The C.G. Jung Society of W.A. (Inc.) started life in 1954 as the Analytical Psychology Club of WA. The founder was Zürich trained Jungian Analyst Mrs M.I. Rix Weaver.
Many of our members have never heard of Rix Weaver. It’s amazing how quickly the memory fades.
She was a remarkable woman and I would like to tell you some stories about her and something of the history of the “Jung Club” as we called it. This is Part 1. Those of you who knew Rix may care to send in a story of your own.
Rix was born on the 12th December 1902 and died on August 31st 1990.This photo of her was taken about 1963. Some of you may remember her poodle.
Back in the nineteen forties Rix Weaver was a household name. Her novels, Behold New Holland, New Holland Heritage and Beyond Cooralong were serialised and broadcast by ABC radio. Behold New Holland was read by teenagers in Western Australia as part of their high school curriculum – chosen for its detailed historic content.
Barbara Brackley (Rix’s daughter) says despite publishing success Rix Weaver had little money – money made by her novels she gave to the war effort, money she got by selling the house left by her mother funded her trip to Zurich when she was in her 50s. Like her lack of good health, she didn’t allow her lack of money to stop her.
She came from a long line of strong women. She had dogged determination, and that’s what got her through life otherwise she would never have survived. Her daughter Barbara recalls one particular event: “When I was seven I got polio. The doctor said ‘take her home because she hasn’t got long’. My mother turned to Christian Science then. The philosophy is to see perfection, not to see the wound. I can remember learning to walk again: she made garters for my socks but she used to make them both the same size – she wouldn’t make one smaller even though one leg was withered. She saw it as perfect. So my sock fell down for a year or so, but gradually the limb filled out. To be told I would die must have been quite devastating for her. But she was determined I was going to live and here I am now in my eighties. She was an interesting and exciting person to be around, but she was always very caring and supportive.”
During her lifetime Irene Rix Weaver had a massive amount of personal ill health. When a very young Irene contracted meningitis she wasn’t expected to live. As an early teen she suffered acute arthritis – her father made a special chair so she could attend school. At that stage she was told her adult life would be spent in a wheelchair. It wasn’t. Later she suffered high blood pressure and a heart condition that provoked doctors for the second time to tell her she would not live - she was in her early 50s.
By the end of her life she was crippled by the ever-present arthritis and she was legally blind though you’d never know it: she’d always look straight at you when you came into the room for through all of this she maintained her dignity and her concern for others. An elderly cousin wrote this tribute:
I saw Rix three weeks before her death when I was privileged to experience her loving concern for family and friends, her faith, courage and patience in the face of awesome tribulation, and her exceptional graciousness. I came wondering how to offer love and support and found myself loved, comforted and strengthened.
“It is important that woman to not simply exist until they are faced with a hollow in their lives,” she used to say. “They should plan. Children prefer to see a mother who has a life and interest of her own rather than demanding that they visit her on Sundays.”
Rix Weaver planned well, lived fully and pursued a surprising number of interests. She made furniture, hats and clothes, she was a recognised graphologist (handwriting analyst), she sang and danced, designed gardens and a house for her bedridden mother. She painted, wrote novels and psychological texts, studied Aboriginal myths and lectured in Switzerland and America on the same. She was a traveller, adventurer, historical researcher, teacher, student of micro-physics and even showed an interest in water divining – strong enough for her to attend a conference on it in Britain’s Bognor Regis. She was also a practical and supportive mother.
She’ll go down in history, however, for bringing Carl Jung to Australia.
Trained in Zurich, she met Jung on a number of occasions and had an hour with him when she revisited Zurich for the celebration of Jung’s 80th birthday. She was an author, analyst, explorer, rebel, and described by Muriel Stanley after her death as “…a prophet without honour”. In this series and beyond, we intend to honour Rix and the legacy she has created.
Rix trained in Zurich and met with Jung, including one very profound hour. She founded the CG Jung Society of WA (then known as the Analytical Club) on Jung’s birthday in 1954. She wrote Jung of her intention and he replied you are indeed in Ultima Thule where Analytic Psychology must be such a novelty. I am glad you have found some response; in this respect you are unusually lucky.
On November 22, 1955, I visited Dr. Jung at his home in Kusnacht. Though I had met Jung and had listened to him speak, I looked forward to having a period with him alone. When I came to Zurich in 1951 to study at the C. G. Jung Institute, Jung no longer lectured students, but he did grant some personal interviews.
Rix’s Lectures at Karnak Playhouse (in Queensland)
We want to honour and acknowledge her contribution by sharing the lectures she gave in Karnak in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Rix regularly lectured at the resort created by the acclaimed actress Diane Cilento in Douglashire, far north Queensland. Rix and Diane shared a love of the sufi mystic Ibn al Arabi.
In each of these lectures we can hear her distinct voice. She brings to life many of the important concepts of Jungian thinking through examples, stories, deep insight, and lived experience. They are all fabulous, and her lecture on Ego and Self and Destiny is in particular highly recommendable. Enjoy!
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