Come on in - the water's fine!

Hey everyone,

I have seen quite a few names pass through my email box attached to requests to join the forum, but as yet we have had only a few postings. I want to invite more of you to jump in with your reactions and reflectons so far.

One thing you might consider is telling us a little about yourself - what your backgroud is, what draws you to this webinar on alchemy, what you are hoping to achieve.

I see that a transcript has been posted of the lively chat session that followed the first session, and it appears to have a number of questions from different participants. If you have answers - or opinions - that too might be a good place to jump in.

I see the Forum as a place where we have a chance to get to know one another and at the same time deepen our understanding of the material being discussed by Robbie and Pat. Machiel said there are participants from 18 countries, so we must have quite an amazing community gathered for this work. Let's get acquainted!

Best regards


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    January 12, 13, 14, 2014

    Hello fellow participants, literal and Imaginal, my name is Joseph Carter. 

    I’m grateful and excited to be a part of this experience. Longing as I am for connection-community-conversation with/in the literal and imaginal realms, I’m aware that some of that longing may be the longing of pothos, the unattainable. I look forward to working with you in many states of Soul. I imagine participating and contributing amongst those who appreciate psychological permeability. (Permeability such as Jung saw as characteristic of the neurotic patient, great artists and others distinguished by creative gifts). Because my ability to live by collective values has long not met social expectations, I hope to find a way of offering “a ransom in place” of myself both in and beyond our group. I hope to be able to, “… bring forth values which are an equivalent substitute for” [my] “absence in the collective personal sphere.” And “To atone for this desertion,” by creating “something of worth for the benefit of society”. I’ve long sought this, and I see a possibility that this experience could be connected to such an offering. Although I do not see myself as one pursuing individuation (frowned upon for Hillmanian’s?, except for pursuit of behalf of “the persons of psyche”) I do feel the condemnation of society for my having failed “to create equivalent values.”(All above quotes, Jung, “Adaptation, individuation, collectivity” CW 18 and C.G. Jung Lexicon, p.68-69) At the same time, I question that whole model of being of value. I am doubtful that our society is receptive to “equivalent values” but perhaps I can find a small group in which my offering would be appreciated. Also I hope that the economic experience over the the last several years will begin to effect a change in our cultural ideas of being of value. Besides, I could just never stomach the world of sales, promotion, technology, production, science, supervision, marketing, etc. 

    I want to acknowledge a certain level of fear regarding, being seen as having an archetypal psychology Point of View, by anyone outside this group. But while marginalization has helped me in “seeing by means of” paranoia, I do make an effort to keep the borders permeable so as to be able to slip back and forth. The best I can figure, I began cultivating the archetypal/imaginal view in about 1996. I’m one of those archetypal psychologists who practices exclusively beyond the walls of the consulting room (outside the worldview of what our society sees as psychotherapy/psychology), having never had the training and/or education of the psychological professional.  

    Being a part of this group is a major change in my psychological experience. My activities entertaining psychological ideas and in the realm of archetypal/imaginal/alchemical care of the Soul/AnimaMundi, have for the most part, taken place in a context that has included very few literal persons. I am grateful for the possibility of conversation and alchemical experience with psychological polytheists.  

    OK, enough, I’ll let this go now without reading it again because every time I read it I make changes to it.

    With intention for propitiation of the Gods, 

    Often in Pathos & struggling with Logos,   

    cultivating gratitude and appreciation,

    Inviting Eros,

    and Always in Psyche,

    Joseph Carter 

    • There is a lot going on for me, related to this course. It's difficult reading and imagining and thinking/entertaining psychological ideas. I find it nourishing and I'm enjoying it. I'm thankful to: those who are contributing to the course, especially to Patricia Berry, Robert Bosnak, James Hillman, those who have been writing in this forum, and those unknown to me who are playing their roles. I'm going to try to stop using the on-line forum for a while, not sure how long. But I will be reading the book and being in on the on-line course. 


  • I'll bite. Thanks, Roger, for the invitation. I think it is hugely helpful to the alchemical process to introduce ourselves and put some of our own materia (prima or otherwise :) into the mix.

    Some of you know me as the founder and sole admin of the Alliance. On top of that, I'm in the thick of my doctoral dissertation at Pacifica. I normally might not have joined this course NOW as time is precious, but I remember my first exposure to alchemy a few years ago absolutely thrilled me and I was hooked. It was during a depth course at Sonoma State U where I did my first master's in depth psychology and our class met on a Saturday for a daylong introduction. I had no idea about alchemy at that time, but the metaphors for spiritual and psychological transformation made so much sense to me. Each student had to offer a final presentation for the Intro to Depth Psychology course and I conducted a ritual where folks could use fire, water, earth, and air to "transform" issues they were facing. In addition, we went through many of the images in the Splendor Solis and I was riveted to see them. They were so unique and so numinous.

    Now, I'm so happy to have some background in alchemy--it's truly a remarkable way to see the world--but I'm craving more so here I am. By the way, if anyone is interested, I wrote an article using an alchemical view of Aronofsky's movie The Black Swan (2010) a couple of years ago. You can view it here....

  • Good morning.

    Very excited to be here Roger. 
    Yeah I finally got posted the full saved text as requested under

    it has some various topics and thoughts for consideration. 
    I think once we start posting more these threaded discussions will get more immediate and "chat" like as well and 

    will really get hoppin. 

    Looking forward. All best, Rob.

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