Dance as Self-inquiry: Body as spirituality

We live in times of a profound disconnection with Body. This is not a new phenomenon, it began centuries ago with the patriarchal valuing of mind, rationality and linearity as the lenses to approach Reality. Today we are living its aftermath, where Body has been conquered by mental paradigms even in most “embodied” knowledge.

In ancient traditions across the world, the dancer-shaman-seer-priest was the wisdomkeeper. They manifested divinatory wisdom through ritual body-led expressions. In these traditions, the dancer is Deity, dance is Reality and dance is Inquiry. A dance inquiry is located in the terrain of Body as its “site” or “field of manifestation”. The emergent revelation is the guidance we receive to navigate Reality, beginning with our own intimate terrain of Body.

In this presentation Padma will offer her experience of travelling into the caverns of dance, ritual, archetypes and philosophy over four decades. Her inquiry has been a commitment to supporting mystery as a radical intelligence that can position us in our rightful place within Nature through re-experiencing Body as sacred Consciousness.

About Padma Menon
Padma Menon is a dancer, philosopher and writer, who offers dance as a contemplative or spiritual practice. She helps those seeking to reclaim their sacred selves by generously sharing her lifetime’s knowledge in sacred dance, philosophy and ritual—so that they can experience unconditional freedom, taste their true essence, and move in this world in a sacred way.

Padma has a unique approach to dance, rooted in ancient philosophy and practice, but locating it in the reality of our bodies and consciousness in these times. As a choreographer-dancer-teacher with over forty years of international experience, Padma brings a deep intelligence about the nature of dance itself, and its lens on reality as a language that is body-led (rather than embodied).

Padma hails from a matrilineal family of writers, activists and philosophers. She was a child prodigy and began her dance career at the age of nine in India. She was a leading dancer in the Kuchipudi style of dance, which is an ancient temple dance tradition. When she moved to Australia in the 90’s, she developed one of the first professional non-western dance companies that had a national and international performance profile. Padma then moved to the Netherlands and created significant contemporary works which eschewed colonial interpretations of contemporary aesthetics for a radical aesthetic that was sourced from the depths of Indian practice. Padma also developed a centre for dance in India which helped women to live their full and sacred presence in their lives.

In addition to traditional Indian dance, Padma studied contemporary dance, Indian philosophy, yoga and martial arts. During a period away from dance, Padma led not for profit organisations advocating for cultural diversity issues. She has a Masters in Choreography from Codarts Academy in the Netherlands and a postgraduate degree in English Literature from the Australian National University.

Currently Padma offers her teaching and programs online and internationally through Moving Archetypes which she founded.

Shadow Theatre

An authentic life implies a deep work of reflection on oneself, but in order to find oneself it is necessary to face one’s inner darkness. The documentary Shadow Theatre presents reflections on society and the individual through the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung.

The film was made with the support of the Jungian Institutes of Brazil (members of the IAAP) and Portugal. One
of the Brazilian producers Lucas Costanzi, brought this film to the attention of the Society in 2022 and it is with great pleasure and interest that we are showing it in February as the first event of the year.

Summons of the Soul

A film event.

World renowned Jungian psychoanalyst, James Hollis, explores what it means to escape the orbit of one’s background and cultural conditioning in order to express one’s own uniqueness. In this long interview about the true nature of personal growth and change James shares some of the transformational experiences and milestones from his own life. He is the author of 16 books that cover the whole range of human existence from relationships, to mid-life crises, spirituality and personal growth.

Regenerating love stories

Canberra analyst, composer and singer Glenda Cloughley will lead us through some of the inspiring encounters with regeneration mythology and Jungian psychology that help sustain the remarkable public life of A Chorus of Women. Glenda will be joined by Chorus musicians Johanna McBride and Meg Rigby. The program will be structured around presentations that include stories, songs and videos of the Chorus in action.

The Chorus story begins in 2003 as the Howard Government joins the catastrophic US-led invasion of Iraq against the wishes of 75% of Australians. On the day of the announcement, some 150 local Canberra women quietly enter Parliament House, then sing a lament for the people of Iraq. Their love song becomes an international media event.

At the time of initiating the Lament, Glenda is deep in research for a PhD entitled The Axiom of Becoming. Tracing the cyclical rhythms of regeneration mythology, she links women’s laments for the dead with life’s renewal. The pattern is common to the story of Jesus, older myths from Iraq, Egypt and Greece, and the symbolic images indigenous European artists produced for tens of millennia (until patriarchal warring peoples began colonising Europe about 6500 years ago). Suddenly, a group of compassionate Canberra women are inside the ancient pattern!

Glenda, Johanna and Meg will take us behind the decision to keep singing and writing music into the 20-year stream of regenerating love stories that run through A Chorus of Women’s engagements in global and local matters of our troubled world.

You can come for the stories and songs. Glenda also hopes to help us access our own wellsprings for creative action. To this end, she will offer ways to open the dynamic patterns of the stories so they can be related to diverse communities and individual lives. Words from her song The Crossroads will help orient us.

