Showing posts with label active imagination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label active imagination. Show all posts

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Catholic Muse?

in the city where the music began
i hear the song of my life in your voice
yours is the clamorous “te deum” of the bellsyours the fingers of the early morning suntouching my face and the crown of my head  
—Lowinsky, “to the lost nurse of a childhood in Florence”
in red clay is talking p. 30

A Secret Catholic Soul

For a Jew, I have a very intense relationship with Catholicism. I find myself mesmerized by news of Pope Francis, the new Pontiff who castigates the church for being obsessed with people’s sexual behavior, forgetting love, mercy and social justice. Why should this make me feel so glad and hopeful? Why should I get all weepy and emotional? 

Maybe it’s because my childhood was steeped in Catholic church music. My father, a musicologist, focused on the music of the church in the Renaissance. My young sense of the sacred was shaped by Gregorian Chant and the Stabat Mater of Josquin des Prez, Pergolesi, Palestrina and Scarlatti. I experience the holy in churches, mostly when in Italy. When there I light candles for my beloved dead, and for friends and family who are suffering. Dan and I have just returned from a trip to Italy. My favorite church on this trip was the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, in Rome. This medieval church embodies, in image and architecture, my experience of inwardness and interiority.



The Basilica feels deeply feminine to me and I love the animal presence. It’s strange to feel so at home in Italian churches. There is a family story behind this. I wrote about it in The Sister from Below:
The Lady of Florence is in the sound of the church bells. She is in every glimpse of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore, as I turn the dark corner of some narrow street and see her radiance anew.…She draws my eyes to Brunelleschi’s great red Duomo and suddenly I feel alive, full of inexplicable joy, as though I’ve come home after a long journey. Do I hear a voice say: “You can never get lost, as long as you keep sight of the Duomo.”
The Duomo, Santa Maria di Fiore, Florence
The Lady of Florence appears to me like the virgin of the annunciation in the painting by Fra Angelica, surprised out of some deep place, and at once disoriented by the news the angel has to tell her, and strangely calm…
Annunciation by Fra Angelico
The Lady of Florence is a graceful Italian woman, walking down an old cobbled street in a pair of elegant shoes, or buzzing about on her Vespa, trailing a lovely scarf…I feel quintessentially myself when I am here. Familiar. Beloved. Yet who is the one who loves me only in Florence. Who is it I seek whom I cannot quite touch?…
In the family stories there was a nursemaid, or was she a neighbor, Lydia…How can one touch the one who formed you when you can’t see her face, can’t understand her language?…Perhaps I should invoke the Lady…It seems too simple. And yet, when I sit down alone on my poetry porch, wrap myself in my red and purple shawl, and focus inward, she appears. I feel as though I am a child again. Her eyes are green and she looks at me as though I am the world’s most beloved child…I say, You are here. You remember me. 
Of course, because you remember me. I told you I would always be with you. You were so young, I thought you wouldn’t understand. But you did. You’ve come back.
We had a special bond, you and I…There you were, so delicate and small, so burdened with your mother’s heavy load. You looked more like me than you did your own mother. People thought you were mine as we wandered the piazzas and you dashed into flocks of pigeons, proclaiming your magical powers. Your Italian ass so good you could have been mine…I liked to dress you up. You loved this…I liked to take you out to see the saints, the Madonna, to pray in the churches…I understood you better than your own parents did. You were so relaxed with me, so playful. Around them you turned into a little grown up. I couldn’t bear the fact you had not been baptized, that you’d not go to heaven. Here in the city of Dante, I wanted you to be baptized so we could be reunited in Paradise. You were all excited about it. You loved the ritual, the Latin prayer, the priest. You told your father, how could you not? You were his child. 
He flew into a fury. How could I do such a thing? It was a violation! A desecration! How absurd! I was consecrating you forever. And in any case your father spent more time in churches and knew more about Gregorian Chant and the mass than do most Catholics. I suspected he had a hidden yearning, a secretly Catholic soul. But, as you know, there was no talking to your father.

A Secret Jewish Soul

Fast forward a number of years, from that active imagination which brought me the voice of my lost lady. It is 2013, the International Association of Analytical Psychology Conference in Copenhagen. Fisher King Press (FKP), a Jungian press, has a big presence among the book tables. Publishers Mel Mathews and Patty Cabanas, who have published five of my books in the past four years, are present. I feel flooded with my gratitude to them and with amazement at what they have accomplished. They now have 41 psychology titles, 8 poetry titles, 15 fiction titles plus books on creativity, astrology and ecopsychology.

