Gold trail

On the trail of eternity

Volcanoes, Mount Doom and the Great Mother

Volcano for creative elemental force (Oliver Spalt, Wikipedia)

By on 9 June 2021

Volcano (Oliver Spalt, Wikipedia)

Volcanoes, Mount Doom and the Great Mother

Volcanoes, fiery eruptions from within the earth, were repeatedly interpreted as the wrath of God and associated with the Mother Goddess.

To get started:
Tongariro Crossing, a hike to Mount Doom

Fire from the Earth: God's Speeches in Volcanoes

In earlier times, when people were still hunters and gatherers, they lived in strong connection with nature. They worshipped "Mother Earth" as a life-giving and nurturing deity long before the advent of a spiritual Father-God.

Violent natural manifestations that shook their livelihoods were experienced as signs of supernatural power and attributed to divine forces. Thus, volcanoes with their fiery violence from within the earth were repeatedly interpreted as the "wrath of God" or the wrath of the goddess.

Volcanoes in lore

Accordingly, volcanoes already play a role in early human lore.
In the Babylonian tradition (c. 1500 BC) Gilgamesh is afraid of a mountain of fire, a volcano, which could fall on him and his companion.
Jewish tradition also relates that Moses spoke to "God" on a mountain in fire and smoke, who instructed him to show the people the right way (cf. The Exodus from Egypt).

H.R. Tolkien places in his epic "The Lord of the Rings", Tolkien places the volcano at the centre of the struggle between good and evil, love and power, the righteous king and the evil ruler. Yet the Ring of Power can only be destroyed in the Mountain of Fire itself, in Mount Doom, namely where it was forged.

Volcanoes as a symbol for the wrath of the feminine

Fire as a symbol for the male, physical passion

Fire is the symbol of the male body (see The Four Elements). It is active, warming, forward moving and space occupying energy. But if the fire is too close or too big, it can become destructive.

Fire as a symbol for female pain and anger

Just as fire can burn the earth, male fiery passion can also "burn" the woman's body. If the woman is abused or emotionally hurt by it, the fire goes into the woman's body and soul. It smoulders inside her and can suddenly erupt in fiery anger like a volcano. (S. The negative couple dynamic FIRE.)

In the grip of the negative animus: fractious and destructive like a volcano

Behind this is the woman's inner shadow man, who has not yet been integrated. Animus as an inner body of painwho floods her with aggressive and power-oriented masculinity.
Thus, the anger and rebellion of the feminine, i.e. of the woman and the people, can ultimately always be seen as a reaction to the abuse of power.

To the feminine as living matter belong in earthly reality: the woman, the people, the earth ...

  • The woman, all women: They can take up seed and give birth to new life.
  • The human body: It receives impulses from the consciousness ("male") and translates them into words, deeds and new reality.
  • The collective (group, people, the whole of humanity): It reacts to information, for example news, with moods and actions. It also takes the instructions of the ruler and shapes them into new, material reality (carries out instructions, such as building roads).
  • Theearth: It can absorb seeds and give growth and is influenced by the most diverse impulses, by human behaviour or cosmic influences. It reacts to this, for example, with global warming.
  • Thewhole of creation: it is given over to transience and thus in the "underworld" (s. The Great Feminine in the Underworld).

The feminine as living matter that can take up seeds or impulses and give birth to new reality aand give birth to new reality, belongs by definition to the unconscious (s. The conscious and the unconscious).

Love Died

Physical and emotional pain can cause love and trust to die. The feminine in negativity then also enters the power play. Immature men fear this rage.

The wounded woman as monster, witch or evil fairy in traditions

Mesopotamia and later mythologies

In Sumerian lore, the ruler of the underworld is initially full of fiery and murderous wrath. Thus, in the traditions since the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic, female deities were replaced by male gods or monsters.
Already in the Gilgamesh epic itself, there are no longer any strong female figures, but only monsters that must be slain.

Fairy tale

In fairy tales, the angry and vengeful woman who wields power is called a "witch". In her supernatural dimension as the 13th fairy with her curse, she represents The collective reality of abuse which means nothing other than: Abuse is normal in this world.
The Disney films "Maleficent" are also about this as Sleeping Beauty interpretations. They address how and why the fairy became "evil" and how the overcoming of evil can look like through the integration of the shadows.

