Finding Our Way in the Psyche and in the Garden of Life Beginning Dream Seminar October 30, 2019 - June 10, 2020
I would like to begin this description of the upcoming Dream Seminar by looking at the following dream: “I see a hummingbird flying in the garden. So touched by its beauty, I wonder how nature could have ever created something so beautiful. I want to capture this bird and bring it into my home and remembered that my father had given me a handmade birdcage for my seventh birthday, and that this would become the bird’s new home. I could barely contain my excitement knowing that this bird would bring such joy into my life.”
When discussing the dream, she recalled the utter joy in seeing this bird, and the hope of bringing the hummingbird into her home. She knew that she would love this bird and it would be an important part of her life.
While her feelings about the dream are all so positive, the dream’s message is dramatically different from what she believes it to be. The strength of her emotional reaction reveals a deep seated, oppressive attitude within her Psyche. This Janus faced relationship to the dream, helps us to see that while our feelings about an image are important, they only capture a small portion of its message. It was Jung and the pioneers in Jungian Psychology including Hillman and Marion Woodman, 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 has captivated humanity since the beginning of time, carrying a deeply spiritual and archetypal meaning regarding the ability 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:
Something darting towards me Draws my eye As two feet away 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.
In considering the dreams archetypal significance, we understand how the dreamer is potentially putting something so precious, something which can help her find that “joie de vivre” in a cage. Perhaps because of her oppressive father complex - remember that he built her this cage, - she is now on the verge of taking this capacity for joy and locking it up. Within this caged and perhaps tortured reality, the nature and soul of this totem animal and all that it symbolizes as a psychic potentiality, may be unable to fly and interact freely within her life.
In the dream we hear that she was “preparing” and had not as yet succeeded in placing the bird into the cage. This is a subtle yet profound aspect of the dream’s message, suggesting 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 ones personally held beliefs and the dreams innate, archetypal meaning. While contemporary dream work often seeks to understand the meaning of a dream by what the dreamer feels about it, we do well to remember that it was Jung who taught us to look at the inherent, archetypal meaning of dream images and not only our reactions to them.
This course we will take an in depth look at dreams and ways to understand their meaning. 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 four stages of a dream: Exposition, Development, Crisis and Lysis * The two dimensions of the Lysis; creative and the non-generative * The difference between interpretation and translation of a dream * James Hillman’s and Marion Woodman’s contributions to dream work * Working with dream images, Associations, Explanation, Amplification, * The role of Active Imagination in working with dreams * Dreams in the Bible
Because of the profundity and importance of dreams, and the extent to which they reveal so much of what is alive in the dreamers psyche, we will not be working with participant’s dreams in this seminar.
This nine (9) month Beginning Dream Patterning Training Program consists of the following teaching methods:
* 15 Seminars * 2 Individual mentoring sessions with Dr Michael Conforti * 2 individual mentoring sessions with graduates of the Master Level Dream Patterning Training Program * A residential weekend seminar in Tucson, Arizona January 31 - February 2, 2020
Program Design * All sessions will be held via the Zoom online computer format which allows all participants to see one another during these 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 go into the archives and watch the session at a later time. * Seminars are held on alternate Wednesdays evenings from 8-9:00 PM EDT
** 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.
Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for the Tucson Residency available for: Psychologists, Social Workers, Mental Health Workers, and Psychoanalysts Discounts Students in our Two Year Archetypal Pattern Analyst Training Program receive a 10% 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.