Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people. — C.G. Jung
All programs currently scheduled will be virtual. Links will be sent out about five days before the program and again on the day of the program. Scroll down for full program descriptions or click links for individual programs. Membership is for current season programs along with recordings.
Late spring program in development
Friday, September 17, 2021
7:00 pm (approx. 2-2 1/2 hours)
A New Myth of God: Jung’s notion of the Self,
compared to the Judeo-Christian God-image
Presenter: Lionel Corbett, M.D., Jungian Analyst
The traditional Judeo-Christian image of God is not satisfying to increasing numbers of people. Jung’s notion of the Self, an innate God-image within the psyche, offers an alternative. This presentation will describe some of the problems associated with traditional theistic God-images and explain Jung’s alternative approach. The lecture will describe the many symbolic manifestations of the Self and the ways it may be projected onto external savior figures or even onto people.
Dr. Lionel Corbett trained in medicine and psychiatry in England and as a Jungian Analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. He is a professor of depth psychology at Paciﬁca Graduate Institute, in Santa Barbara, California. He is the author of five books: Psyche and the sacred: The religious function of the psyche; The sacred cauldron: Psychotherapy as a spiritual practice; The soul in anguish: Psychotherapeutic approaches to suffering, and Understanding Evil: A guide for psychotherapists. He is the co-editor of four volumes of collected papers: Psyche's Stories; Depth psychology, meditations in the field; Psychology at the threshold; and Jung and aging.
Friday, October 8, 2021
7:00 pm (approx. 2-2 1/2 hours)
The Tarot and Individuation
Presenter: Kenneth James, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst
In this class, participants will be introduced to the Tarot, a divination tool that also serves as a facilitator of the process of Individuation as defined by C.G. Jung. The structure of the Tarot will be viewed as a depiction of aspects of the psyche, including the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, and the relationships between those levels of the unconscious and the Ego complex. Basic Jungian ideas will be reviewed in the context of the cards, and the relationship between the Tarot and synchronicity will be discussed. Participants are encouraged to bring a set of the Rider Tarot deck with them to participate in some exercises with the cards. The recommended deck (the Rider Tarot, a.k.a. the Rider-Waite Tarot or the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot) is available on a number of online web sites.
Kenneth James, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago, Illinois. He is the founder and director of The Soulwork Center, dedicated to facilitating the process of individuation according to C.G. Jung. Dr. James received a Ph.D. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University, and a Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Along the way, he studied vocal music at the American Conservatory of Music and learned a modality of music therapy known as The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music at the Institute for Consciousness and Music in Baltimore, Maryland. He also completed four years of post-doctoral study in theology and scripture at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Dr. James holds the rank of professor emeritus after a 33-year career as a university professor. He has served on the faculty at Roosevelt University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Northwestern University. He worked for many years as the Director of Student Services at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory Schools where he coordinated services for students with learning, emotional and behavioral needs, and he now devotes his professional time exclusively to the practice of Jungian analysis and the training of new analysts. Dr. James has led workshops around the world on the relationship between divination and synchronicity, and on the use of the Tarot to explore the unconscious. The relationship between Jungian thought, clinical practice, and esoterica has been a strong motif of his work throughout his career.
Friday, February 18, 2022
7:00 pm (approx. 2-2 1/2 hours)
Revisiting Beasts of the Southern Wild
Finding A New Hero For Our Future
A film discussion with Barbara Birge, Ph.D.
Heroes of old classically slayed the dragon as a means of achieving great feats. We can understand that, for an extended period of human evolution, such a metaphor may have represented a necessary attitude for achieving the human ego’s ascendence out of our primal origins. Of course, individually, we may still enact symbolic versions of this archetypal motif as we firm up our personal ego complex along our own developmental path. Could it be, however, that collectively we are on the verge of a more advanced attitude? In his book The Archetypal Cosmos, Keiron Le Grice, who addressed Charlotte Friends of Jung last year, suggests, “We are now perhaps starting to see the beginnings of a great reversal, an enantiodromia…when the rational ego must participate in the emergence of a deeper self, as a new mode of being is born.” If we are indeed on this cusp, we would expect it to be heralded by, or even incubated in, the realm of art and dreams, where the collective unconscious seems to make itself known. The 2012 film Beasts of the Southern Wild depicts such a shift. With its young, African-American female protagonist, this film presciently addresses a host of issues ranging from entrenched power differentials to impending global environmental catastrophe and, more deeply, imagines the classic hero’s journey forward.
