Archetype (17)

an in-depth review by Joe Madia, New Mystics

Enemy, Cripple, Beggar is a treasure for our times. Vital and applicable to both lay people and experts, the book flows seamlessly and spirally from scholarship, to textual interpretation, to case studies, and the analysis of dreams. Shalit draws on an impressive breadth of scholarship and myths/fairy tales, looking at both history (e.g., the Crusades or Masada) and story.

The book first discusses the key aspects of the Hero, considering Byron, the work of Robert Graves and Robert Bosnak, the Bible, and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, among many other sources.

I take as my starting point the condition of mythlessness in the modern world, as expressed by Jung and reinforced by Campbell and how it is limiting our vision and ability to cure an ailing world rife with war and economic/environmental woes.

If ever we needed to consider the role of the Hero, it is now.

Consider the mistaken mythologizing of the death and wounding, respectively, of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch. While both are certainly heroes, the government’s and media’s manipulation of their circumstances (used to try and justify an unjustifiable war) bring to mind David Mamet’s Wag the Dog, the 1997 film adaptation of Larry Beinhart's novel, American Hero.

The people love their heroes and their construction for societal consumption by the government and the media has become no less than a High Art.

Shalit says, on p. 24: “In society, the hero may be the messenger of hope who lights the torch of democracy. Sometimes it is amazing how, at the right moment in history, the heroism of a nation, spurting forth through layers of oppression, creates dramatic changes and overthrows worn-out regimes.”

Might this apply to U.S. president-elect Barak Obama? Many people think so, and many more find themselves hoping so. Then again, there are many who see him as the shadow, using the term antichrist, and finding similarities between he and Nicolae Carpathia in the Left Behind series. [This review was written in Nov 2008.]

If ever we needed to consider the role of the Hero, it is now.

Consider the current fascination with Superheroes in the age of CGI and comic book cinema. Just last night I watched Christopher Nolan’s record-shattering The Dark Knight, which takes as its thesis the complicated interrelationship of the hero and the shadow. Given the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, the notions of the Hero are expanded to the realm of the Artist and his or her relationship with Pain.

When Shalit writes, on p. 95, “…life thrives in the shadow; in our detested weaknesses, complex inferiorities and repressed instincts there is more life and inspiration than in the well-adjusted compliance of the persona,” I think that his words bring Ledger’s death into sharp relief. As an acting teacher who works almost exclusively with teens, many of which see Ledger’s “dying for his art” as a form of heroism (an interpretation with which I disagree; it discounts the necessity of craft in preventing such tragedies), I think it is more important than ever to examine carefully the Hero’s role and relationship to the shadow.

The shadow is Jung’s term for the unconscious, the “thing a person has no wish to be” (p. ix). His early experience of his own shadow is, to me, some of the most compelling and useful text in his Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.

The hero must go into the shadow (the forest, the depth of the sea, the desert, the cave­—Plato’s or the Celtic Bard’s) to retrieve his soul. The shadow is a place of misery, calling to mind Schopenhauer’s ideas about life being mostly pain and sorrow and Campbell’s advice to “follow your bliss” [sat chit ananda].

Much of what Shalit centers on as aspects of the Hero are present in the shaman, who also has “one foot in divinity, one in the world of mortals” (p. 33). The journey into the netherworld (often to retrieve or heal the soul), the returning with precious gifts of knowledge, the responsibility of re-integration into the community (see Mircea Eliade’s comprehensive works on shamanism), all parallel the hero’s journey. The modes of the vision quest and the alchemical transformation are, further, symbolically manifested in the landscape of the fairy tale.

Pursuing this idea, Shalit, in the tradition of Robert Bly’s Iron Johnir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0306813769 or Bruno Bettelheim’s Uses of Enchantmentir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0307739635, ably presents and dissects a number of fairy tales, myths, and Biblical stories in the course of the book.

“Nixie of the Millpond” is presented without commentary. The myth of Perseus, however, is told with commentary from a wide variety of sources mixed in. It would be valuable to watch Clash of the Titans (1981) after reading this section, as it brings Shalit’s analysis visually to life. Page 47 lists eight traits of the hero myth to guide the interpretation. I would add a ninth—the use of magical items (such as Athena’s shield, Hermes’ sword, and the three gifts of the Stygian nymphs, all of which are given to Perseus to defeat the Medusa).

I have used these same basic elements of the hero myth for the past decade in my theatre workshops with youth and in my books on using drama in the classroom.

If our youth are to break the limiting conventions of societal and governmental structures that have put the planet and its inhabitants in a place of crisis, they—and those who guide and educate them—must understand the Hero and Shadow both.

On p. 65 Shalit writes, “Collective consciousness constitutes a threat by its demand on compliance with rules, roles and regulations.” The mythological fighting of dragons and monsters by the Hero is most clearly articulated to me by Joseph Campbell, when, in various books and interviews, he talked about Nietzsche describing the cycle of life as beginning as a camel loaded down with the requirements of parents and society. The camel then goes into the desert (one of the hero landscapes I mentioned earlier) to become the lion, who must slay the dragon whose scales all say "Thou Shalt." This dragonslaying, certainly a noble and necessary undertaking, situates the Hero as the classic warrior, akin to Michael the Archangel and St. George, but when the fighting is done, the warrior must put down the sword. Whether we speak of the Vulcans comprising the Bush administration (as author James Mann terms them) or an abused child who grows up to wage ongoing battles even on a landscape of peace in a more stable family situation, this is a notion well worth focusing on. I think of the Roman general Cincinnatus, who moved back and forth between sword and plow and the dwarves of the novels of Dan Parkinson, who switch the hammer from one hand to the other as necessary in times of peace and war.

The hero struggling with the shadow often projects onto a demonized Other because, as Shalit reminds us, “Since shadows easily lend themselves to projection [see pgs. 97–101 for the three types identified by Jung], they are discovered so much more easily in the other than oneself” (p. 84). This is, of course, the source of most of the ugliness in the history of Humankind.

The Biblical explorations/interpretations presented are a high point of the book (see, for example, p. 63 on the Virgin Mary) and begin in earnest with the section on the shadow. The etymology of both biblical and mythological names given throughout add much to the discussion.

Shalit uses Oscar Wilde’s “doppelganger novel,” Picture of Dorian Grayir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1936594390ir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1411415930, to explore the notion of shadow in terms of our duality, as Dorian is projecting his shadow onto the canvas. Duality—war/peace, animus/anima, masculine/feminine, dark/light—is prevalent throughout the book.

The second half of the book deals with the Enemy, Cripple, and Beggar of the title. The Enemy (the projection onto the Other that is really the shadow in oneself) is explored through such Biblical figures as Amalek, Samson, Jacob, and the key figures in the trial of Jesus. The section on the Fathers and the Collective Consciousness, dealing with Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Barabbas, and Judas, is fascinating reading. The connection of the father and the son resounds on many levels, including the relationship of Jesus/Judas as being nearly inseparable.

The Cripple (one’s weaknesses and inner wounds) is explored through mythological/fictional figures such as Hephaestus, Ptah, Oedipus, Quasimodo, and the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Cripple.” There are case studies here that serve many of the same functions as the analyses of the myths and fairy tales, and will appeal to those interested in the dynamics of Jungian analysis. Certain aspects of the second case study reminded me of Don Juan DeMarco (1995), the film starring Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp, especially considering that love (Eros) is the means to heal the Cripple, as articulated so well in this book.

The final section deals with the Beggar (the “door that leads to the passageway of the Self,” p. 225), which is the Inner Voice or Daemon. Shalit deals here with the notions of alchemy that so fascinated Jung. I was intrigued by the story of King Solomon as the wandering beggar and Shalit’s exploration of the life of the prophet Elijah.

In closing, I want to mention the cover art, a painting titled “Emerging” by Susan Bostrom-Wong, an artist and Jungian analyst. Shalit asks the reader to examine the images embedded in the human figure. It is well worth the time to do so. Like the book itself, the longer you look, the more you will see.

I urge educators, artists, and those in search of new paths toward a life well-lived to buy this book. I know that one of my own heroes, Joseph Campbell, certainly would.

Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path is currently on sale for $15 at the Fisher King Press Online Bookstore, or phone Fisher King Press Toll Free at 1-800-228-9316 in Canada and the US, and for international orders phone +1-831-238-7799 or skype: fisher_king_press. 

Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path 

ir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=bil&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0977607674This review of Erel Shalit’s Enemy, Cripple, Beggarir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0977607674: Shadows in the Hero’s Path was written by Joey Madia of New Mystics. New Mystics is an online Arts community founded in 2002 by Joey Madia, playwright, poet, novelist, actor, director, artist, musician, and teacher who promotes the work of a group of cutting edge writers and artists. To learn more about New Mystics, Joey Madia, and his most recent publication Jester-Knight visit

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9142463069?profile=originalImmurement, the concept of confining people inside walls, is a historical reality. Women, especially, have been victims and sacrifices of this macabre practice.

For Tracy Ferron, a conceptual artist and student of depth psychology, the archetypal theme of “walled women” first surfaced in a powerful dream. At the time, she was deeply engrossed in research on Big Pharma and societal complexes of power in a class at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she completed her master’s degree in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life in June 2017. During this process, powerful feelings of hopelessness and frustration arose, dovetailing with her personal life where she felt quite “stuck” in shifting her life’s direction after nearly 20 years spent raising five children.

In our recent interview, Tracy shared the details of her dream. A naïve young woman arrives at what she believes is an audition, but instead ends up as a sacrifice. The walled woman archetype is exemplified when she is murdered and immured in a wall, where the only thing exposed is her left eye. The richness of this “big” dream was so striking that Tracy “basically ran at it with every Jungian methodology and amplification” she could.

As Tracy began digging into the image of women being built into walls, she discovered it had actually been an ancient practice with a long and troubling history.... (Read the full blog post or listen to my interview with conceptual artist, Tracy Ferron, here)

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Analysis: Three Dreams and a Song

In the world of dreams, one’s friends live forever, for they can be present at any time. In this way, I have expected the eventual visits of my close friend, who passed away this fall, in my dreams and in the recollections of him that occur to me.

With the alchemical signature of wholeness [1] of three and one, I present three dreams and a song from my content, culminating in a rejuvenation dream at the beginning of the year. In hopes of processing grief in a healthy way, I wanted to look at these experiences.

Song/Fragment: (the morning after Brian’s death) I woke up with the song, “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” by REO Speedwagon, in my head. Particularly significant was the line, “it’s time for me to fly …”

I remember now that Gary Richrath, the guitarist for REO, died five days before Brian did in September. The song fragment is relevant and connects the two people, in death. The body disconnection in death is symbolized by the line, “it’s time for me to fly …

In the weeks that followed, 

Dream: I see a scene from one of my pictures, of myself and Brian on the Avalanche Trail (descending Mt. Yale) with Mt. Princeton in the background. I am in the scene, and Brian is saying something. Startled, I wake up.

