Prima Materia: Jungian Gold

… the content of the collective unconscious
is made up essentially of archetypes
…Carl Jung

Recently there have been a number of Jungian portals opening up that feature many valuable resources for any one interested in Jungian or depth psychology and its many facets. Many of you may not be aware of this gold mine or if you are you may like an update on a few features and ways to access some of what is offered online.

It is wonderful to travel to one of the many analytical institutes or training centers around the world. However, for many of us, being able to access online resources from the comfort of our home provides us with another choice about ways to explore our dreams, our inner gods and demons.

Dream play and active imagination offer riches that help us along the road to a fulfilling life. Now that we have access to repositories of symbols and teachings from around the world via online learning our choices have expanded. Take any image from a dream, with salt being an example, and amplify that image with stories and information. Let your curiosity guide you as you explore salt’s origins, its impact on world trade, and global health issues. If you dream of fishing there are many opportunities to learn about different types of fish, their habitats, fishing boats, methods of fishing, environmental concerns, our oceans and much, much more.

What are your common dream images? Have you explored those images in depth?
Who are your teachers? Do you live in “I know” or “I don’t know” [but I can find out more]
What questions do you ask of your dreams? What do your dreams ask of you?

Below are a few resources that may be helpful:

1. The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS):

“The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history.” Years ago I would make my way to the San Francisco Jung Institute and while there go through the slides and printed commentary of the ARAS collection that was available at that time. Now there is an online repository accessible to any individual for educational purposes after paying a small annual fee. Joseph L. Henderson, M.D., Co-author with Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, et. al. of Man and His Symbols, Consulting Analyst to ARAS, wrote:

To fathom ARAS’s depth and richness, allow yourself to wander, to linger, and to ponder.  Do not be afraid to get lost, as your meanderings may yield surprising delights of imagery and meaning.

2. Depth Psychology Alliance, founded by Bonnie Bright, A global gathering place for circumambulating the field of Depth Psychology and engaging the world through soul.

Bonnie Bright began this new website devoted to expanding the field and discussion of depth psychology through online and social media connections. Bonnie has done a remarkable job in connecting a diverse, interdisciplinary group of participants on the site that is growing rapidly.There are many choices that are available on the website for participating in a large number of lively discussions that are ongoing and co-creative. There is no charge for being a member of this online community.

3. The Asheville Jung Center: Offering online Jungian seminars to a diverse Jungian community.

This online-focused Jungian center has developed a program of online seminars that are easily accessible as real time programming or as recordings. Asheville’s focus is online learning making it possible to share the teaching of Jungian analysts to a larger audience world-wide.

4. The Jung Center of Houston, a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to the continuing education of the human spirit through psychology, the arts and the humanities.

“…the ways in which we reflect upon our inner life have direct bearing on how we create community.”

The Jung Center of Houston offers a diverse array of educational opportunities providing “opportunities for psychological, artistic and intellectual development based on the psychology of Dr. Carl Jung” – a psychology that invites us to personal growth and a deepening commitment to the community. The Jung Center website now offers audio recordings of a number of lectures from the Jung Center’s lecture series.

5. Jerry Ruhl, PhD is the director of the Jung Center in Houston. He has co-authored three books with Jungian analyst, Robert Johnson.  You can learn more and read book excerpts from Balancing Heaven and Earth and Contentment:

© Copyright 2011 by Mary Alice Long, PhD. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Kirsten

    March 26th, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Although I do believe that our dreams are a result of what is happening in our real lives, I have never quite pondered too much or thought deeply about my dreams’ contents. It’s always been a dreamt-last-nigt-forgot-in-a-few-hours for me. And I don’t think a lot of people would do even a little research on what they dream about.

  • margaret

    March 27th, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    sometimes I see repetitive dreams and this really gets me thinking about the elements in my dreams. it has also lead me to do a little online study sometimes when something has intrigued me enough. maybe it’s my curiosity. or maybe I just think there is some movie kind of an adventure that is about to begin, that I am the chosen one and I am getting the signs in my dreams;)

  • Sara B

    March 27th, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    I have always heard of Jung but do not really have much of a clue about the basic theories that he espoused. Any suggestions on reading that could help me to understand all of this a little better?

