Friday, February 27, 2015

‘Live long and prosper’

The signature line from one of American television’s best known characters: “Live long and prosper.” When Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, it received little attention, and endured only three years. One thing that did get the public’s eye, provoking a maelstrom of outrage in the forms of phone calls, telegrams, and letters, was the appearance of Leonard Nimoy’s character, Starship Enterprise’s Science Officer Mr. Spock.

Courtesy Star Trek/Paramount

Between his pointed ears and pitched eyebrows, he looked, said the complainants, like the devil. (I can’t imagine what would have happened had they known the actor was Jewish.) Beside his physiognomy, Spock employed a salutational hand gesture; with the phrase “Live long and prosper,” he would uphold his right hand with thumb extended, and with the four fingers in two pairs. It requires some dexterity. I can’t do it, and hardly anyone I’ve ever seen attempt it could do it. I imagine it requires the strong fingers of a pianist. It was another physical aspect of the character, a native of the fictitious planet Vulcan, that distinguished him from his human colleagues. A number of years ago, I learned the origins of this unique display of digits. In another of his characteristically brilliant papers, Howard Kanowitz, at New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education, discussed aspects of Masonic ritual, explaining in an aside how he recognized Spock’s hand gesture in the movements of holy men during worship in his synagogue. (I’d quote from this paper directly, but I no longer have it on file.)

Amid the media eulogies of Nimoy today is an excerpt in Tablet magazine of the book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish by Abigail Pogrebin. Here are a few relevant paragraphs:

Would it surprise him if today people didn’t know he was Jewish? “Well, I think a lot of people know what I am. Certainly at Star Trek conventions, I’ve told the story about where this came from,” he demonstrates the Vulcan greeting: a raised hand with forked fingers—the pointer and middle fingers sandwiched together and the ring and pinky fingers similarly aligned. “I’ve always talked about this coming from my Jewish background.”

He invented the hand signal based on his memory of seeing the rabbis do it when they said the priestly blessing. Nimoy recites the prayer for me in Hebrew and then translates: “It says, ‘May the Lord bless and keep you and may the Lord cause his countenance to shine upon you, may the Lord be gracious unto you and grant you peace.’ ”

He points to one of his photographs behind me, which depicts an isolated hand shaped in the famed Vulcan salutation. “I was talking to this rabbi cousin of ours about that image one day [Rabbi John Rosove of Temple Israel of Hollywood, a cousin of Nimoy’s second wife, Susan Bay], and I told him that my childhood memory was that when these guys did this traditional blessing, it was really theatrical. These men from our synagogue would cover their heads with their prayer shawls, and they were shouters— these were old, Orthodox, shouting guys. About a half a dozen of them would get up and face the congregation, chanting in a magical, mystical kind of way. They would start off by humming.” Nimoy hums. “And they’re swaying and chanting. And then the guy would yell out: ‘Y’varechecha Adonai!’ And then the whole bunch of them would, like a chorus, respond, ‘Y’varechecha Adonai!’—all six of them. It was really spooky.

Courtesy Tablet

“So, the congregation was all standing, and my father said to me, ‘Don’t look.’ And in fact, everybody’s got their eyes covered with their hands or they’ve got their heads covered with their prayer shawl, the entire congregation. But I peeked, and I saw these guys doing this. So I introduced it into Star Trek. But I said to this rabbi cousin of ours, ‘To this day, I’m not really sure why my father said, Don’t look.’ And he explained, ‘The traditional belief is that during that blessing, the Shekhina—the feminine presence of God—enters the congregation to bless the congregation. And you shouldn’t see God, because the light could be fatal to a human. So you close your eyes to protect yourself.’ ‘Well!’ I said. ‘I never knew that!’ ”

Friday, February 20, 2015

‘Hermes, Gurdjieff, Superstitions, Tarot and Rosicrucians’

Four great events in New York City, and one in California, you may want to attend.

