I’m happy to announce that a new audio lecture is available from my friend, mentor and fellow Archetypal Counselor, Jim Curtan. This set of recordings from his workshop for the Minnesota Jung Association last fall is an examination of American Mythology and Archetype. If you are interested in some of the foundational aspects of the United States of America this audio lecture is for you.
Purchase and download the course for $15
Archetypal America by Jim Curtan
An examination of American Mythology & Archetype
A live lecture recording from the Minnesota Jung Association workshop held in October 2015.
The main American theme, I think, is freedom. It’s about individual freedom in opposition to or in tension with collective freedom.”
– Ken Burns, documentary film maker, “The Civil War”
Throughout American history the archetypes which populate our myths and legends and capture our imagination are the Rebel, the Revolutionary, the Liberator, the Scout, the Pioneer, the Cowboy, the Explorer, even the Outlaw: all of them perpetually moving forward in pursuit of their idea of freedom, both on behalf of the common good and at the expense of it. While many of these archetypes appear from the very beginnings of our history, the conflict between the various notions of freedom—personal and collective—solidified in the American psyche in the years leading up to and following the Civil War. They continue to impact us and our ideas of ourselves to this day.
The course lectures introduce these archetypes, light and shadow, and the distinctions between each of them.
This course references the 1939 film Stagecoach directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. The workshop attendees watched the film along with Jim’s commentary but due to copyright restrictions the film portion of the class are not available to the public.
Purchase and download the course for $15
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This month Julienne is in conversation with Archetypal Counselor, Spiritual Director and film buff, Jim Curtan. Jim and Julienne discuss some of their favorite topics – Archetypes and Movies. The focus on the Tower card in particular and the many aspects of change that it symbolizes. They discuss the good, the bad, the scary and as well as the grace that change can bring when we fully allow ourselves to grieve the loss of the past and dive into what the change brings us. They also discuss the Tower card in relationship to popular films such as The Hunger Games, Castaway, Inside Out and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Jim has just released a self-guided audio workshop called Embracing the Grace of Change using the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as a contemplation on the choices and opportunities presented by the kinds of change that the Tower card can present.
As a gift to our listeners Jim is offering a 20% discount on this course and all others by using this link or entering the code podcast at check out.
More about Jim:
Jim has combined his 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry with more than a decade as a retreat leader and spiritual director to develop a unique and entertaining approach to using film as a gateway to rich spiritual experience.
He is a spiritual director, archetypal counselor and retreat leader. He has taught extensively with New York Times best-selling author Caroline Myss and has been a faculty member of the Caroline Myss Educational Institute (CMED) since its inception in 2003. He has also taught at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, The London Centre for Spirituality, St. John’s Seminary, Stillpoint Center for Christian Spirituality and The Crossings in Austin, Texas among others.
His lectures and workshops have been well received throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France and Indonesia.
In his prior career as a talent manager, Jim advised such prominent actors as John Malkovich, John Travolta, Patrick Swayze, Geena Davis, Willem Dafoe, Andy Garcia and Melanie Griffith.
Since 2014 Jim has produced a series of self-guided workshops using films for archetypal and spiritual contemplation of situations that affect our daily lives. Each comes with an audio course commentary on the film and workbook available to download immediately from his online store. Courses include:
These and more audio courses are available to download from his website http://jimcurtan.com/audio-workshops/
Podcast listeners can save 20% off any purchase when they use the offer code: podcast
“Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your
one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
I am so very excited to present this new Archetypes & a Movie course to you!
The third edition of Archetypes & a Movie examines what happens when our old story has reached the end of it’s shelf life and how we can embrace the grace that change brings us. Using the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as contemplation on the choices and opportunities that lead us to an unexpected next chapter of our lives.
This self guided workshop is comprised of lecture and commentary on the film plus a full color illustrated workbook with supplementary information.
