ARASThe Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism

Visit ARAS Online


News from ARAS
• 2007 • Issue 4 •

Joe Henderson died at the age of l04 on November 17, 2007. A fine obituary by Tom Kirsch is featured in this edition of ARAS Online. What I would like to add to Dr. Kirsch's comments is that you would not be reading this newsletter and, in fact, there would not be an ARAS Online at all if not for Dr. Henderson's invaluable contributions and inspiration to National ARAS for many decades. In his numerous contributions to ARAS, I would like to highlight two:
1. The format of the archive: Dr. Henderson collaborated closely with Jessie Fraser, the long time curator of ARAS in New York. Together, they developed a system for categorizing the 17,000 images and commentary of the ARAS archive based on archetypal themes. Dr. Henderson long advocated understanding the psyche in terms of it layering into archetypal, cultural and personal unconscious levels. This theoretical orientation informed the very structure of ARAS by differentiating archetypal themes from their manifestation in cultural context--and one can see that differentiation manifested in how material is presented throughout the archive.
2. Dr. Henderson taught and inspired many people to learn about and use ARAS as a tool for circumambulating symbolic material. He was a master of the art of understanding symbolic material and for years his lectures at the Friends of ARAS events in San Francisco explored archetypal imagery in the most creative way. Dr. Henderson's almost instinctive knowledge of the language of symbolic imagery was uncanny. It was as if he was born knowing the hieroglyphics of the soul that is at the heart of the ARAS collection. He could "read" a Paul Klee painting as if it was the easiest and most natural thing in the world to do. He knew the "art of the psyche" with a deep "eye" for seeing and understanding its notation and meaning. A substantial portion of the funding for the creation of ARAS Online was raised and donated in Dr. Henderson's honor by those who had worked with him and loved him. For this reason, it is fair to say that we owe the very existence of ARAS Online itself in great part to the irreplaceable contributions and sprit of Dr. Joseph Henderson. ARAS Online is a living memorial to his vision and commitment to the ongoing development of the ARAS archive.
Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of the ARAS Online Committee
ARAS Hint: Zoom on In

Many ARAS images are rich in detail.  When you're looking at a full-size image and spot a small part that you would like to see more clearly, just click on that spot.  In a second or so, the image will zoom in!
For example:

 zooms to 

You can zoom up to four times, allowing you to see quite small features within a big picture.  As with any photograph,  zooming shows more details, but it can get a tad blurrier.
Once you zoom, you can easily see nearby parts of the image by dragging (hold down the left mouse button and push the part you don't want off-screen).  Use this also if you didn't zoom to quite the right spot.
Zoom and drag let you select which part of an image to put into a PowerPoint presentation.  Just zoom and drag to what you want, effectively cropping out the other parts, and then cut-and-paste to copy that into your presentation.  You'll find it pastes in just the visible part of the image.
If you zoom in too far, use the Zoom Out button below the image to zoom back out a level.  The Full button instantly restores the image to its original size.

Send Us Your Questions
If you have questions about specific images, searching, how to use ARAS, or archetypal symbolism in general, please email them to us at
Joseph L. Henderson, M.D., 1903-2007
By Tom Kirsch, M.D.
November 19, 2007

Dr. Joseph Henderson, the dean of American Jungian analysts for the past 50 years, died at the age of 104 on November 17th after a brief illness. Henderson was the last living link to a generation who sought analysis with C.G. Jung in Zürich between 1920 and the beginning of World War II in 1939 and who later became analysts themselves.

