Visiting Scholars Lecture Series: 2008
Jane Zich, M.F.A., Ph.D. Conversing with Images: Lessons from the Vision Journey Painting Process
Beginning in 2004, Jane Zich, a clinical psychologist and self-taught artist with an M.F.A. degree in creative writing, began an extended dialogue with a living image that arose from the unconscious in the form of a midnight blue panther. The dialogue traversed painting sessions, dreams, and spontaneous fantasy. Over 250 mixed media paintings and a deepened appreciation for the dangers and rewards of dialoguing with energies from the unconscious have been among the harvest of this ongoing process.
During the first section of this seminar, Dr. Zich will present the background of and early lessons from her Vision Journey painting process through slides of her images and descriptions of the types of psychological processes evident in them. This will include exploration of the nature of living symbols, tools for orienting and balancing during intense or extended engagement with unconscious energies, and cyclical patterns of imagery that seem to reflect stages of engagement as well as specific tasks for ego consciousness during these stages. Following this formal presentation, there will be an extended open discussion of the possible theoretical and clinical implications of the material.
Jane Zich, M.F.A., Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist with psychotherapy practices in Kentfield, California and San Francisco, and is Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Zich has been developing meditative drawing and painting as a method for gaining an intuitive understanding of the reality of the psyche. Her articles on dialoguing with the unconscious have been published in Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, Journal of Sandplay Therapy, and Dream Time. Her Vision Journey paintings have received many awards and been featured in solo art exhibits sponsored by the California Institute of Integral Studies, the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, the Mill Valley Arts Council, and the Dream Institute in Berkeley. Her special interest is in the use of imagery in psychotherapy, in personal growth, and in the creative process, with particular emphasis on cultivating a dialogue between consciousness and the unconscious.
Doug Von Koss Born into Beauty... The Birth of Mythopoetic Men's Work
Shepherd Bliss coined the word Mythopoetic to encapsulate a phenomenon that began 25 years ago when James Hillman, a psychologist, Robert Bly, a poet, and Michael Meade, a storyteller came together in a redwood forest to explore the tangled business of being husbands, mates, fathers and sons in America.
One of Hillman's opening remarks was, "The first symptom of the loss of soul (in men's lives) is the loss of the sense of beauty." The conversation began then in the presence of 90 men continues to reverberate in the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and their families across the United States. We will take a look at what happened at the beginning, how the work developed and where it is today. We'll ask the question what does ritual, art, poetry, initiation, mythology, fairy tales, story telling, laughter and grief really have to do with men?
Doug Von Koss is the artistic director of The Noah Project, a men's ritual performance group in the San Francisco Bay area. Now 75, he has been connected with Men's Work since 1983 when he joined the teaching staff of the Mendocino Men's Conference. He retired in 1998 from The San Francisco Opera where he was prop master for 10 years. For the last ten years he has been a teacher of chant and singing at The Minnesota Men's Conference. He frequently leads cultural and religious tours to Bali.
Virginia Beane Rutter, M.A. First Fruit Offering and Blood Sacrifice: Aegean Alchemy in the Modern Psyche
In the wall paintings from Akrotiri on the Greek island of ancient Thera, a crocus- adorned goddess accepts an offering of precious saffron stigmas while bull’s horns rise on an altar painted around a door decorated with lilies and spirals. When a volcanic eruption in 1700 bce blew out the center of the island, these frescoes were buried along with the rest of the town. Archeologists, who began a dig at the site on modern day Santorini in the 1960’s, found the town with its stunning artifacts preserved by volcanic lava.
Both goddess and god have a strong presence at the site of Akrotiri. The goddess partakes of both a Mistress of Nature and of the ancient near-eastern Mistress of Animals, a precursor to Artemis. She may also be the first known goddess of healing. The sacred “horns of consecration” and the bull figurines show the god in the form of a bull, the Cretan Dionysos or Zeus. An alchemical archetype of transformation appears in the mysteries of these deities. With the use of a slide presentation, we will examine the parallel structures of crocus gathering and saffron processing done by women and the bull games, dances, and sacrifice of the bull done by men. Clinical material will amplify these rites in men and women’s analytic work today.
Virginia Beane Rutter, M.A., is an analyst member and on the teaching faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco. She is the author of several books and articles. Most recently she co-edited and contributed a chapter, “The Archetypal Paradox of Feminine Initiation in Analytic Work,” to Initiation: The Living Reality of An Archetype (Routledge, 2007). She is in private practice in Mill Valley.
Vicki Noble, M.A. Matriarchal Egalitarian Cultures
This seminar held on International Women’s Day focuses on the characteristics of matriarchal cultures. The words matriarchy and patriarchy have become highly charged and almost taboo in our culture, due in part to the historical shift in fundamental social organizational structure from matriarchy to patriarchy. Matriarchy as it existed in ancient, traditional, and tribal cultures around the world manifested as cultures with mothers at the center, who give birth to both male and female children and love them both. Matriarchal cultures are first and foremost egalitarian. Today women and men from living matriarchal cultures have come forward to name and describe themselves at two recent International Congresses on Matriarchal Studies, the first one in Luxembourg in 2003, and more recently in Austin, Texas, in 2005.
In this seminar we discuss matriarchy and the possible ways we might consider using the matriarchal model to bring about a much-needed shift in our own culture, which has gone so far to violence and militarism that it has stripped our schools and other social programs of the necessary support to sustain life.
Vicki Noble, M.A. is a healer, teacher, artist, independent scholar, and author of works that revision history to include women. She is co-creator of the Motherpeace round tarot; author of Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess; Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World; and most recently The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power. She travels and teaches internationally, and is on the faculty of the Women's Spirituality Masters program (formerly at New College). She is an early activist in the women's liberation and women's health movements of the 1970s, and is an active mother and grandmother. She maintains a private consulting and healing practice in Santa Cruz.
Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D. A Creative Journey into Dreams
This seminar focuses on how to access our creative potential through the practice of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming—awareness in dreams while we are dreaming—is a powerful practice of awakening to the great dimensions of our creative mind. Cultivating dream awareness is a practice of waking up to the unlimited depths of our creative self by learning and transforming our habits of the mind into something new. Engaging in lucid dreaming challenges our perception and habitual patterns and can lead to the practice of lucid waking. This willingness to open our eyes to see our greatest potential, to own ourselves as creative beings, seems to be one of the deepest challenges humans face.
In this seminar we learn various methods of working with the dream creatively. Participants have the opportunity to engage in lucidity practices and work with a dream through dream re-entry—a mode employing rhythmic drumming followed by automatic writing. Bring a dream to work with and a journal for writing.
Fariba Bogzaran, Ph.D., scholar and artist, is an Associate Professor and the founder of the Dream Studies Program at John F. Kennedy University. She specializes in transpersonal experiences in lucid dreaming, and dreams and art. She worked for the Lucidity Project exploring the science of lucid dreaming at Stanford Sleep Laboratory (1986-1990) and is a past Board member for the International Association for Study of Dreams and the Lucidity Association. Recent publications include Lucid Art and Hyperspace Lucidity (2003); Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them (2002); Experiencing the Divine in Lucid Dream State (1990); and Images of the Lucid Mind (1996).