People of all ages can learn about moving from crisis to re-birth, discovering a secret chapter to our lives, aligning with grace through chaos, navigating the unexpected and finding beauty and love at any age.
Join spiritual director and archetypal counselor, Jim Curtan in a virtual adventure that will touch your heart & inspire you to claim the beauty of your one wild and precious life!
Listen to a conversation with Jim about working with change on a recent edition of the Archetypal Tarot Podcast.
As a gift to podcast listeners Jim is offering a 20% discount on this course and all others by using this link or entering the code podcast at check out.
Here is an excerpt from my essay included in the course ebook:
Change, Disappointment & Grace
Change: a : to make different in some particular : alter b : to make radically different : transform c : to give a different position, course, or direction to
Disappointment: something (or someone) that fails to meet expectations
Grace: unmerited Divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
I saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the first time with my Mom and we both cried. They were those kind of tears that aren’t just happy or just sad – but the big, slow, salty tears that hold so much as they slide down your cheeks. I called Jim the next day and said “You have to teach this movie!”
Naturally, he was already ahead of me on that.
Why is change often so very difficult? We expect one future and change sweeps in and presents something else. It can feel like a theft of a life, leaving us vulnerable in a waiting room with disappointment as our only company. This film asks us to question our beliefs and entertain the idea that disappointment is a necessary companion inviting us to let go of our expectations and welcome in a new life.
Get this self guided audio course to use with the movie Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for 25% off.
Quickie Edition of the Archetypal Tarot Podcast! (Quickie Editions are 30 mins or less)
In the last podcast on The Moon we discussed being lost and the creative process in relation to the Artist archetype. In this podcast we delve into another aspect of this shadowy archetypal stage – the feminine archetype of deep knowing, agency and connection to nature. Artemis, also known as the Goddess of the Moon, the Hunt, Midwifery and Wilderness.
The Moon card from Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Tarot
The Moon & Transitions
If you think about it, you are probably in some kind of transition in your life right now. It could be small and less noticeable or it could be a huge life transition which leaves you feeling lost and unsure of what will happen next. This ambiguous stage of life is often associated with The Moon card of the Tarot when things are not quite what they appear to be and when we often feel lost in the wilderness. Along comes an archetype that embodies this situation to guide you through. She is called Artemis and she is part of the pantheon of mythological Greek Gods and Goddesses replete with stories to nourish you during this time.
A Recognition of Feminine Aspects
Cyndera and Julienne discuss The Moon card of the Tarot in relation to Artemis who some interpret as a Three-in-One Goddess with different aspects embodying cycles of transition. The new moon seen as Artemis herself (also known as Diana in Roman mythology), the full moon seen in Selena and the waxing moon seen as the goddess Hecate. This triune goddess takes a page out of the archetypal Maiden/Mother/Crone iconography and presents the middle stage as not simply woman as Mother but as woman in full bloom with or without children. It’s a model we have had scarce references to in the past but one that is coming into fruition in the 21st century when a woman can be valued for herself with or without offspring.
Together C & J talk about a recent workshop they attended with the venerable Jungian Psychiatrist and Author Jean Shinoda Bolen. Her new book, Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman delves deeply into the archetypal powers of this feminine character and how her energy is showing up in our lives and the greater culture.
The Indomitable Spirit at Any Stage
The indomitable spirit of Artemis can be seen more and more in films such as Hunger Games with it’s very Artemis inspired Katniss Everdeen, Merida the heroine of Pixar’s Brave as well as icons from years past Wonder Woman and the Six Million Dollar Woman. All of these characters contain aspects of Artemis and work with the adversities and the challenges of the Victim archetype in a way that not only empowers themselves but dedicates them to the protection of others.
The Goddess Selene is seen as the woman in full, empowered with autonomy, generosity and the fulfillment of her choosing. We can see Selene in Minnie Driver’s character Skylar in Good Will Hunting, Gina Torres’s Jessica Pearson in the TV series Suits and Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope in the show Scandal and many others in film, television and literature.
