Activities Archive - 2017

Friday 3rd November 2017

Dr Richard Barz

"C.G. Jung's Encounter with Kundalini
and his Interpretation of the Tantra

Carl Jung was fascinated by tantra. Specifically, he was obsessed for a time with that aspect of tantra that is the goddess Kundalini: she who sleeps in the shape of a snake wrapped around the sacred phallus at the base of your spine and waits to rise up through the six chakras and out of the top of your head. In Jung’s own words:

“So the progress into the second cakra* is possible only if you have aroused the serpent, and the serpent can only be aroused by the right attitude. Expressed in psychological terms, that would mean that you can approach the unconscious in only one way, namely by a purified mind, by a right attitude, and by the grace of heaven, which is the Kundalini.”

[C. G. Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, edited by Sonu Shamdasani (Princeton University Press, Princeton:1996, p. 20)]

But that isn’t quite what you read about tantra on the internet today. Take this description from a website:

“Tantric sex is all about connection and intimacy. Musician Sting put Tantric sex on our cultural map when he famously bragged about engaging in Tantric sex and making love for eight hours (he's since admitted he was exaggerating for effect). As a result, people have gained this misinformed idea that Tantric sex is a crazy, intense, kinky experience that takes out-of-this-world skill and stamina. In many ways, Tantric sex is the opposite. It's slow and sacred, with an emphasis on the body-mind-soul connection rather than tease-me, please-me techniques.”

And how can one reconcile all that with the tantra that in its Indian homeland is the practice of esoteric techniques for the losing of the individual self in cosmic unity?

Jung used the standard Sanskrit transliteration cakra while the usual English spelling, and the pronunciation of both forms, is chakra.

Dr Richard Barz
, retired member of the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific, has been intrigued by all these things about tantra for nearly a half century. Now he is grateful for the chance to go with Canberra Jung Society members and visitors on a tour of tantra with C.G. Jung.

Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2017
Diane Bellchambers

Soul Power *** Workshop ***:
"How to be Calm, Centred and Connected"

Hyatt Hotel, Canberra

This workshop is a blend of psychology, mindfulness and spirituality and showcases how to find yourself and be who you really are. 

It explores how to live and work as a soul and see the soul in others and provides tools for coping with daily challenges and keeping your life on track. 

You will learn how to live with less negativity, how to free yourself from the personality and appreciate your own true worth.

Diane Bellchambers
(Hons Pysch) is a dream power specialist (with over 25 years experience teaching dream analysis) and author of two books on dreams.

She runs practical dream training sessions for groups, work-teams and counsellors helping others access the dreaming mind to turn problems into solutions!

Friday 6th October 2017

Diane Bellchambers
"How Not to Give Your Power Away"

Have you ever said “yes” when you really mean “no”?

Many of us give our power away every day without realizing it and it can be an hour-by-hour proposition.

This talk explores what real power is, how to liberate yourself from the imposters of power and find your voice.

Diane Bellchambers (Hons Pysch) is a dream power specialist (with over 25 years experience teaching dream analysis) and author of two books on dreams. 

She runs practical dream training sessions for groups, work-teams and counsellors helping others access the dreaming mind to turn problems into solutions!


Friday 1st September 2017

Dorothea Wojnar

"Dreams - Language of the Soul"

“Dreams, then, convey to us in a figurative language – that is, in sensuous, concrete imagery – thoughts, judgments, views, directives, tendencies which were unconscious either because of repression or through mere lack of realization. Precisely because they are contents of the unconscious, and the dream is a derivative of unconscious processes, it contains a reflection of the unconscious contents. It is not a reflection of unconscious contents in general but only of certain contents, which are linked together associatively and are selected by the conscious situation of the moment. I regard to this observation as a very important one in practice.”
(Carl G Jung "Collected Works" Vol 8 paragraph 477)

One of Jung’s greatest achievements is that he plumbed the depth of his own being, his own soul and used the knowledge gained from his inner world, imagination or soul to form a theory that stimulates, facilitates and elaborates this knowledge in other’s soul. The Jungian vision is of a coherent and meaningful psychic whole existing in a world in which there are processes of growth to be experienced and breakdown that needs to be handled. It is a vision of a world in which the individual psyche matters.

Working with dreams has been part of human culture for thousands of years. In our current culture people are fascinated by dreams or dismiss them as irrelevant. In this presentation Dorothea will introduce you to the symbolic language of dreams. By learning how to correlate dreams with events in waking life you can use the creative potential of the dreamscape for greater self-awareness.

