Psyche, Nature & Cosmos

Reimagining Inner and Outer Worlds

An Educational Retreat

5 – 7 April 2019. Country Place, Kalorama, Victoria

Presented by Dr Glen Slater and Dr Safron Rossi

Retreat Program PDF version is available here

Friday – 5 April 2019

2.00 pm: Arrival and check in to rooms (as available)

2.30 pm: Welcome afternoon tea served

3.00–4.30 pm: Welcome and Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

Introduction: Psyche, Nature and Archetypal Perspective (Dr Glen Slater)

The psyche needs regular contact with nature, whether directly or through symbolic experience. Yet attending to natural patterns in and around us has become a challenge for living in an increasingly virtual world. Given our own wellbeing and that of the earth are now deeply entwined, we are in need of ideas and perspectives that cultivate this relationship, whether these come from contemporary approaches to the psyche or traditional wisdom. These perspectives will provide a basis for our retreat experience.

4.30–6.00 pm: Rest, Journal, Walk

6.00–7.00 pm: Dinner

7.00–8.30 pm: Myths, Muses and Cosmos: From Plotinus and Ficino to Campbell and Hillman (Dr Safron Rossi)

Since the ancient Greeks, the idea that our deep nature is mirrored in the cosmos has been profoundly important. In this session we will explore the notion of cosmology and its relationship to myth and psyche in order to think about the bigger patterns that connect our lives and the universe.

8:00 pm: Stargazing, Fireside Conversation…

Saturday – 6 April 2019

7.30–8.15 am: Breakfast

8.30–10.00 am: Consciousness and Co-Creation: Overcoming Inner and Outer Divides (Dr Glen Slater)

Cultures collapse without a living myth, but such a myth has to arise from presiding understandings of reality, as well as our own lived experience. Today we are told we live in the Anthropocene Age, which implies a greater human responsibility for the fabric of existence. Here we will consider the way culture has responded with images of co-creation, implicating our own psychic development with the overall evolution of earthly existence.

10.00–10.30 am: Morning tea

10.30–12.00 noon: The Elements and Alchemical Imagination: Earth, Air, Fire and Water (Dr Safron Rossi)

As the art of elemental transformation, alchemy is rooted in the natural world. Viewed psychologically, its images and processes connect us to the archetypal patterns of life in a very earth focused, substantive way. This session will explore alchemical images and archetypal psychology to demonstrate how alchemical fire, earth, air, water form a micro-cosmology of the soul.

12.00–1.00 pm: Lunch

1.00–2.30 pm: Reflection and Imagination Exercise: Universal Patterns and Unique Expressions

This will be a time for reflection as well as phenomenal and synchronistic encounters with the natural world. Think of this as a mini-walkabout. We will discover the immediate and visceral ways the world offers a mirror to our inner lives.

2.30–4.00 pm: Working with the Images (Safron, Glen and Team)

At the heart of the Jungian approach to lived experience is working with images—psychic impressions that become lodged in the imagination. In this session we will come together to discuss both recent and past encounters with the world that have resulted in resonant imagery.

4.00–6.00 pm: Rest, Journal, Walk

6.00–7.00 pm: Dinner

7.00-8.30 pm: Expanding Integrity and Restoring the World Soul (Dr Glen Slater)

At the heart of many views of the psyche-earth relationship is the sense of an anima mundi or World Soul. We will approach this theme through the ideas of Jung and Hillman and cultivate the view that finding soul in the world depends upon the perspective we bring. Here notions such as reanimation or reenchantment are explored, pointing us towards the critical importance of mystery and awe in our contact with outer life.

Daylight saving finishes at 2 am – wind clocks back and savour an extra hour.

Sunday – 7 April 2019

7.30–8.15 am: Breakfast

8.30–10.00 am: Aesthetic Engagement: Aphrodite, Beauty and a Heart Response (Dr Safron Rossi)

What is the relationship between beauty and justice? What is a knowing with the heart? These are questions that belong in the domain of the goddess Aphrodite who personifies the cosmic principle of beauty and love. Exploring her myth and psychology opens up the importance of the heart’s aesthetic response to the world, inner and outer.

10.00–10.30 am: Morning Tea (Room checkout by 10.30 am)

10.30–12.00 noon: Paradoxes of Renewal: Old and New, Spirit and Matter, Home and Away (Dr Glen Slater)

Anything deep and worthwhile entails the ability to enter tension and conflict. In order to clarify just where our individual lives meet the collective challenge of our time, this last session will consider a series of opposites that frame today’s existence. Here we will see that renewal in and around us comes from forming a psycho–spiritual container strong enough to move opposition into meaningful paradox.

12.00–1.00 pm: Lunch

1.00–2.30 pm: Reflection and Imagination Exercise: Locating Myself in the World

Throughout our time together, we will be attempting to reimagine the way our working and personal lives relate to the greater challenges of our time. Each of us has a unique path into this understanding. This final reflection time and writing exercise will offer the opportunity to clarify and consolidate our sense of this path.

2.30–4.00 pm: Vision Sharing and Final Discussion (Dr Glen Slater, Dr Safron Rossi and Participants)

This final session will continue the previous day’s work with images and combine this with the discoveries of the reflection and imagination exercise. Here we will focus less on worldly goals and plans and more on attitudes and intimations that will invite the ongoing realization of the overlap of personal significance and collective purpose.

4:00 pm: Retreat concludes

Limited place remain – complete the application form now to secure your registration at this remarkable event!