EVENTS




Upcoming Events:

I have been invited as a Jungian environmental activist to speak at the third annual conference of Analysts and Activists in Prague. The title of my talk will be “Think Big: Jung’s New Age Paradigm Shift Will Have An Ecological Framework.” The conference is sponsored by the International Association of Analytical Psychologists and will be held on December 1-3, 2017. Speakers are by invite only from among the Jungians who are activists in various fields, me being the only environmental activist invited. Here is a quote from the invitation to speak:


It is no exaggeration to say that the need for creative and imaginative approaches to the social and political problems the world faces is urgent. The conference will present new and fresh Jungian approaches to the social and political domains, but there will also be a chance to explore how our group has evolved its contributions since the first two conferences in London in 2014 and Rome in 2015. The programme of invited speakers contains some well-known activists and writers alongside some relative newcomers.

Recent Past Events:

I will be speaking about the Citizen's Climate Lobby with a nod to Jungian ecopsychology at the Act on Climate rally in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 10, starting at 2 pm.
https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/june-10-day-for-climate-action?source=org-signup&referrer=350-org&zipcode=53211&country=US

I will be on a panel with George Stone discussing climate change at the Sustainability Summit in Milwaukee on Thursday, May 4, 2017. I will be talking about the psychological aspects of our dysfunctional relationship with the environment. After all, the problem is not with science.
http://www.sustainabilitysummit.us

On Saturday, April 29, 2017,  I will be providing a Jungian ecopsychological commentary on the issues of climate change, social justice and a green economy in a speech at the Milwaukee People's Climate Rally Call to Action. This is a sister march to the People's Climate March In Washington D.C. on the same day. The Milwaukee event is from 10 AM to 4 PM at Escuela Verde, 3628 W. Pierce St., Milwaukee, WI.  https://actionnetwork.org/events/milwaukee-peoples-climate-rally-call-to-action.

On Sunday, April 23, 2017 I will be speaking at the Urban Ecology Center on 1500 E. Park Place in Milwaukee. Title: "Climate Change, A Green Economy, and Jungian Ecopsychology." 1 to 2:30 PM. Sponsored by the Milwaukee Area Psychological Association <Milwaukeepsych.com> 1.5 CEU available for $10.

On Sunday, October 16, 2016 I will be giving a presentation before the Chicago Lyric Opera's production of Wagner's Das Rheingold. The title of my talk is "Wagner’s Das Rheingold Seen Through the Lens of the Environmental Crisis, Corporate Power, and Donald Trump."

Abstract: Romanticism arose in response to negative aspects of the Enlightenment and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The full-blown consequences of those aspects are seen in the mounting economic, cultural, and environmental crises. Das Rheingold presents, as only opera can, an archetypal and emotional framework for understanding these crises. Wotan’s relationship to the feminine, the dark masculine, the Giants (working class), the trickster, and the Earth are mythic bases of the corporate model, free market capitalism, and advertising- driven consumerism.  Donald Trump is an archetypal image for the chaos Jung expected with the breakdown of the reigning Western paradigm now dominating the planet. Hillman’s concept of Aphrodite as the Soul of the World offers a mythic image to guide us into what Jung in 1940 called a New Age and the Age of Aquarius.



http://jungchicago.org/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=351



I will be giving an illustrated talk on “The Soul of Glacier Country” at the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (SAC) annual conference in Portland, Oregon on Friday, April 1, 2016. SAC is a branch of the American Anthropological Association. The section I will be speaking in is “Landscapes of Transformation—Encountering the Sacred.” The presentation offers a visual illustration of the glacial history part of my book Land, Weather, Seasons, Insects: An Archetypal View, which is volume 4 of The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe—Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology.


                                                 The Soul of Glacier Country


A basic premise of ecopsychology and deep ecology is that a person connected to the land will have a natural desire to protect it.  Dreams of landscapes, plants, animals, and natural phenomena like storms can be used to establish a sense of place, especially if these natural elements appear with a numinous or sacred quality in a dream. Dennis Merritt will present his dream of a typical Midwestern landscape that appeared in a sacred light and describe how he used that dream to connect with the soul of glacier country via weekly round-trip bus rides through a notable glacial feature called drumlins.  Ten different time frames can be experienced on that journey.



On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Dennis Merritt will be giving a 2-1/2 hour presentation on hexagrams from the I Ching in the dreams of a Western man at the City University of Macau. This is in a graduate level psychology class taught by Dr. Heyong Shen, a Chinese Jungian analyst.

