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They are earth-god symbols, personified as little dwarfs, whose invisibility is implied by the hood covering their head. They were conceived to be deities watching over shipwrecked men. In all probability they are symbols of the extraordinary 'powers' held in reserve by the human spirit
A wand with two serpents twined round it, surmounted by two small wings or a winged helmet. The rational and historical explanation is the supposed intervention of Mercury in a fight between two serpents who thereupon curled themselves round his wand. For the Romans, the caduceus served as a symbol of moral equilibrium and of good conduct. The wand represents power; the two snakes wisdom; the wings diligence; and the helmet is an emblem of lofty thoughts. To-day the caduceus is the insignia of the Catholic bishop in the Ukraine.
The caduceus also signifies the integration of the four elements, the wand corresponding to earth, the wings to air, the serpents to fire and water (by analogy with the undulating movement of waves and flames). This symbol is very ancient, and is to be found for example in India engraved upon stone tablets called ndgakals, a kind of votive offering placed at the entrance to temples. Heinrich Zimmer traces the caduceus back to Mesopotamia, detecting it in the design of the sacrificial cup of king Gudea of Lagash 600 B.C.). Zimmer even goes so far as to state that the symbol probably dates back beyond this period, for the Mesopotamians considered the intertwining serpents as a symbol of the god who cures all illness, a meaning which passed into Greek culture and is still preserved in emblems of our day. According to esoteric Buddhism, the wand of the caduceus corresponds to the axis of the world and the serpents refer to the force called Kundalini, which, in Tantrist teaching, sleeps coiled up at the base of the backbone a symbol of the evolutive power of pure energy.
Schneider maintains that the two S-shapes of the serpents correspond to illness and convalescence. In reality, what defines the essence of the caduceus is the nature and meaning not so much of its individual elements as of the composite whole. The precisely symmetrical and bilateral arrangement, as in the balance of Libra, or in the tri-unity of heraldry (a shield between two supporters), is always expressive of the same idea of active equilibrium, of opposing forces balancing one another in such a way as to create a higher, static form. In the caduceus, this balanced duality is twice stated: in the serpents and in the wings, thereby emphasizing that supreme state of strength and self-control (and consequently of health) which can be achieved both on the lower plane of the instincts (symbolized by the serpents) and on the higher level of the spirit (represented by the wings).
Traditionally considered in curious relation with the dragon and with winged serpents, for, according to the Zohar, the serpent in the Garden of Eden was a kind of 'flying camel'. Similar allusions are to be found in the Persian Zend-Avesta
The fourth sign of the Zodiac. Orphic teaching sees it as the threshold through which the soul enters upon its incarnation. It is governed by the Moon in the performance of its symbolic role as mediator between the formal and the informal worlds.
A symbol of spiritual light and of salvation. The number of its branches has always a cosmic or mystic significance. For example, the Hebraic seven-branched candelabra corresponds to the seven heavens and the seven planets.
Lighted Like the lamp, it is a symbol of individuated light, and consequently of the life of an individual as opposed to the cosmic and universal life.
One of the eight emblems of good luck in Chinese Buddhism. It is also an allegory of regal dignity, and a symbol of protection. If it is square, it alludes to the earth; if it is circular, to the sky or the sun; in the latter case it is closely linked with the ritual parasol of so many primitive peoples and of the ancients.
The tenth sign of the Zodiac. Its dual nature, expressed allegorically in the form of a goat whose body terminates in a fish's tail, refers to the dual tendencies of life towards the abyss (or water) on the one hand, and the heights (or mountains) on the other; these two currents also signify, in Hindu doctrine, the involutive and evolutive possibilities: the return to or the departure from the 'wheel of rebirth' (that is, the Zodiac).
Cask, Bottomless
A famous Greek symbol which, as in the legend of the Danaides, symbolizes useless labour and, on another level, the apparent futility of all existence.
This is a complex symbol, derived at once from that of the house and that of the enclosure or walled city. Walled cities figure in mediaeval art as a symbol of the transcendent soul and of the heavenly Jerusalem. Generally speaking, the castle is located on the top of a mountain or hill, which suggests an additional and important meaning derived from the symbolism of level. Its shape, form and colour, its dark and light shades, all play an important part in defining the symbolic meaning of the castle as a whole, which, in the broadest sense, is an embattled, spiritual power, ever on the watch.
