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At Alchemy, Inc. in Akron, Ohio

Myth Is Impacting Society

s OPUS strives to make the wisdom we hold relevant to the world, we continually seek examples of how "the work of the elders" translates into the culture at large. To that end, we asked Pacifica graduate, Dr. Kwame Scruggs, Executive Director of Alchemy, Inc., to share his experience. Alchemy, Inc. is a non-profit organization that works with adolescent urban males. It utilizes mythological motifs and stories from the platform of depth psychology to assist urban youth develop a sense of personal purpose in life. The organization is based in Akron, Ohio and has programs elsewhere as well, including a collaboration with the National Writing Project at Kent State University called "Myth, Muses & Scribes." Kwame asked a few of the teens in Alchemy's support groups "why is myth important?" Here are the responses from three 15-year-old boys: Tyrell: "I feel myth is great for urban youth. It relates to the days we are going through now. It helps with life's obstacles. The myth gives us something to look up to, and to make life choices. Myth is like a parent that's with you every second." Sergio: "Adolescent males should use the myth stories because they show us a different way of life than what we see today." Sean: "We should use myth with urban males because it is very easy to relate to the stories. And it's not boring, so it's easier to pay attention to what the story says. It gets you to think beyond the literal meanings of things." Kwame explained that these young men realize that if something is a common theme in myth, chances are it is a common theme in life. They attempt to incorporate the character traits of the hero into themselves--becoming the hero in their own stories. Within the core group of 35 male youths, 18 have been with Alchemy for five to six years, and the others for three years. Since its inception, Alchemy has worked with more than 400 young men. As part of the Myth, Muses & Scribes project, Alchemy is training females to launch groups for girls, using myth and fairy tales. Kwame received a New Mythos grant for his project entitled "Myth, Mentoring, Initiation, and the Prima Materia: A Black, Blacker than Black. Voices of Urban Male Adolescent Youth."For more information on Alchemy, Inc. and its programs visit


Get Involved with OPUS

Become a Volunteer Archival Assistant

Cross the threshold into where leading theorists offer their ideas, their research, observations and opportunities freely and without reservation. Immerse deeply and comprehensively in their personal notes, letters, books and unpublished manuscripts on hand at both campuses of Pacifica Graduate Institute ­ The Joseph Campbell and Marija Gimbutas Library on Lambert campus, and the archival film, manuscript and artifact storage on Ladera campus. Have the pleasure of learning to assist OPUS in sharing the collections with visiting students, scholars and seekers from the general public.

The Marija Gimbutas collection

"In the Stacks" with Richard Buchen

Richard Buchen, MLS, is a special collections librarian at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Pacifica generously donates a portion of his time to OPUS, where he shares his knowledge of the archives with visitors and researchers. Here is one of his recent discoveries "in the stacks."

Help Preserve Your Favorite OPUS Collection or Project

We are deeply grateful to our donors, as our ability to manifest our work is directly related to their generosity. We need your help to continue our work of cataloguing and digitally preserving hundreds of audio tape lectures, and thousands of images and manuscript pages. Your donation of any amount can be designated to support a specific collection or project.

arija Gimbutas' collection is a treasure because she insisted on the importance of understanding the ancient cultures she studied in human terms, beyond making standard archeological studies of tool types and subsistence patterns. Researcher Glenda Cloughley, New Mythos Grant recipient visiting from Australia, brought to my attention the following passages in an audiotape in the Marija Gimbutas collection. The recording was made at a celebration marking the publication of The Language of the Goddess in 1991. "The very language we use to discuss the past speaks of tools, hunters, and men, when every statue and painting we discover cries out to us that this Ice Age man [had] a culture of art, the love of animals and women. Art and religious symbols of Old Europe were hardly studied by archaeologists. More was intuitively perceived by poets, artists, by religious historians and Jungian psychologists." Near the conclusion of the lecture she says, "We must re-examine history and start putting back some parts that we have left out, namely the earth, the body, the feminine, and the unconscious." The Gimbutas collection combines the highest level of rigorous academic work in the field of archeology as well as the equally intense focus and interest on the human meaning-making experience. Marija Gimbutas spent much of her career as an archaeologist documenting the cultures of the European Neolithic period from 6,500 to 3,000 years before the Common Era, and their replacement after this time by warlike cultures originating in the Ukrainian Steppes who spoke Indo-European languages ancestral to the languages of modern Europe.