I had shopped The Sister from Below around for seven years with no luck. Even Jungian publishers seemed squeamish about taking on a book that was essentially a series of acts of imagination. Synchronicity and my friendship with the Israeli analyst, Erel Shalit, whom I met at an Expressive Arts Conference in Bulgaria, led me to Fisher King. Erel has published many titles with FKP.

At the book launching party for three new Fisher King titles, Mel Mathews told his origin story—the short version. He’d been a tractor salesman. He had a big dream, got into analysis, and understood he needed to write novels. Then he couldn’t find a publisher. In the way of synchronicity he happened to rent a home from a man who knew the book business inside out. So Mel started a publishing house. He was drawn to Jungian writing and ideas and decided to make that his focus. As I listened to him I thought that his story followed the archetypal pattern of the “Jungian Way—” big dream, synchronicity, listening to the inner voice that tells one to change one’s life.

In the way of synchronicity I learned that Mel too had a love affair with Florence. In fact, he was in Florence when working on the cover of The Sister from Below.


The three titles that were being launched that day, to a pleasingly large crowd, were The Dream and its Amplification, edited by Erel Shalit and Nancy Furlotti, which I wrote a blog about last month, Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way, a book I edited with Patricia Damery and have written about frequently on this blog site, and a play, On the Doorstep of the Castle, by Elizabeth Clark–Stern. Both Elizabeth and I, in speaking of our books, expressed out gratitude for (at long last) finding a publisher open to the creative imagination. FKP is a haven and a godsend to many of us Jungians who write out of our subjective experiences, dreams, conversations with inner figures and wanderings in the irrational. Strange to say in the Jungian world, but it’s taken an “outsider” with his own compelling “story of the Jungian Way” to open up the publishing world to us.


Elizabeth and her colleague, the wonderful dancer Lindsey Rosen, performed the play one evening. In the way of synchronicity I found myself weeping, not only because the play is extraordinarily moving, and Elizabeth and Lindsey are fine actors and movers, but because it hit on of so many of my obsessions:
Catholicism
The Jews in Medieval Spain
The Inquisition
Conversos who are secret Jews
Kabbalah and the Feminine Face of God
Active Imagination and its earlier incarnation as mystical prayer
The conceit of the play is fabulous. A young converso, Alma de Leon (Lindsey), who is a descendant of the famous Kabbalistic rabbi Moses de Leon, applies to become a novice under the tutelage of Teresa of Avila (Elizabeth), a Carmelite nun said to be “the most awake woman in Spain,” “a woman who receives raptures from God.” Alma is suffering from an “aridity of soul.” She wants to learn how to receive the divine. She also clearly needs a sanctuary from the dread hands of the Inquisition.

Teresa, as she is played convincingly by Elizabeth, is able to convey to the audience the experience of being answered by an inner voice, by an other who has a different point of view, a larger wisdom. I identified with Teresa, though my inner figures are very different. That look of listening, on the face of a Saint deep in prayer—hearing the voice of the divine—or on the face of the poet in reverie—suddenly hearing the voice of the poem begin to sing—or the face of one engaged in active imagination, when the figure in a dream begins to speak—voicing a wisdom unknown to the conscious mind—that feeling of wonder, delight, awe—is one I know well. This mystic, this saint, who, it turns out, is a converso herself, gives me a sense of lineage both as a Jew and a Jungian.

In the way of synchronicity, wandering through museums in Italy on our later trip, I saw that expression on the faces of many saints. Here's an image by Rubens of Teresa of Avila.


Teresa prays to her God for counsel about whether to take in this young converso who knows Teresa’s secret and could betray her to the Inquisition. Should she take this risk? We watch her face light up, listening:” You want me to fight for her…You know what it is to be an outcast Jew?”

With Alma’s encouragement Teresa has the courage to write down her encounters with the divine, risking the fires of the Inquisition. With Teresa’s guidance Alma finds her way into her own Kabbalistic vision of the feminine face of God. The two women struggle with each other, support each other, go out into the world to touch the lives of the poor. By the end of the play the whole audience was in tears, and Elizabeth and Lindsey got a much–deserved standing ovation.