The 'black castle' has been interpreted as the alchemists' lair, as well as a rain cloud poised above a mountain-top Its significance as the Mansion of the Beyond, or as the entrance to the Other World, would seem obvious enough. In a great many legends, the Castle of Darkness, inhabited by a 'Black Knight', is symbolic of the abode of Pluto; this is confirmed by Theseus' mythic journey into hell. Charon has his abode in a similar castle which is inaccessible to living men (the 'castle of no return' of folktales). In the legendary heaven of Nordic tradition, the same meaning is to be found. Melwas, the abducter of Guinevere, dwells in a castle surrounded by a deep moat, the only means of access being two bridges difficult to negotiate
According to Krappe, it is very possible that the underlying symbolism of all mediaeval tales and legends about a castle owned by a 'wicked knight' who holds captive all who approach his domain may well be that of the sinister castle of the Lord of the Underworld on the other hand, the 'Castle of Light' is the 'redemption'-aspect of this same image. Piobb explains that the sudden appearance of a castle in the path of a wanderer is like the sudden awareness of a spiritual pattern. 'Before this fascinating vision, all fatigue disappears. One has the clear impression that treasure lies within. The splendid temple is the achieving of the inconceivable, the materialization of the unexpected.'
The castle, in sum, together with the treasure (that is, the eternal essence of spiritual wealth), the damsel (that is, the anima in the Jungian sense) and the purified knight, make up a synthesis expressive of the will to salvation.
The Egyptians associated the cat with the moon, and it was sacred to the goddesses Isis and Bast, the latter being the guardian of marriage. A secondary symbolism is derived from its colour; the black cat is associated with darkness and death.
A general symbol for a change wrought by mutation in a single process, and a frequent sign for the beginnings of psychic transformation A secondary shade of meaning is added by the particular character of the catastrophe: that is, the predominant element, which will be air in the case of a hurricane, fire in the case of conflagrations, water in floods and deluges, and earth in earthquakes. Whether the catastrophe is, in the symbolic sense, positive or negative is, of course, entirely dependent upon the nature of the change wrought in the agent affected by it.
Like the skull, a symbol of the receptacle of the forces of transmutation and germination. But whereas the skull, because of its vaulted shape, signifies the higher, sublimated and spiritual aspects of this process, the cauldron, being open at the top, has the opposite meaning of the baser forces of nature. Most of the mythic cauldrons which figure in Celtic tradition are located at the bottom of the sea or of lakes (indicating that the respective symbolisms of the cauldron and of water have coalesced, and that they both relate to the general symbolism of water, which is the vehicle of life and the medial element par excellence). we can see, then, that the skull is the receptacle for the 'upper ocean' or the reflection of it in Man, whereas the cauldron the inversion of the skull is the vessel for the 'lower ocean'. This is why pots and cauldrons figure so often in legends about magic and in folktales The chalice is a sublimation and a consecration of the cauldron as well as of the cup, which is a pure symbol of containment (Plate IV).
Cave or Cavern
Broadly speaking, its meaning is probably confined to that of the general symbolism of containment, of the enclosed or the concealed. It underlies certain images such as the mediaeval cave which symbolizes the human heart as the spiritual 'centre' 14). For Jung, it stands for the security and the impregnability of the unconscious. It appears fairly often in emblematic and mythological iconography as the meeting-place for figures of deities, forebears or archetypes, becoming therefore an objective image of Hades, although still expressive of the psychological unconscious
A fabulous being, half-man, half-horse, supposed by some to be the fruit of the union of Centaurus and the Magnesian mares. From a symbolic point of view the centaur is the antithesis of the knight, that is, it represents the complete domination of a being by the baser forces: in other words, it denotes cosmic force, the instincts, or the unconscious, uncontrolled by the spirit.
To leave the circumference for the centre is equivalent to moving from the exterior to the interior, from form to contemplation, from multiplicity to unity, from space to spacelessness, from time to timelessness. In all symbols expressive of the mystic Centre, the intention is to reveal to Man the meaning of the primordial 'paradisal state' and to teach him to identify himself with the supreme principle of the universe. This centre is in effect Aristotle's 'unmoved mover' and Dante's 'L'Amore che muove it sole a l'altre stelle'. Similarly, Hindu doctrine declares that God resides in the centre, at that point where the radii of a wheel meet at its axis. In diagrams of the cosmos, the central space is always reserved for the Creator, so that he appears as if surrounded by a circular or almondshaped halo (formed by the intersection of the circle of heaven with the circle of the earth), surrounded by concentric circles spreading outwards, and by the wheel of the Zodiac, the twelvemonthly cycle of labour upon the land, and a four-part division corresponding both to the seasons and to the tetramorph.
