Marie-Louise von Franz

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Marie-Louise von Franz
Born (1915-01-04)4 January 1915
Munich, German Empire
Died 17 February 1998(1998-02-17) (aged 83)
Küsnacht, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Fields Psychology

Marie-Louise von Franz (4 January 1915 – 17 February 1998) was a Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar.

Early life and education[edit]

Von Franz was born in Munich, Germany, the daughter of a colonel in the Austrian army.[1] She was known by a pet form of her Christian name, Marlus.[2] After the war, her family moved to Switzerland, where she met Jung on a school-trip, subsequently doing translation work for him in order to pay for him to analyse her.[3]


Von Franz worked with Carl Jung, whom she met in 1933 and knew until his death in 1961. Jung believed in the unity of the psychological and material worlds, i.e., they are one and the same, just different manifestations. He also believed that this concept of the unus mundus could be investigated through research on the archetypes of the natural numbers. Due to his age, he turned the problem over to von Franz.[4] Two of her books, Number and Time and Psyche and Matter deal with this research.

Jung also encouraged her to live with fellow Jungian analyst Barbara Hannah, who was 23 years von Franz's senior. When Hannah asked Jung why he was so keen on putting them together, Jung replied that he wanted von Franz "to see that not all women are such brutes as her mother," and also stated that "the real reason you should live together is that your chief interest will be analysis and analysts should not live alone."[5] The two women became lifelong friends.

Von Franz, in 1968, was the first to argue that the mathematical structure of DNA is analogous to that of the I Ching. She cites the reference to the publication in an expanded essay Symbols of the Unus Mundus, published in her book Psyche and Matter.[6] In addition to her many books, Von Franz recorded a series of films in 1987 titled The Way of the Dream with her student Fraser Boa.[7]

C. G. Jung Institute[edit]

Von Franz founded the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. In The Way of the Dream she claims to have interpreted over 65,000 dreams, primarily practising in Kusnacht, Switzerland. Von Franz also wrote over 20 volumes on Analytical psychology, most notably on fairy tales as they relate to Archetypal or Depth Psychology, most specifically by amplification of the themes and characters. She also wrote on subjects such as alchemy, discussed from the Jungian, psychological perspective, and active imagination, which could be described as conscious dreaming. In Man and His Symbols, von Franz described active imagination as follows: "Active imagination is a certain way of meditating imaginatively, by which one may deliberately enter into contact with the unconscious and make a conscious connection with psychic phenomena."[8]

Correspondence with Wolfgang Pauli[edit]

Von Franz had also a meaningful exchange of letters with Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Pauli. On Pauli's death, his widow Franca deliberately destroyed all the letters Von Franz sent over time to her husband and which he was carefully keeping locked inside his writing desk.[9] The letters sent by Pauli to Ms. Von Franz were all saved and later made available to the researchers and published.[10]

Selected writings[edit]

Additionally, she collaborated with Emma Jung on The Grail Legend (ISBN 0-691-00237-1), which discusses the psychological symbolism of the documented legends of the Holy Grail. "The Fountain of the Love of Wisdom: An Homage to Marie-Louise von Franz" compiled eulogies, essays, personal impressions, book reviews and more from dozens of people influenced by von Franz.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ T. B. Kirsch, The Jungians (2001) p. 11
  2. ^ Anthony, M. (1990). The Valkyries: The Women Around Jung. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element. ISBN 1-85230-187-2
  3. ^ T. B. Kirsch, The Jungians (2001) p. 11
  4. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz Number and Time (Northwestern, 1974) ix.
  5. ^ Dean L. Franz's portrait of Barbara Hannah in Hannah's The Cat, Dog and Horse Lectures (Chiron, 1992), p.18
  6. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz Psyche and Matter (Shambhala, 1992) p.39-62. The reference is cited on page 44; she cites the reference as number 16 of the article: Dialog über den Menschen: Eine Festschrift zum 75. Geburtstag von Wilhelm Bitter (Klett. Stuttgart, 1968).
  7. ^ Way of the Dream website
  8. ^ Carl Jung, Man and his Symbols, p.206-207
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]


  • Anthony, M. (1990). The Valkyries: The Women around Jung. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element. ISBN 1-85230-187-2
  • Hall, James A. and Sharp, Daryl (eds.). Marie-Louise von Franz: The Classic Jungian and The Classic Jungian Tradition. Inner City Books, Toronto, 2008. ISBN 978-1-894574-23-5
  • Jung, Carl G., editor (and, after his death, Marie-Louise von Franz); Man and His Symbols. Aldus Books, Ltd,. London, 1964. ISBN 0-385-05221-9.

External links[edit]