I had expected him to appear in a dream, so he did. A picture that’s on my wall came alive in the dream. Startled, I couldn’t deal with it. The Avalanche Trail (actually called a route), treacherous in the winter months, is safe enough in summer when we were there, but the reference seemed somewhat ominous. We had done that trip as a loop, which makes the reference symbolize wholeness.

In my experience of dreams, if one can’t make out words of dream characters, taking in the context of the whole scene may convey deep meaning.

Another month went by.


Semi-Lucid Dream: I was with Brian at the high lake at McCullough Gulch. He went over the berm to the lake, and I called him back. I said, “Brian! Come here”, and as he turned and came toward me, I said, “you’re alive! You’re in the Dreamworld!” Shaking his hand, then hugging him, I couldn’t believe he was here. He wore a tan shirt, looked healthy and had piercing blue eyes. He didn’t say anything.

Satisfied, remembering the feeling of happiness, I felt that I had made contact with my friend, rejoicing in the moment. The fairly short and lucid dream allowed me a high level of awareness, which translated to waking right after. I had seen my friend in the dreamworld and that was all that mattered to me (no participation mystique here; I understand that this content is made of projections, not to be mistaken for my friend in the literal sense). The lake is the one featured in my profile picture on the forums.

With the coming of the new year, I had the following dream.

Brian’s Rejuvenation - I look in on Brian, who is lying on his death bed. From the same position he was in when he died, his left eye is open. The eye is all black. I notice it moves. His bald head is elongated, like the Egyptian royalty who had their heads bound to be shaped like that. I go back into another room, pondering this. 

Some other people are with me in the other room, when Brian walks in the door, wearing jeans and a new blue checkered shirt. I greet him, grasping both his hands. He says hello, and he walks to a couch and sits down.

He is talking with a woman who is standing in a doorway (on the west wall) which leads outside, where it is sunny. This woman is very interested in him, and I think, “he already has a girlfriend.”

There is a general air of a party atmosphere, and I am happy. I am thinking that perhaps, during this time he has been deceased, that his cancer may have receded and he has a new chance at life. Maybe he can start to do the things he stopped doing, like hiking.

There is a lot of imagery in this dream. This is January and I was to receive a portion of Brian’s ashes, for the postmodern duty of dispersing that portion on a mountain.This didn’t happen and I was resigned to forget about the possibility of the endeavor. 

The Egyptian myth of Osiris [2] and a show I watched depicting the uncovering of the body of  Tutankhamun by Howard Carter were relevant to events surrounding the passing of my friend Brian, related in my previous blog, Analysis of a Dream Series [3]. In the myth, the recovery of Osiris’ body parts is vital to events in the myth; not so in my outer life but it did in the dream, as an integral part of the myth. To quote Thom Cavalli:

If the body were not returned home, there would be no possibility for a proper funeral or any chance of resurrection.” [4]

During this time that I had been reading Joseph Campbell [5], dealing with motifs of death, resurrection (or rejuvenation) and rebirth, including the Dying God Motif [6], I had been thinking of the idea of carrying the memory of my friend into the next season as I continue to hike and climb our local mountains here in Colorado.

The Eye Motif of the completely black left eye will refer specifically to an awakening in the unconscious. The elongated head reminds me that Tutankhamun’s mother had this “mod” (result of head wrapping as a child; identity, “The Younger Lady” from tomb KV35), connecting Brian with Tutankhamun again, to continue the theme of rebirth. An elongated head, though not consciously intended by Egyptians, seems to symbolize an enlarged brain and expanded consciousness to me, from our 21st century perspective.

As I have left Brian to whatever is happening here, the scene shifts but to the same room as it was before it was a sick person’s living room. There are people here and Brian walks in, renewed. Hair, new clothes, a new man. We welcome him and he enters. Reproduced in my blog [3], Brian’s dream begins, 

… at first, with an awareness of the morning sunlight taking on a strange appearance as it shined through the slats of the blinds near his bed.

Brian’s dream had begun with morning sunlight shining into his sleeping area. On the opposite side, where there is a window but no door in reality, a new doorway appears in my dream, containing afternoon sunlight and an anima figure, who is associated with him. I don’t know why he wouldn’t rejoin his girlfriend, which reinforces the idea that the figure exists in an image with the sun, as archetypal content. She speaks to him from the left, from the unconscious, as he is on the right, within consciousness again. Her words, not heard, are not as important as the context of her appearance.

Looking at the image, I can’t help but think the afternoon sunlight relates to the second half of my life, that his anima figure is perhaps mine, or that the anima appears as she relates to him, as she would relate to me, because after all, it is my dream. He is integrated into my reality and as our situations were similar before his illness, I move into the second half of life as I have planned, carrying Brian, or his memory, with me as I would have, had he lived. Perhaps he stands as a proxy figure for me, as a role model.

A new, numinous doorway filled with afternoon light represents a new possibility for life, a life filled with consciousness, for Brian in one perspective, for myself in another. In his acceptance, he would look forward to a new journey, a new dawn [7]. In mine, to continue the journey which I haven’t completed [8]. 

In Brian’s dream, he faces east, toward the rising sun. In mine, he faces west, toward the setting sun, perhaps my sun. In his dream, the sun “takes on a strange appearance”. In mine, there is an unknown woman within the doorway of its light.

There are lots of bits that relate in smaller ways to myth which I have not looked at or not expressed in this post in the interest of brevity, yet I have included enough relevant material for the continuity of the series. The idea of the sense that death itself may be healing [9] might be looked at closer, for example.

[1] C.G. Jung, CW Vol. 13, Alchemical Studies- Pg. 224, Axiom of Maria Prophetissa 

[2] The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Translator, R.O. Faulkner - 1990

[3] Analysis of a Dream Series

[4] Thom Cavalli, Ph.D., Embodying Osiris- 2010

[5] Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology- 1968

[6] James Frazer, The Golden Bough- 2nd abridged 1994

[7] Marie-Louise von Franz, On Dreams and Death

[8] C.G. Jung, CW Vol. 5, Symbols of Transformation- Pg. 92, Fig 3, The Voyage of the Sun: The Western Goddess on the Barge of Evening Gives the Sun disc to the Eastern Goddess in the Barge of Morning.

This image contains the psychological root of the “heavenly wanderings of the soul”, an idea that is very old. It is an image of the wandering sun (fig. 3), which from its rising and setting travels over the world.”

[9] Michael Meade, The World Behind the World- The Return of Healing:

“Mythically, the center of one thing leads to the center of everything. Seen that way, the illness of one person becomes the ailment through which all that ails a community can be addressed. The wound in one person can become the door through which everyone can find the center of life again.”

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The Center of Being

In my first blog, I related the events surrounding a transformative dream I had which evoked a powerful feeling tone, its effect rippling out through my life. A series of events the previous day, coupled with reading an S.T. Coleridge poem upon cracking open the first Jung volume I had yet to read, seemingly led to my experience of this dream, replete with a mysterious archetypal projection.

I amplified the image, researched the content to the extent that I was able, but only much later did I make the Coleridge connection.

[from the previous blog]:

‘I searched for this information about “worlds within worlds”. At the time, I didn’t catch any meaningful references through the search engine of my browser. Every time I ran across references to entering worlds, all the obvious stuff, I looked closer. I thought that it seemed familiar but never found anything relating to it.’

Recently, I re-watched Joseph Campbell’s Mythos, season 1, episode 1, Psyche and Symbol. Cupping his hands, he explains that, ‘the elementary idea (read: archetype) is held within the the folk aspect, (local, provincial and popular).’

Joseph goes on to say that the old Sanskrit term for a trail left by an animal is “marga” and has been used in the context of the human, following the path of the Archetypes to the place within, the heart. 

‘At post mid-life, the folk system leaves you, and the path of the marga (archetypes) leads you within, to the heart, or the center of being.’

I finished the Collected Works this week, before watching the episode of Mythos, tonight. Remembering that Campbell’s insistence on the importance of Jungian theory had excited my impulse to read him, I feel that something has come full circle, and that I finally understand the cryptic words of this being with whom I spoke, just a few years ago in a dream.

The meaning of these words to me is that I had an extremely concretistic, or literalistic sense of reality. My freedom was constrained and I was trapped by my ‘weltanschauung’, or point of view. In the years since, I have entered a new world with a much wider perspective, and yes, I was at the halfway point in life.

Synchronistically, the timing is exact. I experienced some number coincidences today, and I had the thought of constellating contents of the unconscious, which just might show themselves in such phenomena, not thinking that the resolution of a mystery was at hand. Perhaps there was no ‘cryptomnesia’, but that I had not yet understood or explored completely enough the meaning of the words, “worlds within worlds”, spoken from within my own center of being.

He looked at his own Soul

with a Telescope. What seemed

all irregular, he saw and

shewed (showed) to be beautiful

Constellations; and he added

to the Consciousness hidden

worlds within worlds.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge- Notebooks


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Archetypal Aspects of Home

9142447699?profile=original“Home” is a word weighted with affect and associated with rootedness, attachment, belonging, shelter, refuge, comfort, and identity. When our relationship to “home” is considered in the context of depth psychology, the study of the unconscious pioneered by Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung among others, it stands to reason that our individual notions of “home” may impact us rather profoundly. A severed connection with “home,” particularly with the earth that supports and nurtures us, produces physical, emotional, and psychological implications. That is to say, the lack of a connection with a “home” that offers us a sense of psychological and spiritual wholeness, potentiality, and belonging in a larger archetypal manner may well compose the very heart of our disorder.

Depth psychology calls for an understanding of how we are influenced by invisible elements beneath the surface of our conscious awareness. Tracing a path from the notion of “home” which we each carry, backward and down into its deeper meaning and psychological effect on us, can begin to shed light on why we... (Click here to read full post)

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The Definitive Journey

ECB-Cvr20080528.jpgFrom Enemy, Cripple, Beggar

The hero who searches for new paths in his heart and soul often lets hints and hunches guide him forward. Yet, he also needs to be equipped with courage to search beyond the boundaries of common ground and with humbleness towards the unknown that lies ahead of him. He must also carry a bagful of questions and concerns, curiosity and conflict, doubt and fear; “Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time; but what he must not do is forget it.” Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain, p. 53.

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From The Motherline by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
So many of the stories that I write, that we all write, are my Mother’s stories. Only recently did I fully realize this: that through years of listening to my mother's stories of her life, I have absorbed not only the stories themselves, but something of the manner in which she spoke, something of the urgency that involves the knowledge that her stories–like her life–must be recorded. –ALICE WALKER[1]

Being a mother is an experience of body and soul which ties one to the source of our life and all life. The Motherline is for women who have mothers, are mothers, or are considering becoming mothers, and for the men who love them. Telling the stories of women whose maturation has been experienced in the cycle of mothering, this book does not sever mother from daughter, feminism from "the feminine," body from psyche. The path to wholeness requires reclaiming aspects of the feminine self that we have lost and forgotten in our struggle to free ourselves from constricting roles; it requires that a woman make a journey to find her roots in the personal, cultural, and archetypal Motherline.