We will be considering the following areas:
  - Dreams in history, culture and the psychodynamic tradition
  - The place of dreams in ancient, mediaeval and non-western societies;
  - The work of Sigmund Freud and the split with Carl Jung
  - Dream structure and language
  - The Jungian model of the psyche and archetypal symbolism
  - The compensatory function of dreams.

Dorothea will be using examples from literature and from her own life. She will be working with dreams during a dream group on September to mid October.

Dorothea is a psychotherapist and she is currently training as a Jungian analyst with the C. G. Jung Institute of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian analysts. Dorothea has extensive experience as a group leader and therapist across a range of people and issues, working in both a public health facility as well as in private practice.

Friday 4th August 2017

Dr David Russell

"Desire, Compulsion ... and Jung"

How is it that one always fails in speaking of what one loves?

Desire and compulsion are at the heart of psychodynamic psychology. And it is the object of our desires (and compulsions) that get us into trouble. Trouble, yes, but also a purpose for living and the desire to make meaning of what would otherwise be pretty banal. The desire to believe is a common experience in all humans.

In addition to this will to believe, Jung needed to draw our attention to a totally other experience, namely, archetypal desire … and here we are exposed to big trouble (he referred to it as a terrible mystery). It was as if Jung needed to rewrite the first words of Saint John’s Gospel: In the beginning was desire, and desire was with God, and desire was God.

To illustrate the complexity and ambiguity of desire and compulsion David refers to two cultural stories. Firstly, Cinderella and the matter of her three mothers (archetypally, the polarity of the resentful, denying stepmother and the ever-giving godmother … but what about the real mother?). And, secondly, Scheherazade of The Thousand and One Nights and the archetypal polarity that holds together in a dynamic unity: the desire to betray and the desire to love.

Biographers of Jung often speak of his emotionally restricted life such that he denied his anima relationship and erotic relationship with Sabina Spielrein. Specifically, he denied it to Freud.

But as the rap song says … Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. Now that we have all seen David Cronenberg’s film A Dangerous Method (2012) it is impossible not to picture Michael Fassbender (as Carl Jung) whacking the bottom of Keira Knightley (as Sabina Spielrein) and being totally tantalised by her nipples popping out of a corset … such is the power of the visual image, or is it the power of psychoanalysis, or is it more a matter of compulsion being confused with desire, or, more simply is it just two adults in the throes of erotic passion.

David is a past president of the Sydney Jung Society. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies and research in psychology at the University of Sydney. Here he was introduced to the writings of Sigmund Freud (unusual for a Department of Psychology) and developed an ongoing enthusiasm for the history and philosophy of psychology. After a few years in private practice he moved into an academic career, which culminated in the establishment of the Master of Analytical Psychology degree at the University of Western Sydney. David has currently returned to private practice in Sydney CBD.  


Friday 7th July 2017

Valerie Albrecht


A Personal Experience with input from Jungian and Science based philosophies

What is it? Where does it come from?
What does it mean? It’s duality. How to live peacefully with it?

With Synchronicity Readings from my books
 “Search for Mother”, “The Story Behind The Story: Biography of A Navajo Medicine Man”
 and “One Voice Medicine”

Followed by Sharing Synchronicity

Throughout all my career directions and learning, through grounded research and story-based knowledge with cultures and peoples in Remote Australia, North and Central America, and authoring 4 books, the most intriguing, undeniable and binding experience that occurred is synchronicity. For example, learning to move between linear and round time for four years when writing a biography of a Navajo Medicine Man on his reservation in Arizona; or the ways, timings and meetings occurred with Australian Aboriginal Healers between 2012 and 2016.

I also experienced repeatedly in this time that non-aboriginal timeframes, timelines, planning projects such as Community 10 Year Plans, Closing the Gap programs and the more everyday situations of aboriginal people and appointment keeping, did not give expected outcomes, perhaps as they did not appear to take into account aboriginal timing/s.

This has led to my PhD topic – What are Aboriginal ways of looking at time and synchronicity – in the lands of the ACT, how are they the same or different from non-aboriginal ways of looking and practical application of this such as for policy and program planning.

Valerie Albrecht
is a Western Eastern Health Practitioner, Speech Pathologist, Yoga Practitioner, Author Biographer with Aboriginal People, and Story Healer. She currently lives in Canberra.

Friday 9th June 2017
Dr David Oliphant
"Jung and Evolution"

Calvin Hall and Vernon Nordby in their small book A Primer of Jungian Psychology wrote:
"The mind of man is prefigured by evolution. Thus, the individual is linked with his past, not only with the past of his infancy but more importantly with the past of the species and before that with the long stretch of organic evolution.
This placing of the psyche within the evolutionary process was Jung’s preeminent achievement (P.39)

David warmly invited us to enter a conversation with him around this claim. It would seem that if such a claim is true, very few seem to care. Jung himself was aware of this; some of the last words he wrote (in Man and his Symbols) reveal his frustration, if not with an edge of despair, that the psyche is not taken seriously. At the same time evolutionary thought about homo sapiens and our unique brain has grown apace, with connected stories such as Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale and Big History becoming front and central, not to mention the discipline of evolutionary psychology.

