This book urges contemporary healers to utilize premodern tribal principles of sacred space and ritual process long considered lost or inaccessible to modern culture. Properly prepared "ritual elders" can guide people through ritual steps from (a) the challenge of a life-crisis, into (b) sacred space and time for needed reorganization, and then into (c) a newly transformed personal and social world. These steps derive from key concepts in the scholarship of Arnold van Gennep, Mircea Eliade, Joseph Campbell, and Victor Turner, reformulated with new insights from extensive field research and psychoanalytic practice. "Here Robert Moore's deeply penetrating mind awakens us to the urgency of what time it is' time to reclaim the sense of sacred space in our secularized culture, time to grow a mature ritual leadership that can hold and steward that space, time to restore the processes of a comprehensive initiation into wholeness which alone can re-create a habitable world for humanity." Don Jones, Past International Chairman, The ManKind Project "These materials articulate my conviction that our species has evolved to the point where we either must continue to provide conscious, creative, and responsible rituals of life that serve the maturation and healing of all its people, or face the alternative of unconscious and destructive participation in rituals of personal, social, and global death." Author's Preface
This book builds on the vast clinical experience of Joseph L. Henderson, who became interested in initiatory symbolism when he began his analysis with Jung in 1929. Henderson studied this symbolism in patients' dreams, fantasies, and active imagination, and demonstrated the archetype of initiation in both men and women's psychology. After Henderson’s book was republished in 2005 Kirsch, Beane Rutter and Singer brought together this collection of essays to allow a new generation to explore the archetype of initiation. Initiation: The Living Reality of an Archetype demonstrates how the archetype of initiation is seen clinically today. Divided into distinct parts, the book explores the archetype of initiation in Dr Henderson’s own life, as well as suggesting its importance in: clinical practice culture aging and death. The chapters in this book amplify and extend the archetype of initiation from the earliest historical periods up to the present day. The editors argue that initiation symbolism often underlies contemporary phenomena, but is rarely recognized; Initiation helps to bring a new understanding to these experiences. This book will be of interest to psychotherapists with an interest in psychoanalysis and analytical psychology, as well as those training at analytic institutes.
Basing his study on Jung s archetypal theory especially that of initiation Thresholds of Initiation represents thirty years of testing the theory in analytical practice. Joseph Henderson considers archetypes to be predictable patterns of inner conditioning that lead to certain essential changes and shows the parallels between individual psychological self-development and the rites that marked initiation in the past. Dr. Henderson s topics include the uninitiated; return of the mother; remaking a man; trial by strength; the rite of vision; thresholds of initiation; initiation and the principle of ego-development in adolescence; and initiation in the process of individuation. This is essential reading for an understanding of the universal nature of initiation, especially as it relates traditional initiatory practices to Jung s theory of archetypes."
The bestselling, widely heralded, Jungian introduction to the psychological foundation of a mature, authentic, and revitalized masculinity. Redefining age-old concepts of masculinity, Jungian analysts Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette make the argument that mature masculinity is not abusive or domineering, but generative, creative, and empowering of the self and others. Moore and Gillette clearly define the four mature male archetypes that stand out through myth and literature across history: the king (the energy of just and creative ordering), the warrior (the energy of aggressive but nonviolent action), the magician (the energy of initiation and transformation), and the lover (the energy that connects one to others and the world), as well as the four immature patterns that interfere with masculine potential (divine child, oedipal child, trickster and hero). King, Warrior, Magician, Lover is an exploratory journey that will help men and women reimagine and deepen their understanding of the masculine psyche.
The Archetype of Initiation and Its Influences on the Modern American Male
Some leading post-modern, depth psychologists have written about a value-based symptom analysis. This thesis breaks new ground by considering symptoms as a calling to one’s initiation to individuation. Many anthropological viewpoints, literature, and research have focused upon the significance and prevalence of initiations throughout the world. Diverse individuals have used rituals to recreate themselves and find a new freedom in life. Through an alchemical hermeneutic approach this thesis indicates how a client’s symptoms can hold significant value in directing the therapeutic work between client and therapist and outlines a positive symptom approach to further soul expansion and individuation.
This dissertation is a theoretical study that makes use of a phenomenological and hermeneutic method to research the question: What is the experience of a shamanic initiation? This study seeks to understand the structure of the human psyche by researching the way a transformation of consciousness can occur through a personal contact with the dream-like symbols and motifs which characteristically make up the shamanic initiation. I have drawn upon my own experience to demonstrate how, with no prior knowledge of its pattern, archetypal symbols of initiation spontaneously emerged from the depths of my psyche, producing an alteration in consciousness. Through a weaving of anthropological studies with depth psychological theory, I demonstrate how a universal pattern of mystical initiation is part of the inherited structure of the psyche accessible to all. Distinct but woven within the study is the following question: How is the archetypal constellation of the actor-healer revealed in the shamanic initiation, and what is its significance? I propose that in order for a transformation in consciousness to take place, the mythic imagery within the initiation experience must be interacted with in a sincere way. The psychic structure which is revealed through this interaction, I call the actor-healer archetype. I conclude that this archetype functions within the psyche as a healing, connecting force, by establishing a relationship between the individual and the mythic realms, and that it is this mediating force which enables the myth's regenerative powers to flow forth into consciousness and into the world. This archetype illuminates how, at its core, the psyche is dramatic and theatrical. It also shows that by playing our parts in life, we help to weave the imaginal fabric out of which we and the manifest world arise. Through an awareness of this archetype, which the shaman embodies, a perspective can be awakened which apprehends that we are truly co-participants in creation. Finally, in the absence of a cultural shamanic image, we are forced to look outside our culture for justification of our shamanic impulses and for verification of our mystical experiences of initiation. In seeking a home for my own experience, I discovered that Dionysos has deep shamanic origins and propose that the awakening of a Dionysian consciousness can give our culture and our psychology back its own shamanic ancestry. This consciousness would have, in addition, important eco- psychological implications for the relationship of our soul to the soul of the world.