Phoenix Force and Feminine Jouissance: Reading Myth in Comic Books and Pop Culture

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Apr 13, 2018 3:12:29 PM

Phoenix Force and Feminine Jouissance: Reading Myth in Comic Books and Pop Culture. Interview with David M. Odorisio, Ph.D. A Guest Blog Post by Devon Deimler, Ph.D.c.

You began forming your Joseph Campbell Round Table presentation last Fall (2017). We had to postpone the event due to the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides. Of course, the mythical phoenix cyclically burns and rises from ashes. What first drew you to the phoenix myth/X-Men character and how has your relationship with it/her transformed after experiencing a wildfire?

 

My plan was to spend the month of December preparing for the January presentation. This was after spending the past year immersed in the Phoenix material and almost obsessively researching every X-Men storyline that involved, referenced, or developed her or her daughter’s character (another Phoenix). I live in a small house in the Toro Canyon area of Santa Barbara County, which became one of the heaviest and prolonged fire-fighting areas during the Thomas Fire. The fire was progressing closer and closer to the County line, and spreading to my surrounding area as I was literally putting together the presentation. At one point it was raining ash on my neighborhood. My yard was a blanket of snowy white ash. The visibility was maybe 10-15 ft. and the air quality outdoors was terrible – pure smoke. Here I am, spending hours indoors each day at work on this research, immersed in images of a fiery female figure and here She is right at my front door.  I reached a point where I had to pause and ask, “Am I invoking this?” Of course it wasn’t personal, but it was personal at the same time, because I’m internalizing and making my own meaning from the experience as we all have for those of us who have lived through it. 

 

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Posted in: symbol, mythological, collective trauma, narrative, storytelling, symbolism, complex

Depth Psychology and the Recovery of Enchantment

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Mar 6, 2018 3:41:17 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Why do we study and practice depth psychology?

For many reasons. The urge to know ourselves better. Persistent dreams we cannot yet decipher. The failure of quick fixes and mechanical solutions to make us feel alive again. The desire to understand and reshape the cultural chaos around and within us. Lack of career fulfillment. Fright from having fallen down a rabbit hole in our lives: where is the map to guide us? The yearning for social justice. The urge to reinhabit our bodies. The aspiration to stand in the service of genuine and lasting change.

The motives are many, but for me, one stands out: depth psychology as a path of reenchantment.

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Posted in: alchemy, symbol, mythological, alchemist, ancient egypt, symbolism

From Information to Inspiration: An Interdisciplinary Career Based on Myth, Music, Depth Psychology, and the Arts

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 12, 2018 2:58:10 PM

From Information to Inspiration: An Interdisciplinary Career Based on Myth, Music, Depth Psychology, and the Arts: An Interview with Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D. A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

As a cultural historian, Kayleen Asbo has crafted a fascinating career by weaving together mythology, depth psychology, music, literature, and women’s studies. She uses this interdisciplinary tapestry to teach, lecture, perform, and lead cultural, historical, and spiritual pilgrimages around the world in a remarkable set of venues. She has perfected the ability to offer experiential learning through her sheer passion for what she does. She cannot imagine how each of these fields could be contemplated as being separate from one another.

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Posted in: Mythology, art, depth psychology, mythological, music

Only Blood Can Change: The Artist as Activist and Alchemist

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 11, 2018 1:12:35 PM

blood_and_change_I_mary_a_wood_2017.jpgA guest post by Mary A. Wood

“The essential function of art is moral. Not aesthetic, not decorative, not pastime and recreation. . . . But a passionate, implicit morality, not didactic. A morality which changes the blood, rather than the mind. Changes the blood first. The mind follows later, in the wake.” —D.H. Lawrence

“Alchemy starts in desire; desire needs direction.” —James Hillman

Blood is thicker than water—or so the saying goes. Like a myth in miniature, a complete worldview is illuminated in just five words. The bond of family or tribe, whether formed through birth, marriage or intense shared experiences (such as military service) is evident as well when we speak of “blood brothers,” “bloodlines,” and “blood oaths.” Blood itself has always been highly symbolic. It “evokes life’s precious value” as it courses through veins, yet when it escapes it “congeals into a dark haunting symbol of death” (Ronnberg 396). Those that work with blood, such as the surgeon and nurse, share a specialized sphere with the priest who daily transforms water and wine into imaginal blood. Through a multitude of ritualized signals and ceremony (such as uniforms, insignia, and dedicated locations where their work is conducted) all continue to be set apart from the rest of society much like the ancient shaman, alchemist and healer. As “workers of blood” these modern-day practitioners fulfill vital and even sacred roles, yet they are not alone—the artist and the poet are also inheritors of the talents, and the duties, of those who work with blood—“the poet is the transcendental doctor” (Novalis, qtd. in Hillman, Alchemical 340). When the bonds of blood begin to boil over and congeal into unconscious, ominous masses, it is not the physician, nor even the politician, but the artist and poet that can best halt the contagion.