Elizabeth has the courage, the creative freedom, to bring together a historical figure, Teresa of Avila, and a fictional figure, a creation of her own imagination, Alma de Leon. She says:
I was aware of the twentieth-century Jewish philosopher, Edith Stein, who chanced to read Teresa’s autobiography and realized it was what she had been searching for all her life. She converted to the Carmelite order, yet could not curb her criticism of the Pope, who turned the other way while the Jews were being led to the death camps from Italy. Her public denunciation eventually resulted in the Gestapo escorting Edith and her sister, Rosa, to Auschwitz, where they were exterminated in 1942. 
I was so moved by this story I began to imagine a young Jewish woman, living in 16th century Spain, who, like Edith Stein, was searching for something to feed the longing of her soul. “What if Teresa and Edith met?” I thought, with a sense of great excitement. I did not transpose Edith directly to the 16th century, but began to research the story of the Jews at that time. The character of Alma, Spanish for soul, emerged in vivid dreams and images from the dusty plains of central Spain.
She describes her creative process, very much like active imagination, requiring inward listening, allowing her characters to lead:
I tossed out my preconceptions and ideas about the story, and just let the characters guide me. Alma had Edith’s courage, but was not a philosopher. She was a woman of the senses, the earth, the arts.
The figure behind the play, Edith Stein, struggled and died in the breach between her Jewishness and her Catholicism. In the way of synchronicity, I hear from Elizabeth that she and Lindsey will be performing the play in their home town of Seattle, in a church which houses a Jewish congregation in the basement. The minister and the rabbi are excited, because they have been looking for a way to bring their communities together. Elizabeth and Lindsey have created a bridge between the Jew and Catholic, the mystical and the quotidian. I felt my soul and my imagination reflected throughout their performance.

Later, in the Italian part of our journey, Dan and I walked across our beloved Ponte Vecchio, in Florence. We had not been here since the late ‘90s—the trip I wrote about in The Sister from Below. I thought about the new Pope, that the word Pontiff means bridge-builders. I remembered what the Sister had said to me about the bridge:
Look at the Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge over the Arno that survived the Nazi bombings in 1944, with its elegant jewelry shops and its arches. You can see that it is actually two bridges, especially at night. There is the flesh and blood bridge, full of tourists…There is the other, deeper bridge, insubstantial, with its reflected arches and yellow shops on the dark waters of the river. They touch each other, these two bridges, reflect on each other, can’t be without each other, and yet are inhabitants, like you and I are, of different realms.

Dan took this photo:

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Naomi Lowinsky is at it again, or is it The Sister From Below. . .

A Word from Naomi

Becoming a grandparent is one of the great amazements of a lifetime. Who knew the birth of the child of one's child could so change one's world? Maybe that's why the anthology, Child of My Child, is doing so well on Amazon. (As of 11/22/10, it is ranked at #33 on the Amazon.com Bestsellers List for poetry anthologies.) I'm pleased that it includes two of my poems "In the Garden" and "Emanuel."

The novelist Lucia Nevai, in reviewing this anthology writes: "'Little house of God -- may we deserve you' are the final lines from Emanuel, a poem by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, which evokes just one of the dizzying number of surprising, yet universal emotions that explore the grandchild-grandparent relationship in this unique anthology. At first, one wonders how the scope of these poems can continue to broaden. But finally, one feels the subject is limitless. The publisher reports being overwhelmed with a mountain of submissions on the topic. Perhaps we can hope for Child of My Child Volume II."

Child of My Child makes a wonderful holiday gift for anyone who has, loves, or is a grandparent! It's a great time for them to buy the book, too, because Amazon is offering it at a 28% discount right now.

For the Amazon link click: Child of My Child.

I am also very pleased to be part of a Poetry Flash reading by poets whose works are included in Child of My Child: Moe's Bookstore, Berkeley, CA, Feb. 10th, 2011 at 7:30pm.

