chapter  4
22 Pages

Word and image

Hillman has argued that words are the carriers of soul, insisting: 'they are personal presences which have whole mythologies: genders, genealogies, histories, and vogues; and their own guarding, blaspheming, creating, and annihilating effects'. An archetypal approach works to counter the tendency by giving value to the peculiar and subtle detail of the image. The principle aim of this review is to gather together the most clinically useful aspects of Hillman's alchemical psychology and to continue his overarching effort to highlight the way in which the metaphors embedded in alchemical language constitute a lexicon more psychological than conceptual language. Kugler's study entitled The Alchemy of Discourse has been instrumental in further elucidating the mytho-poetic foundation from which language is formed. The nigredo involves both a psychological digestion of the shadow as well as digestion by the shadow; that is, the psyche is infused with the logos of black.