Depth Psych
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Depth Psych
Pioneered by William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Gustav Jung, Depth Psychology is the study of how we dialogue with the Unconscious via symbols, dreams, myth, art, nature. By paying attention to the messages that show up from beyond our conscious egos, we can be guided to greater understanding, transformation, and integration with the world around us, inner and outer. Join the conversation in community at
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The Green Man

The Green Man | Depth Psych |

The Green Man is an archetypal expression calling attention to our relationship to the natural habitat of the woods as a necessary source of life and creativity. 

The Green Man has made appearances in stories around the globe through both pagan and Abrahamic religious imagination, leaving behind a trail of art and symbolism in Europe and the Near-East.

I first heard (and have even written) about him a few months ago through Tom Cheetham’s book, GREEN MAN, EARTH ANGEL, The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World, in which Tom writes about Khidr, the Verdant One, how... (Click title for full article)

Sia Timmons's curator insight, September 18, 10:32 PM

I love reading about our beautiful planet and all it's manifestations of life.

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Biophilia: The New Plant-Based Way To Stay Healthy

Biophilia: The New Plant-Based Way To Stay Healthy | Depth Psych |

We now spend an average of 90 percent of our time living and working in sealed-off, air-tight, toxic, manmade environments....


Plants make us feel good. In fact, other elements of the natural world do also. Why is that?

In a word, it's "biophilia." A term coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm in the 1960s, biophilia is our biologically-inherited need to commune with nature. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, in his book Biophilia defines it as "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life." In his biophilia hypothesis, Wilson has urged that these connections are imperative for healthy emotional development and wellbeing.⊃1;

When I first heard about biophilia... it really resonated with me. I had recently learned about Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD)⊃2; an unofficial behavioral disorder that stems from the "disconnect" our children have with the natural world. Biophilia certainly explained the challenge of NDD and why it has a profound impact on our future.

As a species, humans evolved over millions of years amid natural surroundings. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual... (Click title for more)

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Terrapsychology: "The Environment" is You!

Terrapsychology: "The Environment" is You! | Depth Psych |

Isn’t it odd that most of our psychologies treat the mind as entirely separate from the living world? That our standardized concepts of mental health make no reference to the health of our surroundings?


Scientific research makes it plain: the ecological health of the planet is not only a political or financial issue, but a mental health issue as well. Urban sprawl, air pollution, toxic waste, and sheer architectural ugliness have been shown to impact mental health.


Anxiety and depression, rage and crime, family violence, and lost productivity at work and at school do not exist in a vacuum. Health and hope fail when landfills and refineries go up in neighborhoods too poor to fight back. We suffer a global warming of collective consciousness, an eroded capacity for holding our fire.


However, the relationship between self and world runs much deeper than measurement can tell... (Click title for more)

Laura M. Smith's curator insight, August 7, 2014 8:09 PM

Such an important concept. The archetypes that comes in our dreams are often so deeply related to the earth, animals, plants, creativity and our own connectedness to the primal energy that is our planet.

Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:05 AM

I had not come across Terrapsychology before so a fascinating read with a slightly different take on how we are one with the world.

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Re-awakening the Green Man

Re-awakening the Green Man | Depth Psych |
The degradation of our environment is accelerating beyond the point of our being able to repair it. The problems are many and complex—from the destruction of our forests, to the dying off of our fish. Our impure air and water is causing worldwide increases in chronic diseases including severe challenge to our immune systems. Most threatening of all, climate change may raise temperatures and cause extreme weather conditions for thousands of years. Scientists and experts such as Al Gore can show us charts of what is happening, but the facts and figures don’t reach into the depth of our heart and motivate us to change.  Joanna Macy, author and deep ecologist says, “We need to love the world in order to save it.”  Using our intellect in this area is not enough; we need to feel an emotional connection to the planet. Advertisers know that the best way to stir us is through images and stories, often culled from myths that deeply affect our psyche...


