Imaginal Fecundity

This short quote by James Hillman can be applied to the Tarot:

“To see the archetypal in an image is thus not a hermeneutic move. It is an imagistic move. We amplify an image by means of myth in order not to find its archetypal meaning but in order to feed it with further images that increase its volume and depth and release its fecundity.” [1]

In context, this amplification by Jules Cashford: [2]

“It is impossible to define Imagination since the only definition we can make is that we are far from it when we talk about it. It is perhaps a power so ultimate that only its own numinous images can call it forth, as though we have, as it were, to ask the Imagination to imagine itself. We might say that whenever there is numinosity – a coming alive of divine presence – literally, the “nod” or “beckoning” of a god – whenever an image becomes translucent to a reality beyond itself, we are in the presence of Imagination. The images that come towards us – as divinities, daimons, soul-birds, angels, geniuses, muses – are all figures who bring messages from afar or beyond, from the heights or the depths – the realms where consciousness may not go, yet on which it rests and through which it grows. “Wisdom first speaks in images,” W. B. Yeats, says [3].”

[1] J. Hillman, Typologies 37-8, in The Essential James Hillman: A Blue Fire, ed. T. Moore, London: Routledge, 1990, p.60. This quote from” Angela Voss, A methodology of the Imagination, Eye of the Heart: A Journal of Traditional Wisdom, 3, 2009. [Available

[2] Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Messenger, ARAS Connections, Issue 3, 2011 (Available Online at the ARAS site.

[3] Yeats, W.B. Essays and Introductions, The Macmillan Press, 1961, London, p. 95.


About arkanaroom

Researcher of Liminal Culture

Posted on October 1, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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