Among the Chinese, the infinite being is frequently symbolized as a point of light with concentric circles spreading outwards from it. In Western emblems, an eagle's head sometimes carries the same significance. In some Hindu mandalas, such as the Shri-Yantra, the centre itself is not actually portrayed, but has to be supplied mentally by the contemplator; the Shri-Yantra is a 'form in expansion' (and a symbol, therefore, of the creation), composed of nine intersecting triangles circumscribed by a lotus flower and a square. A great many ritual acts have the sole purpose of finding out the spiritual 'Centre' of a locality, which then becomes the site, either in itself or by virtue of the temple built upon it, of an 'image of the world'. There are also many legends which tell of pilgrimages to places with characteristics which relate them to Paradise. This Chinese tale, for example, retold by the orientalist Wilhelm in his work on Lao-Tse: 'King Huangti had a dream. He crossed into the kingdom of the Hua Hsu.
The kingdom of the Hua Hsu is west of the far West and north of the far North. It is not known how many hundreds of thousands of leagues it is from the Ch'i state. It can be,reached neither by boat nor by carriage, nor on foot. It can be reached only by the spirit in flight. This country has no sovereign: everyone acts according to his own dictates; the people have no lawmakers: everyone acts according to his own dictates.
The joys of life are not known, nor is the fear of death; so there is no premature death. Self-withdrawal is not known, nor is the shunning of one's fellows; so there is no love and no hate. Revulsion from what is distasteful is not known, nor is the search for pleasure; so there is no profit and no harm. No one has any preference, no one has any dislike. They enter the water and are not drowned, walk through fire and are not scorched. They rise up into the air as others walk on the face of the earth; they rest in space as others sleep in beds; clouds and mist do not veil their gaze. Claps of thunder do not deafen their ears. Neither beauty nor ugliness dazzles their hearts. Neither mountain nor ravine impedes their progress. They walk only in the spirit.' This concept of the Centre coincides, of course, with that of the 'Land of the Dead', in which the theme of the coincidentia oppositorum of mystic tradition comes to signify not so much 'opposition' as neutralization, in the characteristically oriental sense.
The Centre is located at the point of intersection of the two arms of the superficial (or two-dimensional) cross, or of the three arms of the essential, three-dimensional cross. In this position it expresses the dimension of the 'infinite depth' of space, that is, the seed of the eternal cycle of the flux and flow of forms and beings, as well as the dimensions of space itself. In some liturgical crosses, as for example that of Cong in Ireland, the centre is marked by a precious stone.
A three-headed dog whose throat bristled with serpents. He was the guardian of the abode of Pluto on the banks of the Stygian lake. Neoplatonic doctrine saw in him a symbol of the evil genius. Later he came to be interpreted as the emblem of rotting in the grave, for if Hercules overcame him it was only because his tasks were directed towards the attainment of immortality The three heads of Cerberus are like the trident the infernal replica of divine triunity.
They are also related to the three Gorgons. In all threefold symbols of the baser forces-of life, Diel, following his system of moral interpretation, sees the degradation of the three vital 'urges' (of conservation, reproduction arid spiritualization), bringing about the death of the soul, which is why Cerberus, the guardian of dead souls in Tartarus, is charged with the task of preventing their return into the world above where atonement and salvation are still possible
The Egyptian hieroglyphic sign in the shape of a vertical chain of three links formed by two lines intertwining (with a fourth link, left open, at the bottom) holds a dual symbolism: on the one hand, that of the caducous of Mercury, standing for the dual streams involution and evolution of the universe 19); and on the other, implying the general symbolism of the chain, that is, bonds and communication. On the cosmic plane it is the symbol of the marriage of heaven and earth, similar to other symbols such as the cry of pain, the whistle of the stone hurled skywards by the sling, and the arrow 50). on the plane of earthly existence it is the symbol of matrimony: each link actually or potentially corresponding to a blood-relationship: father and mother, sons and daughters, brothers 51).
In a wider sense related to the symbolism of bonds and cords, bands and twine, it is a symbol of social or psychic integration along with the secondary but very important characteristic of the toughness of its material. Amongst the Gauls there were comrades in arms who would enter into combat chained together in pairs so that if one died, his companion was bound to fall too.
