Anima, soul, supreme meaning: Reading Carl Jung’s Red Book in 5 (easy) steps


This is Mindfunda's presentation for the Dream Weekend organized by the Dutch society for dreamers: Vereninging voor de Studie van Dromen (VSD) . Unfortunately influenza payed me an uninvited visit. I was not able to attend the weekend. Aad van Ouwerkerk, author and dream worker read my presentation to the visitors. I thank him for doing that.

We all have been there: in total darkness. Lost and alone, looking for a new way of life. A new way of being. Carl Jung began writing the Red Book on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Mindfunda looks at his search for the supreme meaning in five (easy) steps. Because this will be a long post I have divided it into five seperate chapters. By clicking on each part it will guide you to the step I am talking about.

This is a series of blogs about my proces of dreaming my way through the Red Book. I have divided it into five steps:

  1. Carl Jung
  2. Psychic Powers and dreams
  3. Animus/anima dreams
  4. God
  5. the Self.

This blog will talk about the first step: Carl Gustav Jung and what led up to writing the Red Book.

The anima will be everywhere. The anima is the soul. Carl Jung his first concept of the soul was the female principle. The soul he thought he had lost when he gave so much (maybe too much) of himself to science.



The first time ever I saw the Red Book at the Jungian institute, I wanted it. I did not actually crave to read it, I just wanted to have it. to open it up from time to time, read, try to read the caligraphy written in German, enjoy the art.

Take a look for yourself if you haven’t had the chance yet (sponsored link to

Red Book - Carl Jung - Readers Edition (sponsored link to support this blog)
Red Book – Readers Edition (sponsored link to support this blog)

But at a given moment I mailed to some good friends of mine. People who are experienced dreamers. I invited them to read the Red Book with me and to incubate dreams and discuss them:

Jodine Grundy,
 Licensed Professional Counselor and former president of the International Association of Dreams.
Tim Schaming in training by Robert Moss who will make him realize that he already is a dream teacher.
Maria Cernutoproducer / researcher / writer/ makeup artist (and an extra ordinary gifted dreamer, who contributes to the site Dreams Cloud.
Linda Mastrangelo, Dream Worker, Researcher, Writer, Artist, and teacher .
Christian Gerike, Graduate student at Sonoma State University, Psychology Department, graduating on animals and dreaming.
Jenna Farr Ludwigdreamer, blogger on synchronicity and author.

This blog will talk about five (easy) steps:

  1. Carl Jung
  2. Telepathy and dreams
  3. Animus/anima dreams
  4. God
  5. the Self

But the anima will be everywhere. The anima is the soul. Carl Jung his first concept of the soul was the female principle. The soul he thought he had lost when he gave so much (maybe too much) of himself to science.

Carl Gustav Jung and the soul

Carl Jung (1875 -1961) was a psychiatrist living in Switzerland, married to one of the richest ladies of the country: Emma Rauschenbach. He was a charismatic man who was well liked by the ladies. One of those ladies, Tony Wolff, inspired the process described in the Red Book. She was Jung’s anima in the flesh.
The Red Book describes the process of Jung in search of his soul. His first concept of the anima was the soul. Later on he fine-tuned this process, making the anima part of the man’s psyche.

In 1913 Jung had a vision that lasted for about an hour. He saw blood. Red blood covering Europe. In his own words:

I saw a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps When it came up to Switzerland I saw that the mountains grew higher to protect the country. I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. i saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands, Then the whole sea turned to blood. This vision lasted about one hour. I was perplexed and nauseated and ashamed of my weakness…

Two weeks past by then the visions recurred more vividly then before, and the blood was more emphasized. An inner voice spoke: “Look at it well, it is wholly real and it will be so, You can not doubt it”

Jung decided to stay with, and accept these visions. They later became part of a method called Active imagination. Stepping back into a dream or a vision and reliving the dream. Asking questions. Feeling feelings.
Many of us know about this part of the Red Book. Many of us see Jung as the shaman of the West because of this vision. Like a shaman he foresaw the horror facing many people. What do you think? Was it telepathy?

> Read on in part 2, about: Telepathy and dreams

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Tree of life: 3 visions on how climbing the tree of life can restore our well being

The Tree of life is a wide recognized symbol. The green of trees are healing, Research shows that it is one of the healthiest ways to spent your life. Surrounded by green listening to birds, enjoying the sounds and life around you. We are hairless monkeys with arms made to climb trees. Trees gave us protection. Trees give us oxygen. There is a whole movement of research that indicates that plants have a form of consciousness.

Michael Pollan wrote a very interesting bestseller about how we use plants and plants use us: “The Botany of desire”. It is a mutual benefit. It is such a revelation to have Michael speak for the plants and give them their perspective. To become fully aware of the way we are connected to nature and how the plants we eat become part of us.