The Mythic Moment

The New York Mythology Group, the New York City Roundtable of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, will meet Sunday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 11 a.m. to noon for “The Mythic Moment.” From the publicity:

Mythic Moments: Storytelling in Greek and Roman Art Gallery Talk—A story told in words can extend through many points in time, but an illustration needs to capture only one. The talk is free with museum admission. Assemble at the Great Hall at 10 o’clock before heading to the venue at the Velez Blanco Patio.

While this event is not exclusive to the Mythology Group, it is definitely a relevant topic. The Velez Blanco Patio (Gallery 534) holds very interesting artifacts, one of which is the inspiration for the two-tailed mermaid that we now attribute as the symbol for Starbucks. Jean Sorabella, an expert in Greco Roman art will take us through the myths that inspired the artworks that are now on exhibit at the Met.

Origins: Superstitions

Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America and One Simple Idea, has launched a new project titled “Origins: Superstitions.” This web series of 90-second episodes defines and decodes the, well, origins of superstitions. Directed by Ronni Thomas (The Midnight Archive), the series can be heard here.

Meaning in the Midst of Life

The Gurdjieff Foundation of New York will offer another introductory event on Friday, March 13. Titled “The Search for Meaning in the Midst of Life,” this program will begin at 6 p.m. at Quest Bookshop at 240 East 53rd Street in Manhattan.

Click to enlarge.

“Only by beginning to remember himself does a man really awaken. And then all surrounding life acquires for him a different aspect and a different meaning.”

G. I. Gurdjieff

For reservations (recommended) or further information, e-mail gurdjieffevent(at)

Tarot at the Met

Queen of Flowers playing card, 1435.
Also at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on April 22, tarot scholar Robert Place again will lead a small group of seekers into the hidden archives to examine the Met’s collection of historic tarot and divination cards, ranging from the earliest woodcut Tarocchi, printed in 15th century Italy, to rare 19th century Le Normand divination decks. All accompanied by Place’s talk on the history and symbolism of the cards. The group also will see The Queen of Flowers, created in 1435, making it one of the oldest European playing cards still in existence, and Le Sorti, one of the oldest and richly illustrated books on divination with cards, published in Venice in 1540.

The afternoon at the Met costs $70 per person, prepaid. Each participant also is responsible for obtaining a ticket for entrance to the museum for the day. There is only room for 14 people at this event and 9 have already signed up so don’t delay; it will fill up quickly. To register contact Place at:

AMORC World Convention 2015

Join Imperator Christian Bernard and all of the Grand Masters from throughout the world for the 2015 AMORC World Convention, commemorating the founding of AMORC in America. The convention will be hosted at the Fairmont San Jose, July 29 to August 2. Click here for the details.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

‘SteinerBooks Spiritual Research Seminar at NYU’

Anthroposophists and enthusiasts of the teachings of Rudolf Steiner will converge on New York University next month to attend the Annual SteinerBooks Spiritual Research Seminar. From the publicity:

Who Was Rudolf Steiner?
His Years of Preparation, 1861-1900
March 20-21
Kimmel Center at NYU
60 Washington Square South
New York, New York
Admission: $75-$175

Rudolf Steiner, 1892
There are no ordinary lives. While each unfolds according to certain universal archetypes, the particulars are always utterly, infinitely, unique. To learn to ‘read’ the life of another, with care and reverence, is to see the movements and marks—the signature—of an eternal spiritual being whose development and aims are both singular and wholly enmeshed in a community of others. There are no ordinary lives; still, the lives of the ‘great ones’ among us can shed a penetrating light on the nature of our time; on the tasks we face; on the living connections between us; on ourselves.

Rudolf Steiner himself insisted on the importance of modern individuals awakening and cultivating a positive (non-judgmental) interest in the other: in the singular journey of development another undertakes. With openness, patience, joy, and childlike awe we may ask of another: Who are you? How did you become this one I see before me?

To ask this of anyone is salutary, for the inquirer and the inquired; to ask it of an initiate is both profound in itself and a preparation for ‘reading’ the life of all others we encounter.

