This program will not be recorded
Alchemy is an ancient art that recognizes the deep, subtle interconnectedness between psyche and matter. C.G. Jung spent the latter part of his life exploring the important psychological dimensions of alchemy. Many of Jung’s psychological concepts can be viewed as manifestations of alchemical processes. Alchemy arose from the study of Nature, and, as such, provides a pathway to rediscovering and experiencing the soul of Nature. In today’s world of ecological collapse alchemy provides a means to heal our collective split with Nature and may very well open a portal to avoiding further collective destruction. In this course, we explore the fundamentals of alchemy and how they relate to psychological processes. We also consider how alchemy captures the dynamic patterns that appear in psyche and Nature. Our journey in the course concludes with an exploration of the sacred dimensions of our world.
Objectives of Each Session
Session 1: Nigredo – The Blackening
Our journey begins in the darker depths of psyche and our varied relationships with nature. This is the alchemical stage that brings face to face with our shadows. To facilitate this process, we need to apply heat to dispel confounding concepts that rest in a confused mass. Here, we face what we have done and are doing to nature. Out of the fire arises a refined matter requiring further work.
Session 2: Albedo – The Whitening
The next stage of our journey asks us to reflect on our place in nature and enter the more imaginative, fluid realms of psyche. Through reflection, images arise that are the matters to be worked on. Here we learn patience and openness, which mirrors nature herself, we marry the masculine and feminine forms within and without.
Session 3: Citrinitas – The Yellowing
Bringing solar consciousness follows inner reflection. The brightness of the rising sun allows us to feel the inner warmth and refinement of what we discovered within ourselves and in nature. We are ready to actively imagine a new soulful relationship with nature.
Session 4: Rubedo – The Reddening
Finally, after animating our deeper connections to nature, we learn to embody our experiences. This is an essential stage in our work, in which we not only understand our renewed relationship with nature, but we have a felt-sense of living in the sacredness of the everyday world.
Participants will explore: 1) the basic principles of alchemy from a depth psychological perspective; 2) the natural cycles occurring in the environment; 3) the use of active imagination to enter into a sacred relationship with the natural world.
Please note, discussion may continue after 9:00pm, until about 9:30, if the need arises.
Jeffrey Kiehl, PhD., is a Diplomate Jungian Analyst and senior training analyst for the C.G. Jung Institute of Colorado and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He is an adjunct faculty member of Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he teaches a course on Ecopsychology. He is the author of Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future, which provides a Jungian perspective on climate change. He has also published articles on US Cultural Complexes and Climate Change, and The Green Man and Climate Change. Jeffrey has presented on various Jungian topics at national and international conferences. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
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