The Trickster, the Drag Queen, and the Goddess: Exploring Gender and Sexuality through an Archetypal Lens

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 14, 2016 2:31:11 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Aaron Mason, M.A., is a freelance medical writer with an infectious laugh, whose love of depth psychology led him to make sweeping changes in his life since deciding to earn his Master’s degree in the Engaged Humanities Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. On his desk in his West Hollywood apartment sits a Pez dispenser gifted to him by a close friend. The figure is a coyote, and Aaron has constructed a wig for it using multi-colored ribbons, and grounded its feet in magenta clay. He attached the coyote to his dashboard when he drove across the country from Jersey City in a dramatic move to the west coast. Aaron has dubbed this icon “Coyote Drag Queen,” a name that takes on layers of meaning when one has a chance to hear Aaron’s personal story.

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Posted in: archetypes, gender, goddesses

The Return of the Goddesses-in Mysteries!

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 13, 2015 11:14:57 AM

Notes on a Depth Discussion between Susan Rowland and Bonnie Bright

If you are an avid reader, the mystery genre is likely a familiar presence in the pleasures of your pastime. Those who love detective fiction really love it, as author and scholar Susan Rowland insists to me in a recent interview, and there is a strong ritual element in the reading and writing of mysteries. There are certain consistencies in every story that one may begin to expect; and yet they continue to enthrall us even as they unfold. Mystery novels hold a place for ritual in our culture, and a sense of wanting to repeat something we already know about, things we expect each time we pick one up.

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Posted in: archetypes, C.G. Jung, goddesses, literature

Sleuth and the Goddess: Hestia, Artemis, Athena, And Aphrodite in Women's Detective Fiction

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 5, 2015 8:33:00 AM

Goddesses live in detective fiction by women in ways little noticed before The Sleuth and the Goddess; in particular, how Hestia, Artemis, Athena and Aphrodite breathe into and shape woman-authored mysteries, whether driving a hardboiled P.I., such as Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski, or haunting domestic oriented sleuth Hannah Swensen, composed by Joanne Fluke. Goddesses are structures of consciousness and being, archetypes divining various forms of art rooted in the soul. Although these archetypes defy gender boundaries (so that male gods creep into women’s writing, just as goddesses are seduced or pursued by, or summon a male author), these four goddesses: Hestia of home and hearth, Artemis of hunting, Athena of communal survival, and Aphrodite of wily desire, most deeply incarnate aspects of the sacred in women’s mysteries. Just as subgenres of women’s writing such as the detective “cozy” have not yet received their due of critical attention, so too the goddesses are demanding that more attention be paid to the feminine psyche. The Sleuth and the Goddess shows us that to read the works by renowned authors such as Marcia Muller, Sue Grafton, Diane Mott Davidson, Jacqueline Winspear, Lindsey Davis, and many more, is to summon the goddesses and be blessed by their vision, beauty, and call to danger.

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Posted in: archetypes, gender, goddesses

Greek and Roman Mythology with Dr. Christine Downing

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 17, 2014 1:39:00 PM

We are excited to have our first open lecture for the Pacifica Post be Dr. Christine Downing's lecture from her class Greek and Mythology in Pacifica's M.A./Ph.D. Mythological Studies program. Click the "Read More" button to listen to the full lecture.

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Posted in: Mythology, goddesses