And now, one of the Child of My Child poems that was recently published by Fisher King Press in my newest book of poetry Adagio & Lamentation:

EMANUEL

on the day you descended into our world circles within
circles opened one hundred and fifty thousand
people marched up Market street to protest a wrong war
not in our name not in your name Emanuel they chanted
and the drag queens of the city came out beautiful in their highest
heels their sleekest black velvet and they thanked us so much
for coming out to say “no blood for oil” “war is not healthy
for children and other living beings” and an old man on rollerblades
gave yellow roses to the little girls and a woman bared her very pregnant
belly with a peace sign painted upon it and i spoke every hour
on my cell phone to your mother to find out how close
were her pains it was a few hours before your dark head
would crown your broad shoulders twist out and that glistening coil
of your cord from the other world which your father cut
while your mother cried out to behold you old wisdom
still clinging about you Emanuel it was the day after the full moon
in Capricorn and the people had awakened to the gathering armies the gulf
upon which we all teetered and returned to the streets as we had
when your mother was my baby girl and we walked up Market street
to protest a wrong war

Emanuel you have descended and the world is so new your first poop
is big news and your good latch upon your mother’s breast you are
so sweet so calm a being released from forever to sing among us

little house of God
may we deserve you

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Happy Thanksgiving to all you grandparents and grandchildren!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mothers Day, The Motherline, and The Great Mother Re-Imagined

With Mothers Day fast approaching, perhaps the following Fisher King Press titles will be of interest:

The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to find her Female Roots
by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky.

Product Description
The Motherline takes the perspective of the mother who is always also a daughter. It is a book for women who have mothers, are mothers, or are considering becoming mothers, and for the men who love them. Telling the stories of women whose maturation has been experienced in the cycle of mothering, it urges a view of the psyche of women that does not sever mother from daughter, feminism from "the feminine," body from soul.

It argues that the path to wholeness requires us to reclaim aspects of the feminine self that we have lost or forgotten in our struggle to free ourselves from constricting roles. It describes a woman's journey to find her roots in the personal, cultural, and archetypal Motherline.

Our mothers are the first world we know, the source of our lives and our stories. Embodying the mysteries of origin, they tie us to the great web of kin and generation. Yet the voice of their experience is seldom heard. We have no cultural mirror in which to envision the fullness of female development; we are deprived of images of female wisdom and maturity. Finding our female roots, reclaiming our feminine souls, requires us to pay attention to our real mothers' lives and experience. Listening to our mothers' stories is the beginning of understanding our own.

Reviews
“(In) this perceptive and penetrating study . . . (Naomi Ruth Lowinsky) imaginatively applies Jungian, feminist and literary approaches to popular attitudes about . . . mothers and daughters and movingly, to personal experience.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“A combination of years of scholarship and recordings of personal journeys, this book belongs in every woman’s psychology/spirituality collection.”
—Library Journal

“In this accessible volume, Jungian psychologist Lowinsky explores the pain that women feel when their mother-love is undervalued or erased.”
—ALA Booklist

About the Author
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is the author of The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way and The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female Roots and numerous prose essays, many of which have been published in Psychological Perspectives and The Jung Journal. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies, among them After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Weber Studies, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Tiferet and Asheville Poetry Review. Her two poetry collections, red clay is talking (2000) and crimes of the dreamer (2005) were published by Scarlet Tanager Books. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times and the recent recipient of the Obama Millennium Poetry awarded for "Madelyn Dunham, Passing On.” Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice, poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives, and a grandmother many times over.

Order The Motherline directly from Fisher King Press




Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey Through Art to the Feminine Self 
by Mariann Burke

Artists plumb the depths of soul which Jung calls the collective unconscious, the inheritance of our ancestors' psychic responses to life’s drama. In this sense the artist is priest, mediating between us and God. The artist introduces us to ourselves by inviting us into the world of image. We may enter this world to contemplate briefly or at length. Some paintings invite us back over and over again and we return, never tiring of them. It is especially these that lead us to the Great Mystery, beyond image. Re-imagining Mary: A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self is about meeting the Cosmic Mary in image and imagination, the many facets of the Mary image that mirror both outer reality and inner feminine soul. Jungian analyst Mariann Burke explores symbolic meanings of paintings and sculptures by several famous artist from the renaissance period on up to our modern age including: Fra Angelico, Albrecht Durer, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Nicolas Poussin, Parmigianino, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Frederick Franck.

Aspects of Mary explored include: Mary not only as Mother of God, a title from the Judeo-Christian tradition, but as Mother God, a title reaching back to an ancient longing for a Female Divinity. In western Christianity this Mary bears the titles and the qualities worshipped for thousands of years in the Female images of God and Goddess. These titles include Mary as Sorrowful One and as Primordial Mother. Recovering Mary both as light and dark Madonna plays a crucial role in humanity s search for a divinity who reflects soul. Also discussed is Mary as the sheltering Great Mother that Piero della Francesca suggest in the Madonna del Parto and Mater Misericodia. Frederick Franck s The Original Face and the Medieval Vierge Ouvrante also suggest this motif of Mary as Protector of the mystery of our common Origin. Franck s inspiration for his sculpture of Mary was the Buddhist koan 'What is your original face before you were born?'

