Alchemical Psychology – Old Recipes for Living in a New World

“An alchemist is seen in physical form below this magnificent scene wearing a coat of stars, white one side and dark on the other. He stands in a grove of trees, each of which bears a symbol of the planetary metals and twelve fundamental substances. The alchemist holds a twin-bladed axe in either hand reinforcing the division of opposites in the manifest world. Yet he stands upon the backs of two lions sharing one head. This indicates his powers of discrimination and freedom from the opposites.”

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5 thoughts on “Alchemical Psychology – Old Recipes for Living in a New World”

  1. Matthaus Merian’s engraving for J.D. Mylius’s ‘Opera Medico-Chemico’ (1618) is a rather fascination example of mandala imagery in the western esoteric tradition. Freedom from the opposites indeed an alchemical quest. The whole mandala is enormously symmetrical. Nor overlooking the allusion to Greek myth in the form of Diana and Actaeon in the bottom right corner, perhaps an allusion to Bruno (d. 1600) who was v. interested in the myth of Goddess transforming a mortal.

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  2. I just recently read a book by James Hillman called Alchemical Psychology. Very fascinating description of the stages in alchemy and their color associations.
    Love your blog…and agree, it is all about the Great Work!
    Debra

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    1. Thanks for your kind words about my blog, Debra! I love James Hillman and still have to read a lot of his work (something to look forward to!) Yes, it really is all about the Great Work! I’ve recently come across psychologist Bill Plotkin who has added another element to the Great Work by introducing a level in which we actively participate in the Great Work of the Earth – something that wasn’t necessary in earlier times but is becoming more and more relevant – very thought provoking 🙂

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