The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female Rootsir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=bil&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0981034462
Mother is the first world we know, the source of our lives and our stories. Embodying the mystery of origin, she connects us to the great web of kin and generation. Yet the voice of her experience is seldom heard in our literature. Psychology, the field that examines human nature, has tended to be child-oriented. And much of the feminist literature has been daughter-identified. We are so full of judgments about what mother ought to be that we can barely see what mother is. This has been shattering to a woman's sense of self and her connection to roots. We have no cultural mirror in which to envision the fullness of female development; we are deprived of images of female wisdom and maturity. Finding our female roots, reclaiming our feminine souls, requires paying attention to our real mothers' lives and experience; listening to our mothers' stories, and our grandmothers' stories, is the beginning of understanding our own. When we hear these stories, we tap into the wisdom of our Motherline.

Being a mother is an experience of body and soul that ties one to the source of one's own life and to all life. In the deepest sense of the word it is a religious experience, for the word religion comes from the Latin religare, which means to bind back to, to reconnect with. The Motherline will help you reconnect to the story of your origins, your Motherline, your body, and your soul.

I have been gathering material for this book all of my life, much like one gathers material for a patchwork quilt. I've taken the stories of the women of my Motherline, memories of childhood, journal entries, my experience raising children and stepchildren to adulthood, pieces of my master's and doctoral dissertations[2] (both of them studies of mothers), the stories I've heard as a psychotherapist and the stories I've told as an analysand, what I've learned from students and colleagues at the Women's Therapy Center and the Pacifica Graduate Institute, and what I've learned at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco where I trained as a Jungian analyst. I've gathered dreams and poetry and prose, and sewed them all together with journeys I have made to create a pattern that evokes female wholeness. Like most women's sewing projects, it has been worked on, put away while children are being raised and life makes other demands, felt guilty about, and brought back out to be worked on again. As in quilting, the design of the book has been created by combining many separate elements into one pattern.

Although The Motherlineir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0981034462 contains the voices of many women, its structure is based on my personal life because it is the flesh and blood of our female, subjective experience that I seek to bring to consciousness. Each of our stories is unique and yet there is an underlying Motherline pattern. Other women's stories set up sympathetic vibrations so that we can begin to near our own.

The process of finding one's Motherline is idiosyncratic and chaotic. It takes most of a lifetime. Every woman must engage in it in her own way and in her own time. The reclamation of feminine soul is not a process that can be readily taught. Rather it is a potentiality that can be evoked by shifting the way we listen to women's voices, and the way we see ourselves, our mothers, and our grandmothers. I hope to facilitate this process.

Each chapter of the book describes reclaiming an aspect of the feminine self. It is not the entire story. There are aspects of female nature, such as the warrior-amazon and the erotic lover, that are not addressed here. The Motherline is a search for female continuity and the sense of wholeness that is gained when we find it.


What is self and soul? Self has come to have specific meanings in psychology. In self psychology, it is used to mean an inborn potentiality for an authentic and vital identity. Jungians use the word self in a similar but larger sense. For them, the self is the "potential for integration of the total personality"; it "contains the seeds of the individual's destiny";[3] it includes the psychological, biological, and spiritual aspects of being human.

There has been much controversy among feminist thinkers about whether the experience of self is gender-specific. There are those who argue that a gendered sense of self is a by-product of culture. Though I agree that the culture may warp and damage the female experience of self, it makes no sense to me to separate one's sense of self entirely from one's body. Female identity is rooted in embodied experiences of menstruation, childbearing, lactation, and menopause, which are filtered through the veils that different cultures throw over them. Clearly a woman's identity consists of much more than her reproductive system, and this is where the feminist critique is invaluable in confronting cultural misogyny. But I believe that we go to the depths of our feminine selves in these primal, physical experiences, common to women of all cultures. Devaluing these depths is a function of our own cultural bias.

The word soul is most commonly used in a religious context, and means the part of our being that is connected to the immortal. Some psychological thinkers such as James Hillman use soul in a broader way, to name the experience of seeing the gods or the sacred in all life forms. This book is about women's immortality through our birth-giving capacity. Soul here is not separate from body. It is through our full honoring of bodily experience that we become ensouled. Soul does not separate us from ordinary life. It does not float off into the stratosphere as spirit seems to in the distinction commonly made between spirit and flesh. In colloquial usage one who has soul is one who has acquired depth through suffering, often one who has been oppressed. Soul is born of the kind of suffering that brings us in touch with the mysteries of life.

One way we garner soul is through the integration of what Jungians call the shadow. The shadow is that part of our personality that is cast into darkness by our fears, values, temperament, and cultural prejudice–a part of ourselves we do not know. Traits that we deny and repress in ourselves and dislike intensely in others are usually parts of our shadow. Contemporary women are prone to project aspects of their shadows on their mothers. We cut off our natural energy flow when we disown our envy, rage, competitiveness, pettiness, sensuality. Paradoxically, when these traits are recognized and owned, they tend to soften and get humanized. Learning to suffer our own shortcomings and those of others, even to develop a sense of humor about it all, gives depth and richness to the personality. It is an aspect of maturation and of soul.

Jungian theory describes psychological experience on three levels: the personal, the cultural, and the archetypal. Most current psychology emphasizes the personal and neglects the cultural (leaving that to the anthropologists) and the archetypal (leaving that to the theologians). The problems created by this narrowness in psychological thought are more than academic. Mothers get saddled with cultural baggage or with archetypal expectations. Because the gods are dead, mothers are expected to stand in for them, taking the blame for much that more truly belongs to fate. Because we've lost a historical sense of how culture shifts, we are outraged that our mothers did not raise us according to the standards of our times but had the effrontery to be shaped by the values of their own generation. Thus painful intergenerational rifts and misunderstandings arise. Women whose mothers love them deeply feel estranged and unmothered. Women whose daughters long to know them can find no language of mutuality.


How do we distinguish between the three levels of experience–personal, cultural, and archetypal? Archetypal psychologist James Hillman sees Archetypes as the "roots of the soul."[4] Jungian analyst Joseph Henderson describes the archetype as involving both a primordial image and an instinctual root that "create a pervasive sense of being gripped by an urge and dazzled by an image of compelling power."[5] An archetype can be described as an underlying life pattern with both instinctive and symbolic poles of expression surrounding a core of great emotional charge. The Great Mother archetype, for example, is a primordial image that expresses our instinctual, mammalian nature. It takes many cultural forms, from images of the Virgin Mary to those of the death-dealing goddess, Kali, in India. But the female form with breasts is recognizable in all cultures. We are all born of woman. Her breasts and her womb permeate all times and all cultures. Every culture translates the mother archetype differently, and every biological, or personal, mother has her own unique psychology and connection to her child.

The personal experience of the mother-daughter relationship is shaped by the individual lives and temperaments of the two women. If, for example, the daughter is the longed-for only child of an older mother who tried for years to get pregnant, her experience of her personal mother will be very different from that of the sixth child of an exhausted mother who considered getting an abortion. The quiet, introverted child of a quiet, introverted mother will have a different experience of self than would the fiery, extroverted child of that same introverted mother. When a woman becomes a mother she embodies the archetypal mother and becomes the culture bearer who will socialize the child. At the cultural level a child will be schedule or demand fed, bottle or breast fed, told she should be seen but not heard, or encouraged to express her spontaneity, raised by her mother or a nanny or an au pair depending on the culture, historical period, class, and personal circumstances into which she is born. However, all these children need to be held and protected, praised and fed and played with, scolded and limited. Though this is done differently in various cultures, a child needs some manifestation of the mother archetype in her life or she will be severely damaged.

It is confusing to sort out the personal, cultural, and archetypal levels of our experience. Archetypes are mostly seen in their cultural manifestation, and changes in cultural attitude become personal battlegrounds between generations. But there are some areas in which the archetype shines through. For example, it is striking to consider how many cultures make similar sounds for naming the mother: Mama, Mutti, Ama, Ema. The "ma" sound brings the lips together as in reaching for the breast. Thus a linguistic form reveals the physiological nature of the archetype across cultures.

I remember seeing a television report about a gorilla mother who had just given birth in a local zoo. She held her baby close. When she lifted her great gorilla hand to tenderly pat its head, a shiver of archetypal energy burst through me. I knew that gesture. Every human being knows that gesture. The mother archetype in her gorilla form had been revealed to me on the evening news!

The words male and female refer to our biological natures, while the words masculine and feminine imply cultural and archetypal meanings as well. Jungians historically have been interested in the archetypal distinctions between the masculine and the feminine, not limiting them to one gender. Whether these concepts are useful or stereotypical has been controversial in both Jungian and feminist circles. The feminist critique is that these are culturally biased concepts. Jungians respond by pointing out that the masculine is not limited to men, or the feminine to women.

The terms masculine and feminine are vital concepts that are typically truncated by the tendency of cultures to make rigid gender distinctions. These hurt both men and women. There is an enormous overlap in what men and women can do. At all levels, including the physical, we are more alike than we are different. But we can rob ourselves of our deep instinctual roots in life if we deny the power of the differences between the sexes. The feminine experienced by a woman is very different from the feminine experienced by a man, and vice versa. Gender differences have biological roots that go far below the cultural level, below human history: they precede our evolution as a species and take us down to our mammalian beginnings.

All mammals are divided into males and females. Females have breasts and wombs. Males have testes and penises. These sexual differences are meaningful; far from being a curse or a limitation on women's lives, our mammalian experience is what grounds us in our feminine selves. My thinking resonates with that of the men's movement, of which poet Robert Bly is a central spokesperson. He and others argue for a recognition of the differences between men and women at the instinctual level. It is a relief and a pleasure to hear men honoring their own embodied experience. These differences are, indeed, empowering for both men and women.


The Motherline is arranged in ten chapters, each evoking an aspect of the feminine self and how it can be reclaimed. The sequence describes the journey I made, but it is not a linear path. One could begin from any place in the pattern to find one's way into the Motherline.

We begin with a conceptualization of the Motherline as the source of our stories. In the second chapter we consider the women's movement, which at once frees us and gets in our way as we seek our female roots. In the third chapter we pick up the thread of our Motherline search by going back to our forgotten knowledge of the mother tongue, remembering images we took in with our mother's milk, of the primal female experiences of bearing, bonding, and being in relation to children.

In Chapter 4, we confront the developmental problem of differentiation between mother and daughter, which forces both women to engage in the painful process of sorting out self from other, and acknowledging shadow. The thread of our story is taken up in Chapter 5 by four women who, in telling their stories from the middle of their lives, loop from the past through the present to the future and back, weaving a rich tapestry of contemporary female maturity.

In Chapter 6 we follow the thread of women's lives by looking at generational change and how we are shaped by the times we live in. Chapter 7 explores girlhood memories of a grandmother and how this process links a woman to her past and to her future and transforms the mother-daughter dyad into the ancient, sacred, female trinity: maiden, mother, and crone.