On Saturday evening, September 12, 2015, Dennis Merritt will be presenting a paper, “Jung’s New Age Will Have An Ecological Framework,” at the 2015 conference Jung in the Heartland: The Altar of the Earth. The essay was one of three winning entries in a contest sponsored by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis, “Honoring the Altar of the Earth: Essays Exploring the Intersection of Jungian Thought and Ecology.” The author’s readings of their essays are part of a four-day conference held annually just east of St. Louis, Missouri (http://www.cgjungstl.org). The essays will be published at a later date.

On Sunday, April 26, 2015, Dennis Merritt will give a workshop from 2 to 6 pm for the C. G. Jung Center of Orange County at the Golden West College Community Center in Huntington Beach, CA.

A Jungian Ecopsychological Perspective Our Relationship with Nature  

Jung coined the terms “new age” and “age of Aquarius” in 1940 to label the massive paradigm shift he said was necessary in the West. This includes a profound change in the human relationship with the environment.  Jungian psychology can provide a mythic and archetypal analysis of the problems and a framework for addressing them.  This workshop explores Jung's critique of Christianity as well as alchemy, fairy tales, and legends as compensatory elements. Each layer of the collective unconscious will be examined for its contribution to our dysfunctional relationship to nature and how it can be rectified from a Jungian perspective.  This includes using dreams to help connect us to the environment, especially dreams of landscapes and animals.  A case will be made for Hermes as the god of ecopsychology, the new field that examines how our perceptions, values, attitudes, and behaviors affect our relationship with nature.  These concepts, together with synchronicity, provide a bridge to Native American spirituality as a model for connecting to the land.  How these approaches can move us towards a fundamentally different relationship with nature will be illustrated by briefly exploring their use in our educational system.

Suggested Reading:

Merritt, D. L. The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe, Carmel, CA: Fisher King Press.
          2012. Volume 1: Jung and Ecopsychology
          2012. Volume 3: Hermes, Ecopsychology, and Complexity Theory, pp. 1-65.

Myths and the Modern World

A Six-Part Symposium at the *Stayer Center, Marian University
Presented by Marian University and the Hanwakan Center

Sunday Afternoons 1:00 – 3.30pm, Feb. 15th – Mar. 22nd 2015

Myths orient people to the metaphysical dimension, explain the origins and nature of the cosmos, validate social issues, and, on the psychological plane, address themselves to the innermost depths of the psyche.
- Joseph Campbell

Symposium Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Mythic Realm Within and Without
Dennis Merritt  

Humans have always understood themselves and their relationship to nature by stories with the Big Stories being the myths and the mythic base of all religions.  Myths emerge from the mytho-poetic dimension of human experience, what Carl Jung called the realm of the archetypes and the collective unconscious.  Myths set the baseline for the values, ethics and patterns of relationships in a culture and the perceptions and responses to nature.  Individuals and cultures get cut off from this foundation by an overly rational and overly scientific worldview, but the connection to nature and the mythic, symbolic realm survives in our dreams.

Sacred Landscapes and Indigenous Sites in Wisconsin
Herman Bender
The Lakota and Cheyenne traditions perceive the Black Hills as both a spiritual and real world reflection of the powers in the sky. An area in southeastern Wisconsin may be an even more ancient embodiment of these traditions. Herman Bender has made perhaps the most important archeological discoveries in America over the past two or three decades that includes extensive petroforms (sacred arrangements of stones) in the Fond du Lac area going back 4500-5000 years. His first discovery was a medicine wheel aligned to the sun.  Sometimes called ‘calendar sites’, the medicine wheel (a sun circle) is anything but that if one understands the difference between science and religion, the profane and the profound. The stone alignments discovered are even more significant.  There are two,  each configured as a giant human being; one as the constellation we call Taurus, the other Scorpius.  They reflect the night sky and are aligned to stars rising over particular points on the horizon.  They symbolically present the union of heaven and earth, the sacred union of the archetypal masculine and the feminine, as ceremonially experienced and celebrated by indigenous peoples in Wisconsin’s past.