A saying that is powerfully evocative of the spiritual significance of the chain symbol is attributed to Louis XI of France: presenting a golden chain to Raoul de Lannoi as an award for bravery, the king exclaimed: Par le. Paque-Dieu, my friend, thou art so ferocious in battle that thou must be chained up, for I do not wish to lose thee lest I need thy help once more'.
Realistic philosophy sees chaos as the earliest state of disorganized creation, blindly impelled towards the creation of a new order of phenomena of hidden meanings 22). Blavatsky, for example, asks: 'What is primordial chaos but the ether containing within itself all forms and all beings, all the seeds of universal creation?' Plato and the Pythagoreans maintained that this 'primordial substance' was the soul of the world, called protohyle by the alchemists. Thus, chaos is seen as that which embraces all opposing forces in a state of undifferentiated dissolution. In primordial chaos, according to Hindu tradition, one also meets Amrita immortality and Visha evil and death In alchemy, chaos was identified with prime matter and thought to be a massa confusa from which the lapis would arise ; it was related to the colour black. It has also been identified with the unconscious. But it is better to regard chaos as the state preceding the condition of the unconscious.
One of the basic analogies in the universal tradition of symbolism is that of the chariot in relation to the human being. The charioteer represents the sey of Jungian psychology; the chariot the human body and also thought in its transitory aspects relative to things terrestrial; the horses are the life-force; and the reins denote intelligence and will-power. This is a meaning which also appears in Cabalistic writing, where it is given the name ascribed to the chariot itself Merkabah. The 'Sun Chariot' is the Great Vehicle of esoteric Buddhism ; the 'Chariot of Fire', according to René Guénon, may be a symbol of the dynamic and overriding power of the subtle mind Be that as it may, tales about gods or fairies travelling in chariots across land, sea or sky are very frequent and of obvious symbolic interest.
The exact details of the vehicle and of the animals drawing it always contribute something to the symbolism of the chariot as a whole. So Perrault in his literary version of the folktale La Biche au Bois, says: 'Each fairy had a chariot of a different material: one was made of ebony drawn by white pigeons; others were of ivory drawn by crows; and others were made of cedarwood.... When the fairies became angry, their chariots would be harnessed only to winged dragons or serpents breathing fire out of their mouth and eyes.'
The Sun Chariot (or the Chariot of Fire) is, in Loeffler's view, so powerful an archetype that it has found its way into most of the mythologies of the world. When it bears a hero, it becomes the emblem of the hero's body consumed in the service of the soul. The appearance, nature and colour of the team of animals drawing it represent the qualities, good or bad, of the motives driving the chariot onwards in fulfilment of its mission.
Hence (for example) the horses of Arjuna (in the Vedic epic) are white, signifying the purity of the driver. A regional Polish tale has it that the Sun Chariot is drawn by three horses, one silver, one gold and one made of diamonds. This threefold aspect comes from the well-known significance of the number 3, as in the triple mandorlas and other comparable symbols and emblems.
The The seventh enigma of the Tarot pack. It depicts a youth clad in a cuirass, bearing a sceptre, and riding in a symbolic chariot. He incarnates the higher principles of Man's nature. In the chariot there can be seen an emblem of the Egyptian winged globe, representing the sublimation of matter and its evolutive motion. Furthermore, the chariot has red wheels, which are to be related to the whirlwinds of fire in the vision of Ezekiel. These wheels stand out in contrast to the blue canopy or pallium which covers the chariot, signifying the difference between the absolute and the relative. The allegory of this image is reflected in its smallest details. So, for example, the cuirass of the charioteer represents his defence against the baser forces of life; it is secured with five gold studs, denoting the four elements and the quintessence. On his shoulders there are two crescent moons representing the world of forms. The chariot is drawn by what at first seems to be a pair of sphinxes but which is in fact a two-headed amphisbaena, symbolizing the hostile forces which one must subjugate in order to go forward (in the same way as the two serpents counterbalance one another in the caduceus). Basil Valentine, in his L'Azoth des Philosophes (Paris, 1660), illustrates this principle of duality with a serpent coiled round the sun and moon, its extremities bearing the likeness of a lion and an eagle. This Tarot mystery, then, is associated with concepts of self-control, progress and victory.
