Friday, May 27, 2022


Robert Macdonald


Friday, May 27, 2022

7:30 pm


9:30 pm

Saturday, May 28, 2022

10:30 am


12:30 pm

Saturday, May 28, 2022

1:30 pm


3:30 pm





The Essex Church, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, London W8 4RT


Reserve your place at this event


Individuation, Alchemy, Psychology and Religion, Interpretation of Fairy Tales


                                                       this is an art

Which does mend nature, change it rather, but

The art itself is nature.    

                                          The Winter’s Tale IV iv

From a separation arising from homicidal jealousy to a miraculous reconciliation arising from love, in its broad movement from darkness to light, this “sad tale best left for winter” encompasses an extreme tension of opposites and range of emotional experience. It revisits the theme of tragic vulnerability which threads through Shakespeare’s late work. At the centre lies a mystery, personified by the character of Time, who oversees a sixteen-year gap, where the processes that bring forth the transformation, imaged through a statue coming to life, gradually unfold.

This mystery will be considered with reference to the Eleusinian and Mithraic Mysteries, Jung’s Red Book, the alchemical myth of the king, and the emblems from Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens.  Art, nature, religious consciousness, and complex emotional life weave together in the process of germination and renewal. Overall, the weekend will explore the symbolic and alchemical themes embedded in the play and their relationship to Jung’s psychology of individuation.

While the reading list texts listed below are important, the play‘s the thing, and as far as possible, it is important to read and reflect on the story. Shakespearean English is challenging, and the ‘No Fear Shakespeare’ version has a parallel text in easy-to-understand everyday English. A short, animated film highlighting the fairy tale aspect will be shown on Friday evening. The play is cast in the myth of Demeter and Persephone and familiarity with it is recommended. The writings of Jacob Boehme are relevant, and it is useful to consult the many references in the Collected Works. Lion, bear, water, alchemical circulatio, and the character of Time, who self identifies as the god Mercurius, are key images.”


IGAP member


Required Reading:

Shakespeare, W., The Winter’s Tale

Recommended Reading:

Jung, C.G., Collected Works, Vol 14, Chapter IV, Rex and Regina

Jung, C.G., Collected Works, Vol 13, Commentary on the Secret of the Golden Flower, esp §31-45

Further Reading:

The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, Godwin, J., (trans), Phanes Press, (1991)

Jung, C.G., Collected Works, Vol 7, The Psychology of the Unconscious, Chapters 2-4

Jung, C.G., Collected Works, Vol 14, Sal, §234-348

Jung, C. G., Kerenyi C., Introduction to a Science of Mythology, Chapter 3, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1951

Maier, M., Atalanta Fugiens: Sources of an Alchemical Book of Emblems, De Jong, H.M.E., (trans), Nicolas-Hays, Inc., 2002

Owens, L, S., Jung in Love: The Mysterium in Liber Novus, Gnosis Archive Books, 2015