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THE MOON AND ITS PHASES: The Mind's Cyclic Journey From the Branches to the Roots of the Tree of Life

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016
  • Tuesday, April 19, 2016
  • 6 sessions
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, April 05, 2016, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Jung Society Library, 5200 Cathedral Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016


  • Members who are Seniors over 65 and Students with ID

Registration is closed

Six Tuesdays, Beginning March 15 (3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19)


Heidi Lindemann and Michael Perry

The Moon with its 28 day lumination cycle travels the length and breadth of The Alchemical Tree of Life and is the symbolic activator of the moods and emotions within an individual's psyche.  But we are only aware of part of this Alchemical inner journey.  The part of the journey of which we are aware is associated with our ambient personality, our “everyday mind.” 

Hidden aspects of the mind of which we are unaware – the  journey of the moon to the roots of the tree of life –can only be approached through noetic experiences brought about through reflection, meditation, dream work, chance, or even accidents.  The study of Moon lore connects the roots, trunk, and branches of The Tree of Life.  The phases of The Moon symbolize the cyclic movement of the mind as it circulates from the highest branch of the psyche to the psyche's deepest roots. 

Astrology is the mother of all alchemical systems; and a source of the symbolic language used by alchemists from culture to culture.  For example, if we use Carl Jung's alchemical work, Mysterium Coniunctionis as a point of departure, then we find in chapter one, sections 1 and 2, that Jung uses astrological concepts in his initial description of alchemy, any one of these terms being worthy of a small text of explanation and elucidation. This is only one reason why the study of astrological symbolism is useful. These symbols came into alchemy from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India via Latin- and Greek- speaking cultures. They entered medieval Europe via Islamic scholarship and European monastic translators.  Jung sites these Greek and Latin works in his bibliography, though not the earlier historic sources that will be part of our consideration.

A key exercise of alchemical work is to find the major positive and negative polarities of the planets within the psyche. This is done to find the dark prima materia necessary for personal transformation.  This search is the origin of introspection, self-study, and meditation.  In this way alchemy is not read; it is experienced.

For the past eight years we have explored symbolism associated with the planets, categorizing them in the following ways:

The Outer Planets governing collectives:
  Pluto: cultural rebirth and regeneration that leads to personal transformative crisis.
Neptune: cultural shadows that give birth to counter cultures and personal transformational choices and compulsions caused by the shadow.
 Uranus: cultural revolutions that cause personal transformation through the awareness of the unorthodox; its 84- year cycle describes the approximate length of a human lifespan.

Taken together these are called: “the roots extending towards hell of The Tree of Life.” 

The Inner Planets governing the life of an individual:
 Saturn: the herald of the life lesson; and the dark angel of learning.  Its approximate 30-year cycle confronts an individual with the life lesson three times in a human lifetime. 
   Mars: energy, rage, enthusiasm, and vitality.
-Venus: the feminine Mars.  Initially described as a more powerful and more malefic version of Mars, Venus brings in its aftermath the possibility of thought, consideration, and the birth of new ideas.

The Indian goddesses Kali, Durga, and Bhairavi are examples of this aspect of Venus.  They all defeated the most powerful of masculine gods in their mythological stories – the fierceness of their revelation fomented transformation.

Taken together the Inner Planets are called “the trunk and branches of the Tree of Life ascending towards heaven.”

In this course we will study the movement of the Moon through the individual birth chart as it passes the planets that we have previously discussed.  The nature of the astrological aspect called the conjunction
will be highlighted by our discussion of the 28-day lumination cycle of the moon.  We will also contrast and compare symbolic traditions that consider the moon to be feminine with cultures that consider the moon to be masculine.

Heidi Lindemann and Michael Perry are lineage holders in the Kriya yoga tradition (an Indian alchemical tradition) and are authorized to initiate and teach Kriya yoga and its related teachings. The techniques of Kriya yoga involve a psycho-physical means of self-inquiry and are an initiated path to understanding one's own psyche in the context of the macrocosm. The Swami order is one of the oldest, continuous, living initiatory and alchemical systems extant. Heidi and Michael combine their experience to make yogic teachings accessible to western minds by use of comparative mythology, storytelling, astrology, and other symbolic systems. They are regular course leaders at the Jung Society, the Theosophical Society, and have delivered lectures on Samkhyayoga to colleges and seminaries.


5200 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


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The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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