Hennebert, H: Goddesses of Brazil unfolding Weltanschauung


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Brazil’s goddesses represented symbolically in literature, mythology, religious texts, and in the Arts constitute a specific cultural manifestation of the Pachamama Archetype. This feminine psychological energy may have exerted a considerable influence in the Brazilian collective worldview, or Weltanschauung. The formation of an individual’s Weltanschauung is potentially associated with how he or she relates to the symbolic. To express my view, I am using the concept of intersubjectivity associated to the concept of archetypes (Jung, 1960). Therefore, the meaningful interactions with the symbolic, that is, archetypal intersubjectivity, could play a similar role to what intersubjectivity does in shaping one’s worldview.

Carl Jung believed that archetypes were living, therefore, numinous aspects of the mind. In constant interaction with our instincts, archetypes are archaic forms of symbol creation, reading, and interpretation. Some postcolonial writers, such as Frantz Fanon and Edward Said have challenged Jung’s concept of archetypes to favor a decolonizing discourse. Part of the analysis of the archetypal feminine in Brazil will find support in the Jungian analytical theory, and cultural complex theory which seem to be in tune with the current postcolonial critical theory.

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the symbolic interacts with the subjective, in particular the archetypal feminine, influencing the development of a worldview, Weltanschauung, and present some thoughts on how to make it more inclusive. Hence, the paper is divided in five major sections: Introduction, Goddesses of Brazil, A Postcolonial view of Jung’s Collected Works, Archetypal Intersubjectivity, and Conclusion.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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