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The Finer Forge: Inner Work and the Alchemical Imagination, a lecture with Jason E. Smith

  • Friday, March 17, 2023
  • 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Zoom, Eastern Time


Photo of Jason Smith


This program WILL BE recorded. More information on recordings below.

Registration closes at 12:00pm EST the day before the program begins. 

Zoom Links will be in your confirmation email.

What [the alchemist] sees in matter, or thinks he can see, is chiefly the data of his own unconscious which he is projecting into it.  ~ C.G. Jung (CW 12, para. 332)

In the alchemical tradition, the great work to be performed was known as the opus. More than just a series of chemical operations, the opus was also understood as a spiritual work involving the deepest aspects of the alchemist’s own being. As Jung noted, the material worked on by the alchemist was “chiefly the data of his own unconscious.” The true forge of alchemy, in other words, was the human soul. Accordingly, it was understood that certain preparations and precautions were needed before one could undertake such a sacred work.

In this lecture, we will examine some original alchemical texts to discover the key aspects of the opus and to identify those personal qualities that the alchemists felt were necessary to cultivate as preparation for their work. We will discuss the relevance of these ideas for contemporary life, as well as for Jung’s concept of individuation. Further, we will try to discern the practical implications of this symbolic material for our own personal experience of the individuation process.

Jason E. Smith is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. He is the creator and host of the podcast Digital Jung and the author of Religious but Not Religious: Living a Symbolic Life (Chiron Publications). Jason is a past president of the C.G. Jung Institute of Boston (now of New England) and serves as a training analyst and faculty member for the New England Institute.

RECORDING: The recording will be sent out the 24-48 hours after the program concludes. You will have 10 days to watch the recording for free.

ZOOM LINKS: The Zoom link can be found in your registration confirmation email. They will also be shared about 24 hours before the program start time. Registration closes before Zoom links are shared. If you do not receive your link 24 hours in advance, please reach out asap directly to

CANCELLATION: You may cancel your registration up to 1 week prior to the program.

By agreeing to enroll in an online program offered by the Jung Society of Washington, you are also agreeing to comply with our terms. This means that you cannot record (through internal or external devices) the audio, visuals (photos), or  any videos of the program. The intellectual property belongs to the presenter, and we ask you not to violate this policy. Also, we highly value the anonymity of the content of the program, of the presenters, and of individuals present in the program, and hope that everyone can contribute to a respectful and trust-building online environment. Thank you!


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The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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