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The Insect and the Dark Sun

Presented by

Eva Wertenschlag-Birkhäuser, MA, Diplomate Jungian Analyst 

Sunday, December 12, 2021, 11 am  - 1 pm PST (UTC - 8)


This program will not be recorded.

This presentation will provide an experience of the dreams and paintings of the Swiss artist Peter Birkhäuser (1911-1976).  A unique aspect of Birkhäuser’s paintings is that they express a modern individual’s call by the inner world. 

During his life, the neuroses and depression that afflicted him became an opening to the creative power of the objective psyche. Birkhäuser was given new life and meaning by allowing this unknown factor to express itself on canvas. Who is this unknown guest, that sometimes takes the shape of an insect? It turns out to be the completely “other” who fertilizes the soul. Its dark eye seems to be the sun in its nocturnal state when the light is reborn.  


Marie-Louise von Franz had this to say about one of Birkhäuser’s dreams:


“A wonderful dream! These dream images show impregnation by the dark god. The dark chthonic god is trying to make the soul fecund. We are living in outwardly evil times, but underneath great things are in motion, as at the time of Christ's birth. This underlying process, the hieros gamos, is being illustrated here. It is the fundament of the world, but it is taking place in you.”

Birkhäuser’s work is thus a dialogue with the unknown “other,” and their mutual transformation. The “other” turns out to be the creative spirit of nature, of our instinct, the bringer of renewal. The artist’s own individuation process can be seen as a pregnancy depicted in pictures, bringing forth a new myth.

Eva Wertenschlag-Birkhäuser, MA, Diplomate Jungian Analyst, born in Basel, Switzerland, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Berne. She received her diploma as an analyst from the C.G. Jung Institute Küsnacht (Zürich) and is President of the Research and Training Centre for Depth Psychology (Zürich) where she is also a faculty member and a training analyst.  She has published several books on the religious and healing dimensions of her father’s artwork. In her forthcoming book on the creation myth of the West African Dogon people, she explores their archaic vision of the creation and transformation of consciousness.

English language book on the artwork, with plates:  Windows on Eternity

Peter and Sibylle Birkhäuser-Oeri Foundation website

Learning objectives:

  • Explain how archetypal movements in the collective unconscious can contribute to individuation.

  • Explain the underlying process by which creative activities, such as painting, may become a dialogue with the unconscious and thereby lead to an individual’s transformation and renewal.




Pre-registration is REQUIRED.  You will not be admitted to the Zoom session unless you have pre-registered.  Use this link to pre-register for this program.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Continuing Education (CE)

This course meets the qualifications for 2 CE hours for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs.


  • Use the CE Registration Form to pay $15 and register to be awarded 2 CE hours for this program.  

  • Attend the entire program (Zoom records the attendance times of attendees).

  • A Certificate of Completion will then be emailed within ten days.

For more information about the awarding of continuing education units, visit our CE web page.

If you are not satisfied with a program, please email us your grievance.

Sun of the Night, 1966 - 72

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