Every respectable Greek village, whether on the mainland or on the islands, has a central “platea,” or square. In the middle of the platea you will find an ancient plane tree which functions as the heart of the village.

In Turkish tradition, these trees represent greatness, permanency, superiority, and sovereignty.

In the past, when the Ottomans conquered a new land, they planted a plane tree near water to seal
their right to rule. Even now a plane tree is planted when a major mosque is built. Turkish tradition often derives from ancient Greek heritage. We relate here to the collective unconscious of those neighboring peoples.



There are dozens of places in Greece whose names derive from the word plane (platani in Greek); for example Platanokoutsoura and Platanorema. There are even thirteen villages named Platanos, Platanias, Platanes or Platania.

Facing the plane tree stands the main church and opposing it is the municipality – the spirit and ruler archetypes. Up on the Pelion mountains, with Stelios and Robert my Greek and American friends, we sit under the huge tree in a small hidden tavern: a unity of polarities. Digging into the world of symbolism we learn that the image of the cosmic Tree of Life belongs to a coherent body of myths, rites, images, and symbols which together make up what the historian of religion Mircea Eliade had called ‘the symbolism of the center’. What is happening in the center of each coaching session is the most crucial issue in Jungian coaching. What is the actual topic our coachee focuses on? The center is the point of the ‘absolute beginning’ where the latent energies of the sacred first break through; where the supernatural beings of myths, or the gods, or God of religion first created man and the world. It is imagined as a vertical axis – the axis of the world (Axis Mundi) which stands at the center of the center of the universe.

Erich Neumann, C.G. Jung’s appointed disciple used those terms to explain the relationship between our daily functioning Ego (the coachee ) and our divine internal, unseen Self Archetype (the coachee’s internal coach).