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    'The Pelican As It Appears In

   The Golden Treatise of Hermes'

                 Lecture & Reading Seminar By

            Regine Schweizer-Vullers, Ph.D.

            Friday, November 1, 2019

            Saturday, November 2, 2019




      Friday evening lecture.....

      The alchemists often called their alchemical vessel “pelican.” However, the pelican represents the entire alchemical

      opus.  One can even say that  the bird is a symbol of the alchemist himself,  namely of  the spirit in which the opus is 

      done. The alchemists, though, did not intend to produce the so-called ordinary gold out of the impure and ordinary

      initial substances.  Rather they wanted to create a psychic gold, a miraculous stone, an all-healing remedy, in order

      to unite the initially separated or even hostile psychic substances. 

      In the accompanying image called “Revivifying,” we see Sol and Luna rise from the fountain. On the left we see the

      Pelican with its fledglings.  According to the accompanying text the two scenes belong together – the reappearance 

      of  the emerging sun and moon out of  the depth of  the fountain and the revivification of the dead fledglings by the


      The  pelican also  appears  in  the last  chapter of  the  so-called  “Tractatus  aureus  Hermetis”  [Golden  Treatise  of

      Hermes] which goes back to the early 17th century.  Four colors belong to  the  bird,  whereby  the fourth color,  the

      “true yellow”,  “the golden color” or “the  gold” was equated  with  the goal of  the whole process.   As the lapis,  that

      is, as the “all-transforming ferment” or the “all-transforming  medicine”, the  pelican could  reconcile not  only  the

      opposites within the human soul but – miraculously – even the opposites of the outer world. This  lecture  explored

      the symbolism of the first three colors of this alchemical process and concluded with some reflections on the fourth

      color,  the  “golden color”  or  the  “gold.”   Looking  at  the text with reference to C. G. Jung’s  and Marie-Louise von

      Franz’s psychological approaches to alchemy we discussed this healing and uniting power of the Fourth.

      Saturday reading seminar.....

      After discussing  the lecture of the  previous day, we continued our work with a reading seminar.    We read and  

      discussed one  of  the  most beautiful chapters  in  Marie  Louise von Franz’s  Commentary  to  Thomas  Aquino’s

      Aurora Consurgens,  the  fifth chapter on  the  “Treasure House that Wisdom has built upon a Rock.”   We looked

      at this  “House of Wisdom” as it appears in  the text of  the Aurora Consurgens as well as in the Codex Rhenovensis,

      an old alchemical manuscript with some very impressive pictures.  We then looked at the innermost center of this

      house – at its sanctuary.   In the innermost center of a temple,  a holy place or a church always stands the image of a

      God or a Goddess. What is the mystery of this “House of Wisdom” and what kind of an image or deity does it contain?


      Regine Schweizer-Vullers, Ph.D......

      Regine Schweizer-Vüllers, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and psychotherapist in private practice in Zurich, Switzerland.
      She completed her training as analyst at  the Jung Institute, Zurich, in 1986.   From 1994 to 2008  she was a member

      of the board of the Research and Training Centre in Depth Psychology according to C. G. Jung and Marie-Louise von 

      Franz. Regine Schweizer-Vüllers is a member of IAAP and works as a training analyst, supersupervisor and lecturer

      in Zurich and internationally. From 2001–2014 she was part of the board that organized the annual Eranos Confer-

      ences  in Ascona, Ticino.  She is  the  current  president of  the  Foundation of  the  Psychology  Club  Zurich  and  to-
      gether with  her  husband  the  editor of the  ongoing  publication of  the Psychology Club Zurich,  a  series  of  books
      which contribute to the scientific work of  C. G. Jung.  Her interest includes topics related to Analytical  Psychology,

      especially alchemy, medieval mysticism, fairy tales, legends, folk songs and historical tales. For many years she has

      offered  monthly reading  seminars  on C. G. Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis and –recently – on Marie-Lousie von

      Franz’s Commentary on the Aurora Consurgens.


                           <<Revivifying>>: Sol and Luna

                  Rise from the fountain, on the left the Pelican.