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Perry, C. (1991). Fabricius, Johannes. Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemists and their Royal Art. Welling-borough, The Aquarian Press, 1976. Pp. 248. Paperback £14.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(3):414-415.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(3):414-415

Fabricius, Johannes. Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemists and their Royal Art. Welling-borough, The Aquarian Press, 1976. Pp. 248. Paperback £14.95.

Review by:
Christopher Perry

Jung tells us in Memories, Dreams, Reflections that his encounter with alchemy was ‘decisive’ for him, in that it provided him with the historical basis which, until 1926, he had lacked. Although he had read about alchemy some ten years earlier, he had forgotten about it and thought it rather silly. As so often in his life, it was a dream that changed Jung's direction of inquiry. He purchased the main classics of alchemy, but, initially, could only look at the pictures, which left him with the feeling that they were nonsensical and impossible to understand. Through his persistent study of alchemy, which lasted from 1926 to 1954 and culminated in Mysterium coniunctionis, Jung came to an understanding that the alchemist was projecting his own unconscious processes on to matter. He concludes Mysterium coniunctionis with the idea that the entire alchemical procedure could just as well represent the individuation process of a single individual (Coll. Wks 14, par. 792).

Fabricius

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