Von Franz’s dreams as described in ‘Eulogy for Marie-Louise von Franz’ by Gottfrid Isler, Küsnacht, February 17, 1998.

She is near a farmhouse; many people in black are there. A young farm worker digs a hole for the coffin. Out of the coffin comes an old man who suffers the same illness as she. He absolutely wants to live. The fellow argues with him, saying that he belongs back in there, throws him in the coffin and shuts the lid. She herself takes no part in it and thinks: “This has nothing to do with me.” In the yard stands a tree. She thinks that it is a horse-chestnut. But it is a marvelously beautiful tree with dinner-plate sized passion flowers which she herself had once planted. In each blossom is a little tomato. She plucks one, eats it and knows that it is the “cibus immortalis,” the food of immortality.

Comment: She said that the old man was the will to live that will not give up, but only extends her suffering. The worker believes it is time to die. Years later as it became harder to eat because of her illness, she said that she wanted to eat because the will to live is generally the strongest drive in life. She added that in Austria tomatoes are called “paradises.” And tomatoes are often taken to be the “love fruits” from the Tree of Knowledge. In the summer of 1994 she had this dream:

She is working in the laundry at the cloister in Einsiedeln. She is given to understand that Jung would come down from heaven to the wedding of the Black Madonna. Marie-Louise is among the one hundred elect who are permitted to take part in the wedding.

Comment: She said that the unconscious was indeed preparing a remedy for the world and a union, to be sure not one “above in the spiritual realm,” but a union of above and below, a union of spirit and matter. Very early on the Virgin Mary was thought to be “the earth;” the Black Madonna was a nature goddess. And yet the union comes about in a Christian framework, which she (Marie-Louise) never could accept. But still the dream filled her with the highest happiness. Two years before she died she dreamed that:

She saw a tree in exquisite bloom. But it stood in water and didn’t have much earth around it.

Comment: With the deepest earnestness she said that she wanted us to know that one puff of wind could topple it. In August of last year she said that she had dreamed:

She had written an eight volume work on Arabic alchemy. She had the eight volumes in front of her and she was quite happy about them.

Comment: She understood the dream as affirming that her life’s work was now finished.

She gave Jung as a lifetime gift, a rare Chinese frog carved from stone. He found the gift much too precious and it was determined that this treasure be returned to her after his death. A few weeks after his death she dreamed:

She saw in a brook something that she took to be human excrement — “something man-made,” she thought. As she stepped closer she saw that it was this frog. Suddenly it lifted its foreleg and waved at her.

Comment: For her, this was a sign that Jung was still living, and she died with this frog in her hand. The frog is a symbol of resurrection. She died on February 17, 1998, at 2:15 in the morning. A few years earlier (November 3, 1994), she dreamed:

In an old city a new building with seventeen regular sides comprising its perimeter had been built, a feat that was earlier considered impossible.

Comment: In Arabic alchemy the seventeen-sided form meant the union of psyche and matter, exactly what the core of her research had established. Seventeen is as well the number of complete individuation, achieved wholeness.


Isler, G. (2004). ‘Eulogy for Marie-Louise von Franz.’ Journey into Wholeness newsletter. Fall/Winter 2004, Volume 12, No. 3.
(The eulogy will be included in the Festschrift in Marie-Louise’s honor which is to be edited by James Hall and Murray Stein for Chiron Press.)

See also:

Winther, M. (2007). ‘Dependency in the analytic relationship’. (here) (an attempt at analysis).