C.G. Jung Society, Seattle

Kathryn Madden, Ph.D.

From Chaos to Creative Ritual in Life Transitions

Lecture: Friday, December 13, 2013, 7 to 9 p.m.
Good Shepherd Center, Room 202, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. North, Seattle  98103 (driving directions)
$15 members, $25 nonmembers

Madden photoImportant to Jung was a life-long study of dreams, ceremonies, ritual, and religious practices. He believed that everyday reality could potentially be transformed into a symbolic experience if we open ourselves to the space of “liminality.” Liminality represents a state of transition between “stasis” and “growth” wherein one is no longer where one was, but is not yet where he or she is going. Liminality may involve long periods of isolation or feelings of chaos—as if we are suspended in a deathlike state--in which we are cut off from our normal contacts, supportive communities, and social lives. Primordial energies of deep, underlying myths are mobilized in moments of crisis and during transitional—or liminal—periods.

As we explore the emotional and experiential underpinnings of liminality through ritual, we can pass through the “betwixt or between,” chaos and confusion. Ritual contains and allows for feelings and instincts to be transformed into imagery. We can relate to the images that emerge until a symbol emerges. Attention to ritual can serve to alleviate personal or social turmoil and conflict.

Workshop: Saturday, December 14, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Good Shepherd Center, Room 202
$50 members, $70 nonmembers

Advance registration for workshops is encouraged. You can mail your registration and payment to our office using this registration form or buy tickets in advance at brownpapertickets.com.

Morning: Dream Circle

The dream circle will elicit both night-dream and waking-dream images from the group with the purpose of attending to images or narratives of liminality. We will observe what notions of ritual actions emerge in relation to the groups’ common themes and/or themes of opposition, noting that often the images that arise from liminality show a complexity of opposition and paradox. The group will be offered opportunity to express these opposites and their own experiences of liminality in various forms.

Afternoon: The Symbol

We will continue to work reflectively through our images, to make the unknown known. What in our group container is emerging as a symbol from the group? Amplifying the symbol from an individual, group, social context, and cultural context, the symbol will reveal something that was previously invisible and carries the potential for renewal.


Please plan to bring a yoga mat or blanket, an eye mask if handy, and a small pillow.

Learning Objectives

  1. Gain knowledge about rites of passage in ritual that give insight into clinical diagnoses.
  2. Exploration of the concept of liminality will offer deepened understanding of the inevitable lacunae in the individual or collective psyche.
  3. Participants will learn that experiencing a symbol should be a separate endeavor from analyzing and interpreting it empirically.
  4. Learn to distinguish “dominant symbols,” which are connected to the values and meaning that undergird a ritual event, from lesser symbols.

Kathryn Madden, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst of Jungian orientation in private practice in New York City. She is author of Dark Light of the Soul, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Psychology & Religion, senior editor of Quadrant, is on the Adjunct Faculty at the Pacifica Institute, and a Lecturer in Depth Psychology and Comparative Spirituality at Union Theological Seminary. Her forthcoming book is entitled The Vanquishing Point, and she continues to lecture internationally.

Programs presented by the C. G. Jung Society, Seattle (unless otherwise noted) have approved CEUs by the Washington Chapter National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Provider number is #1975- 157.

C.G. Jung Society, Seattle home page

Updated: 6 September 2013