James Hillman on Alchemical Psychology

An Interview by Safron Rossi, Ph.D., OPUS Director

n Autumn 2009 the James Hillman manuscript collection at OPUS was enriched by the addition of his research notes on alchemy. The materials arrived in time for the upcoming release of Hillman's Uniform Edition Volume 5: Alchemical Psychology. During a recent visit with Dr. Hillman, I had the opportunity to ask about the much anticipated volume and get his thoughts on the research materials that are now available in the archives. SR: Could you describe your process in writing Uniform Edition v5 Alchemical Psychology? JH: Alchemical Psychology is a collection of previously written pieces. In some cases lecture notes had to be turned into an actual written chapter. But ninety percent of the book had previously been written and maybe even published. The first chapter was written and published in the 1970's based on courses at the Jung Institute of Zürich, Yale University, University of Chicago, Syracuse University during the 60's and early 70's, and University of Dallas in the late 70's. SR: How did you choose the material for the book? JH: I used the previously printed pieces. There's a great deal more on alchemy that is not in this collection but those are merely research and lecture notes and have been surpassed, so to speak, by the written pieces which are more finished and polished and thought through more deeply. The last one was the keynote lecture at the Jungian conference in Barcelona in 2004. And two or three of them were Eranos lectures. SR: Did particular mythic figures play a dominant role as you pieced it all together?

Cataloguing Collection Materials

$300 will pay for the completion of one archival manuscript box. We have recently received new myth lecture notes from Joseph Campbell's days at Sarah Lawrence, and research and writings on alchemy from James Hillman.


Digitizing Audio Lectures

$200 will digitize one complete lecture. We have hundreds of taped lectures from: James Hillman, Marija Gimbutas, Marion Woodman, Jane Hollister and Joseph Wheelwright, Chris Downing, and Katie Sanford.

Archival Assistant Program Update

An OPUS archival assistant is trained in handling, cataloguing and searching the archival materials in our collections. OPUS' volunteers are trained on a one to one basis in their chosen area--be it cataloguing incoming collection materials, digitizing images, managing database records or supervising researchers. Our assistants have the opportunity to sink deep in the stacks on a regular basis, cataloguing materials being inducted, converting audio lectures to digital format, scanning images and becoming experts for the particular collection in which they choose to specialize. More information on OPUS volunteer programs at Click on "Become a Volunteer." The application may be downloaded.

Digitizing Images

$100 will digitize ten images. We have thousands of images from Joseph Campbell's Historical Atlas of World Mythology; more than 15,000 slides from Marija Gimbutas' archeological digs and lectures; and slides from James Hillman's lectures on the anima.

JH: Yes, the figure of the alchemist, this very strange figure that has been in the European imagination for centuries, and American imagination too, though later. This figure goes all the way back to Moses, whom some texts like to consider the first alchemist.

"The figure of the alchemist...has been in the European

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We Also Need:

Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological RoundTable® Group at OPUS

· Three Vista 7 PC desktop computers · Four 1-terabyte internal hard drives · Two 1-terabyte external hard drives · A Xerox Documate 510 Scanner · Locking artifact storage cabinets · A web guru to help with search engine

optimization and social networking sites


uring the past 6 months the Mythological RoundTable® Group hosted by OPUS has been reading Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces exploring the ideas of initiation, the journey, as well as personal and collective meanings of the Hero. The discussions have focused to assist participants in deepening their understanding of how Campbell's work informs the multiple mythic paradigms in the world. The Mythological RoundTable® at OPUS is held the second Thursday each month from 6:30 to 8:30pm on Ladera campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute. This enriching and lively monthly conversation is free and open to the public. Information on upcoming discussion topics are posted at under News and Events. We invite your participation!

Visit the OPUS Archives

Contact us to schedule a visit to OPUS Archives and its collections, including the Joseph Campbell and Marija Gimbutas Library. Whether for research or a tour, we are here to share the treasures in the collections!

Together, we bring the archives to life. Please help us preserve the richness of the collections!

