Friday, May 16, 2014

Wine, Inoxication and the Psyche



The cherub with grapes is in a small park in Nürnberg. There are two of them and they appear to guard the way to a beer garden. Wine is the blood of the grape and so cross culturally, intoxication from alcohol (and wine in particular) is associated with immortality, knowledge and initiation. Muslim mystics called wine the divine love (The Wine Ode: Ibn Al-Farid). Wine was so much the elixir of the Gods that consumption of alcohol was part and parcel of the ancient Gods’ fabric. Christianity followed suit and placed wine at the centre of ritual. The bearer of grapes looks similar to the way that Eros is depicted and since there are two, that would make sense. Eros lost his space in mythology and became relegated to the world of art, where there would be more than one of him and most likely winged. Gilbert Durand (1963) pointed to the connection between wine and youth as secret and triumphant. The archetype of both wine and milk contain sexual and maternal qualities. If you dream of wine, it’s unlikely to be about drinking as such. From an archetypal point of view, wine is divine. It’s a miracle that transforms from plant into free spirit. So within the psyche it may be connected with a higher state and a positive inner life.