image001-1 copy.jpg

with Chris Downing

May 4-18, 2019


Throughout this trip we had an opportunity to see the connections between the geographical and historical contexts of Freud’s life and the central themes of his theoretical vision. Beginning in the Czech Republic— where Freud was born and spent his early childhood—it lead naturally into consideration of his understanding of the lifelong impact of very early experience.

While in Prague we visited Terezin, the concentration camp where at least one  of Freud’s sisters died—which helped us recognize how radically the world in which Freud lived was ended by the Holocaust.

During our time in Vienna, where Freud lived for almost 80 years, we walked the streets he walked, visit the University he attended, the hospitals where he worked, the cafes he regularly visited, noticing that  Freud’s Vienna was also the Vienna of Wittgenstein, Schnitzler, Mahler, Klimt, and Schiele.

We traveled to Salzburg, the site of the First International Psychoanalytic Congress (which Jung attended) and on to Bad Gastein, a favorite among the many Austrian resorts where Freud and his family spent most of their summers and where Freud did much of his most important writing.

We ended in London with a visit the house where Freud died 80 years ago, just after the outbreak of WWII. This house is now a museum that holds his antiquities, library, writing desk, and famous couch. On our very last evening we will had this space all to ourselves for a final celebratory gathering.

During her early evening lectures Chris shared “her Freud” with all of us—how her understanding of Freud has continued to expand and deepen during the 60 years since she first discovered how the “mothering” she had received from Jung needed to be balanced by Freud’s “fathering.”

#55 Crop 1 copy.jpg

Poetic Epic & Personal Myth

A Writing Retreat with

Dennis Patrick Slattery

March 7-10, 2019
Truchas Peaks Place, Truchas, New Mexico

The publication of The Red Book in 2009 was a major moment in Jungian Studies. The book, written over a period of 16 years, wears many faces: a record of Jung’s own individuation process, a memoir, a spiritual odyssey, a treatise on the birth of the heroic—and as I believe, an epic poem in the tradition of Gilgamesh, Inanna, Homer’s Odyssey, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Melville’s Moby-Dick, to name a few.

We explored all three sections of Jung's epic: Liber Primus, Liber Secundus, and Scrutinies. This often enigmatic and perplexing epic can be understood as a poetic expression of one soul’s journey towards wholeness, gathering in its pilgrimage a host of characters, contradictions, paradoxes, psychological and spiritual discoveries, as well as a series of exquisite paintings by the author.

In addition, Jung’s epic journey is as well, and by the power of analogy, our own journey as we seek a greater and deeper understanding of ourselves and others from wherever we are currently in life’s mysterious flow. Jung himself wrote that from his perspective, “analogy formation is a law which to a large extent governs the psyche” (CW 9,2, par. 414). So to read Jung’s epic is simultaneously to engage our own journey’s complexities and discoveries, insights and revelations of who we are in our own personal myth. We found, in fact, in our explorations many correspondences to our own challenges and gifts in life. We explored both Jung’s epic as well as our own mythic dimensions through discussion and cursive writing meditations.



The Delicate Dance of Integrity
Santa Fe, November 1-4, 2018

Coined by the Quakers in the 1950’s, ‘’speaking truth to power” is not a new concept, but it has taken on new relevance in the turbulent post-truth era. Current debate seems most often framed by appeals to emotion disconnected to facts, and counteracting this troubling trend requires that we galvanize our courage to speak up, speak out, and be heard. As we witness increasing polarization, insults and sarcasm move us farther and farther from the cooperation needed to find solutions, and it is tempting to give up trying to be heard. With our future dependent on successful dialogue, we can no longer recoil from the challenge we face. Speaking up to powerful forces—and finding space for meaningful idea exchange—begins by standing in our integrity, speaking from our center, and listening with an open heart and mind. Never has there been a more urgent need for civil discourse about the problems facing our nation and the world. Civilization in Transition 7, sponsored by Jungian International Training in Zürich Foundation, explored and addressed possible ways to transcend the polarization in our lives and make a difference in the world. This was a perfect example of Jungian deep thought and reflection on the world around us.