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On Being Human in a More-Than-Human World - David Abram

On Being Human in a More-Than-Human World - David Abram | Depth Psych |

I have fallen in love outward.
—Robinson Jeffers, “The Tower Beyond Tragedy”


“Of course we humans are mightily special....Our opposable thumbs, our ability to balance and ambulate on our hind legs, our capacity for reflection, and our slyness with tools and ever-more-complex technologies entail that we are a pretty unique bunch.


But then again, that hawk soaring overhead is able to fly without any of the contrivances that we depend upon, and the apple tree over there is able to squeeze apples directly out of its limbs, which in itself is pretty damn unique, and a far cry from anything that I can muster with my own body.


Perhaps you could say that the compelling stories we two-leggeds regularly concoct could be called an efflorescence, or even a kind of fruit, like those apples. But still, the way that some whales dive to a depth of six thousand feet, holding their breath for over ninety minutes, seems another kind of astonishment, as is the journey of monarch butterflies. After overwintering in a small cluster of conifers in the Mexican highlands, the monarchs navigate their way north... (Click title for more)

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Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini

Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini | Depth Psych |

We are living at a period of history variously called “the shift” and “the great turning.” A time when the spirit of domination, conquest, heroism, and individualism are on the wane, and a new spirit or zeitgeist is emerging—of cooperation, respect for diversity, and recognition of the interconnectedness of all life.

It’s a challenging and trying time to live through, because these two paradigms are in direct opposition; they are actively and intensely antagonistic. We might wish that the redwood trees on the empty lot at the corner here belonged to the earth, to all of us; but they belong to the owner, who has a right to cut them down, which he did. The international geological society that names the eras, epochs and periods of earth history has recently come to the decision that the Holocene epoch is over and we are now in the Anthropocene, meaning “human-centered.” (Click title for more)

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Do Not Lose Heart: Awakening Women - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Do Not Lose Heart: Awakening Women - Clarissa Pinkola Estes | Depth Psych |

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times.

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I’ve heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered, concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.


You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. 

For years, we’ve been learning, practicing, training and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are... (Click title to read entire article)

Eva Rider's curator insight, April 14, 2014 11:24 PM

Marvellous and inspiring article! Take heart; sailors on the Soul Journey! "Show you soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times".



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Introduction to the Special Edition on Thomas Berry's The Great Work

Introduction to the Special Edition on Thomas Berry's The Great Work | Depth Psych |

In The Great Work Thomas Berry invites a deep reflection on our current ecological and cultural predicament. The move through this era of enormous cultural transition, from a period of human devastation of the Earth to—potentially—a period of benign presence, is the ‘great work’ that we must undertake if we are to fulfil the historical exigencies of our time.


Thomas Berry, cultural historian, is a remarkable and influential thinker on the complexities of this era and the requirements of a viable future. Berry, a Catholic priest, trained in the classical traditions of theology, immersed himself in a comprehensive investigation of the phenomenon of religion, and in particular Eastern religions. He taught Eastern religions at several U.S. universities prior to founding the PhD program in The Histories of Religions at Fordham, from 1966-1979. Berry has written several books on Eastern Religions, such as Buddhism and The Religions of India,1 and during the past few decades has addressed his work to the magnitude of the crisis facing Western civilization.


To situate the essays within The Great Work as well as the responses to the book, it may be beneficial to know some of the key influences that have shaped Berry’s perspectives. Over the course of a lifetime, Berry has developed a deep appreciation for the intense and specific human experiences that give rise to distinct religious traditions and expressions. He could see that particular and penetrating  (Click title to read the full article)

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Expanded Consciousness: The Instinctive Bond Between Humans and Nature: Developmental Psychology

Expanded Consciousness: The Instinctive Bond Between Humans and Nature: Developmental Psychology | Depth Psych |

The biophilia hypothesis asserts the existence of a fundamental, genetically based, human need and propensity to affiliate with life and life like processes. Consider, for example, that recent studies have shown that even minimal connection with nature—such as looking at it through a window—increases productivity and health in the workplace, promotes healing of patients in hospitals, and reduces the frequency of sickness in prisons.


