ARASThe Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism

Visit ARAS Online


ARAS Connections
Image and Archetype
• 2012 • Issue 4 •
In This Issue

Welcome by Tom Singer

Give to ARAS! by Ami Ronnberg

The Poetry Portal by Ellen Liberatori

Clinging to the Axis Mundi: The Poetry of Politics by Naomi Ruth Lowinksy

Participate in the Image/Cultural Complexes Project!

Calendar of ARAS-Related Events

Become a Member of ARAS Online!

Explore Archetypal Images Weekly on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

We Value Your Ideas

Receive This Newsletter for Free


As we close out 2012 and get ready to welcome in the New Year, ARAS has so much to celebrate that we want to share with you. Great things are happening at ARAS.
Over the past several months, we have been in discussions with ARTstor. ARTstor is a non-profit initiative, founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning in the arts and associated fields. ARTstor is a fabulous resource that has hundreds of thousands of digital images and related data, along with the tools to actively use those images.
ARAS is entering into a new relationship with ARTstor that will benefit both organizations without in any way altering the unique and separate identity of either one. In our new arrangement, ARAS subscribers will gain access to ARTstor's vast library of images and ARTstor will include ARAS' unique collection of images and commentary on archetypal symbolism in its prestigious selection of archival collections that are made available to non-profit institutions around the world. This relationship will unfold in two steps over the next year.
The first step, which we will be rolling out at the beginning of 2013, will enable all of the individual subscribers of ARAS Online to have free access to the vast resources of ARTstor. For licensing reasons, this privilege will only be available to individual subscribers to ARAS, not to institutional subscribers to ARAS. Of course, we hope this new ARAS access to ARTstor will be an incentive to those of you who enjoy receiving the free subscription to ARAS Connections to consider become paying subscribers to ARAS Online which will give you the huge bonus of having access to ARTstor.
The second phase of our new relationship with ARTstor will begin later in 2013 when all of the institutional subscribers to ARTstor will have access to ARAS Online. The ARAS approach to archetypal imagery is absolutely unique and we at ARAS have long sought a way in which to make our approach to images and symbols more accessible to a world of scholars, students, artists, and dreamers.
In addition to entering into a new relationship with ARTstor, ARAS Online is undertaking a major transformation of itself in terms of our front-end design (what you see and use) and our back-end technology (what makes what you see work). We first went to the drawing boards to plan the construction of ARAS Online in 2001 and launched the site in July, 2005. In the world of internet technology, a decade is as long as a century by any other historical measurement of time. In the past year, we have been planning our next ARAS Online incarnation in terms of its look and functionality. This will be unfolding in the coming year. Dyad Communications of Philadelphia, a design, company, is taking the lead in the front end transformation and John Kyle, a computer "guru", is creating the architecture for the back end which will tremendously enhance our ability to flexibly organize, search and expand our core content.
Perhaps there is no better way to celebrate these creative developments in ARAS' relationship to the world and its own evolution than with an issue of ARAS Connections devoted to exploring the relationship between poetry and imagery in two original articles--one, the Poetry Portal, a new feature of ARAS Online curated by Ellen Liberatori, and the other, a beautiful, timely exploration of the personal and political, the individual and archetypal by Naomi Lowinsky.
Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of ARAS Online for National ARAS

Calendar of ARAS-Related Events
In Vermont:
Feb. 1-March 24, 2013:  The Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts in Chester VT, (VTica) presents a substantial Jungian-inspired art exhibit, The Mysterious Mind. On Feb. 8 and Feb. 15 Michael Conforti, Director of the Assisi Institute, will talk on "Interpreting Fresh Spiritual Meaning from Art Through Archetypal Visual Symbols." Contact VTica for more information at (802) 875-1018.
In San Francisco:
January 13, 2013:  The A Serious Man: Cultural Commentary and the Human Condition Presented by Sam Naifeh, M.D.; Karen Naifeh, Ph.D.; Seth Isaiah Rubin, Ph.D.; and Steve Zemmelman, Ph.D.