Goddess Hecate the sage, fair witness and wisdom keeper who no longer gives a d@mn about what other people think, can been seen in Maude from the 1970’s cult classic Harold and Maude as well as in many roles played by both Helen Mirren and Judi Dench.
Do you have an example of one of these indomitable archetypes from film, television or books? Leave it in the comments.
Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen is a groundbreaking new book that explores the archetype of the activist. Indomitable means untamed, unsubdued. It is the one-in-herself quality in girls and women who will not be victims, no matter what. To bring the Artemis archetype to life, Dr. Bolen delves deeply into the myth of Atalanta, the famous hunter and runner in ancient Greek mythology, a mortal woman who is identified with Artemis the Greek Goddess of the Hunt and Moon. Atalanta began life abandoned and left to die because she was born a girl. She faced the Calydon Boar and drew first blood; she was the runner who would demand to be beaten in a footrace by the man who could claim her as his bride. Atalanta exemplifies the indomitable spirit in competent, courageous girls and in the women they become. This is grit, the passion and persistence to go the distance, to survive, and to succeed.
Dr. Bolen paints a vivid picture of Artemis women in current media, including Princess Merida from the animated film Brave and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. In all these examples and those of real-life women who grow into their Artemis spirit, she provides the means through which readers can navigate their own personal exploration to become their authentic selves. Bolen dedicates this book to women and girls who embody the archetype of Artemis, who discover her uncrushable spirit in themselves or others.
We highly recommend getting a copy of this book – it’s rich in detail, insight and empowering examples we can see in ourselves. If you are going through a transition, this book is a valuable resource.
The Artemis triune:
Artemis (Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen – Hunger Games)
Selena (Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson – Suits)
Hecate (Helen Mirren – as whatever the bloody hell she wants)
More Artemis characters:
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Craig Chalquist – Depth Psychology Bad @ss!
In the continuance of the new Archetypal Tarot Podcast series, Julienne and Cyndera break the linear mold of the Tarot order and jump all the way to The World Card!
Our guest for this episode is Craig Chalquist PhD. Craig is the department chair of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he teaches ecopsychology.
Craig is an author and editor many books, including Terrapsychology: Reengaging the Soul of Place.
He is also a contributor to the Huffington Post, AlterNet, The Journal of Critical Psychology among many, many others. Craig is a Certified Master Gardener, teacher to many, passionate advocate of cultivating a sustainable relationship to the planet and all around bad ass of depth psychology.
Freud vs Jung! (with Cyndera egging them on)
Topics discussed / fun had:
- The momentous effect of “earthrise” the first photograph of the earth taken from space and how it forms a new mythology.
- Hobbits & Heroes (guess which we need more of these days?)
- How Craig started teaching the Hero’s Journey and why he seldom does anymore.
- The Avengers
- Alchemy & Gnostiscism & the Silver Tradition (hint: it’s not all about the dudes…)
- Carl Jung and the red book
- The Pandora’s box opened by the Nuclear age
- The role of fantasy as impetus for change (in fact the driving force of necessary change).
- Using mythology to shift consciousness
Download this episode (right click and save)
Podcast listeners might be interested in Craig’s online Certificate of Applied Mythology course. We highly recommend it!
I am super happy to announce that another edition of the Archetypes & A Movie course is now available. As the Producer of this series it’s an especially joyous occasion, not just a ‘job done’ elation but gratitude for how much I have learned throughout the process of producing the course. My dear friend, teacher and client, Jim Curtan is doing something unique – he’s helping us See (and I mean that with a capital S) our lives in a new way by using the popular art of movies.
This new course centers around the idea of a modern pilgrimage, of our journey through the griefs and joys of life and how that path can bring us to the healing power of self acceptance. The film used as contemplation in the course is a beautiful indie film directed by Emilio Estevez called The Way (2010). It stars Emilio’s Father, Martin Sheen and is the story of four very different pilgrims walking the Camino de Compostella de Santiago.