Other studies have begun to show that when given the option, humans choose landscapes such as prominences near water from which parkland can be viewed that fit patterns laid down deep in human history on the savannas of East Africa. Wilson (1992) points out that people crowd national parks to experience natural landscapes, and ‘‘travel long distances to stroll along the seashore, for reasons they can’t put into words’’.

According to Wilson (1984), the biophilic instinct emerges, often unconsciously, in our cognition, emotions, art, and ethics, and unfolds ‘‘in the predictable fantasies and responses of individuals from early childhood onward. It cascades into repetitive patterns of culture across most or all societies’... (click title to read more)

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Memory, Place and Story: How Connection to Land Connects us to Self

Memory, Place and Story: How Connection to Land Connects us to Self | Depth Psych |

Some would argue our contemporary consumer-based, productivity-oriented culture contributes to a collective loss of memory—done of being connected to something larger than our everyday selves. As a society, we have become dislocated in time and disconnected from place, leaving us rootless, transient, and opting for sensationalism instead of spirituality; superficiality instead of soul.


So much of this malady is due to our disconnect from nature, our bodies, and earth itself. We are no longer grounded in something real that gives us context to understand how our lives play out in a fabric of being, a pattern in living nature with a self-organizing intelligence of its own.


As Jung put it, 

“Man feels isolated in the cosmos. He is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional participation in natural events, which hitherto had symbolic meaning for him. Thunder is no longer the voice of...(click title for more)

Minna Kilpeläinen's curator insight, April 3, 2013 5:00 PM

There are very few places in the world for me that make you feel so alive than Grand Canyon.  I can imagine why some people want to get married with places and buildings.

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Echopsychology - Part I

Echopsychology - Part I | Depth Psych |

The feelings of isolation and dysfunction that are so pervasive today have at their root a denial of our essential connections to nature and the non-human world. To heal, we must now find our way back home. "Ecopsychology represents an attempt to find ecology within the context of human psychology, " says Theodore Roszak, "and in turn , to find human psychology within the context of ecology. This is a natural synthesis that we are trying to bring about in the hope that it will strengthen, broaden, and deepen both of these fields. I simply take this to be the richest, most dramatic and exciting intellectual enterprise I've come across in years." ... (Click title for more)

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Depth Psychology List - Archetypal Aspects of Home

Depth Psychology List - Archetypal Aspects of Home | Depth Psych |

“Home” is a word weighted with affect and associated with rootedness, attachment, belonging, shelter, refuge, comfort, and identity. When our relationship to “home” is considered in the context of depth psychology, the study of the unconscious pioneered by Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung among others, it stands to reason that our individual notions of “home” may impact us rather profoundly. A severed connection with “home,” particularly with the earth that supports and nurtures us, produces physical, emotional, and psychological implications. That is to say, the lack of a connection with a “home” that offers us a sense of psychological and spiritual wholeness, potentiality, and belonging in a larger archetypal manner may well compose the very heart of our disorder.

Depth psychology calls for an understanding of how we are influenced by invisible elements beneath the surface of our conscious awareness. Tracing a path from the notion of “home” which we each carry, backward and down into its deeper meaning and psychological effect on us, can begin to shed light on why we... (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, August 26, 2014 11:25 PM

Over time, as we seek to find  "home" in the body as in the beginning..

Aladin Fazel's curator insight, August 27, 2014 2:53 PM

Home is where you feel safe, happy and well! 

Eva Rider's curator insight, September 1, 2014 3:43 PM

An invitation to

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Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking of Temple Earth ~ Craig Chalquist PhD

Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking of Temple Earth ~ Craig Chalquist PhD | Depth Psych |

If you were to enter a church, mosque, or synagogue determined to plunder it before burning it down, you would probably end up in custody. Do the same to Earth, temple and home to us all, and you might be eligible for a government subsidy. Isn't that strange?


