The Black Sun, The Alchemy and Art of Darkness

Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemist and Their Royal Art. Johannes Fabricius

Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemist and Their Royal Art. Johannes Fabricius

Many years ago I was talking to a freind, Holger Bush about some deep astrological transits and dark shadowy experiences I was going through that involved Pluto and Saturn.

I had recently had an awesome numinous dream about a black sun. He said that the black sun was related to Saturn (The alchemist Jean Dubuis, in a lecture before the Philosophers of Nature stated that "this black sun of Saturn is the one that emits all the mystical influences of Saturn).

He also recommended the book, The Black Sun, The Alchemy and Art of Darkness by Stanton Martin.

"The black sun, an ages-old image of the darkness in individual lives and in life itself, has not been treated hospitably in the modern world. Modern psychology has seen darkness primarily as a negative force, something to move through and beyond, but it actually has an intrinsic importance to the human psyche. In this book, Jungian analyst Stanton Marlan reexamines the paradoxical image of the black sun and the meaning of darkness in Western culture.

In the image of the black sun, Marlan finds the hint of a darkness that shines. He draws upon his clinical experiences—and on a wide range of literature and art, including Goethe’s Faust, Dante’s Inferno, the black art of Rothko and Reinhardt—to explore the influence of light and shadow on the fundamental structures of modern thought as well as the contemporary practice of analysis. He shows that the black sun accompanies not only the most negative of psychic experiences but also the most sublime, resonating with the mystical experience of negative theology, the Kabbalah, the Buddhist notions of the void, and the black light of the Sufi Mystics.

An important contribution to the understanding of alchemical psychology, this book draws on a postmodern sensibility to develop an original understanding of the black sun. It offers insight into modernity, the act of imagination, and the work of analysis in understanding depression, trauma, and transformation of the soul. Marlan’s original reflections help us to explore the unknown darkness conventionally called the Self."       Amazon Review

"Since Jung first opened the obscurities of alchemy to psychological insight, no one has done a book as thorough, as rich, and as significant as this astounding work by Stanton Marlan. More: it reaches beyond Western alchemy into Eastern knowledge and arcane systems of inspiration and yet it is directly relevant to the darkness eclipsing the consciousness of our time. " James Hillman (One of my favorite authors)

Needless to say, I bought the book. It is one of my go to books when the darkness descends and I take to the bath or the bedroom. The darkness is challenging, dangerous and infinitely rewarding.

The darkness swallowed my father.

Part of my journey is to face the darkness and open into it. That is where I met the "Black Sun", a darkness that is luminous and I do not mean only metaphorically, also called the "Sol Nigra".

We feel it important to include that shadow side to our healing work as most everyone I know and I have worked with faces the shadow at some point in their journey. We need tools and support to dive into these realms. I want to acknowledge that I had and still have a lot of support that I count on when i get pulled in. This provides me the necessary safety to descend deeply to where the "Sol Nigra" shines.

Find your support. You could begin with this book.