With this in mind, and in celebration of the publication of the first two volumes in English of Peter Selg’s ambitious and insightful biography of Rudolf Steiner, this seminar will focus on Rudolf Steiner’s life and experiences—his path of initiation—as these prepared him to bring Anthroposophy into the world.

Too often Steiner’s life “before Anthroposophy” is taken for granted. We can think we know it, and so remain closed to its depths and mysteries. We can remain asleep to the human meaning of this astonishing life journey that led from the small railroad town of Kraljevec on the borders of Hungary and Croatia, through Vienna and Weimar, to Berlin, so that the birth of Anthroposophy could take place.

  • Through what experiences and encounters did his life lead him?
  • What prepared him to bring Anthroposophy into the world at the turn of the twentieth century?
  • Who was he who was so led?
  • What is my own connection to this human (spiritual) being and the path he trod?

To help us answer such questions, Peter Selg, Director of the Ita Wegman Institute in Arlesheim, Switzerland, a psy- chiatrist by training, and the author of many books on Rudolf Steiner’s life and teaching will give three lectures on outer and inner aspects of Rudolf Steiner’s life and circumstances up to his fortieth year. As a practiced biographer with a profound, esoteric understanding of history, Peter is well-qualified for the task of bringing to life a ‘positive natural history’ of this individual’s development. More than just a writer and esoteric scholar, Peter is also a much-loved speaker, well-known for his empathic, heart-centered approach to esoteric topics. We can have no better guide.

To complement his presentations, Rahel Kern, author of a recent biography of Marie Steiner, will speak on Marie Steiner; and Christopher Bamford will speak of significant moments in Rudolf Steiner’s early life, which, in retrospect, enable us to see Anthroposophy in a new light.

Friday, March 20
6:00 Registration
7:00 Welcome—Gene Gollogly
7:15 Peter Selg—“I pursue a quite specific goal: Childhood, Youth, and Student Years in Vienna”
8:30 Reception

Saturday, March 21
8:00 Refreshments
8:30 Eurythmy : Sea-Anna Vasilas
9:00 Peter Selg: “A profound transformation: The Weimar Years
10:30 Break
11:00 Christopher Bamford: “An Open Secret: Rudolf Steiner’s Life as a Path to Understanding Anthroposophy”
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Rahel Kern: “Marie Steiner-von Sivers’ Karmic Path”
2:30 Sea-Anna Vasilas: “Eurythmy”
2:50 Break
3:00 Peter Selg: “Must I Remain Unable to Speak? Berlin in the 1890s”
4:30 Closing panel

Peter Selg studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin. Until 2000, he worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is now director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy in Arlesheim, Switzerland; and professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences in Germany.

Rahel Kern has been an avid student of Anthroposophy since her teens, with a particular interest in Steiner’s contributions to philosophy and the evolution of consciousness as reflected in the development of thought through the centuries. She currently lives in London and works in international marketing. Her work takes her on frequent travels around the globe.

Christopher Bamford is editor in chief of Steiner-Books and Lindisfarne Books and a writer, scholar, and spiritual researcher in the fields of Anthroposophy, Western esotericism and spirituality, esoteric Christianity, literature, and contemporary philosophy. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions.

Sea-Anna Vasilas is a member of the Eurythmy Spring Valley Performing Ensemble where she also serves on the faculty of the School of Eurythmy and carries the responsibility of Tour Coordinator for the Ensemble. Through her experiences with myriad movement art forms, meditative paths, education, and farming, Sea-Anna found her way to eurythmy and has made it her life’s passion and work.

In order for us to both cover our costs (speaker’s fees, use of space, etc.) and make this event as accessible as possible, we are offering a sliding scale attendance fee with confidence that those who are in a position to give more will do so. The price is a sliding scale fee from $175 to $75.