  • Mary Alice Long, PhD

    March 27th, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    If you peek into any of the resources I list you will find that there are many who follow, listen, and act following dream guidance. On the other side and to your point, The “Way of the Dream” filmmaker interviewed western people in the streets and asked them what they thought about dreams…many said they never pay any attention to their dreams. Dreams are gifts and there to access as guidance, a choice.

    Dreams speak to each of us individually. Each of us as individuals can take actions in our lives that make a tremendous difference in our communities, dreams are a source of guidance and direction toward individuating and being a full member of our communities.

    All of the resources in my post will lead you to a great number of other resources and there you will find information about Jung and related paths. One place to begin is Jung’s Autobiography, “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections” and there are a number of references written as introduction to Jung. One I’ll mention is, Jung’s Map of the Soul, Stein. You can often find books at Jungian centers/libraries for loan or many are easily accessible through bookstores.

  • StacyL

    March 28th, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    I have always been very interested in the ways that dreams can signal to me issues that could be going on beneath the surface and that ways that these issues are affecting me and the way that I live and me not even really realizing the impact. I have laways felt that by paying more attention to these underlying issues and the dreams that they then foster we would have a moch more well rounded view of ourselves, one that makes us overall much healthier and stronger. To ignore them is to ignore a critical and essential part of our inner beings.

  • v evan

    March 28th, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    Why not also add Pacifica Graduate Institute to this list?

    They have a wonderful Dream Tending seminar by Steve Aizenstat every year that really enhances and cultivates a dream wisdom practice.
    ‘Active Imagination’ is another useful tool invented by Jung for honoring and participating in dream consciousness without ego filters and complexes/projections getting in the way. This is such an endlessly rich terrain for anyone no matter what level you are able to access it.

  • jonathan

    March 28th, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    even the smallest things,if observed from the right perspective,can seem so intruguing.we go through so many moments evey single day,often nit knowingthat some moments were just very different from the others and that they were special.

    dreams are something that are almost like a different world where the possibilities are many,where we are what we want to be.there are no limitations.

  • Chan

    March 28th, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Not all people may believe in it but for some of us what we see in our dreams,the symbols,the images and everything can be very interesting and of concern.It can be very interesting if you just try and study a little about it.

  • GB

    March 29th, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Are the dreams that we experience influenced by our personality? Like if a person is very creative or is an artist, does it mean he or she may have more imaginative and well-constructed dreams?

  • Johnna

    March 29th, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    Dreams really do make up the essence of what is going on inside of us. This is our mond’s way of helping us to see what we sometimes refuse to see when we are awake. But the dreams do not lie and are a fantastic way to sort out your real feelings if you are willing to learn to understand them and the meaning that they can bring.

  • silver bomb

    March 29th, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    dreams can even help you take a decision that has been bothering you…it’s happened to me…and although it may be because an idea was onside your head,it is the dream that has brought it out to the surface and helped you decide something.

  • Mary Alice Long, PhD

    March 31st, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Thank you all. Yes, of course, Pacifica Graduate Institute and Steve Aizenstat’s Dream Tending Seminars are playful, creative resources–I earned my PhD at Pacifica Graduate Institute when that program was just in its beginnings and now Pacifica offers many public programs, you can receive mailings by registering for their mailings online. Active Imagination–Yes! I have written about a number of ways to play with active imagination–so many ways to enter a deep conversation with your dream figures–Robert Johnson’s book, “Inner Work” is a favorite and there are many other references that can be gathered, ARAS collection offers so many archetypal avenues to explore, I hope some of you will join or access ARAS at a Jungian center or library. Dreams are gifts freely given to all of us–the choice is yours….there is a much to gain when you take active steps toward individuation.

  • Mary Alice Long, PhD

    March 31st, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    I don’t believe you have to be an artist to have creative dreams. The more you pay attention to your dreams and ask for more information and guidance the greater the recall so much so that you can’t keep up with the many dream figures that appear to help you out. Some dreamers have movie-like dreams, others are taken to very different landscapes than they experience day-to-day, some find that their dream figures offer a very different type of relationship than what they experience in their home or work settings. Many books, films, and other creations have flowed directly from a dream to the page….some dreams are colorful, others not so…etc….dreams have no limits or bounds that we might find sitting in front of an blank page or canvas, isn’t that wonderful, ask and you shall receive!

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