Metaphysical meaning of Atharim (mbd)
Atharim, ath'-a-rlm (Heb.)--regions; places. "By the way of Atharim" is translated "by the way of the spies," in the Authorized Version. Doubtless the place was infested with spies, hence that manner of translation. The correct rendering, however, is that of the American Standard Version, "by the way of Atharim."
A place in the southern part of Palestine that was on the route by which the Israelites made their way from Egypt to the land of Canaan (Num. 21:1). When the Canaanitish king of Arad ("who dwelt in the South") learned that the Israelites were coming that way he fought against them and took some of them captive.
Meta. "By the way of Atharim" refers to the indefinite, little known regions or realms of the subconsciousness ("the South") in man. It refers especially to the parts relating to the rudimentary life forces (Canaanites) in the subconscious phase of man's being.