The alchemy of dreams: a blog series


“The rediscovery of the principles of alchemy came to be an important part of my work as a pioneer of psychology.”

Carl Jung

Regular readers will be familiar with my fascination with dreams from this earlier blog. Over the next few months I’ll be blogging on dreams in more depth.

As so much has already been written about dream symbols and their interpretations, I’m going to do something a bit different, looking at  dreams quite broadly. If you’re keen to interpret specific dream symbols I recommend Dictionary for Dreamers by Tom Chetwynd.

Carl Jung, my hero, and a disciple of Freud studied dreams in depth and at length, believing that humanity shares a collective unconscious that lies below our personal unconscious; and that our dreams shine a light on this element of our souls. His approach to dream interpretation is based on the principles of alchemy, a mystical combination of science, sorcery and magic, which was the medieval forerunner of chemistry.  Concerned with the transformation of matter, its aim was to convert base metals into gold, and find a universal elixir that would result in immortality.  Grand ambitions…. slightly more prosaically, alchemy aimed to purify, mature and perfect certain objects, and this attracted Jung’s attention.  Could it be that dreams were a mechanism for the purification, maturation and perfection of the human soul? Jung pursued this idea in his dream interpretations based on alchemical principles: nigredo (black), albedo (white), citritinas (yellow) and rubedo (red). I invite you to join me as we visit each one of these magical dream concepts in the forthcoming blog series.




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