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OPUS Archives & Research Center 801 Ladera Ln., Santa Barbara, CA 93108

SR: Why is Moses imagination for centuries, and American imagination considered an alchetoo, though later." -- James Hillman, Ph.D. mist? The association is unique. because dedication takes it back to the ego, "I am JH: He was a magician. He struck a rock with dedicated." Stamina. Not giving up. his rod and got water out of it, among other things that he was able to do. The idea of SR: With your research notes in the archives magical transformations, the power to affect now, do you see seeds of future work, further nature--transformations in nature. threads for students and scholars to follow? But as far as a Greek, typical, mythical figJH: There is an enormous amount of stuff that ure that we're all used to, the obscurities of could be worked further. As Andrew Marvel Hermes are very important, as are the riddles said, "if there were worlds enough and time." of language, and the tremendous endurance But at some point I had to close the door and and patience that is required of Saturn. get out what was done rather than trying to SR: So Saturn plays a part in alchemy? do it all. There is a huge amount of rich reJH: One of the alchemical texts says the work sources for anyone interested in any aspect of begins in lead and ends in lead. Archetypally alchemy. They will find things of value. Not Saturn is obsessive, repetitive, depressing. just my notes but the materials I assembled. SR: And the relationship between Saturnian and Mercurial energy, could you speak to that? JH: They aren't concerned with coming together. SR: What are they concerned with? JH: Enjoyment [Hermes] and endurance [Saturn]. Just like any work. Endurance, not dedication,

Uniform Edition volume 5 Alchemical Psychology is to be released early summer by Spring Publications. The most recently published volume in the Uniform Edition is volume 3.9 Animal Presences. For more information on the James Hillman collection at OPUS visit and click on Explore the Collections.

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The Phoenix

by Safron Rossi, Ph.D., OPUS Director

New Mythos Grant Recipients Begin their Research

Saving History...


ire has long transfixed the imagination as an elemental force that purifies and makes possible regeneration, even hinting at immortality. The Phoenix embodies these ideas in its mythical presence within the mythologies of Persia, Phoenicia and Egypt as well as in Russian folklore.

"I am deeply moved at the level of thoughtful scholarship and vision represented by the projects of these finalists. Each honors the importance of bringing the wisdom teachings of our OPUS elders into the world in service of the future of humanity."

-Lynnaea Lumbard, Ph.D., Chair, Selection Committee


n January 2010 OPUS announced 13 recipients of the New Mythos grant previously offered in fall 2009. The projects span a wide cultural spectrum and are summarized on the OPUS website. The grant provides one of many opportunities to support research in OPUS' archives, essential to forwarding the foundational work left to us by the scholars of the collections held by OPUS. Grant winners Jacquelyn Jackson and the James Waddell Team recently launched their research and offer thoughts on their initial experiences in the stacks. Here are the first updates from our New Mythos grant recipients.

a woman offering "her light of consciousness, or the apple, if you will, to the serpent." Sanford's works capture what is emerging as a central theme in my quest through OPUS archives. How do we transform the notion of "sin" that was firmly implanted in the female body centuries ago into "sensual" and "sacred?" What mythos will inspire girls and women today to claim a sacred power rooted in their body, reveling in food, lubricated by sexuality and sensuality. On the female journey, we seek not to slay but to sustain relationships, and through the snakes the journey begins. OPUS' archival collections offer up powerful connections throughout the wisdom housed there. With snakes as guides, we will slither our way toward a mythos of embodied, sacred female strength that is sorely needed to help transform the world.

New Mythos: Hero Escapes from Prison Earth

Lessons Learned from Haiti

by Elise Collins Shields, Ph.D.

"Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration."

--UNESCO World Heritage Project

C.G. Jung's Red Book Makes an Appearance in Los Angeles

Upcoming Event

Pacifica Graduate Institute and OPUS Present


The Phoenix is known to boast a magnificent tail plume of gold and scarlet cascading feathers mirroring the flames that provide the vehicle for eternal transformation. The Phoenix prepares for death by first building a nest of aromatic herbs, cinnamon and myrrh, before it immolates itself in that very nest through the heat of its own body. Out of the resulting ashes rises the young Phoenix, destined to live 500 to 1000 years. Ovid wrote that the resulting young Phoenix would carry its nest with the remains of its former self to the city of Heliopolis, "City of the Sun" to reside in the temple of the Sun. Alchemist Michael Maier (1568-1622), author of the Atalanta Fugiens, an alchemical emblem book, wrote that it is indeed possible to see the Phoenix provided we "look around with the little eye of the soul" (Hymnosophia, Civ recto-Civ verso). The eye of the soul is able to see through the world around us in it's seemingly material and permanent form to the great cosmic cycle of life and death. Ever present to the continuing process, then, is the symbolic body of the Phoenix. At a time wherein social and cultural structures are dissolving in their concrete manifestations a sense of entropic chaos rests heavily and powerfully in the collective ether. The Phoenix provides an archetypal image worth meditating upon, as Maier implies, for it shows through its own life cycle the necessity of the `burning' in order for new growth. Fire serves as not only destructive but creative and regenerative. As after a forest has been scorched by fire, the ashes provide the necessary nourishment to spark the seed germinated from the intense heat and new growth is birthed. The Phoenix also instructs that the container of death is the cradle of new life; thus the nest is to be honored and deposited into sacred space once it has fulfilled the dual function of coffin and crib. May we look around with the little eye of the soul to detect the scorching beauty of the Phoenix's feathers.

