DATE: Sunday, October 28, 2012
TIME: 12:00 p.m
PLACE: Barrett Center, Ladera Lane campus
CANDIDATE: Alexandra Cichon
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Following Ariadne’s Thread Through the Labyrinth: Eros, Androgyny, and the Individuation of the Feminine"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-A; 2004
CHAIR: Dr. Robert Romanyshyn
READER: Dr. Lisa Sloan
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Leland Roloff
Cichon, A. (2012). Following Ariadne’s Thread Through the Labyrinth: Eros, Androgyny, and the Individuation of the Feminine (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
The Feminine, a metaphysical principle of gender accessible to both sexes, has been eclipsed and diminished for four millennia in the West by the dominance of patriarchal consciousness. In this theoretical dissertation, an imaginal approach is taken in interpreting for clinical psychology the meaning of androgyny and the “incalculable paradoxes” (Jung, 1961/1963, p. 353) of Eros within the individuation of the Feminine revealed in Ariadne’s myth.
Using a hermeneutic method, the saga of Ariadne, Theseus, the Minotaur, and Dionysos, received from the Greeks, is traced backward in time to its matrilineal origins in Bronze Age Crete, following Ariadne’s thread deeper into the windings of her iconic symbol, the Labyrinth of Crete, seen as mandala of the Western world (Jaskolski, 1994/1997). This imaginal penetration is deepened with use of Romanyshyn’s (2007) alchemical hermeneutic method, which considers the researcher’s complex, unconscious, dynamic relationship to the work, forged in a collaborative co-occuring field between the existential and imaginal worlds, reflecting the quantum reality of the psychoid archetype. This seamless interpenetration of psyche, matter, nature, and the cosmos (Goodchild, 2001) is reflected mythically in Ariadne’s matrilineal lineage in the Goddess of Life, Death, and Regeneration of Bronze Age Crete, the lost Golden Age of Classical Greece.
The relevance of Ariadne’s myth is considered in relation to clinical psychology’s domains of addiction; co-addiction; trauma; the ego-Self axis; androgyny; psychic multiplicity; alchemical psychology; individuation; and “psychology of the dead,” death being the profession’s underlying metaphor, greatest fear, and the one certainty of temporal life toward which individuation inescapably leads (Hillman, 1979). Alchemical analysis of Eros as kosmogonos in the myth reveals the true flask is the physical body, and the elixir held in that vessel is the subtle body formed by the embrace of the inner masculine and feminine (Singer, 1977). This exploration reflects both Jungian goddess feminism and the postmodern view that myths of the goddesses provide fictions of the self, gender narratives “as exercises in speculative fiction and performance” (Rowland, 2002, p. 150) in which no literal belief in external deities is required.
Keywords: Feminine, individuation, Ariadne, labyrinth, Eros, androgyny, alchemy, addiction, Goddess, archetypes
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