Throughout The Motherlineir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0981034462ir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0981034462, my own Motherline story unfolds; I am confronted by the ghost of the grandmother I never knew. Her voice comes to me from before my birth and requires me to make a journey into the realm of my ancestors. This takes me to Israel in Chapter 8 to meet female relatives and learn their stories, and to Germany in Chapter 9 to see the landscape of my mother's childhood through the ashes of the Holocaust. My journey is part of a pattern of female development; you will see how many women make this descent into the past to find their roots.

In the end we must seek our spiritual roots in the old female religion. In Chapter 10 we traverse the land from the lost shore temples of the east coast of India to a sacred hill in Glastonbury and discover that the forbidden and taboo aspects of feminine soul are a part of our landscape as well as our dreams and our visions. What we have lost or forgotten of the feminine mysteries is hidden in our everyday lives.

About the Author
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is the author of The Sister from Belowir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=098103442X: When the Muse Gets Her Way and The Motherlineir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0981034462: Every Woman’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots and numerous prose essays, many of which have been published in Psychological Perspectives and The Jung Journal. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies, among them After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Weber Studies, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Tiferet and Asheville Poetry Review. Naomi has three published poetry collections: Adagio and Lamentationir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1926715055 (2010), red clay is talkingir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0967022428 (2000) and crimes of the dreamerir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0967022487 (2005).

Naomi has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times and is the recipient of the 2009 Obama Millennium Poetry award for "Madelyn Dunham, Passing On.” Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice, poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives, and a grandmother many times over.


All of Noami Ruth Lowinsky's books are available for purchase directly from Fisher King Press. Orders of $25 or more ship for free within the U.S.

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[1] Alice Walker, In Search of My Mother's Gardenir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0156028646 (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovitch, 1983), p. 240.
[2] Naomi Ruth Lowinsky "The Generation Cord: A Hand-Me-Down of Mothering in Four Families and a Changing Culture," (Master's thesis, Lone Mountain College, 1977). "All the Days of Her Life: A Study of Adult Development and the Motherline in Modern Women," (Ph.D. diss., Center for Psychological Studies, 1985).
[3] Andrew Samuels, Jung and the Post-Jungiansir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0415059046 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985), p. 91.
[4] James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychologyir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0060905638 (New York: Harper Colophon, 1975), p. xiii.
[5] Joseph Henderson, Shadow and Self (Wilmette, Ill: Chiron, 1990), P. 54.

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Shiff, Shalit, and The Cycle of Life

Benjamin Shiff's painting Life  on the cover of The Cycle of Life

A primary tenet of my perspective on the journey through life, as I describe in the newly published The Cycle of Lifeir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1926715500, pertains to the confluence of fate and destiny, and how conscious choice and the unexpected turns of the tide flow together. How do predetermined fate and individual destiny cohabit in one’s life, how does fate determine one’s prospects, and in what ways can the individual determine the course of his or her possibilities? Everything is foreseen, and everything is laid bare, yet everything is in accordance with the will of man, says the Talmud. Likewise, as Jung observed, something that remains unconscious in the individual psyche, may become manifest as external fate. Sometimes, what has powerfully constellated in one’s psyche, yet remains below the level of consciousness, may materialize in physical reality.

Little did I anticipate that this would become apparent in my search for a cover image, the face of the book. I traveled along rivers of time and traversed cultural continents, ending up, so it seemed, with a coverless book in my hands. Then, in a sudden bliss, I remembered a painter whose name was at the tip of my tongue. As I extracted his name, Benjamin Shiff, from the layers of my memory, I was reminded of the balance between lyric harmony and pensive concern, which characterized the dream-like painting I recalled.


As I traced the pictures on Shiff’s canvas, my eyes fell upon his painting Life (1990). Undoubtedly, I had found the grail. I understood that the frustrations of my journey had not been in vain, but were, perhaps, the psyche’s signs along the road to the picture of life’s transition. The candles’ soft light of life is poised against the painful inevitability of burning out. Yet, as long as they burn, there are shades and colors; there are the distinct faces of transient existence, and there are those of obscurity, hidden in distant nature; there is a lyrical melancholy, as well as a tense harmony. The pain of death and extinction reflects the subtle strength and beauty of life. Only an unlit candle will never burn out. A fully lived life extracts the awareness of its finality. Freud claimed, succinctly, that the ultimate aim of life is death. Mortality as the ultimate boundary of physical existence, serves as the container of human life.

In the paintings of Benjamin Shiff, the contrasts are subtle, and the opposites often blend into a tense yet congruent whole. Contrasting elements of identity, of earthly and heavenly, matter and spirit, float into each other, combining into one whole; together, yet distinct, united, yet separate - is this perhaps the human condition, as rendered in Shiff's exceptional self-portrait, 'my condition as a human'?


Sometimes the pain is hidden behind a crucified smile. What is crucial emerges from within outward appearance; conflict and struggle blend into harmony and tranquility. In one of his paintings, crucified love hovers over the wide-open mouth of anguish. Elsewhere, the light of innocence and naïve faith is contrasted with the complexity and fragmentation of knowledge.



In the aesthetics of Shiff’s paintings, light and hope merge with pensive sadness. The ordinary becomes thoughtful reflection, in which dream-like interiority finds tangible expression. There is always something hidden,secretive and elusive – a riddle, like a dream we do not understand, which calls us back, to search, to reflect and look ever deeper.

I came across Benjamin Shiff’s painting Life in May 2011, only to learn that he died in March. As it turned out, not only did we live but half an hour apart, but his daughter, Orit Yaar, is also a Jungian analyst. I knew Orit, but had no idea that she was Benjamin Shiff's daughter. With the sadness of having lost the possibility of meeting Benjamin Shiff, the “sad optimist,” in life, I hope that his painting Life, which provides The Cycle of Life with its face, will serve as a candle honoring and reflecting upon his life and work.

I wish to thank Shosh Shiff, who granted permission to feature this profound painting on the cover of The Cycle of Life.

The Cycle of Life can be ordered directly from Fisher King Press, from your local bookstore, and from a host of online booksellers, including amazon.comir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1926715500.

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Journey to Cascadia:

Building a New Global Mythology

  Willi Paul, © 2012

Designed & Produced for the 2012 Study of Myth Symposium

“Mapping Future Myths for the Transition” Work Shop


 I N D E X


New Myth #17: Shamanator & the Cob Fire Hearts


The Road to Cascadia

Bed Rock


New Global Mythology Model (version 1.0) Overview & Detail

The Mythic Elements

[A] The Five New Alchemies and their Transmutations

                [1] Sound: Rock Music

                [2] Landscape: Permaculture

                [3] Spirit: Transition Movement

                [4] Community: Localization

                [5] Religion: Dark Green Religion

[B] Universal Archetypes

[C] The Hero

[D] Initiation – Personal & Community

[E] Instincts

[F] Triggers

[G] The Internet

[H] The Sacred Path

New Myth #21: Noah’s honey rust fortress (“junk yard permaculture”)


* * * * * * *


New Myth #17Shamanator & the Cob Fire Hearts

Unstable condition, a symptom of life,
Of mental and environmental change
Atmospheric disturbance, the feverish flux
Of human interface and interchange

Leave out the fiction, the fact is, this friction
Will only be won by persistence
Leave out conditions, courageous convictions
Will drag the dream into existence
“Vital Signs” (edited) -


The 24’ octagonal community cob oven bears up, a statue on a reshuffled stone base in the middle of center court. The daily alchemy of the Tribe is energized by the cooking, meeting / planning, education, ritualizing, and yoga play around the oven. It serves as central heat, bread cruster and fire spirit.

* * * * * * * *

Straw was born into the bone crunching water crisis in Sacramento back in 2015 and tie-dyed her jeans cutting buds in a Salinas pot farm way back in 2020. A green tea Cali girl who rides a dinged-up 4 foot, mind warped skateboard. History to her boils down to the occupy-fueled NORCAL econo-crash and the firestorm at the Chevron refinery that buried the City Richmond and the telescope folks in the surrounding hills.

In 2020, currency is your word. Tribe labor feeds the collective soul.

In 2021, the Tribe occupied the JP Penny Mall.

The old Pennys Mall lost all of its bargains, security guards and petroleum tentacles long ago and no one cares that the TransPerm Tribe explorers took over the center court area in what some call an “eco-observatory.” Straw keeps inside the Mall property all of the time, relishing the few skylights covered in barbed wire; there are crops to tend on the roof and predators to scan in the militarized zone that once was a parking lot.

Straw’s day to day schedule is been fueled by the big cob oven and her continuous initiation by the Shamanator:

  • Mornings – Baking / Study
  • Afternoons – Yoga / Farming
  • Evenings - Community Meal / Tribe Meetings
  • Late Nights – Singing/ Dancing / Myth Writing

The Tribal member who takes the role of the Shamanator is debated and elected every seven months and no one can repeat the role unless they there no other interested  people. The Shamanator is the fire wood captain for the cob oven. He/she is responsible for heating the center court and family places, for the daily bread, warming the young and old muscles at yoga and tickling the sky lights at the late evening rituals.

Inserted into the side of the great cob oven is a plague that references one of the three original permaculture ethics:

“Care of People.”

Care of People is about ensuring the well being of both individuals and communities. As individuals, we need to look after ourselves and each other so that as a community we can develop environmentally friendly lifestyles. In the poorest parts of the world, this is still about helping people access enough food and clean water, within a safe society. In the post-crash world, it means redesigning our unsustainable systems and replacing them with sustainable ones. This could mean working together to provide efficient energy sources or providing shelter. When people come together, friendships are formed and sustainability becomes possible.

Straw watches Shamanator stir the glowing wood inside the oven with ease, as the smoke wisps up and out the covered vent in the roof. This process, often called community alchemy by the Tribe, symbolizes the transmutation of wood, fire and oxygen into local energy and the recycling of elements when burned. It is through transmutations of this sort – physical to chemical to spiritual – that alchemy supports growth in consciousness. As a community, the Tribe participates in all phases of activity and feedback, including honest evaluation.

The mighty cob oven is the primary social engine for adaption and evolution in the re-purposed Mall. The oven’s flame is as sacred to Straw as the permaculture team’s inputs and outputs on the roof.

There are few parents and fewer babies in the Tribe. Mentors and friends work withShamanator and the Council to re-write the social codes and psycho babble from the creaking demise of capitalism. Nature is now guide and value-generator; health care, crop engineering and the arts are heavily influenced by Biomimcry. Songs about composting and pesticide-free grains often fill the cob oven arena doing ritualizing. The Mall is the transmutation chamber and the great oven the soul fire.

Straw is rising, the new soulbread from the community heart – in a quest for love and justice in the Permaculture Age.

* * * * * * * *

 The Road to Cascadia

As a green certified business and sustainability consultant, I launched Magazine on Earth Day 2009 to build a database of interviews and articles about innovation, sustainability, and the mystic arts. My bliss was renewed in 2011 when I designed to produce new mythic stories with modern alchemies. My work now focuses on what is sacred is to us, the community building power of permaculture and the transformative energy in the new alchemy (ex: soil, sound, digital) and global mythologies. Please see my ground breaking Myth Blog for the Joseph Campbell Foundation and pioneering videos on YouTube.

