Third Annual CGJIC Conference

June 3-4, 2016

Psyche and Reflections on Mortality  A Panel with Bernice Hill, Jeff Raff, Linda Leonard and Deborah Bryon

A panel of analysts: Bernice Hill, Jeff Raff, Linda Leonard and Deborah Bryon explore mortality and the winter season of life from a Jungian perspective. Each analyst will speak from their own experience followed by a group discussion.

Healing the Split with our Sacred World  (Plenary Address) Presenter:  Jeff Kiehl

Jung was deeply concerned with our increasing loss of ability to experience the sacredness, or holiness, of the world surrounding us. This loss of connectedness to the phenomenal world has led to increased international conflict, global environmental degradation and political polarization. The great challenge today is to rediscover our innate ability to experience the sacredness of the world. For Jung this challenge was imbedded in the mystery of how Psyche and Matter are related to one another. In this presentation I explore how Jungian psychology provides a pathway to rediscovering the sacredness of the world, and discuss how understanding the deep relationship between Psyche and Matter opens a doorway to the direct experience of sacredness. I discuss how in treading this pathway and crossing the threshold of this doorway we can heal the split with our sacred world.

A Candle for Medusa  Presenter:  Margaret Dozier

A Candle for Medusa is a circumambulation of the Medusa/Perseus myth from a feminine perspective.  This circumambulation reveals aspects of the main characters (Medusa, Perseus, Athene) that are not readily apparent in the more traditional, patriarchal analysis. In exploring her myth from this feminist perspective, we see Medusa as a representative of the immortal Great Goddess.  We see her as a beautiful divinity expressing independence, femininity, and Eros, a divinity upon whom mankind has not been allowed to look for the past 4,000 years.  When we look into the eyes of Medusa we are turned to stone.  But is it the stone of terror, inertia and petrification, or is it the philosopher’s stone, the result of a fixation that leads to individuation?

The Cave Presenter:  Claudia Schmitt

The cave as an archetypal symbol leads one into the womb of the Great Mother and the realm of the unconscious. It is a symbol of paradox and numinosity. This is a place where gods have been born and prophets enlightened. In its space are emptiness and containment, a place of absolute darkness yet revelatory light. It has been a place of safety and hiding, but also of disorientation and death. In Greek it is koilos and means “hollow.” In this hollow are pure potential, possibility, and oblivion. In utter and complete darkness, the cave waits. Sometimes the hollow becomes a grave, a final resting place and a return to the great potential from whence all existence emerges. At other times this hollow brings forth creativity and new life. In this space of potential, birth, death and rebirth, we encounter life’s psycho-dynamic tensions. In this lecture we will explore the many facets of the enigmatic cave experience.

The Maiden and the Devil – Feminine Development Against All Odds   Presenter:  Lara Newton

The Maiden and the Devil” is a fairy tale that focuses on the theme of a man selling his daughter to the devil. In this tale, we have a rare view of a particular experience of the feminine principle – a wise feminine figure advises a very young developing feminine figure, and the content of her advice as well as the result are remarkable. I will interpret the tale using the classical approach.  The fairy tale comes from a collection titled, Original Bavarian Folktales: A Schönwerth Selection, which is the first dual-language edition of tales collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth. He was a contemporary of the Brothers Grimm who collected the folklore, legends, and fairytales of the Upper Palatinate region of his native Bavaria. He published some of these tales in the 1850s in a three-volume scholarly work, which then fell into obscurity and were rediscovered in 2012. This volume that I have been working with is only a small selection that has been translated from that original publication.

Sandplay and the Alchemical Imagination   Presenter:  Laurel Howe

“Randy,” already branded a bully and nearly expelled from first grade for beating up classmates and cursing at teachers, conducts bloody wars in sandplay, calling them for example “World War One,” World War Two, and “The War of the Ancient Dragon.” He burns fires, bombs innocent victims, and even burns some of them to death. The conflict in Randy fights itself out over time in the safe container of the sandtray, which invites the presence of what the alchemists call the “realm of subtle bodies.” There, with the help of the unconscious, the violence finds its own, unpredictable resolution, and gradually releases Randy from its grip. He emerges from the conflict calling himself “king of the bloodfire,” returned to the rule of his own emotional life. He has adapted to school, proud of his achievements, a star student in math. Randy’s lively narratives reveal the distinct hallmarks of an alchemical opus and remarkably echo the words of Zosimos, who centuries ago in his own imagination witnessed the “torture” of transformation in fire. Randy’s process is a testament to the healing power of the imagination and is fully amplified in Laurel’s book, War of the Ancient Dragon, available from Fisher King Press.