On Friday night, we will discuss this film in depth with the expectation that attendees will have watched it prior to our program. (It is available through the Charlotte Mecklenburg library and for rental on Amazon Prime.) We will consider whether we are currently glimpsing “a great reversal” that is not a regression but another way forward as the film suggests. Our exploration of the film will echo themes not only from Keiron Le Grice’s work but also that of Richard Tarnas, another previous guest of our group and author of Cosmos and Psyche.
Charlotte psychotherapist Barbara Birge returns to Friends of Jung having led programs on varied topics, including numerous films, over the past 30 years. Barbara received her PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute with specialization in Depth Psychology and has been in private practice since 1991.
Friday, March 25, 2022
7:00 pm (approx. 2-2 1/2 hours)
Analytical Psychology and the Inter-Relatedness of the Masculine, Feminine, DNA and Epigenetics in Contemporary Relationships.
Presenter: Alvaro Giraldo, M.D., Jungian Analyst
Jungian Analytical Psychology places at the core of relationships the formulation of the Anima/Animus (Eros/Logos) or contras-sexual unconscious of the Female/Male psyche. The complex dynamics in human relationships which are built around these concepts will be examined.
The formulation Anima/Animus implies contents of development that change with the times and evolution, as well as with the psychological transformation of the individual psyche and its personal growth. Unfortunately this formulation has at times been distorted and interpreted as a sexist view and denied its potential as a very constructive concept.
The Jungian formulations of Logos/Eros, Anima/Animus, can be “stripped” (Samuels) of their connections not only to sex but also to gender and become excellent tools for understanding the dynamics in human relationships.
An added biological understanding related to DNA functioning and its epigenetic control will be added, aiming for the enrichment and explanation of the content of these formulations.
Alvaro Giraldo came to the United States from Colombia 52 years ago. Alvaro received his medical degree at the Javerina University in Bogota, Colombia. Early in his career, he was tasked to work in “rural practice,” where he provided medical care to two small towns in the mountains and around the jungles of Colombia. He considered this to be formative in his decision to come to the United States and deepen his career as a medical doctor. Alvaro obtained a rotating internship at St. John Hospital in Detroit, MI. This precipitated a long, productive career in the biological sciences. He received formal training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Immunology, and Molecular Biology (DNA-biology) at Wayne State University, Oncologic Pathology (with an emphasis on immunological malignancies) at M.D. Anderson Hospital (University of Texas), cardiac pathology studies at the NIH, in addition to other academic and research oriented endeavors.
During these years of dedication to biological studies, there was a parallel inner-journey taking place, circumambulating around the religious and spiritual life. This translated into formal training during nights and weekends with the Jesuits at Manresa (Univ. of Detroit). This lasted several years until Alvaro was granted a diploma on Ignatian Spirituality and recognized as a Spiritual Director. Alvaro continued his studies at Ashland Theological Seminary (Ashland University, Ashland, OH) where he obtained a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling.
After a few years of personal Jungian Psychoanalysis, Alvaro decided to enter into training to become a Psychoanalyst. This task took 11 years. He received his training at the Pittsburgh Jungian Institute, a program of the Inter Regional Society of Jungian Analysts (IRSJA) under the International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP) in Zurich. Alvaro was granted the degree in Analytical Psychology (Jungian Psychoanalyst) in 2008.
It was during his training in Jungian psychology that he decided to retire from a 33 year medical practice and enter a residence training program in Psychiatry at Penn State University (PSU). Alvaro became part of the faculty as Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Resident Training Program. After several years at Penn State he was invited to practice psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Alvaro held the positions of Associate Professor in Psychiatry as well as Jungian Analyst.
Alvaro lived in Charleston for 13 years. Alvaro recently resigned his position at MUSC and retired to tend to his private psychoanalytical practice. He currently resides in Charlotte North Carolina with his wife of 50 years. They live close to their family. He is currently the president of the North Carolina Society of Jungian Analysts (NCSJA). Alvaro maintains his membership to multiple medical societies (mostly as Emeritus Member). His medical career is distinguished with a long list of publications over the years. Currently, his main interests are concentrated around the marriage of matter and spirit, which is reflected in his graduation thesis as a Jungian Analyst. The thesis was titled DNA and Archetypes, a labor of 9 years.
At the present time his personal life and private practice include and attempt to weave an interconnectedness between the biological, religious, psychological, and spiritual.
Our past 2020-2021 Calendar
(recordings remain available for members)
Friday, October 23, 2020
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Archetypal Cosmology and the Metamorphosis of the Gods
Presenter: Keiron Le Grice, Ph.D.
How can we orient ourselves to the great archetypal powers and organizing principles of the universe? How can we understand the epochal shifts in our conception of God and our understanding of the spiritual dimension of life?