Any pattern consisting of squares, lozenges or reetangles, in alternating white and black eolours (that is, positive and negative), or, for that matter, in other pairs of eolours, stands in symbolic relation to the duality of elements inherent in the extension of time and hence in destiny. Thus, the Romans would mark a happy or an unhappy day with a white or a black stone respectively. The colour of chequer-work changes its meaning according to the particular symbolism of the colours. The significance of ehequers, then, embraces concepts of combination, demonstration, chance or potentiality , as well as the effort to control irrational impulses by containing them within a given order. All orthogonal forms are symbols of the reason and the intellect, but not of the spirit, because the latter is content par excellence, whereas the rational never manages to be more than a system of apprehending things, that is, a container. The heraldic lozenge is a development of the ehequerboard, the form of which is such that it represents the dynamic interaction of the two elements which, in all forms of ehequer, are opposed and counterpoised one against the other in a pattern of duality. It is significant that the costume of the harlequin (a ehthonian deity) is actually chequered or made up of lozenges, which proves beyond doubt that the harlequin is related to the gods of destiny.
The cherubim or Kirubi (or Kherebu) which stood at the entrance to Assyrian temples and palaces were, according to Marques-Riviere, nothing less than gigantic pentacles placed there by the priests as 'keepers of the threshold' a function which in China was fulfilled by griffins and dragons The Egyptian cherub was a figure with many wings, and covered with eyes; it was an emblem of the night sky, of religion and vigilance
A symbol of the future, as opposed to the old man who signifies the past ; but the child is also symbolic of that stage of life when the old man, transformed, acquires a new simplicity as Nietzsche implied in Thus Spake Zarathustra when dealing with the 'three transformations'. Hence the conception of the child as symbolic of the 'mystic Centre' and as the 'youthful, re-awakening force' In Christian iconography, children often appear as angels; on the aesthetic plane they are found as Patti in Baroque grotesque and ornamentations; and in traditional symbology they are dwarfs or Cabiri. In every ease, Jung argues, they symbolize formative forces of the unconscious of a beneficent and protective kind Psychologieally speaking, the child is of the soul the product of the coniunctio between the unconscious and consciousness: one dreams of a child when some great spiritual change is about to take place under favourable circumstances The mystic child who solves riddles and teaches wisdom is an archetypal figure having the same significance, but on the mythic plane of the general and collective, and is an aspect of the heroic child who liberates the world from monsters In alchemy, the child wearing a crown or regal garments is a symbol of the philosopher's stone, that is, of the supreme realization of mystic identification with the 'god within us' and with the eternal.
A monster born of Typhon and Echidna. It is represented as having a lion's head, the body of a goat and the tail of a dragon. Flames flicker from out of its mouth. Like other teratological beings, the chimaera is a symbol of complex evil
The symbols for choice usually take the form of a cross-roads or a balanced symmetry of two opposing principles. The best-known allegory of choice shows a woman dressed in violet (signifying indecision, according to Otto Weininger, because as a colour it is neither blue nor red), standing at a cross-roads, with a snake crawling along one of the paths; and she is pointing to a verdant tree growing in the other path
In the words of Wang Chung: 'The chrysalis precedes the cicada; simply by changing its shape, it becomes the cicada. When the soul leaves the body, it resembles a cicada which leaves its chrysalis in order to become an insect.' In Schneider's view, the mystic function of such a transformation presupposes qualities of balance, regeneration and valour The ritual mask, as well as the theatre-mask, is probably dosely connected with the idea of the chrysalis and metamorphosis. For, behind this mask, the transformation of an individual's personality is hidden from view.
Chthonian Demons
Various beings mentioned in mythologies come under this heading, such as the Greek harpies and Erinyes, the Hindu Rakshasas, the Arabic djinns, the Germanic elves and valkyries, etc. They are symbols of thanatic forces, of the death-wish in various guises: the subtle fascination of dreams, or the heroic thrill experienced by the man who answers the call to battle The quest for death extremes meet (because of the curve of the conceptual line}is apparent in limit-situations, not only in the negative aspect but also and principally at the peak of the affirmative. That is, vital optimism and perfect happiness of necessity imply the other extreme, that is, the presence of death.
