Entering the Magical Realm: Enchantment, Wonder and the Way of Marie-Louise von Franz

Community Day 2023
In-Person Only
Steve Buser, MD
March 18 | 9:00AM-5:00PM
McCormick Lounge – Loyola University Chicago Lakeshore Campus, Coffey Hall (MAP)
$125 | $100 Members | $75 Students
6 CEs Available (Purchase Separately)

Online registration is now closed. Walk-in registration is available for this event. Walk-ins can still register for CEs via the website, HERE.



Online registration is now closed. Walk-in registration is available for this event. Walk-ins can still register for CEs via the website, HERE.

  • CEs: If you would like CEs for this event, you must purchase them separately HERE (About CEs)
  • Parking and public transit information is available on the Loyola University Chicago website.  A motorized cart will be available for those individuals desiring assistance from and back to the parking facility. Campus Map
  • COVID-19 Policy: This event follows the Loyola University Health, Safety, and Well-Being Guidelines:  “All University guests are encouraged but not required to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations to attend campus events. This means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose when eligible. Masks are not required but are strongly encouraged for those seeking additional COVID-19 mitigation at events.”

Fairy tales and life after death are central subjects in the extensive writings of Marie-Louise von Franz, a leading 20th Century mind in Jungian theory.  In two presentations and a panel discussion, Dr. Steven Buser, psychiatrist and general editor of the 28 volume Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz, will give an overview of von Franz’s life and work, her interpretive approach to fairy tales, and conclude with a review of her perspective on death, the afterlife, and her concept of “constructing the diamond body for eternity.”


Presentation # 1:  The Spiritual/Archetypal Symbolisms in Fairy Tales.  (Vol. 1 & 2 in the Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz.)

Marie-Louise von Franz is arguably the world’s most renowned authority on fairy tales.  After giving an overview of her life, Dr. Buser will explore her 9-step process of fairy tale interpretation, as well as her writings on the Hero’s Journey, the Great Mother, the Demonic Son, the Magical Daughter and other primary archetypal symbols. He will conclude with her interpretation of one of her favorite fairy tales, The Three Feathers.  Join us for an overview of the life and work of this historical giant in Jungian psychology.

Fairy Tales reviewed: 1. Three Feathers, 2. Cinderella, 3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (PDF of these fairy tales will be included in the order confirmation after registering).

Panel Presentation #2: The Heroine’s Journey and the Evil Stepmother—Inside and Outside.
Panelists: Steven Buser, MD, Lynne Copp, PhD, and Laura Monschau, PhD

A poisoned apple.  An evil stepmother.  A cold dark tower.  The heroine is confronted out of the darkness of her own unconscious. Will she be devoured by the dark animus of the archetypal evil stepmother, or can she confront her ghosts and transform them into a healing space of strength?

The heroine navigates a complicated maze of inner and outer relationships as she builds a bridge to the unconscious.  The heroine contends with the animus in many form—a devouring and incestuous father, a demonic groom, a beautiful prince, an androgenous mother.  Dangers and pitfalls await her as the conscious feminine strives to make connections with the unconscious masculine.  The maiden is the undeveloped feminine and the promised fruit of her struggle with the animus is the conjunctio.  Join us as we delve into Volume 3 of her Collected Works, exploring The Maiden Quest. 

Presentation #3: Life Beyond Death: Constructing the Diamond Body to Withstand Eternity.

Marie-Louise von Franz had a strong belief in the afterlife.  She worked with hundreds of dreams of those in the process of dying and used them as glimpses into death and what happens to the soul after death.  She discovered clear patterns and concluded that one brings into the afterlife only those elements they were able to make conscious over their lifetime.   She saw one’s diamond body or subtle body as an indestructible soul-body that survives the fire of death.  She even describes the “physics of death” in her work on supra-luminal frequencies and how we pass through these initially at birth and again at death.  Join us as we explore the profound mysteries of death and the afterlife.  (Volume 23 of the Collected Works)