The general difficulty, of course, is that even highly intelligent people do not necessarily have a sense of the psyche; that everything we experience as individuals is psychic or psychoid. The specific difficulty, again of course, is that psyche cannot observe itself; our consciousness must wait for ‘despatches’ from below. And who has time for that in our modern world where we think we are masters of all we survey anyway.

M.-L. von Franz in her essay Conclusion: Science and the Unconscious in Man and his Symbols outlined a number of ways Jung’s work could be continued and developed. David would be very interested to know if any of these possibilities have in fact been followed up. Maybe you know. We look forward to a good discussion.

The Revd Dr David Oliphant is a retired clergyman who still runs clinical training groups in pastoral care.  He first read Jung as part of a thesis entitled A General and Special Theory of Christ, back in the early eighties.  He is currently researching a book to be entitled God Without Religion: A Christ for the Twenty-first Century.  A major interest which keeps him travelling with Jung is 'knowing the psyche from within the psyche': how much of the unconscious can in the end become conscious.

Friday 5th May 2017

Robert Tulip

"Carl Jung's Aion and the Phenomenology of the Self"

In Aion - Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, Carl Jung analysed archetypes of the collective unconscious in the idea of Jesus Christ as a model of human perfection, interpreted through astronomy.

This talk examines Aion as a core document for Jung’s vision of a new paradigm, suggesting a new reformation reconciling Christian faith with scientific reason.


Aion wove psychology together with astronomy and theology to develop an interdisciplinary account of the whole of reality as perceived from an imagined universal human perspective. Jung’s high aim was to see how ancient visions of the connection between the world and the cosmos provide symbolic meaning that remains relevant and transformative today.  By psychoanalysing the Christian symbol of the fish against the slow movement of the heavens visible to the ancients, Jung presented the gradual age-long shift of the seasons against the stars - the precession of the equinoxes - as a key to interpreting the Gospels.


Robert’s talk explores how Aion reflects a profound ancient story of the structure of time that provided intellectual foundations for Christian myths. Aion is implicitly linked in the Bible to Jesus Christ as the mythical King of Ages, and can be compared to the Christian mandorla of Christ in Majesty surrounded by the four living creatures the lion, man, eagle and ox. These ideas uniting astronomy and theology tell a story about the collective unconscious in old visions of the cosmos that have deep meaning for psychology. 





Robert Tulip has a Master of Arts Honours degree from Macquarie University for a thesis on The Place of Ethics in Heidegger’s Ontology and a BA Honours from Macquarie for a philosophy thesis on precession in Christian cosmology.  He lives in Canberra and can be contacted at

You can see Robert's original essay on this topic.
and an audio recording of the Q&A in our meeting.


Friday 7th April 2017
Dr Raelene Bruinsma

"An Invitation to the Wedding of Inanna and Dumuzi"


We were invited to a joyful celebration of the wedding of the goddess Inanna to her beloved consort Dumuzi (and his earthly stand ins). Our attendance at the re-enactment of this auspicious event helped ensure: that the proper forms have been observed; the rains will come to enliven the parched earth of Ancient Sumer; and the land will burst into ecstatic bloom.

Inanna’s love story, as described in five thousand year old poetry, is sometimes considered to offer a model of empowered female sexual agency as an antidote to contemporary patterns of commodification/repression, and even as a tool of healing from abuse. However, embedded within this tender story of love marriage and joyful sexual blossoming, are other, often darker stories.

Presented in story, poetry, and original song, this performance was created as a part of a practice-led PhD research project into the contemporary resonances of Inanna’s stories and poems - especially for women. It weaves ancient love poetry, contextualising stories, observations, and personal anecdotes to examine some of the implications of this ancient mythological literature for contemporary relationships and personal process.  

Raelene Bruinsma was awarded her PhD in performance from the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University in Perth in 2015, having produced a three-act one-woman show which wove together almost twenty different mythological stories about the goddess Inanna and her various quests and experiences, and writing an accompanying exegesis.

Both these products together addressed the question of how the stories speak to contemporary women. Using autoethnographic practice-led research as methodology allowed her to engage in her personal creative journey with the stories as an important source of knowledge creation, alongside interviews, post-performance discussion groups and book-based learning in a wide range of disciplines. Jungian interpretations of stories often guided her explorations.

