Remembering Ross Woodman

Remembering Ross Woodman.

From Steve Aizenstat:

Sadly, this day I share with you that one of Pacifica’s contributing Elders, Ross Woodman, has died in his sleep at his home in London, Ontario last Thursday, the 20th of March. Ross and Marion spent many days/weeks in residence here at Pacifica. Ross taught in a wide range of classes with our students and cultivated warm relationships with staff and faculty alike. In these last days, we are told that Ross and Marion were reading poetry and laughing, as they so often did throughout their marriage.

Many of us remember Ross’s passionate, embodied, eloquent lectures on works of William Blake and others. We were so deeply moved. The beauty of his intellect evoked awe and animated soul. The poetics of his work and life warmed our heart.



Ross Woodman

Ross Woodman

Ross Woodman

Nov. 28, 1922-March 20, 2014

From his obituary: “Ross Greig Woodman died peacefully in his home in London, Ontario, Thursday, March 20, 2014. He is mourned by his loving wife Marion Jean (Boa). Ross was born in Port William, Kings County, Nova Scotia, November 28, 1922. After serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he received his MA from United College (now University of Winnipeg) and PhD from the University of Toronto. For nearly forty years Ross was Professor in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario, where he taught Romantic literature, until his retirement in 1989. In 1993 he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Association of America. An avid collector of contemporary Canadian and international art, Ross was a tireless champion of artists and the arts. He was one of the founders of the legendary 20/20 Gallery in London, Ontario, and was a founding member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada. Ross is survived by a sister Catherine; son Monty, daughter Maggie, and grandson James; nieces and nephews David and Janet, Luke, Marion, Paul and Kathryn, Quint, Shelley, and Siobhan; great nieces and nephews Aidan, Anouk, Connor, two Ellas, Emma, Finlay, Loveday, Marlow, Marion, and Sam. He is predeceased by three half-brothers Gordon, Paul, and Harold. Visitation on Tuesday from 7-9 pm at the Harris Funeral Home, 220 St. James St. at Richmond, London, where the funeral service will be conducted on Wednesday, March 26 at 11 am. Interment Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the McIntosh Gallery at Western University or the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada.”

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My Travels to Campus Every Quarter

My Travels to Campus Every Quarter

by Dana Swain

Dana Swain

It’s a mini Hero’s journey of quarterly proportions.  It starts with a call; midway through a quarter the residential approaches and we prepare to leave our families, work, and home to sojourn to the alchemical cauldron that is Pacifica.  We only have a sketch of an idea of what will happen when we get there based on the curriculum and the disembodied voices of professors we may or may not have met.   But we can never really anticipate what will happen when we get there.  It’s always more than we imagined, deeper than we planned, more inspiring than we’d expected.

I’ve made the trek from two different countries now; Brazil and Indonesia.  I spend hours in the liminal space of generic airport lounges and hurtling through multiple time zones.  The backdrop of my life falls away as I make my way to Pacifica.  I shed whatever roles my life requires of me and I don the apparel of my soul; a rich fabric that conforms to the contours of my true self, and in which I feel seen by my fellow Pacifica journeyers in a way Gucci could never do for me.

This is just the threshold of the journey.

The real adventure is the four intensive days of learning and fellowship that happens at Pacifica.   It can be challenging and exhausting but it’s also stimulating and even revelatory.  We may have to duke it out with dragons of self-doubt, but the prize we take back with us is psychological growth and deeper knowledge of our selves and our world.

This is the boon we take back to our homes and communities.  This is the work we do in the world.  And then we do the journey all over again for the next quarterly residential.

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The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race

On Tuesday, January 28th the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology specialization (CLE) of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth program hosted an important and poignant talk, “The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race” with Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel from the Earth House Center in Oakland, CA. Carl Anthony is a distinguished and innovative city planner who has helped to reshape Berkeley, California. He is a living legend in the field of environmental justice, especially its racial dimensions in metropolitan-regional contexts. The talk focused on the interconnections between climate change, structural racism, environmental justice, and sustainability.  A highlight of the talk was the presentation of an eight minute video documenting the history of the African American community in its larger evolutionary context.  The film reminds us of the African origins of civilization and the achievements of those ancient societies and the indelible role of the African slave trade and its influence on the development of the “new world.”  It continues with chronologies of the US civil war, Reconstruction, the great black migration and the Civil Rights Movement, against the backdrop of unfolding planetary history and the evolution of the human species.

