THE SCARAB IN SANDPLAY THERAPY
Lynne Ehlers, Berkeley, California
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 20 Number 2, 2011
KEY WORDS: Egyptian scarab, dung beetle, Khepri, rebirth symbol, sandplay therapy, black sun, scarab dreams, the numinous, Self, Sandplay therapy, symbol, insect, animal, symbol, sun, Self, dark side, clinical examples, women, adult, female, dreams, psychic pain.
ABSTRACT: The sacred scarab, worshiped in ancient Egypt as Khepri, was equated with the morning sun, creation, immortality and resurrection—a classic rebirth symbol. The sun as a symbol of the archetype of the Self carries both a light and a dark side. The bright sun is the light of consciousness. The black sun is the sun in the earth, an ‘invisible sun,’ the sun within. Two clinical examples of women who chose the scarab in sandplay therapy are presented in this article. The women chose a paradox: the dark sun that could bear witness to profound abandonment and psychic pain; and the morning sun, holding the promise of transformation and renewed life.