This talk describes a new vision of reality—an archetypal cosmology—arising from the intersection of Jungian psychology and perspectives in the new-paradigm sciences, and, with reference to this cosmology, then explains how we can use astrology to track the changing archetypal patterns and themes of individual experience and cultural history. Focusing especially on the archetypal principles associated with Neptune and Pluto, we will consider specifically how astrology can help us to understand the historical evolution of religious and mythic consciousness in our own time, or what Jung described as the “metamorphosis of the gods.”
Keiron Le Grice is a professor of depth psychology in the Jungian and Archetypal Studies specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, where he teaches courses on archetypes, individuation, alchemy, synchronicity, and the history of depth psychology. He was educated at the University of Leeds, England (B.A. honors, Philosophy and Psychology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco (M.A., Ph.D., Philosophy and Religion). He is the author of five books––The Archetypal Cosmos, Discovering Eris, The Rebirth of the Hero, Archetypal Reflections, and the forthcoming alchemical memoir The Lion Will Become Man. He is also co-editor of Jung on Astrology, a compilation of Jung’s writings on this topic. Keiron’s work has been central to the development of the field of archetypal cosmology. He is the founder and former co- editor of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, now serving as senior editorial advisor, and in 2016 he co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal and Archetypal Studies (ITAS) with colleagues in the U.S. and the U.K. Keiron lives in Ojai, California.
Friday, November 13, 2020
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Tapping into The Innate Intelligence of Dreams
Presenter: Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.
Dr. Aizenstat will emphasize the "generative" qualities of dreams. Dreams prepare us for what is to come. And, in times of uncertainty and challenge, this support and guidance is invaluable.
Dr. Aizenstat will convey the primary underpinnings of his approach to working with dreams. He will discuss a "tool kit" describing the methods needed to tend personal dreams as well as those of others. Common dream themes like Flying, Falling, the Intruder, Finding Valuables, Water, Animals, Death, Birth, Journey and many others will be explored and explained. He will delineate how to tap into the "innate intelligence" of your dreams, and demonstrate his approach by working with dreams of participants.
Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., has devoted his life to understanding the profound wisdom and healing power that exists within each of us. Through our dreams and imagination, we access limitless creativity, innovation, improved relationships, and ultimately our human potential.
Professor Aizenstat’s Dream Tending methodologies have helped thousands of people to unlock their deep imagination, increase intellectual and emotional bandwidth and to realize personal and professional goals. He asks us to experiment with a worldview that playfully and soulfully sees the world as alive and always dreaming…in an attitude of wonderment, curiosity and presence. This inquiry was a driving force in Dr. Aizenstat’s creation of Pacifica Graduate Institute, a center for the study of the human experience through depth psychology, mythology, and the humanities.
Professor Aizenstat has served as an organizational consultant to leading Tech Companies, Hollywood films, community and educational institutions, and he has lectured extensively on the subject of dreams, the deep imagination, new technologies, and organizational development. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat has been mentored by and collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman and Robert Johnson. He has conducted sold-out Dream Tending seminars, workshops and “pop-up” events in the U.S. Asia and Europe.
Friday, February 12, 2021
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Shadow Vows: What we don’t say when we say “I do”
Presenter: Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson, Ph.D.
The word “vow” conjures images of two people making promises to one another in marriage, probably the most important and durable commitment of their lives. As the relationship unfolds, the vows can become a relic of the past or a guide to daily life. In either case, accompanying every spoken vow is an unspoken and unconscious shadow vow: what we don’t say when we say “I do.”
The lecture, with author Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson (Psyche’s Knife, 2012), introduces shadow vows and demonstrates their influence on the couple’s thinking and behavior. It also explores how “marriage “is a metaphor for emotionally-committed relationships of all kinds—to professional roles, creative projects, and passionate causes. It is the exceptional person who thinks about vows to their job, that unfinished novel, or their own soul. These other “marriages” are shaped more commonly by unspoken vows, carrying a great deal of shadow. The “marriages” often live uneasily with one another: conflict is inevitable and necessary. Thus attempting to live our vows, both spoken and unspoken, illuminates the rocky and profound aspects of the art of life, “the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts” (Jung, CW 8, para 789).
Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson, faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute since 2003, has been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years. Dr. Nelson’s books include Psyche’s Knife: Archetypal Explorations of Love and Power (Chiron, 2012) and The Art of Inquiry: A Depth Psychological Perspective (Spring Publications, 2017), coauthored with Joseph Coppin. In addition to teaching and speaking internationally, she coaches aspiring authors across a variety of genres and styles.
Friday, March 19, 2021
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
How Imagination Makes Knowledge Through Art Practice in any Medium:
Jung and Arts-Based Research
Presenter: Susan Rowland, Ph.D.