Raelene also created a number of shorter performances during the course of the PhD of which An Invitation to the Wedding of Inanna and Dumuzi is her favourite. She was lucky enough as part of her research to meet with experts in the field (such as archaeologists) in America, and held a clay tablet with the story of Inanna’s Descent in her hands.

Raelene is also a Registered Music Therapist, having graduated from Melbourne University with first class honours in 1994, a singer songwriter and storyteller who has performed at festivals, folk clubs and house concerts around Australia, a community choir conductor (Working Voices), and a singing and songwriting teacher.  She is currently recording a triple album of: songs about Inanna; stories and story-songs about Inanna; and other songs she has written. 


Friday 3rd March 2017
Dr Leo van Biene

"The Man Who Couldn’t Disappear" –

A Study of Adaptation
and its limits.

This is a family story set in another place and in another time. Sam Noach has overcome early obstacles by becoming a successful businessman. He basks in his visibility and notoriety. At a critical moment, however, he hesitates and makes a fateful decision.

here are many threads to this narrative – the historical, the psychological and the personal. The presenter will illustrate this narrative about his grandfather with photos, videos and documents

Dr Leo van Biene MBBS (Hons) FRANZCP – Consultant Psychiatrist is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrist, a member of its Section of Psychotherapy and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 

He was born in the Netherlands and attended Medical School in Australia. While undertaking training in psychiatry in Boston he developed an interest psychodynamic psychotherapy. He has maintained a psychotherapy practice in Sydney for over three decades.

He has held a clinical appointment at Harvard Medical School and has been a member of the teaching faculty for the University of Sydney’s Masters of Medicine in Psychotherapy at Westmead Hospital Sydney since 1998.

He has been a long-standing and active member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists in which has held multiple positions including President, and has served on its teaching faculty for many years. He has taught and supervised throughout Australia and New Zealand, and has presented at conferences locally and in the United States, Europe and Asia.

His practice is informed by the Psychologies of the Self (Meares’s Conversational Model) and by contemporary Relational Psychoanalytic perspectives.

10th February 2017
Dr Ella Whately
Metaphysics of Space:
Painting a Body of Light

In this talk, Dr Ella Whateley discussed her exploration of an invitation to the metaphysical - to the spiritual - through the visual language of painting. As an abstract painter and a person of faith, abstraction afforded Ella a contemporary non-prescriptive language for her doctoral thesis on art; above all it offered her the potential to explore SPACE and LIGHT as both the subject and medium of her paintings.

Dr Whateley's research is built on the tradition of Western religious painting - where three-dimensional space is interpreted into two-dimensional space for the purposes of inspiring the viewer to imagine and engage with the metaphysical. And it is Ella's own encounters with these historic sacred paintings and with the liturgical cycle whilst on monastic retreat, that she will be discussing in this talk. These encounters directed an investigation into two approaches to luminosity in paint: materialising light through the materials used and painting the changing light experienced in the monastery chapel.

In this talk, Ella explained how these two approaches reflect the two intentions that her research identified as underpinning historic sacred works of art: the devotional purpose and the narrative didactic objective. And she will discuss how her own physical experiences of light and space, in the company of religious paintings and in sacred environments, gave rise to the conceptual framework of AFFECT which she was to use as a methodological framework for the research.

This reinvigoration of a psychological interpretation of affect, for the purposes of identifying and encouraging viewer engagement with two-dimensional artwork, is a key component of this research. 

It is Ella's hope that, as a result of exposure to this work, viewing two-dimensional art will take on new meaning and new form (or at the very least, give rise to further questions!)

Ella Whateley
is an Australian artist based in Canberra. Her practice explores immersive intersections in contemporary art and experiential understandings of the metaphysical. Working primarily within the discipline of two-dimensional art, her practice examines, abstracts and facilitates immersive new experiences of the ontological through the examination of light: colour and new materials.

In 2016 Ella Whateley was awarded her Doctorate of Philosophy from the Australian National University for her thesis, The Metaphysics of Space: Painting a Body of Light. Her work is held in private collections and has been exhibited nationally and internationally in England, New Zealand and Australia. She is a member and studio artist at M16 artspace, a Canberra run arts initiative which, with exhibition facilities plus, supports emerging artists and community arts initiatives.

You can find numerous references to Ella on the Internet, including her website:

Canberra Jung Society
is a non-profit organisation,
which aims to provide a contact for people interested in the psychological insights of Carl Gustav Jung.
Through monthly meetings, workshops, other activities and our library,
we seek to help people to understand their own inner journey and the world today –
from a Jungian perspective.

PO Box 554,
Dickson, ACT 2602.

Updated by RJ 3rd November 2017