Thomas Elsner Santa Barbara Jungian Psychoanalyst

Recent Events

The Center For Alchemical Studies

At the Doorway between Worlds: Jung, Yeats, and the Celtic Alchemical Imagination


The “Doorway Between the Worlds” series consist of two alchemical weekend workshops (inspired by the work of Jung, Blake and Yeats,) courting the subtle body through contemplation of Celtic myths, poetry, fairy tales, active imagination, dream work, and writing.

Jan. 27-29 (session 1), Emphasis on Celtic Folklore and Myth, led by Thomas Elsner.

May 5-7 (session 2), Emphasis on Yeats and Influences of the East such as Kabir and others, led by Monika Wikman.

C.G. Jung Society Seattle

What Does the Soul Want?: Listening to Animals in Folklore and Dream

Lecture, Friday April 7, 2017 

In Jung’s terminology, the soul, that part of the psyche that is directed inwardly and is in touch with the unconscious is contrasted with the persona, which is the outer attitude or outer character. In 1918 Jung wrote a paper entitled “On the Unconscious” where he noted that all of us stand between two worlds: the world of external perception and the world of perception of the unconscious. In folkore and dream non-human animals can symbolize mediators between these two worlds. Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung’s closest collaborator and famous for her work with fairytales, once remarked that in all of the thousands of fairytales she had studied from around the world there was only one dogma that was universally true. If the hero or heroine listens to the helpful animal, they always come out right. If they fundamentally disregard or kill the helpful animal, they always go down the tubes. With this in mind, we will explore fairytales and dreams from around the world that involve the theme of animals and wonder about the symbolic meaning of this imagery from the perspective of Jungian psychology.

Workshop, Saturday April 8, 2017 

In light of our contemporary reliance on technology, turning towards the inner voice of the non-human animal along with outer relationships with animals can be healing and compensatory to the ways in which many of us live day-to-day in the contemporary world. Building on the material in the above lecture, the workshop day will explore the ways in which we personally experience non-human animals – in dreams, synchronistic experiences, and inner and outer relationships. There will be ample time for sharing, discussion and active imagination/journal experiences.

The Jung Conference on Psychology and Spirituality

June 9-16 2017 — Santa Fe, New Mexico



Certified Jungian Analyst, I.A.A.P.
Certified Psychoanalyst, California Medical Board

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Suite 126
Santa Barbara, CA 93111