8:30-9:00 Arrival and check-in (beverage and light snack provided)
9:00-10:30 Steve Buser, MD
The Spiritual/Archetypal Symbolism in Fairy Tales
10:30-10:50 Break (Beverage and snack provided)
11:00-12:00 Panel Discussion: Steve Buser, MD, Lynne Copp, PhD, and Laura Monschau, PhD
The Heroine’s Journey and the Evil Stepmother—Inside and Outside
12:00-1:00 Lunch (Box lunches provided)
1:00-1:15 Institute President’s address
1:15-2:30 Small Group Discussions – Fairy tales to be discussed (one per group):

  1. Hansel and Gretel
  2. Rapunzel
  3. The Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty)
  4. Golden Feet
  5. The Man Who Remained under the Earth
2:30-3:00 Break (Beverage and snack provided)
3:00-4:30 Steve Buser
Life Beyond Death: Constructing the Diamond Body to Withstand Eternity
4:30-5:00 Wrap-up

Recommended Reading

Learning Objectives

Lecture 1 [Intro to fairytales / Hero]

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the 4 primary archetypal figures in narratives, particularly fairytale material, and how a client’s unconscious psyche interacts with such material.
  2. List the typical 4 elements within a quaternity structure in narratives / fairytales and how they relate to the 4 typological functions.
  3. Explain how a particular ending within a narrative correlates to the level of psychological development of individuals.

Lecture 2 [Maiden’s Quest]

  1. Describe how particular numbers within narratives are related to degrees of wholeness within an individual.
  2. Explain how a longed-for marriage within a narrative correlates to the transcendent function with the psyche.
  3. Describe the clinical effects on a client’s psyche of a smothering chthonic  maternal image.

Lecture 3 [Death]

  1. Describe how unconscious images towards the end of a client’s life assist in a sense of acceptance and reduced anxiety.
  2. Discuss how a belief in the afterlife assists (or hinders) clients near the end of their life.
  3. Compare different views of the afterlife and how a client’s unconscious may interact with them.


Steven Buser

Steven Buser, MD trained in medicine at Duke University and served 12 years as a physician in the U.S. Air Force. He is a graduate of the two-year Jungian Psychotherapy Program at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and is the co-founder of the Asheville Jung Center. He has worked for over 30 years in psychiatry with a focus on Jungian oriented psychotherapy. He currently works in the field of addiction medicine and serves as Publisher of Chiron Publications.  He along with fellow publisher Leonard Cruz are the General Editors of The Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz, a 28-volume series.

Laura Monschau

Laura Monschau, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst with twenty -five years of service in higher education.  Her clinical specializations are in social justice, feminist psychotherapy, trauma-informed analytic practice, and graduate student mental health.  Laura works at the University of Michigan’s Counseling and Psychological Service and Rackham Graduate School, where she is a senior clinical supervisor and educator in the pre- and postdoctoral training programs.  She provides psychotherapy for university graduate students and maintains a private analytic practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She is a graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago and serves on its public program committee.

Lynne Copp

Lynne Copp holds a PhD in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is Emerita Faculty Director at DePaul University and former Chair of DePaul’s Experiential Learning Committee. Lynne also received DePaul’s highest honor, the Via Sapientiae Award, for distinctive and extraordinary service. At the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, Lynne served on the Program Committee for several years and currently studies in University of Chicago’s Graham School of Professional Studies.

Marie-Louise von Franz

At the age of eighteen, while still in high school, Marie-Louise von Franz met Carl Jung at his Bolingen Tower. She later described this as the most decisive encounter of her life.  She entered analysis with him months later, completed her doctorate in classical philology and began seeing her first analysands soon after.  She was wholeheartedly dedicated to the unconscious, both in her own life and that of her analysands.  She developed a far-reaching expertise in fairytales, alchemy, synchronicity and numbers. She is estimated to have personally analyzed over 65,000 dreams.  She was a prolific writer and a highly sought-after teacher.

Listening to von Franz lecture was a numinous experience. I thought God was speaking. She seemed to know everything. In an amazing fashion and without a text, she ranged over history West and East, mythology, philosophy, anthropology, and a host of other specialized areas. Never in my training had I heard such far-reaching and profound reflections.

Murray Stein, PhD



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