Just as the last course on the Hero’s Journey was about finding out who you are, this course is about remembering who you are and all that your life contains.
The Way: A Journey of Healing and Self Acceptance is a self guided workshop available to download. It contains 3 hours of audio course, 2 pdf books and access to online discussions with Jim and fellow students.
I encourage you to check it out and have included the link to purchase below that will save you $5 off the already very reasonable price. You can get the DVD for less than $5 and stream it for free if you are an Amazon Prime member.
Learn more and download the audio for part one of the course for free.
Click to save $5 on the course
In this course you will delve deeply into the following areas:
- Identifying archetypes as a path of integrating Mind, Heart and Body with the Self.
- Relating the powerful story of integration as seen in The Wizard of Oz, The Way, Sex & the City, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and more.
- Healing and acceptance of ourselves and our relationships.
- Rediscovering who you are and the richness of self acceptance.
- Remembrance and resurrection.
- The power of relationships as mirrors of ourselves.
- The grace of gratitude for all of our experiences, both the griefs and the joys.
Movies are one of the best ways to see how archetypes shape our motivations, drive us forward or pull us back. We learn and experience so much when watching a film with the added bonus of being entertained. I had the privilege to learn about archetypes through film from Master Archetypal Teacher Jim Curtan during my archetypal certification training at CMED in Chicago. Each night Jim lead us on a guided tour of the archetypes and spiritual lessons in all sorts of films from Castaway & Erin Brockovich to The Wizard of Oz.
No other method has taught me more about the power of archetypes and the human spirit than watching a film with Jim. This is why I am completely jazzed to share Jim’s first self-guided audio workshop providing in-depth commentary on films so you can learn in the comfort of your own home.
Ratatouille: Fate, Destiny and the Hero’s Journey
The premiere workshop is an examination of the journey to becoming who we are destined to be through the 2007 animated feature film, Ratatouille. Remy’s journey from a rat subsisting on scraps to a grand celebrated Parisian chef is a powerful metaphor for our own desires to leave the known world for one that lies beyond and is envisioned only by our dreams.
You will learn about the choices that transform a fated life into a destined one. You will see how all of us can get trapped by the beliefs, customs and values of society and how our perception of necessity often steers us away from our dreams and into a life marked by confusion, depression and a sense that there is no meaning to life beyond the mundane world. Part of us knows we have a destiny, but to achieve it, we must learn to choose intuitive guidance over the ego’s fear of humiliation and failure. In other words, where most of us get stuck – egoic fear.
You will find excellent depictions of the archetypes of the Artist, Hero, Invisible Child, Rebel, Liberator, Orphan, Companion, Warrior, Miser, Authoritarian, Judge, Priest and many more.
This course allows you to watch the film and listen to Jim’s commentary on your iPod or other digital player, taking your time to watch and learn. You’ll also get a free companion workbook with all kinds of supplemental info on the archetypes in the film, hero’s journey and exercises to apply to your own journey.
It’s a fun way to learn about archetypes and I helped produce it, so I am doubly proud.
Save $5.00 on the purchase by using the offer code: podcast
Find out more: http://jimcurtan.com/audio-workshops/
Ratatouille: Fate, Destiny & The Hero’s Journey Audio Workshop
The Way: A Journey of Healing & Self Acceptance
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. ~TS Eliot
Finally we reach the culmination of this heroic journey with card 21 –The World! In this last of the regularly scheduled podcast series, Julienne and Cyndera discuss beginnings, endings, rebirth, transformation and fulfillment.
After all these trials and tribulations of the hero’s journey, we now come to know true balance and connection to our destiny looking back across our past and forward into the future. We feel the benefit of the journey thus far and see that our evolution is not just for ourselves but for the good of others. From this stage onward, our sense of risk is different because we have a greater understanding of the richness of life and recognize both the strength and space to hold challenge and loss as well as joy in the days to come.
