“The serpent is the age-old representative of the lower worlds, of the belly with its contents and the intestines.” – Carl Jung
Jung himself describes the ring in C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters. W.McGuire and R.F.C. Hull page 468:
“It is Egyptian. Here the serpent is carved, which symbolizes Christ. Above it, the face of a woman; below the number 8, which is the symbol of the Infinite, of the Labyrinth, and the Road to the Unconscious. I have changed one or two things on the ring so that the symbol will be Christian. All these symbols are absolutely alive within me, and each one of them creates a reaction within my soul.”
A close up of his ring can be found below.
Here is a close up image of the front and back of Jung’s ring below. (Int-Private Coll._Ex-C. G. Jung_s.n.)
This image on the back appears to be of a dog.
Jung had commented on his ring in C.G. Jung, Visions;
“I have a Gnostic ring which is over two thousand years old-a symbol on the inside indicates that it is pre-Christian-and the snake engraved upon it is not hooded, it is more like the coluber natrix, the ordinary water snake which is found here as well as in more southern countries. In inland meadows it is grey, but near the water, it is a very elegant long black snake with yellow moon spots behind the ears, occasionally reaching a length of one meter fifty and quite thick.”
Karl Kerenyi said Jung, who wore the ring almost constantly for 35 years, wore it because he regarded himself as the pope of the gnostics. Barbara Hannah said he wore it to remind himself of personality number two.
“The serpent is an adversary and a symbol of enmity, but also a wise bridge that connects right and left through longing, much needed by our life.” (247)
“Why did I behave as if that serpent were my soul? Only, it seems, because my soul was a serpent…. Serpents are wise, and I wanted my serpent soul to communicate her wisdom to me.” (318) (This comment comes after a long dialogue in active imagination with a great iridescent snake coiled atop a red rock.)
“I have united with the serpent of the beyond. I have accepted everything beyond into myself.” (322)
“If I had not become like the serpent, the devil, the quintessence of everything serpentlike, would have held this bit of power over me. This would have given the devil a grip and he would have forced me to make a pact with him just as he also cunningly deceived Faust. But I forestalled him by uniting myself with the serpent, just as a man unites with a woman.” (322)
“The daimon of sexuality approaches our soul as a serpent.” (353)
Perhaps the commonest dream symbol of transcendence is the snake, as represented by the therapeutic symbol of the Roman god of medicine Aesclepius, which has survived to modern times as a sign of the medical profession. This was originally a nonpoisonous tree snake; as we see it, coiled around the staff of the healing god, it seems to embody a kind of mediation between earth and heaven. — Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols, page 153
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.