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Jungfrauen


Jungfrauen, otherwise Jung's women, was a satyrical and scornful descriptive given by those on the outside to the supportive group of trainee women analysts (mainly based in Zurich) who were among Jung's first disciples. Some of them were early popularisers of his ideas. Even more unflattering were the terms maenads or valkyries.

After his wife, Emma, chief among the circle of women was Toni Wolff, followed by Jolande Jacobi, Marie-Louise von Franz, Barbara Hannah, Esther Harding, and his secretary, Aniela Jaffé. Other, more peripheral, figures were Kristine Mann and Hilde Kirsch. The German word means Maiden or unmarried woman; in the present context, it is a pun. The adjective means "young" and the plural noun means "women".

Mary Bancroft (who was not a member of the group) described the Jungfrauen as "vestal virgins" hovering around Jung, their sacred flame.Aniela Jaffé, who was regarded as a member. said at an Eranos conference that they would throw off the stigma of the name Jungfrau and would hover around Jung like “bees around a honey-pot.” It has been suggested that Jung's foreign travels in Africa were partly motivated by his desire to escape from the Jungfrauen.

One former Jungian woman has criticized Jung's early women acolytes. Naomi R. Goldenberg, said that “Jungian psychology is a patriarchal religion within which I once lived and worked ... [for] years in a Jungian universe”.



  • Maggy Anthony, The Valkyries (1990)
  • Thomas B. Kirsch, The Jungians (2000)
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Wikipedia

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