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- In Greek mythology, a term for the personification of feminine innocence (e.g., Persephone); psychologically, in man or wom-an, it refers to an archetypal image of potential renewal.
The phenomenology of the Kore is essentially bipolar (as is that of any archetype), associated with the mother-maiden dyad. When observed in the products of a woman’s unconscious, it is an image of the supraordinate personality or self. In a man, the Kore is an aspect of the anima and partakes in all the symbolism attached to his inner personality.
As a matter of practical observation, the Kore often appears in woman as an unknown young girl . . . . The maiden’s helplessness exposes her to all sorts of dangers, for instance of being devoured by reptiles or ritually slaughtered like a beast of sacrifice. Often there are bloody, cruel, and even obscene orgies to which the innocent child falls victim. Sometimes it is a true nekyia, a descent into Hades and a quest for the “treasure hard to attain,” occasionally connected with orgiastic sexual rites or offerings of menstrual blood to the moon. Oddly enough, the various tortures and obscenities are carried out by an “Earth Mother.” . . . The maiden who crops up in case histories differs not inconsiderably from the vaguely flower-like Kore in that the modern figure is more sharply delineated and not nearly so “unconscious.”["The Psychological Aspects of the Kore," CW 9i, par. 311.]
Demeter and Kore, mother and daughter, extend the feminine consciousness both upwards and downwards. They add an “older and younger,” “stronger and weaker” dimension to it and widen out the narrowly limited conscious mind bound in space and time, giving it intimations of a greater and more comprehensive personality which has a share in the eternal course of things. . . . We could therefore say that every mother contains her daughter in herself and every daughter her mother, and that every woman extends backwards into her mother and forwards into her daughter. . . . The conscious experience of these ties produces the feeling that her life is spread out over generations-the first step towards the immediate experience and conviction of being outside time, which brings with it a feeling of immortality.[ Ibid., par. 316.]