Current Public Programs

Alchemical Active Imagination
Friday, March 4
7:00-9:00 PM
Saturday, March 5
9:00 AM-5:30 PM
Sunday, March 6
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
$380 General Admission
$330 Special Admission
(Full-Time Students, Pacifica Alumni, and Seniors)
$300 Active Pacifica Students

Fees include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Sunday breakfast and lunch

12 Continuing Education Credits for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, LEPs, and RNs
The workshop will be held at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus

Accommodations are available at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus 
Alchemical Active Imagination
Thomas Elsner J.D., M.A., is a certified Jungian analyst, faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and a member of the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California. He trained as a lawyer, and then as a Jungian analyst at The Centre for Depth Psychology. In his research and teaching of Egyptian, Islamic and European alchemy he continues in the lineage of Jung and Von Franz's work. The author of numerous articles, Thomas has taught courses at Pacifica on alchemy for over seven years, as well as presenting this material in England, Ireland, Switzerland, and throughout the United States. He has a private practice in Santa Barbara and is completing a book on Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner as seen from the alchemical and depth psychological perspectives.
Alchemical Active Imagination
A Workshop with Thomas Elsner
at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus
Through the vessel of the Red Book, an extensive 16 year long expression of paintings and inner dialogues, Jung gave creative form to the images, ideas, and dynamics that flooded him from within. In this way, he tells us, he turned a crisis into a process of discovery and transformation. He would later call this creative process “active imagination.” When Jung discovered alchemy he recognized this was what was happening in the symbolic writings and paintings of the alchemists. “In short”, Jung wrote, “the alchemical operation seems to us the equivalent of the psychological process of active imagination” (CW 14, par. 749)

Active imagination is the process of discovering your own myth, the awareness of the deeper meaning of your life, symbolized in alchemy as the creation of the philosopher’s stone. All forms of expression potentially belong to it—the creative, philosophical, and scientific arts—if understood and related to as projected symbolic self-portraits. We will learn about alchemy through an exploration of its rich and fascinating symbolic imagery, and, most importantly, since everyone is an alchemist who gives individual form to an experience of unconscious, we will focus on the experience of your own alchemical opus.

This retreat weekend will provide ample space and time for the unfolding and deepening of your relationship to the unconscious. We will learn from the alchemical flow of psyche among us, as well as individually, as both the individual and group vessels hold the transforming waters of imagination where the psyche grows and fine-tunes itself for life.

General Information

Space is Limited! Register Early! To register, submit the form on the webpage, or print and mail it to the Public Programs Department, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013 or call the Public Programs Department at 805.969.3626, ext. 103. An email confirmation letter will be sent within 5 days of receiving your registration.

To obtain a refund on your registration fee, send a written cancellation request via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or postal mail postmarked no later than thirty days before the event. Tuition less a $50 processing fee will be refunded. No refunds on your registration fee will be made after that time. In the event that the program is sold out with a waitlist and we are able to transfer your registration to someone on the waitlist, we will issue you a refund less the processing fee. Any registration transfers that do not go through our office will be assessed the processing fee onsite. For a refund on accommodations at the Ladera Lane Campus, cancellation with a full refund will be accepted up to 5 days before the event. Cancellations made 1-4 days before the event will receive a 50% refund. There will be no refund for cancellation on the day of the event.

The program will be held at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus at 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. Located on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residential retreat center provides a unique and peaceful environment for these events. This campus has lodging, dining facilities, and parking.

Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus
801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

A limited number of rooms are available for participants at the following rates: $89 per night single occupancy (one twin or standard full size bed) $123 per night couple occupancy (one standard full size bed; not a queen) $136 per night double occupancy (two twin beds) plus 10% occupancy tax Accommodations are simple, dormitory-style rooms with a shared bath and shower. Bed linens and towels are provided. Reservations for rooms must be made through Pacifica’s Public Programs Department.

Meals are provided to encourage ongoing dialogue and community exchange throughout the weekend. Included in your registration fee are Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Sunday breakfast and lunch. No other meals will be available. Pacifica’s caterers make every attempt to provide healthful meals for our guests and include organic ingredients whenever possible.

Major airlines provide service into the Los Angeles International Airport located 90 miles south of the campus and into the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, approximately 18 miles north of the campus. Information on ground transportation to and from Santa Barbara will be included with your confirmation letter.

A limited number of partial financial need scholarships are available for this program. To apply, please complete the online registration form and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted to approve processing of payment. Please note, incomplete applications will not be considered.

12 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the Board of Registered Nurses (provider CEP 7177); for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs through the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (provider #67021); and for psychologists through the California Psychological Association (PAC014). Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance at the program is required to receive a certificate. A $15 fee will be charged for each certificate requested.

It is the policy of Pacifica’s Public Programs Department to accommodate attendees with disabilities in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Please let us know in advance if you have special needs or require assistance due to a disabling condition while you are attending a public program. If you are accompanied by a service dog, please contact Disability Services directly (805.679.6125), as all animals visiting campus must have pre-approval. For additional information regarding Pacifica’s policies, visit
249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, California, 93013 | Telephone: 805.969.3626