Section XII: The Transformative Power of Art

Track 6: Anima Mundi: Listening to the Art and Soul of Nature 
(Bonnie Tarwater)

The idea that the world itself may have a soul has become prominent again in various spheres of thought, including archetypal psychology, Gaia theory, eco-feminism, and consciousness studies. If the world does have a soul or psyche, might this psyche ‘speak’ in the same symbolic language and imagery as the personal or collective unconscious – through art and dreams? In this track, we’ll weave together discussions of Nature’s creativity and creative expression, pan-psychism/pan-experientialism, and more.

All presenters and attendees are asked to bring something to honor the sacred earth for our Anima Mundi altar.


Schedule at a Glance:

Session #1 Friday June 5th 2-3:30 pm Bonnie Tarwater
Session #2 Friday June 5th  4-5:30 pm Bonnie Bright
Session # 3 Saturday June 6th 11-12:30 pm Steve Azinstat
Session #4 Saturday June 6th 2-3:30 pm Tevyn East
Session # 5 Saturday June 6th 4-5:30 pm Gary Bobroff
Session #6 Sunday 11-12:30 pm Craig Chalquist
Session #7 Sunday 2-3:30 pm Sung Sohn
Session #8 Sunday 4-5:30 pm Adelia Sandoval


Possible Sessions :

  • Visions of the Black Madonna Calls us to Wisdom and Love (B. Tarwater)
  • Anima Mundi: Panpsychism and panexperientialism (Group discussion)
  • Crop Circles (G. Bobroff)
  • Dreams and the Environment (S. Aizenstat)
  • Earthrise in the Heart: The Rebirth of the Sacred in a Time of Collapse (C. Chalquist)
  • Ecostalgia: Storienting the Displaced Psyche (Bonnie Bright)
  • Living Water Farms (Sung Sohn)
  • Conclusions


Session #1 Friday June 5th 2-3:30 pm Bonnie Tarwater
Visions of the Black Madonna Call us to Wisdom and Love
presented by Bonnie Tarwater
Rev. Bonnie Tarwater will share a religious experience and vision she had as a child of the  Black Madonna and how it has become a guiding metaphor for her life, ministry and experience of God’s miraculous healing love. The Black Madonna calls us to face our ecologic crisis, raise our consciousness, individually and collectively, and grow up out of the adolescent human developmental stage we are currently in as a human species, and move into new maturity, wisdom and love.  Integrating and relating religion and psychology, Whitehead and Jung, concepts and images, God/dess and the world  we will journey together toward imagining  alternatives to the destruction of life on earth. This interactive presentation will include, stories, dreams, art work, music and ritual, exploring eco-feminism and process theology  as a way to experience and honor the divine “soul of the world” or anima mundi.
Session #2 Friday June 5th  4-5:30 pm Bonnie Bright
Ecostalgia: Storienting the Displaced Psyche
presented by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.
Founder/Director Depth Psychology Alliance
Executive Editor Depth Insights scholarly eZine
The ecological and environmental destruction of homeplaces is increasingly resulting in a tremendous displacement of both individuals and communities, echoing the profound displacement that has occurred in the modern western psyche as it perceives itself ever more separate from nature. Our modern transient mindset, lacking rootedness and connection to place, has left us disoriented and struggling to make meaning, thus engendering ecostalgia, the profound longing for a spiritual homeplace that can sustain us. This loss of soul can be mitigated through the power of myth and story which allows us to ritually enter into a realm of engagement and understanding of both the planetary and personal crises we all face, orienting us toward home.
Session # 3 Saturday June 6th 11-12:30 pm
Dreams and the Environment
A Soulful Lecture
presented by Dr. Stephen Aizenstat
In this lecture participants will learn about “The Global Dream Initiative.” This advocacy calls for a recognition of the trauma in the natural and urban landscapes along with the need to participate in their healing. Here we discover that the world’s suffering appears, in the living images of people’s dreams. Simply said, ‘people can become depressed because nature is depressed’.
The Global Dream Initiative develops a forum to see and hear the world’s dreams. We also will learn how to begin utilizing these dreams to create new and more generative methods of attending to the growing perils facing nature. New ways of engagement that are not trapped in the cultural, political, economic, and environmental approaches that now are failing us will be presented. This is a model for community as well as planetary activism. In this lecture the “call to action” emerges from the dreaming psyche and is in service to the landscapes we hold dear.
Session # 5 Saturday June 6th 4-5:30 pm
Crop Circles, Jung & the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine
presented by Gary S. Bobroff, M.A.

Gary S. Bobroff, M.A. presents a visual consideration of this mysterious phenomenon within the context of modern psychological reality. Looking both at Crop Circles and the nature of the era into which they have arrived, he offers a framework for our own deeper consideration. Living in the moment of the death of one worldview and the birth of another, our culture suffers from an over-masculine inflation that has us alienated and imagining ourselves to be separate. Yet today, we are being presented with crises and mysteries that call us back toward closer participation with the world. Crop Circles—formed in living grain—exemplify the archetypal feminine nature of this moment’s change: a moral calling toward conscious, felt engagement with a dynamic, living mysterious world.