For information and to register, write to:

‘A Psychology of Freedom’

Yehuda K. Tagar, director of the Psychophonetics Institute International in Slovakia, is undertaking a speaking tour of Anthroposophical Society locations in the United States, including Anthroposophy NYC next Tuesday. From the publicity:

Psychosophy: A Psychology of Freedom
Tuesday, February 24 at 7 p.m.
Anthroposophical Society of New York City
138 West 15th Street, Manhattan
Admission: $20 per person

This evening’s talk introduces “psychosophy,” the foundation of anthroposophic psychology and psychotherapy. In November 1910 in Berlin, Rudolf Steiner introduced his only dedicated psychology course. Modern psychology was still in its infancy, and he believed that psychosophy could play a major role in its development. He never gave a follow up psychosophy course as it was never requested, but he predicted that this would take place in the future. Psychosophy was asleep for most of the 20th century, making no contribution to modern psychology. But from the late ’80s, a group of creative researchers inspired by late 20th century humanistic, existential and transpersonal psychology, experimental Initiatory Theatre, and Steiner’s Linguistics—made a breakthrough in the practical application of psychosophy. Seen in this light, Applied Psychosophy is “a psychology of Freedom.”

Yehuda K. Tagar
Yehuda Tagar also is an Anthroposophical Psychotherapist, Psychosophist, and Psychophonetics Practitioner; Director, of the British College of Methodical Empathy; President of Psychosophy Academy of Central Europe (Budapest, Prague, Bratislava); and Course Director of the Association for the Promotion of Artistic Therapy in the United Kingdom.

‘And now for something completely different’

Courtesy Python (Monty) Pictures

Well, maybe not completely different, but this will be a new one for me. I foreswore lodges of instruction ten years ago, but having been elected to membership in Publicity Lodge 1000 the other day,  I want to attend the Fourth Manhattan District (the “Glorious Fourth,” as it is known) Grand Lecturer’s Convention Friday.

Courtesy 4th MD Square Club
Pyramid Lodge No. 490 will host, and will open at 7:30, and the event will begin at eight. The work of the evening will include the Opening ritual and the obsequy ritual. That’s the Renaissance Room on the sixth floor of Masonic Hall at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Events coming in spring include the District Ritual Contest, to be hosted by Gramercy Lodge No. 537 on Friday, April 10; and the MAGLA Ritual Contest on Wednesday, April 29. Also, the Ritual Renaissance Program on April 25.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

‘Welcome to New York!’


I know, I know. I should have done this years ago. Like in 2004. But as of seven o’clock Monday night, I am a New York Freemason!

Who could resist the siren’s song and these inspirational lyrics?

Welcome to New York
Taylor Swift

Walking through a crowd
The Village is aglow
Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats
Under coats
Everybody here wanted something more
Searching for a sound we hadn’t heard before
And it said

Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York

It’s a new soundtrack
I could dance to this beat, beat
The lights are so bright
But they never blind me, me
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York

When we first dropped our bags
On apartment floors
Took our broken hearts
Put them in a drawer
Everybody here was someone else before
And you can want who you want
Boys and boys and girls and girls

Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York

Like any great love
It keeps you guessing
Like any real love
It’s ever changing
Like any true love
It drives you crazy
But you know you wouldn’t change
Anything, anything, anything…

Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
Welcome to New York

Welcome to New York


Friday, February 13, 2015

‘Washington’s apron at Mt. Vernon’

In commemoration of George Washington’s birth in 1732, one of his Masonic aprons is on exhibit through Monday at Mount Vernon. It is the Mt. Nebo Lodge apron, which you can read about here, but click here for tickets. The apron exhibit is part of the tour. From the publicity:

I shot this photo the one time I saw the Mt. Nebo apron,
which was at ICHF 2011 in Virginia.
This Masonic apron was made in France and is believed to have been presented to George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1784 by the Marquis de Lafayette, a former general and close friend of Washington’s, who was also a Freemason. The apron features Masonic symbols, such as compasses and a square, together with the crossed flags of the United States and France, all exquisitely embroidered in silk and gold- and silver-wrapped threads with metallic sequins.

On view in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, Washington would have worn this apron when attending Masonic meetings. Thanks to a loan from the Brethren of Mt. Nebo Lodge No. 91 of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Mount Vernon has been able to display this special object on the national observance of George Washington’s birthday since 2011.

