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Pre-conference Events
October 19 and 20, 2011

Preceding the October 20-23, 2011 Moving Toward Wholeness Conference -- all at Laurel Ridge Conference and Retreat Center  are Pre-conference Events.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a separate registration for the "Moving Toward Wholeness" Conference.


Discerning the Spirit of Our Age:  An Archetypal Astrological Perspective
Richard Tarnas, Ph.D.

Rick Tarnas



"Our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe, and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche."

C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (“Late Thoughts”)

We live in a dramatic period in the history of the world, with high stakes for the planetary future. To help us navigate this passage, we need every available source of relevant insight. Perhaps more than any other form of analysis, archetypal astrology can shed clarifying light on how events and trends throughout the world at a given time are meaningfully connected -- political events, social trends, the music and films, scientific discoveries, the public mood and collective psychological tendencies. And when we examine the synchronistic waves of events in terms of their underlying archetypes, historical patterns that unfold cyclically through the centuries come into focus.  Our eyes are opened to see more of the meaning of what's happening now. 

Jung himself investigated astrological correlations throughout his career, and used astrology regularly in his clinical practice against the grain of his increasingly reductionist profession. Many of us who have pursued this research in a systematic way have concluded that there are few frames of reference more revealing of both individual and collective psychological conditions than an archetypally informed knowledge of current planetary positions. Like paying attention to weather reports before setting out to sail on a windy day, learning about the planetary “transits" can help us live both more intelligently and more deeply as individuals. It can also provide a powerful lens for us to discern the deeper evolutionary currents moving through history. In this pre-conference event beginning Thursday morning, through both lecture and film and music illustrations, Richard Tarnas will help us explore the major planetary alignments and archetypal forces at work currently and in the decade to come.

Richard Tarnas, Ph.D. is a professor of philosophy and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He also teaches archetypal studies and depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. Born in Switzerland of American parents, he was educated by the Jesuits as well as at Harvard. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern that has become both a best seller and a required text in many universities. He frequently lectures at Jung institutes and societies throughout the U.S., and is on the Board of Governors of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. His most recent book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network in the UK


Rekindling the Heart -- Honoring Mother Earth, Living from Our Center
C. Michael Smith, D.Min, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal)

C. Michael Smith, D.Min, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal)

The heart-centered and  earth-honoring spiritual traditions of the  indigenous Americans (North,  Central, and South) all consider the heart to be the vital organ or center  (interior 'axis mundi') from which life is to be lived to produce health,  joy and wholeness for humans and all creatures on Mother Earth. The mind  is viewed as a servant of the heart, and not the master.  The heart is a  spiritual core already attuned to the earth and its ancient chthonic  wisdom. This eco-friendly wisdom is in great need in modern culture today.  A wide variety of sacred  indigenous ceremonies serve to powerfully  activate the symbolic life, and can help us embody this heart-wisdom for living.

C. Michael Smith, D.Min, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal)Drawing on his lineages as a Cherokee-metis healer, and his Kichwa Iachak lineage, Mikkal will lead us, through story, chant, and  ritual deeper into this indigenous heart wisdom rooted in Mother Earth  spirituality, and reveal some of the major resonances with Jungian  psychology. Through a Sacred Fire ceremony in which  Earth, Wind,  Water as well as Fire are portals, and through ecstatic drumming,  chanting, and story telling, we will connect with the Spirit of the Earth, the Creator and Maker of Dreams, and we will each tap this Source to make  earth-mandalas, "despachos," composed of beautiful foods, plants and  flowers. We shall place our prayer and its symbol in the center of this  earthen-mandala, and offer it back to the Earth Mother in the Sacred Fire --  the concluding act of this ancient ceremony.

Participants are encouraged to bring drums and rattles, as well as their favorites flowers, herbs and  spices

C. Michael Smith, D.Min, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal) is a Jungian scholar, clinical psychologist, and international shamanic teacher. He is director of Crows Nest International, Centers for Shamanic Studies in USA, France and Belgium. He also teaches for the Cercle de Sagesse Ancestrale at Centre Trimurti in Cogolin, France, and has taught Jungian Psychology and Shamanism at the Institut Ressources [PNL], Bruxelles, Belgium, and at the Chicago Theological Seminary. His most widely known book is Jung and Shamanism in Dialogue: Retrieving Soul / Retrieving the Sacred [Trafford, 2007, 2nd edition] and he is author of the NAAP acclaimed Psychotherapy and the Sacred [Chicago: Center for the Scientific Study of Religion Press, 1995]. He attended the University of Chicago, the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Theological Seminary, where he did a doctorate under Jungian analyst and theorist Robert L. Moore. He underwent a 14 year initiation and apprenticeship with the Cherokee medicine woman, Ai Gvhdi Way, and an 8 year initiation with the Iachak don Alverto Taxo, of Ecuador, Atis-Quechua tribe in the High Andes. Mikkal’s work focuses on bridging the heart-centered and earth honoring wisdom and ceremonies of shamanism with Jungian and other depth psychologies.