At times it is synonymous with the circumference, just as the circumference is often equated with circular movement. But although its general meaning embraces both aspects, there are some further details which it is important to emphasize. The circle or disk is, very frequently, an emblem of the sun (and indisputably so when it is surrounded by rays). It also bears a certain relationship to the number ten (symbolizing the return to unity from multiplicity) , when it comes to stand for heaven and perfection and sometimes eternity as well There are profound psychological implications in this particular concept of perfection. As Jung observes, the square, representing the lowest of the composite and factorial numbers, symbolizes the pluralist state of man who has not achieved inner unity (perfection) whilst the circle would correspond to this ultimate state of Oneness. The octagon is the intermediate state between the square and the circle. Representations of the relationship between the circle and the square are very common in
Chinese Yang-Yin,
surrounded by the eight trigrams. the universal and spiritual world of morphology, notably in the mandalas of India and Tibet and in Chinese emblems. Indeed, according to Chochod, in China, activity, or the masculine principle (Yang), is represented by a white circle (depicting heaven), whereas passivity, the feminine principle (Yin) is denoted by a black square (portraying earth). The white circle stands for energy and celestial influences and the black square for telluric forces. The interaction implicit in dualism is represented by the famous symbol of the Yang-Yin, a circle divided into two equal sections by a sigmoid line across the diameter, the white section (Yang) having a black spot within it, and the black (Yin) a white spot. These two spots signify that there is always something of the feminine in the masculine and something of the masculine in the feminine. The sigmoid line is a symbol of the movement of communication and serves the purpose of implying like the swastika the idea of rotation, so imparting a dynamic and complementary character to this bipartite symbol. The law of polarity has been the subject of much thought among Chinese philosophers, who have deduced from this bipolar symbol a series of principles of unquestionable value, which we here transcribe:
(a) the quantity of energy distributed throughout the universe is invariable;
(b) it consists of the sum of two equal amounts of energy, one positive and active in kind and the other negative and passive;
(c) the nature of cosmic phenomena is characterized by the varying proportions of the two modes of energy involved in their creation. In the twelve months of the year, for example, there is a given quantity of energy drawn from six parts of Yang and six of Yin, in varying proportions we must also point to the relationship between the circle and the sphere, which is a symbol of the All.
A symbol of adequate limitation, of the manifest world, of the precise and the regular , as well as of the inner unity of all matter and all universal harmony, as understood by the alchemists. Enclosing beings, objects or figures within a circumference has a double meaning: from within, it implies limitation and definition; from without, it is seen to represent the defence of the physical and psychic contents themselves against the perils of the soul threatening it from without, these dangers being in a way, tantamount to chaos, but more particularly to illimitation and disintegration Circumferential movement, which the Gnostics turned into one of their basic emblems by means of the figure of the dragon, the serpent or the fish biting its tail, is a representation of time.
The Ouroboros (the circle formed by a dragon biting its own tail) is to be found in the Codex Marcianus (of the 2nd century A.D.) and also in the Greek legend Hen to Pan (The One, The All), which explains how its meaning embraces all cyclic systems (unity, multiplicity and the return to unity; evolution and involution; birth, growth, decrease, death, etc.). The alchemists took up this Gnostic symbol and applied it to the processes of their symbolic opus of human destiny Now, by virtue of its movement as much as by its shape, circular motion carries the further significance of that which brings into being, activates and animates all the forces involved in any given process, sweeping them along with it, including those forces which would otherwise act against each other. As we have seen, this meaning is basic in the Chinese YangYin emblem Almost all representations of time have some bearing upon the circle, as for example the mediaeval representations of the year.
(or Cithern) A symbol of the cosmos, its strings corresponding to the levels of the universe. Being rounded on one side and flat on the other (like the turtle), it comes to signify the synthesis of heaven and earth
up to a certain point it corresponds to landscape-symbolism in general, of which it forms one representational aspect, embracing the important symbols of level and space, that is, height and situation. With the dawning of history there arose, according to René Guénon, a true, 'sacred geography' and the position, shape, doors and gates, and general disposition of a city with its temples and acropolis were never arbitrary or fortuitous, or merely utilitarian. In fact, cities were planned in strict accord with the dictates of a particular doctrine; hence the city became a symbol of that doctrine and of the society which upheld it
The city walls had magic powers since they were the outward signs of dogma, which explains and justifies Romulus's fratricide. Ornamental reliefs on capitals, lintels, and tympana of the Middle Ages often depict the outlines of a walled city, although in a way which is more emblematic than symbolic. These ornaments are a kind of prefiguration of the heavenly Jerusalem. An angel armed with a sword is sometimes to be seen at the city gate Jung sees the city as a mother-symbol and as a symbol of the feminine principle in general: that is, he interprets the City as a woman who shelters her inhabitants as if they were her children; that is why the two mother-gods Rhea and Cybele--as well as other allegorical figures derived from them wear a crown after the pattern of a wall. The Old Testament speaks of cities as women