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New Dissertation Publications

Recent Dissertation Publications

Congrats to our group of Pacifica Alumni who have recently had their dissertations published!

Identifying Cultural Complex by Examining the Myth and Rituals About Birth and Dying in the Macedonian Culture and Their Influence on Shaping the Ethnic/National Identity by Biljana Bujko, Clinical Psychology

Vicarious Traumatization: Mental Health Professionals Who Work With Combat Veterans With PTSD by John Beradino, Clinical Psychology

The Body in Healing of Addictions: Psyche as the Container of Potentiality, Soma as the Vessel of Actuality by Rashin D’Angelo, Clinical Psychology

A Metaphor of Soul and Sky by Jordan Gendelman, Depth Psychology

Re-Fashioning Goddesses: Exploring Women’s Archetypal Fashion in the Classroom by Gwenaël Matos, Mythological Studies

An Unexpected Life:  A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experience of Mothering a Child Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability by Heather Hoyt, Clinical Psychology

Unspoken Words: A Phenomenological Case Study of a Female’s Response to an Emotionally Absent, Depressed Father during her Adolescent Years by Haleh Massey, Clinical Psychology

Childhood Loneliness: The Creative Construction of Self and World Inside Story and Beyond by Julia Morris, Mythological Studies

Literature and Its Mirroring Affect on Psyche: The Case of Harry Potter by Paula Moses, Depth Psychology

The Myths We Live: Harvesting the Writing Student’s Self through Heritage by Marlene Pearson, Mythological Studies

The Colonized Child: Love, Community, and Wholeness As Necessary Elements of Education by Stacy Pulice, Depth Psychology

Spirituality and its Embeddedness in Nature as It Relates to a Child’s Development of a Sense of Self  by Colette Segalla, Clinical Psychology

Living the Text: A Pentateuchal Study in Exegetical Poesis by S. Asher Sund, Mythological Studies

The Siren Of Syzygy: A Textual Hermeneutic Study of the Embrace of the Anima/Animus in Yucatec Maya Culture as seen through the Myth of La Xtabay by Dorothy Romans, Clinical Psychology

These dissertations are now available on ProQuest:

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Favorite Reads from 2013

We went around and asked staff and faculty what their favorite reads were this past year and here is the list. Some great new reads and old classics!

1. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

2. Widening Circles: A Memoir by Joanna Macy

3. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

4. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains Nicholas Carr

5.  Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan

6. The Life and Ideas of James Hillman: Volume I: The Making of a Psychologist ( Vol. 1)  by Dick Russell

7. &Sons by David Gilbert

8. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

10. The Midas Complex: How Money Drives Us Crazy and What We Can Do About It by Aaron R. Kipnis

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2013; Pacifica in Review

2013 proved to be a memorable year at Pacifica. We experienced some big highs and big lows this year, but we are already embracing the new with 2014. As we look back over 2013, we have a lot to be grateful for.

Pacifica Alumni celebrated their first annual meeting as the nascent Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association (PGIAA)

Pacifica had over 400 prospective students attend the One-Day Introduction to Pacifica.

Francine Matas, Pacifica’s Registrar celebrated an amazing 10 years of service, while our beloved Facilities member Juanito Zermeno celebrated 20 years of service!

In 2013 we officially launched the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.

The Pacifica Bookstore expanded it’s inventory by offering a wide range of Pacifica gear.

Pacifica’s Financial Aid office awarded over $400,000 in scholarships.

The Department of Public Programs hosted over 1,100 guests throughout the year at various events, workshops, and online courses.

Pacifica graduated over 250 students in May 2013.

Sadly, we lost our dear friend and colleague, Dr. V. Walter Odajnyk. We feel honored to have had him here at Pacifica and will always remember his spirit and presence.


We invite you to be part of the community and Experience Pacifica. Our next One-Day Introductions to Pacifica are Friday, January 17 and Saturday, March 29.

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William Shakespeare; The American Depth Psychologist?

Archetypes and Alchemy in the Arts: Discover Shakespeare the American Depth Psychologist

Shakespeare – archetypally American and even more, a depth psychologist long before psychotherapy was invented.