Become a Member of ARAS Online!

Become a member of ARAS Online for just $100 ($25 for certain students and candidates) each year, which is tax-deductible. You'll receive free, unlimited use of the entire archive of 17,000 images and 20,000 pages of commentary any time you wish—at home, in your office, or wherever you take your computer.
The entire contents of two magnificent ARAS books: An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism and The Body are included in the archive. These books cost $300 when purchased on their own.
You can join ARAS Online instantly and search the archive immediately. If you have questions, please call (646) 536-2632 or email

We Value Your Ideas

As our newsletter grows to cover both the ARAS archive and the broad world of art and psyche, we're eager to have your suggestions and thoughts on how to improve it. Please click here to email us or send your comments to  We look forward to your input and will reply to every message.

Receive This Newsletter for Free
If you're not already a subscriber and would like to receive subsequent issues of this newsletter by email at no cost, click here or e-mail us at Please invite friends and colleagues who may be interested to join as well. Thanks!
Give to ARAS!
by Ami Ronnberg

We received the following letter from an Online member and yearly donor, which describes why she gives to ARAS. We hope that that you will also support this unique archive as the place to explore symbolic images that inform our lives.
"In a world increasingly dominated by uprooted images and unnoticed soul, I find ARAS a place to search for the missing roots and a fabric of meaning, beginning with a humble image, a fragment, or a wisp of myth. Here I can find a nurturing soil for the imagination, and discover the dimensions of significance in which everyday bare surfaces of psyche are embedded. A gift is a communal act. When I give to ARAS, it comes back to me tenfold, because I know I am continuing a circle that provides for our deepest selves and helps ARAS expand their gift back to all of us who are lovers of living imagination." -Priscilla Rodgers
Please join Priscilla and others like her to support ARAS by giving as generously as you can.

With deep gratefulness for your interest in ARAS Connections, I bring you good news to share at this holiday season and hope you will celebrate with us some of the year's achievements. The Book of Symbols continues its reach out into the world. It can now be read in seven languages and is sold in bookstores from Melbourne and Madrid to Sao Paolo and MoMA in New York. After lowering the student membership fees, more students have joined ARAS Online. We have increased the number of membership organizations in the form of colleges from around the world. Thanks to a generous donor, we will soon make the archive iPad and iPhone compatible. At the same time, we are retooling the infrastructure of the website for better sourcing and searching capabilities.
These successes have made us even more eager to continue improving the archive. This takes time and money and the book’s royalties defray only a fraction of what it costs to manage the archive and its special projects. Your contribution today ensures this unique archive for the future.
Our warmest wishes for the Holidays!
Ami Ronnberg

The Poetry Portal
by Ellen Liberatori
A resounding, "Thank you" for the poets, writers and readers who engaged mind, heart, and soul for the first Invite to Write through the Poetry Portal. Many of you were inspired by the Untitled Sculpture and theme of Offering in October's newsletter. Your poems arrived in the nick of time, as it was a gray afternoon, and I had been stooped over the computer a bit too long and feeling somewhat empty. As I read poem after poem and heard many different and beautiful voices, the void I felt became filled. I had entered the Portal and heard the family of voices which lifted me. We have printed some herein that we would like to share with you.
In our current Invite to Write, we have chosen, a 1989 Aboriginal painting entitled, Sandover River. Somehow I have found myself on many a river from the Nile to the Susquehanna and it is a fitting image to follow our last theme Offering. The first time I visited the banks of the Susquehanna River, the guide who had brought me there said, "Before you ask her for anything - before you draw from her, please make an offering".

The Dreaming of the artist Lily Sandover Kngwarreye,
Sandover River
, painting, 1989, Australia

Through this Portal we have done that collectively and so in this new image we invite you to the river's edge where we have gathered at the beginning of winter and the theme of Renewal. Winter is the special time of half-light and the time of dreams, and the soul's sleep, as Native people have told me. Gazing through this image, I feel the river running through me, through dream time, through prayers of renewal I now whisper:
"…give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be at one. May I reckon the wise to be wealthy, and may I have such a quantity of gold as a temperate man [that] he only can bear and carry-Anything more? [This] prayer, I think is enough for me."

