Dreaming the Myth Onward: Jungian Neo-Paganism

Carl Jung's ideas have been influencing the development of Neo-Paganism from its inception in the 1960s and 1970s. But what if Jung's ideas have been misunderstood by many Pagans: literalized on the one hand and oversimplified on the other? What fresh insights can a Jungian Neo-Paganism contribute to Pagan discourse and practice today? And might Jungianism serve as a bridge between the earth-centered and deity-centered Pagan communities?

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John Halstead

John Halstead

John discovered Jungianism and Neo-Paganism at the same time through the writings of Vivianne Crowley, Margot Adler, and Starhawk, and the two have remained intertwined for him ever since.  John is the managing editor at HumanisticPaganism.com, a community blog for Naturalistic Pagans. He also writes about his spiritual quest on his blog The Allergic Pagan (www.patheos.com/blogs/allergicpagan/), where he explores his personal religious history, Paganism, UUism, and Jungianism.
ThinkingLikeaMountain-2
"Thinking Like a Mountain" by Robert Bateman

In this time of accelerating environmental change, many of us feel a sense of urgency to help transform humanity’s relationship with the Earth.  This sense of urgency is what drew together a large group of diverse Pagans, including Pagan leaders, authors, artists, and bloggers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia to draft “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.”  In honor of Earth Day, the statement has been published at ecopagan.com where you can add your signatureThe statement represents the beginning of a conversation, not the final word. Join us in our call to all people to rise to this historic moment in order to protect all life on Earth by signing the statementYou can sign on your own behalf or on behalf of a group or organization.


A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment

Who we are

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Previously, I introduced the archetype of the Anima and Animus as the contra-gendered aspects of our unconscious selves. The Anima and Animus appear to men and women in dreams, myths, and projections.  In the last post, I discussed the Anima in dreams.  In this post, I will talk about the Anima in myth.

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LATEST UPDATE

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In my last post, I introduced the archetype of the Anima and Animus, the contra-gendered aspects of our unconscious selves.

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Neo-Paganism as a Mystery Religion

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  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Rather than ascribe a gender, I typically use the Sephirot, Netzah and Hod as the focal ideas for this ritual, equal on the tree,

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In my last post, I promised to describe a ritual which my family does about the Jungian Shadow.  We've done this ritual in the past at the summer solstice, but it can be done at any time.

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  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Wow I really enjoyed this. I've been looking for something like this for a while. What a useful ritual and a respectful treatment

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In my last post, I described Neo-Paganism as a modern-day mystery religion.  Historically, initiates into the mystery religions experienced a ritual death and rebirth.  Some Neo-Pagan rituals follow this format.  The idea is that we die to our old selves and awaken to a new, more expansive Self.  In Jungian terms, the Self is the wholeness of our many disparate selves, conscious and unconscious.  But to encounter the Self, we must let our old selves, our egos, die.  This is a psychological death, but no less significant than physical death from the perspective of the ego.  For the ego, the experience can be as painful as dying physically, and some people would prefer physical death.  

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