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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in shadow

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In my last post, I promised to describe a ritual which my family does about the Jungian Shadow.  We've done this ritual in the past at the summer solstice, but it can be done at any time.

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  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Wow I really enjoyed this. I've been looking for something like this for a while. What a useful ritual and a respectful treatment

Posted by on in Paths Blogs


In my last post, I described Neo-Paganism as a modern-day mystery religion.  Historically, initiates into the mystery religions experienced a ritual death and rebirth.  Some Neo-Pagan rituals follow this format.  The idea is that we die to our old selves and awaken to a new, more expansive Self.  In Jungian terms, the Self is the wholeness of our many disparate selves, conscious and unconscious.  But to encounter the Self, we must let our old selves, our egos, die.  This is a psychological death, but no less significant than physical death from the perspective of the ego.  For the ego, the experience can be as painful as dying physically, and some people would prefer physical death.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii

As indicated in the introduction to this blog above, I discovered Jungianism and Neo-Paganism at the same time, through the writings of Vivianne Crowley, Margot Adler, and Starhawk, and the two have remained intertwined for me ever since.  In fact, the first Pagan writing I ever read was an essay by Wiccan priestess and Jungian psychologist, Vivianne Crowley entitled, "Wicca as a Modern-Day Mystery Religion", in Graham Harvey and Charlotte Hardman's Paganism Today (1994).  Wouter Hanegraaf has written that Vivianne Crowley’s Jungian perspective “is so strong that readers might be forgiven for concluding that Wicca is little more than a religious and ritual translation of Jungian psychology.” And, in fact, that is exactly what I believed.  Even after realizing that that Paganism is far more diverse than I had originally thought, Crowley's vision of Wicca has continued to influence me.

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I don't disagree with you, John. Actually, I think that the personal transformation element is the superior of the two reasons to
  • Courtney
    Courtney says #
    In becoming a Pagan, I have experienced the initiation as a form of personal transformation that you spoke of. I liked this post a

b2ap3_thumbnail_springnyc.jpgIt was spring, finally. The Westerosi-esque winter had finally departed, but on the first beautiful day NYC had in 2014, my partner and I were not frolicking in the park like the sane people, but wading through a "Hoarders" meets "Chernobyl Diaries" landscape: a scent memory that surfaces and spins at inconvenient moments like the little rainbow-wheel on a frozen Mac. Two friends donned homemade haz-mat suits made of shower caps and black plastic bags from the liquor store while our roommate followed us through the putrid maze, dabbing a "apartment-claiming" spell she'd whipped together made of vinegar and a dab of her own urine. She's never done a lot of spellwork before, but frankly, the New York Real Estate race will make a Witch out of anyone.

'I'm going to write about this, and I'll wish I were joking,' I thought as I watched the teenager from down the hall roll around on the linoleum in the hall, groaning, "I CAN'T! IT SMELLS TOO MUCH! I CAN'T!" 

Our neighbor had been evicted and she abandoned 23 frightened, malnourished cats in a two-bedroom apartment stacked so high with years of garbage, walking through the halls required a weird little dance I'd only performed in Twister, before. Through a series of frustrating events, my partner and I ended up as wardens of the kitties. By the time we got into the apartment, the little ones had been alone for at least three days and there were no signs that they had any food or water during that time.

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  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Thank you, Anne! I'm sorry you had to go through the illness (it, like alcoholism, is an illness that affects the family). I appre
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Thank you for this post: heartbreaking, wise, and down-to-earth, all at the same time. As a survivor of a hoarding parent (though,

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Releasing the Ties That Bind


When the 8 of Swords comes up in a reading, it usually means that your predicament is a product of your own making or imagination.  You have confined yourself to the degree that you are unable to free yourself or even see a way out.  In the Anna K version of this card, we see a woman looking at herself in a mirror but she is not seeing her true reflection, she is seeing something else entirely.  Her mirrored self is blindfolded and wrapped up in a material that is in both her current world and her mirrored world.  In the mirror, she is surrounded by swords with a small path in front of her while outside of the mirror she holds a sword in her hand.  Since the swords represent thoughts, the mirrored self suggests that she surrounded by her thoughts, allowing them to confine her while the self on the outside of the mirror has more control of her thoughts since the sword is in her hand.  Could it be that she seeing that she is doing it to herself?

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Winter Solstice: The Darkness Within

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In my last post, I described 5 practical steps for doing dreamwork.  In this post, I want to give you a real life example of a dreamworking I did after writing the last post.

1.  Remembering my dream

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thank you for sharing! It was very interesting.

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