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Sacred Vessel: Jung, Alchemy, and the Body


Sacred Vessel: Jung, Alchemy, and the Body
A Weekend Workshop with Matthew Van Der Giessen

  • Presentation: Friday, May 25, 7-8:30pm, $15

  • Workshop: Saturday, May 26 & Sunday, May 27, 11-5pm, $200 (includes Friday evening presentation)

Jung’s lifelong study of the human psyche took him to the depths where consciousness emerges from the unknown.  At this interface, he discovered images that are common across individuals, and across cultures: archetypes that form the deep structure of our identity.  

His journey took him into the world of alchemy, the millennia long search for the alchemical stone or gold, distilled from base substances of matter.  Jung recognized the images that emerged from alchemical thought as archetypes that showed the evolution of human consciousness. 

The physical focus of alchemy’s spiritual practice also shows a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between mind and body.  The substance that alchemy sought to distill was often described as the soul lost in matter.  A vessel needed to be created that had the integrity to stand being heated, allowing the essential substance to be released.  Today, we can see these images as the need for self-containment if we are to stand the challenges of an evolving self.  

In this workshop we will explore how our body is shaped within by the imaginal body.  Through experiential exercises with image and movement, we will work with ideas from somatic psychology, touch and movement practices so that we can deepen our understanding of how we are held in the world, and how through the body we can listen to the emerging voice within.  

The workshop will have two parts: 

  • Friday evening presentation: 7pm - 8:30pm, $15.00
  • Saturday and Sunday workshop: 11am - 5pm, $200.00 (includes Friday evening presentation)



Matthew is a massage therapist, educator, and a student of Somatics, the relationship between embodiment and identity.  You can read more about Matthew and his work here