Page of Cups, the fish and Aion

(originally published on

I would like to speculate on the Page of Cups, and its connection to Aion: Researches into the phenomenology of the self, Bollingen Series XX Volume 9, ii of Jung's Collected Works.

That whole book (Aion) is about the fish, the Piscean Age or Aion, and the Christ figure as an expression of complete self.
(B.T.W.,to appreciate Jung, you needn't be a believer in the dogmatic, patristic form of Christianity. If anything, that makes for a more sensational Jung critic at the expense of plumbing Jungian theory's profound depth. Recognizing his heritage was neither Hindu nor Buddhist, Jung used Christianity as the logical allegory that contained all the elements within the scope of his theory. You might argue that, if that was the case, then why didn't he explain in terms of European paganism? Well, in fact he did, and often.)

Now, simply stated, the fish isan object of the unconscious. It is a thought, a problem, or an archetype that has its origins in the deep, where we can't see it, or are unaware of it. But, it's there alright.

The fish rises to thesurface--that is, the unconscious object begins to materialize before our eyes. The Page is the contemplative self. We see this also with how the pages appear in the other suits, they look at, gaze, and are fascinated by the objects of their suit (but not the Page of Swords, who looks away, as toward an adversary).

It surfaces, we see it andrecognize it, and thus is genius brought forth to the conscious awareness. The Page of Cups is the step just before integration of idea and ego takes place. The two objects are still polarized, not quite "hooked," but in a state that immediately precedes conjunction.

Carl Jung, Aion, p. 182:

In this respect the patristic allegory of the capture of Leviathan (with
the cross as the hook, and the Crucified as the bait) is highly
characteristic: a content (fish) of the unconscious (sea) has been
caught and has attached itself to the Christ figure. Hence the
expression used by St. Augustine: "de profundo levatus" (drawn from the

I have idealistic fantasies of being withJung in his study and showing him the Page of Cups, and discussing it
with him. I would say, "don't you see? The Page is looking into the cup. Introspection, he sees the fish, an object of the unconscious rising to the surface, the Page sees the problem/solution."

I don't knowhow much Jung knew about the tarot, but I'm sure he would readily have
picked up on the logical progression of the court cards, that the page symbolizes recognition or awareness, and the next card, the knight, carries the recognition of the idea (the fish) into action.