Sigmund Freud is often considered to have "discovered" the unconscious as being that part of the psyche which contains unpleasant or traumatic experiences suppressed by the conscious mind. Jung goes a step further: He is of the opinion that there is not only an individual but also a collective unconscious which contains the immense psychic inheritance of human evolution. According to Jung, this inheritance is reborn in the structure of every individual.
Dreams can be considered as a possible gateway to both the personal and collective unconscious. Dream figures like the dark persecutor or the innocent child are symbols which represent a connection with dimensions we are not aware of. These can awaken certain associations within us which we could not perceive with the rational mind alone.
Jung discovered that many of these symbols are of a universal nature. They can be found in the myths and fairy tales of all peoples. They show a "knowledge" or "wisdom" common to all of humanity. Jung therefore called these symbols primordial images or archetypes. The primordial images themselves cannot be accurately described. Liz Greene sees them as energy patterns which express themselves in our whole environment. Although they themselves have no clear form, they express themselves in the symbols of the world around us.
In this sense, the solar system may be seen as the symbol of a living energy pattern, reflecting at any moment the smaller forms of life which are contained in it. The individual horoscope is a symbolic representation of these energy patterns. In these symbols we can see the seeds of the individual's potential personality. Jung describes the planets as "gods", symbols or powers of the Unconscious. However, these "gods" work differently within different individuals.
Viewed astrologically the symbol of the sun represents the core, the center, the figure of the king or boss as well as the creative life force found in each individual. These interpretations can be drawn from this one symbol without being arbitrary. Liz Greene describes the symbol as the primary mode of expression of the Unconscious. In Relating she writes:
A symbol suggests or infers an aspect of life which is inexhaustible in interpretation and ultimately eludes all the intellect's efforts to fix or contain it. One cannot ever fully plumb the depths of its manifold meanings.
A central archetypal symbol in astrology is the circle of the horoscope. In all cultures the circle is considered to be a symbol of wholeness. In the same way the horoscope represents the wholeness of the individual and the archetype of the "Self".