Depth Psychology
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Depth Psychology
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. Follow depth psychology oriented articles and interviews at, or visit the online depth community at <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
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Jung and Alchemy—Video Replay of an Introductory Lecture by James Newell Ph.D.

Jung and Alchemy—Video Replay of an Introductory Lecture by James Newell Ph.D. | Depth Psychology |

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung explored the unconscious in ways that had never been attempted prior to his ground breaking efforts. One area of study which he felt put his work on a solid historical footing was his exhaustive study of the ancient practice of alchemy. 

Jung’s understanding of the unconscious as expressed through the imagery and texts of the alchemists has far reaching implications for modern people, from personal inner work, to environmentalism, to modern pharmacology, to feminism, and more.

 For Jung, ancient alchemical texts provide us with a wealth of symbolic insight into the human mind and human behaviors that continue to be vitally relevant today. (Click title for more)

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The Sleeping King Alchemical Symbols as Manifest in Dream, Alchemy, & Creative Work — by Gary T. Bartlett

The Sleeping King Alchemical Symbols as Manifest in Dream, Alchemy, & Creative Work — by Gary T. Bartlett | Depth Psychology |

The king is the central person of order within a kingdom; the medium through which the upper and lower worlds are connected to the middle world of mortal reality. Speaking of the centrality of kingship, John Weir Perry, in Lord of the Four Corners: Myths of the Royal Father (1966) tells us that:

In the symbolic cosmos, the locus of most supreme and intense powerfulness was the axial center, and any figure or object occupying this position became thereby highly numinous and evoked feelings of awe and reverence. For not only was this the focal point at which the world’s powers were concentrated, but even more significantly, it was the connecting link between the three planes of existence, the sky world, the world of man, and the underworld. (pp. 18-19)

The king is also, as the generator and vehicle of the law, the establisher of the boundaries of the realm. This is not a mere geographical feat, but one of cosmic and psychic (Click title to read full article)

Eva Rider's curator insight, February 27, 2016 6:36 PM

Wonderful exploration of the King Archetype and one that is worth rekindling in these times.

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Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga: Traditional Technologies of Tranformation

Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga: Traditional Technologies of Tranformation | Depth Psychology |
From the most ancient times, human beings have practiced disciplines of psychospiritual transformation with devoted energy and intention. Modern systems of psychotherapy are the inheritors of three great traditions of transformation, in which the human is seen as engaged in purposive processes of exploration and integration in many realms of consciousness. In this essay I describe some of the common methods used, as well as the major metaphors for transformation.1

One possible definition of shamanism is that it is the disciplined approach to what has been variously called "non-ordinary reality", "the sacred", "the mystery", "the supernatural", "the inner world(s)", or "the otherworld".

Psychologically speaking, one could say these expressions refer to realms of consciousness that lie outside the boundaries of our usual and ordinary perception. The depth psychologies derived from psychoanalysis refer to such normally inaccessible realms as "the unconscious", or "the collective unconscious". This would, however, be too limiting a definition for shamanism, if "unconscious" is taken to refer to something within the individual, i.e. intrapsychic. Shamanic practice involves the exploration not only of unknown aspects of our own psyche, but also the unknown aspects of the world around us, - the external as well as internal mysteries.

There are three traditional systems of consciousness... (Click title for more)

Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:04 AM

You don't usually get pscyhologists (or coaches and facilitators) admitting they draw on shamanism and alchemy, so this is refreshing reading.

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Zombie Apocalypse: a symbol of collective transformation

Zombie Apocalypse:  a symbol of collective transformation | Depth Psychology |

Given a plethora of television shows and films about zombies, what is a Jungian to see but a collective attempt to dream the unsayable.  Carl Jung showed that what cannot be worked through at the conscious level is often worked through at the unconscious level, in symbolic fantasy (CW 5, para 4-45).


 Encountering that for which there is yet no fantasy, we confront the limits of sense.  For the collective social body, film and art are an unconscious attempt to work through collective transformation at the limits of reason and sense.  In the case of zombie movies and the growing zombie apocalypse movement, we may be seeing an attempt to dream ‘apocalyptic’ change.


Zombie are the  ‘Undead’: not living, not dead, driven yet not alive, the zombie images emerge from the recesses of the collective unconscious.  Animated yet with out life, they move.  Driven, yet without desire, they seek. ....(Click title to read more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, January 22, 2014 10:56 PM

T.V. Shows about Zombies and movies about being alone and adrift in the world, in the cosmos, in the stratosphere. We are floating and stranded between worlds. As systems break down, dissolve and transform. We find our old mythologies have lost their meaning and the new ones have not yet been formed. We are in an epoch of unprecedented change stretching the limits of our imaginations in our seeking for reanimating Body and Soul.


Mandy Webster's curator insight, February 7, 2014 9:56 AM

A psychological explanation for the literary world's current obsession with zombies. The zombies are US!