The apron can be seen Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

‘EA au français’

The Empire State Building no doubt will be illuminated in the blue, white, and red of France’s Tricolour when l’Union Française No. 17–this is J.J.J. Gourgas’ lodge–will confer the Entered Apprentice Degree, in ritual descendant from the French Rite.

Tuesday, February 17 at 6 p.m.
Masonic Hall
71 West 23rd Street, Manhattan
French Doric Room, tenth floor

The degree will begin at 6:45, after which no one will be admitted inside.

The Tenth Manhattan District is home to the lodges permitted to work exotic Craft degrees in French, Italian, and Spanish (and maybe other tongues). See you there.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

‘Rosicrucian readings’

Rosicrucian reading and discussion abound! Here is some news of local and virtual group studies:

A new printing.
First, Master Masons from lodges under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey are always welcome at the Second Masonic District Book Club’s meetings. The club will get together Tuesday, February 24 to discuss Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins by Manly P. Hall.

First published in 1929, thirty-five years before Hall was made a Mason, Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins followed by a year Hall’s masterpiece The Secret Teachings of All Ages, from which Origins sprang as an exposition of several Secret Teachings chapters. Excerpted:

“Preston, Gould, Mackey, Oliver, and Pike—in fact, nearly every great historian of Freemasonry—have all admitted the possibility of the modern society being connected, indirectly at least, with the ancient Mysteries, and their descriptions of the modern society are prefaced by excerpts from ancient writings descriptive of primitive ceremonials. These eminent Masonic scholars have all recognized in the legend of Hiram Abiff an adaptation of the Osiris myth; nor do they deny that the major part of the symbolism of the craft is derived from the pagan institutions of antiquity when the gods were venerated in secret places with strange figures and appropriate rituals. Though cognizant of the exalted origin of their order, these historians—either through fear or uncertainty—have failed, however, to drive home the one point necessary to establish the true purpose of Freemasonry: They did not realize that the Mysteries whose rituals Freemasonry perpetuates were the custodians of a secret philosophy of life of such transcendent nature that it can only be entrusted to an individual tested and proved beyond all peradventure of human frailty. The secret schools of Greece and Egypt were neither fraternal nor political fundamentally, nor were their ideals similar to those of the modern Craft. They were essentially philosophic and religious institutions, and all admitted into them were consecrated to the service of the sovereign good. Modern Freemasons, however, regard their Craft primarily as neither philosophic nor religious, but rather as ethical. Strange as it may seem, the majority openly ridicule the very supernatural powers and agencies for which their symbols stand.”

The Second Masonic District Book Club meets at Fidelity Lodge No. 113, located at 99 South Maple Avenue in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Discussion group will meet at 7:15 p.m. Attire: casual.

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Meanwhile in cyberspace, the Rosicrucian Order itself offers its recommended reading lists, separately, for members and the public.

Members have access to their list via the private website’s Community Reading Room. Titles include Rosicrucian Code of Life for February, and Master of the Rose Cross: A Collection of Essays By and About H. Spencer Lewis for next month. “On the first of each month we will be posting discussion questions to get everyone started and you are also welcome to post your own questions and reflections.” Concurrently in a Facebook public group, those interested in Rosicrucianism may participate in this syllabus through the coming twelve months:

February: Kybalion by Three Initiates
March: With the Adepts: An Adventure among the Rosicrucians by Franz Hartman
April: Initiates of the Flame by Manly P. Hall
May: Awakening of the Psychic Heart by John Palo
June: Mansions of the Soul by H. Spencer Lewis
July: Mental Poisoning by H. Spencer Lewis
August: Rosicrucian Principles for Home and Business by H. Spencer Lewis
September: Self Mastery and Fate with the Cycles of Life by H. Spencer Lewis
October: Fama Fraternitatis
November: Confessio Fraternitatis
December: Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
January 2016: Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis
February 2016: Appellatio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

‘Masonic 411 on 4/11’

Three writers and lecturers well known about the apartments of the Masonic fraternity will appear at Masonic Hall in New York City this spring. The Third Kings Masonic District will host Robert Herd, Timothy Hogan, and Anthony Mongelli for its first Masonic Symposium on Saturday, April 11.