Reviews
"In this beautiful book, recounting her personal journey of discovery, Mariann Burke offers us her awakening to the experience of the Feminine. We follow her as she encounters and responds to images of Mary which hold meaning for her: Mary as Virgin Mother, Mary as Mirror, Mary as the Compassionate Sanctuary for suffering humanity, Mary as Temple, Mary as Black Madonna and Divine Wisdom. Through her contemplation of these images, she leads us deeper into an understanding of the Feminine and into unexplored dimensions of the soul. This is a book to savor and return to often."

"Mariann Burke has undertaken the remarkable and urgent task of grounding one of the major icons of Christian history, Mary. She plants Mary side by side with her ancient sister colleagues: Isis, Kali, Demeter, Tara and others, revealing Mary's ancient roots. This reading is critical for the 21st century since, through Mary, one expression of the Feminine archetype, matter can again be seen as divinized and the idea of incarnation pushed solidly into the matter of all things. Re-Imagining Mary is really re-imagining ourselves as women and men giving birth to God in newer and more relevant ways today. It is reimagining not only our own personal soul s journey but also the deep sacredness of the soul of the world itself."
--Fred Gustafson, author of The Black Madonna.

About the Author
Mariann Burke is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Newton, MA. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Andover-Newton Theological School, and the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She has done graduate work in Scripture at Union Theological Seminary and La Salle University. Her interests include the body-psyche connection, feminine spirituality, and the psychic roots of Christian symbolism. She is a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ).

Order Re-Imagining Mary directly from Fisher King Press


Phone orders welcomed, Credit Cards accepted. 1-800-228-9316 toll free in the US and Canada, International +1-831-238-7799. www.fisherkingpress.com



 

Fisher King Press / PO Box 222321 / Carmel, CA 93230 /
Phone: 831-238-7799 / info@fisherkingpress.com / www.fisherkingpress.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What others are saying about Naomi and the Sister from Below

What Others are saying about Naomi Lowinsky and the Sister from Below:

“Naomi Lowinsky has given us a remarkable, fearless, and full autobiography. Speaking in poetic, psychologically sensitive, scholarly dialogues with her shape-shifting muse, she has created a new form . . . This is a beautiful book to treasure and spread among worthy friends.”
—Sylvia Perera, Author of Descent to the Goddess and Celtic Queen Maeve and Addiction.
“. . . Naomi Ruth Lowinsky offers us a superbly detailed investigation of the powerful, mythic forces of the world as they are revealed to the active creative self. Don’t miss this enlightening and fascinating book.”
—David St. John, Author of Study for the World’s Body: New and Selected Poems and Prism.

“Naomi’s poetry and prose is infused with the suffering and joys of humans everywhere. Insightful and deeply moving, she brings us the food and water of life.”
—Joan Chodorow, Author of Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology, Editor of C.G. Jung on Active Imagination.

“A passionate love letter to those who yearn to be heard. A must read for every woman who longs to write poetry.”
—Maureen Murdock, Author of The Heroine’s Journey and Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory.

“Naomi Ruth Lowinsky reinterprets mythic and historical reality in provocative versions of the stories of Eurydice, Helen, Ruth, Naomi, and Sappho. The voice of the Sister from Below argues, cajoles, prods, explains, and yes, loves her human counterpart, and becomes the inspiration for Lowinsky’s stunning poetry in this highly original book.”
—Betty de Shong Meador, Author of Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart and Princess, Priestess, Poet.

The Sister from Below is a personal story, yet universal, of giving up a creative calling because of life’s obligations, and being called back to it in later life. This Fisher King Press publication describes the intricate patterns of a rich inner life; it is a traveler’s memoir, with outer journeys to Italy, India and a Neolithic cave in Bulgaria, and inward journeys to biblical Canaan and Sappho’s Greece; it is filled with mythic experience, a poet’s story told. The Sister conveys the lived experience of the creative life, a life in which active imagination—the technique of engaging with inner figures—is an essential practice.

