What follows is a Jungian (and Kabbalistic) Interpretation of the 10 plagues of Egypt from the book of Exodus. I am using Image Amplification from analytical psychology(but also Biblical images) to interpret these plagues as they relate to sociology and psychology itself.
What is Jungian amplification?
Amplification is Jung’s signature method for identifying and accurately applying mythic, historical, cultural and universal analogies to unconscious material of a collective nature. This can foster engagement with deeper resources in the personality, facilitating individuation.
Water to blood:
Water being the water of life, in the spiritual sense, that is concretized and made literal(blood). Losing its transcendent quality. Transcendent Truth vs Fact. A Fact is true in a place in time. A Transcendent Truth is eternally true. Water is open to the potential to be part of anything that gives us life: watering plants for food, drinking, part of other liquids and food. Blood, on the other hand, is relevant only for the task it does. Water is spiritual life, Blood is physical life. We use it directly to live, but it has no utility outside of our bodies. This is echoed in the statement “He would make you know that man does not live by bread alone(Blood), but rather by, whatever comes forth from the mouth of the Lord(Water) does man live.” – Deuteronomy 8:3
Bread(Blood) is the concrete, Water the transcendent.
As animals that live both in water and on land they are ambiguous, or two natured. On a psychological level in civilization this is exampled when law, morality, identity, etc become fluid, and ambiguous. When truth is lost, and becomes relative, or as we say today; “We live in a post-truth world.”
From dust they come, which is everywhere, and ever present. They suck the lifeblood, and cause itching; a civilization that is plagued with a psychologically draining discontent.
Rise out of dead, rotting and disgusting things; also cause discontent, but not a draining form, rather, it is one of disgust. A disgust fueled discontent, that is localized, in contrast to the lice plague which is everywhere. This discontent comes from the multitude of small sins. Sins in this context is missing the mark or “right view” from a Buddhist perspective; not following divine law from the Abrahamic perspective. The discontent in both cases (lice, or files) is cultural and personal divergence from the divine waters of life.
This is the first plague that only affected Egypt and Egyptian civilization itself, but not the Children of Israel. The children of Israel were immune to the personal aspect (flies), but not the cultural (lice).
Death of Livestock:
Burden, and food animals on a physical level help society by either helping us do work, or nurture us. Their death disrupts that.
On a psychological level, these animals are our creative, nurturing thoughts; their death causes a lack of true creativity, or thoughts become putrid, and draining, leading to depression, other ailments of the soul. In its place comes depravity and corruption. In essence this is the stopping of secondary creation. But in this view, only of those that abandon the divine because the Children of Israel were immune to this plague as well.
Ashes from the furnace of a dying culture (the cultural remains) that cover the people and cause irritation, and an immune response that causes skin lesions. Psychologically, the leftover cultural products that are now themselves seen as unwanted, and indeed toxic to the people, and their animals (their creative thoughts) the call for decolonization and deconstruction. The objects of one’s culture that at one time gave pride are now seen as bothersome and shameful boils. Again the Children of Israel were immune to this plague, as for them all of this will work in reverse in the Exodus itself, and in the 40 years in the desert (40 years in Chaos, as Egypt’s influence, and slave mentality was slowly taken out of their collective souls)
In this plague a way of being saved from it is given. Bring the beast(ones thoughts) and men (anima/animus) from the field(straying from G-d) back into the home.
Herb/Tree of the field is the fruit of one’s labor ones goals or plans for the future, these were destroyed.
In Jungian psychological interpretation the home can represent the person themselves, as a unified Psyche, which includes the Self (the Divine). This is warning of spiritual death, thunder lacks a visual component, and hail – as ice hurled from heaven – denotes cold judgement. But also, two opposites, one is insubstantial, the other substantial, one is water (hail), the other fire (Plasma – thunder caused by lightning). As throwing stone at a guilty party was a means of carrying out capital punishment in the time of the writing of the Biblical text.
The Children of Israel were immune to this plague, due to them heading the words of G-d and Moses and Aaron.
Covering the earth and eating any plant or tree that the hail missed. Psychologically, the earth is solid ground, representing the known, conscious. Plants represent the fruition of goals and plans. Locusts are veracious and come in multitudes. The solid (earth) becomes a writhing mass, and is no longer “solid”, and all and any planned, or coming fruits of one’s labor, or a waited outcome is instead consumed by this Chaos. The Children of Israel were immune to this plague.
Total Chaos, and Unconsciousness – the Locusts have eaten all solid ground, and all best laid plans. The Children of Israel were immune to this, they had light in their dwellings. Meaning they were conscious and self-aware, of what was going on while seeing the Chaos outside their homes.
Killing of the Firstborn:
Destroying all continuation of a civilization, its traditions, and its potential (It’s seeds). Which is now carried by the Children of Israel in the Jewels of Silver and Gold(Wisdom/Spiritual/Intellectual Resources) and Raiment (Physical Resources) that the Israelite women (Animating spirit of Israel) are given by the Egyptians themselves as they followed G-d and Moses.