The lover as archetypal pattern represents how we live our passions; it gives preference to relating as the means to resolve difficulties, whether in outer relationships or inner. It may manifest in a relationship to another person, possessions, an interest, a believe system. There may be one or many; it may consistently open up a path or impulsively flame up and die down. Ultimately the lover is concerned with following one’s own bliss and trusting in one’s own destiny, which are initially projected outward.
Jung referred to Venus as the fiery center within us from which creative or destructive impulses may come. (1) As evening star, it is our loadstar, creating our lives, unfolding a path under our feet, but if we blindly act out misplaced passions, it becomes self-destructive.
Aphrodite, Greek counterpart of Venus, was married to Hephaestus the smith, but had an affair with Aries, god of war. Her spouse set a trap for her and her lover, entangling them in a net and humiliating them in front of the whole pantheon.
This pattern may bring out our manipulative seductive traits and entangle us in Shakespearean high drama and ‘bloody feuds’, stretching over decades, generations. (2) Its dark side is envy, seeking to possess, not relate. Hephaestus as the smith represents alchemy and the serious undertaking of the inner journey. If the relationship to the inner spouse is consciously restored and functions in a healthier way, entanglements can be resolved and rage, Aries as god of war, may assist us as assertiveness. We may be able to follow our loadstar and find fulfillment.
Eventually the relationship to the inner other, the stranger, must be restored. Poet Derek Walcott says it so beautifully: “The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart …” (3) and welcome your own capacity for spiritual passion, the Inner Stranger, the Self.
- CG Jung (1959). Aion, par 212.
- Nancy J. Dougherty and Jacqueline J. West (2007.) The Matrix and Meaning of Character Structure, p. 84 – 140.