Many of the images you find on this site are from medieval alchemical texts. Alchemy, considered a precursor to modern chemistry, was an ancient art that worked with dense or raw materials, such as lead, in order to convert, purify, and transmute base elements into medicinal or highly valued products, such as gold, or the elusive philosopher's stone.
C.G. Jung (1875-1961), a Swiss psychologist and founder of analytical psychology, interpreted these strange and mysterious alchemical procedures and images as symbolic representations of the various pathways and transformative processes of the psyche, or soul.
Sometimes sublime, yet often gruesome and grotesque, alchemical imagery mirrors the internal landscape and teaches us that all aspects of life, if viewed with imagination and an attitude of self-inquiry, hold the prima materia (raw material) for the cultivation of soul.
Alchemical texts and images inspire my work and understanding of the psychological and spiritual journey. I use alchemical-inspired topics and themes in workshops and when working with others to create a multi-dimensional and imaginal approach to integration, with the stages and processes of the alchemical journey serving as a lighthouse on an otherwise rocky and distant shore.
Edward Edinger (1985). The Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy.
Joseph Henderson and Dyane Sherwood (2003). Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic
Alchemy of the Splendor Solis. Routledge.
James Hillman (2010). Alchemical Psychology. Uniform Edition 5. Spring Publications.
C.G. Jung (1968). Psychology and Alchemy. Collected Works, 12. Princeton.
C.G. Jung (1967). Alchemical Studies. CW, 13. Princeton.
C.G. Jung (1954). "The Psychology of the Transference" in CW, 16. Princeton.
Jeffrey Raff (2000). Jung and the Alchemical Imagination. Nicolas Hays.
Marie-Louise Von Franz (1979). Alchemical Active Imagination. Shambhala.
Image: Splendor Solis, 16th C.
the foundation of this art is the Sun and its shadow
::the rosary of the philosopher's (rosarium philosophorum), 16th c::