The Alchemy of Symbols

The Alchemy of Symbols

The Alchemist, too, dreams in his own specific language.

5 Week Online Course. 

Registration is now closed. 

Course starts 4 March 2019! 

A focused online five week course on the practical application of symbols.

Salvation is a long road that leads through many gates. These gates are symbols. Each new gate is at first invisible; indeed it seems at first that it must be created, for it exists only if one has dug up the spring’s root, the symbol. – C. G. Jung 

What is Symbol Alchemy?

Life is hard. We often feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities and lose sight of what once made us excited, happy and imbued our world with mystery and wonder. We lose touch with who we are, what we want, and what we need. Working with symbols is an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves on a deep and profound level – to find out again who we are, what makes our souls sing, what connects us to ourselves and what we hold most dear. This 5 week course is the opportunity that you have been waiting for to take this step towards knowing yourself again and connecting with your soul language.

The great alchemists of antiquity sought for the key to transmutation, transforming the base into the refined, lead into gold, the prima materia (primal material) into the Lapis Philosophorum (the philosophers stone), the worthless into that with the highest value. Jung’s great insight into the alchemical tradition both Western and Eastern is that these practices are symbolic in nature. That the Lapis (the alchemist’s stone) was nothing less than a symbol of the soul. Whilst at the material level alchemy was a precursor to modern chemistry, at the level of psyche or spirit, its heir is most assuredly Jungian psychology.

Alchemical ideas are expressed almost entirely in an extraordinarily rich symbolism. The help which alchemy affords us in understanding the symbols of the individuation process is, in my opinion, of the utmost importance. (C. G. Jung, CW. 16, par. 220)

This course will guide you in the exploration and application of symbols for increased meaning, re-imagining your life, re-enchanting your world and the practical and very real application of alchemical transformation. With the tool of symbolisation we are able raise and refine the world around and within us; recognising something beautiful and  sublime, a world filled with wonder and magic. We are able to reclaim the sovereign right of our perceptive faculty, such that that it is not wholly dominated by the imposed meanings external, and often inauthentic, to us. Through this process we are able to reconnect with the numinous, soul-filled world, allowing meaning to re-enter our lives.

This programme is open to all, regardless of previous experience with Jungian or psychodynamic theory.

This is an excellent introduction to symbol work for those new to Jung; and for more seasoned practitioners it will provide a fresh perspective and structure in which to work with symbols and symbolic content.

The five key areas this course focuses on:

  1. Discovering your Symbolic Attractors: naturally occurring symbols in your internal and external worlds.
  2. Identifying your Personal Mythology: archetypal structures.
  3. Healing using Symbols: symbols as a tool for assimilating loss or trauma.
  4. Symbol Alchemy: using symbols to reconstitute and refine your world.
  5. The Symbolic Life: escaping the reductive tyranny of the literal and reconnecting with the soul.

Jung said that we yearn for meaning to escape the awful, grinding banal life where we are reduced to “nothing but”. He further stated that the only thing that makes this life something worth living, something sublime and meaningful, that raises our experience above the prosaic and reductive, is learning to see the world symbolically.

Analysis and reduction lead to casual truth; this by itself does not help us to live but only induces resignation and hopelessness. On the other hand, the recognition of the intrinsic value of a symbol leads to constructive truth and helps us to live; it inspires hopefulness and furthers the possibility of future development…The symbol always says: in some such form as this new manifestation of life will become possible, a release from bondage, and world weariness. The libido that is freed from the unconscious by means of the symbol appears as a rejuvenated god. – C. G. Jung

What does this mean though? How do we symbolize our experiences to take meaning from them? This is what we will be exploring and guiding you though during this course. Both understanding how the process of symbolization works, and, most  importantly, actually applying this to your own life, world, and psyche.

How does this course work?

The Alchemy of Symbols is an online programme, runs over 5 weeks, starting on the 4th of March 2019. The course includes both elements of working through the material on your own, as well as interacting with others on the course and having access to the course facilitators. There are no live webinars you need to attend. All learning material is delivered via email to download onto your PC or tablet and consists of a podcast and PDF reading material.  At the beginning of each week you will receive the weeks material, as both a podcast and transcript, focusing on one of the five respective elements we will be covering on the course. Group work and guidance with the applications is done on a facilitated private and confidential Facebook Forum.

