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Archive for September 2nd, 2012

Veriditas

“…veriditas … the blessed greenness … the secret immanence of the divine spirit of life in all things.”

 C.G. Jung (CW 14, par. 623)

As I walked through a forest today I came upon a place of transcendent greenness. I was reminded of the word “veriditas,” which apparently traces its origins back to the 12th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. It is a word that appears in alchemical writings and denotes the Anima Mundi, or spirit dwelling in the world. It is related to the Green Lion, a symbol of primeval Life and instinctual energy. The alchemical image depicts the Green Lion swallowing the sun. Life can do this. It can come along and take all of us. It can come over us just as it did when I walked into the greenness of that forest. We have an expression, “it took my breath away.” Perhaps this is the moment when we are swallowed up by the force of nature and are no longer separate from Life. I experience this feeling whenever I see the rich greenness of nature. Can you remember times in your life when you fell into veriditas and were captured by the greenness of nature. These are truly holy moments that can heal a lonely soul.

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