Session #6 Sunday 11-12:30 pm
Earthrise in the Heart: The Rebirth of the Sacred in a Time of Collapse
presented by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.
In the famous Power of Myth interviews, mythologist Joseph Campbell explained the mythic significance of Earthrise–“myth” not as lie or archaic explanation, but as vital, living collective story–to Bill Moyers: 
“…The only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it. And what it will have to deal with will be exactly what all myths have dealt with—the maturation of the individual, from dependency through adulthood, through maturity, and then to the exit; and then how to relate to this society and how to relate this society to the world of nature and the cosmos…. When you see the earth from the moon, you don’t see any divisions there of nations or states. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come.”
Evidence for a new worldview implicit in Earthrise has sprung up everywhere: in ecology, environmentalism, networks, hubs, Internet, theories of information, transmission across borders, sustainability, permaculture, post-colonial sovereignty, indigenous science, and other expressions of the rise of unified Earth into collective human consciousness. As the outworn worldviews of mechanism, traditionalism, fundamentalism, and consumerism break down from age and overuse, Earthrise heralds the time when we fashion deeper relationships with ourselves, each other, and the living planet below and all around us while pooling knowledge and resource across eras, cultures, and borders.


“Sharing Circles; Feelings and Dreaming”8 am – 8:50 am, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, June 5,6 and7th.  Bring your morning coffee and tea for deep listening and sharing of feelings as we honor and care for our inner life. Everyone is invited to these morning facilitated small group discussions, either on folding chairs on the grass or in rooms in Smith Campus Center depending on the weather.   Many of us have survived feeling lonely and alienated at conferences. The enormity of the ecologic crisis we are facing at this conference begs for us to reach out and become an intentional community of love and care.  Much of our time will be spent in intellectual discourse making these sharing circles urgently needed. Whitehead and process thought call us to integrate our bodies, minds and spirits as we become communities of communities. “We are in this together,” and the leadership of the conference has made a commitment to provide psycho-spiritual support for everyone.  As we hold our own and one another’s grief and range of feelings and experiences about the ecologic crisis in safe sacred circles of sharing we are reminded that truth telling will provide us intimacy, love and hope.
Assigned experienced group leaders will open the sharing circles and lead them with a simple group agenda, much like a Twelve Step meeting where we are asked to talk, trust and feel. Ministers, spiritual directors and psychologists will also be available for scheduled one on one conversation to process feelings if requested or needed.  This will be  administered on the community bulletin board with signups for individual sessions. Dreams may be shared in the morning groups, however there will not be time to explore and honor them, so dream groups and one on one dream sessions can be made available upon request.  There will be a sign up sheet on the community bulletin board to connect dreamers with trained dream work facilitators.
Agenda for morning groups:
Group leaders will welcome everyone, ideally in groups of 8-12 people and review the format of the group and begin a “check in.” Everyone in the circle will share their name, where they are from and briefly how they are feeling. This is not a time to give your resume and should be kept short. This should take less than 5 minutes. The leader will then open the group up for more extended personal sharing and asks for a volunteer time keeper. The guidelines will include, keeping  sharing under 3-5 minutes per person, encouraging everyone to share, listening deeply to others and keeping what everyone says in confidence.  The time keeper will gently remind the speaker when they are at 3 minutes so the speaker may begin to finish their sharing. There should be no interrupting anyone who is sharing (no “cross talk”) or commenting on anything that anyone says. Everyone is encouraged to keep their sharing to their own experience with “I” statements and at a feeling level, not about the ideas generated from the conference.  At 8:45 am the leader will begin the “check out” and everyone will go around the circle and briefly share how they are feeling and how they felt about the group.
Prayer and Meditation Sacred Space Inside and Outside
There will be a quiet sacred space both inside and outside available during the conference.


Bonnie Tarwater

Rev. Bonnie Tarwater graduated from Claremont School of Theology, was ordained in 1999 and has served UU and UCC churches for over 15 years. Previously, she worked in the professional theater and received a MFA in theater from A.C.T. and a BA in Visual Art from UCSD. She has taught honoring dreams in many settings and leads dream groups at The Center for AWE, dedicated to the Arts, Wisdom and the Earth, a new home church she  recently opened in San Diego.


Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the Chancellor and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. His Dream Tending methodologies extend traditional dream work to the vision of an animated world. Dr. Aizenstat’s book, Dream Tending, describes multiple new applications of dreamwork in relation to health and healing, nightmares, the World’s Dream, relationships, and the creative process. For more information on his other publications, visit DreamTending | Dr. Stephen Aizenstat


Gary S. Bobroff

Gary S. Bobroff, M.A., is the author of Crop Circles, Jung & the Reemergence of the Archetypal Feminine (North Atlantic Books, August 2014) – He has a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, Canada and an M.A. in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. He leads workshops and webinars and delivers the depth of Jungian approaches in an accessible, engaging, and visual-oriented form. He is the primary developer and facilitator of Our Archetypal Nature –


Bonnie Bright

Bonnie Bright is the principle and founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, an online community for everyone interested in how Jungian and depth psychologies are relevant to our cultural crisis and how they can orient us to find meaning in everyday life; Depth Insights, a media production company that offers a semi-annual scholarly ezine, radio podcasts, and educational webinars; and Depth Psychology List, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners.

