Having come through the pandemic as a strong community at Pacifica, there is a delight and a joy in convening once again on campus for the 2022-23 school year, which our reopening conference, “Portals to the Imaginal: Re-Visioning Depth Psychology for the 21st Century”, will celebrate. Emily Chow-Kambitsch, Co-Chair and Associate Core Faculty in our Mythological Studies program, will be presenting a paper on “Women’s Memoirs in Greek Tragedy,” as well as facilitating “Mythic Meditation: Labyrinth.” I’m delighted to be speaking to Emily about her work.
Angela: Let’s begin with the thing that first caught my eye and imagination, the labyrinth. I count visiting the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, cast in the colors of stained glass reflections, as one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Yet that is a representation of the labyrinth that is far from the mysterious maze in which one might become lost, might never emerge, and beware the Minotaur lurking at the heart of it. Do you conceive of the labyrinth as a metaphor for the psyche, that when we explore within, we may expect to meet the mystery, become lost, and face what we fear? Why would anyone set foot into a maze they might not emerge from?Read More
Dylan Hoffman, Ph.D., is a relatively new addition to the faculty of Pacifica’s Jungian & Archetypal Studies program. I’m excited to learn more about his perspective and teaching.
Angela: You began your career at Pacifica in our M.A./Ph.D. program in Jungian & Archetypal Studies (DJA). What attracted you to Pacifica, and in particular the study of Archetypes?Read More
The margins of consciousness have shifted. The original conception of “the unconscious” as a meaningful and influential force needs reformulation. Ideas associated with depth psychology have been increasingly adopted into the mainstream of modern culture, such as the ubiquitous influence of unconscious processes on behavior or archetypal elements operating in society. But if depth psychology is to retain relevancy, it needs to be contemporized and revitalized—What might that mean? And how might we go about it?Read More
Dr. Corbett serves as a professor of depth psychology at Paciﬁca Graduate Institute. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is The God-Image from Antiquity to Jung. I am delighted to speak to him about his work with the God image in the context of Jung’s scholarship.
“The God-image described by religious traditions and sacred texts such as the Bible, which people may believe in without necessarily having experienced, might be intellectually and emotionally satisfying, but belief is not as convincing as a personal numinous experience. Such experiences can be understood psychologically without recourse to the dogma or doctrine of any specific tradition.” –Dr. Lionel Corbett, The God-Image from Antiquity to JungRead More
Radhule is an author, mindfulness meditation teacher, and psychologist with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, with a new book out, Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom. Since 1997 she has taught at Pacifica Graduate School as adjunct professor. I’m delighted to learn more about her work and life’s mission.
Angela: To begin, can you acquaint us with your connection to and work at Pacifica? At what point in your career did you decide to teach at Pacifica?
Radhule: My American story began, when I moved in 1985 from Germany to the U.S., shortly after I graduated from medical school. However, my true love belonged to psychology and the healing of the soul. In 1990, I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and, after licensing, had psychotherapy offices in San Francisco and Berkley. I focused my training in San Francisco on psychodynamic and Jungian psychology. After I moved in 1994 from Berkley to Santa Barbara, it was a natural fit for me to start teaching at Pacifica.
For the last several years I have taught a class in the Depth Program on a topic I most love: the integration between Jungian and Buddhist psychology and practice. I began to study Buddhist practice when I stayed in a Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka in 1980. Over the past 41 years, I have deepened my studies, meditation practice, and Dharma teaching. Those two strands of wisdom, Buddhist and Western psychology, flow together naturally and organically in my clinical practice.
Angela: Thank you for speaking with me today, Charles. I’m intrigued by the diversity of your professional and personal pursuits. You are a capoeira instructor, a poet or spoken word artist, a counselor, and a graduate student. Let me first start with your time at Pacifica. What drew you to the school and what has your experience in the Depth Psychology, Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization been like so far? Do you know what you’ll be focusing on for your dissertation?
Charles: For my dissertation, I’m doing a phenomenological study about Capoeira Angola. The intention is to produce a description of the multiple ways Capoeira Angola can heal its practitioners from trauma experienced in their lifetime.
When we talk about Capoeira Angola, we’re talking about the mother of Capoeira, as it was birthed in Africa and took shape in Brazil. Some Capoeira teachers believe it may have come from a ritual dance in Angola. I tie in the past because Capoeira Angola is an affect response to trauma, for those who were enslaved and captured, a way to recapture their personhood, their identity and hold onto their culture, their beliefs. Present day, regardless of where practitioners are from, that story still exists for liberation. If we hold onto trauma, we can become victims. The metaphors and archetypes of Capoeira tie into depth psychology. To add to that, you have this collective of people who are with you as a support system. In Capoeira, Angola there is no hierarchical system, no creation of division, everyone is equally important, whether you just started or have been practicing for years. The idea is for all of us to win. You only lose if you lose your cool.