Week 2: February 22, 2015

A Mythic Base for Ecopsychology and a New Age
Dennis Merritt
In 1940 Carl Jung coined the terms “New Age” and “Age of Aquarius” to label the paradigm shift he felt was necessary in the West: a fundamental shift in human relationships and in our relationship with the environment. The Greek myth of Hermes stealing Apollo's cattle can serve as a mythic base for the New Age and for ecopsychology, an important new branch of psychology that explores how our perceptions, values, and behaviors affect the environment. The Hermes/Apollo myth illustrates how the Greeks brought the scientific, rational psyche (Apollo) into symbiotic relationship with the mythic and irrational (Hermes). Hermes is the god of psychology, businessmen, advertising, storytelling, and dreams. Through dreams we can find our spirit animals and experience sacred landscapes, helping us connect to the environment and appreciate Native American sacred sites..
Week 3: Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bear Myths and Rituals: The Moon, Women, Stars and Possible Ancient Links between Eurasia and North America
Herman Bender

This program will examine the 18.6-year lunar maximum cycle and its connection with a bear effigy mound found here in eastern Wisconsin and the bear stars in the north and circumpolar (bear cult) traditions. All may be of very ancient origins from the old world that spread both east and west.  As women were members of bear cults and the celestial bear was said to be female, many women were regarded as great healers with shamanistic abilities, perhaps the first people recognized as such.  The program is rich in symbolism, myth and cosmology framed in a Jungian perspective.

Week 4: March 8, 2015

The Goddess and the Divine Feminine
Nita Moore

The mythology of the ancient Goddess cultures that articulated the qualities of the Divine Feminine must be integrated in modern men and women to attain a full and balanced consciousness. This begins with the individual and expands outward for the benefit of society, whose wisdom can be disseminated at the speed of light via global communication.  The well-being of the earth and its people depends on male and female in balanced conjunction at the level of the heart. Joseph Campbell understood this as the true meaning of the Virgin Birth – a template for compassion and self-realization for both sexes living in earthly form.

Week 5: March 15, 2015

Gods and Heroes
Fred Gustafson

World mythology is replete with stories of masculine adventures involving struggle, defeat, victory; journeys to strange places, battles with monsters, engaging the feminine and, eventually, attaining wisdom and fulfillment.  Many of these stories initiated a man into the male mysteries and helped him understand how to live responsibly and be connected with all of life. The decline of the rites of passage have impacted masculine confidence, individuation, and personal relationships.  Absent is the brotherhood of fathers, uncles, and grandfathers that can help a young male grow into a responsible human being.  There is an unconscious longing in men for such relationships that, if properly nurtured, can help heal the earth.

Week 6: March 22, 2015

Shamans, Shamanism and the Medicine Way
Misha DancingWaters and Benjamin Talbot

Misha DancingWaters, a practicing shaman, will share shamanistic techniques for healing the body and mother earth.  Benjamin Talbot, an experienced Sun Dancer who practices and lives the medicine way, will share his experiences and insights.

SPEAKER BIOS

Herman Bender
Bender is an independent researcher with a background in geology (professional emphasis) and a technical field in industry. An amateur astronomer with decades of experience and approved historical consultant, he has been nationally and internationally published in the fields of archeoastronomy, prehistoric trail research, petroform research, applied geophysics and cultural landscape studies. His publishers include divisions of Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. He has presented programs on his work and research at various colleges and institutes including University of Wisconsin campuses, Princeton University (New Jersey), Marquette University, Marian University, Alverno and Cardinal Stritch Colleges, the University of Turin (Italy), the Oglala/Lakota College (Kyle, SD), the Goethe Institute of Chicago, CeSMAP the Study Center and Museum of Prehistoric Art (Pinerolo, Italy), the Denver Astronomical Society, the Badlands National Park (South Dakota) plus numerous other historical societies, public libraries and many other diverse groups..

Fred Gustafson, DMin - Jungian Analyst (Zurich) and Pastoral Counselor.
Dr. Gustafson is a Diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland and an ordained minister. He lectures widely and practices as both an analytical psychologist and a pastoral counselor. He is the author of The Black Madonna, Dancing Between Two Worlds: Jung and the Native American Soul; editor and contributor of The Moon Lit Path:  Reflections on the Dark Feminine; contributor to Betwixt and Between: Patterns of Masculine and Feminine Initiation,  “Fathers, Sons, and the Brotherhood”; co-author of Lifting the Veil; and editor of the soon to be released Side by Side: Carl Jung and Teilhard de Chardin.
Since 1984, Fred has been involved ceremonially and personally in the life and culture of the Brule branch of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota.

