Showing posts with label Jung institute. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jung institute. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Sister from Below

is delighted to announce

Your Face in the Fire

is an Amazon Bestseller!

Cover art by Kathleen Russ

This happened because so many of you joined the book launch and
ordered a copy on June 1. A beautiful community effort.
Thank you, thank you!

If you haven’t ordered your copy yet it’s still available on Amazon.

Here’s another poem from the book:

Only the Blind

You have always belonged to the moon
Though sometimes it leads you astray

Past willows across the swinging bridge
To somebody’s grave by the river

Stuck in the cave of your skull
You grope for the disappeared moon

Down where it’s blue so blue
Only Blind Willie Johnson

Can sing your way home
Only Isaac the Blind can see

The banshee has got your bones
She’s beating her drum with your bones

And you’re stuck in the cave of your skull
No willows no swinging bridge

Who will plant you deep in the earth?
Who will water your toes?

When the banshee has got your bones
When she’s beating her drum with your bones

You have always belonged to the moon

Only Isaac the Blind can show you
That glow beyond the bridge

Only Blind Willie Johnson
Can sing your way home

Moon Goddess
Jemma M. Young

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Citizen’s Dilemma: An Invitation

Aloria Weaver's Axis Mundi

Are you a troubled citizen, suffering from election anxiety? Are you experiencing violent mood swings in response to the news of the day? Are you having trouble holding on to your center, to the spirit of the depths in these rancorous and polarized times?

The San Francisco C.G. Jung Institute is taking on this difficult historical moment with a one-day event— The Citizen’s Dilemma in Divisive Times.

I hope you will join us on Oct. 27th from 10-4 to hear:

Thomas Singer: The Presidential Elections 2012: Surfing the Emotions and Complexes of the Collective Psyche

Richard Stein: Love in the Time of Cacaphony: An Introvert’s Guide to Political Extremism

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky: Clinging to the Axis Mundi: The Poetry of Politics

Richard Tarnas: Cosmos, Psyche and Polis: An Archetypal Astrological Perspective on Our Time

The Institute is located at: 2040 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94109. Additional information about the Oct. 27th program can be obtained at or (415) 771-8055.

If you can’t make it in person, you can hear the event as a webinar, presented by the Asheville Jung Center

For a preview of a poem I’ll be reading and discussing, check out "When I'm Gone" on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Muse of Politics

In this overwrought political season I have been musing about politics—what a devil it is, what a muse it is in my life and creative work. The power of the political to shape and destroy lives came into focus for me around two recent experiences: seeing the theater piece Party People at Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer and hearing an interview with Seth Rosenfeld, the journalist author of Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and the Rise of Reagan.

Party People is a stunning piece of theater—a musical, multimedia drama using song, dance, hip hop, jazz, salsa, chant, rant, shouting, whispering, introspection, retrospection and video. In the beginning we meet two young creatives: Jimmy, engrossed in his Macbook Air is editing Malik’s video of former members of the Black Panthers and the Young Lords—a Puerto Rican nationalist organization. We see the video projected on the wall while in the stage area of this theatre-in-the-round actors portray the young revolutionaries with raised fists, slogans and guns. On video the former party members speak of the impossible conditions they were working to change—cockroach-infested apartments, terrible schools, hungry children, unavailable medical care. The Black Panthers provided free breakfasts to poor kids in Oakland. I remember this well—I had Panther kin. A close friend’s lover had been married to a Black Panther. They had two children—“Panther cubs.” My children played with them. I remember the pride with which their mother spoke of the breakfast program.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Muse of the Jungian Way

The Muse of the Jungian Way

What possesses people to leave collective consciousness—the comfort and security of the mainstream—and follow an arcane path in which they cultivate their dreams and visions, follow synchronicities, talk to inner figures, use ancient divining tools such as the I Ching, study myth and fairy tales, wrestle with their shadows and generally wander far away from the familiar worlds of family and friends?

There are as many stories of how this happens, as there are Jungians. In Marked by Fire you can read 13 soulful and gripping versions of the story. Here is a part of my version, which I didn’t have space to tell in Marked by Fire.

My story begins many years ago when my children were little. I was a lost young woman, severed from my deep Self. I had a frightening dream:
My baby daughter’s head was severed from her body. My mother’s voice said: “You’ll never get her together again.”
The dream spooked me. I thought something bad was about to happen to my child.