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Posted in: Mythology, art, mythological, humanities, alchemist

Mythological and Archetypal Perspectives on Childbirth in Contemporary Culture

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 22, 2017 1:46:35 PM

Mythological and Archetypal Perspectives on Childbirth in Contemporary Culture: An Interview with Britta Bushnell, Ph.D.
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When yoga teacher Britta Bushnell first became pregnant, it was natural for her to add prenatal yoga to the yoga classes she was already teaching. This move eventually led to her training with childbirth specialist, Pam England, the author of the classic birth book, Birthing from Within[1]. England had already formulated a remarkable method that integrated mythology to help parents prepare for birth as a rite of passage, and for Bushnell, the training was transformational—so much so that it ultimately led to the two women becoming business partners.

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Posted in: Mythology, transformative, Education, mythological, somatic, the body, rite of passage

A Glastonbury Romance

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 10, 2017 2:05:19 PM

After Dr. Evans Lansing Smith (Lans) gave a series of lectures on the Grail Romances at the C.G.Jung Institute in Kusnacht, Switzerland, one of his attendees, Dr. Michael Best, introduced himself and proposed planning a trip that would appeal to the analysts and candidates at the institute, and to students and alumni at Pacifica Graduate Institute. This idea has since materialized, and in July 2018, Lans will lead a group of scholars, adventurers, and historical and myth enthusiasts through an intellectual and stimulating tour of Southwestern England.

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Posted in: Mythology, literature, mythological, storytelling

Psyche and the Sacred

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 8, 2017 4:16:41 PM

Psyche and the Sacred: An Interview with Dr. Lionel Corbett. A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

"You can't define the sacred," insists Pacifica professor and author, Dr. Lionel Corbett. "We can only talk about how we experience it. When C. G . Jung contemplated the sacred, he used the criteria of German theologian, Rudolf Otto, who described the experience of the sacred or the holy as “numinous”—that is, something that is mysterious, tremendous, or fascinating, having a powerful emotional quality beyond the ordinary or the everyday ego."

Corbett, a Jungian analyst who also trained in medicine and psychiatry, offers some stories from Biblical myth that exemplify such qualities of this experience. Rather than attributing such transformational events to the Judeo-Christian God, Corbett attributes them to what Jung calls the “objective psyche” or the “autonomous psyche.”

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Posted in: The Psyche, C.G. Jung, psyche, mythological, sacred

Horses, Hestia and Guinevere: Mythological Perspectives for Everyday Life

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 21, 2017 1:59:20 PM

Horses, Hestia and Guinevere: Mythological Perspectives for Everyday Life: An Interview with Janet Bubar Rich
A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Janet Bubar Rich became fascinated by horses in myth and legend when she was working on her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She recalls how she used to look at horses across the field from the campus during breaks, and being so taken with the magnificent animals. She began noticing the image of the horse in ancient Greek, Nordic, Hindu, and Buddhist mythologies, as well as in Native American legend, and she considered the symbol of the horse in films such as Seabiscuit, or popular plays like War Horse. Enchanted by the way that horses “enable people to go further and move faster” than they can otherwise go, Bubar Rich ultimately published a book entitled Riding on Horses' Wings: Reimagining Today's Horse for Tomorrow's World.

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Posted in: goddesses, mythological

Touching the Soul of the World: A Mythological and Soulful View of Chaotic Times

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 26, 2017 9:59:12 PM

Opening Keynote presentation by Michael Meade, Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century
Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

In a 4000 year old poem, a weary man argues with his ba soul (the unique spirit of a person) because the man feels deeply troubled by the increase of injustice, greed and unrest in the culture, which makes him want to end his life, begins mythologist Michael Meade, in a compelling keynote address at the recent "Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century" conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

When there is wounding in our culture, there is wounding to the soul of the world. Many may be feeling “world weary” at this moment in our modern world, and in fact, we are seeing an increase in suicide in all ages right now. But this mood of despair has happened before, Meade points out. This poem is an ancient story. A distortion in the culture, whenever it occurs, weighs on everyone in the culture—but people have survived this before.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Trauma, Pacifica Events, soul, mythological