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The Book of Pictures by Zosimos of Panopolis:

Towards a Psychological Interpretation Relevant Today


Presented by Holly J. Fincher, PhD 


Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11 am - 1 pm PDT (UTC - 7)

link to video

In 1988 an Arabic copy of an ancient Greek alchemical text by the first alchemist, Zosimos of Panopolis (3rd/4th century, CE), entitled Mushaf as-suwar, The Book of Pictures, was discovered languishing in an Istanbul library.  The subsequent translation of this important document into English has resulted in the discovery of a kind of bridge between the ancient roots of alchemy and the later and more abstract texts of Latin alchemy. From this, a more resolute understanding of the psychological meaning behind symbolic alchemy can be ascertained. Marie-Louise von Franz is said to have commented that The Book of Pictures is an essential document for western civilization for the way it illustrates how to deal with the collective unconscious.  This lecture will introduce the material, explore the possible meaning of Dr. Von Franz’s statement, and consider the psychological insights hidden within a selection of pictures. 

Holly J. Fincher PhD, is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist whose research, writing and practice is focused on the reality of the living objective psyche and its manifestations in everyday life.  Areas of special interest include symbolic alchemy and picture interpretation. A Southern California native, Holly has been a member of the C.G. Jung Club of Orange County since the mid 1990’s and is currently the Club’s Program Officer.  She lives in rural New Hampshire where an old farmhouse, a small flock of sheep, and three border collies keep her busy.

Learning objectives: 

  • Explain the psychological meaning behind symbolic alchemy.

  • Define the term “collective unconscious” and explain its connection to Zosimos of Panopolis’s The Book of Pictures.

  • List three examples of pictures from The Book of Pictures and identify the hidden psychological insights within each picture.




Registration is free but REQUIRED in order to view the program live.  You will not be admitted to the Zoom session unless you have registered.  Use this link to 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.

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