In Joesph Campbell’s classic definition of the Hero’s Journey, The World card represents the stage of Master of Two Worlds as well as the Freedom to Live.
The Rider-Waite version of The World
Symbols in the World Card:
- Ring of laurels tied with a lemniscate (infinity symbol) – The ring of laurels is also called temenos (Gk) a safe place, asylum, a temple, also reminiscent of the Yoni, laurels are also a symbol of victory.
- Infinity symbol seen also in: Magician, Strength (also in the 2 of coins/pentacles card)
- Androgynous figure / Dancer– leg crossed over just as in the Hanged Man card (it’s opposite on this Mobius strip) – a dance , balanced opposites, an act of creation – the Self in equilibrium, perfect union of masculine and feminine.
- Lion (Leo), Eagle (Scorpio), Bull (Taurus) and the Human (Aquarius) – 4 fixed signs of astrology – 4 elements (air, earth, water and fire). These 4 symbols also appear in the Wheel of Fortune card. these can also refer to a passage in the Bible’s book of revelation
- Suspended between heaven and earth – remember the Fool as she fell over the cliff, suspended for a moment not realizing what’s she’s gotten herself into? The symbolism of suspension this time is of balance and trust.
- 2 wands – balance – command of opposites (references to both The Magician and The Chariot). Wands are about doing – this is a sign of readiness.
The World as the Bodhisattva Card
Bodhi [enlightenment] and sattva [being]. From the Mahayana tradition of Buddhismm, the bodhisattva vow is the commitment to put others before oneself. It is a statement of willingness to give up one’s own well-being, even one’s own enlightenment, for the sake of others. Taking the bodhisattva vow implies that instead of holding our own individual territory and defending it, we become open to the world that we are living in and are willing to take on greater responsibility.
Film and Fiction References
Cloud Atlas, book (2004) and film (2012)
One of the main themes is of freedom and connection. Eventually leading to the realization that all is one. Redemption and evolution. Characters from each of the weave of stories in both the book and film have revelations of oneness:
Sonmi-451: “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
Robert Frobisher: “And all becomes clear. Wish I could make you see this brightness. Don’t worry, all is well. All is so perfectly, damnably well. I understand now, that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.”
Adam Ewing: “What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?”
Issac Sachs: “These forces that often remake time and space, they can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born, and continue after we perish. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment, at each point of intersection, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction.”
Additional film references:
The Tree of Life (2011)
The Great and Powerful Oz (2013)
The Fountain (2006)
The Matrix (1999) – In the very last scene of The Matrix, Neo makes a phone call , saying: “When I used to look out at this world, all I could see was its edges, its boundaries, its rules and controls, its leaders and laws. But now, I see another world. A different world where all things are possible. […] I can’t tell you how to get there, but I know if you can free your mind, you’ll find the way.”
TS Eliot the Four Quartets
Popular associations with The World card:
- Fulfillment —– Accomplishment —– Success —– Integration
- Involvement —– Prospering —– Satisfaction —– Repleteness
- Contentment —– Good feelings —– Wholeness
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
~Julienne of Norwich (14th century English mystic)
We find ourselves in the middle of the first month of the New Year. The air is still fresh, dreams are new, and heartbeats run fast. Maybe, like me, you are starting to slump under the abundance of material on keeping resolutions for the next twelve months. Instead of yet another piece on holding your intentions for the next month, let’s look at an archetype that can be your ally for the rest of your life.
Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr
The Zombie, which is only increasing its popularity in films, comic books, and classic novel mash-ups, is an image that hardly needs an introduction. They are dead people returned from the grave, wandering around the land, and groaning after the living. Side-stepping the gory details, the classic Zombie is easy to recognize: Insatiable hunger, a monotonously numbing routine, and a lack of individual choice are three primary characteristics of this pattern. Any act, from voracious spending to pursuing increasing amounts of attention, qualifies as long as what you gain is never enough. This is not consuming for sustenance, but as a temporary fulfillment, stilling any discontent and numbing you to the full experience of life. Where is the ability to make a personal choice if one has glutton-ed themselves to the point of total numbness? That’s why you rarely see a lonely zombie. They’re part of a group, all of them chasing an endless appetite.
Zombies move in groups, lack a personal identity, and are attracted by that which is not like them, namely someone alive. They move together with a singular goal to consume and internalize some part of a person who, through their life, possess a personal share of destiny. Unfortunately, once a living person contacts a zombie they become part of the homogeneous group lacking independent animation and destiny. Instead of claiming their own destiny, zombies are attracted to someone else’s and consume what they can until everyone is in the half-life existence.
The Raising of Lazarus – Vincent Van Gogh
It is the empowered Zombie that wakes up and moves toward her passions and the life that has been calling her. Lazarus in the Gospel of John is a useful illustration to this point. He had been dead and in a cave for several days before Jesus finally rolled into town. After speaking with the deceased’s grieving family members, Jesus stood outside the cave and called to the dead. (This is the voice of destiny urging the zombie to stir from his half-life.) A few moments later Lazarus woke, walked out into the daylight and stood while his face, hands, and feet were unwrapped from the constraining funerary garments.
For you and I, we can detect the presence of the Zombie when we find ourselves deep in our caves, consuming all that spews out of our electric displays, wondering at those who seem to have a slice of their own destiny. We may dream at the possibilities of fame and glazed camera lights instead of making things happen for ourselves. There is a voice outside in the sunlight calling to us every moment to wake up and come out into the world. First, we have to shake off the bindings that block our walking and our talking. We have to struggle to move and at times even to hear the voice itself. But we can walk out into the brightness of the life that we were born to live and follow each our own destinies. What better time to resolve our own longings than right now?
Film & Television: 28 Days Later; The Night of the Living Dead; Shaun of the Dead; Office Space; Clockwatchers; Fido; Zombieland; the Borg in Star Trek
Fiction: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith; the Inferi in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling; 1984 by George Orwell; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Religion/Myth: Lazarus in The New Testament (John, Chapter 11)
My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead (New York Times)
I often use movie and television references in my consultations. They are one of the best ways to really see archetypal patterns in action. We all have an instinctual sense of archetypes and can usually spot them pretty quickly – especially when they are on screen.
To make my point, a few months ago I set up a handful of polls asking readers to cast actors into roles based on archetypes. I had a feeling that the majority of respondents were going to choose the most appropriate actor for the archetypal role. If I was wrong, then I lose the bet with one of my clients and I would have had roasted wool hat for dinner. Not to gloat, but I was right! All of the actors that I felt were far and above the best choice for the role based on their archetypal range were cast also by over 200 readers over a three month period. Some of you wanted to know what my client had to do should he lose the bet and well, I think it’s fair to say that I am now in possession of a very nice bottle of wine from his collection.
The results from the Archetypal Casting, chosen by readers with over 200 votes May 2010-July 2010:
Who you cast as the Damsel in distress?
Kirsten Dunst 72%
Lucy Liu 16%
Uma Thurman 13%
Who would you cast as the Court Jester (Fool)?
Will Ferrell 97%
Liam Neeson 3%
Daniel Craig 0%
Who would you cast as the King?
Sean Connery 91%
Kevin Costner 6%
Robin Williams 3%
Who would you cast in the role of the Evil Wizard?
Gary Oldman 91%
Tom Hanks 6%
Will Smith 3%
Who would you cast as Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom?
Julianne Moore 83%
Lisa Kudrow 11%
Sarah Jessica Parker 6%
Who would you cast as the Femme Fatale?
Angelina Jolie 95%
Meg Ryan 3%
Resse Whiterspoon 3%