#540 – Orienting Through Dreams in These Dark Times with Jungian Analyst Monika Wikman

Monika Wikman, Ph.D. was my guest on episodes #372 – Exploring Holotropic , #344 – Archetypal Phenomena Surrounding Death, #286 on Jungian Active Imagination and #235 – Using Alchemical Archetypes in Jungian Analysis. She is a Jungian Analyst and author of Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness (2005) and a chapter entitled Sophia’s Dreaming Body: Night Sky as Alchemical Mirror in the book The Dream and its Amplification (2013), along with various articles in Jungian psychology journals. Monika obtained her BA from UC San Diego and her doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, where her research took her deep into the study of dreams of people with terminal cancer. After teaching graduate students at California State University, Los Angeles, she graduated as a diplomat from the Jung-Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zurich. She lectures internationally on mythology and symbolism, dreams and wellness, alchemy and creativity. And Monika particularly enjoys collaborating with Diane Haug creating weeklong retreats with breathwork as a component for diving deeply into the living waters of the psyche. In private practice as a Jungian Analyst and astrologer, she lives and works in Tesuque, New Mexico and Santa Barbara, California with her partner, Tom Elsner.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

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  1. Posted January 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Dr. Dave for creating the moment to have a dialog together in these dark times regarding orienting with dream wisdom. His generosity of spirit creating this work inspires me. The deeply moving vimeo Dr. Dave and I are referring to in this is by Karim Sulayman. I hope you get a moment to witness the humanity blossoming at its best in this real time, real life creation. …. Monika

  2. Posted January 19, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    IF you get a chance, you might want to listen to Dr. Dave’s unfolding pattern of synchronicities that have operated in his life, which he shares on this podcast
    He shares an image of his step father coming in a potent dream after his step father died…. speaking of a circle of existence in David’s life that has become closed.

    It reminds me of the scene in the film ARRIVAL that we discuss above, where what we think of as a linear life becomes a circle of totality and wholeness where time is no longer linear. And the integrity of saying yes to the whole of life itself — seeing past and future– supersedes the pain, the wounding and the resistance to life. While all one might think about one’s life, gives way to fresh courage to incarnate and find the yes to the totality of one’s life. ( Now discovered in the circle versus the line as the higher consciousness of the heptapods initiate transcendent consciousness. )

  3. Jon Holmsten
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    First of all thanks Dr. Dave for your years of wisdom and generosity with these podcasts. I’ve been a long time listener and was a donor but haven’t recently (but need to get back to that). And to Dr. Monika Wikman, thanks for your wisdom in this and your many appearances on SRR. I’ve enjoyed your insights and reflections.

    With that said, I was torn and a bit saddened when listening to this episode. While I agree with your collective fear of Trump and the new administration, I struggled with the use of the terms “dark times” and “collective unconscious” as if everyone agrees with this. Again I share many of the same concerns but also wonder if we’re feeding the dualistic rhetoric that some of us are being united with our “collective unconscious of these dark times” while forgetting that nearly half of America thinks we are coming out of “our dark time” and can now have hope. Again I am on your side and yet wonder if the “collective unconscious” wouldn’t be so biased to be stirring up only in the “left, liberal, democrat, progressive etc.” mindset. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the message or am too hopeful/optimistic of unity and coming together but your conversation came across to me as “we the enlightened ones” have this message of higher consciousness to help us through the dark times which separates us from and further exacerbates the problem of dualism that breaks down our chances of working through this (and any/every) presidential term by working together. I don’t mean to be pollyannaish and say that everything is going to be fine (again, I really do worry that many people will be hurt by Trump’s policies) and yet are we feeding the fear and division or working to overcome it? I am not naïve and unaware that our country is deeply divided but as people who are seeking higher conscious thinking and wisdom, are we contributing to the problem or actually finding ideas to make things better. I don’t mean this as a criticism of you or your thoughts, just trying to share what arose in me when listening.

    The other thought that came to mind that I wanted to ask you about was, is the Trump administration or the Republican party essentially the Democrats “shadow side”, something that we need to learn from and come to terms with in order to grow? And vice-versa are Democrats the Republicans “shadow side”? I am not a Jungian or political expert enough to know if this idea holds any weight and yet while I was I listening to the podcast, (and enjoying a beautiful ride on my bike – both of which bring me to peaceful and loving thoughts) I wondered if essentially every 4 or 8 years, half of our country gets to live with their shadow side and are we fighting it or learning to dance with it? I’d love to hear your Jungian thoughts on this, as well as from any other listeners on these ideas.

    Thanks again for all your great work Drs. Dave and Monika.

    With much gratitude and respect,


  4. Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Jon, thanks so much for your longtime support and for sharing your frank reflections. I’m going to invite Monika to respond, as well. I definitely agree with you that those of us on the left need to look at our own Shadow projections. This is something I was discussing with 3 of my friends just yesterday. You are right that with the country split with millions on both sides, it would be a mistake to vilify all those on “the other side.” I think Monika’s point about the collective unconscious is not that it’s on our side but rather that the whole world is currently being wrenched with major shifts and the collective unconscious can provide us with an expanded understanding of what’s going on beneath the surface.


