Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent and Psychic Birth - Taking back the Child-God

Article by Mariann Burke, author of Advent and Psychic Birth and
Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey Through Art to the Feminine Self

In Christianity the Advent-Christmas Mystery celebrates the historical birth of Jesus through the mythological imagery of Virgin Birth, Cave, Star, and the Child-God. Feelings of renewal related to the winter solstice and the ancient Saturnalia festivals find echoes in our own family reunions, gift-giving, and general merry making on New Year’s Eve. The circular “return” to primordial Origins for renewal has given way to linear history with its goal of unlimited progress. Yet the soul’s language is circular, as Frances Hatfield writes in her poem “The Soul’s Geometry” from The Book of Now: Poetry for the Rising Tide:
 We are not traveling a straight line as thoughts do.
 A circle is a line that went looking for itself.(1)                    
This “looking” is a soul hunger, a return or remembering beyond history still slumbering in the unconscious of those who crowd churches on Christmas day, many who do not believe in Virgin Birth, angels, etc. and have lost the imaginative power to see reality in the mythic world which these images reflect. We want to feel, to surrender ego momentarily in the imaginal world of music, poetry, and ritual of remembrance made present. Back in 1936 C.G. Jung suggested what he felt each of us needs and longs to remember, “In the last analysis most of our difficulties come from losing contact with our instinct, with the age-old unforgotten wisdom stored up in us.”(2)

It is this remembering as the profound meaning of the Incarnation and the essence of some religions that makes Advent and Psychic Birth as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1993. While the literalists take the Christmas myth as history, and the doubtful seeing the cracks in the whole Christian myth still enjoy the artful Nativity story and its magical mystery, many atheists, taking science and materialism as guide while dismissing angels and stars, still hunger for the communal sense fostered by living myth. In Jung’s view Christmas rituals and the Christ Child image speak to our longing for rebirth, that is for greater awareness of our innate divinity, and they are a “religious necessity only so long as the majority of people are incapable of giving psychological reality to the saying: ‘Except ye become as little children…”’(3) Exploring the Child-God mythic image and its powerful psychic energies latent within us, we participate in the emerging myth or spirituality of the 21st century and beyond.

In this article, I want to offer a few meanings of myth, the Child-God and the imaginal world in which they are experienced. Why focus on these topics? Years ago in church settings during discussions of Advent and Psychic Birth, a number of people questioned my use of the phrase “Christian myth.” Comments ranged from, “I was taught that myth is pagan and false” to “Myth is less than history for history consists of ‘real events’ and is therefore true.” Over the years thanks to the influence of Joseph Campbell and others we have a better idea of how mythology affects our lives. Yet Jungian analyst James Hollis has recently published two books on myth saying that he senses a need “out there.”(4) I hope that you will explore these topics more fully than is possible here, using resources listed here as well as others readily available. It is a sad commentary on the spiritual hunger of our times that expressions of soul or imaginal experience have been overshadowed by the reams of ego-based information that can overwhelm us. The word, “mythological" is a stumbling block for many who either dismiss it as old fashioned or fear it as “pagan.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Orphan presented by Dr. Audrey Punnett in Boise, Idaho

On January 22-23, 2016, the Idaho Friends of Jung is hosting
The Orphan: Alone yet at One with Oneself in the World
presented by Audrey Punnett, PhD

Date: January 22-23, 2016
Time: Lecture, Friday, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm; Workshop, Saturday, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 6200 N Garrett St, Boise, ID 83714

This salon is based on Dr. Audrey Punnett’s recently published book, The Orphan: A Journey Towards Wholeness. The lecture will focus on the experience of being alone while being at one with oneself in the world. Dr. Punnett will use excerpts from her book to illustrate the connection between psyche and spirit through the archetypal image of the orphan. The workshop will expand on this topic by using excerpts from the film of the fish tale, Finding Nemo with group discussion about the individuation journey as initiated by the death of Nemo's mother, Coral.

Audrey Punnett, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, certified child, adolescent and adult analyst graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich and a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco where she is past chair of the Infant, Child & Adolescent Training Committee (iCAT). Dr. Punnett has published in peer-reviewed Journals and she teaches nationally and internationally. Dr. Punnett is an Associate Clinical Professor, UCSF-Fresno, Department of Psychiatry and maintains a private practice in Fresno, California.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Cycle of Life Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Cycle of Life by Erel Shalit

The Cycle of Life

by Erel Shalit

Giveaway ends December 20, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sea Glass by Gilda Frantz - Amazon Book Giveaway

Fisher King Press is hosting 
an Giveaway of

by Gilda Frantz 

To register for a chance to win a copy of Gilda Frantz's Sea Glass, click on the following link: 

where you will sign into your account and then complete the entry process.