Dennis Merritt, Ph.D. - Jungian Analyst (Zurich)/Ecopsychologist
Dr. Merritt is a Diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland and a Jungian psychoanalyst, sandplay therapist and ecopsychologist in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee. He grew up on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin where he formed a deep connection with the land.  Recent publications include 4 volumes of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe: Volume I: Jung and Ecopsychology; Volume II: The Cry of Merlin: Jung, the Prototypical Ecopsychologist; Volume III: Hermes, Ecopsychology and Complexity Theory; and Volume IV: Land, Weather, Seasons: Insects: An Archetypal View.  Over twenty-five years of participation in Lakota Sioux ceremonies has strongly influenced his worldview. His website is <EcoJung.com> and on his blog <JungianEcopsychology.com> has “Hunger Games from a Jungian, Political, and Environmental Perspective.”


Nita Moore has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and is a long-time practitioner of holistic manual therapies as a WI licensed and nationally certified massage therapist.  She is a practicing poet, artist, and musician whose spiritual training has been informed by teachers in the Ayurvedic, Native American, Celtic, Buddhist, and Christian traditions.

Benjamin Talbot
Benjamin Talbot is an experienced Sun Dancer who practices and lives the medicine way

Misha DancingWaters
Misha DancingWaters is a practicing shaman who shamanistic techniques for healing the body and mother earth.

Thanks to a Generous Donor for support of this Symposium


MARIAN UNIVERSITY (Main Campus) 45 S. National Ave. Fond du Lac
WI 54935-4699
1-800-2-MARIAN (1-800-262-7426)
https://www.marianuniversity.edu/directions/
*STAYER CENTER - on the NE corner of Second Street and National Avenue
*FREE ADMISSION *OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
******************************************************************************


On Thursday, March 26, 2015, Dennis Merritt will be presenting a paper at the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness in the upcoming American Anthropological Association meetings in Portland, Or. 



Hexagrams from the I Ching Generated in the Dreams of a Western Man

The I Ching, a compendium of Chinese wisdom and philosophy, can be consulted by a process Carl Jung called synchronicity.  The 64 hexagrams, six solid (yang) or broken (yin) lines, or combinations of the two, describe 4096 archetypal human and natural situations. Several hexagrams were given in a very structured sequence of dreams in a Western man over an 18-month period. In two dreams the hexagrams were generated line by line in the dream.  All hexagrams were congruent with the gestalt of the dreams and the dreamer’s deep, developing life story. A worldview encompassing these phenomena must consider participation in a symbolic universe that can be numerically coded and space and time being relative to the psyche.

The talk is in the section "The Numinous in Dreams" as part of the four-day series of presentations on  States of Dreaming. 

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On Friday, October 10, 2014, Dennis Merritt will speak on "Addressing Environmental Crises From A Jungian Ecopsychological Perspective" at the C. G. Jung Center in Evanston, Il:


Carl Jung was deeply concerned about the environment and believed a Western paradigm shift was necessary to avert a disaster.  Jung coined the terms “new age” and “age of Aquarius” for the paradigm shift, envisioning an age of greater feminine energy, the emergence of new spiritual forms, and people experiencing an ensouled world — an eco-consciousness. The new paradigm will have a ecological basis at all levels, beginning with an ecological concept of the psyche as Jung described it.  It will incorporate a greater psychological awareness and major changes in our educational systems.  These and other elements will be explored as Jungian contributions to the developing field of ecopsychology, which examines how our attitudes, values, perceptions and behaviors affect our relationship with the environment.

On Saturday, October 11, 2014, Dennis Merrritt will conduct a day-long workshop at the C. G. Jung Center in Evanston, Il"Connecting to the Land, Animals, Weather, and Seasons in the Midwest—A Jungian Ecopsychological Approach":

Jungian psychology can make significant contributions to the developing field of ecopsychology, a new branch of psychology that examines how our attitudes, values, perceptions and behaviors affect our relationship with the environment. Videos, powerpoint, dreams, myths, science, and the I Ching will be used to illustrate how to turn a landscape into a “soulscape,” develop the concept of spirit animals and recognize them in our psyches, and cultivate a sense of the “seasons of the soul” through a connection with weather and the seasons in the midwest.  Participants will be asked to come with dreams of animals, landscapes, and weather or seasons to share in the discussion groups. The more connected we are to the land, the more likely we are to protect it—a basic premise of ecopsychology.
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Dennis Merritt will be teaching the second and more scientific half of “Depth and Archetypal Psychology Foundations” based on his four volumes of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe: Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology. Thomas Moore is teaching the first half of the course. It is part of a new on-line program starting in September--The Viridis Graduate Institute International School of Ecopsychology (http://www.viridisinstitute.org/). The program is the brainchild of Lori Pye who has developed this more depth psychological approach to ecopsychology. Lyn Cowan and Ginette Paris are among the instructors and Pat Berry is on the board of directors.

