Tending the Tree — Workshop
A presentation by Dr Suzanne Cremen
Saturday, May 1, 2021 9.30am - 3.30pm
Venue: St Mary’s Anglican Church Hall
455 Main St. Kangaroo Point, QLD 4169
Admission: Members & Concession: $90 • Non-members: $110
Participants are asked to bring a journal for reflection and their own lunch (Covid Food Handling requirements makes this the easiest option for us). Coffee tea and biscuits will be provided in accordance with current requirements.
"Sometimes a tree tells you more than can be read in books."
— C.G. Jung
Please join us for this nourishing and stimulating workshop exploring the Tree as an archetypal image of renewal and transformation.
The Tree is one of humankind’s most universal symbols, of growth, renewal and transformation. In an important essay Jung explained how the process of psychological development which he called individuation was designated ‘The Philosophical Tree’, a poetic comparison that draws an analogy between the natural growth of the psyche and that of a plant. “If a mandala may be described as a symbol of the Self in cross-section, then the tree would represent a profile view of it: the Self depicted as a process of growth,” observed Jung. The philosopher’s tree or tree of wisdom was to be sought inside: for a transformation of consciousness to take place, one had to seek and know this inner tree. Jung also observed that the tree also holds particular resonance for women as a symbol of the Self.
In this workshop we will delve into the Tree as a symbol of the sacred and a guiding archetype for our times. We will consider the tree’s appearance in Jung’s writing and practice, and in religious traditions, aboriginal lore, myth, ritual, legend, alchemy, shamanic initiation, sacred literature, art and poetry, as well as in the dreams and visions of ancient and contemporary seekers and seers. We will engage with this material through reflection, conversation, meditation, shared stories and experience, and creative / imaginal practice.
Following the centenary of the end of World War I, we will consider the Australian tradition of planting memorial Avenues of Honour, where the living symbol of the tree mediated a collective rite of passage for a nation undergoing a transition of identity, or “living between myths”. The implications of this simple, eloquent and ecological ritual of arboreal remembrance resound today, demonstrating how this archetypal symbol of resilience and rebirth continues to speak to individuals and communities across faiths and cultures.
Dr Suzanne Cremen is founder of the Life Artistry Centre in Melbourne, where she develops and teaches graduate level courses on applications of depth psychology. An experienced scholar-practitioner with an extensive occupational background, Suzanne’s degrees include two Masters degrees (in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, and in Engaged Humanities with an emphasis in Mythology) from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara (USA), where she serves as the only Australian-based faculty member. With a background in law, Suzanne is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. A past President and life member of the Queensland Jung Society, she has presented plenary sessions and chaired symposia on the applications of archetypal psychology at major international conferences, including in New York and Québec. Dr Cremen’s research is published in international peer-reviewed scholarly journals. She is the author of From Career to Calling: A depth psychology guide to soul-making work in darkening times (Routledge 2020), which was a finalist in the Australian Career Book Awards. She has always loved and been deeply nurtured by the company of trees.
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