Learning To Be Female: Forging a Mythos that Transforms Projects of Body to Projects of Soul

Jacquelyn Jackson writes how snakes were a guide toward a new female mythos during her research visit to OPUS: The works of Jungian scholars housed at OPUS are carefully zipped within plastic to keep nature's alchemical forces at bay, certainly not an inviting habitat for snakes. But the snakes that lurked within the pages and on the canvasses in the collections led me forward as I began my search within the archives for a new mythos of Learning to be Female. The first snake arrived in Box 108 of the work of Marija Gimbutas. "In Lithuania, when I was six," Gimbutas writes, "I was told `never harm a green snake.' I had close contact with animals and knew the Earth was sacred. I remember watching people kiss the mother earth, and thanking mother earth in the evening. All was important for my later work." Likewise, in Marion Woodman's collection, she shared a dream where she recounts being "taken by a beautiful snake along a path. And the snake...went merrily along...with a crown that was an eye." The snake did not want her to read "The Seven Chronicles of the Western World," but instead offered a book depicting a snake with an eye in the crown, which she described as "a living eye, a loving--the eye of God." Within the Joseph Campbell collection, Lecture XIV lands the snake directly into the human body. Kundalini, he notes, is the "coiled up serpent power...centered at the base of the spine and The Official Newsletter of OPUS Archives and pictured in the form of uroResearch Center. Copyright 2010. boros, the coiled serpent bitSafron Rossi, Ph.D., and Elise Collins Shields, Ph.D., Editors ing its own tail." And I found snake images slithering across most of Katherine Sanford's canvasses--a central guide in her painted journey of individuation. An April 1963 Sanford painting upends the story of Eve and the snake with its depiction of

OPUS Archives and Research Center is a nonprofit organization that is a dynamic center for the advancement of depth psychology, mythology and the humanities, and their place on the world platform, especially as they inform social justice and environmental sustainability. 801 Ladera Lane Santa Barbara, CA 93108 805-969-5750

The James Waddell Team is exploring the archives to look beyond the bounds of planet Earth: In 1957 an earth-born rocket was launched into the universe. The immediate American reaction was relief about this "first step toward escape from man's imprisonment to the earth." Our project seeks to articulate clearly the story of modern world alienation through its flight from the earth to the universe. As Hannah Arendt acknowledges, this flight goes beyond Christians speaking of the earth as a vale of tears or philosophers looking on their bodies as prisons of the mind and soul. This flight is a radical repudiation of an Earth as the Mother of all who dwelled upon it. It is a flight that changes one of the fundamental conditions of being human: an earth-dweller who is a participator in earth's nature. Our story will also portray manifestation of this earthly flight in the modern creation of artificial life and the undead. It is a tale of contemporary people exchanging what was once a given for something they have made themselves. The story is important, because it depicts our changing human condition from the perspective of our newest experiences and our current fears. A clearly articulated telling of the story can help reveal the origin of much of the confused political discourse about what it is to be human in the modern world with a dismissive attitude toward the earth. A preliminary study of the Joseph Campbell collection in the OPUS archives revealed Campbell's puzzlement that more was not made of such space events as the Apollo 10 moonwalk. These space-events made us "born a new order of things..." where "there are no horizons." We learned that Campbell foresaw that the space age would change the human condition. We look forward to continuing explorations of the Campbell collection to learn more about his insights into the changing human condition as we transform from earth creatures to universe dwellers.

iber Novus," commonly known as the Red Book, launched its exclusive west coast exhibition with a private donor reception April 10 at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. A project of the Philemon Foundation, the extensive Red Book exhibit will be on display through June 6 and features a variety of lectures and events, including a talk by Sonu Shamdasani, Red Book editor and co-translator. Also, a series of public dialogues will be held in which analysts and scholars enter conversation with artists, writers and cultural icons regarding the meaning and impact of the Red Book. Stephen Kenneally, President of the OPUS Board, attended the opening. Here are his observations:

