James Hillman: Elder of the Men’s Movement

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James Hillman: Elder of the Men’s Movement

A presentation by Marie Makinson

Thursday, April 4, 2013 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: The Quaker House, 10 Hampson St, Kelvin Grove
Admission: Members & Concession: $10 • Non-members: $15


Post-Jungian James Hillman who died in 2011 remains one of the most original and influential voices in American depth psychology. Embodying the opposites, he is at once the cranky intellectual Senex and the soaring brilliant Puer. As a development and divergence from Jung’s work he founded ‘Archetypal Psychology’ and along with Robert Bly, Michael Meade and others gave voice to the Mytho-Poetic Men’s Movement the aim of which was restoration of soul on both an individual and collective level. The movement was a visceral response to the effects of Feminism on the male psyche. It was concerned with: shadow, wildness, shame, violence, dispossession, the relationship between fathers and sons and ‘getting free of mother.’ The movement was energised by highly creative events: theatre, music, storytelling and poetry. Hillman, Bly and Meade co-edited a poetry anthology called “The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart.”

Jackie Leven was a cult figure in the 80’s UK post Punk scene. His life had degenerated into drug filled madness when he met Hillman and Bly in the US and came under their influence. Their work spoke directly to his soul and influenced a prodigious creative output that lasted till his death less than three weeks after Hillman. When Leven returned to the UK in 1994 he established an alternative treatment centre for addiction called ‘The Core Trust’ and made his first solo album.

Within a spiritual vessel that holds the height and depth of human experience, this work describes Leven’s descent into the underworld of drugs and violence and the redemptive journey: the loss and regaining of soul. Leven’s rich melodious voice is supported by impressive instrumentals and the distinctive voice of Robert Bly, reciting works of poetry.

This talk will introduce Hillman the man and his ideas. After an overview there will be a deeper consideration of the major themes that he brought to the Men’s Movement. The vehicle for this will be poetry and Leven’s music, presenting the possibility to move deeply into the felt experience and complexity of the themes as well as being a starting point for discussion.

Marie Makinson is the vice president of The C G Jung Society of Queensland. She trained at the Guild of Analytical Psychology in London returning to Australia to practice in 2004. Marie lives and works in Northern NSW as well as practicing Jungian psychotherapy and sandplay therapy in Brisbane. She been deeply influenced by Hillman’s work since encountering it in the mid 90’s. Marie says: “Hillman’s work was like a golden thread reconnecting me with the terror and beauty of ancient deities remembered dimly in the deepest recesses of my being. A great iconoclast and magical wordsmith, his divine and diamonic vision returned soul more deeply to my world.