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O Junípero

Antonio Carneiro

sexta-feira 25 de agosto de 2023, por Cardoso de Castro


Contribuição de Antonio Carneiro à contextualização simbólica do Conto de Grimm  , O Junípero.

The image of the bird in association with the tree is a central one in Plutarch  ’s version of the Isis-Osiris myth.

The resurrection of the head is presented as a mystical accomplishment, while the unvanquishable power of gnosis   is proclaimed.

The choice of this tale was to comment three symbols: The Tree, The Decapitation and The Bird. In the next tale selected shall be The Goden Bird by the same motive above, it is possible add others three: The Devil, The Phoenix and The Fox. The presence of the apple in both it is also important.


Juniper was a symbol of the Canaanites’ fertility goddess Ashera or Astarte in Syria. In the Old Testament, a juniper with an angelic presence sheltered the prophet Elijah from Queen Jezebel’s pursuit.

Juniper wood is used in Zoroastrian ceremonies in Iran and the tree is considered sacred in Tajikistan. The smoke of the juniper has healing and disinfectant properties. The juniper could very well   have been used for religious ceremonies in the same way that sandalwood was used by Zoroastrians in India. The uses of juniper go beyond burning the wood. The extract is considered healing and the berries are used as food.

When consumed, Juniper berries act as a strong urinary tract disinfectant. Amongst their varied uses, the berries have been used to assist childbirth.

It has long been a symbol of immortality in Iranian culture and it can be seen in historical Iranian miniatures.

Die Wacholder (Juniperus) sind eine Pflanzengattung in der Unterfamilie Cupressoideae aus der Familie der Zypressengewächse (Cupressaceae). Der deutsche Name Wacholder (von althochdeutsch wechalter) [1] hat verschiedene etymologische Deutungen erfahren.

Citações referentes a Junípero, no Antigo Livro Sagrado   dos Hebreus, Jeremias 17:6-8 9 (não localizada), 1Reis 19,3-4: e caminhou pelo deserto, durante um dia. Sentou-se debaixo de um junípero e desejou a morte: “Basta, Senhor – disse ele –, tirai-me a vida, porque não sou melhor do que meus pais  ”. (I Reis 19, 4)

The ancient poetry of Ugarit (Modern Syria) contains references to the Phoenician Goddess, Astarte, remarkable for her fertility, her beauty, her war, and her love. Her cult spawned the construction of temples and the development of cults in Ancient Levant that included rituals of purification. For this purpose, the highly aromatic smoke from junipers was used.

Plutarch  , a first century A.D. Greek biographer, historian, and essayist, recorded the Osiris myth in Part V of the Moralia  , the story of this Egyptian God  -King of the Underworld and the Afterlife. Seth  , his envious brother  , ordered the construction of a magnificent chest made of cedar (juniper), adorned with ivory and ebony, its interior painted with fantastic birds   and animals and celestial images; it later served as Osiris’s sarcophagus, until he was resurrected.

Another reference to a juniper tree is found in the Hebrew   scripture, I Kings 19: 4, also translated as a solitary broom tree or a furze tree. Fleeing from the furious Queen Jezebel, the prophet Elijah tore into the wilderness outside of Beersheba, and dispirited, fell asleep under a juniper tree. He was sick of being a prophet; it was too costly. However an angel of the Lord roused him, fed him a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water, then command him to go to Horeb, the mount of God. There, another revelation awaited him.

In: Classical references to junipers: Myths of Astarte - Junipers, Past and Present

Deitou-se por terra   e adormeceu debaixo do junípero. Mas eis que um anjo   tocou-o e disse: “Levanta-te e come”. (I Reis 19, 5)

Em princípio, devido ao simbolismo da Árvore – em particular seguir para Julius Evola: Árvore pelo seu caráter plurirreligioso, onde é possível encontrar elementos   nos Vedas   e nos Upanixades  , assim como na mitologia assírio-babilônica, e também nos textos alquímicos.

“Esta rápida passagem através de um material simbólico que poderíamos multiplicar indefinidamente basta para comprovar a permanência e universalidade da tradição de um simbolismo vegetal, que expressa a força universal  , preferentemente concebida sob a forma feminina, com a qual se relaciona o sedimento de uma ciência sobrenatural, uma força capaz de dar a imortalidade   e uma capacidade de domínio, mas ao mesmo tempo a ideia de um perigo, cuja natureza é diferente e que complica o mito   em ordem   a diversas vontades, a várias verdades e a diferentes visões”.


Throughout Earth and history, man has seen the tree as a link between worlds. The tree as a haunt of malevolent spirits has been feared and avoided; as a home of helpful spirits, consulted and worshipped; as a bridge to heaven, climbed by mythical heroes; as a symbol, ascended by reflection. The tree appears universally in art and architecture, literature and scripture, used by the wise to turn men’s minds to the beyond. Large, living, immovable, the physical nature of the great woody plant called tree explains partly its pre-eminence among symbols. The tree is the largest living thing on Earth, rivaled in sheer size only by mountains and bodies of water in the struggle for man’s attention. Upon examination, the tree embodies life’s mysteries: origin, growth, death. Sprung from a tiny seed in inert clay, the tree grows without apparent nourishment, sprouting anew if cut, dying in winter, living in spring. Even those who claim to understand the tree’s secrets in terms of chlorophyll and photons are amazed by the gigantic column of living matter that is a tree.

Ver online : Irmãos Grimm

La décapitation de saint Jean en marge des évangiles

Préface: Le bouillonnement du sang des profetes et les Fils d’Israël (Coran 17, 1-7), Michel Tardieu
II. Disenchantment by Decapitation, George Lyman Kittredge, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 18, No. 68 (Jan. - Mar., 1905), pp. 1-14 (14 pages)

Sacrificing the Maiden(’s) Head: decoding nabokov’s burlesque of sex and violence in invitation to a beheading, Franklin Sciacca, The Goalkeeper - The Nabokov Almanac, 2010, pp. 28-47 (20 pages) p. 29 Text - 2/21 PDF

[1It is difficult to know how to translate Machandelbaum. It wouls seem natural to regard it as the popular pronunciation of Mandelbaum, Almond-tree, and thus render it; but in Pritzel and Tessen’s "Deutschen Volksnamen der Pflanzen," Machandel-bom is given as "Common Juniper," and so it is in other dictionaries.

The Brothers Grimm themselves say in their notes to this story, "Machandel, nicht etwa Mandel, sondern Wacholder und zwar bedeutend, weil es ein verjüngender Baum ist und wach so viel als queck, rege, vivus, lebendig, heisst; an andern Orten heisst es Queckholder, Reckholder, Juniperus (von junior, jünger), angels chs. quicbeam." Quicbeam or cwicbeam is, however, not the Juniper, but the wild or mountain-ash, a tree much better known in folk-lore. Its berries also were said to have possessed rejuvenating power, and all who ate of them were glad of heart. TR.“ In: Household tales by the Brothers Grimm, Translated by Margaret Hunt, George Bell and Sons, London, 1884.

In: Google Translator: “Machandel, not almond, but juniper, meaning because it is a rejuvenating tree and means awake as much as quick, lively, vivus, alive; in other places it is called Queckholder, Reckholder, Juniperus ((from junior, younger).