Interview With Stanton Marlan:
The Philosopher’s Stone & Signature of the Soul

April 5 & 6, 2013

The Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida (CJSSF) is honored to present Dr. Stanton Marlan on “The Philosopher’s Stone: From a Dead Stone to a Living Philosophical One” on Friday, April 5th and “Signatures of the Soul: The Light of Darkness Itself” on Saturday, April 6th at The Riverside Hotel in Ft.Lauderdale. This lecture and workshop will present how alchemy can describe the psychological process of individuation and how the darkness of depression can lead to transformation. Before each of our events, the Center requests an interview with the presenter to get the word out about the upcoming opportunity to learn more about Jung’s Analytical Psychology and how it applies to ourselves and our world.

Stanton Marlan, Ph.D., ABPP, LP., is a clinical psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA and an adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University. He is a training and supervising analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He is also President of the Pittsburgh Society of Jungian Analysts. He is certified and holds diplomates in both clinical psychology and psychoanalysis from the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has published numerous articles on Jungian psychology and alchemy and is the editor of Archetypal Psychologies: Reflections in Honor of James Hillman (Spring Journal Books, 2008) and other books. He is the author ofThe Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness (Texas A&M Press, 2005) and is currently working on a new book on the Philosophers’ Stone. Dr. Marlan has lectured widely at Jungian and Archetypal conferences in the United States and abroad, including: the First International Conference on Jungian Analysis and Chinese Culture, in Guangzhou, China; the IAAP International Congresses in Cambridge and Barcelona; the first conference for The International Society for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority, in Berlin; and the Guild of Pastoral Psychology, in Oxford, UK. He has taught at the C.G. Jung Institute of Zürich and elsewhere. He has a long term interest in Archetypal Psychology, the psychology of dreams, and alchemy.

CJSSF: Why was Jung interested in alchemy and how does it relate to Analytical Psychology, specifically, terms like nigredo, albedo, and rubedo? 

Dr. Stanton Marlan: Jung was interested in alchemy because he discovered that the alchemists had developed a deep symbolic understanding of the soul that he felt corresponded with and validated his own discoveries. Words like nigredo, albedo and rubedo described stages of the alchemical work that corresponded to the individuation process and articulated a nuanced description of the transformation process that moved from deep depression, darkness and impasse through an illumination of psyche and on to a deepening fulfillment in the life process.



CJSSF: Why is alchemist Gerhard Dorn of particular interest? 

Dr. Stanton Marlan: Jung valued the work of Gerhard Dorn because his introverted nature led him to articulate alchemy’s inner processes and he engaged them in a way not unlike Jung’s approach to active imagination. Jung follows Dorn’s complex view of the coniunctio toward the end of his Mysterium Coniunctionis, Jung’s great summation of his alchemical research.



CJSSF: Who is Mercurius and why is this important to your presentation?

Dr. Stanton Marlan: The complexity of alchemy is well illustrated by Mercurius, who is one, if not the, central symbol of alchemy. Mercurius is the paradoxical spirit of life that must be released if the great work is to be completed and the philosopher’s stone is to be achieved.



CJSSF: Why did James Hillman call these images “aesthetic signatures of the soul?” 

Dr. Stanton Marlan: James Hillman’s work opens up this spirit in a new way. He stays close to Jung in many ways but his reflections are in step with his own psychological trajectory and vision. Hillman is particularly sensitive to an aesthetic appreciation of color, which he draws from alchemy but also uses to organize his work. For him these colors are not simply subjective phenomena but are actually signatures of the soul in the world that guide us through the labyrinth of alchemy.


CJSSF Interviewer: Pamela Heider,Ph.D., Vice President & Program Chair