Key initiations as I prepare for my workshop at the 2012 The Study of Myth Symposium include: Mythic Map: A Transition Tool for Creating CultureChrysalis Songs for The Permaculture Age: Transmuting the New Myth, Alchemy, Symbols & Sacred, and Mythic Mandate: online workshop & documentary. My 24 new myths champion permaculture heroes in transition on mythic journeys in Cascadia.

Bed Rock

Rees’ assertion is that we are trapped in a collective cultural mythology oriented around the idea of boundless economic growth, and that the powerful narrative of this mythology has behaviorally, institutionally, politically and socially disabled us from honestly confronting the foundations of global un-sustainability. Therefore, he argues, we only come up with diversionary, gimmicky, peripheral or subsidiary ways of dealing with the challenge – because our primary motivations are precisely wedded at a deeper level to a cultural mythology that itself is at odds with sustainability… when what we really need is afundamental paradigm shift.

The mythology of sustainability, unlike the classic myths, was created with an electronic, mediated backbone or Internet. Not in My Backyard (NIMB) is now Not on My Earth (NOME); watch it on You Tube. Sustainability is fueling a shift in global consciousness and may create a new set of fears and songs and stories that could be just what the new mythologists ordered. Indeed, the practice of sustainability could be seen as quasi-religious to many. Why? Because so many of us have ditched our birthright religions with nothing else to substitute for the Sunday mass. Or because protecting Mother Nature is now a priority of such grand proportion causing some to blend a “hybrid of Wicca and Quakerism” in attempt to fuel a new set of global spiritual rites of initiations, traditions and “holy passages”.

Journey to Cascadia is grounded in the alchemies from the post-1960’s: anti-war, eco-friendly, Occupy – and in the present Apocalyptic Era (see New Global Mythology Model (version 1.0). Key to this journey is that I do not give much (if any) power to biblical or classical myths, acknowledging some symbols and conflicts. Cascadia is the result of the the global ecological disaster that is now underwaywater shortages, war for oil, toxic seeds and greed at all levels in society. The primary vision underpinning my24 new myths is that a post-apocalyptic survival awaits us and we need to be prepared. We desperately need new triggers and heroes to undertake community initiations and journeys to start the chapter of eco-human!

The term “mythology” can refer either to the study of myths (e.g., comparative mythology), or to a collection of myths (a mythos, e.g., Inca mythology). In folklore, a myth is a sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form, although, in a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story. Myths typically involve supernatural characters and are endorsed by rulers or priests. They may arise as over-elaborated accounts of historical events, as allegory for or personification of natural phenomena, or as an explanation of ritual. Myths are transmitted to convey religious or idealized experience, to establish behavioral models, and to teach.

The New Global Mythology Model that is building Cascadia uses most of the functionality in the definitions above but adds several important updates in this over-mediated, unsacred, and Nature-at-risk Apocalyptic Era. The New Global Mythology Model also facilitates the creation of new myths by both individuals and communities with new initiations and five new alchemies. Mythology, whether in the form of new poems, stories, or songs, requires a new spiritual search engine to go with the Universal archetypes. The journey is supported by mythic elements from rock music, permaculture, the Transition movement, localization and dark green religion – and the support of thesacred that comes with them. Whether or not the new myths from Cascadia are “positive” or “negative”, it is clear that critical lessons from present conditions on Earth – and honest, realistic visions of the future – are revealed.


“In 2015, Northern CA, Oregon & Washington seceded from the United States of America in a sacred coup d’état fueled by a feverish localism bent, new agriculture values and Transition spirits. That same year the new Union, called Cascadia, created a network for the protection of non-GMO seeds and other food sources, using decommissioned bomb shelters, root cellars and other protected underground spaces. Only a select few saw the coast to coast civil war with Monsanto Corp. ripping through the rest of the country the following year.”

New Global Mythology Model (version 1.0)

Overview & Detail


The Mythic Elements

[A] The Five New Alchemies and their Transmutations

By alchemy, I mean the transmutation of ideas and spirit into action. By recharging and sharing a new set of alchemieswe can support collaboration, visioning and planning for the Permaculture Age. Each new alchemy guides us at various tasks and emotional levels: from the individual to group to the planet. I feel that there is a recognizable spirit-charge or alchemy supporting permaculture principles across all cultures. Many experience the process of alchemy through sound and visual art. Look for new songs, dances and rituals based on permaculture practices.

There is no new mythology without alchemyAs our consciousness is raised and the elements connected, transmutation is possible. Alchemy can be mediated, voice activated, and Nature-fueled. It is love in action, the glue that makes myth universal. Powerful myths are shared fights and common solutions to the Big Challenges. Myths are also road maps or clues (examples) for the seekers and visionaries. We need to understand the power of the five alchemies in the new myths before “hearing” them. This journey to Cascadia or back to Oakland is precisely what Campbell advocated and is the hard work that we cannot afford to shun. It is dangerous to decry a Hero before the sweat is spilled and the information tested and shared. 

[1] Sound: Rock Music

As for rock music, we hear and see symbols through rock music and art. Band names and titles of records and songs contain important cues, many political or humorous, but some for “mythic punch.” Album art work is the first to be interpreted and often carries the same meaning all over the world. When musicians combine song lyrics with complimentary symbols, mythic meanings are reinforced and deepened. Symbols and metaphors are the seeds, our invitation to the feast. And many symbols, like numbers and colors, have ancient meanings and universal power. Joseph Campbell might have asked at this point: Do we know the power of these symbols? Have we lost our connections to the mythic reservoir?

I now wish to build upon the powerful ideas of Joseph Campbell with the New Global Mythology Model that allows us to create, sing and share new myths that support the post-apocalypse.

[2] Landscape: Permaculture

Permaculture draws from several disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, integrated farming, sustainable development, and applied ecology. The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant. Permaculture is both an emerging global social building tool and alchemic augur for the new Cascadian myths.  I earned my PDC or permaculture design certificate in San Francisco during the summer of 2011.

The following core principles of permaculture also weave a scared thread in Nature for many adopters:

Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.

Care of People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.

Setting Limits to Population and Consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.

 [3] Spirit: Transition Movement

The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Transition alchemy represents one of the most promising ways to engage people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected.

Recently several key themes have emerged from Transition:

Seriousness and urgency. There is a growing and indisputable recognition that our collective predicament is far more serious and more urgent than many of us had been willing to actively contemplate.

Emergence or what Christopher Alexander calls “Unfolding,” the evolutionary process by which the universe itself self-organizes, finding profound and practical lessons in how to catalyze Transition alchemy in our communities. I am in the process of learning about what is emerging in the Transition movement itself. In my community and groups, we’re discovering what is emerging in – and through - us.

Self-organization. I am also beginning to learn the meaning of “self-organization,” which is actually a core principle of Transition, though little discussed. I am discovering that catalyzing self-organization of a community around re-localization or Transition is entirely different from community organizing!

Permaculture principles and ethics. We’re also beginning to understand how essential the principles and ethics of permaculture alchemy are to the Transition process. This alchemic translation will become increasingly important over time, because Permaculture is based on a very deep understanding of how life works.

New Cosmology/Universe Story. Man of us are also diving deep into the story of the evolution of the Universe, of the Earth, and of life itself. As Thomas Berry explains, this New Cosmology “explores the contemporary, scientific story of the origin, nature and function of the Universe from its beginning, through its galactic phase, its supernova events, the shaping of the solar system, Earth, life, human life and self-reflective consciousness as a single, unbroken series of events.” Alchemic transmutation on a grand scale. New Cosmology is helping us to recover our sense of the sacredness of life itself, and our fundamental connectedness with the processes that make life possible.

Pattern Language. As an important adjunct to the New Cosmology, we’re beginning to discover the importance of the patterns of evolution itself – the alchemy and patterns of wholeness and healing.

Inner Transition/Heart & Soul. Finally, I appreciate the alchemy of Inner Transition, what is frequently called “Heart & Soul”, the recognition that Transition in the outer world cannot occur without an Inner Transition.

[4] Community: Localization

Key ideas in the localization of community include:

Healthy Food. This is all about my backyard and working with other urban gardeners! Our food needs to be fresh, healthy, and locally produced and marketed.

Personal Responsibility. Localization mandates increasing levels of self-sufficiency, to the betterment of my family, neighborhood and town. It is now our challenge to support local ventures and local talent.

Shifting Politics and Capital. I can now exert some influence on my local schools and businesses. This produces a significant portion of the goods, services, food, and energy they consume from its own local endowment of financial, natural, and human capital. Regional and local funders must loan more to area businesses, keeping the community and feedback in mind. Localization alchemy hopes to restore an efficient balance between local production and imports.

Environmental Impacts. I need to focus on local and community vs. larger, national efforts and projects. Not just about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but how the human and natural eco systems support each other on a daily basis.

 [5] Religion: Dark Green Religion

“Since the publication of Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, environmental alarm has intensified and become increasingly apocalyptic. Meanwhile, nature-related religion has been rekindled, invented, spread, and ecologized. A great deal of this religious creativity has been dark green, flowing from a deep sense of belonging to and connectedness in nature, while perceiving the earth and its living systems to be sacred and interconnected. Dark green religion is generally deep ecological, bio-centric, or eco-centric, considering all species to be intrinsically valuable, that is, valuable apart from their usefulness to human beings.

This (dark green) value system is generally:

(1) based on a felt kinship with the rest of life, often derived from a Darwinian understanding that all forms of life have evolved from a common ancestor and are therefore related;

(2) accompanied by feelings of humility and a corresponding critique of human moral superiority, often inspired or reinforced by a science- based cosmology that reveals how tiny human beings are in the universe; and

(3) reinforced by metaphysics of interconnection and the idea of interdependence (mutual influence and reciprocal.”

(Excerpt from Dark Green Religion by Bron Taylor, p. 13)

[B] Universal Archetypes

An archetype is always some sort of structuring principle that lies outside of everyday consciousness and, when it emerges suddenly, exceeds all of my subjective expectations. Archetypes guide my perceptions and behavior, often without my awareness.

“Archetypes are found everywhere, as their symbols are a language of the mind, taken to different frequencies of thought and connected to each other by the collective unconsciousness. There are individual and universal archetypes. You become aware of them in meditation, dreamtime, remote viewing or other out-of-body experiences, when you doodle on a pad, crop circles or landscape art, other art forms, jewelry, hieroglyphs, a logo, on a billboard, anywhere at all. Archetypes can also be auditory, a tone, a series of notes, a harmonic. Reality is a series of metaphors set into motion by the synchronicity of archetypes we experience.” Christian GerikeNew Global Mythology Group

[C] The Hero

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development.  Campbell describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, as the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization. The hero who accepts the call to enter a strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance. In the most intense versions of the narrative, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help. If the hero survives, he may achieve a great gift or “boon.” The hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with this boon. If the hero does decide to return, he or she often faces challenges on the return journey. If the hero returns successfully, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world.

