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Psyche & Cinema – Dreams

January 28th, 7:00pm CST

hosted by Sandi Wilcox, LPC and Bridget Hyde

“Dreams” is a movie by Akira Kurosawa. The movie portrays a series of Kurosawa’s dreams. At our next gathering we hope to explore the second dream featured in the movie. The name of the second dream is “The Peach Orchard.” After a short introduction to the Jungian dynamics present in the dream, we will watch this short vignette together and then break into small groups for discussion. It is a fascinating short film and we believe you will all find it enriching.

In the Japanese Shinto religion, the peach is considered a “kami,” or divine spirit. Some believe that the peach somehow contains the spiritual essence of the Japanese/Chinese mother goddess Wang Mu. Wang Mu is noted for her tending of the peaches of immortality. She feeds these peaches to those who have attained immortal life so they can retain their eternal nature. Kurosawa’s dream, “The Peach Orchard,” has much to say about the Shinto divine feminine that lives within him as his “anima.”

Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese film director who was lauded internationally for his films “Rashomon” and “Seven Samurai.” He was born in 1910 and died in 1988. His obituary in the “New York Times” describes his artistry in film as having a “dancer’s sense of movement and a humanist’s quiet sensibility.” The movie, “Dreams,” is one of Kurosawa’s last films.

About the Presenters

Bridget Hyde is a local member of Austin’s Jung Society. Her work experience includes spiritual direction, hospital chaplain work, geological mapping and well-site supervision, Eucharistic ministry for the sick, social ministry with the homeless, and “moming.” Bridget’s educational background includes a degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma; a Master’s in Pastoral Studies from the University of Loyola in New Orleans, Louisiana; and certification in Spiritual Direction from the Haden Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. Her main interest in spiritual direction is dream work. Her training in this area comes primarily from years of studying her own dreams with retired Episcopal priest, Allen Whitman. Allen had studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich and was led in spiritual direction by Jungian analyst, Robert Johnson. Bridget is a member of All Saints’ Episcopal Church here in Austin.

Sandi Wilcox is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Austin. She is a retired Lutheran minister interested in ways that theology and sacred stories of myth and dreams intertwine. She graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2010 with Masters of Counseling in Depth Psychology. She has been on numerous study retreats with Jungian analysts studying the Sacred Feminine.

Call to Create

Finding Your Way Through the Creative Wilderness

February 25th, 7:00pm CST

hosted by Melinda Rothouse, Ph.D.

How do we find our way through the creative wilderness when we get stuck, experience blocks, lose our inspiration, or feel we are on the verge of giving up? This can be one of the most challenging aspects of the creative process. The good news: it turns out this is a very normal and natural part of the journey, one that can actually lead to deeper inspiration and engagement with our work. Join us this February to learn how to navigate your way through creative despair to realize your creative visions.

Through a spontaneous activation of unconscious contents, new interests and tendencies appear which have hitherto received no attention… During the incubation period of such a change we often observe a loss of conscious energy, seen most clearly before the onset of certain psychoses and in the empty stillness which precedes creative work (Jung, 1954/1985, p.180).

Jung, C. G. (1954/1985). The practice of psychotherapy. Vol. 16, Bollingen Series XX. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

Creativity is an alchemical process in that we will be challenged, disoriented, and transformed. It begins with the “call to adventure,” as Joseph Campbell terms the start of the hero’s journey; it’s what powers our creative impulses. Psychologist Linda Schierse Leonard explores this call to adventure in her book The Call to Create. Often when receiving the call, it’s tempting to resist it, which is also a natural part of the process. As we embark, we encounter many challenges as well as helpers and guides to assist us. Then inevitably, at some point we also reach the abyss, the proverbial dark night of the soul, in which we question everything, seeing no way forward. Paradoxically, this stage often marks the gateway to transformation, or the creative breakthrough, allowing us to bring our work into the world (Rothouse & Gullick, 2021, p. 73).

Rothouse, M. & Gullick, C. (2021). Syncreate: A Guide to Navigating the Creative Process for Individuals, Teams, and Communities. Sacramento, CA: Mandorla Books.

About the Presenter

Melinda Rothouse is a creativity, career, and leadership development coach and consultant, as well as an educator, facilitator, and public speaker. She is also a singer, songwriter, and bass player with many years of training and experience as a performing musician. Her other creative pursuits include contemplative photography and writing.

She holds a BA in biopsychology, master’s degrees in religious studies and performance studies, and a Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in creativity studies. She is a longtime meditator and mindfulness practitioner teacher, and leads workshops and retreats in contemplative arts and creativity, both in the US and internationally.

She is the bestselling author of Syncreate: A Guide to Navigating the Creative Process for Individuals, Organizations, and Communities and A Mindful Approach to Team Creativity and Collaboration in Organizations: Creating a Culture of Innovation.