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Loss and Redemption

Loss and Redemption | Depth Psychology |
Is there redemption in suffering? Can we move through loss and trauma to make it a meaningful experience?


Jung speaks of the numinous experience. This is the experience that puts us in touch with the transpersonal aspect of ourselves, the divine within, the Self Archetype. One can say that this is what happened to my mom. For a moment, she connected with her Self Archetype and knew that she needed to live. Perhaps she is not done here yet.


Now, three weeks later, has this numinous experience changed her? Has she realized that she has had a profoundly potentially transformative experience? I am sure she will never be the same again, but has she been able to extract meaning and will she be able to move forward with a new intention? Or will she slip into a depression and then from there move back into her normal way of being?


We all have these numinous experiences during our lives. Moments of resolve that we feel connected to something deep within us, but.... (click title for more)

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Alchemy: Vessel for Personal Transformation (Or, Alchemy: The Life it Saves May Be Your Own!) — by Clara Lindstrom

Alchemy: Vessel for Personal Transformation (Or, Alchemy: The Life it Saves May Be Your Own!) — by Clara Lindstrom | Depth Psychology |

Life change can be terrifying. When things fall apart, a threatened ego will grasp at almost anything to stave off rising waves of panic, anxiety, and depression. Conventional psychiatry is quick to oblige by recommending pharmaceutical medications that will ostensibly lift the user out of these states. However, if one has a certain amount of support and the proper map, one may actually plumb the depths of transformation and reap the rewards of those uncomfortable, shadowy realms.


For me, that map was alchemy, and it proved the deciding factor in successfully navigating rough terrain. What follows is an exploration of a transformational crisis, or spiritual emergency (Grof & Grof, 1991) through the lens of alchemy... (Click title to read the full article free via Depth Insights™)

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Alchemy - Seven Stages of Alchemical Transformation

Alchemy - Seven Stages of Alchemical Transformation | Depth Psychology |

Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation - the Seven Stages of Transformation


The alchemists believed that the univeral formula contained in the Emerald Tablet was the basis for a spiritual technology first introduced on the planet in ancient Egypt more than 10,000 years ago. This formula consists of seven consecutive operations performed on the "matter" - whether it be of a physical, psychological, or spiritual nature.


To guide us through this process, we are going to make use of a tool actually used by the alchemists - a meditative mandala first published in 1759 as an illustration for the book "Azoth of the Philosophers" by the legendary German alchemist Basil Valentine.


At the center of this remarkable drawing is the face of a bearded alchemist at the beginning of the Work. Like looking into a mirror, this is where the initiate fixes his or her attention to meditate on the mandala.

Within the downward-pointing... (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, October 21, 2014 12:45 PM

a profound and remarkable map of the journey through the alchemical processes we encounter on the way to self discovery


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THE WOUNDED HEALER | Depth Psychology |

One of the deeper, underlying archetypal patterns which is being constellated in the human psyche that is playing itself out collectively on the world stage is the archetype of the “wounded healer.” To quote Kerenyi, a colleague of Jung who elucidated this archetype, the wounded healer refers psychologically to the capacity “to be at home in the darkness of suffering and there to find germs of light and recovery with which, as though by enchantment, to bring forth Asclepius, the sunlike healer.”

The archetype of the wounded healer reveals to us that it is only by being willing to face, consciously experience and go through our wound do we receive its blessing. To go through our wound is to embrace, assent, and say “yes” to the mysteriously painful new place in ourselves where the wound is leading us. Going through our wound, we can allow ourselves to be re-created by the wound.

Our wound is not a static entity, but rather a continually unfolding dynamic process that manifests, reveals and incarnates itself through us, which is to say that our wound is teaching us something about ourselves. Going through our wound means realizing we will never again be the same when we get to the other side of ... Click title for more

Eva Rider's curator insight, July 10, 2014 1:11 AM

Looking to the placement  of Chiron in the astrological chart, offers both clues and keys to healing inner Chiron , the wounded healer in us all.


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Depth Insights » Trickster and a Comedian Walk into a Bar: The Sacred Art of Transformation by Keith Morrison

Depth Insights » Trickster and a Comedian Walk into a Bar: The Sacred Art of Transformation by Keith Morrison | Depth Psychology |

This article explores the significance of comedy as a transformative art form. Many treatises have been written on the significance of painting, literature, or film as mediums for sacred creativity but I found that research that focused upon similar aspects at work of the comedian turned up short. By distilling the essential elements of the trickster as an archetypal figure the following article illustrates how the cultural icon of the comedian resonates with and is shaped by this archetype.


Though the trickster is most often depicted as a mythological god or hero, the comedian, along with iconic figures like the alchemist or shaman, are actual facts of human history that are strongly bound by archetypal material which initiates transformation in a mercurial manner similar to the trickster. I put forth that through the art of comedy, the stand-up comedian taps into the ... (click title for more)

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