Initially I went to visit Brazil in 2010 because I was interested in pursuing a Ph.D. at UCLA in their "World Arts and Culture" program, and wanted to focus on how the spiritual aspects of capoeira can affect people in their daily lives. When I returned after being there for a month, I realized that spirituality is an individual pursuit. Therefore, with my interest in psychology and spirituality I began to wonder if there was such a thing as spiritual psychology. My counselor at the University of Santa Monica told me about Pacifica, a spirit-based program. I wanted to continue my studies in that vein, where space would be held for a spiritual approach. I already had my own counseling practice, and I wanted to bring in other modalities of healing. After some contemplation, I decided to go with DPT. I want to be the best I can be for me and those I work with.Read More
“Astrology provides images to be pondered for their symbolic richness and mythical amplification; they afford archetypal data, divine gifts.”
Dr. Rossi will be leading the online course “Archetypal Astrology and Personal Mythology: Part I: Fire, Earth, Air and Water: The Elements of the Zodiac,” that will go from July 31–September 4, 2021. She is a core faculty member of Pacifica’s Jungian and Archetypal Studies M.A./Ph.D. program, and I’m delighted to speak with her about archetypal astrology and her upcoming course.
Angela: Astrology is something that many civilizations have created, although the systems are different, the idea being that something about the interaction of the stars and where and when we’re born into the world can be read like a map, that the moment you are born defines in some way what challenges and strength you will have, how you will relate to the world, and ultimately, what your destiny might be. How does archetypal astrology resonate or depart from this common understanding of astrology?
Safron: I would say that archetypal astrology emphasizes certain threads. Archetypal astrology is anchored in C.G. Jung’s psychology and his notion of the archetypes. So one of the primary ideas is that our birth chart, the planets, signs and their configurations, symbolize the archetypal patterns of the psyche. In other words, archetypes are living forces within us and astrology maps out those forces symbolically.
Another key idea is that astrology is archetypally predictive rather than concretely predictive. This differs from ancient ideas about astrology, but some modern approaches as well. Astrology does not tell us what is going happen so much as it indicates how we experience what happens. Another way to put it is that events don’t happen to people, rather people happen to events. So from this perspective, astrology is about understanding ourselves better, the archetypal patterns at work in us, which leads to having a more meaningful grounding to our lives.Read More
Minh Tran is a Ph.D. student in Pacifica’s Depth Psychology program, as well as being a licensed family therapist. He has been selected to be a featured artist in the Artist Spotlight at LACPA. The featured project he was selected for is “America Dreams,” an intellectual musical exploring matriotism and social artistry. I’m delighted to talk with Minh about his project:
Angela: What can we look forward to in “America Dreams,” the presentation you will be giving on June 6th for the LACPA?
Minh: It’s a choreographed essay with its roots in a presentation I made for a course at Pacifica in Cultural Psychology, on America and social justice. That was the genesis. The Spotlight series the LACPA has this year, reached out to me to see if I wanted to elaborate more on the topic and present more on what “America Dreams” is about. The origin of the choreographed essay was inspired by a music video of a Vietnamese singer who was choreographing with her hands. I was so inspired by it. And at the gym, one fine morning, my active imagination was at work, and I started to think about my essay and my hands just started moving, and it started to look good, and I just went along with it. So the hand movements were new to me, but they are choreographed movements. In my clinical practice, I work with kids also, and I started experimenting with elaborating with my hands like puppets, and it became natural. I started paying more attention to hand gestures as a form of communication during telehealth sessions. On a conscious level I was drawing inspiration from Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Milton H. Erickson, the “wizard of the desert.” His form of hypnotherapy widens what we think of as hypnotherapy.
My intention is to queer the line between edification and entertainment. I hope people who experience “America Dreams” walk away entertained, inspired, and moved on some level, as we are by a great concert or movie. But I want people to also think deeply about topics of the times. I want the art to speak to the times.Read More
Gelareh Khoie is pursuing her Ph.D. at Pacifica in Jungian and Archetypal Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology. A writer, artist, DJ, and teacher, her studies have ranged from the mythology of disco to the archetype of Artemis. I’m delighted to learn more about her.
Angela: You write beautifully, are a natural story teller, and you have an article up at “Personality Type In Depth”. I read “Artemis as Spirit of the Wild” with interest.
Here is a quote that stood out:
“As the light and dark sides of the functions made their appearances in my life, Artemisian threads helped me cope with traumatic circumstances by continually providing a stream of life-affirming power. Indeed, the Artemis sensibility traveled in lockstep with my growing function maturity. Ultimately, as is her wont, Artemis helped me give birth to new consciousness by revealing the fecundity inherent in my wounds. For Artemis is the cool-headed and unsentimental realist who demands that we look at our true selves with unvarnished eyes and insists that we accept the darkness and the danger of the deep wilderness, the very darkness that gives life its richness.”
Is Artemis part of your dissertation research and how has your study of her continued to influence your understanding of the human psyche?Read More