The Sister speaks to all those who want to tab into their creative source and fulfill an unlived promise—those on a spiritual path, those who are filled with the urgency of poems that have to be written, paintings that must be painted, journeys that yearn to be taken…

In addition to The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way and The Motherline: Every Woman’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is the author of numerous prose essays, many of which have been published in Psychological Perspectives and The Jung Journal. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies, among them After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Weber Studies, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Tiferet and Runes. Her two poetry collections, red clay is talking (2000) and crimes of the dreamer (2005) were published by Scarlet Tanager Books. Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice and poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives.

Naomi has recently been awarded first prize in the Obama Millennium contest for her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” in which she imagines the spirit of Obama’s deceased grandmother visiting him as he speaks to the crowds in Chicago after his election. The poem will be published in the literary magazine New Millennium Writings this fall. To learn more about Naomi Ruth Lowinsky and her many publications visit www.sisterfrombelow.com

The Sister from Below:When the Muse Gets Her Way
—ISBN 978-0-9810344-2-3
Published by and available for purchase directly from Fisher King Press.
Also available from your local bookstore, and a host of on-line booksellers.
Publication Date: June 1st, 2009


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
$125
CE Credit:$ 15
CE Hours: 6 Approved for MD, PHD, MFT, LCSW, RN

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

Reserve for this event

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Naomi Lowinsky interviewed by Jane Crown

Fisher King Press author, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, winner of the Obama Millennium Poetry awarded for "Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” was recently interviewed on the Jane Crown Show. You can easily listen to the hour-long interview by clicking on the link above, finding "archives" at the bottom of the page and clicking on "Naomi Ruth Lowinsky." Naomi's just released title, The Sister From Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way is now available from Fisher King Press and from your local bookstore or a host of online booksellers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Muse Gets Her Way

January 15th, 2008

With great pleasure, Fisher King Press announces another forthcoming title.

Available Spring of 2009

The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way
a Jungian Perspective by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Who is She, this Sister from Below? She’s certainly 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.

The Sister emerges out of reverie, dream, a fleeting memory, a difficult emotion—she is the moment of inspiration—the muse. Naomi Ruth Lowinsky writes of nine manifestations in which the muse visits her, stirring up creative ferment, filling her with ghosts, mysteries, erotic teachings, the old religion—bringing forth her voice as a poet. Among these forms of the muse are the “Sister from Below,” the inner poet who has spoken for the soul since language began. The muse also appears as the ghost of a grandmother Naomi never met, who died in the Shoah—a grandmother with ‘unfinished business.’ She visits in the form of Old Mother India, whose culture Naomi visited as a young woman. She cracks open her Western mind, flooding her with many gods and goddesses. She appears as Sappho, the great lyric poet of the ancient world, who engages her in a lovely midlife fantasy. She comes as “Die √úr Naomi,” an old woman from the biblical story for which Naomi was named, who insists on telling Her version of the Book of Ruth. And in the end, surprisingly, the muse appears in the form of a man, a long dead poet whom Naomi loved in her youth.

The Sister from Below is a personal story, yet universal, of giving up a creative calling because of life’s obligations, and being called back to it in later life. This forthcoming Fisher King Press publication describes the intricate patterns of a rich inner life; it is a traveler’s memoir, with outer journeys to Italy, India and a Neolithic cave in Bulgaria, and inward journeys to biblical Canaan and Sappho’s Greece; it is filled with mythic experience, a poet’s story told. The Sister conveys the lived experience of the creative life, a life in which active imagination—the Jungian technique of engaging with inner figures—is an essential practice.

The Sister speaks to all those who want to cultivate an unlived promise—those on a spiritual path, those who are filled with the urgency of poems that have to be written, paintings that must be painted, journeys that yearn to be taken…

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky is the author of The Motherline: Every Woman’s Journey to Find Her Female Roots (1992) and numerous prose essays, many of which have been published in Psychological Perspectives and The Jung Journal. She has had poetry published in many literary magazines and anthologies, among them After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Weber Studies, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Tiferet and Asheville Poetry Review. Her two poetry collections, red clay is talking (2000) and crimes of the dreamer (2005) were published by Scarlet Tanager Books. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. Naomi is a Jungian analyst in private practice, poetry and fiction editor of Psychological Perspectives, and a grandmother many times over.

The cover image "Phases of the Moon" is an oil painting by Bianca Daalder-van Iersel, an artist and Jungian analyst practicing in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about the artist and her work at www.bdaalder.com.

The Sister from Below:
When the Muse Gets Her Way

—by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
ISBN 978-0-9810344-2-3
Estimated shipping date June 2009,
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