This course introduces participants to the alchemists or philosophers who left behind a series of pictures that map the process towards individuation or what is commonly known in many traditions as “attaining soul qualities” that lead towards enlightenment. Understanding the map becomes a tool each person can use in day to day living in order to feel more empowered and less like a victim in the face of life’s challenges.
Each picture reveals the deep mystery present in the psyche as a person passes through each stage of development. These pictures are known as the Rosarium Series and the earliest documentation of the Rosarium pictures, or what is known as the ROSARY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS, was published in 1550 in Frankfurt. The term Rosary refers to the alchemical “ROSE GARDEN” which is metaphoric of an anthology or collection of wise sayings. The image of a rose garden of the Philosophers’ Wisdom gives an indication of the richness, beauty and metaphor inherent in the pictures and teachings.
The original pictures were devised by an alchemist and it is clear that whoever drew them had experienced a transformation or an enlightened awareness and was speaking out of it. These original pictures consist of 20 woodcuts. Pictures 4 – 10 deal with the male principle or animus, being more dominant, while 11 – 17 deal with the female principle or anima, being more dominant. The initial course looks at the first 10 pictures. These 10 give a great indication of the cycle that is present in each of us and held in the CONIUNCTIO
The Coniunctio is the name for the alchemical process that occurs WITHIN a vessel. Think of the pictures occurring within the flask or a person. In the original exploration by the alchemists, through chemistry, the mixing of various metals was done in a flask or beaker.
What C.G Jung clarified was how the process is linked to PSYCHOLOGY. Through the pictures, we get to peak at the inner journey towards individuation. The whole process however eventually goes beyond psychology and enters the mystical domain of spirituality.
How will this knowledge help me?
The pictures help the student to see and understand how “some of what happens to me is of my own creation!” It’s hard to see one’s own shadow – we just want to experience our good. The coniunctio is about holding BOTH realities of shadow and light in one VESSEL – the human body. The process towards INTEGRATING the opposites moves a person from the initial stages of the first 5 pictures towards the more mature stages represented by pictures 6 to 10.
Understanding this process and integrating it at a deep level can bring with it the enormous benefit of integrating a broken inner experience of self towards an experience of life as whole, abundant and joyous.
September 27, October 11, October 25, November 8, November 29, December 13.
Fridays: 5.45 – 7.