Finding Our Way in the Psyche and in the Garden of Life October 7, 2020 – May 19, 2021
Imagine you are presented with the following dream: I see a hummingbird flying in the garden. So touched by its beauty, I wonder how could nature create something so beautiful. I want to bring it into my home and remembered that my father had given me a handmade birdcage when I was a young girl, and that this would become its new home. I could barely contain my excitement knowing that this bird would bring such joy into my life.
While her positive feelings about the dream are evident, the dream’s message may be dramatically different from her feelings about it. The strength of her emotional reaction reveals a deep seated, oppressive attitude within her Psyche, evidenced by her desire to cage something so beautiful. The Janus faced relationship we have to our dreams helps us to realize that while our feelings about an image are important, they only capture our personal relationship to it, and not, in virtually every case, its archetypal meaning. It was Jung and the pioneers in Jungian Psychology, who recognized “The Reality of the Psyche,” which speaks to the eternal, trans-personal nature of images, offering a meaning which far surpasses that of our conscious orientation. Here, this Voice of Psyche teaches us that this tiny and mysterious hummingbird which has captivated humanity since the beginning of time, speaks to the deeply spiritual and archetypal capacity to find “the nectar - the sweetness of life,” and the tenacity needed to live into our destiny. We find a reference to the hummingbird in a poem by Rabbi Patti Haskell who writes; A hummingbird stops to hover Drinking in one magenta-glazed White geranium Before taking once again To flight ... Today is so tranquil, so peaceful with open heart I lift my hummingbird along with my prayers: endless eternal.
So too we hear in this verse of Maya Angelou of a soul captured and forced to live as a “Caged Bird.” She writes;
But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. ...But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams. In considering the dreams archetypal significance, we understand how the dreamer is potentially putting something precious, and vital to finding and living that “joie de vivre” in a cage. Perhaps it is the memory of the bird cage that her father built for her that speaks to an oppressive father complex, pushing her to exile the soul of this totem animal who no longer will be able to fly and influence her life in a deeply meaning way. Also crucial in the dream is that fact that she had not as yet succeeded in placing the bird into the cage. This suggests that there is still time for a powerful therapeutic intervention which can interrupt her tendency to lock away this gift of life. In understanding the archetypal nature of this dream she can begin to face all those ways she stops herself from finding this “nectar and sweetness of life,” and re-claim her native ability to find what is good in life and to live into her abilities and destiny.
This dream is a powerful telling of the relationship between one’s personally held beliefs and complexes, and the dreams innate, archetypal meaning, which is often occlude by the complex. We do well to remember that Jung taught us to look at the inherent, archetypal meaning of dream images and not only our reactions to the, and in this way we can develop a relationship to the numinous.
Each class will address an important aspect of dream work and will include the following themes;
Jung's perspective on the dream
The nature of the archetypal and the trans-personal
The meaning and presence of a complex in dreams
The difference between interpretation and translation of a dream
Working with dream images, Associations, Explanation, Amplification
The relationship and difference between personal and archetypal meaning of dream symbols
Dreams in the Bible and literature
This eight (8) month Beginning Dream Patterning Training Program consists of the following teaching methods:
* 15 seminars * Two individual mentoring sessions with Dr. Michael Conforti * Two individual mentoring sessions with graduates of the Master Level Dream Patterning Training Program * A "virtual" residential weekend seminar January 29 - January 31, 2021 Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the residential program which usually convenes in Tucson, Arizona, will be conducted as a virtual conference.
* All sessions are held on the Zoom online format which allows all participants to see one another during the live classes. In addition, each session will be recorded and stored in our archives, so that if you have to miss a session, you can access the archives and watch the session at a later time * Seminars are held on alternate Wednesdays evenings from 8 - 9:00 PM US EDT * Guest lectures by Senior Assisi Institute Faculty
** Because of the profundity of the dreams message, and the extent to which they reveal so much about the dreamers life and psyche, we will not be working with participant’s dreams in this seminar
Tuition and Discounts
Tuition: $795.00 Monthly installment plan is available.
Discounts Students in our Two Year Archetypal Pattern Analyst Training Program receive a 15% tuition discount on the Dream Training Program.
Withdrawal within the first 30 days of program start: 75% refund (not including initial deposit) Provided extenuating medical illness, after the first 30 days of program start, refunds for the Dream Patterning program will not be given.
Conforti, M. (2003).Field, Form, and Fate: Patterns in Mind, Nature, and Psyche(New [rev.] ed.). New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal.
Kaufmann, Y. (2009).The Way of the Image: The Orientational Approach to the Psyche. New York, NY: Zahav Books.
Recommended Reading – Books
Conforti, M. (2008). Threshold Experiences: The Archetype of Beginnings. Brattleboro, VT: Assisi Institute Press.
Von Franz, M.L. (1998).Dreams: A Study of the Dreams of Jung, Descartes, Socrates, and Other Historical Figures. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications.
Recommended Reading – Articles
(Download as PDF file below)
Conforti, M. (2010). Where Were the Leaves Before They Came Out? In Henderson, R., & Henderson, J. (Ed.), Living With Jung "Enterviews" With Jungian Analysts(Vol. 3, pp. 193-211). New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal.
Portmann, A. (1964). Metamorphosis in Animals: The Transformations of the Individual and the Type. In Campbell, J. (Ed.),Man and Transformation: Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks(Vol. 5, pp. 297-325). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.