Anyone may learn to know and love William Blake. Small steps include reading, asking questions, making comments about posts made here (or anywhere else for that matter). We are ordinary people interested in Blake and anxious to meet and converse with any others. Tip: The primary text for Blake is on line. The url is Contents.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Blake’s women - Enitharman, Enion, Ahania, Vala, and Jerusalem are each associated with a male - Los, Tharmas, Urizen, Luvah, and Albion as an Emanation. In Eternity the Emanations do not have a separate existence. As the fall occurs they acquire outer forms, independent wills and the desire to dominate. Daman says they ”fight regeneration (which seems to them like annihilation).”

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Title page (How many paired figures do you see? and Why is she suspended above the abyss?)

In Jungian psychology there is an aspect of the unconscious which is called the Anima. In the process of individuation, the Anima which has been projected on the people to whom one is related (mother, sister, wife, boss) is explored and assimilated through bringing unconscious material to light. Since the unconscious inner Anima determines relationships to outer persons by projecting the inner content onto real people, outer relationships are repaired by withdrawing projections (removing the Anima’s will or ability to dominate.)

Carl Jung states:
“The projection-forming factor is the anima. Wherever she appears in dreams, phantasies or visions, she appears personified, thereby demonstrating that basically she possesses all the outstanding characteristics of a female person. She is not an invention of the conscious, but a spontaneous production of the unconscious; neither is she a substitute figure for the mother. On the contrary, there is every likelihood that those numinous attributes which make the Mother imago so dangerously powerful derive from the collective archetype, the anima, which is incarnated anew in every male child." (Spring, 1950, p. 5)

Quoted in an article By Paul Watsky

As Blake dealt with unconscious factors in the psyche as characters in his mythic constructions, he explored the relationships and the dynamics of achieving mental wholeness which he associated with Albion and his Emanation Jerusalem. In describing the conclusion of Jerusalem Damon says, “Albion awakes and rises; Jesus appears; and Albion sacrifices himself;...Then Eternity is re-established, and all becomes one in the Divine Vision.” (A Blake Dictionary, page 213)

The following interchange between Enitharmon and Los (Jerusalem, Plate 92) expresses Enitharmon’s fear that she will be replaced by another female if she accepts annihilation but Los reveals that there will be no division into sexes in Eternity.

“My Looms will be no more & I annihilate vanish for ever
Then thou wilt Create another Female according to thy Will.

Los answerd swift as the shuttle of gold. Sexes must vanish & cease
To be, when Albion arises from his dread repose O lovely Enitharmon:”

But as Los states, it is not that the Emanations are lost in Eternity, but that the division into ‘sexes‘ will be no more. The multiple facets of the psyche will be acknowledged, balanced, and restored to their proper roles as they are integrated into a unified functioning whole.

In Blake as in Jung, masculine and feminine aspects of the personality contribute to the complete individual. The Anima in Jung and the Emanations in Blake can be the root of harmful behaviors; but when properly recognized and attended to, they fulfill vital roles in the human psyche.

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