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.
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.
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:
- Ratatouille: Fate, Destiny & the Hero’s Journey
- The Way: A Journey of Healing & Self Acceptance
- Embracing the Grace of Change: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
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
A word of warning about this episode – we were drunk and we used quite a bit of foul language. This is the first and probably only drunk edition of the Archetypal Tarot Podcast where we needlessly besmirch our reputation. Why? The Devil made us do it. Explicit language and ukulele music – you have been warned ;).
The Devil Made Us Do It – The Tipsy Tarot Podcast
Julienne Givot and Cyndera Quackenbush raise a glass of wine (or four) and revel in Dionysus and all horned gods. Your favorite archetypal tarot podcast hosts unleash new wild and vulnerable aspects of themselves as they celebrate the Autumn season and spirit of Halloween with the Devil card. What results? An exploration of the need for ecstatic experience and letting loose to be yourself (complete with cuss words). A brief drunken history of Crete (the F*cking Minoans!) is reported as the creators of labyrinths and worshipers of the Minotaur. Also featured is a ukulele lost and found, stories about Raccoons and Outlander outfits. Heck, there’s even some live music and marital arguments.
A midst the revelry there is some actual information and discussion of The Devil card of the tarot, mythology and meaning.
This is a podcast (foolish or funny?) to shake your tail at – and you’re just about to learn what that means.
Quickie Edition of the Archetypal Tarot Podcast! (Quickie Editions are 30 mins or less)
Too late for the podcast recording but we found an article on an Alcohol Tarot and a reference to drunken tarot in a book called The High Heeled Guide To Spiritual Living – we couldn’t help but like the title and add it to our reading list.
Quickie Edition of the Archetypal Tarot Podcast! (Quickie Editions are 30 mins or less)
The Woo-Woo Episode – taking on Superstition
Julienne and Cyndera are back to the closet (aka Archetypal Tarot’s secret headquarters) for an in-depth discussion on superstition and all-around “woo-woo,” which the urban dictionary defines as “unfounded or ludicrous beliefs.” After using these terms in a few podcasts, they received an email from a listener asking just why they are so down on anything ‘woo-woo’ or superstitious. Always happy to hear from listeners and taking this question to heart (and mind), J and C clarify what they mean by superstitious and philosophize on the subject of the tarot, astrology and other systems as both sacred and important learning tools for discernment.
While studying astrology I have applied it to concrete cases many times. … The experiment is most suggestive to a versatile mind, unreliable in the hands of the unimaginative, and dangerous in the hands of a fool, as those intuitive methods always are. If intelligently used the experiment is useful in cases where it is a matter of an opaque structure. It often provides surprising insights. The most definite limit of the experiment is lack of intelligence and literal-mindedness of the observer. … Undoubtedly astrology today is flourishing as never before in the past, but it is still most unsatisfactorily explored despite very frequent use. It is an apt tool only when used intelligently. It is not at all foolproof and when used by a rationalistic and narrow mind it is a definite nuisance.
- Carl Gustav Jung: Letters, volume 2, 1951-1961, pages 463-464, letter to Robert L. Kroon, 15 November 1958
“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.
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 & 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:
Listen to the Podcast: The Archetype of the Empress: The Mother and Queen
Like what you heard on the podcast? Share us on Facebook (handy button below) or give us a review on iTunes.
For those unfamiliar with Tarot, the Death card can feel ominous and terrifying. What if there was a deck that faced it directly and in every card of the Major and Minor Arcana?
Lupa is the author of a number of books including her upcoming book Nature Spirituality From the Ground Up: Connect With Totems in Your Ecosystem out in January 2016. Lupa is also working on a new tarot deck The Tarot of Bones, a natural history themed divination deck, which will make its debut in the summer of 2016. The full 78-card deck will feature photography of Lupa’s artwork made from animal bones and other natural materials.
Cyndera and Lupa discuss stones, bones and how relating with these natural presences can deepen the human connection to nature. A naturalistic interpretation of the Death Card allows us to get in touch with the ignored presence of Death in our lives and how it relates to our current relationship with the environment.
Topics covered in this podcast:
- the process of working with animal remains as an artistic and spiritual medium
- how to make art for both major and minor arcana
- How to work with Death in tarot readings and combat superstition
- How encountering bones assists with deepening a connection with nature
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.
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
Podcast listeners might be interested in Craig’s online Certificate of Applied Mythology course. We highly recommend it!
My co-host Cyndera and I are very excited to announce a new format for the Archetypal Tarot Podcast. We will be revisiting the Major Arcana but this time with special guests giving their insights on the themes and ideas presented by these ancient yet totally relevant archetypal stories.
We start the new year off on the topic of Passion, it’s nature and how we can actually nurture a sense of vitality and adventure in our lives.
Our guest for this edition is an author who has literally written the book on the nature and nurture of passion, Gregg Levoy. Gregg is the author of the best selling Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life and puts his keen sense for creative insight as well as a Storyteller’s magic into his new book Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion.
Where his first book Callings was about finding passion, Vital Signs picks up on the why’s and how’s of losing our sense of passion & vitality and how to regain a passionate life with creativity and abundance. We love this new book and recommend you get a copy – it’s available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and many fine bookstores. Visit Gregg’s site and check out all of the resources in “Wow!” images, books, music and films to help you connect to passion and excitement. http://gregglevoy.com
Ultimately, passion is a life skill—a stance—that helps bring vitality to all our engagements: from work, family and school life, to creative, social and spiritual life. And it’s a survival mechanism—critical to health and well-being—because your attachment to life depends on your interest in it.
We think you will really enjoy Julienne’s conversation with Gregg about passion, creativity, the call of the wild, the archetype of the Fool, Vampires, Zombies, Intuition and the practice of living our lives fully.
Passion is an unstable element and will naturally degrade over time but some very simple, yet powerful practices have the ability to heat things up again. Not only is passion something we start to miss over time but it’s important to our overall health. As Gregg says in our discussion “Our attachment to life depends to a great degree to our interest in it.”. Without interest, everything fades, including our health. It’s no wonder Zombies and Vampires have been of such an interest in the last few years – we fear the life being sucked out of us by routine and a lack of creativity.
You can listen to the entire podcast below or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and never miss an episode. We have a very exciting line up of authors, teachers and creators lined up for future episodes.
Gregg’s List of 5 Things You Can Do To Beef Up The Passion & Quality of Your Life:
1) Pay attention to what is trying to emerge in your life.
2) Remember that you have a ‘use by’ date.
3) Come up with a bucket list. (Check out this from Artist Candy Chang: Before I Die)
4) Always give yourself something to look forward to.
5) Look for where you’re restless – ask yourself: What wants to move? And where does it want to go?
6) Turn something upside down. (The Trickster archetype can be very useful in this.)
Want to email us about the Archetypal Tarot Podcast? We’d love that! ATPodcast@archetypist.com
Related articles & podcasts:
The Archetypal Tarot Podcast is a production of Both/And Media.
I Feel It All by Feist – An anthem for a full & passionate life.