In a synchronistic event that changed my life my girl friend’s mother—who was seeing a Jungian in therapy—invited her daughter and me to a Jungian Conference called The Forgotten Feminine. I knew nothing of Jung and had no idea what the conference title meant, except that it tugged at me. I wanted to go.

The Handless Maiden (by Lucy Campbell)

At the conference I heard mature, wise, potent women—Jungian analysts—unlike any women I knew in my life—describe their work with their patients. This was the late 1960s. They told stories of women who were lost in their lives, who had forgotten their creative gifts, forgotten their souls, who had given themselves away to their men and their children, buried their deep natures and their wildness, severed their heads from their bodies. I learned that in the sanctuary of their Jungian analyses they found their souls, reclaimed their writing or painting or dancing, connected their heads and their bodies, found their deep selves. It was suddenly clear to me that my frightening dream was not about my daughter, it was about me. I was in trouble. I turned to my friend’s mother and asked her about that Jungian she was seeing.

That is how I tumbled into a Jungian analysis. It saved my life. I wrote a poem about it:

letter to a first analyst

I caught the dream
and rose dreaming
you sat with me in the early years when it was all
coming apart my too young marriage that business of the donkey
in the basement the father whose eyes entered
me took what they would

you sat with me and I opened like a window
in a suffocating room whose drapes have been drawn for too long
now blinds snapped up smell of hot tomatoes
strawberries in the sun

i had been living in my body
as though it were an unmade bed for years the smell of decomposing
dreams under the bedside table crumpled kleenex bad blood spotting
the sheets the children were so little they wandered in
wanting their breakfast and me just waking from a dream of spitting out my teeth on the road or dream of using a contact lens for contraception it splintered
inside me what spirit led me to you after the terrible dream—my daughter’s head was severed from her body— my mother’s voice said: “you’ll never get her together again”

i write to tell you that i danced at that daughter’s wedding on a hillside in berkeley
not far from your house she was beautiful and i was glad
for all the years of catching the morning dream the hours you sat
with me through sandstone storms and backdoor me even death’s most yellow incarnation made a pass at my bed but you
who opened windows closed that door i remember

once you told me the story of a prince and a hairy wild man fresh out of the forest
they wrestled for a long time fought until each knew
the other’s body and mind until they were inseparable friends
(published in crimes of the dreamer)

Gilgamesh and Enkidu

Years later one of the women who stood on the stage of that conference on The Forgotten Feminine—Elizabeth Osterman—would greet me when I was a new candidate at the Jung Institute. She’d been watching me, she said. “You are a poet. You must follow your nature.” Though she was never my analyst or consultant, she was a powerful figure for me; I felt her support for my deep nature. When she died I wrote a poem called “Dirge” in which I looped back to my first experience of her. Here is that section of the poem:

You stood
on a university platform
in Wheeler Auditorium
where I had heard
many famous professors
but no one had ever told me

that a woman
writing down her dreams
can spiral inward
to her dark center
and come back out with flaming colors
and her own wild tongue!
(published in red clay is talking)

My story is not unusual in the Jungian world. In Marked by Fire, the collection of memoirs edited by Patricia Damery and me, there are many such stories. Sometimes it is a dream that opens up a person’s psyche, sometimes a longing, a difficult conflict, a terrible event like the death of a mother or a serious illness. The Jungian way involves noticing the small voice within you—your muse, your soul—that speaks from another realm; it requires attention to the world of dreams and synchronicities, an openness to the irrational and the awesome, an ability to see life’s pain and suffering as a meaningful aspect of one’s path.

These personal stories by Jungian analysts are about the direct experience of the unconscious—the fiery process of becoming ourselves. They are food for the soul.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Book Dialogues

The C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco has been hosting a series of dialogues between Jungian Analysts and leading teachers, writers and artists in the community--all inspired by the recent publication of The Red Book.

The final event in the series will take place Friday, March 25, 2011 at 7:30 PM and will feature Maxine Hong Kingston in dialogue with Naomi Lowinsky and Rhoda Feinberg. The venue is the Unitarian Church at 1187 Franklin Street in San Francisco.