New Main Image Cropped.jpg

Archetypal Patterning and Archetypal Cosmology for the 21st Century
Richard Tarnas and Michael Conforti
Eranos, Ascona, Switzerland
July 22-27, 2018 (cancelled)

Seldom has an age been so profoundly in need of critical insight into the underlying forces at work in the human psyche and their role in shaping the historical moment the world finds itself in. We need what James Hillman called “an archetypal eye” with which to discern the patterns and powers that inform both the larger zeitgeist of the collective psyche and the unfolding experience and life challenges of each individual. For the archetypes that Jung helped the modern age become aware of are not just concepts, dry intellectual abstractions. They are powerful multidimensional forces that can overtake one’s state of consciousness, flood one with emotions, images, and somatic sensations, and possess an entire culture or epoch. Archetypal energies can be notoriously destructive, and yet they also hold the treasure of life’s deep meanings and purposes, and are responsible for the world’s greatest works of art and creative expression. It is with this sense of urgency on both the individual and global level that two of the foremost leaders in the fields of archetypal cosmology and archetypal patterning are coming together in the renowned cultural setting of Eranos in Ascona, Switzerland to offer a special week of presentations and discussions that engage some of the great issues of the day and explore the extraordinary resources of the archetypal perspective.

Chris Downing in Taormina, Sicily.jpg

The Greeks in Sicily
with chris downing
Sicily, April 28-May 12, 2018

Like Turkey, and much of Italy, Sicily was part of Magna Graecia, Greater Greece. Between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE the Greeks established colonies there, bringing with them their language, and religious and cultural traditions. On this two-week trip with 32 participants around the island of Sicily  we visited Siracusa, Ortygia, Enna, Agrigento, Selinunte, Segesta, Palermo, Monreale, Mt. Etna, Taormina, and back to Siracusa for a Greek Tragedy in the ancient Greek Theatre built in the 5th Century BC. Chris illuminated our experience with rich lectures along the way, elaborating on the stories and myths associated with the temples dedicated to Athena, Apollo, Hera, Olympian Zeus, and the Dioscuri, as well as the myths about Heracles, Actaeon, Perseus, and other Greek heroes represented on the friezes that once decorated those temples.  This was an amazing journey for all and an astonishing opportunity for me to explore my Sicilian roots.

The Spirit of the Place at Eranos

Pacifica at Eranos in Zürich and Ascona, Switzerland, 2008, 2009, and 2013

The tradition of depth psychology has a deep intellectual legacy. Through an enduring lineage of writers, thinkers, philosphers, and teachers, it reverberates within the places they gathered. Mircea Eliade, James Hillman, Joseph Campbell, Marie-Louise Von Franz, Karl Kerényi, and Henri Corbin—were drawn to the mountains, valleys, and the lakes of Switzerland and nortern Italy…to Zürich and to Ascona, the home of Eranos. In honor of that legacy we embarked on an 11-day pilgrimage from Zürich to the village of Ascona, exploring the origins, history, and significance of the life and work of C.G. Jung. Our tour guide was Robert Hinshaw, Jungian analyst and long-time resident of Switzerland. The Legacy Tour began with four days in Zürich and the surrounding areas with visits to important sites in Jung’s life, including the Psychology Club, the Jung Institute, Jung’s house in Küsnacht, the Burghölzli Clinic, and others. We explored the picturesque Swiss village of Einsiedeln, birthplace of Paracelsus, location of Daimon Verlag, and the home of the Benedictine Monastary and the Black Madonna. We then traveled south through the Alps to Ascona—on the shores of Lake Maggiore—for five days of lectures, discussion, dream circles, and culture at Eranos. After each of these Legacy Tours, we held a week-long intensive at Eranos featuring a prominent Pacifica faculty member. These projects came to represent the crown jewels in my repertoire of endeavors.


XVII International Congress for Analytical Psychology in Cape Town, South Africa, 2007

Every three years, the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) holds an international congress in a selected city around the world. It is a gathering for all Jungian analysts, candidates in training programs, and scholars to come together to share current ideas, connect with colleagues, and experience the culture of the place. In 2007, South Africa held its first congress with the program seeking to accent the fullness and diversity of our multiple encounters as they touch upon the archetypal, scientific, developmental, religious, political, sociological, and imaginal aspects of the work. The project, taking almost three years to accomplish, was a logistical challenge and a most stimulating and engaging experience.