-Plato’s Phaedrus

Send us your inspired poems by February 15, 2013.


Clinging to the Axis Mundi: The Poetry of Politics
by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Axis Mundi by Aloria Weaver

Naomi Lowinsky is a Jungian analyst, poet, and teacher. She practices in the San Francisco Bay Areas; her poetry and other writings have been published in many books, including The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, Adagio and Lamentation, red clay is talking, and Motherline. For many years, Naomi has taught Deep River: Writing as a Spiritual Practice and most recently, she presented this paper at a pre-presidential election conference, The Citizen's Dilemma: Four Voices, at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco
Writing poetry is an essential and organic process for me. Jung writes "The creative urge lives and grows… like a tree in the earth" (CW V. 15, par 115). I know that feeling. Writing poetry is how I plant myself on earth. The leap of associations from conscious mind to unconscious and back that is the magic of a poem is how I find my way back to the center, to the archetype of orientation—the Axis Mundi—which we recognize in many forms, among them— the Tree of Life or World Tree, the Seven Chakras, the Motherline, the ladder between the worlds, the sacred mountain, that old black magic that connects us to the cosmos, whose wisdom goes back to the origins of our kind. I believe it is the essential work of poetry to reach back to the roots of human consciousness and retrieve our collective soul. I believe poetry is a way to bring ourselves back into relation with our old black magic—the sun, moon and stars, animals, plants, ancestors—the Axis Mundi. 
The great ash tree that holds together earth, heaven, and hell by its roots and branches in Norse mythology.
But how can poetry respond to the rancor, the bitterness, the extremism, the climate change deniers, the New Deal dismantlers, the Women’s Rights plunderers, the hellish intensity of our collective moment? Poetry is no more than the flap of a butterfly’s wings, the dart of a hummingbird—a strophe flung into the roar of the mob. Poetry does so little, dares so much. Poetry is the prophet down from the mountain, a gadfly on the body politic, a witness to the desecration; poetry sings our cultural myths, mourns what’s been lost, praises the newborn day.
When the political leaps into my poems I am surprised and actually, grateful. As an introvert I mostly meet my muse in inner worlds. But sometimes she startles me with some iconic collective image, or jumps on me with fierce associations to the news of the day. Disturbing as the news may be such visitations from external reality feel numinous and strangely orienting. Something shifts in the imaginal realm. My spirit settles down; my soul finds the stairway between worlds.
I have chosen five poems that take very different slants on the political. I’ll introduce the poem, then present it, accompanied by its images, and muse about it.
Read Clinging to the Axis Mundi: The Poetry of Politics in its entirety.



Participate in the Image/Cultural Complexes Project!


The goal of this research project is to engage all our users in an interactive participation with ARAS Online by extending you an invitation to contribute images and commentary on cultural complexes that have captured your imagination. We want to reach out to you to help us explore image, complex, archetype, and culture in a new way. We will include examples contributed by our users in future issues of ARAS Connections.
Please send your submissions to

Explore Archetypal Images each Week


ARAS is now on Facebook! Become a fan by clicking here to join our community and stay updated. We post the latest news on ARAS publications and projects and weekly explorations of symbols and archetypes accompanied by images from ARAS! If you don't have a Facebook account, you can set one up here.
Join the conversation!

Follow Us on Twitter!


ARAS is on Twitter! Follow us by clicking here. We are tweeting about archetypes, symbols and ARAS news!  We look forward to connecting with you!

This newsletter comes to you from ARAS, a non-profit organization.   Visit our web site.  Become an ARAS Online member by joining online.  If you do not wish to receive these e-mail newsletters in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the subject line.  Copyright © 2012 ARAS.  All Rights Reserved.
ARAS 28th East 39th New York City, NY 10016 (646) 536-2632
2 012