Dissertation Title:

Active Imagination and Archetypal Astrology in C. G. Jung’s Black Books


Danielle Meyer

Date, Time & Place:

March 13, 2023 at 2:00 pm


This archetypal astrological and hermeneutic study explores Carl Gustav Jung’s The Black Books 1913-1932: Notebooks of Transformation, a collection of his private journals published in 2020, comprising his visions (or “active imaginations”) from 1913 to 1932. The journals detail Jung’s encounter with the depths of his psyche, initiated by a personal crisis, in which he engaged in dialogue with imaginal figures. Throughout his life, Jung was involved in the study of astrology, and recently his ideas were influential on the emergence of the discipline of archetypal cosmology, which studies the correlation between planetary positions and the manifestations of archetypes in human experience. Specifically, this dissertation uses the methods of birth-chart analysis and transit analysis to illuminate images of specific archetypal complexes, or deep patterns, in the psyche that individuals carry with them through life or that manifest during specific periods. The results indicate The Black Books are filled with imagery of landscapes, figures, feelings, and dialogues that correlate to specific archetypal complexes associated especially with various combinations of the planetary archetypes Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as symbolized in Jung’s birth chart and transits occurring at the time. This astrological approach offers a roadmap of Jung’s individuation and contributes to our understanding of the role of planetary archetypes in human experiences by a careful examination of one individual’s encounter with the unconscious.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization (Emphasis) in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, N, 2016
  • Chair: Dr. Keiron Le Grice
  • Reader: Dr. Becca Tarnas
  • External Reader: Dr. Jay Dufrechou
  • Keywords: Active Imagination, Archetypal Astrology, C. G. Jung, The Black Books, Astrological Hermeneutics, Planetary Archetypes, Individuation