Source: Edinger On Mortificatio

“Mortificatio is experienced as defeat and failure. Needless to say, one rarely chooses such an experience. It is usually imposed by life, either from within or from without. To some extent it can be experienced vicariously through that great cultural instrument of mortificatio, the tragic drama. In some cases the drama can provide even more than a vicarious experience. If the time is right, it can have an inductive effect and initiate an authentic transformation process in the individual.” (p. 172)

King, sun, and lion refer to the ruling principle of the conscious ego and to the power instinct. At a certain point these must be mortified in order for a new center to emerge. As Jung says, “Egocentricity is a necessary attribute of consciousness and is also its specific sin.” (CW 14, par. 364.) On the archetypal level the mortificatio of the king or the sun will refer to the death and transformation of a collective dominant or ruling principle.” (p. 151)

Edinger, Edward F., Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy, 1991.

One Comment on “Source: Edinger On Mortificatio”


  1. […] It strikes me there is a parallel with the midlife shift in dynamics from ego-Self axis separation to ego-Self axis reunion. For ego consciousness, encounters with the Self are experienced as a dying to one’s self, a symbolic death. This is the 110 wired ego plugging into the 220+ wired Self scenario. Edinger on Mortificatio […]


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