The Alchemical Mercurius

Esoteric symbol of Jung’s life and works

By Mathew Mather

© 2014 – Routledge

214 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415705257
pub: 2014-02-27
US Dollars$160.00

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About the Book

The figure of the alchemical Mercurius features ubiquitously and radically in Jung’s later works, but despite this, there has been little research concerning Mercurius in Jungian studies to date. In this book, Mathew Mather explores the figure of the alchemical Mercurius and contextualises and clarifies its significance in Jung’s life and works.

Placing the alchemical Mercurius as a central concern reveals a Jungian interpretation in which the grail legend, alchemy and precessional astrology, as three thematic threads, converge. In such a treatment, Jung’s belief in the dawning of a new platonic month emerges as a central consideration and an esoteric perspective on Jung’s life and works is brought more fully to light, constructing a life-myth interpretation.

The book is comprised of three parts:

  • Aurea Catena: locating the figure of the alchemical Mercurius within the Western esoteric tradition
  • Daimonic Encounter: the relevance of this figure in Jung’s personal life
  • Magnum Opus: Jung’s portrayal of this figure in key texts such as Synchronicity, Aion, Mysterium Coniunctionis; and Emma Jung and von Franz’s The Grail Legend.

The Alchemical Mercurius is a unique contribution to analytical psychology, substantially revealing ‘esoteric Jung’ and providing valuable perspectives on the theme of his myth for our times. The book will appeal to researchers and academics in the field of analytical psychology as well as postgraduate students.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Aurea Catena Hermeticism. Alchemy. John Dee. Carl Jung Part 2: Daimonic Encounter Chthonic Spirit. A Fish-Snake Synchronicity. An Alchemical Transformation Mystery. Merlin Part 3: Magnum Opus Synchronicity. Aion. Mysterium Coniunctionis. The Grail Legend. Conclusion.

About the Author

Mathew Mather is Lecturer in Media at the Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland. His research interests include Jung’s later works, synchronicity, alchemy, esotericism, art and the psyche.

About the Series

Research in Analytical Psychology and Jungian Studies

Series Advisor: Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, Essex University, UK.

The Research in Analytical Psychology and Jungian Studies series features research-focused volumes involving qualitative and quantitative research, historical/archival research, theoretical developments, heuristic research, grounded theory, narrative approaches, collaborative research, practitioner-led research, and self-study. The series also includes focused works by clinical practitioners, and provides new research informed explorations of the work of C.G. Jung that will appeal to researchers, academics, and scholars alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Jungian