  • Robert Herd: “Near Death Experience & the Initiatic Tradition”
  • Timothy Hogan: “Gnostic Reflections in Freemasonry”
  • Anthony Mongelli: “Symbols: Bringing the Inner to the Outer”

Click to enlarge.

Tickets at $50 per person can be purchased here. Doors to open at 9 a.m. Light refreshments in the morning, and lunch at noon will be served. The day is scheduled to end at approximately 3 p.m. The authors’ books will be available for sale and inscription.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

‘Washington Square on Fifteenth Street’

The Anthroposophical Society of New York City, no stranger to the arts, offers a dramatic performance at its meeting space later this month. From the publicity:

Washington Square, by Henry James
Performed by The Actors’ Ensemble:
Bethany Caputo, Fern Sloan,
Chris Smith, and Ted Pugh

February 21 to 23
7:30 p.m.
$20 per person

The Actors’ Ensemble presents Washington Square, Henry James’ tragic story of a woman’s relationship with her father and a possible fortune hunter. Faithful to James’ original text, four actors narrate the story and play all of the characters in this 19th century masterpiece. In development since 2011, it comes to New York City after an initial run in Spencertown, New York.

The Actors’ Ensemble: Founded in 1985 in New York City by a group of professional actors (and members of Anthroposophy NYC) inspired by acting techniques taught by Michael Chekhov. TAE has created and performed theater productions across the United States and in Europe, developed a two-year college-level acting program through Sunbridge College and, in March 2015, will open an acting school—the Michael Chekhov School, to be located at Solaris, 360 Warren Street, in Hudson, New York.

Anthroposophy NYC is located at 138 West 15th Street in Manhattan.

Monday, February 9, 2015

‘Western NY Lodge of Research’

Coming this week and into the spring at Western New York Lodge of Research No. 2007: Read all the way through to find the information on the College of Freemasonry on March 28.

Saturday, February 14
Summoned Communication: Early Masonic Catechisms. The brethren of the lodge will demonstrate the very first Masonic catechisms.These earliest works are the origin of our modern ritual. Master Masons only. Tuxedo preferred. 10 a.m at the Cheektowga Masonic Center, located at 97 Lucid Drive in Cheektowaga, New York.

Saturday, March 14
Discussion Group topic: Third Degree Harris Tracing Board, a lecture by VW Daniel J. Di Natale. Building off of last year's lecture, this presentation will expound on the Bro. John Harris Third Degree "Pit Grave" Tracing Board and methods of instruction from a series of tracing boards. Casual dress. 10 a.m. at the Masonic Service Bureau, located at 121 South Long Street in Williamsville, New York.

Saturday, April 11
Discussion Group topic: “The Custodians of the Work” by RW Michael Clayton. The oversight of the ritual in NewYork is rumored to be controlled by a shadowy organization far removed from the average Mason. We shall learn more about the work, how it has evolved, and how choices are made as it evolves further. Casual dress. 10 a.m. at the Masonic Service Bureau, located at 121 South Long Street in Williamsville, New York.

Saturday, May 9
Summoned Communication: Election and Installation of Officers. Master Masons only. Tuxedo preferred. 10 a.m at the Cheektowga Masonic Center, located at 97 Lucid Drive in Cheektowaga, New York.

And then there are these events in the area:

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

‘At the C.G. Jung Foundation’

I just wanted to share this partial list of upcoming workshops and classes offered by the C.G. Jung Foundation in the coming weeks and months. The foundation is located at 28 East 39th Street in Manhattan. Click here to register.

