As a symbol of the transformative power of music, the purple piper is the
album's clearest reference to the myth of Orpheus, who travelled to the
underworld in the attempt to retrieve his dead bride (his anima) from Hades
"Orpheus' journey to the underworld and back (as Virgil says, any fool can go
down there, but to
return--this is the labor, this is the task) is more than just a search for his
lost wife Eurydice. Or rather, the search
for his lost wife means the recovery of the organic connection with the rest of
"Orpheus, the son of Calliope, the muse of epics, was a wonderful musician who
sang joyful music. Euridice, his bride died of a
poisonous snake bite. All joy went out of Orpheus's life. He no
longer sang of happiness, but of his sorrow. His music moved animals
and even rocks, so why couldn't it move the cold heart of Hades?"
"Orpheus sang his grief to all who breathed the upper air, both
gods and men, and finding it all unavailing resolved to seek his
wife in the regions of the dead (Hades). He descended by a cave
situated on the side of the promontory of Taenarus and arrived at
the Stygian realm. He passed through crowds of ghosts and
presented himself before the throne of Pluto (Hades) and
As he sang these tender strains, the
very ghosts shed tears. Tantalus, in
spite of his thirst, stopped for a moment
his efforts for water, Ixion's wheel
stood still, the vulture ceased to tear
the giant's liver, the daughters of
Danaus rested from their task of
drawing water in a sieve, and Sisyphus
sat on his rock to listen. Then for the
first time, it is said, the cheeks of the
Furies were wet with tears. Proserpine
could not resist, and Pluto himself gave
"Perhaps the most familiar image of Orpheus to the Italian Renaissance is that
of Orpheus the civilizer. ...Orpheus the first poet is the first to soften the
hearts of the ‘stony and beastly people’ and set them on the path to
"For Clement and the early apologists Orpheus prefigures the logos, which leads
men to the truth and announces the coming of the New Jerusalem."
"And there is a corresponding deepening in the concept of humanitas. It is that
by which man is defined and it consists in the capacity for love...Humanity is
the love that extends throughout the universe as manifested in man. Thus, the
effect of Orpheus' song is to lead man to love.
The singing of hymns can prepare man's spiritus to receive the influx of
spiritus from a particular astral body. Music recovers its powers of magic, its
ability to exploit and turn to advantage the forces of the phenomenal world.
‘Nothing is more effective in natural magic,’ says Pico, ‘than the hymns of
Orpheus, if the proper music, mental concentration and other circumstances
which the wise are aware of be applied.’
The astral deity most frequently invoked is the sun. Plato called the sun the
offspring and visible image of God; Socrates as he greeted the rising sun often
experienced a state of ecstasy; the Pythagoreans sang hymns to the sun on their
As the tabernacle of God, or the son and visible image of the highest deity,
the sun in some way represents that deity within the sensible world. ‘Light is
so to speak a sort of divinity in this temple of the world bearing a likeness
to God.’ The invocation to the sun then is something more than an attempt to
exert a magical control over the forces contained within phe-nomena; it is an
attempt to lead the soul to an understanding of God.
The singer (or artist) performs in an inspired state ‘aroused by the Muses'
frenzy’. The artist under the influence of this madness is free to range beyond
his normal limits, he is lifted to the height of heaven like Ganymede on the
back of the divine eagle."
"Orpheus' musical effects are also important as suggesting the theurgic or
magic use that could be made of the Orphic Hymns. Music, in that it harmonized
the dissonances in the soul produced by its conjunction with the body, could be
used as a preparation for philosophic or religious contemplation... or,
combined with magic rites, as a means to religious ecstasy."
"In the beginning was the logos' -- the word or sound scriptures worldwide
express the idea that the first cosmic manifestation was vibration, whether
sound, light, or breath, and that this primal vibration, differentiating into
sounds, colors, or rhythmic breathing, formed the basis for all that has
Orpheus...recognized that the healing power of music was grounded in its
relation to the mathematical structure of the cosmos and humanity."
"For Orpheus is the wind sighing through untold
acres of pine forest. "The piper is no other than the wind, and the
ancients held that in the wind were the souls of the dead." To this
day the English peasantry believe that they hear the wail of the
spirits of unbaptized children, as the gale sweeps past their
cottage doors. The Greek Hermes resulted from the fusion of two
deities. He is the sun and also the wind; and in the latter capacity
he bears away the souls of the dead. So the Norse Odin, who
like Hermes fulfills a double function, is supposed to rush at night
over the tree-tops, "accompanied by the scudding train of brave
is the classic Hermes or Orpheus... His wonderful
pipe is the horn of Oberon (who, like the pied piper of Hamelin,
was a rat-killer), the lyre of Apollo , the harp stolen by Jack when he climbed
bean-stalk to the ogre's castle."
And the purple piper, as noted in chapter three, is also St. Thomas Aquinas, a
man whose writings led Jung to an understanding of the secret language of
"Perhaps one of the most significant contributions along these lines was given
to us by
Jung's singularly insightful disciple Marie-Louise von Franz, who devoted
herself to the
translation and explanation of a treatise first discovered by Jung entitled
Consurgens and attributed to St Thomas Aquinas. This renowned saint, so the
states, had a vision of the Sophia of God after meditating on the Song of Songs
Solomon and, following the command received in the vision, wrote this alchemical
treatise. The Aurora differs from most other alchemical works...
...because it represents the alchemical opus as a process whereby the feminine
Sophia must be liberated. Written in seven poetic but scholarly chapters, the
traces the liberation of Sophia from confinement by way of the alchemical
It is thus through the agency of a brilliant woman disciple that the great
envisioned by Jung in 1912 came to a renewed emphasis. Led by the rediscovered
words of the "angelic doctor" Aquinas, contemporary students of religion and
psychology were confronted once again with the Gnostic task of alchemy."
Clearly, this "feminine wisdom that must be liberated" is represented by the
Moonchild. The "Sophia of God" was an idea familiar to those who opposed the
worldly aims of the Medieval papacy.
"'Woman' symbolizes the transcendent intellect, Wisdom. Love of a woman
awakens the adept from the lethargy into which the Christian world had fallen
because of the spiritual unworthiness of the pope. In the writings of the
Fedeli d'Amore we find allusions to a 'widow who is no widow'; this is
Madonna Intelligenza, who was left a widow because her husband, the pope,
died to spiritual life by devoting himself entirely to things temporal."