Note: The only events that qualify for the $20.00 discount off The Moving Toward Wholeness registration fee are the first two events listed above.


Please reference the Schedule Block at the end of this page for dates and times of workshops and costs for each.

Shamanic Journeying: Following Your Body Into the Imaginal World and Back
Special Pre-conference Segment -- to be coupled with "Moving Toward Wholeness Workshop"
Nicholas Brink, Ph.D.

Nicholas Brink


The research of Felicitas Goodman shows that the body postures of the archetypal figures found in ancient and primitive art from all corners of the earth have specific effects on a person’s trance experience while sitting, laying or standing in the posture. Some postures are for going inward for healing, other postures are for spirit journeying into the lower world, the earthly realm or into the heavens. Some postures produce death-rebirth experiences while others are for shape shifting. Then there are postures for divination, for answering questions or predicting future events. I have brought together my 35 years of work with analytic hypnotherapy and guided imagery with the power of these shamanic postures to provide healing and personal growth. The three stages of analytical hypnotherapy are to first identify a personal problem, second, to go into the unconscious to uncover the source of the problem and third, to provide suggestions for the death of the dysfunctional ego-state and the rebirth of the healthier/functional ego-state. These three stages can be easily attained by using the archetypal shamanic posture, first using a divination posture to identify the problem, then a spirit journey lower world posture for accessing the unconscious, and ending with a death/rebirth posture to incorporate the change. These postures provide a powerful avenue to change without the extensive input of the therapist, but instead by the posture used and directed by the unconscious in the metaphoric language such as dreams employ, or that used in hypnosis and guided imagery. This process will be demonstrated. Those who attend the Pre-conference event will be able to register for and attend other Pre-conference events also.  They will have the opportunity to experience more deeply and report on the first two postures. In the workshop, participants will learn of their experiences and enjoy their own experience of the third.

Nicholas Brink is a licensed clinical psychologist and a Diplomate through the American Board of Professional Psychology. He received his PhD in psychology in 1970 from U.C.L.A.  A past president of the American Association for the Study of Imagery and on the Board of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Nick has maintained a private practice in psychology for the last 35 years. and presented 50 workshops on hypnosis, guided imagery, dream-work and shamanic journeying.  Among his publications are more than 60 journal articles and the 2002 book Grendel and His Mother: Healing the Traumas of Childhood Through Dreams, Imagery and Hypnosis, as well as the soon to be published book The Power of Ecstatic Trance.   Dr. Brink  is the current book review editor for the journal Imagination, Cognition and Personality.


Cultivating Your Sense of Place – Seeing the Natural World through Soulful Eyes
Dennis Merritt,  Ph.D., LCSW, Jungian Analyst*

Dennis Merritt, LCSW*


Archetypal psychologist James Hillman, aided by the neo-platonic concept of Aphrodite as the Soul of the World, helps us create a relationship with nature as that of a lover with the beloved. This Pre-conference Experience will explore how this can be done as illustrated through an intimate travelogue. Participants will learn how a deepening sense of place can be developed through the lenses both of a knowledge of the geology and an appreciation of the details of some unusual landscapes in Wisconsin. Our process will serve as a metaphor which mirrors awareness of the many layers of the collective unconscious in the human psyche. From our time together, participants will discover how to view any landscape with a lover's gaze. Come prepared to share your connection with your favorite landscape or spot in nature.

Dennis Merritt, LCSW, has a doctorate from Berkeley in entomology (insect pathology), a masters from Sonoma State in humanistic psychology, and is a graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute, Zurich.  He is in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee, WI, as a Jungian analyst and ecopsychologist.  Volume 1 of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe (Jung, Hermes and ecopsychology) will be published in December. See Spirit in the Land at


African Drumming and Practices of Traditional Initiation
Tom Harris, M.S.

Tom Harris, M.S.


In this workshop, we will explore the use of traditional West African drumming and storytelling as a means to enter the world of mythology and its images, particularly those used in traditional practices of initiation. In the process, participants will learn the basics of West African drumming. The workshop will begin with a myth being told, built around the theme of initiation. This will be told in accompaniment to a djembe. Participants will share elements of their own lives related to personal initiation, then material will be presented on the elements of the West African initiatory process.

After the learning the basic djembe technique, attendees will be introduced to the traditional djembe ensemble and then learn a complete arrangement of a traditional rhythm with the opportunity to play all of the parts used in a West African Tribal practice of Initiation. Together we will experience firsthand the consciousness changing and calming effects of drumming in groups.