[D] Initiation – Personal & Community

In all five active alchemies in the apocalypse era, both personal and community initiations are necessary in the New Global Mythology Model. Initiation is change:  from one geographic place to a new place or moving from an old perspective to a new one, initiations are often difficult to understand and execute. A new political campaign or permaculture event may involve a community initiation!

Key Questions: if there is no initiation, am I learning anything? What does risk have to do with initiation? Who is controlling the initiation?

[E] Instincts

In 1919, Jung wrote: “Instincts are typical modes of action”, while “archetypes are typical modes of apprehension”; instinct and archetype “determine one another”. The instinct drives the behavior pattern, while the archetype apprehends the environmental and/or physiological conditions under which the instinctual behavior is an appropriate response. No instinctual behavior will be initiated unless its archetype “apprehends” the necessary conditions.

[F] Triggers

An archetype triggers an instinct. Some personal and community initiations can also trigger instincts. Instincts also help create new alchemies for each era.

[G] The Internet

The Internet has speeded up the rate of initiation and mythic element creation and sharing since the 1980’s. The Internet has also speed-up up global consciousness raising and distribution and story synthesis. I have written 24 new myths I less than a year and many have read them.

[H] The Sacred Path

“I have long been of the opinion, based on my anthropological knowledge of tribal rituals, that it is the information that maintains life that is the sacred, i.e., sacred = life -maintaining information; and, the relationships that maintain life are the sacred, i.e., sacred = life-maintaining relationships. In communications systems theory, very simplified, there is a sender, a transmission channel, and a receiver. When those elements are engaged in the transmission of information regarding life-maintaining relationships, there is a sacred experience. So I would say that when we are engaged in this communication process, the sender/receiver/transmission channel/information are the quantification of the sacred, the tools if you will, and the actual relationships are the qualitative of the sacred, the feeling – the numinous, the experience of the One/All.” Christian Gerike, New Global Mythology Group

* * * * * * *

New Myth #21Noah’s honey rust fortress (“junk yard permaculture”)

“Have you ever sat near a roaring brook and felt refreshed, been cheered by the vibrant song of a thrush or renewed by a sea breeze? Does a wildflower’s fragrance bring you joy, a whale or snow-capped peak charge your senses? You did not take a class to learn to feel these innate joys. We are born with them. As natural beings, that is how we are designed to know life and our life. Dramatically, new sensory nature activities culturally support and reinforce those intelligent, feelingful natural relationships. In natural areas, backyard to back country, the activities create thoughtful nature-connected moments. In these enjoyable non-language instants our natural attraction senses safely awaken, play and intensify. Additional activities immediately validate and reinforce each natural sensation as it comes into consciousness. Still other activities guide us to speak from these feelings and thereby create nature-connected stories. These stories become part of our conscious thinking.”    – On Connecting with nature: An Interview with Mike Cohen

* * * * * *

“Are you the resistance or the enforcer?”

“Depends on what you have to loose, girl.”

“Up periscope, Noah?”

“Yepper. Now where is that darn critter?”

* * * * * * *

A circuit of safe huts

Noah’s shinny green donut hole of rusting cars and trucks from the occupation world now rings his psyche and permaculture visions like a boa constrictor wrapping around a freaked-out chipmunk. Some folks call the place “D-Troi.”

His particular version of the safe hut concept is just one of many designs that were established to help keep leaders and vendors safe as the Transitionites continue rebuilding the people and towns in Cascadia. Zeek and Molly’s tree house and vertical garden is next on the path, 12 miles north, fit with pulleys to get up and the across the Blue river.

“None of them dark light bastards can get into my place but that raccoon sure can, he is an egg thief to beat all.”

“There he is!”

Noah never meant to be part of the Transition, it just sorta fell on his head. Strange people just started showing up with food and seeds and he bartered his security. He had to make a choice between bad times and better values. His junk car collection is now a 14’ high ring of old gas guzzlers, tires and dead chrome. One has to know where the tunnel is to access the place.  He considers himself the king of sheet mulch. The soil in the space is long gone toxic from the rust of old times and technologies.

He trades in honey, wire and hub caps, batteries, fabrics, wind shields, tires and salty stories.

Noah’s camp is more like an ameba, built with multiple rings: gnarly steel and mashed-down upholstery; a food forest ring, junk cars, then the commons. A semi-chaotic, semi-integrated / biodegraded ecosystem with bees and honey.

Herbs dangle in old pots and starter plants are snuck into tires. The cob oven smokes up on one end of the commons and solo tents ring the other. Noah can pull a patch work awning over the space if rain wets the place.

Junk yard permaculture – with a sacred twist.

* * * * * * *

Tires are beat drums, hub caps percussion

While the coon waddled back to his own hole in the woods, other humanoid creatures arrive around dusk for the new Moon ritual. The cob oven is repurposed this night as the heart torch for Nature visions.

The center space is kickin’ with dust and whirling ankles.

Chanting, arms entwined in a circle, the howls and imaginations of the dancers boil into One.

A time to revolve, give thanks and spin some Love.

To share the story of future now.

* * * * * * *


(A) Join New Global mythology Group discussion

(B) The first 24 new myths

(C) Five Methods to Write New Global Myths:

 [1] The first online workshop:

[2] The first face-to-face workshop:

[3] “The Mythic Sound Scape Constructor Process:”

[4] Stanley Krippner’s presentation Jung and Neuroscience video-conference at Sonoma State University (sponsored by the Psychology Department):

A Neuromythological Approach to Working with Dream: Myths Evolve

1) The prevailing myth is outmoded.

2) A counter-myth emerges, challenging prevailing myth.

3) Dialectic between the old myth and the counter myth emerges a new myth which embodies the best elements of both.

4) And is synthesized into a new guiding myth, presented as a single statement.

5) Translated into real life.

The new myth is stronger as it embodies the positive elements of the old and the new; the old myth can sabotage the new myth due to the grip that the old myth has on us.

[5] Community Mythology Project

Community Mythology Project (CMP) is about us taking control of the stories that influence our behavior. Too often we are consumers of the stories of others — Hollywood, cultural legacy myths, the media, ideology and political myths. We let ourselves be programmed with attitudes and behavior that fuel a lifestyle, economy, aesthetic sensitivity and spirituality that may not be optimal. We also opt out of participating in a fundamental human right — the privilege of being creative, active, hands on in consciously shaping our future according to our values. With a CMP this is done as a group with everyone contributing. As we exercise our creativity, we recognize the rights of others to create. We learn to appreciate art, literature, poetry, performances and in the process learn about each other through our varied responses to a common myth framework. 

 (D) Willi’s eBooks

Book One – – Activating the New Alchemy and Mythologies for the Sustainability Age – Thought Leader Interviews by Willi Paul and David Metcalfe

Book 2 – – Activating the New Alchemy and Mythologies for the Sustainability Age - New Myth Series & Foundation Articles by Willi Paul and David Metcalfe

Book 3 – – Activating the New Alchemy and Mythologies for the Sustainability Age – Alchemic Drawings & Mythic Stories by Willi Paul and David Metcalfe

TRIBES: 15 New Myths for the Permaculture Age by Willi Paul

Regenerator: Transition Tools for Mapping New Symbols, Songs & Mythology
by Willi Paul,

Calling the Seeds: 19 Interviews with Women in Permaculture and Transition: 2010 – 2012. A Source Directory by Willi Paul

Mythologists, Mystics & Magicians in Transition: 18 Interviews from the Magazine Reservoir 2010 – 2011. A Source Directory by Willi Paul 

The Chameleons: 23 Interviews with Men in Permaculture and Transition: 2010 – 2012. A Source Directory, By Willi Paul, Magazine 

Read more…

What is this Saturn Return passage that we hear about so often? If you are between the ages of 28-30 you are in your first Saturn Return, or if you are 59-60 years old, then you are in your Second Saturn Return.


 (This is excerpted from new book" "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer")

“When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.” C.G. Jung

The "Saturn Returns" at ages twenty-nine and fifty-nine are times of great change and opportunity. And so, they can also be times of crisis. These times are about restructuring our lives, and the biggest mistake you can do now is to do nothing. Make a change, make it Real, and make it Now. Saturnian times can feel melancholy and frustrating, but if we act with this archetypal energy and give it what it wants--which is work and restructuring-- you'll get the reward. Long terms. Saturn rewards in the long term, but the short term feeling of having to change and restructure your life in some way is never easy. But stay with it, and do it one step at a time. That's the way Saturn likes to in a 12 step program....slow and steady, every day and with committment. So hang in there, and you'll find this old goat Saturn to be a friend not a foe.
What do you think of when you hear the words: “Know Thyself” and “Nothing in Excess”? These were the words inscribed above the sacred oracular temple at Delphi, Greece. One might think that by understanding and trying to live by those wise words one might avoid the great troubles in life.
Perhaps they help. Our understanding of these words changes as we age, but life often plays some nasty tricks on us in the meantime. Perhaps this is why folks who understand “just a little” astrology view the coming of the Saturn Returns, at 29 years old and 59 years old with deep sighs. But then, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Saturn is an archetypal symbol for a process that asks us to reinvent ourselves and our ways of living.
However in ancient times, when people have fewer choices, Saturn was seen as the “old malefic” and its passage was viewed with some suspicion. “Saturnian” times can feel serious, with occasional bouts of melancholy or delay, but Saturn’s purpose is to re-structure our lives—not to make us miserable. If we don’t resist its call to change, restructure and reinvent ourselves, we will reap its rewards. Saturn transits have a way of slowing us down long enough so that we take a cold hard look at the realities we’ve built up in our lives and find new ways to become the true author—the authority—in our life. We are finally having another chance to become who we really are.
Saturn, in mythology, relates to the harvest, rewarding those who have “worked” for the effort it takes. It brings a good harvest if we’re willing to wait, work and endure.
Saturn, acting as the “stern taskmaster” likes nothing better than asking us to take out the garbage (psychological as well as physical) and to dig into the soil (of our psyche) before we plant the new seeds (of new intentions/new life). Its passage in our life—especially at these times of the Saturn Returns, is when we have a chance for real change and life-renewing rewards. How fascinating it is that astrologers today are beginning to see that it is Saturn, not Jupiter, that is truly the planet of luck and opportunity!
There are two Saturn Returns that happen to everybody: the first is between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty, and the second, between the ages of fifty-eight and sixty. Basically the Saturn Return permeates the whole time period. So if you’re around 29 years old, or 59 years old, you’re in it! And as Saturn makes its rounds in our charts (and lives) roughly every seven years, it will be particularly strong if it aspects a major planet in your chart as it returns to its natal position. (Here’s where you do need to see your chart.)
So, all Saturn transits give us times of renewal, but these two times are often the strongest. Astrologically speaking, the first Saturn return is when we truly come into our Self, as before age 29 we’ve been more reacting to what we were born into, than acting out of our true Self. And the second Saturn return is when we get a chance again to reinvent our lives as we move into our wisest Self. Ideally at 29 we would stop doing the same things as we were doing during our twenties, and do something different. Reinvent yourself!
And the same is true of the Second Saturn Return at 59--the ways we’ve been living up till now, don’t feel as good as they used to—it’s time to take a different route to re-invent yourself. Wouldn’t it be ideal if people could “retire” from their work at this point? But even without retiring, we can start being “pregnant” with our new truer Self at this time. The Self that will blossom in our sixties.
So even though our culture sees the age of twenty-one as the time of becoming an adult—it is not so for the astrologically minded--for us it’s twenty-nine. And you may get your Social Security at sixty-five, but it’s at fifty-nine, at the second Saturn Return, that your true personal and social security comes up for review.
Saturn Returns can be times of rough passage, or harvest, and they’re usually a bit of both. Check out the new book on Saturn Returns on : "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer" by Elizabeth Spring
Read more…

I recently signed a contract with Fisher King Press to publish a book titled "Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey." The book is a psychological interpretation of blues music utilizing ideas from Analytical Psychology and Psychoanalysis. Estimated shipping date is Sept. 1st, 2011. It will be available through Fisher King (, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.