Tickets are available at [$25 General Admission ($10 Student)]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"The Sister From Below" Receives a Glowing Review in Psychological Perspectives

In a review published in Psychological Perspectives (Volume 52, Issue 4), Dr. Robin Robertson wrote, “This is a remarkable book, I might even say a unique book. I certainly don't know of any other book like it.” He goes on to say, “This book moves seamlessly between Active Imagination, personal memories and experience, and poetry, both her own and from other poets….There are so many wonderful stories here, so many faces of the muse: in ‘When the Sister Gets Her Way’ we hear how the muse first convinced Naomi of her spiritual calling as a poet.”

Robertson continues, “Perhaps my favorite of the stories (but it's a tough choice) is ‘The Book of Ruth: Naomi's Version,’ in which her muse is the ‘Ur Naomi,’ the ancient Naomi whose real story is missing from the Book of Ruth in the Bible. It's a moving story of what happens when the masculine and feminine are separated, and power when they once more join….I hope many read this book and that it inspires others to make their own attempt at creating a new form of literature.”

Dr. Robertson is a Jungian-oriented clinical psychologist, author of Indra’s Net: Alchemy and Chaos Theory as Models for Self-Transformation (Quest Books, 2009).

“Soul’s Tongue: A Poetry Reading with Cello and Conversation”

Bridge Crossings---Conversations in Poetry 2010
February 7, May 16, September 26, November 7

Jung Institute of San Francisco
2040 Gough Street, San Francisco
(415) 771-8055

February 7th brought us the first afternoon of a series of poems and conversations by poets addressing a common theme, accompanied by music and visual images. The impetus for these conversations arose from the notion that poetry is a “crossing” over varying psychic territories that touch our lives, our practices, and our humanity with both a feeling of recognition and surprise.

A Freudian and a Jungian, both analysts, both poets, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky and Forrest Hamer read and conversed; cellist Chris Evan provided musical accompaniment.

All shared the medium of language and engaged in the work of translation—from image, affect and memory into words.
  • Does soul speak to each in the same tongue?
  • If the poet is also an analyst, does one discipline support the other? Or are they conflicting practices?
FORREST HAMER is a widely published poet. He is the winner of the Beatrice Hawley award for his collection “Call and Response” and the Northern California Book Award for his collection “Middle Ear.” His most recent book of poems is called “Rift.” Poems of his have been published in “The Best American Poetry.” Forrest Hamer also works as an analyst and comes from the Psychoanalytic tradition.

NAOMI RUTH LOWINSKY has published her work in many literary magazines. Her poetry collections are “red clay is talking” and “crimes of the dreamer.” Her memoir on creativity, “The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way,” was recently published. Naomi also works as an analyst and comes from the Jungian tradition.

CHRIS EVANS has performed classical music in the Bay Area and France. She has played in the orchestras at San Francisco State, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. Lately she has become interested in improvisation and composition.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Day with Noami Lowinsky and The Muse

"A Day with Your Muse"
Presented by: Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
Saturday, June 13th, 2009 at the
C.G. Jung Institute San Francisco

"A Day with Your Muse" is a day-long workshop in which Naomi Lowinsky will present material from her book, and lead a writing workshop to help people get in touch with their inner "Sister from Below."

The "Sister from Below" is a fierce inner figure. She emerges out of reverie, dream, a fleeting memory, a difficult emotion—she is the moment of inspiration—the muse.

This Sister is not about the ordinary business of life: work, shopping, making dinner. She speaks from other realms. If you'll allow, She'll whisper in your ear, lead your thoughts astray, fill you with strange yearnings, get you hot and bothered, send you off on some wild goose chase of a daydream, eat up hours of your time. She's a siren, a seductress, a shape-shifter . . . Why listen to such a troublemaker? Because She is essential to the creative process: She holds the keys to the doors of our imaginations and deeper life—the evolution of Soul.

Naomi Lowinsky, MFT, is an analyst member of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. She is the recent recipient of the Obama Millennium Poetry awarded for "Madelyn Dunham, Passing On.” Her most recent publication, The Sister From Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way (ISBN 9780981034423) has just been published by Fisher King Press. A reprinted edition of The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female Roots (ISBN 9780981034461) has also just been published by Fisher King Press. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies in addition to her two poetry collections, red clay is talking (2000) and crimes of the dreamer (2005). She has a private practice in Berkeley.

Saturday, June 13, 2009
10 AM - 4 PM
CE Credit:$ 15
CE Hours: 6 Approved for MD, PHD, MFT, LCSW, RN

C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco
2040 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
415/771-8055 (phone)
415/771-8926 (fax)

Reserve for this event