The Cave of the Heart:
A Six-Week Depth Psychology Online Seminar
on The Archetype of the Anchorite
Tuesday Evenings 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
May 12- June 16, 2020
Sliding Scale: $150.00- $300.00
"Listen my child, with the ear of your heart"
- 6th Century Rule of Saint Benedict
What does it mean to remain anchored in the depths of one's heart in the midst of chaos and cultural change? The ancient tradition of the Anchorite can teach us so much about how to thrive in the midst of disease, disaster and upheaval.
The great monastic tradition of the West began in the deserts of Egypt in the 4th century and spread to the remote mountains of France and the British Isles. In the Middle Ages, these places were islands of creativity where art, music, science and literature all flourished. In these secluded places , a rhythm of life emerged that nourished a spirit of contemplation and illumination-- and even joy.
Amongst the women who are most known to us from Medieval history, two stand out as beacons of resilience. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-11 79) was enclosed in a monastery at the age of 8. In her extraordinary long life, she was composer, artist, theologian, botanist, natural healer, spiritual director, abbess, and counselor to politicians and religious figures alike.
In the 14th century, Julian of Norwich lived a full life as a wife and mother in England before her family was destroyed in the Black Plague. Surviving a near death experience, she elected to become a voluntary anchorite, and remained enclosed inside two tiny rooms attached to a local church where she "prayed without ceasing" for the welfare of the world for the rest of her life. Despite her bleak background and enduring confinement, Julian went one to write the first work in the English language penned by a woman. Her Revelations of Divine Love is a magnificent guide to finding serenity and peace in the midst of darkness and suffering and ends, astonishingly, with the utter conviction that "All shall be well".
In thus eight week creative seminar, we will encounter the Archetype of the Anchorite- a deep spiritual seeker whose time of confinement yields profound wisdom, creativity and contentment. Guided by the lives and words of Hildegard and Julian, we will find a rhythm of our own during this time of enclosure so that we can embrace the transformative spiritual potential of our times and connect more deeply to our hearts.
Each class will begin with ritual and lecture, with suggestions for engaging in Jungian depth psychology processes. The second half of each class consists of sharing our journaling, collage, art making on the Archetype of the Anchorite.
Selected passages from the writings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, HIldegard of Bingen and Julian of Norwich will also inform our gatherings each week and will be sent out for further contemplation.
Week One: The Anchor of the Heart
Altar, Ancestors, Nature and Symbols; How to create Sacred Space
Week Two: The Heart's Flowering and Abundance
Identifying the pathways of consolation and desolation; Veriditas and Ariditas- where we are green and juicy and where we become bitter, dry and hard of heart; Wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers
Week Three: The Song of the Heart
Practices of Music, poetry and chant
Week Four: Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart
An introduction to icons, art meditation and Visio Divina
Week Five: Listening with the Ear of the Heart
Lectio Divina and Holy Listening
Week Six: The Rhythm of the Heart
Finding a daily and seasonal pattern that nourishes the heart and keeps you balanced