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INTRODUCING THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MARIE-LOUISE VON FRANZ, a Special Program with Editor Steve Buser and Panelists Melanie Starr Costello, Gary Sparks, and Monika Wikman

  • Sunday, February 28, 2021
  • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Zoom, Eastern Time



Special Program

Join us as Dr. Steve Buser, M.D., one of two General Editors of The Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franztakes us through a history of the project, an overview of von Franz’s life and work, as well as a deep dive into the first two volumes of this foundational material. panel presentation with three experts will follow for the next hour, including Melanie Starr Costello, Gary Sparks, and Monika Wikman. The remaining time will be reserved for questions and answers. 

The Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz is a 28-volume opus of one of the leading minds in Jungian Psychology. The first volume, Archetypal Symbols in Fairytales: The Profane and Magical Worlds, released on her 106th birthday, January 4th , 2021, is to be followed by 27 more volumes over the next 10 years. Volume 2 looks at the hero’s journey and should be released in the next couple of months.

Marie-Louise von Franz At the age of eighteen, she was invited to meet Carl Gustav Jung at Bolingen Tower. She immediately recognized that there exist two levels of reality, one outer and the other inner. Within months she had enrolled at the University of Zürich and began attending Jung’s lectures at the E.T.H. (Eidgenösiche Technische Hochshule or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). Less than a decade after meeting Jung, von Franz had completed her doctorate in classical philology and begun seeing her first analysands. She was a prolific writer, a dedicated teacher and lecturer, and was possessed of a “far-reaching and often non-discriminating Eros that accepted everyone seeking help” (Alfred Ribi, MD in Fountain of the Love of Wisdom, Chiron, 2006).

Volume One is Archetypal Symbols in Fairytales. Herein Von Franz, one of the most renowned authorities on fairytales, presents a systematic and wide-ranging approach. She amplifies a variety of fairytale motifs to show that the magical realm is alien to the profane and mundane realm of ordinary daily life. She was one of Analytical Psychology’s most original thinkers, and here she presents a lucid, concise exploration of the archetypal symbols found in fairytales. Fairytales, like myths, provide a cultural and societal backdrop that helps the human imagination narrate the meaning of life’s events. The remarkable similarities in fairytale motifs across different lands and cultures inspired many scholars to search for the original homeland of fairytales. While peregrinations of fairytale motifs occur, the common root of fairytales is more archetypal than geographic. A striking feature of fairytales is that a sense of space, time, and causality is absent. This situates them in a magical realm, a land of the soul, where the most interesting things happen in the center of places like Heaven, mountains, lakes, and wells.

Panelists will share how von Franz's work had an impact on their work and life:

Melanie Starr Costello, Ph.D., will comment on “von Franz’s treatment of the motif of the helpful animal in fairy tales and how it demonstrates the creativity of her thinking, particularly on the question of the relation of nature and spirit." While a training candidate at the C G. Institut-Zurich, Dr. Costello studied with analysts who had worked closely with von Franz. She was inspired by von Franz’s legacy, evident, not just in her writings, but in the reverence she instilled in people for psyche’s symbolic and transformative processes.

Gary Sparks, M. Div., will focus on "How Marie-Louise von Franz Changed My Life." He knew Marie-Louise von Franz as a lecturer, examiner, and thesis advisor.

Monika Wikman, Ph.D., will focus on dreams, death, and the subtle Body. Her connection with von Franz was through her work on Dreams and Death; Monika was advised by von Franz on her project at the time, and continues to be a specialist on the topic.

Steven Buser, M.D., trained in medicine at Duke University and served 12 years as a physician in the U.S. Air Force. He is a graduate of the two-year Clinical Training Program at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and is the co-founder of the Asheville Jung Center. He has worked for over 30 years in psychiatry with a focus on Jungian oriented psychotherapy. He currently works in the field of addiction medicine and serves as Publisher of Chiron Publications. He along with fellow publisher Leonard Cruz are the General Editors of The Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz, a 28 volume series. 

Melanie Starr Costello, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, historian, and senior Jungian analyst in private practice in the Washington, D.C. region. She is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institut-Zurich where she currently serves as a training analyst. She earned her doctorate in the History and Literature of Religions from Northwestern University and formerly taught as an Assistant Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She has served as a Trustee for the Consortium for Psychoanalytic Research in Washington, D.C., as Director of Education for the Jungian Analysts of Washington Association and as member of the Board of the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York. Dr. Costello has taught and written on the topics of psychology and religion, medieval spirituality, aging, and clinical practice. Her study of the link between illness and insight, entitled Imagination, Illness and Injury: Jungian Psychology and the Somatic Dimensions of Perception, is published by Routledge Press.

J. Gary Sparks is a 1982 diploma graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute-Zürich. He is the author of At the Heart of Matter: Synchronicity and Jung's Spiritual Testament, Valley of Diamonds: Adventures in Number and Time with Marie Louise von Franz, and Carl Jung and Arnold Toynbee: The Social Meaning of Inner Work. As a contributor to the recent Zürich publication of Jung's Red Book for Our Time, he finds endless wealth in Jung's inner creative journey.  In addition, his interests include:  the state of feminine consciousness; the healthy purpose of darkness, depression, failure, and despair; the development and use of creative imagination; the relationship between an individual and society; and the parallels between the new physics and Jung's psychology. He lives and practices in Indianapolis

Monika Wikman, Ph.D, is a Jungian analyst and astrologer. Author of Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness, she has also contributed chapters, articles and poems to numerous publications including a chapter in The Dream and Its Amplification, edited by Erel Shalit and Nancy Furlotti. A graduate of the Jung–Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zürich, she taught for many years in the graduate department at California State University, Los Angeles, and was a dream researcher at UCSD Medical Center on "Dreams of the Dying."   She hosts a non-profit project under, The Center for Alchemical Studies.  Podcasts with Monika on various topics can be found at and

Order your copy of Volume I of the Collected Works at the link below:

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