Restoring Wholeness: The Symbolism
of the Kabbalah and the Repair of the Soul
Saturday, February 28
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Led by 
Richard Kradin, MD

In his late works, C.G. Jung exhibited a keen interest in alchemy, arguing that in many instances the alchemical work was in fact directed at the purification of the soul. Although Jung was acquainted with many of the symbols of the Kabbalah, he did not systematically examine its comparable role as a cure of the soul.

While esoteric symbolism of the Kabbalistic texts is difficult to penetrate, it is abundantly clear that the aim of the Kabbalists was to revivify the soul and to recreate personal connection with the divine by focusing on a re-visioning of the one’s daily efforts and meditations. It is also evident that this system shares much with Jung’s approach to the harmonization of the psyche as discussed in Jung’s last treatise Mysterium Coniunctionis.

In this workshop, we will review the history, symbolism, and practices of the Kabbalists with emphasis on how their approach pertains to the restoration the ego-Self axis. Dream imagery and active imagination will be adopted for the purpose of illustrating how Kabbalah and Jungian analysis are in fact parallel traditions.

Richard Kradin, MD is a Jungian psychoanalyst, and professor at Harvard Medical School who practices at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is the author of Pathologies of the Mind/Body Interface, The Placebo Response, and The Herald Dream. He is the recipient of the Gravida Prize for his paper, “The Psychosomatic Symptom: A Siren’s Song,” published in the Journal of Analytical Psychology.

Finding Spiritual Gold
in the Second Half of Life
Saturday, March 14
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Led by
 Jane Selinske, Ed.D., LCSW, LP

C.G. Jung was one of the first to unite psychology and spirituality in his work and he is often referred to as the father of the “second half of life psychology.” Jung treated many patients during his career and stated “there had never been one in the second half of life whose problem in the last resort was not finding a religious outlook on life.” He felt the second half of life had spiritual treasures yet to be discovered. In his Collected Works Volume 8, Jung wrote “The Stages of Life,” in which he put forth the psychological transition that occurred in midlife. In the second half of life Jung emphasized the importance of consciousness and attainment of spiritual value, meaning and purpose.

In Finding Spiritual Gold in the Second Half of Life, participants will be assisted to understand what it means to find a new or deeper spiritual outlook on life. Dependence upon the ego in the first half of life needs to be replaced by a relationship to the Self and a living out of an awareness of one’s potential through the individuation process. According to Jung, “Individuation is the life in God, as mandala psychology clearly shows.” Ultimately, by tapping into the wisdom of Jung’s second half of life stage, attendees will join with the secret our ancestors knew: that as the body declines, the presence of soul rises into consciousness.

Jane Selinske, EdD, LCSW, LP, MT-BC, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Montclair, New Jersey, a practitioner of Mandala Assessment, and a Board Certified Music Therapist. She is on the faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, the Institute for Expressive Analysis in New York and the C.G. Jung Foundation.

What is Creative Living?
5 consecutive Mondays
7 to 8:40 p.m.
Beginning February 23
Instructor: David Rottman, MA

What does Jung have to say about self-expression, rewarding relationships, fulfilling work, and living with a sense of meaning and purpose in life? These harmonious dimensions of human experience have an archetypal basis just as much as anything else. In this course, we will explore what depth psychology has to say about how we can augment the free energy of our consciousness, to create a more abundant and vital life.

Archetypes of the Feminine
in Ancient Images and Mythologies
5 consecutive Tuesdays
6:30 to 8:10 p.m.
Beginning February 24
Instructor: Ilona Melker, LCSW

“Nature must not win the game,
but she cannot lose.”
- Jung

We will begin our exploration of archetypes of the Feminine with images from the Neolithic period, followed by a look at the Phyrgian Cybele, who emerges as Demeter in ancient Greece, and Magna Mater in Rome. Then we will turn our attention to Mesopotamia and the myths concerning the Goddess Inanna. Finally, we will consider her struggles and confrontation with the emerging hero archetype as it is told in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The class will rely on readings from: 
In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele by Lynn E. Roller; 
Inanna Lady of the Largest Heart, Poems translated by Betty De Shong Meador; and the Epic of Gilgamesh.