Bonnie holds M.A. degrees in Psychology from Sonoma State University and in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, where she also recently completed her Ph.D. with a dissertation on Culture Collapse Disorder.

She concluded a 2 ½ year training with African elder Malidoma Some´in Technologies of the Sacred, graduated from a 2-year certificate program in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via Assisi Institute, and has logged hundreds of hours toward becoming a certified practitioner in Holotropic Breathwork via Grof Transpersonal Training, and toward certification as an instructor in the Enneagram, a psycho-spiritual typology system, via the Enneagram Institute.

Bonnie has also conducted fieldwork excavating an archeological site of the Classic Maya in Belize. She currently makes her home in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Craig Chalquist, PhD 

Craig Chalquist, PhD is department chair of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he teaches ecopsychology. He is Executive Editor of the Journal of Holistic Psychology and the author of several books, including those of the Animate California Trilogy and Terrapsychology: Reengaging the Soul of Place, editor of Rebearths: Conversations with a World Ensouled, and co-editor of Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind. His website is


Sung Jacob Sohn

Sung Jacob Sohn was born in South Korea, where he spent the first half of his life. He spent the second half of his life working, learning, and teaching in the United States. Today, he resides in Claremont, California. Sung and his wife, Myra are currently engaged in two projects: Myra House: Holistic Living Center (Sep. 2001 to present) and Ecoterra Holistic Pharmacy (July 2007 to present).

At Myra House, intern-residents are enrolled in the Integrative and Health and Holistic Living program, which include taking care of the Living Water micro farm. Ecoterra is a natural medicine and compounding pharmacy in Claremont. The pharmacy provides organically grown herbs, bio-identical hormones, and holistic medicine.

Sung is the author of the book, The Sextet Love Story: A Perfect Love Story in Imperfect Society (Seoul, Korea: Youl Lin Publishing House-Korean Version, 2007, 279 pages. Myra House Press-Kindle ebook, 2011). He writes blogs for both Myra House ( and Living Water Farm ( Sung’s articles include, among others, “Why We Live In Community” (Korean, 2008), “SPACE FOLLOW SPIRIT-Quest for Holiness” (Korean, 2007), “Aesthetic of LOVE: A Commentary of Epistle to the Romans” (Korean, 2006), and “A Call to New Leadership for the Church: Partnership with Young Adults” (English, 2005).

Sung also reviewed Herb Greene’s book, PAINTING THE MENTAL CONTINUUM: Perception and the Meaning in the Making.(Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Hills Books, 2003: 284 pages).

Sung Jacob Sohn was a UMC minister and served the Pacific UMC asthe senior pastor, now is remaining as an independent clergy member. He has taught at the LA Korean Methodist Seminary. Sung’s academic study subjects are varies starting in Architecture and Art History at Tulane University (M. Arch, 1987) and UCLA (MA, 1997) and moved to religion, theology and spirituality at the Claremont School of Theology (M. Div, 2000) and (Ph. D, 2007).


Tevyn East

Tevyn East is a professional performance artist who works to integrate her love and concern for Creation with alternative theological study and the journeywork of faith-led activism. She has toured extensively to faith communities around North America sharing Leaps & Bounds, a one-woman show about the intersections of faith, ecology and economics. This production has been made into a feature length film that you can learn about at Tevyn is a core organizer, vision carrier and performer for the Carnival de Resistance, a project that weaves art, play, worship, education, activism, spirituality and experiments in communal alternative lifestyles. (learn more at
Leaps & Bounds: The Dance of Exodus in and Age of Growth combines storytelling, song, movement, music and ritual to draw folks along a journey about personal and cultural transformation. It is a journey that moves from the beginning of time and space, through the biblical narratives about our relationship with Earth, and connects the earliest errors of human society to the perilous principles that drive economic growth and ecological destruction. This production has been hauled by communities around the country as it animates a call to live in right relationship with the Earth. 
Ecodrama, Dreams & Disturbance: We look at the power of performance art to awaken a sense of interconnectedness and animate the call to work for restoration. Using song, story, spoken word and dance, ancient stories will be re-contextualized within the challenges of our current ecological and economic crises. This serves to cultivate an ability to remember and honor the gifts of earth-based wisdom and develop courage and imagination for the work that brings healing. 
Gertrude Meuller Nelson
Gertrude Meuller Nelson is an artist, author and speaker. Her books include best selling, Dancing with God and Here All Dwell Free, Stories to Heal the Wounded Feminine, a Jungian interpretation of fairy tales. She designs stained glass, church furnishings, illustrates books and is a mother and grandmother. 
Presentation–Using an ancient fairy tale as a frame-work we will look for the diagnosis and prescription for healing of our wounded earth within that prophetic story.
Adelia Sandoval
Adelia Sandoval is the  cultural director for the Acjachemen Nation, the indigenous people of Orange County, California.
Her ministry is called Song of the Earth, a Native American Healing service in an outdoor sanctuary and she is also  licensed United Church of Christ minister.