Jungian Therapy, Jungian Analysis, New York

Wise old man

from Jung Lexicon by Daryl Sharp

Wise old man. An archetypal image of meaning and wisdom. In Jung’s terminology, the wise old man is a personification of the masculine spirit. In a man’s psychology, the anima is related to the wise old man as daughter to father. In a woman, the wise old man is an aspect of the animus. The feminine equivalent in both men and women is the Great Mother.

The figure of the wise old man can appear so plastically, not only in dreams but also in visionary meditation (or what we call “active imagination”), that . . . it takes over the role of a guru. The wise old man appears in dreams in the guise of a magician, doctor, priest, teacher, professor, grandfather, or any person possessing authority.[“The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales,”CW9i, par. 398.]