Deep Blues explores the archetypal journey of the human psyche through an examination of the blues as a musical genre. The genesis, history, and thematic patterns of the blues are examined from an archetypal perspective and various analytic theories.  Mythological and shamanistic parallels are used to provide a deeper understanding of the role of the bluesman, the blues performance, and the innate healing potential of the blues.  Universal aspects of human experience and transcendence are revealed through the creative medium of the blues. The atmosphere of Deep Blues is enhanced by the black and white photographs of Tom Smith which capture striking blues performances in the Maxwell Street section of Chicago.  Jungian analysts, therapists and psychoanalytic practitioners with an interest in the interaction between creative expression and human experience should find Deep Blues satisfying.  Deep Blues should also appeal to enthusiasts of music, ethnomusicology, and the blues. 


About the Author

Mark Winborn, PhD, NCPsyA is a Jungian Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist.  He is a training and supervising analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and is also affiliated with the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the International Association for Analytical Psychology.  Dr. Winborn maintains a private practice in Memphis, Tennessee where he is also currently the Training Coordinator for the Memphis Jungian Seminar – a training seminar of the IRSJA. 

Read more…

Carl Jung & Jungian Topics: Dreams,Archetypes, Symbols 

Individuation: The Process of a Lifetime: Jung defined it as "the process by which a person becomes an "in-dividual…”

Book review: What Story Are You Living? By Carol Pearson and Hugh Marr> Are all stories are derived from archetypes?

Depth Psychology and Myths Today: The mystery that surrounds us feeds the myths we make…

The Differences Between the Wounded Healer Archetype and the Healer Archetype: 

Archetypes of the Feminine from Robert Johnson: Which one is at play in your life or

Inner Imaginal Conversations: Indigenous peoples for thousands of years have considered dreams to be guides to their lives helping them in decision-making…

That little psychological menace called projection: “As a rule, a beautiful woman is a terrible disappointment.”~Carl Jung. One response:

Depth Psychology and Myths Today: The mystery that surrounds us feeds the myths we make…

Listen online: “In Touch with Carl Jung”> The archetype of Regret with Bradie Hansen: class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 6pt; text-indent: 0in; line-height: normal;">Listen online: Deena Chappell &"The Voices of Archetypes" on "InTouch with Carl Jung":


Psychology, Therapy, Disorders, & Trauma 

Children born to mothers living within 309 meters of a freeway appeared to be twice as likely to have autism:

Recovering from Trauma: The enduring effect of war & terrorism in PTSD in soldiers and civilians of combat zones:

Writing heals: Brain research confirms relationship between words & neurological underpinnings of emotional trauma:

Sleep plays a crucial role in the development of memories, so could sleep deprivation eliminate fear & aid those suffering from PTSD?


Technology, Culture, & Entertainment

An astute archetypal assessment: “WikiLeaks and the Death of the Event”: An
Essay by John David Ebert 

Contagious Emotion: How social media can create big change:

Symptoms as signals of things unlearned: A depth-psychological look at 8 Lessons We
Can Learn from the Transnationals:

Sacred Brands: Consumerism as Modern Religion: As far back as 2001, ad firm Young & Rubicam declared "Brands are the new religion. People turn to them for meaning…"

Your call, but calls for contemplation: Cultural Symptoms: Cable News and the Moment to Moment Mindset:

What do these contemporary films say about the mind today?

The film “Inception” from the perspective of a Shaman:

For the first time in history it is possible to bump into an electric image of oneself on a fairly regular basis… "One Thousand Malkoviches: Reflections On the Cultural Phenomenology of Celebrity, An Essay by John David Ebert"

Visionary movies privilege the archetypal point of view (also a great site for a multitude of reviews):


Mind, Brain, & Neuroscience

Forget IQ: The Emerging Science of Collective Intelligence:

New lab study: Stress can enhance ordinary, unrelated memories:

Jung’s “2000-year-old-man” still lives in our primal brain: Fear is a fundamental part of making good decisions

Neural Feedback: Brain Influences Itself with Its Own Electric Field> The brain generates an electric field that influences its own activity:

The famous 'aha' effect is a peculiar phenomenal experience that people have when they solve a problem, yields pleasure:

Naps boost memory, but only if you dream:

Wholeness Regained - Revisiting David Bohm's Dialogue:

How does science fit in America’s growing interest in psychic and paranormal events? (Carl Jung also tried to explain it)


Nature, Ecology, & Ecopsychology

Climate change could kill up to 5 million people in the next 10 years—and most of them
are children under the age of 5:|+The+Blue+Marble%29&utm_content=Twitter

We need an energy sixth sense to fight global warming: ROUGHLY 30 to 40 per cent of global energy use occurs in buildings

Earlier this year: Scientists say Dolphins Should be Treated as Non-Human Persons: Dolphins have distinct personalities and self-awareness & can think about the future

Ecopsychology: Solving Climate Change Is a Psychological Challenge -- Some Solutions -

Read more…

Carl Jung & Jungian Topics: Dreams, Archetypes, and Symbols

Dreamwork as a rewarding spiritual practice by Jean Raffa:

Before the Meyers-Brigg (MBTI) Jung developed personality typologies. What’s yours? Free online test:

Vampires embody all aspects of the darker side of human nature. It’s what Freud called the Id and Carl Jung called the Shadow:

Carl Jung’s ideas on the form & definition of archetypes took 27 yrs to evolve. What is this powerful concept, anyway?

Psychological Types > Carl Jung describes 4 basic psychic functions: intuition, sensation, feeling, & thinking:

On Alchemy, C.G. Jung, and Ecological Intelligence: Alchemy describes a pattern of transformation…


Psychology, Therapy, Disorders, & Trauma

Creating a Narrative for Trauma Seems to Help Victims of PTSD: How children in Haiti are creating a narrative through special workbooks…

How to Live an "Inside-Out Life": Find pathways for maintaining psychological health & resilience during the rising "social psychosis" in our culture

Excellent read: "Conscious Femininity" by Marion Woodman

Getting to Know Me: What's Behind Psychoanalysis? Psychodynamic therapy has been caricatured as navel-gazing, but studies show powerful benefits:

Healing the Somatizations of Trauma: “The body remembers…Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves.”


Technology, Culture, & Religion

Virtual reality to help returning war vets and kids to re-imagine new futures? What happens at the intersection of technology and transformation? Inner Space: Technology’s New Frontier

When ideas have sex: throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It's not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is. TED video:

Powerful perspective: Waking Up: Terrorism and Depth Psychology by Dr. Mary Watkins, coauthor of Psychologies of Liberation:

Compulsive Buying: An Impulse-Control Disorder> There's some uncertainty among the mental health profession about whether to see overshopping as a genuine disorder or merely a bad habit

Americans Turning Over Electronics 400 Million Times per Year: Our consumption of high-tech electronics has far outstripped our ability to handle all the waste we're leaving behind with each new upgrade

"Sacred" Abuses in the Name of God, Self, & Other: A Call for Clarity in Addressing Archetypal Truths:


Mind, Brain, & Neuroscience

Scientists Prove Astrology, Call it "Seasonal Biology": Functional changes in brain based on birth month

Bees help to explain the link between intelligence and long life:

Sudden Understanding: Aha! insights favor the prepared mind:

Thought Leaders Now Being Replaced By Feeling Leaders


Indigenous, Nature, Ecology, & Ecopsychology

Thought-provoking and more than a little alarming! Is Wi-Fi killing trees?

Regarding climate change: How obliged are we to consider the situation of the “other: other species, the poor, or unborn generations NYT:

The environmental and climate justice movement isn't just about saving polar bears from melting ice, argues Bill McKibben. It's about rebuilding connection and community, changing the way human beings live

The Medicine Wheel as a Symbol of Native American Psychology: The wheel represents the cycle of life…

Free audio from Jungian events, includes “Don't Mess with Mother Nature: The Ecopsychology of Energy”

There won't be a bailout for the earth: Global warming is yesterday’s apocalypse….


Read more…

Ancient Egypt taps into the power of the mind’s eye. With its soaring pyramids, sacred tombs, complex hieroglyphs, ancient temple walls, legends of exotic pharaohs, and colorful pantheon of gods, it is easy to be captivated by the landscape of a culture that fills the imagination with its richness and depth.

Though C.G. Jung traveled extensively in Egypt, he never published a condensed work on his experience and analysis of the culture. However, it seems clear that the breadth and depth of one of the most ancient civilizations on the planet also provides fertile substance for understanding the human psyche. Indeed, there seems to be a “spiritual profundity” about the land, history, and culture of Egypt that goes beyond modern cosmography (Naydler, 1996).

Egypt, with its pervasive myth of Osiris as the resurrected god of the underworld, the use of mummification in elaborate funerary rituals to ensure eternal life, and above all, the powerful Nile that ebbed and flowed as the lifeblood of the land, embodies an archetype of death and rebirth, a profound worldview that was the backbone of ancient Egyptian culture. Surely, the vivid images conjured in a culture centered on “hieroglyphic thinking” are the very same as those of Jung’s collective unconscious, provoking “an imaginative vision that sees through the physical landscape into its interiority” (Naydler, 1996,p. 14).

Egypt is said to be the birthplace of alchemy. The etymological root, al kimia, refers to the “Land of Black Soil”, or the fertile mud of the Nile, that precious life-giving water that flooded the land each year enabling life to continue and thrive (Cavalli, 2002). As a metaphor which Jung himself equated to individuation, the pursuit of alchemists was to find the agua permanens, the living water which represented illumination through the realization of meaning (Harris, 2001). The black mud that remained behind as the raging waters of the Nile receded is a rich analogy for the dark, shifting arena of the unconscious. The goal of alchemy was to bring light to darkness, whether by turning lead into gold or shining the light of consciousness into the human mind.

Jung believed the archetype is a unifying factor between the psyche and the material realm (Ryan, 2002). Death as a precursor to rebirth was a common archetypal motif found in ancient Egypt (Perry, 1976). Marie-Louise von Franz pointed out that, though all cultures hold the hope of life after death, ancient Egypt is the only culture that made it so concrete through mummification (Harris, 2001).