Jung in Dialogue: Practices of Soul Making

A Conference June 11-13 in Santa Barbara

This conference, which will be held on Pacifica's Ladera Lane Campus, will explore practices recognized by Jung and the post-Jungians, including active imagination, Practices of story and metaphor, alSoul Making chemy, spirituality, authentic movement, and dreams. Drawing on the same interior sources, we will also explore social processes that unleash the imagination in order to promote healing, peace, and justice in the world. OPUS is pleased to announce that we will be mounting an exhibit of Katie Sanford's paintings during the conference and hosting a fireside chat with Katie. For more information on the conference, call Pacifica's Public Programs Department at 805.969.3626 or email [email protected]

The Haitian Presidential Palace was one of the many national treasures destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake.


devastating earthquake rocked the foundations of Haiti on January 12, 2010, and altered the course of history. In addition to the annihilation of buildings, massive loss of life and untold suffering, the events took another toll less obvious and hardly publicized, with potentially long term and deeply profound effects. Many icons of Haitian history, art, and culture were damaged or destroyed; including the National Palace, cathedrals full of priceless artifacts, and libraries. Also devastated was the National Archives, which, as the New York Times' Marc Lacey noted, "linked both the country's heroic history and the vibrant culture that united them and enabled them to endure" their tumultuous history of corrupt leaders, political trauma, and natural disaster. Sadly, one third of the historical documents in the Haitian National Archives were damaged. They chronicled the years surrounding Haiti's fight to achieve national independence in 1804, when it became the first independent Black republic in the world. The Archives also housed documentation of Haitians' little-known participation of in the U.S. Civil War, when they actively combatted slavery by purchasing American slaves for $30 each and setting them free. Libraries and archives from the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world have stepped forward to assist in a "race against time" due to weather conditions and malfeasance. This initiative aims to immediately secure more than 20,000 books and manuscripts relating to early Haitian history, providing for the people of Haiti the hope that lies in the cultural underpinnings that they insist sustain them. OPUS will post information on our website regarding volunteering for the relief effort that is being organized by dLOC (Digital library of the Caribbean.) For OPUS, observing the devastation in Haiti has again brought sharply home the critical function of preserving the collections entrusted to our care. Standing vigil over our collections during the recent wildfires in Santa Barbara County was a sacred honor. We remain ever cognizant of our commitment to extend our preservation efforts through digitization, acid-free storage, climate monitoring, and making available the seminal works in our custody for current and future generations of seekers. We continue our dedication to that end, as we hold the keys to the theories, philosophies, mythologies, and scholarly platforms to be mined and make meaning of life's experiences.

There was much excitement in the room, not only for the beauty of the text and the striking power of the drawings, but also for the way the exhibit showed the extensive work involved in making the manuscript. This document is not merely a raw personal journal, but a carefully crafted amplification of Jung's encounter with his unconscious. The magnificence of Liber Novus helped me to understand Jung's words that everything he developed over his career emanated from the experiences and thoughts he had while writing the Red Book. Background documents such as the Black Book and supplemental art work help to demonstrate the genesis of Jung's ideas and better understand their evolution. The exhibit is a testament to the importance of good archival preservation of original source documents. This rare exhibition laid to rest any personal doubts that my interest in Jung's work was somehow an outdated and esoteric passion. There was a palpable sense that this was a seminal event--a cultural acknowledgement of the need to understand and relate to one's own process of making myth and meaning. It felt like we were at a tipping point of awareness and appreciation for the gift of Jung's work. There was great excitement in the air.

For more information visit or

Working with the Joseph Campbell Foundation

Expanding the Campbell Collection

From left: Terry Pearce, Pacifica Board member; Roger Epstein, JCF Board member; Safron Rossi, OPUS Director; Bob Walter, JCF President; Elise Collins Shields, former OPUS Director; Stephen Kenneally, OPUS Board President


n March, OPUS, along with Pacifica Graduate Institute, hosted Robert Walter, President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and Roger Epstein, Campbell Foundation Board Member. Robert brought additional materials for inclusion in the Campbell Collection including rare posters, artwork, images and documents. The collection continues to be enriched and enhanced in collaboration with the Joseph Campbell Foundation.


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