Nikole Hollenitsch

Recent Posts

Inside and Outside: How the Unconscious Reveals Itself Through Art

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 1, 2018 8:50:39 AM

Inside and Outside: How the Unconscious Reveals Itself Through Art, An Interview with Artist Margeaux Klein. A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When she was just eight years old, Margeaux Klein had a profound epiphany that shaped her life’s journey. She had been invited to visit the studio of her best friend's mother, an artist who always seemed so moody and mysterious. Margeaux remembers seeing the messy brushes, odd-looking tools, and the plethora of texture and colors, and it was like “a sort of white light came down from the heavens.”

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Posted in: art, music, depth psychology, Pacifica Students, soul

Epigenetics, Ancestors, and Living Your Calling

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 21, 2018 1:05:45 PM

Epigenetics, Ancestors, and Living Your Your Calling: An Interview with Heather McCloskey Beck A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Encouraging others to find their gifts and live their calling is a topic that has been deeply moving for Heather McCloskey Beck, who authored Take the Leap: Do What You Love 15 Minutes a Day and Create the Life of Your Dreams (2013, Conari Press). Synchronistically, decades ago, while walking on a beach in Montauk, Long Island, Beck was inspired and outlined in the sand an idea that came to her about how to create a happy life. Although the water had already swept away her markings by the time she returned from her walk, the idea resonated with her so strongly that when she returned to her campsite, she wrote it down and mailed it off to a friend.

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Posted in: the body, somatic, Pacifica Students, active imagination, depth psychology, soul, James Hillman

My first days at Pacifica: First year student reflections

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 14, 2018 3:16:01 PM

My Pacifica Experience. A guest post by Somatic Studies Specialization student Chanda Williams.

1. Leading up to the start of classes, what excited you most about the program and Pacifica?

I feel as if this has been a decision long in progress. Since I learned about Pacifica, I was intrigued and wanted to study in all of the programs! So I needed time to get clarity regarding my passions and my work in the world. I was most excited to see the reading list for my Somatic Studies courses, and to discover that I already owned a few of the books. I considered that to be a great sign that I am on the right path. I also looked forward to meeting my cohort and learning more about them.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, graduate school, somatic, Pacifica Students

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: depth psychology, art, music, Mythology, mythological

Mythology, Cosmology, and Symbolism of Ancient Egypt, Part 2

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 30, 2018 1:57:21 PM

Mythology, Cosmology, and Symbolism of Ancient Egypt, Part 2 of 2: An Interview with Egyptologist, Dr. Edmund Meltzer A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D. Access Part 1 here:

In his decades-long career as an Egyptologist, Dr. Edmund Meltzer has participated in archeological excavations in Egypt, translated hieroglyphic texts, published dozens of articles and books and taught worldwide. His major research areas include ancient Egyptian religion, language and texts, the history of Egyptology and the reception of ancient Egypt in the Classical and post-ancient world.

In Part 1 of this 2-part dialogue, Meltzer, who is currently teaching in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, shared some of his vast knowledge about Egyptian mythology and the role of certain deities, as well as offering scholarly perspectives on the concepts of ritual and magic. Here, in Part 2 of 2, he makes some compelling observations about the cultural traditions of ancient Egypt and how that cosmology impacts modern individuals today.

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Posted in: Mythology, cosmology, symbolism, symbol, ancient egypt

Mythology, Cosmology, and Symbolism of Ancient Egypt, Part 1

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 30, 2018 1:45:23 PM

Mythology, Cosmology, and Symbolism of Ancient Egypt, Part 1 of 2: An Interview with Egyptologist, Dr. Edmund Meltzer A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

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 richly and deeply stirs the imagination.

Egyptologist Dr. Edmund Meltzer had a ”predilection for ancient things and the distant past” from a very early age. His supportive parents nurtured his interests with books about ancient civilizations and mythology. Growing up in New York City, he had easy access to the Brooklyn and Metropolitan Museums, and to excellent second-hand bookstores where he browsed relics and acquired a wide assortment of contemporary and antique Egyptological books. He began to study hieroglyphs, and decided he was going to be an Egyptologist by the time he entered high school.

Through his undergraduate and graduate studies in Near Eastern Languages and Studies, as well as American archaeology, Edmund met librarians, professors, scholars, and other Egyptologists who strongly influenced his passion. His long and illustrious career includes work in Egypt as a site supervisor on the Akhenaten Temple Project–East Karnak Excavation, as well as being a researcher, teacher, fellow, journal editor, professor, and tour lecturer. Among his many achievements, he has authored a large body of scholarly publications, many of which can be found online.

Pacifica Graduate Institute recently invited Edmund to teach in the Mythological Studies program. He graciously shared his prolific knowledge and discussed the fascinating ancient past of Egypt and the Near East with me in a written exchange.

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Posted in: Mythology, cosmology, symbolism, symbol, ancient egypt

Depth Psychology, Art, and the Archetype of the Walled Woman

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 24, 2018 1:26:14 PM

Depth Psychology, Art, and the Archetype of the Walled Woman: An Interview with Conceptual Artist Tracy Ferron, M.A. A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Immurement, 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.

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Posted in: depth psychology, art, Psychology, archetypes

Campus Updates | Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 23, 2018 11:06:04 PM

Dear Pacifica Community,

Over the past week progress has been made in the Carpinteria-Montecito-Santa Barbara area in our recovery from the fires and mud flows. While we are grieving the many losses, of lives, of property, of livelihoods for some community members, we are also very grateful for the vast amount of work which has been done towards recovery. On Sunday, January 21, highway 101 was re-opened in both directions between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. Pacifica is also participating in this recovery: earlier in the week we re-opened the Lambert campus, hosted several tracks of students there as well as a track at the Pepper-Tree Inn in Santa Barbara. We have held a community meetings to discuss and coordinate a number of steps facilitating recovery. At the present time several plans to keep Pacifica fully operational are currently being implemented with the Lambert campus open but not the Ladera campus–we do not yet have a firm time line on when we can return there. Students, please note that all offices and departments are available to assist you. You can contact departments via phone or email. Please refer to our directory for phone numbers and contact information

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pacifica News, Pacifica Students

Montecito Flood Updates | Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 15, 2018 9:57:49 AM

Dear Pacifica Community,

On Saturday evening we learned that evacuation orders for Summerland and Carpinteria were being lifted, in addition to the opening of some roads and continued closure of others, as well as some alternate routes and methods of transportation. The Ladera campus, however, still remains in the mandatory evacuation zone because of road conditions there, so we must wait to reopen that campus. Throughout this time we have carefully monitored and adhered to the frequently changing County of Santa Barbara warnings, as safety for faculty, staff, and students is our number one priority.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pacifica News, Pacifica Students

A Community in Grief | Pacifica Graduate Institute

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jan 12, 2018 7:25:19 PM

This afternoon a small group of Pacifica staff and faculty living north of the Milpas exit off the 101 freeway in Santa Barbara came together in community. Simultaneously, Pacifica staff and faculty living in Carpinteria and further south also met. Joined via Zoom by others unable to access either in-person meeting spaces, we held our first community gathering since the dreadful mudslide that has destroyed a portion of the small town of Montecito after a heavy rainstorm on early Tuesday morning, January 9th. Despite being seperated by the mud and debris that has shut down the 101 freeway, we took comfort in coming together.

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Posted in: Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pacifica News, Pacifica Students