Tree of life
The Botany of desire

Michael tells us that there are trees who really like to do business with us like the apple tree (It is no coincidence that the current tree of knowledge is a phone with an Apple on it). But there are trees that did not want to enter into this mutual beneficial relationship like for instance the Oak tree. Acorns are not to our liking.
The Tree of life is a tree that resonates with us. The Tree of life makes us dream.
The Tree of life protects us. The Tree of life nurtures our body and spirit.

Today I want to share Our Dreaming about the World Tree panel.
Last summer June 2014 I presented about the Tree of life at the Conference of the International Association of the Study of Dreams (see link to subscribe to this years’ conference). Together with two lovely knowledgable ladies: Linda Mastrangelo and Jodine Grundy.

#1 The first vision on climbing the Tree of life: listen to your dreams
I was invited for this panel by Linda Mastrangelo. Linda, dreamer, psychologist, alchemist and writer moved into the Red Woods and met the tree people in her dreams.  In this panel she shares a very powerful dream that will move you.

#2: The second vision on climbing the Tree of life: look at mythology:
My part of the panel presentation is to remind you about the mythology of trees. In mythology there are trees that give us knowledge, trees that give us life and trees that give us dreams. My story is about a dreaming tree. An ancient myth about a sacred tree, hidden in the would that gives knowledge through dreams. Profound knowledge. Shamanic knowledge. Listen to it and open your ears for the ancient whispers of the trees in your dreams.

#3: The third vision on climbing the Tree of life: plant a tree in your environment
In our panel, Jodine Grundy is very concerned about the earth. Jodine is an advisor for Green Partnership.  As an advisor she is involved in Taking Root: a reforesting organization that aims to plant a million trees, one for every man, woman & child in the region of Greater Cincinnati. At the conference she made sure we had green plants in our conference room. She pleads for us to start living consciously, in tune with the call from the earth.




What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.

(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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Alchemy: transformation of matter and spirit

Alchemy is the practice of transforming matter into other substances. In a very precise, orderly way.  Alchemy studies matter and its relationship to magic.

Alchemy is not only the transformation of matter, it also symbolizes the
transformation of spirit.

Alchemists did experiments to find relationships between matter, philosophy, astrology and spirituality. The aim of alchemy is transforming lead into gold. The way to do that was by the philosopher’s stone. Alchemy was practiced by respected researcher like Sir Isaac Newton’s. When John Keynes, yes the famous bought Newtons’ alchemical works he stated that Newton was “not the first in the age of reason, but the last of the magicians.”

Linda Mastrangelo, dreamer, teacher and alchemist has a wonderful Etsy shop where she sells jewelry that helps you strengthen the work of your soul. Can you imagine how powerful it is when you, on the verge of an alchemical process are reinforced by a beautiful jewel? A jewel that softly reminds you about the step to be taken in your alchemical process?

Linda M and the dragonfly

To do this Great Work, transforming lead into gold, alchemy uses a process of four stages. Each stage has a color to signify its chemical change:

  1. Nigredo: the blackness: all ingredients had to be cooked into a black matter, a decomposition. the dark night of the soul.When you have been kissed awake to go into your transformative process, this it the talisman for you. When I first met Linda, she was sitting on a terrace in beautiful sunny Virginia. Dragonflies kept flying up to her and landing on her hands. It was time to change. Linda put this urge of the universe into her Etsy shop, and now you can profit from this experience. This beautiful talisman will keep you aware of your determination to make a change for the better:
  2. Albedo: the whitening: after the chaos in the first stage, the alchemist washes away the shadow, the darkness and purifies it. Things you do not need any longer in your personality are moved away. Carl Jung considered it the animus anima stage: in this period you become aware of your other side.Between the Nigredo and the Albedo, there is the stage of the peacock. If you have had an inner experience of other world, the peacock is a multi colored symbol of the emotions you experience Linda’s peacock’s tail in heartshape form is a reminder of the work to come, It prepares you for the journey ahead. The peacock is a symbol of the many colors proceding the alchemical process. The Peacock has many eyes upon its feathers looking inward to spread your wings.

    peacockheart alchemy
    Alchemy Peacockheart
  3. Citrinitas: yellowing: the light found in the last step must now be put into conscious awareness: the silver of the moon must transform into the golden light of the sun. Carl Jung equated this stage with the archetype of the Wise Old Man or Wise Old woman.Linda has the perfect ring for this stage: The talisman of the Initiate, you delve into the deep Mysteries without flinching:

    ringyellow alchemy
    Alchemy: Flowering eye ring
  4. Rubedo: reddening: alchemical succes. The end of the Great Work, the Self.
rubedohair ornament alchemy
True spiritual emergence and awakening. Alchemy hairpin Linda’s Etsy shop

Meet the King and Queen of Nature! The Uraeus, like the Caduceus, is Snake of duality; right and left brain and kundalini energy: Two serpentine energy flows called the “ida” and the “pingala”. True spiritual emergence and awakening. The Third Eye. This is the healing medicine of Kings and Queens.

I hope to have inspired you with today’s Mindfunda. If you like it, feel free to share.