[Note: This is a revised version of an earlier essay that appeared on the Humanistic Paganism blog.]
A couple of posts ago, I wrote about ritual creation as a form of Jungian Pagan spiritual practice. I described ritual as a kind of dance between the conscious and unconscious, in which the conscious mind gives form to unconscious energy or potentialities. Jung often used the metaphor of water to describe the vivifying energies of the unconscious. This water, wrote Jung, “comes from deep down in the mountain [the unconscious] and runs along secret ways before it reaches daylight [consciousness].” The place where it springs forth is marked by a symbol. This symbol merely marks the experience of the archetype, and it should not be confused with the experience (the water) itself or the archetype (the source of the water).
What does a Jungian Pagan spiritual practice look like? So far, on this blog, my writing has been highly abstract. I'd like to get does to the practical side of things now.
A Jungian spiritual practice may take many forms. What all of these forms have in common is that they bring together the rational conscious mind with the non-rational unconscious mind. Dreamwork, for example, is not just dreaming, but upon waking, analyzing the dream and integrating the unconscious contents into one's conscious life.
When I first started getting into Jung, I was lost. I quickly discovered three things: First, Jung wrote a lot! There are18 volumes of his Collected Works (not counting the bibliography and index) and they are not even complete. Second, there is very little logic to the ordering of Jung's writings. This is why electronic versions of Jung's writings are great: because they are searchable. And third, electronic versions of many of Jung's writings are very hard to find. I've previously provided a list of Internet Jung resources here along with a link to a torrent download of Jung's Collected Works.
"Scorn not the Gods: Despite their non-existence in material terms, they're no less potent, no less terrible. The one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity."
... and what the soul is, also I believe I will never quite know. Though I play at the edges of knowing, truly I know our part is not knowing, but looking, and touching, and loving, which is the way I walked on ... -- Mary Oliver, "Bone"