Dennis Merritt, PhD, Jungian analyst and ecopsychologist, will be giving a presentation, “A Jungian Perspective On The Most Important Issue of Our Time—Climate Change.” This talk will be given to the Milwaukee chapter of 350.org on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at the Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Place, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, Dennis Merritt will give a presentation on "The Anima and Animus in Popular Music" at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago, 53 W. Jackson Blvd. Ste 438. It will be broadcast online through the Ashville Jung Center in North Carolina.  The presentation will seek the soul of popular music, exploring how songs like "Suzanne" can penetrate so deeply into our psyches. 

The lecture is part of the Chicago Jung Institute Fall Continuum Courses with the theme Engaging Contemporary Culture: Jung and the Spirit of These Times
http://www.jungchicago.org/images/images/SeriesContemporaryCultureFlyer.pdf

On Thursday, November 21st, 2013, Dennis Merritt will be participating on a panel at the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness in the upcoming American Anthropological Association meetings in Chicago. His presentation is: “Hermes Adds A Mythic Dimension to Complexity Theory, Attachment Theory, and Ecopsychology” based on Hermes, Ecopsychology and Complexity Theory which is volume 3 of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe—Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology.

The subject of the panel is a reevaluation of the influence of Joseph Campbell. More specifically, we want to create a dialogue that explores how Campbell’s ideas apply to recent developments in neuropsychology, hemispheric science, consciousness studies and child development. We are asking questions regarding:
  1. The nature of the human psyche and its relationship to myth
  2. How Campbell's theories relate to contemporary psychology
  3. The inner psychic journey and connecting it to one’s social world
Robert Walter, Joseph Campbell’s editor, publisher and friend, has agreed to chair the panel. Robert is also the Executive Director of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. Robert Segal, author of the book “Joseph Campbell: An Introduction” will be the panel discussant. Andrew Gurevich, Professor of Literature, Philosophy & Religion in Portland, OR is the panel organizer and participant. We will be seeking a new path forward for the study of mythology, consciousness and social psychology.

On Friday, August 9, 2013, Dennis Merritt will give a presentation titled "A Jungian Approach to Climate Change" at The C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles starting at 7:30 pm.
http://www.junginla.org/t/publicprograms/2013/summer/month/august/p/a-jungian-approach-to-climate-change

On Saturday, August 10, 2013, Dennis Merritt will be presenting a workshop "Connecting to the Land, Animals, Weather and Seasons" at The C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
http://www.junginla.org/t/publicprograms/2013/summer/month/august/p/connecting-to-the-land-animals-weather-and-seasons

Psyche and Society: The Work of the Unconscious
12th Annual Conference of Research in Jung and Analytical Psychology
Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies
Wednesday, July 24-Saturday, July 27, 2013
Chicago, IL
Dennis L. Merritt presents “'Seasons of the Soul'—the Anima Mundi of the Upper Midwest Experienced in its Weather and its Seasons” on Thursday, July 25 between 3:30 and 5 PM in Regents Hall in the Lewis Towers of Loyola University. The Soul of the World, the anima mundi, can be experienced by cultivating a sensual, symbolic, and archetypal relationship to weather and the seasons. Dr. Merritt's 15 minute video, “Seasons of the Soul,” illustrates how this can be done using music, dreams, and concepts from the I Ching and Native American spirituality.

The video develops a central concept in ecopsychology and deep ecology that we are all capable of a much deeper connection to the environment than we currently experience. The video also illustrates ideas presented in Land, Weather, Seasons, Insects: An Archetypal View (January 2013), volume 4 of The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe: Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology authored by Dennis L. Merritt.
http://www.thejungiansociety.org/Jung%20Society/Conferences/Conference-2013/Conference%20Schedule%20June%2024-1.pdf

Dennis Merritt, PhD, Jungian analyst and ecopsychologist, will be giving a presentation, “A Jungian Perspective On The Most Important Issue of Our Time—Climate Change.” The lecture and discussion is with the Milwaukee branch of the Sierra Club, the Great Waters Group. The meeting is in the Community Room of the Mayfair Mall at 2500 N. Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, on Monday, March 18, 2013 from 7 to 9 pm.

1 comment:

  1. Well received- stimulating a lot of good questions.

    ReplyDelete