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J Sym & San Therapy > Volume 6(1); 2015 > Article
JSST. 2015;6(1): 43-61.         doi: https://doi.org/10.12964/jsst.150003
The cat: A Symbol of Femininity
Ae-kyu Park
Sandplay therapist & Psychotherapist, LPJ Private Counseling Center
Corresponding Author: Ae-kyu Park ,Email: cyanfir@hanmail.net
Received: April 26, 2015; Revised: June 18, 2015   Accepted: June 20, 2015.  Published online: June 30, 2015.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the symbolic meanings of the cats that frequently appear within the dreams and sand-pictures of clients. To decipher the symbol of the cat, I proceeded to research symbol dictionaries, encyclopedias, and articles to identify its natural characteristics and collective archetypes as well as researching myths and legends to learn its symbolic meanings. By researching the cats that appeared in the dreams of a man in his early 20s and the sand-pictures of a woman in her mid-40s, I sought to understand how this symbol affects the process of each one’s individuation. The cat, like other symbols, has both positive and negative aspects. When one looks at it as a symbol of the feminine, it contains positive aspects like the spiritual instinct, fertility, richness, and healing. On the other hand, it also represents destructive and negative aspects like darkness and sorcery. The symbol is connected to the redemption of the anima, that is, the unconscious feminine in men. In the woman’s case, it appeared as extended feminine aspects as well as dark mother images. Through this research, I tried to show that the cat, a symbol of the feminine, has both positive and negative aspects and those two sides need to be accepted in balanced and harmonious ways.
Keywords: symbol | cat | feminine | Bast | anima | sandplay therapy
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