Joseph Lewis Henderson was born in Elko, Nevada on August 31, 1903 of a prominent Nevada family which was active in politics and business in the late 19th and early 20th century. His uncle, Charles Henderson, was Under Secretary of the Navy under FDR during World War I and later became a U.S. Senator from the state of Nevada. Henderson went east to Lawrenceville School in New Jersey where his tutor was Thornton Wilder. He graduated from Princeton in 1927 with a Bachelor of Arts in French literature. Following graduation he returned to San Francisco where he became a drama critic and book reviewer for two small magazines.
In 1929 he traveled to Zürich for a year of analysis with C.G. Jung, and he was a participant in Jung's "Dream Seminar" published by Princeton University press in 1984. He entered medical school at St. Bartholomew's in London, graduating in 1938. During breaks in his studies he returned for further analysis with Jung.
In 1938 he returned to New York to open a practice of Jungian analysis. In 1940, eager to return to the West Coast, he and his wife, Helena Darwin Cornford, and their daughter Elizabeth, moved to San Francisco where he was a co-founder of the first professional Jungian group in the West. During World War II, he worked at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco along with fellow co-founder Jo Wheelwright evaluating returning military personnel from the South Pacific. He taught at the old Presbyterian Medical Center, the former home of Stanford Medical School, as a regular faculty member until the medical school moved to its new home on the Stanford campus in 1959.
As co-founder of the Jung Institute in San Francisco, he was twice its past president, and he has been influential in the professional development of many subsequent Jungian analysts in their various endeavors. He also was instrumental in the San Francisco Institute acquiring a large collection of images with their psychological commentary, which became the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, otherwise known as ARAS. When ARAS evolved into a national organization he served on the board for many years, and at the time of his death he was a lifetime honorary member.
Click here to view the rest of this article; also read the New York Times article

Help Support ARAS

By Carol Sellers Herbert, Board Member,
Until 2005, the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism was available only in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.  With the development of ARAS Online this 17,000 image Archive is now available worldwide.  It can be accessed in every country, every village, every home that has an internet connection.
ARAS Online is supported solely by your donations and membership fees.  It has no other source of income.

Please remember ARAS Online when you are planning your year-end contributions.  The Archive is a unique resource for disseminating images and texts related to the archetypal nature of the unconscious psyche, so central to Jung's researches. We are committed to making this rich collection available to the world.  Thank you for your generosity. 

More Research from ARAS: The World Tree
Introduction by Ami Ronnberg, Managing Editor and Curator - ARAS New York
As the year is coming to an end, we are sending you a newly written entry on The World Tree. In religious imagination the world over, the natural tree has become an image of the world, where the crown touching the sky and the roots reaching into the earth are connected through the trunk, suggesting the union of above and below, heaven and earth, temporal and eternal. At this time, the image of the tree in the form of the Menorah and Christmas tree is lighting up the darkness around us. The burning oil lamps and the candles bring the same promise - that the light will return. This is how another entry in the Archive describes it:

"The menorah combines two primordial images that are normally antagonistic to each other: a growing thing (tree or bush) and a burning thing (fire, sun, etc.). With the fusion of these two, a symbol expressive of the spiritual as coming both from above (heaven) and below (earth) is formed. Similar to the menorah is the traditional Christmas tree, which combines the two same elements: the living tree holding up burning candles. Associated since medieval times with the winter solstice, the menorah and the Christmas tree serve as reminders of the life and the light that have disappeared from the earth during the long dark days of deepest winter." (For the complete text, see ARAS record 6Rb.205).


From its tangle of roots burrowing into the secrets of the earth to its topmost leaves that sparkle with the stars, the World Tree upholds the universe. A dynamic bridge between above and below, its massive trunk, spine of the middleworld, connects and supports all life: creatures of the underworld creep and tunnel within its limitless root web; while birds make music in the airy freedom of its upperworld branches. In between, many animals - including human beings - are sustained by its manifold gifts of flowers, leaves, fruit, nuts and sheltering branches. The World Tree is both axis mundi and a living reservoir of life. It speaks to us equally of stability and motion: the perfect order and harmony of the cosmos, and the ceaseless activity of life as it pours forth its creative abundance.
Click here to see images of the World Tree and the rest of this article

This newsletter comes to you from ARAS, a non-profit organization.   Visit our web site.  Become a member by joining online.  If you do not wish to receive these e-mail newsletters in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the subject line.  Copyright © 2007 ARAS.  All Rights Reserved.
ARAS 28th East 39th New York City, NY 10016 (646) 536-2632
2 007