W-28 The Soul’s Ministrations: An Imaginal Journey through Crisis
Date: – Pending (early 2016)
$19.95 per person ($17.95 for students or clergy) – Live Seminar (Includes unlimited recorded viewing)
$17.95 per person – Recorded Seminar (available 48-72 hours after the live presentation)
In this webinar, Dr. Tauber will first introduce the technique of her meditative active imagination she calls “alchemical painting.” After a brief period of question and answer she will then turn to the 17 paintings and poems that form the core of the book, touching on the symbolism of each in sequence. The focus is on the archetypal meaning that emerges in the field between psyche (the momentary inner and outer circumstances) and matter (the painting) at a particular moment in time. Finally, the image of the goddess in the last picture will be given special consideration: its personal impact for the author, its growing importance since then, and what it might mean to honor the presence of the archetypal divine feminine today.
The Soul’s Ministrations: An Imaginal Journey through Crisis.
In her book, Tauber shares her deeply personal recollection of a most critical time in the life of the family: In 1984, her husband, himself a transplant surgeon and immunologist, was diagnosed with a tumor in the brainstem and immediately had to undergo surgery. The outcome was uncertain; a brilliant career in the making was disrupted; past, present, and future, as they had known and envisioned it, seemingly falling apart.
On the evening before the operation, experiencing a profound loss of soul, Tauber stumbled (as she writes) upon a particular technique of painting that opened a new door into the imaginal realm through which the archetypal psyche found expression. It became a daily meditation with a distinct feeling of soul ministering to a supplicant in crisis, hence the title of the book. At the time, the exercise instilled much needed strength and solace; it became the tool that helped negotiate the difficult passage.
The Narrative, which forms the first part of the book, threads along the sequence of the 17 paintings and responsive poems, the body of images created over the period of two months: her husband’s time at the hospital and his immediate recovery at home. Tauber tells the story in journal form, based on the family’s background as immigrants from Switzerland, second-generation Jungians, and Zen adepts.
Many years later, as part of her doctoral dissertation at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Tauber returned to the paintings, exploring their transpersonal (archetypal and alchemical) symbolism, which had exerted a lasting effect and equally resonated with others. Her research became a meaningful journey in itself, now forming the second part of the book, the Commentary.
The author describes her method as a way of Jung’s active imagination, which, according to Jung, assists in the process of individuation and has a close affinity with the alchemical imagination. Tauber suggests that the images express some well-known stages of alchemy (solutio, nigredo, calcinatio, viriditas, rubedo), and that the body of paintings may be viewed as representing the initial part of an alchemical opus.
Not only the content of the images, but the very technique used in this model of active imagination can be seen in terms of alchemy (exemplifying the basic maxim solve et coagula). Most importantly, as with the philosophical alchemists, meaning arises as a conjunctio between psyche and matter at a given moment.
Tauber’s is distinctly a woman’s alchemical process: an image of the goddess, numinous and powerful symbol of the Self, concludes the series, and in her exploration the author uncovers the symbolism of the archetypal divine feminine as a hidden presence throughout.
The Soul’s Ministrations has received ample praise as a “gripping and powerful book,” even reminding in its “twists and turns . . . a mystery novel, traversing the borderline between life and death, hope and rage, purpose and despair.” [The author] “. . . follows an arduous path, not only to psychological survival, but to redemption, greater wholeness, and wisdom.” [It is] “. . . a valuable guide to anyone who must struggle with the tragic aspects of life or wishes to learn about the creative depths of the psyche.”
“Marianne Tauber has made an outstanding contribution to Jung’s method of active imagination, including a depth psychological understanding of alchemy.” “The Soul’s Ministrations is one of the best and most inspirational firsthand accounts of how art heals by transforming a period of personal crisis and chaos into life affirming expression.”
Marianne Tauber, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist who received her doctorate in clinical depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. She lives and practices in Los Angeles.
Contact information: Please contact us via email at AshevilleJung@gmail.com