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ARAS Connections
Image and Archetype
• 2010 • Issue 3 •
In This Issue

Welcome by Tom Singer

A New Book from ARAS

In the Footsteps: The Story of an Initiatory Drawing by Dr. Joseph Henderson by Tom Singer

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This is a thrilling moment in the seventy-five-year history of ARAS, dating back to the Eranos Archive in Switzerland. Taschen Books, a premier international publisher, is about to release The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images, the latest ARAS publication, which has been thirteen years in the making. It will be available in bookstores by mid-November. In an age of instant messaging and news that comes and goes in ever decreasing cycles, the creation of this book is an amazing story in perseverance and taking the time to get it right. The Book of Symbols represents a rare collaboration and distillation of the creative efforts of many individuals. In a future issue, we will ask Ami Ronnberg, the curator of National ARAS and the inspirational force behind the creation of this book, to provide ARAS Connections with a narrative history of its making. But first, we want The Book of Symbols to make its debut, and for you to see it. It is a beautiful book, bringing together approximately 350 original essays on particular symbols with close to 800 stunning, full color images from cave drawings to contemporary art.
ARAS Connections now has close to 4,000 subscribers and we urge all of you to support the tremendous effort of energy, time and money behind the production of this book by ordering your copy through our direct online arrangement with Amazon. By purchasing the book directly from us, you donate a portion of the proceeds to ARAS--so that we can continue to develop our ongoing study of the symbolic life in imagery that ranges across all ages and all cultures, and continue to produce books of this quality.
It seems particularly fitting in this edition of ARAS Connections to pair our proud announcement of the new ARAS publication with the study of an 80 year old symbolic painting by Joseph Henderson, one of the pioneering figures in the creation of National ARAS. Dr. Joseph Henderson died in 2007 at the age of 104. His interest in symbolic imagery dates back to the very beginnings of ARAS and to an early time in the history of Analytical Psychology when Jung and his followers were avidly painting the psyche with a fascination for the symbolic traditions of many different cultures. Over the span of many decades, Dr. Henderson's knowledge and commitment helped shape National ARAS in its vision and in the way in which symbolic imagery is studied and organized. In addition, a substantial portion of the funds to build this very site, ARAS Online, came in honor of Dr. Henderson's life-long contribution to ARAS. In this issue, we present the story of a painting that Dr. Henderson created in 1931. It demonstrates the timeless and living reality of symbolic imagery in the expression of the human psyche.
Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of ARAS Online for National ARAS

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A New Book from ARAS
The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images

The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images

Published by Taschen
November 2010
"Poised at the brink of consciousness, from the depths of the psyche, images come alive as living symbols and portend new possibilities. The Book of Symbols is a reliable compendium of potentially transformative images and essays, an essential guide to symbolic images for therapists, artists, art historians, designers and all explorers of the inner life. Highly recommended."

James C. Harris, MD, Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Art and Images Editor, Archives of General Psychiatry

The Book of Symbols combines approximately 350 original essays about particular symbols with images from cave art to contemporary art. The thought-provoking texts and 800 beautiful, full-color images come together in a unique way to convey hidden dimensions of meaning. The Book of Symbols illustrates how to move from the visual experience of a symbolic image in art, religion, life, or dreams, to directly experiencing its personal and psychological resonance.
Click here to pre-order your copy today on Amazon!

In the Footsteps: The Story of an Initiatory Drawing by Dr. Joseph Henderson
The following paper was written by Thomas Singer, M.D. It first appeared as a chapter in the book Initiation: The Living Reality of an Archetype, which was edited by Thomas Kirsch, Virginia Beane Rutter, and Thomas Singer and published by Routledge in 2007. The chapter was based on a series of interviews that Dr. Singer conducted with Dr. Henderson over a two-year span. At the time of the interviews, Dr. Henderson was over 100 years old, but his memory for the events and details surrounding this 1931 drawing and its meaning were remarkably fresh and alive. It was as if the symbolic drawing continued to give life and renew Dr. Henderson, even as he prepared for death.

Drawing by Dr. Joseph Henderson

An excerpt from In the Footsteps: The Story of an Initiatory Drawing by Dr. Joseph Henderson by Tom Singer:
This chapter tells the story about a drawing – about its creation and its meaning to the man who drew it, Dr. Joseph Henderson. The narrative unfolds on many different levels simultaneously. A few of the levels that the reader may want to keep in mind about this remarkable drawing and its even more remarkable creator are:
1. This is the story of a young man's search for meaning, orientation, and even the renewal and transformation of his life at a critical moment in his development.
2. This is the story of the making of a special kind of drawing – a drawing based largely on the inner reality of the psyche rather than the outer circumstances of a life – although the outer circumstances are essential to the inner events.
3. The "language" of the drawing comes from the world of dreams, of the imagination, of myth, and it is expressed symbolically. The drawing itself tells a story just as there is a story behind the making of the drawing.
4. This is a story that takes place at a particularly "ripe" time both in modern history and in the early development of the Jungian tradition – just between the two world wars and at the peak of the Great Depression – 1930 and 1931.
The telling of this story best begins with a recounting of how the drawing first came to my attention – just about seventy-five years after it was drawn. As part of celebrating Dr. Henderson's one hundredth birthday in 2003, a fund honoring his remarkable career and life was established. A committee was formed to decide the most fitting way to use the fund's generous contributions and it became clear that republishing Thresholds of Initiation – Dr. Henderson's seminal book – was the perfect tribute.
Read the entire paper.

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