The Ring of Power and the Volcano

The Ring of Power: Rape instead of love

The Babylonian king Gilgamesh, ruler of Uruk, is described right at the beginning of the epic as a despot who abuses his power by oppressing the people, killing men and raping virgins. Therefore, he actually has every reason to fear the volcano as a symbol of raging femininity and punishing goddess of fate. Fate will also hit him hard in the course of the epic, thus moving him to set out on his hero's journey.

Many mythologies have taken up this theme, including the Odyssey or Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". In the latter, too, the path of the wandering and searching beggar-king is described on his way to overcome evil. (Tolkien was a professor of ancient languages and familiar with the oldest traditions). 

Destruction of the ring in the volcano

The destruction of the ring of power in the volcano ultimately means the painful admission of the oppression, violation and exploitation of the feminine in earthly reality. Already the first traditions have this as a theme. Dealing with this leads to understanding, love and compassion and thus to the integration of the feminine personality parts.

The Volcano and the Destruction of the Ring: Purification

Purification from the power of the fiery impulse

The Ring of Power is created in fire and destroyed in fire. It can only be destroyed where it was created.
The fire symbolises the burning drive, while the dark ruler of power symbolises theego.
It never gets enough and in its boundless greed strives for power in order to be able to rule and consume through it.
The ring stands as a symbol for ruthlessly penetrating power through oppression and rape of the people.
The destruction of the ring in the fire means the confrontation with one's own unconscious drives and with the ego, which as the identity of separation means nothing other than one's own death.

Purification in the fire of suffering

The path to freedom leads through this very "hellfire" of the unconscious and thus also into the conscious and painful confrontation with one's own drive. This is the Trial by fire of man on his heroic path. Here it is important not to direct the fiery desire that burns in the body ("female") towards others, but instead to practise abstinence out of love. In this way, the fire within is preserved and brings about a healing realisation of one's own problematic behaviour and a new fiery passion for the good.

The volcano as a mountain of destiny and the mother deity

The goddess in her third aspect as a deity of fate

In his life, fate repeatedly gives man the opportunity to look the truth about himself in the face and thus come to a turning point. It leads through trials that result from material circumstances. Time and again, people have also seen the work of God in fate. Strictly speaking, fate represents the third aspect of the Mother Godhead as life in matter (see Feminine Wholeness - the Goddess, 3-in-1.).

Respect for higher orders

A rebellion against fate, as it is thematised in the Gilgamesh epic, leads to negativity and has a destructive effect. The basic prerequisite for a happy life, on the other hand, is the ability to accept circumstances that one cannot change and to make the best of them. In this way, respect for higher orders ("God") is also expressed and the acceptance that as a human being one cannot know everything.

Inner dying on the way through the underworld

If man wants to overcome power and find eternal life with love, then he cannot be spared the path to the underworld, in other words, the path through his own Shadow.

The underworld is the realm of the great mother. As the mistress of the underworld symbolises life itself, which confronts man with his unconscious burning Driveen. Through awareness, the identity of power, the ego, is overcome and the identity of love is found. Thus man becomes the good king in his own life and enters into the eternal existence of love (see The Ego and the Self).

Overcoming death and resurrection to new life

Thus, volcanoes with their fire are repeatedly associated with punishment and purification in traditions. In this context, severity represents the feminine side of divine power and therefore the great mother as fate. Higher justice also means: Man receives at length what he deserves. But the loving Father shows mercy and gives him many chances to repent.

Ultimately, however, everything that has not arisen from love will go up in the fire. In a figurative sense, this means that everything that does not endure in the face of eternity will perish, that is, the "dead" works of the ego and the drives. In the process, power will finally run itself to death, for the outermost expression of power is death.

Father and Mother and the New Creation of Love

Love, on the other hand, remains eternal because it overcomes death. It is the highest spiritual power of the universe. Its expression is the loving consciousness, symbolised by the FATHER. He gives the impulse for the new creation into the darkness of living matter (the MOTHER) and thus brings about the birth of the new - in life itself, symbolised by the great Mother.

Volcano (Oliver Spalt, Wikipedia)

This incredible photo by Oliver Spalt captures the meeting of the two forces as creative elemental forces: between the FATHER as the igniting spark "from HEAVEN" and the MOTHER as the fiery life force inside the EARTH, in the underworld. (Image source: Oliver Spalt, CC BY 2.0,

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