Gems, Imagination & Archetypes

I’ve been away working with gems and pearls at the famous Tucson gem shows, and took these images of some fabulous quartz pieces carved by Hans-Ulrich Pauly and faceted by Glenn Lehrer. The features you see are carved on only a few sides and the images reflect on the remaining faces of the crystal. 

  "Unity" by Hans-Ulrich Pauly & Glenn Lehrer

"Unity" by Hans-Ulrich Pauly & Glenn Lehrer

We're talking about playful inclusions in crystals and gems again. What does that have to do with dreaming? Plenty. Dreaming includes checking in with your imagination regularly to see what wants to emerge from that deep part of you that knows something about mystery and symbols. And gems may carry those symbols.

  "The Lioness" BY HANS-ULRICH PAULY & GLENN LEHRER

"The Lioness" BY HANS-ULRICH PAULY & GLENN LEHRER

The brilliant psychologist C. G. Jung realized that across all cultures, past and present, there are similar symbolic images and energies, which he called Archetypes. These symbols bring associated emotions and a felt sense in the body. Examples are feelings of love and other emotions, and the feeling you get when you see (or think about, or dream) a particular image, like that of a mother and child, either in waking life or a representation of it in the form of a picture, a sculpture, etc. You get a certain feeling from that image depending on what it is. Other archetypes include things like the image of a warrior, a wise person, or a foolish person...an image of a lion, or a mountain...or a house, or a temple, and so on. The number of archetypes is limitless and they can represent something deeper in your psyche you can imagine your way into. Because they are universal, and create similar feelings across cultures, Jung believed they represent a field of information, the Collective Unconscious, we access freely as members of the human collective. Typically these symbols are unconscious, but become conscious when we choose to pay attention to them, and this brings meaning. We find archetypal symbols in dreams all the time, and here are a few carved on the surface of these gems.

A friend emailed this photo of a wonderful quartz "egg" with inclusions that feature a figure of a mother and child, in other words, an archetypal Madonna figure. It’s hard to see, but eventually emerges from the image, and when I look at the photo I see another figure behind her, watching, and it looks like a male figure in a headdress. It reminds me of the archetypal figures I've seen of Christmas manger scenes. It's a form of dreaming to be available to this kind of daytime visioning. Perhaps another person may see something different in the patterns of inclusions and if so, that may be meaningful to the viewer.  

  Do you see a woman holding an infant and a man with a headdress?

Do you see a woman holding an infant and a man with a headdress?

Looking at inclusions and other visual forms of meditation are a great way to step into your imagining, dreaming self. Just be present in the moment with it and see what shows up. Perhaps I've imagined my way into the collective unconscious and the Madonna archetype. I may ponder what the meaning may be of this symbol for me at this time in my life. Or I may choose to enjoy this crystal without the need to analyze it, because it makes me feel good, and it really doesn't matter why; it just is…a gem itself is an archetype, too.