Aurora Consurgens: A document attributed to Thomas Aquinas on the problem of opposites in alchemy

Originally published in 1966 as a companion volume to Jung’s major work, Mysterium Coniunctionis, this scholarly gem is scattered throughout with insights relevant to the psychological process of individuation.

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Author: Edited with a commentary by Marie-Louise von Franz
No. Pages: 576
ISBN: 9780919123908

Aurora Consurgens is a rare medieval alchemical treatise, reputed to be the last work of St. Thomas Aquinas, which was rediscovered by Jung in the course of his researches.  It bears out Jung’s long-standing view that the traditional practice of alchemy is best understood symbolically, as an attempt to express unconscious psychic contents through their projection onto matter.

The analysis of Aurora Consurgens by Marie-Louise von Franz suggests that the author experienced a breakthrough of the unconscious while in an ecstatic state shortly before his death.  History records that Thomas Aquinas died in a trance soon after expounding the Song of Songs, and Aurora ends with a paraphrase of the same Biblical verses and a vision of the mystic marriage.  Marie-Louise von Franz’s penetrating commentary shows how Jung’s analytical psychology may be used as a key to ‘unlock’ the meaning of this cryptic but psychologically significant text.

The Medieval Latin text is given with a translation by A.S.B. Glover.  Von Franz’s commentary has been translated from German by R.F.C. Hull, who also translated Jung’s Collected Works.