When psychologists talk about splitting, they refer to the habit of keeping sectors of life that belong together divided into different compartments. The unhealed child abuse survivor grows up to forget that the parent who beat them savagely was the parent they now idealize as an exemplar of loving discipline. The producer of violent films forbids his children to watch them. The speed dater with a track record of ending up with exploitative men convinces herself, again, that this man is the one she's been waiting for. The troll who attends church on Sunday spends the rest of the week vilifying people online.


Splitting, an emotional defense of early childhood, has become a character disorder of American society. News networks whose politician guests pushed the disastrous war in Iraq but never landed in prison...(Click title for more)

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Ensouled on the Planet by Marion Woodman

Ensouled on the Planet by Marion Woodman | Depth Psych |

NR: You have said we have to overcome our addictions before we can connect to nature.  Does our refusal to confront our addictions lead directly to our destruction of Mother Earth?

MW: I think so, yes. As children many of us feel a deep connection to Her.  But our culture warps our natural instincts. That warping leads to addictions.  But there’s a suicidal drive in the addicted individual and in the addicted society.  Our planet is coming up against the wall.  

Yet, despite all the horrors we have created, we are still doing precisely what we know will be ultimately destructive. Denial!  Denial!  We are still accepting a cultural value that annihilates the Earth. If we don’t change, we are going to our own extinction.  This is precisely what addicts do.  Addicts—in other words most of our society—pretend there’s nothing wrong.  As they laugh and talk and plan, they deny their dying souls.  That’s what we’re doing to the planet.  We fight about things that won’t matter if we are extinct...(Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, December 4, 2014 2:59 AM

Marion Woodman Interviewed.

Eva Rider's curator insight, December 4, 2014 3:13 AM

Marion Woodman interviewed by Jungian Psychotherapist and writer, Marlene Schiwy. "Marion Woodman and the Conscious Feminine".

This is a series of 8 DVDs which are  the only available interviews in which Marion Woodman explores the creation and role of BodySoul work and her 30 year collaboration with Ann Skinner (renowned Voice Coach) and Mary Hamilton (Movement Teacher) in creating a Temenos for conjoining Psyche and Soma.

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Can the Gods Be Revived?

Can the Gods Be Revived? | Depth Psych |

In October 1913, psychiatrist CG Jung was riding a train in Western Europe. Suddenly, he was caught by an urgent inner vision of floods inundating the continent but sparing Switzerland. On the way back another vision rolled in, this time of seawater turned to blood.

Worried that he was losing his grip, Jung began what he called a "confrontation with the unconscious": a deliberate plunge into upwelling emotions and fantasies long held at bay. Not until a year later did he realize that the images assailing him on the train had signaled the coming outbreak of World War I.


Imagistic events that felt personal, Jung realized, could be triggered by collective occurrences. The individual was not psychologically separate from the time, then. "Because I carried the war in me," he wrote in his Red Book, "I foresaw it." By realizing this Jung placed himself beyond psychologies that limited themselves to the personal: my self, my family, my work, my relationships. "We make our era."


While teaching himself to use active imagination--basically a conscious daydream state--to dialogue with various figures of the imaginal psyche, Jung...(Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, May 13, 2014 5:39 PM

Can the gods be revived in our time? Will imagination be the key to reawakening the gods and ensouling our radically change world?

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The Sacred Feminine Today -by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The Sacred Feminine Today -by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee | Depth Psych |


Today there is a resurgence of interest in the sacred feminine. The immense popularity a few years ago of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code spoke not just to our enjoyment of a good thriller but also to the mystery of the divine feminine in Western culture, which is the real thread of the book's chase, from the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa to the search for the grail and the heritage of Mary Magdalene.


