chapter  Chapter Six
“This thing of brightness”: the feminine power of transcendent imagination
WithMarie Angelo
Pages 28

This chapter explores some alternative ways of reading images of power and powerlessness, familiarity and strangeness, drawing on post-Jungian archetypal psychologies which emphasize the part played by cultural preference in interpretation. The magician’s island, for example, can easily be read as the Jungian unconscious, full of vivid and powerful experiences which eventually bring reconciliation with the “mainland” of consciousness. The chapter provides an image of feminine imaginative power which is neither corrupt, nor the creator of monstrosities, nor isolated from the influential mainland psychologies of reason and intellect. The transcendent function is perhaps the most curious and unexamined aspect of C. J. Jung’s work. The transcendent function is clearly a most significant factor in psychological process. To restore its myth and metaphor both as content and process would establish the transcendent function as“image intelligence”, with extensive implications for the status and education of image and imagination.