Jung, Carl G.

(1875–1961)
   Swiss founder of psychotherapy. Jung’s ideas and techniques have had considerable influence on neoshamans, including their explicit use of visualization and common stress on individuation. Jung has been described by Dan Noel as a shaman himself, “because he opened up shamanic healing possibilities to an entire culture: ours.” He also calls Jung “a modern Merlin” and discusses his “initiatory descent to what he called the objective psyche, [which led] to the insight that inner images are the soul’s substance, [and] provides the radical psychological legacy realized in the work of the post-Jungian imaginal psychologists.” Noel’s definition of this version of “Western shamanism” is a “soulful spirituality, in artful touch with dreams and imaginings, including especially those which connect us to our wounding, can be a shamanic spirituality of imaginal healing.” This admirably summarizes the project and work of many of Jung’s psychotherapeutic heirs, including James Hillman, and is evident in Sylvia Perera’s treatment of the Descent of Inanna. It is also a fine summary of what Jung may have intended in his many books, lectures, and other work and encapsulates his inspirational role in the Eranos Conferences at Ascona, Switzerland, in which many formative thinkers of the 20th century, especially the Jungians and mythologists influential on neo-shamanism, participated.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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