Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Depth Psychologist?

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Jan 9, 2019 10:45:00 AM

A guest blog post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D., Associate Provost of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Today is January 9th, which fans of the Great Detective have decided is his birthday. For those into astrology, this would make his natal sun sign studious, hard-working Capricorn. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels give no indication of the time of day Holmes was born, but I have a feeling, given his interests and how he pursued them, that his natal chart is nocturnal. No doubt Virgo, Mercury, Pluto, and Saturn had a lot to say to each other in it, especially in Houses 12 (secrets, mysteries) and 8 (death, rebirth, other people’s money).

I encountered Holmes as a result of committing a crime. When I was in high school, a bully made the mistake of picking on my friends and me. The school authorities did nothing, so I knocked him out at lunchtime and set his locker on fire for good measure.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Psychology, alchemy, depth psychology, narrative, storytelling, alchemist, jungian, relationship, relationships

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

Holding Your Fire

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 14, 2017 2:35:45 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

Now and then I’ve heard the criticism that depth psychology is not useful in emergencies. I beg to differ.

As I write this, the enormous Thomas Fire burns in the hills above Pacifica. Whether it remains there or sweeps down on the buildings below is largely up to the wind. Sitting with this disturbing fiery symbolism, I reflect that the dichotomy between psychologizing and safeguarding is a false one. We have taken all possible steps to make sure Pacifica people are safe. We have also removed vital equipment and materials, supported each other, and conversed every day about how to operate the school with the possible loss of buildings by fire.

Yet even as we act, we sit with the larger story of what this fire might mean. Why? Because in tending a different view, we make sense of apparent chaos and give ourselves a place to stand within the whirling sparks of uncertainty. A place from which to support our friends and neighbors and each other in a time of devastating loss.

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Posted in: Pacifica News, Santa Barbara, alchemy, depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Divine Darkness and Divine Light

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 17, 2017 2:04:51 PM

Jungian Analyst Stanton Marlan presents "Divine Darkness and Divine Light: Alchemical Illumination and the Mystical Play between Knowing and Unknowing." This presentation was given in the summer of 2017 at the conference Ars Alchemica: The Art And Alchemy Of Transformation.

This weekend symposium, hosted by The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Instiutute drew upon the rich influence of Jung’s alchemical psychology, while expanding it for a new generation of scholars, seekers, and practitioners.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, transformative, C.G. Jung, alchemy, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Embodied Alchemy®: Tending the Vessel

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 23, 2017 10:06:51 PM

A guest post by Tina Stromsted, Ph.D., Dance/Movement Therapist, Jungian Analyst

“What makes alchemy so valuable for psychotherapy is that its images concretize the experiences of transformation that one undergoes in psychotherapy […] Alchemy provides a kind of anatomy of individuation.” ~ Edward Edinger

How do we evoke the light in the dark body? How do we embody the soul spark, bring it to consciousness, and live it more fully in our daily lives?

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, somatic bodywork, alchemy

Why alchemical psychology matters to me

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 7, 2017 3:06:51 PM

A guest post by Robert Bosnak

It all started 46 years ago when, after a long and almost fatal illness, I ended up at the 1971 Eranos conference for my honeymoon. After close to a year in the hospital, Western medicine was no longer the ‘be all and end all’ of healing for me. I had experimented with psychedelics (it was the 1960s after all), and my perspective on life exploded. At Eranos, learned people talked about a cosmos alien to anything I had ever heard of and yet it all felt eerily familiar. I walked up to a comparatively young man standing by the open terrace doors during the intermission of a fascinatingly incomprehensible talk in French and said to him: “Dr. Hillman, I have used LSD and I’m trying to make sense of it.” I had his instant attention. I was 23 and he was 45. My children are now around the age he was then.

I started to attend the Jung Institute in Zurich and my wife and I became secretaries to the Eranos Foundation. From then on my fascination with alchemy never left me.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, alchemy

The Art of Transformation: Images, Dreams, and Alchemy

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jun 23, 2017 4:03:21 PM

The Art of Transformation: Images, Dreams, and Alchemy—An Interview with Jungian Analyst, Stanton Marlan
A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

For Stanton Marlan, a Jungian analyst and author of the iconic tome, The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness, his interest in alchemy may be traced in some part to his childhood stone collection. As a child, Marlan used to use his stones to “write” in wonderful colors, and delighted in the way each had a certain capacity to express themselves in a unique way without crumbling in the process.

The stones, which he kept in front of his grandmother’s house where he lived, became a very early “image” for Marlan, carrying a great deal of meaning. When his grandmother determined the stones were cluttering the front yard and threw them away, it resulted in a sense of profound loss for the boy whose colorful stones were so rich and valuable to him. In some deep way, Marlan reflects, the search for the philosopher’s stone, or the search for meaning in stones, was an early imprint on his mind as a young child.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, alchemy, soul, images, dreams, individuation

Alchemical Active Imagination

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 12, 2016 12:14:49 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

The brilliant use of alchemy as a symbolic language and process for psychological and spiritual development is arguably one of C. G. Jung’s greatest contributions to the field of depth psychology. While alchemy may appear to be a mystical—and mysterious—domain, Jung developed a powerful and inspired method for accessing it by entering into dialogue with the rich manifestations of the unconscious and applying it to our daily lives for transformation and growth.

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Posted in: transformative, C.G. Jung, alchemy, Jungian & Archetypal Studies