Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit with Deborah Anne Quibell, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 1, 2021 3:42:00 PM

Deep Creativity: A Video Interview with Deborah Anne Quibell, Ph.D.

By Angela Borda

“Along the creative’s path, the smallest of things demand our gasp, our loving attention, our fixed gaze, and our compassionate noticing. To gasp is to take in or breathe in the world around us. In depth psychological language this is known as the primary, aesthetic response of the heart.” 

— Deborah, Deep Creativity

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, art, soul, depth psychology

Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit with Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Feb 4, 2021 4:39:24 PM

Deep Creativity: An Interview with Jennifer Leigh Selig

By Angela Borda

Jennifer is a prolific writer with three screenplays and twenty-two books she has been involved with. Passionate about travel and photography, she is the co-author of Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit and will be co-presenting the Pacifica workshop of the same name with Pacifica scholars Deborah Anne Quibell and Dennis Slattery on March 5–7, 2021. She and Deborah Anne Quibell will also teach a three-month intensive March 8–May 31, 2021. Visit us for more information here. I was delighted to speak with Jennifer, as she is exemplary of Pacifica’s deep-thinking and inquiring spirit.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, art, soul, depth psychology

Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit

Posted by Angela Borda on Jan 25, 2021 3:01:59 PM

An Interview with Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.

by Angela Borda

Dennis Slattery is a beloved professor emeritus of mythology at Pacifica, with over fifty years of teaching experience and 30+ books published, along with seven books of poetry. He is the co-author of Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit and will be co-presenting the Pacifica workshop of the same name with Pacifica scholars Deborah Anne Quibell, Ph.D., and Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D., on March 5–7, 2021. Visit us for more information here. I felt very privileged to discuss Dennis’s work with him, as he is deeply thoughtful about the liminal realm of imagination and creativity within the context of mythology and depth psychology.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, art, soul, depth psychology

Upcoming Pacifica Events: Spring 2019

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Jan 31, 2019 11:55:48 AM

Is personal, intellectual, or creative growth one of your goals for this year, or for your life in general? Do you long to connect with others interested in the intersections of art, soul, and depth psychology? Let one of Pacifica’s upcoming events this spring be the catalyst for you to plug into our like-minded community, and get ready to experience and engage in deep, meaningful conversations where you are able to hold space for each other and learn new, exciting ways to explore your creative potential.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, Pacifica News, Santa Barbara, graduate school, creativity, art, vocation, Education, depth psychology, active imagination, Pacifica Students, Pacifica Graduate Institute, resources

The Soul Stands Ajar: Aesthetic Encounters as Portals to Wonder & Meaning

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 26, 2018 3:18:33 PM

A guest blog post by Mary A. Wood, Ph.D., co-Chair of the M.A. Program in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” —Emily Dickinson

There are moments in life when time seems to stand still—moments when we find ourselves transfixed, and eventually transformed. These moments can be cosmic in scale, as reflected in the awe that we feel when beholding a rare solar eclipse, or an approaching storm. These moments may also be quite intimate, but no less moving, such as when we witness an animal emerging from hiding or when we hear an exquisite song. We recognize, and always remember these moments because they are announced by bodily sensations; we gasp, our hearts beat faster, and tears often flow.  Our bodies tell us that the ordinary has given way to the extraordinary.  These experiences are best described as “aesthetic,” as we find ourselves living, at least for a few moments, as creatures that are gloriously and achingly alive.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, The Psyche, James Hillman, archetypes, transformative, C.G. Jung, Psychology, art, soul, depth psychology, symbol, mythological, humanities, sacred, symbolism, Spiritual

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, soul, depth psychology, Pacifica Students, music

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

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: archetypes, Psychology, art, depth psychology

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

Photography and Writing: Into the Heart of Traditional Cultures in Times of Global Change

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 7, 2017 9:41:44 PM

Photography: Into the Heart of Traditional Cultures in Times of Global Change. An Interview with Writer and Photographer, Michael Benanav, M.A. A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Michael Benanav is a critically-acclaimed writer and photographer who has traveled to a lot of places that are well off the beaten path, often finding himself in remote mountains and landscapes, walking, being in nature, and living quite simply. There, in the wilderness, he often runs into nomads, and he quickly became fascinated by their way of life. Benanav, whose work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Geographical Magazine, Lonely Planet Guidebooks, and CNN.com, was naturally drawn to spending time with them.

These profoundly archetypal lifestyles inevitably appear in Benanav’s work. In his first book, a travel narrative entitled Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold (2008), he joined one of the last working camel caravans in the world, which runs an ancient salt trading route in the Sahara desert in Mali. Leaving Timbuktu, the route veers 500 miles north into the vast desert to salt mines located “in the middle of nowhere,” hundreds of miles away from any village. There's no electricity, no telephone; not even fresh water, Benanav reports.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, art, indigenous psychology