“The symbolic process is an experience in images and of images.”
Archetypal images are not consciously created or designed to be archetypes. The images manifest as part of an endeavor or activity, so they just happen, like dreams just happen. Unconscious image-making is part of an awakening and healing process that C. G. Jung described as the process of individuation.
Symbolism and “Her Mother’s Hands”
These are poppies, the state flower of California where I was born, where my mother was born, and where my Mother is buried. This image is a Mandala (refer to Jungian archetypes – an archetype of Self).
It is not surprising that the Mother archetype is very much associated with mandala imagery according to Jungian “lore.” And not surprisingly, there are “little ones” surrounding the mother image. Look for “hand” symbolism in the leaves. In fact, at times, I can almost envision a pair of praying hands.
“In the course of this process the archetypes appear as active personalities in dreams and fantasies. But the process itself involves another class of archetypes which one could call the archetypes of transformation. They are not personalities, but are typical situations, places, ways and means, that symbolize the kind of transformation in question. Like the personalities, these archetypes are true and genuine symbols that cannot be exhaustively interpreted, either as signs or as allegories. They are genuine symbols precisely because they are ambiguous, full of half-glimpsed meanings, and in the last resort inexhaustible.”
C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious