Jungian sandplay therapy and alchemical transformation

bookcover,new“A testament to the healing capacities of the imagination, the humble “star in man” that connects us to the unconscious: to unknown and unexpected developments in ourselves.” –Literary Aficionado

“Valuable above and beyond being a case study because it remarkably grounds what can be very illusive alchemical imagery into psychological experience.” –Margaret Johnson, editor, Psychological Perspectives

 

 

About War of the Ancient Dragon

Six-year-old Randy conducts bloody wars in the sandtray, calling them “World War One,” World War Two, and “The War of the Ancient Dragon.” He burns fires and bombs helpless victims, killing some and saving others. What could possibly be going on in his imagination?

The contents of his imagination—what the alchemists call the “realm of subtle bodies”—are revealed in his sandplay from one session to the next, and there we see the raw, autonomous dynamism that motivates Randy, already branded a bully and nearly expelled from first grade. We see fiery, destructive conflict, part his, part his culture’s, part lived, part projected, a conflict of archetypal opposites that engulf Randy’s personality and fuel his violent behavior.

But also from Randy’s imaginal world, out of the very war between opposites that drives him, the unknown third possibility unfolds.Allowed to exist and be seen with a paradoxical healing aim, the war fights itself out over time in the safe container of the sandtray, finds its unpredictable resolution, and gradually releases Randy from its grip. He finally emerges, calling himself “king of the bloodfire,” returned to the rule of his own emotional life. He has adapted to school, proud of his achievements, a star student in math.

Randy’s lively narratives animate his dramas and reveal the distinct hallmarks of an alchemical opus over the course of 24 therapy sessions. He remarkably echoes the words of the ancient sages such as Zosimos, who centuries ago in his own imagination witnessed the “torture” of transformation in fire.

Randy’s process is thoroughly documented and amplified, unveiling the alchemical stages of transformation—nigredo, albedo, and rubedo—in a way that helps us relate to those chapters in our own individuation struggles. Psychological Perspectives editor Margaret Johnson writes that the work is “valuable above and beyond being a case study because it remarkably grounds what can be very illusive alchemical imagery into psychological experience.”

War of the Ancient Dragon guides us through the gritty realities of the alchemical process, helping us realize how they can manifest in everyday life, dream images, and fantasy. Above all the book is a testament to the healing capacities of the imagination, the humble “star in man” that connects us to the unconscious: to unknown and unexpected developments in ourselves.

 

Jungian Analysis

The crowned hermaphrodite is an alchemical symbol for wholeness. It is a creature living according to its own sometimes paradoxical inner nature. The hermaphrodite’s bat wings, the serpents, the green lion, the sun tree, and the pelican are aspects of psychological development and often come up in Jungian analysis, as dream images, in these and other forms.

The crowned hermaphrodite is an alchemical symbol for wholeness. It is a creature living according to its own sometimes paradoxical inner nature. The hermaphrodite’s bat wings, the serpents, the green lion, the sun tree, and the pelican are aspects of psychological development and often come up in Jungian analysis, as dream images, in these and other forms.

Jungian Analysis is a deep, ongoing experience of the objective psyche and its urge towards consciousness in the individual and in the collective.

The goal of Jungian analysis is individuation, a long-term process in which you develop an ongoing relationship with your inner life by carefully recording and examining dreams, fantasy images, and life events, and try to understand them from a symbolic, or transpersonal, perspective.

It is almost impossible to interpret your own dreams without a friend or analyst’s objective perspective. But dream interpretation is one of the most important elements of an individuation process because it brings you into deep connection with your reason for being. Continue reading

What is Depth Psychotherapy?

Depth

Depth psychotherapy works from the inside out to help you become everything you are meant to be. You slowly unveil your unique, creative, and authentic personality, by connecting to your own inner resources.

Through depth psychotherapy you can discover your unique path in the world, develop your inborn, individual potential, and unravel your singular life meaning. Continue reading