Showing posts from January, 2010

Opus Contra Natura

The Work Against Nature is a phrase powerful enough to drive anyone away from something. But in alchemy the work against nature--Opus Contra Natura-- is merely a turning inward, a searching within which yields development and awakening. It is a "work against Nature" because "nature" means physical nature. The opus contra natura draws our attention toward spiritual nature, the deeper truth of things. In working with individuals who are just starting to write "again" the opus contra natura is a riot in the heart. The words just start flowing and, in some, they bring with them deep sorrow and joy which must be moved through. I have been, of late, made aware (through being dumped by one such person and realizing my life is full of them) of personality disorders and their onset at either age 7 or in the adult years. Such disorders--borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and the like--occur because a child is not given the safety

Alchemy and The Red Book

When Jung was having his initiation, which occurs in the writing and art of The Red Book, it was his introduction into the rights of alchemy, this wild formula for converting the matter of one's life into spirit. I contacted Adam McLean about Jung's work in Alchemy. McLean is the founder of Hermetic Journal and a leading voice in the study of alchemical texts. McLean labors intensely to reproduce and publish the arcane and little known alchemical works on which Jung--and, since, countless others--based his work. McLean states on his stunning website ( that he was once enamoured of Jung's work. I emailed him asking him, basically "what happened" and he replied (within hours) that he simply prefers working in the originals. I respect that, and i also see it as in deep keeping with the nature of alchemy itself--a return to, and journey through, origin into the highest self. McLean's work allows us to see the sources Jung turned to--the dark and pecu
I picked up a copy of Jung's Alchemical Studies and, while getting my hair done by the amazing Guadalupe Chavarria, an alchemist in his own right for what he can do with a pair of scissors and that "diuturnity of intense imagination" he examined me with when I walked into his shop all shaggy and unshorn in the throes of last minute Christmas browsing, opened this unassuming little white book. Following the experience denoted in the Red Book, Jung devoted the rest of his life to trying to comprehend it. He calls all the other stuff, aside from the Red Book, his attempts at integration. This volume is his exploration of a number of alchemical writings--The Secret of the Golden Flower, the writings of Zosimus and Paracelsus and exploring the alchemical concepts of mercurius and the philosophical tree. Jungian psychoanalysis draws heavily on alchemy and theosophy. This is just an example of the master psychic archeologist's explorations, a warm-up to the later works