Animal Presences by James Hillman

By James Hillman

Uniform variation of the Writings of James Hillman, quantity 9

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Compare their necks: the giraffe’s, as if to hold head and torso apart, detached; the pig’s, as if to keep them confluent; and the neckless crab whose head is in its body. Or, return to the polar bear, hearing this report from Wolfgang Schad: Mating takes place towards the end of the polar night, at the end of March or beginning of April. The development of the embryo, however, is arrested until the end of October … Just at the onset of winter embryonic development resumes; in the midst of the most extreme cold, in January, deep within the snow caves over which arctic storms are raging, the tiny, naked, warmth-requiring young enter the world almost as embryos.

17 The method, however, is itself partly determined by its own historical context – the early years of this century and the parallel disciplines of anthropology, archeology, and philology: Frazer, Cook, Harrison, Lévy-Bruhl, Radcliff-Brown, Mauss. Amplification served the scientific claim of the universality of the archetypes and the collective unconscious. By unearthing or assembling pig images, rituals, and etymologies, an objective meaning of “pig” would emerge – pig as symbol of the fecundating, telluric Mother Archetype, and this reductio in primam figuram, this singleness of meaning, served to account for all varieties of the figure.

We can further anticipate upward-sweeping, inflating consequences and that something weak and exposed has been the bait.  25 A woman dreams that she is going up the steps of the New York Public Library, when an eagle from towering height dives down on her, and she shields herself in terror. The dream stayed with her for years. This person, at the time of the dream, was a father’s daughter and sheltered wife entrapped in the Egypt of her material security from which she slowly began an ambitious Exodus by means of further education and profession.

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