We know now how the feminine mysteries were present in Greek culture and myth, as imaged in the story of Persephone, and enacted for more than 2,000 years in the initiations at Eleusis. In the early Christianity women had spiritual equality, and the significance of Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved more than others, being the first to see the risen Christ, points to the esoteric significance of the feminine. We have also learned how the power of the sacred feminine was repressed by the Church fathers, and Mary Magdalene purposely misidentified as a prostitute.


As we awaken from the repressions of the patriarchy we need to reclaim the sacred feminine both for our individual spirituality and for the well being of the planet. Our ecological devastation...(click title for more)

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The Wisdom of Women

The Wisdom of Women | Depth Psych |

The wisdom of women consists not only in their individual contributions but also in their association with men in the nurture and well-being of life in all its forms: cosmological, social, economic, familial, and personal. This wisdom flourished throughout the Neolithic period of Western civilization. Now, after surviving in a suppressed condition throughout the patriarchal history of modern Europe and America, the wisdom of women is re-asserting itself in all phases of human activity.

In its full religious-spiritual expression, the wisdom of women seems to have developed in late Paleolithic times with the concept of the Great Goddess as the primordial source and destiny of the universe. Not a matriarchy, the Great-Goddess culture was a cosmology encompassing the origin and destiny of all... (click title for more)

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Truth Seekers: Caring for a World with a Soul

Truth Seekers: Caring for a World with a Soul | Depth Psych |

“There is now a single issue before us: survival. Not merely physical survival, but survival in a world of fulfillment, survival in a living world, where the violets bloom in the springtime, where the stars shine down in all their mystery, survival in a world of meaning.”

—Thomas Berry

Earth is in distress and is calling to us, sending us signs of the extremity of its imbalance through floods and storms, drought and unprecedented heat. There are now indications that its ecosystem as a whole may be approaching a “tipping point” or “state shift” of irreversible change with unforeseeable consequences. 


Some of us are responding to these signs, hearing this calling, individually and as groups, with ideas and actions – trying to bring our collective attention to our unsustainable materialistic lifestyle and the ways it is contributing to ecological devastation, increasing pollution, species depletion. But the momentum of our consumer, fossil-fuel driven civilization seems unstoppable, accelerating the destruction of the very ecosystem that supports us.... (Click title for more)

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A Psyche the Size of Earth ~ James Hillman

A Psyche the Size of Earth ~ James Hillman | Depth Psych |

There is only one core issue for all of psychology. Where is the "me"? Where does the "me" begin? Where does the "me" stop? Where does the "other" begin? For most of its history, psychology took for granted an intentional subject: the biographical "me" that was the agent and sufferer of all "doings". For most of its history, psychology located this "me" within human persons defined by their physical skin and their immediate behaviour. The subject was simply "me in my body and in my relations with other subjects". The familiar term that covered this entire philosophical system was "ego", and what the ego registered were called "experiences".

Over the past three decades, all this has been scrutinized, dismantled and even junked. Postmodernism has deconstructed continuity, self, intention, identity, centrality, gender, individuality. The integrity of memory for establishing biographical continuity has been challenged. The unity of the self has fallen before the onslaught of multiple personalities.... (click title for more)

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Culture Collapse Disorder: Can Depth Psychology Help Us Cope?

Culture Collapse Disorder: Can Depth Psychology Help Us Cope? | Depth Psych |

Earth’s inhabitants are in peril largely of our own making. We are, consciously or unconsciously, systematically destroying the our homeplaces, habitats, ecosystems, and above all, the only home we collectively know: Earth.


Reports are emerging daily about the implications of human impact on our environment, presenting dire warnings about pollution, urban development, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, natural disasters, and displacement. The tally of global losses grows daily as we perpetrate ecological destruction through our relentless consumption of the earth’s dwindling resources; through rampant use of toxins, chemicals, and pesticides; and through deforestation, erosion, and devastation of natural ecosystems, wetlands, rivers, and oceans.


The unchecked demands of a burgeoning human population on the planet are initiating conditions that are simply not sustainable. Combined with what might be called our cultural “modern mindset,” an ongoing belief...(click title to keep reading)

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