Jung may have rejected art, but the new research paradigm of Arts-Based Research (ABR) has decided that his The Red Book (2009) is a pioneering text. ABR is the rediscovery and discovery of forms of knowing and new knowledge through art practice. Arts-based research is not art therapy, even though it uses some of the same methods of experiential creative work. Rather, arts-based research is a successor to alchemy as a way of knowing and being that sees no split between art and science. Jungian psychology offers the existing literature on arts-based research a language and further skills on its primary ontology of the psychic image, intuition, embodied knowing and collaboration with the universe. In turn, arts-based research shows that Jungian psychotherapy can be done with the world (not just in the consulting room). For ABR produces artifacts that have their own future life and being. Included in the lecture will be an experiential exercise using dream images and poetry. If possible, do have a recent dream in mind for when we meet.
Susan Rowland Ph.D. teaches Jungian psychology and the arts at Pacifica Graduate Institute where she is co-Chair of the Engaged Humanities MA and faculty on the doctoral program in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. She has published ten books on Jung, creativity, ecology, gender and the arts and her latest is Jungian Arts-Based Research and The Nuclear Enchantment of New Mexico with Joel Weishaus (2020). She was the founding chair of the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS). Her own arts-based research practice is writing detective novels.
Friday, April 30, 2021
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Intimations in the Night:
An Archetypal Perspective on Psyche and Spirit in the Aging Process
Presenter: Michael Conforti, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst
"Normal development involves to a large extent the surrender of creativity in favor of a recognition of generally accepted cultural values and the sacrifice of individuality to an adjustment to the requirements of the collective ... yet the survival and the creative endurance of this sacrifice provides the indispensable basis for the individuation process of the second half of life, which is world embracing in the true sense of the world ..." (Erich Neumann, in Creative Man, page 212) *
When entering the autumn and winter of life, we often experience a profound lack of orientation. So many of our meaningful accomplishments from the first of life now begin to lose their luster, and those aspirations and dreams which set our hearts on fire, are now eclipsed by these new and strange emotions, and desires suddenly emerging from the shadows.
The needs and emotions of this autumn and winter of life speaks to us in a foreign tongue. The fires and passions of youth and the middle years are now reduced to smoldering embers, and with these, the hunger for so much of what we wanted in life quickly fades into the domain of memory. These embers no longer warm our heart and soul. Now the only truly accurate rendering and intimations of this life now calling us, is found in our dreams, our frustrations, symptoms, and those cravings for what Rabbi Heschel calls the "ineffable."
And then there is the role of psyche and soul in this aging process, whereby the voice and needs of The Self now speak louder than the youthful chorus still clamoring for an outdated way of life. In Hemingway’s last major work of fiction, The Old Man and the Sea, we find this dialogue between ego and Self, and those yearnings of our younger self confronting the reality of who we are now as an older person. Through the old man’s journey and reluctant recognition that he now must view his life against the backdrop of a life vastly different from what it once was, he now has to make a number of crucial and life threatening decisions. And it is this old man's refusal to respond to the calling of the ineffable and the consequences of his actions, that actually teaches us a profound lesson about the aging process. Standing face to face with the reality that we have aged, and now face certain limitations, we are challenged to hear those painful lamentations of ego and youth as we move into this later and eventually final stage of life. Now it is imperative to know what it is that we so deeply love and cherish, need to preserve, and then recognize those aspects of life we need to relinquish, as they no longer satisfy the mandates of the Self. Perhaps here we will see how those roaring fires of our earlier years are transformed by the richly grained oak and maple woods whose warmth provides us with a sustained heat. Perhaps now with this new perspective of life’s journey and where we are on this road allows us to finally take that winter house rental overlooking the Aeolian sea.
* I want to thank Loralee Conforti for this Neumann reference
Dr. Michael Conforti is a Jungian analyst and the Founder and Director of The Assisi Institute. He is a faculty member at the C.G. Jung Institute, New York, Jung Institute, Boston, and for many years served as a Senior Associate faculty member in the Doctoral and Master's Programs in Clinical Psychology at Antioch New England.
A pioneer in the field of matter-psyche studies, Dr. Conforti is actively investigating the workings of archetypal fields and the relationship between Jungian psychology and the New Sciences. He has presented his work to a wide range of national and international audiences, including the C.G. Jung Institute - Zurich and Jungian organizations in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Italy, Russia, and Venezuela.
He is the author of Threshold Experiences: The Archetype of Beginnings (2007) and Field, Form and Fate: Patterns in Mind, Nature and Psyche (2002), which have been translated into Italian, Russian and a soon to be released Spanish edition. His articles have appeared in Psychological Perspectives, San Francisco Jung Library Journal, Roundtable Press, World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution, and Spring Journal.