Did you know that his last play, The Tempest was based on an actual shipwreck on the way to the new English settlement in Virginia? Did you know that Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams enthusiastically travelled to Shakespeare’s birthplace? Did you know that Shakespeare’s plays were the most performed in this country of any single author for three centuries?

Pacifica presents Shakespeare, Ghosts, and Dreams

Pacifica presents Shakespeare, Ghosts, and Dreams

Dr. Susan Rowland will be presenting at Pacifica, Shakespeare, Ghosts and Dream. Dr. Rowland will show the pre-history of depth psychology in the alchemical theatre of Shakespeare’s major works including Hamlet, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For theater is the home of archetypal embodiment; and Shakespeare’s plays are not “about” magic – they enact magic in the transformations of psyche in performers and audience. For Shakespeare’s age, theater was alchemy – the theater was an extension of the alchemical laboratory. So it is not surprising to see spiritual bodies archetypally charged in the plays.

  • See Hamlet wrestle with an archaic form of the Self in his father’s ghost (named Hamlet, of course)
  • Witness’s Gertrude’s struggle with her unconscious entrapment in the ancient myth of king killing
  • Notice how the play, composed at the end of a long era of feminine rule, exposes fears of masculine dynastic myth

Participants in this course will do creative, experiential work to discover their own archetypes that need to find a voice. They will then be assigned their own Shakespearean character with which to invoke a personal myth. But also we will come together in these great plays of power and forgiveness, magic and transformation. See how Pacifica magnificent gardens can be re-invoked as Prospero’s magic island or, crucially – the wild wood outside Athens; the realm of unconscious, spells, spirits and faeries. Shakespeare, Ghost and Dream requires no prior knowledge of Shakespeare in its delving into the archetypal and mythical depths of the plays.

For in the end, it is the Fool, Bottom when recovering from wearing an ass’s head who is the proto-depth psychologist; a man with a “dream”.

The eye
of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue
to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream
it shall be called Bottom’s Dream,
because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
latter end of a play, before the duke:


This course is ideal for those wanting to explore the arts and depth psychology. For those wanting to encounter archetypes, to find a personal myth, to consider the relation of dream to art; for creative writers and nervous performers. Come see the play; come be the play!

For more information and to register visit Shakespeare, Ghosts, and Dreams

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Exhibition of Limited Edition Fine Art Prints from C.G. Jung’s Red Book

From February 21 – April 4, 2014 77 of Jung’s full-page drawings from The Red Book will be on display at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Authorized by the Jung family, DigitalFusion’s Imago Novus is handling the release of these limited editions.

C.G. Jung's prints from The Red Book

Four prints from the collection.

The fine art prints will hang throughout the Ladera Lane campus, with the opening reception of the exhibition scheduled for Friday, February 21st from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees at The Art and Transformative Psychology of C.G. Jung’s Red Book will have the opportunity to be part of this exquisite event celebrating these depthful images. The night will be sure to prove inspiring and insightful.

We hope you will join us for the weekend and take part in both the opening reception and the public program The Art and Transformative Psychology of C.G. Jung’s Red Book. 

If you are unable to attend the event in February, be sure to visit the Ladera Lane campus this spring and participate in the exhibition.

View the full collection and make purchases at

“The years, of which I have spoken to you, when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this.”

—C.G. Jung, 1957

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15 Great Gift Ideas for the Graduate Student

It’s the holiday season and you’re scrambling around wondering what to get your favorite relative/spouse/friend who, coincidentally is a graduate student; more specifically a graduate student at Pacifica. Here is quick list of some of the best gift items this year.

Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames (DVD) -Powerful, insightful, and provocative Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames explores the inspiring life and many ‘deaths’ of one of the western world’s most important wisdom keepers, and sends a clarion call to a planet in the midst of “a shedding of its outworn skin”. $24.95

Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames






Archetype and Character: Power, Eros, Spirit and Matter Personality Types (book) by V. Walter Odajnyk- Introducing a new typology based on Power, Eros, Matter and Spirit as the motivations that define human attitudes and behavior, the book outlines eight personality types based on the extraverted and introverted deployment of the four drives and applies these typological categories to Freud, Adler and Jung.

Pacifica Gear- Men and Women’s apparel from t-shirts to soft cardigans for everyday wear.

Pacifica Gear








                      Pacifica Bookstore Gift Certificate-Let them choose their favorite item or apply the gift certificate towards textbooks.
                      Jewelry- Pacifica has a great collection of fashionable jewelry.

