The tribal initiation of the shaman, the archetype of the serpent, exemplifies the death of the self and rebirth into transcendent, "unknowable" life. Henderson and Oakes trace the images and patterns of spiritual initiation in religious rituals and myths of resurrection, poems and epics, the cycles of nature, and universal human responses in art and dreaming. The authors dramatize the metamorphosis from a common experience of death's inevitability into a transcendent freedom beyond the individual's limitations.
"This is a classic work in analytical psychology that offers...crucial insights on the meaning of death symbolism (and its inevitably accompanying rebirth and resurrection symbolism) as part of...the great theme of initiation, of which [Henderson] is the
About the Author(s)
JOSEPH L. HENDERSON is an analytical psychologist and member of the C.G.
Jung Institute of San Francisco.