  5. Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful, powerful interview. Very inspiring and hopeful. Thank you, as ever, Dr. Dave for your spaciousness and spot on questions, intuitive associations. So much dream wisdom Monika. Especially the ill Earth, all of us with our bowls, first emptied, then aligned with the stars. Our stars. The morning after the election I had an online course to teach on the Way of the Wild Feminine (Dream a New Story…). the direction of the North, place of the Give Away. And I was sick to my stomach and could barely move. But something came through, dreams carried us. I dreamed a group of us women had gotten into a pool of water in the wild where the elephants were bathing and drinking. Many, many of them, babies, mothers, aunties, older brothers. So crowded it was a bit scary to get in next to their immensity. But they were very gentle. And they taught us, the task was, to attune ourselves to their singing, their vibration, which was not audible. To hum and sing with them into harmony, power, new consciousness of kinship. I’ve had other Election (enantiodromia!) dreams but the wild elephant one most moving. Thanks again to you both for soul nourishing talk. And Arrivals at the top of my list. For you? See “Moana”. The wild feminine girl as dynamic, transformative leader, mysteries and magic of Nature, a long challenging journey facing the demon shadow who needs not conquering but restoring of heart to the world.

    Marilyn Steele, Ph.D.

  6. Posted January 26, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    In the dark time just prior of the first World War, Jung and some of his patients had big, archetypal dreams with portents of what was coming.
    This is a similar dark time of not knowing and fearing. In this podcast, Monika shares two of her own dreams, themes and images from films: Arrival and Avatar, and the dreams of two children. They provide rich and deep images which serve as the foundation of the discussion between her and Dr. Dave. i think that those of us who pay attention to our own dreams and listen to the dreams of others will be reminded that beyond the personal meaning, there are Big Dreams and archetypal creative works in all mediums, including films. While they are related to the psyche of the individual whose dream or creative expression it is, that person is tapping into the collective field, and serves us as an liminal intermediary, a portal through which information comes in the form of images and energies. I am reminded of the indigenous tradition of the Moon Lodge, into which menstruating women retreated to have “dreams for the people.” We need to listen for them.
    Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD

  7. Posted January 31, 2017 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    The collective unconscious is rising up everywhere with new creations, it is bubbling up between beneath and across the great divide of all kinds of psychic splits. The collective unconscious is addressing these dark times, and as I say in the podcast several times, it is beyond right and left politics now. Which is a good thing, because it is addressing the grave danger of these times, beyond the limitations of that polemic.. The collective darkness is beyond any leader figure in any country, yet mirrored in the symbolic reality and actions of all who we put on world stages. For the natural world alone these are the darkest of times. If we cannot hear the body of the natural world, if we cannot hear where the capitalist shadow of greed has run amok we cannot hear the shadow of what we are creating and are part of now, these times become dangerously dark, and so it is. Again, this is not left and right, people on both sides are hearing and discovering and responding to the crisis now. The collective unconscious has wisdom and vision and helps us to find where the new is coming in. Any of the ‘great dreams’ that are speaking to us now are opening pathways in consciousness. If you haven’t seen the film ARRIVAL please do, it speaks volumes to what is trying to emerge that is a a unifying transcendent consciousness that many people indeed are being touched by. If we open our hearts and minds in the field of active imagination and dream we too discover the presence of the “other” that is part of the new creation. The dream I shared about the turn being constructed for our planet with hands from both worlds– the human world and the invisible world – speaks from and to a layer of reality we can access. Clearly beyond the politics of left and right and this country against that country. Transcendent consciousness, by its very nature lifts us into dimensions of consciousness that heal our world– and it is coming to our aid. And it takes us reaching into the psyche to discover it. Our cry for help with human heart leads the way and new discoveries are coming in.

  8. Posted January 31, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Dear Jon, I wanted to respond a moment to your comment to say, I appreciate the reality that both political parties have their shadows, and both of those shadows are becoming clear, both parties are in crisis, and this is a good thing. Meanwhile, everything in all of our lives depends upon hearing the and seeing and feeling and finding the shadow so we can reach into the psyche for more wholeness. Your comment brings this fact to life and I am glad to take a moment to underscore this. One work I have been giving in various circles in the U.S. and abroad is about the invaluable inner bullshit detector. Where we take the work with the shadow into our hearts and hands in fresh ways. My hope is that each of can bend an ear to the “great below” and find the shadow and the light in new ways in our lives.. Everything does depend upon this. I am working on this as well, of course. I am moved by people from both sides of political parties who are doing this now in fresh ways, and it is touching us all. The collective unconscious and the transcendent is always bigger than we know or think and that is the shock and the joy we experience as we seek its help. If we are open it is touching us all now in this “pregnant darkness.” Wishing you well, Monika

  9. Leslie Hammel-Turk
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The White House has said a five-year-old boy was detained for more than four hours and reportedly handcuffed at an airport because he posed a “security risk”.

    The boy, reportedly a US citizen with an Iranian mother, was one of more than 100 people detained following President Donald Trump’s immigration order.

    In a press briefing, Mr Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer was unrepentant about the incident.

    He said: “To assume that just because of someone’s age and gender that they don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong.”

    I would have to agree that the times are very dark indeed when the leader of this country and his spokesman not only can’t see that what occurred to this five-year-old was wrong, very wrong, but even worse, can justify it in such an unrepentant fashion.

    Leslie Hammel-Turk

  10. Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    ““It used to be that the Statue of Liberty, and her shining torch, was the vision that welcomed new immigrants. And, at the same time, it was the symbol of American values,” cover artist John W. Tomac told the magazine. “Now it seems that we are turning off the light.”

    See this link for the image:

    And see this link for the text:

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