I’ll be spending the Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara, where the whole town whoops it up to celebrate the ultimate triumph of the light on the longest day of the year. I’ll likely miss the parade because I’m prioritizing being with close friends. Friendship has been much on my mind, as I’ve had two close friends die recently and two others going through major health crises. This has reminded me about how dear family, friends, and often colleagues, too, are to me, and in a larger way how important it is to me to feel part of the family of this nation and ultimately of all the people on this earth.
I feel for those harmed by the volcanic eruption in Hawaii and the many wildfires in the Southwest. I’m also grieving what is occurring at our southern border. It is a wake-up call that this country I love would tear children away from their parents, justifying it because, essentially, we do not have to care about “those” people. Our country does have a right to protect its borders, but there is no need to demonize people to do so. Our greatness as a nation actually comes from the spirit of explorers, immigrants, and western settlers, people who had dreams of something better and then were willing to risk everything to find out if it was possible. We get an infusion of this spirit with each new generation of immigrants, who counteract the entitled attitude of the pampered rich.
I urge you to use this post-solstice summer season to check in with your dreams and then consider what you would risk to realize them—and what you might risk to support the dreams of others you care about, however narrow or expanded your circle of care might be—just your tribal group? Your political party? Americans? Or humankind?
Persephone Is Rising – In Paperback!
Great news! The paperback version of Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within will be published by HarperOne by September 1st. I’m thrilled that I was able to write a new preface that reveals how events in the world today mirror those in the story that provides the archetypal framework for the book. Donald Trump and this generation of Republicans are very much like Zeus. Demeter resembles the Democrats, Hillary, and Bernie. Persephone reflects the Women’s Marches, the #MeToo movement, and the emerging attitudes of the young today, as well as our country’s strength in innovation. Dionysus reveals the fun-loving side of Americans who like to get news from comedians and support candidates who shake things up—in some places, the more outlandish the better.
Beyond that, Persephone Rising is a manual that offers a path to successful living that includes integrating the hero and heroine within any of us. Recognizing archetypal patterns in the larger society is helpful in understanding that these same archetypes can easily be activated in your own life. The congruence of these outer and inner potentialities gives you an edge in succeeding in the here and now, if you just make them conscious.Persephone Rising can help you with this task.
The PMAI Advances
Hugh Marr and I have been working over the last eight years with the research team from the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), studying results from over 18,000 responses to the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator®(PMAI®) instrument that were available from online applications up through 2010, and adding more recent data as we went along. All this was done in preparation for new publications and instrument enhancements. It has been an amazing journey over these years, with all of us juggling this work with other commitments, and I am excited that we are nearing its culmination.
A call to action: At this point, we would love to know your experience with the PMAI®, whether taking it yourself or offering it to others. If to others, what is your relationship to them? If you use the PMAI® regularly with classes, work teams, workshop participants, branding, or other professional applications, let us know what you do, for what purpose, and with what frequency. In any of these cases, what did you notice in terms of changes in attitudes, in decisions made, or in behaviors going forward once you or others have come to understand the archetypes within them? Send your replies to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This fall, I will be delighted to appear at the 20thAnniversary Global Conference of the International Leadership Association, which I helped nurture while at the University of Maryland and on whose board of directors I served for several years. My colleague Kathleen Allen and I will lead a half-day preconference workshop on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018, entitled “Don’t Fight Mother Nature—Or Your Own.”
My section of the workshop will focus on narrative intelligence as an essential leadership capacity and make use of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator®(PMAI®), which participants will have taken and received reports on. Kathleen’s section will explore how living systems intelligence can help leaders develop strategies aligned with the dynamics of their organizations.
The ILA conference will be held October 24thto 27th, 2018, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL. Information on the conference can be found here. For further information on the workshop, and a link to conference registration, you can go to my website.
This fall, I will be offering an online course through the Houston Jung Center entitled “What Stories are Living You? Archetypal Awareness, Growth, and Fulfillment.” The course will be offered on five successive Thursdays, beginning November 15th, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm Central Standard Time. Because it is an online course, people anywhere in the world can participate. Information on how to sign up will be posted soon on the Upcoming Events page of my website and the Houston Jung Center website.
A brief description: The flow of archetypes through a life influences the stories we live, which in turn determine what we notice and assume we should do. The narratives we live can energize and focus us and, over time, help us develop skills and abilities that make for success in our work and private lives, but leave us feeling as if we are living on autopilot. Other archetypes may be active in the unconscious, emerging when needed to be helpful, or trip us up in various ways in their shadow forms. Participants will take the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator®(PMAI®) and receive a report with data relevant to these issues that will then be utilized in the workshop to facilitate personal reflection, informed by my input and group discussion.
In the Blogosphere
In recent months, I have begun exploring in my blog postings contemporary expressions of some of the major archetypes on which my work has focused. The first, posted in April, asked “Are You a Warrior? And If So, What Kind?” In the blog, I point out that the Warrior archetype is very active in the world today, suggesting that getting it right is a challenge that is calling to many of us and to our social systems. We see the Warrior story expressed in our politics, in sports, business, and religion, and in other realms. Often, this archetype manifests itself in its most elemental, unevolved form, which pits individuals or groups against each other and derides those who fail to respond in this manner as weak or wimpy. However, when partnered with other archetypes such as the Sage, the Caregiver, and the Magician, the more evolved Warrior can use its gifts for the benefit of everyone.
Earlier this month, reflecting upon the depressing nature of so much current news and political developments, I recalled the importance of the Jester for achieving a more balanced outlook. In “Need to Lighten Up? Activate Your Jester Archetype,” I note that the U.S. Declaration of Independence declared “the pursuit of happiness” to be a universal human right, and that laughter is a key to the enjoyment of life. Laughing together bonds families, friendship groups, and work teams and could unite larger ones like organizations or even countries, including my own. Although Americans differ on many political and cultural issues, what we share is a comic spirit, even if it is expressed in divergent ways. Like all archetypes, however, the Jester has a potential dark underside, which requires us to be on guard to avoid bullying, cruelty, and the loss of empathy.
In an extraordinary guest blog, “On the Memory of Anthony Bourdain,” also posted this month, my colleague Dori Koehler shares her reactions to and reflections on the death of the chef, storyteller, and “contemporary global shaman” who committed suicide several weeks ago. Among other things, Dori explores “the thin experience of vocation in our contemporary society,” the failure of so many people to connect with a true sense of calling, the kind of “deep soulful belonging” that gives meaning to our lives. This lack of connection, she says, may account for the epidemic of depression and addiction that plagues our society.
Several of these blogs have inspired a rich exchange of ideas. I welcome and encourage your comments on these and other blogs posted on my blogsite. Also, if you have an idea for a blog that you might like to submit, please send me an email with a brief summary and I will let you know whether it is suitable for my website and, if so, what guidelines you should follow in preparing it.
In addition to my blogsite, you can find many of my blogs on those of Psychology Today and the Depth Psychology Alliance, and you are invited to make comments on the former and on the latter if you are a member. The easiest way to learn when a new blog goes up on my website or any of the others on which I post is to follow me on Facebook at Carol S. Pearson, PhD and Twitter @carolspearson. Posts and tweets will inform you of the topic and how to access it. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram at carolspearsonphd. Just click on one of the buttons on the right to connect, and let me know what is going on with you.
As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested.
Carol S. Pearson