Tom Harris, M. S.  has taught in the experiential therapy arena for the last 29 years in residential and outpatient settings. Before embarking on the therapeutic drumming journey, he spent 12 years leading outdoor experiential activities and trips, and using rustic construction in the same way. Since establishing his Therapeutic Drumming program in 1996, he has established himself as an authority in this field. As Tom developed this program, he studied with many professional djembe players from West Africa, and in 1999 spent time in Guinea, West Africa, studying with a well known djembe teacher and immersing himself in the culture from which these teachings came. For the last 8 years his primary teacher has been Mamady Keita, one of a handful of initiated Master drummers from Guinea.

He has presented at many professional conferences, building over 1300 drums in workshops, helped 10 other programs and schools start similar programs, and taken youth in his drumming groups to 8 other states in the process of tallying up over 600 public performances including the Lincoln Center in New York City. He has been active in the Men’s Mythopoetic movement since 1996 and has led drumming and mythtelling at many of their gatherings.


Understanding Psychological Type(s): Through the Looking Glass of
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Adele Tyler, M.S.S.

Adele Tyler, M.S.S.


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a practical application of Jung’s’ theories on psychological type, created by the mother-daughter team Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. The most widely used personality test in the world, the MBTI serves as an introduction to Jung’s ideas and helps people to better understand themselves and develop their potentials.  Pre-conference participants may sign up  to take the MBTI and learn how to interpret  and apply their results as well as increase their knowledge of Jung’s theories of psychological type. Please register in advance  for this workshop by noting the intention to participate in the "Comments" section of the registration form, or by contacting Journey Conferences at  Participants will receive the Myers-Briggs questionnaire at the pre-conference registration/check-in, complete and return the questionnaire by the next morning, and then meet later that day for the group workshop.  Questions about the MBTI and the workshop may be answered by contacting Adele Tyler at  

Adele Tyler, M.S.S., has a master’s degree in sociology, Myers-Briggs certification, and life coach certification through the Hudson Institute  of Santa Barbara. She has studied Jungian psychology, formally and informally, since 1989, at Vanderbilt University, the Jung Seminar in Zurich, and various workshops and seminars. She was trained in use of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator  and in its’ application by Carol Pearson and Depth Coaching originator Pat Adson.  An active participant, board  member, and workshop presenter at the former "Journey Into Wholeness" events, Adele has written articles on psychological type, introversion, and extraversion for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. In addition to her work as a Myers-Briggs consultant  and life coach in Nashville, TN, she has been a  co-owner with her husband, Dan, of a music publishing and production company for over twenty-five years.




There is a separate registration for the "Moving Toward Wholeness" Conference.

Dates: October 19 at 5:45 PM to October 20 at 4:00 PM
On-site registration begins 4:30 PM
Costs: Subject to Availability: (may change without notice)

$175.00 Single Occupancy;

$145.00 Double; Motel-style Room for October 19, 2011
(Includes Dinner on October 19, and breakfast and lunch on October 20)

Fee includes tuition for Discerning the Spirit of Our Age ... or Rekindling the Heart ... and other Pre-conference events as noted on the Pre-Conference registration form(s), dinner, breakfast, lunch and lodging.   (future pricing subject to change).

Note: These registrants receive a $20.00 discount off of their Moving Toward Wholeness Conference registration.

Register:    Deadline for Registering is September 27, 2011 (if space is still available.)  After that you may still call registrar, Tom Lane at 336-545-1200 to see if we can make a space for you.  There will be no onsite registration. 

Register here for Pre-conference Events. 

Note: There is a separate registration for the "Moving Toward Wholeness" Conference.

for those not attending the Discerning the Spirit of Our Age ... or Rekindling the Heart ... Events

Registrants not attending Discerning the Spirit of Our Age ... or Rekindling the Heart ... may attend other Pre-conference Events for their additional nominal fee(s).


In registering for this special lodging, please specify in the box provided your anticipated arrival time.  (The fee includes Wednesday dinner, Thursday breakfast and lunch -- $120.00 per person in a single room; $100 per person in a double room).   All registrants are invited to the opening fire ceremony after dinner on Wednesday night for no added fee and other events each with their nominal fees (as noted on the registration form(s)).

Brochure: Visit our Share the Conference toolkit page for Fliers and Brochures
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Register for qualifying Pre-Conference Events =  $20 off Moving Towards Wholeness - Information and Registration

"I cannot define for you what God is, I can only say that my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every [hu]man, and that this pattern has at its disposal the greatest of all his energies for transformation and transfiguration of his natural being. Not only the meaning of his life but his renewal and his institutions depend on his conscious relationship with this pattern in his collective unconscious."  - C. G. Jung


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