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who wants:

  • creative inspiration
  • to experience themselves on a deeper level
  • work through a trauma or need healing
  • to learn about the power and activation of symbols
  • to enter a multi-dimensional world of matter & psyche
  • to bring about a shift in the external and internal world
  • move beyond feeling stuck or bored
  • to connect with their soul life and the transcendent principle.

Registrations and Bookings

The Alchemy of Symbols will start on the 4th of March 2019 and run for 5 weeks.

The cost of the course is $200.

Registration for 2019 is now closed.

For any queries regarding payment options, please email Anja by clicking on this link.


Thank you both so much for opening my inner and outer eyes, my heart, my soul ever more to the magic of the alchemical process. Natalie

Thank you for this course. I have gained a lot from it. I feel like I have been given the key to my very own secret garden. Blessings to all of you on your journey. Lana

 I will offer my gratitude here, as well, for this course, Anja and Stephen – the materials, lectures and applications were so well put together, and your responses to questions asked by participants so illuminating. And of course I am grateful for all that shared here, as it was thought provoking process all around. My tool/medicine kit for living fully has been profoundly enriched.  I am also particularly appreciative of the materials covered and applications, as they reflect a solid grounding in this approach to well-being and authenticity. They require much energy, and sometimes patience, but were presented in a way that I find very usuable/ accessible. I have added to my resource kit for living fully, and I am quite grateful for those able to share over this course’s forum, as I learned much from that openness. Cheers Carli

Thank you Anja and Stephen for the depth of your heart. Also For the offerings of these modules and providing a safe venue to share this moment in time with a community of people from around the world. Noreen

Well – this part of my journey is over and it has been mind blowing. I can fill my tray with symbols and there are so many. They are all around me because that’s how I play. My biggest symbol is THE SONG…. and it was my transcendent symbol. So here is the song I will leave this course with. Thanks Stephen and Anja for your wisdom and guidance and Good luck. It has been an honour. So glad you chose Jung to be a passion for you because it has made me realise what a powerful soul he was. The answer is blowing in the wind, the synchronicities, THE SYMBOLS…..and therin – THE ALCHEMY. XXXXX Max

Thank you for this course. I feel I have once again awakened to The Transformation. You are to be commended for the depth and divergence brought to bear in such a concise and succinct way. Leaving you with this borrowed symbol. Durelle

The course has been very good for me. Shoring up existing understating and opening new areas. This infuses my counselling work seamlessly and I move closer to my imaginal vision – A small house in the woods with a wooden sign at the gate; Alchemist. Enquire within. Steven

Thank you for a wonderful and interesting course. I have enjoyed each and every post. Jeanine

Bingo! smile emoticon I’d say more but the roofers are helping me to meditate on the symbolism of change and pounding hammers. It’s loud in here! Thank you Anja van Kralingen and Stephen Anthony Farah. I know my purpose is to continue working with symbols and to share my individual experiences and perspectives with others. I have a deeper understanding of that now. I am not sure though on what level…? My passion is already music. This kind of work is transpersonal and I love it! Thank you! PEACE Michael

Big thank you Anja, Stephen and fellow travellers. I feel privileged to have been a part of this course. Deep work and it has way exceeded my expectations. Claire

Thank you very much Anja and Stephen, I have enjoyed this course very much and need to go back over it to process more and share with the group. It’s lovely to engage with a like-minded tribe! Corrine

Dear Anja, thank you for this offering! I found the content approachable and yet deep, and the applications described well and enticing! My understanding of the healing power of symbols calls for more exploration and more reading from Jung and Taoism…and simply playing in this realm. Toni

Thanks for a very enlightening and healing course – I feel like I am developing a more creative and playful relationship to my “problems”, “issues”, wounds – no longer connected to them in a pathological way, but as clues and symbols towards envisioning and carrying out a life of meaning and purpose. I believe in the value and importance of seeing and living life in its poetic form. Justine

A huge thank you again to Anja and Stephen , the course has been intense but the rewards are great and deep and will reverberate for a long time. Claire