Thursday, May 20, 2010

Listening to the Earth



Patricia Damery is the author of the recently released: Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation.

“the psychological problem of today is a spiritual problem, a religious problem . . .”
—C.G. Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interview and Encounters,
“Does the World Stand on the Verge of Spiritual Rebirth?”

A psychological and spiritual reckoning, Farming Soul questions theories and assumptions that date back to the early 1900’s and the days of Freud, assumptions which have too often separated spirituality from psychology. Suffering the trials of her own individuation process, Patricia Damery finds answers through a series of unconventional teachers and through her relationship to the psyche and to the land—answers that are surprisingly deeply intertwined.

One strand of Farming Soul is about redeveloping a relationship to the land—Mother Earth—being rooted in a particular place and being guided by the tenets of Rudolf Steiner’s Biodynamic agriculture. Another strand is about Patricia Damery’s professional path of becoming a Jungian analyst, which includes the exploration of four aspects of the body: the physical, the etheric, the astral, and the mental. We are acquainted with and have similar assumptions about the physical body, but we are mostly unfamiliar with the three supersensible bodies. Jung and two of his closest and well-respected colleagues, Marie Louise von Franz and Barbara Hannah, address the subtle body in their writings, but analytical psychology (and psychology in general) has avoided this aspect of Jung’s work.

Farming Soul is a courageous offering that will help to reconnect us to our deeper selves, the often untouched realities of soul, and at the same time ground us in our physical relationship to self and Mother Earth.

Patricia Damery is an analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and practices in Napa, CA. She grew up in the rural Midwest and witnessed the demise of the family farm through the aggressive practices of agribusiness. With her husband Donald, she has farmed biodynamically for ten years. Her chapter, "Shamanic States in Our Lives and in Analytic Practice" appeared in The Sacred Heritage: The Influence of Shamanism on Analytical Psychology, edited by Donald Sandner and Steven Wong, and her articles and poetry in the San Francisco Library Journal, Jung Journal: Culture and Psyche, Psychological Perspectives, and Biodynamics: Working for Social Change Through Agriculture.