Requirements for participation: 

Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia 
18+ years of age (or legal age) 
follow @fisherkingpress on twitter

Fisher King Press has paid for all prizes, sales tax, and shipping. Entry requires an account and Twitter account. Amazon will ship prizes to winners. Your account information is not shared with Fisher King Press, except winners' names may be made public. Amazon is not a sponsor of this promotion.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Every eligible entry has 1 in 500 chance to win, up to 3 winners. This giveaway started September 15,2015 12:49 AM PDT and ends the earlier of September 21,2015 11:59 PM PDT or when all prizes have been awarded.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse . . . A Homeopathic Cure

'Unconscious Guilt' - not conscious guilt, not the guilt we feel, understand, and knowingly claim - but 'Unconscious Guilt' is a major cause of depression and anxiety. If you are a professional who is treating a client for depression, anxiety, and/or substance abuse, unconscious guilt may be at the root of their problem. Helping your clients find the source of unconscious guilt, and helping them to interpret its meaning may very well be what brings about a lasting change in their struggle to overcome depression, anxiety, and/or substance abuse. The Guilt Cure prescribes a homeopathic approach to uncovering unconscious guilt and treating anxiety and depression in the sense that it does not require prescribed allopathic medications that only mask or deaden symptoms and foster unnecessary substance abuse and addictions. If you are a professional therapist, councilor, clergy person, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or if you suffer from any of these symptoms and would like to learn more about The Guilt Cure by Nancy Carter Pennington and Lawrence H. Staples, you can read a free sample (Google Preview Button) at the publisher website

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review of Audrey Punnett's: The Orphan

A review of Audrey Punnett’s The Orphan: A Journey to Wholeness

Review by Dyane Sherwood

Audrey Punnett has brought this powerful topic to our attention in a thoughtful and multifaceted book that is engaging, carefully researched, and clearly written.  As a Jungian analyst, she concerns herself with the effects on individuals of losing a parent in childhood and with the universal questions of the Orphan in each of us—that is, the underdeveloped aspects of our personalities that have lacked the nurturing, structure, and sense of security that they have needed to grow.

In her opening chapters, Dr. Punnett recounts the way the theme of the orphan seemed to find her, rather than her consciously seeking it out, after she had moved alone to Zurich to enter analytic training.  Throughout, one can sense her deep empathy with the loneliness of the parentless child.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Dream: The Vision of the Night by Max Zeller

front book cover image of The Dream by Max ZellerThe Dream: The Vision of the Night by Max Zeller

A classic in the field of dream analysis, The Dream: The Vision of the Night is a collection of essays, lectures, and vignettes by Max Zeller whose career included a law degree, a brief imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration Camp, study at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and thirty years of in-depth work as a Jungian analyst.

In the eighteen pieces of this collection, Zeller intersperses theoretical writings, compassionate and incisive case studies, and powerful, almost haiku-like reminiscences of certain incidences in his life, from his meetings with C.G. Jung to his impressions of life in pre-war Nazi Germany.

The Dream: The Vision of the Night is the best example of amplification of Jungian principles that can be found. Neither pure research nor pure memoir, the collection is an affective combination of both, and as such best portrays the spirit of its author: always restless and searching, always compassionate and open-minded, and above all, always fascinated by the mystery and power of our dreams.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jungian Analysts Dennis Merritt and Fred Gustason presenting at Stayer Center Marian University Symposium

Myths and the Modern World
A Six-Part Symposium at the *Stayer Center, Marian University
Presented by Marian University and the Hanwakan Center

Sunday Afternoons 1:00 – 3.30pm, Feb. 15th – Mar. 22nd 2015

Myths orient people to the metaphysical dimension, explain the origins and nature of the cosmos, validate social issues, and, on the psychological plane, address themselves to the innermost depths of the psyche. - Joseph Campbell

Symposium Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Mythic Realm Within and Without
Dennis Merritt

Humans have always understood themselves and their relationship to nature by stories with the Big Stories being the myths and the mythic base of all religions.  Myths emerge from the mytho-poetic dimension of human experience, what Carl Jung called the realm of the archetypes and the collective unconscious.  Myths set the baseline for the values, ethics and patterns of relationships in a culture and the perceptions and responses to nature.  Individuals and cultures get cut off from this foundation by an overly rational and overly scientific worldview, but the connection to nature and the mythic, symbolic realm survives in our dreams.

Celibacy and Soul. Exploring the Depths of Chastity

Review by Dr. Brendon Stewart

Celibacy and Soul. Exploring the Depths of Chastity
Susan J. Pollard

Most Saturday afternoons I spend time waiting to have my groceries checked out at my local friendly supermarket. While waiting I can easily indulge my social research interests by reading and at times skimming through the journals that bring us the latest circumstances detailing various marriage breakdowns and the unabashed sexual arrangements of some celebrity.

What could I make of a book, recently in my hand that was suggesting celibacy and chastity could be imagined as passionate and beautiful? Susan Pollard near to the beginning of her Prelude makes clear that consenting to the way of celibate love is about a sense of rightness for her and she finds herself happy as a celibate. She is quick to say that what she is writing about is not high on the popularity list of erotic tales and yet it is a fascinating and radical choice about how one might choose to live as a sexual person. Yes, a sexual person, for the author, her celibacy is not some strange neurotic twist of body hating, sex fearing timidity, which saw her flee to the convent but rather an aesthetic, sensuous and psychologically deep choice that will tell the story of her love.

Along with being a Sister of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Pollard is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist with a professional practice that takes her into the secular world. The book references Jung often enough especially by way of his emphasis on the Greater Self who is the Other within every person. It is this Other, this Other within, that Pollard is attending to and she writes of the transformative potential of celibate love as she engages this archetypal relationship.