Pacifica Jewelry





Women Who Run With the Wolves (audio cd)-24.95

                        Dream Jar

Pacifica Dream Jar






The Art and Transformative Psychology of C.G. Jung’s Red Book-Symposium with Joseph Cambray, Lionel Corbett, Peter Frank, Nancy Swift Furlotti, Hugh Milstein, Sonu Shamdasani, and Willow Young on February 21-23. Attendees of this Public Program will also be in attendance at the Opening Reception for the C.G. Jung’s Red Book: Masterworks for the Modern Age Exhibition.

                Lotions and Bath salts from Blithe and Bonny

Red Book Limited Edition Fine Art Print- $1500. Of course you can always enter into the contest to win a print for your favorite Pacifican!

Shawls-prices and colors vary

Pacifica Shawls





Dream Tending-Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams (book) by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

                      Coloring Mandalas- 48 sacred circle designs for people of all ages

Coloring Mandalas

                      Journal Cover and checkbook

Journal CoverCheckbook Cover

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What is “Liberation Psychology”?

What is a “liberation psychology”?

Co-written by: Dan Hocoy, Aaron Kipnis, Helene Lorenz, Mary Watkins

These points are an invitation to dialogue, not a set of precepts.

  • For the last hundred years, psychology in the West has most often presented itself as a universal and ahistorical science, largely presenting local and Eurocentric perspectives as facts.
    Eurocentric perspectives in Psychology

    Eurocentric perspectives in Psychology

    Today it is possible to see how psychological theories of a bounded individualistic and competitive subjectivity with fixed developmental stages leading to separation constituted an expression of dominant cultural interests…. Our efforts to articulate markers to identify liberation psychologies are an outcome of a local dialogue, reflecting and constrained by our own social locations, personal histories, and academic commitments. We welcome conversations with others with different life experiences as we struggle for clarity about the educational system that has formed us and that we simultaneously want to resist and revise….

  • Liberation psychologies locate psychological work within a paradigm of interdependence.…Psyche, culture, and nature continuously unfold in communication through language, symbol, and image….
    The inter-play of psyche, culture, and nature.

    The inter-play of psyche, culture, and nature.

    Liberation psychologies seek to repair the fragmentation in relationships, experience, theory, and environment inherent in oppression, through reconciliatory and transgressive practices.

  • ….Liberation psychologies attempt to encourage dialogue, creative thinking, and utopian imagination where it has been absent. Through studying dynamics of oppression and engaging in practices of listening-in to differences, new venues for transformation can be created.
  • Liberation psychologies recognize the importance of giving priority to what or who has become marginalized both in psyche and society….It is important to listen to and acknowledge voices that have become silenced both in individual and community work. Those dispossessed in a community suffer by virtue of their exclusion. Those defending hegemonic myths suffer the loss of silenced perspectives and histories.
  • Liberation psychologies engage in practices of empowerment and participation that attempt to redress disparities of status in the world and in psyche.
  • Every perspective is embedded in an evolving local indigenous language, culture, and history….Since we tend to be blind to normative cultural values, dialogical spaces need to be created where we can locate their context and historicity….
  • Liberation psychologies carefully question who and what their ideas will serve in any given context…. Western psychology should not strive to be an overarching discipline that assimilates others’ knowings, repositioning Western psychology as a “center” and other psychologies as “periphal”.
  • Cultural and intrapsychic spaces need to be created... Such spaces need to be participatory, welcoming image, poetry, art, dance, music, literature and ritual to express experience and to imagine alternative realities.
  • Liberation psychologies value the inspirations and energies that emerge from imaginative, artistic, religious, and spiritual practices. Individuals and communities continually redevelop mythologies and practices of meaning to orient their lives. These mythologies are precious community resources, serving as a reservoir of symbols for future expressions of connectivity and strength, longing and belonging. As we move toward more homogenized globalization of corporate control, the particularity and uniqueness of every local vernacular context is rich with alternative visions of wholeness and sustainability crucial for survival.
  • Liberation psychologies nurture longings for just and peaceful communities as acts of faith in the future.

Read the full article here.
Mary Watkins and Aaron Kipnis both teach in the Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology specialization of the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology program. Pacifica is now accepting applications for fall 2014 in this program. Join the Pacifica mailing list here.

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