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Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology

(Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts #5)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  519 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Shows the secret goal of alchemy to be the transformation of the personality, the search for wholeness. Invaluable for interpreting images in modern dreams and for an understanding of relationships.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 2nd 1980 by Inner City Books
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Start your review of Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 5)
David
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This is a fascinating book for those interested in both Jungian psychology and the alchemical traditions. Though the title describes the purpose of this work (a mere introduction to the symbolism of alchemy and how it possibly relates to psychology), my expectations were that it would be a thorough study of alchemy and its rich language of metaphors. I still enjoyed the book because I find this branch of psychology quite interesting, but it is probably best before choosing to read it - or invest ...more
Malcolm
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
The late Marie-Louise von Franz (1915 -1998) was a Jungian analyst and colleague/student of Carl Jung. She is widely known for her penetrating treatises about seeker's journey motifs, alchemical texts and fairy tales as well as an accessible biography of Jung.

Here again, her insights are profound and broad in scope. The book, published in 1980, is composed of lectures she presented in Zurich in 1959. The lectures contain excerpts from European, Arabic and Greek alchemical texts along with her ex
...more
Evie
Apr 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Psychotherapists and anyone interested in psychotherapy
Shelves: psychology
The individuation process as the alchemical process. Jung rocks, and so does his student, Marie Louise von Franz, who breaks Jung down and makes his work digestible (Thank god! How would I ever have gotten through Jung's work without von Franz and Edinger to explain it all?!?!). Anyone in the field of psychology should read this book as it opens up the imagination.
Maan Kawas
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent book by Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz about alchemical symbolism and psychology, which are discussed in detail in Carl Jung's book "Alchemy and Psychology" (I have not read that yet). I found it an excellent introduction to alchemical symbolism and the work of individuation. Von Franz discussed the alchemical symbolism in various texts, Greek, Arabic, and Western. The book is not an easy one and some parts were quite difficult, but it was a very good read!
Jesse Whyte
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's a great text, but I think it falls short in two ways. First, it reads like seminar notes (which is precisely what it is). There is little in the way of textual structure and the text often meanders between alchemical uses in psychotherapy and analysis of various alchemical works. It makes for an interesting read, but I find returning to the text to be slightly problematic. I wish that she had taken some time to rearrange the material properly.

Second, there is little in the way of an introdu
...more
Ole Kristian
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
von Franz' intellect and personality brings light to yet another obscured subject of the past. Her ability to bring us through the most entangled symbolic imagery and thoughts of the acient world by pointing to the analytic associations of modern terapy is indeed a proof of her supreme insights. She is indeed one of those persons I regret is no longer with us.Now I guess I have to proceed with the much delayed volume 12 of Jung's collected works; "Psychology and Alchemy"
Marcus Norberg
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psykologi
Alkemi är antagligen mest känt som en förtida kemi, där alkemisternas mål var att framställa De vises sten, som kunde transmutera oädla metaller till guld, bota allehanda sjukdomar och ge evigt liv. Detta sätt att se på alkemi är det vanligaste och mest simpla, då det rör sig om en vetenskap vi enkelt kan förhålla oss till. Carl Jung började dock studera alkemi ur ett annat perspektiv, nämligen ett religiöst och psykologiskt. Marie-Louise von Franz, en av Jungs lärjungar, introducerar i denna bo ...more
Efthimios Nasiopoulos
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. It was dense at times but towards the end it felt like it came together. I find a lot of jungian books circumambulate the topic and as you stay with it, themes and insights begin to open up.
The last couple of lectures really resonated and understanding that to brace the Nigredo stage requires a constant reworking and melting down of the complex, projection, neuroses. A dedicated reimagining and persistent pressure.

I believe these books find us and synchronicities pres
...more
Kyle
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phd-studies
Not the book I imagined it to be, even as it followed the same sort of lecture format as On Divination and Synchronicity, here it feels like a small group of dedicated psychologists who converse with Marie-Louise, offering their remarks, questions and alchemical understanding. The lecturer never seems to talk about what’s on the syllabus, as Greek and Arabic alchemy are lead-ins for Egyptian, Indian, First Nations and Chinese topics. All of it leading to interesting, self-affirming places. Her f ...more
Ign33l
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pof this ish took a while, not cause i wanted to. Well, this is really cool to know a bout the trending Jung. This nibba was cray. Unconscious and conscious rebirth and that BS. Good ish to read but sometimes goes round and round like the ouroboros that this book's about. This is the sumary in 2 words; Go around.
Danielle Shroyer
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my third time reading this book. I always learn something new. And I love MLVF- her personality and wisdom and wit. A must read for those whose work includes familiarity with the process of individuation.
Howard Huang
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of Dr. von Franz's best work, with a clear prose and excellent pedagogy for an esoteric and frequently prohibitive philosophy.
Annie Blake
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
enjoyed conversation style of content. i liked the digressions as they added so much insight.
Theresa
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A slow read and very interesting!
Jordan
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
excellent introduction to the symbolism, history and psychological components behind alchemy.
Sandy
Sep 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Again, Dr. von Franz blows me away with amplifications and explanations of a difficult psychological process - individuation as understood through the lens of medieval alchemy. Her understanding of the Divine draws me into a closer relationship with this loving and amazing Being - in whatever way one understands Her/Him. If you like linear explanations, this is not the book for you; it is a truly circumambular read. This was my second time through and I learned much more than the first time. I t ...more
David
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read on alchemy as a psychic language symbolizing the process of Individuation. Marie-Louise von Franz does a sublime job of deciphering ancient alchemical texts in a way that is easy for the reader to understand. Jung's star pupil writes in a way that is a masterful compliment to Jung's introverted style and insights, a coniunctio as it were, a union of the opposites. Ultimately finishing by describing the process of Individuation as seen from the human angle is an act of incarnatio ...more
Nick Mather
A decent introduction to a Jungian interpretation of alchemical symbolism. It would be helpful to have at least a little understanding of Jungian terminology and concepts before delving into this book. However, this would likely be a great book to read before moving onto Jung's own alchemical writings.
Sara
Dec 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Students of depth psychology
An immersive work in the field of depth psychology. If your a beginner, I would pick up a primer first, this title presupposes the reader's previous education in Jungian thought. Great for the academic, no so much for the layperson.
Mike
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was a bit difficult to wade through the alchemical processes relating it toward human activity. But none-the-less it was a good read, Mike Young.
Leitner Daleen
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Marie-Louise von Franz was a Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar.
Von Franz worked with Carl Jung, whom she met in 1933 and knew until his death in 1961. Jung believed in the unity of the psychological and material worlds, i.e., they are one and the same, just different manifestations. He also believed that this concept of the unus mundus could be investigated through research on the archetypes
...more

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