In session #2, I mentioned a book of ancient alchemical images that have been interpreted and discussed by two Jungian analysts, Joseph Henderson and Dyane Sherwood. The book, if you're interested, is called Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Spendor Solis.

Most of you probably know of the Spendor Solis: a collection of 22 colored alchemical paintings that date from the mid-1500s (though the images themselves may be even older). I found a great site that offers some background and actually shows all the plates. You can access the site here.

What I love about these images are that absolutely every element in each plate is symbolic--from the animals to the colors to the nature images to the people's clothing, etc. Henderson and Sherwood make an excellent and accessible in their book, relating various aspects to various stages and elements of alchemy, including the nigredo, albedo, and rubedo we  discussed...

Who here has seen the images? Has anyone else read/studied this book, Transformation of the Psyche?

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  • I appreciate this timely post about the Splendor Solis. It inspired me to have another look into this series as I have not studied it. I remembered that The Transformation of the Psyche" sits on my library shelf as I acquired when it was released in conjunction with Joseph Henderson's 102nd birthday where he was honored at the Jung Institute in San Francisco.

    It is extraordinarily rich and beautiful series depicted the alchemical process. It is fascinating that the series consists of 22 images which is also the number of the 22 Major Arcana Tarot images and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The connection between the Splendor Solis is not clear but intriguing and worthy of deeper meditation.

    This is a wonderful site. Thank you...I am looking forward to studying it..

  • Good morning Bonnie - no, I have not seen these and look forward to pursuing them.  While you were sharing the ancient symbolic alchemy with us burning the mid-night oil [thank you], I was musing and will share here with you all:

    May 31, 2015 Musings.docx
    • Susan Boyle - Wild Horses Lyrics

      Childhood living is easy to do

      The things you wanted I bought them for you

      Graceless lady, you know who I am

      You know I can't let you slide through my hands

      Wild horses couldn't drag me away

      Wild, wild horses couldn't drag me away


      I watched you suffer a dull aching pain

      Now you decided to show me the same

      No sweeping exits or offstage lines

      Can make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

      Wild Horses couldn't drag me away

      Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away


      I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie

      I have my freedom but I don't have much time

      Faith has been broken tears must be cried

      Let's do some living after we die

      Wild Horses, couldn't drag me away

      Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away


      Wild Horses couldn't drag me away

      Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them someday

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