Jung © 2009 by the Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung, Zurich.
Notes © 2013 Sonu Shamdasani. Translations from The Red Book © 2009 Mark Kyburz, John Peck and Sonu Shamdasani.
The Red Book by C. G. Jung is a W. W. Norton & Company publication by arrangement with the Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung, Zurich.