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Alchemical Active Imagination

March 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Jung conceived of alchemy as a practice of what he called active imagination, a meditative practice of transformation in which inner complexes and archetypal constellations are personified or experienced as images and then confronted and related to by the conscious ego. Writing, painting, dance, music and other mediums in addition to unconscious projections onto matter, can all be used to bring the unconscious to conscious expression. Having gone over the theory and history of alchemy in the presentation, in this workshop we will learn how to practice active imagination. Practical recipes taken from alchemy will be introduced and we will provide ample time to apply these recipes to our own experience, not just talking about alchemy but effectively becoming alchemists ourselves. We will also access the way in which Jung saw the value and importance of doing this type of work, politically and culturally, as well as individually.

Related Friday Talk: Alchemy and Jung’s Red Book

Thomas Elsner, J.D., M.A. is a Jungian Analyst, certified Psychoanalyst with the California Medical Board, the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California, the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, and Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has taught courses on Depth Psychology and Folklore for over 10 years at Pacifica as well as internationally. Trained as a Jungian Analyst in Zurich, Switzerland, Thomas has been in practice since 1998. Prior to that he worked as an attorney. His upcoming book to be published by Texas A&M in early 2019 is on Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


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March 18, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
We offer Continuing Education Credit through NASW. The fee for CEU credit is $5 for the lecture, $10 for the workshop, or $10 for both the lecture and workshop. To obtain credits, please sign up before each lecture or workshop at the CEU table in the lobby.

Bring a sack lunch for the 45 minute onsite lunch.


Unity Church of Portland
4525 SE Stark
Portland, OR 97202 United States
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Ample free parking.