Jung (1967) reiterated the importance of the physical body as an alchemical vessel in the individuation process, believing kundalini yoga to be an analogy for a union of consciousness and life in which the “unconscious becomes conscious in the form of a living process of growth” (p. 79). Harris (2001) insists on an inherent connection between the physical realm and energetic or spiritual process of growth: out of the body develops the spirit.

Conger (1988/2005) describes kundalini as a “serpent of divine life [which] uncoils in the dark pelvis of our unconscious and moves through the lotus centers [of our bodies] connecting the darkness and light, our unconscious and our awakened state” (p. 188). He refers to Heinrich Zimmer as saying, “All the gods are in our body” (p. 188).

Indeed the Egyptians believed this too, referring to the body as being inhabited by gods or neters, a word etymologically related to “nature” and symbolizing the living spirit in all things, the ensoulment of the world (Ellis, 2000). Though body awareness and spiritual awakening have been increasingly separated in western culture, attention to the energetic flow in the body along the spine can lead to “enlightened, embodied being” (Conger, p. 189).

In short, the ancient Egyptians developed a complex map to eternal life which all came down to placing the physical body in the bowels of the dark earth, a tomb designed to incubate the reunification of body and spirit. In alchemy, the prima materia must be subjected to solutio, to undergo dissolution and fundamental change in the blackness of nigredo in order to transform into gold. So, too, it is crucial to engage with the world, to be of the earth, to give over to the place of tension and darkness in order to allow for something to give way to the Self. Jung believed if we do not, we will remain suspended, fixed in time, and individuation cannot occur.


-The above is an excerpt from a 12-page paper. Download the full PDF here


Cavalli, T. F. (2002). Alchemical psychology: Old recipes for living in a new world. New York:

Conger, J. P. (1988/2005). Jung & Reich: The body as shadow. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic

Ellis, N. (2000). What Egypt Still Has to Teach Us. Obsidian Magazine. Retrieved from

Harris, J. (2001). Jung and yoga: The psyche-body connection. Toronto, Canada: Inner City Books.

Jung, C. G. (1967). Commentary on "The secret of the golden flower". In R. F. C. Hull, M.
Fordham & G. Adler (Eds.), Alchemical Studies. The collected works of C. G. Jung, Volume
10. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Naydler, J. (1996). Temple of the cosmos: The ancient Egyptian experience of the sacred.
Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

Perry, J. W. (1976). Roots of renewal in myth and madness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc



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Depth Psychology is the study of the Unconscious, an inquiry into what we don’t know by looking at how psyche emerges in symbols, mythology, art, & dreams and how we live out the repressed, the silenced, & the marginalized in our personal lives and in the culture at hand. It explores our relationship to soul, and includes ideas from anthropology, cross-cultural studies, ecology, philosophy, theology, indigenous cultures, the arts, and more. Early pioneers of the field are Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung. Contemporary Depth Psychologists include James Hillman, James Hollis, Marion Woodman, Christine Downing, Micheael Meade, along with many others. One particular emerging aspect is how technology, neuroscience, and innovations in modern culture affect the psyche of humanity and individuals alike.

Here is a look back at some of the week’s top Tweeted “soul bytes” (along with the intrepid @Tweeters who are responsible if you’re looking for great minds to “follow”)

Carl Jung & Jungian Topics: Dreams, Archetypes

Forging meaning: In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, #Jung relayed his encounter with Native Americans in Taos in 1925...

Enter the World of Soul and You are Like a Madman: Learnings from Carl Jung's Red Book: #depthpsychology

Living Mythically: Many people live their entire lives w/o any awareness of the #archetypes living through them.

Compelling: Ariadne and the Minotaur: Love, Trauma & Abandonment - A Jungian Perspective: via @heidiko44 @AshevilleJungCt

Jung's Underworld journey: Not for the timid. Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, and Imagination by Robert Moss:

Carl #Jung believed the goal of life is not happiness, but meaning: Swamplands of the Soul by James Hollis:

Why we should record our dreams:

Psychology, Therapy, Disorders, & Trauma

The Myth Of Therapy: An Interview With James Hillman (1991)- A brilliant & provocative thinker, reading Hillman is like stepping off a bus into the clamorous, exotic, slightly menacing streets of a foreign city:

Personality Disorders Shakeup in DSM-5: What are the replacements and what does it mean to you?

Ethical? Worth considering? Mind-altering substances may induce profound psychological realignments that take decades in therapy:

What will it really do? Method to erase traumatic memories may be on the horizon -

Recovering from #Trauma: The enduring effect of #war & terrorism in #PTSD in soldiers and civilians of #combat zones:

Technology & Culture

It was bound to happen sooner or later: NYU Professor Gets Camera Implanted In Head For “Art “(Video available):

Amazon Conservation Team: Preserving Indigenous Cultures and Lands With GPS and Google Maps. via @WiserEarth @AmazonCT

UFOs, psychic phenomena, ghosts, Bigfoot? Increased interest in the paranormal has gone hand in hand with greater media attention and the rapid diffusion of the Internet:

American Psychosis: What happens to a society that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion?… via @PeterBrownPsy

AS A CULTURE, WE FEEL DEEPLY ambiguous about genius. Are we failing our gifted children?,9171,1653653,00.html

Mind, Brain, & Neuroscience

Your #brain lights up when #giving: The science behind creating a chain reaction of goodness:

Synaesthesia: Asperger’s man sees emotions as #auras of color around other people:

Naps boost memory, but only if you dream: RT @sunfellow

Why do You Turn Down the Radio When You’re Lost? (2006) The ability to multitask & pay #attention to two things at once…

Does Insomnia Shrink Your Brain? Bad sleep is not just a nuisance; it’s bad for the brain at a neurological level.

Neuroscience and dreaming: Some biologically minded researchers would argue that both Freud and Jung are wrong about dreams' real purpose:

How to be a brilliant thinker: Developing Our Skills at Divergent and Convergent Thinking

Nature, Ecology, & Ecopsychology

The much anticipated Terrapsych anthology, Rebearths: Conversations with a World Ensouled just released on Amazon!

Perfect Symmetry Between Humans and Nature: Is not everything in #nature a reflection of a feeling etched deep within the #consciousness of all human beings?

Tips for giving Mother Earth a greener Christmas” via @catalogchoice

Climate change could kill up to 5 million people in the next 10 years—and most of them are children under the age of 5:|+The+Blue+Marble%29&utm_content=Twitter via @heidiko44 @MotherJones

Peru’s long-term survival depends on water from the glaciers of the high Andes. The problem is that all that ice will soon be gone.

Save trees! US consumers get 19 billion catalogs yearly: app 3.6 M tons paper, 8.3 M tons wood, 53 M trees. Opt out at

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“If you enter into the world of soul, you are like a madman” – Carl Jung, The Red Book, p. 238.

In his recently released Red Book, a body of work Carl Jung immersed himself in for nearly 17 years, Jung
reveals the deep introspective nature of what he ultimately considered an
archetypal “descent.” He documented this journey to the Underworld in
tremendous detail and accompanied many of the entries and topics with
beautifully detailed drawings. If you haven’t had a chance to view the Red
Book, I highly recommend you find a way. It truly has the feel of a sacred
book, not unlike many of the ancient alchemical tomes and other holy books that
have endured for centuries.

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of attending a teleseminar on the Red Book facilitated by Dr. Michael
Conforti of the Assisi Institute. Dr. Conforti, a Jungian analyst who offers
ongoing sessions on the Red Book, has a wealth and depth of knowledge about
Jung, archetypes, dreams, and the Red Book especially.

>During the session, the group focused on Jung’s metaphor of the desert and how the soul seeks to survive the
journey, often encountering divine madness. The madman, as Dr. Conforti pointed
out, can often say whatever he wants and no one pays attention, but what is
madness? What we label madness in our culture is often based on visions and
ideas that arise from a certain kind of truth. Madness introduces chaos, but it
also removes the barriers that traditionally limit us, allowing something new
to emerge. When the floodgates of the psyche let loose and one is taken over by
something bigger than the ego self, by the unconscious, or what Jung called in
the Red Book “the spirit of the deep,” the levies do not hold.

Sometimes madness is just what we need; it is the moment when we access the energy that allows us superhuman
strength, or the capacity to ride a wave and write passionately all through the
night. It is the power that drives our dreams, fuels lovemaking, and powers
deep meaningful ritual. When we are in the grips of the complex of the madman, the
otherworld has broken through and transported us “somewhere else”. And though
Jung would never condone not taking responsibility for one’s actions during
such a state, he makes it clear how important to embrace madness when it comes,
for it is “divine” and it comes of its own accord.

In the end, recognizing and embracing divine madness is part of life. We must be open to engage what is
frightening, what is dark, what makes us anxious in order to be balanced and
whole. When the rational world no longer makes sense, when images and thoughts
are coming from somewhere “else” (from soul), it is then that patterns begin to
appear and synchronicity happens. It is then that truth emerges and the way is
opened for individuation and growth of the self to occur.

Big thanks on my part to Dr. Michael Conforti, a gifted teacher whose compassion and depth of feeling is
conveyed in stories and everyday situations he uses to illustrate material that
might be otherwise hard to grasp. Dr. Conforti has offered an amazing weeklong
conference in Italy every summer for that past 20+ years. I attended last year
and can’t say enough about how how much value I took away from the event—not to
mention the wonderful setting! The theme in 2011 is “Transcendent Wonder”. See
the Events section on Depth Psychology Alliance to attend a virtual open house
and to get information, or email Dr. Conforti also teaches
courses on Dreams and on Archetypal Pattern Recognition based on his book,
Field, Form and Fate.

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Quest For a God

“It would be a regrettable mistake if anybody should take my observations a a kind of proof for the existence of God.  They prove only the existence of an archetypal God-image, which to my mind is the most we can assert about God psychologically.  But as it is a very important and influential archetype, its relatively frequent occurrence seems to be a noteworthy fact of anytheologia naturalis. (Jung, CW 11, par. 102)

And yet, we do believe something no matter what we say or don’t say.  Most pay little attention to belief or the archetype.  Rather than think about it, most just let the churches and their priesthoods do the thinking for us.  We have other, more important things to worry about such as our families, our jobs, or the physical needs that often become matters of life and death.  It seems that the question of God only assaults us in youth, especially adolescence, and once we have turned the corner of midlife., and only then if we have done our “work” so as to have the time, energy and resources to tackle the question of God.

This quest for a God is as old as the human race.  We have looked for him or her in the stars, in the animated world, in the sun and the moon.  But rarely do we dare to look within for the presence of a God.  We want our God to be more than the frail and fallible beings that we find ourselves to be.  And so, we push God further and further from our centre of self.  We build the most magnificent structures imaginable so that they can point towards this God at distance.  We decorate our imaginings with the most precious of objects and materials we can find so that this God will not be associated with the baseness that we can see and feel of ourselves.  And in the process, we lose God.

I lost God and now I must begin to look downward and inward in search of the wellsprings of the spirit which I know must be where I will find this God.  This is my quest.

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