Dr Glenda Cloughley is a Jungian analyst in private practice. She also loves to sing, tell renewing stories, and compose songs and choral dramas for A Chorus of Women that apply her research in the dynamic ecological structures of social wellbeing and enculturated trauma. Aiming to move people to action, her much-performed works voice Glenda’s trust that regeneration mythology is strong enough to help restore harmony – including with the Earth’s complex systems. Singing in the Chorus trio with gloriously musical choral conductor-pianist Johanna McBride (who directs Chorus music) and guitarist-drummer Meg Rigby (who assists Johanna) is among her life’s chief delights.

An evening of soul food and drinks music and celebration – 40th Anniversary of the QLD Jung Society

Pay more if you wish or less if you need – just come along.

Booking is necessary for catering; please email

You’re Invited!… to an Evening of soul food and drinks music and celebration the 40th Anniversary of the QLD Jung Society everyone is welcome – members, friends and family – come along to mark the cusp of decades, celebrate where we’ve been, where we are now and what might become – the door is open and the fire lit (with plenty of food options) featuring A Chorus of Women Trio and more surprises.

Understanding the I Ching or Book of Changes

It has been suggested that C. G. Jung’s single most famous work could well be his 1949 foreword to the Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching.1 Jung first came into contact with Wilhelm in the 1920s, and was profoundly impressed by his understanding of the subtleties of the Book of Changes. Indeed, it is more than likely that his theory of synchronicity was directly inspired by Wilhelm. According to Jung:

Anyone who, like myself, has had the rare good fortune to experience in a spiritual exchange with Wilhelm the divinatory power of the I Ching, cannot for long remain ignorant of the fact that we have touched here an Archimedean point from which our Western attitude of mind could be shaken to its foundations.2

In this workshop we will examine the history and structure of the I Ching, and also compare its oracular method with other forms of divination. The session will start with a presentation on the I Ching itself, as well as the part played by Wilhelm and Jung in regard to its reception in the West over the last century. Although the I Ching is not simply an oracle, that is how it most often viewed. An important part of the workshop, therefore, will be a particular focus on how best to consult the Book of Changes.

If you have a copy of the I Ching, in particular the Wilhelm translation, please bring it along, as well as three coins of the same denomination. The ideal size is around the ten cent coin – the twenty being a bit big and the five a bit small. There’s no need to bring Chinese coins with holes in them, though if you have a set, do bring it along!

Karcher, S. (1999). Jung, the Tao, and the Classic of Change, Journal of
Religion and Health, 38 (4), 287- 304, p. 296.
Wilhelm, R. & Jung, C. G. (1972). The secret of the golden flower: A Chinese
book of life. (R. Wilhelm & C. F. Baynes, Trans.). Routledge, p. 140.

Laurence Browne has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Queensland, where he is an Honorary Research Fellow within the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. He is the author of The Many Faces of Coincidence, published in 2017 by Imprint Academic, Exeter, U.K, as well as a number of journal articles, most recently: Coincidence in Chinese Fiction and Chinese-inspired Fiction, published in June 2022 in The Australian Journal of Parapsychology.

Jung and the body

Throughout the history of Western thought, the body was often viewed with suspicion, as an impediment from true knowledge. From Plato to Christianity and then Descartes; we still witness the psyche-soma dissociation in biomedical models that rule today’s notion of health and illness processes. The human gesture is charged with psychic energy, however often neglected or downplayed in the clinical setting.

As Jung wrote: “We cannot rid ourselves of the doubt that perhaps this whole separation of mind and body may finally prove to be merely a device of reason for the purpose of conscious discrimination – an intellectually necessary separation of one and the same fact into two aspects, to which we then illegitimately attribute an independent existence. (Jung, 1972: 619)”

Isn’t the body (gestures) a manifestation of our persona/archetype and a way we relate to the world? Should not the physical symptom also be considered as an important symbol to be integrated, and not solely suppressed, as an expression of new possibilities and possibly more meaning in the patient’s life? Is it possible to ignore the role of the body in the transference and counter- transference dynamics within the clinical setting?

In this presentation, Flávio De Grandis proposes to investigate such ideas and present some clinical cases to illustrate the importance of the body in Jungian psychotherapy practice.

Brazilian born Flávio De Grandis is a physiotherapist with a Masters degree in Science, and a Jungian psychotherapist, completing a degree in Philosophy at Deakin University and currently training with ANZSJA (Australian & New Zealand Society for Jungian Analysts).

The Other Goddess

Carl Jung, writing on the archetypes of the collective unconscious, reflected on a myth as a ‘specific stamp of an unconscious content and thus can reveal the nature of the soul’. In my talk, ‘The Other Goddess, Recovering the Archetype of the Goddess Lost: Ninmah, Inanna, Isis and Mary Magdalene’, I will discuss the lineage of goddesses that now reveal themselves to us again as the balancing act of the dance of the feminine (‘anima’) and the masculine (‘animus’), as well as sexuality and spirituality.

In my research on Mary Magdalene, I found many unusual links to feminine divinities of the past and have reached the conclusion that Mary Magdalene has become a focal point for the lost archetype of the Other Goddess in her conspicuous absence in our lives.

The stories of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, the Serpent and the Resurrection of the young king in the presence of the Goddess were previously recounted in Ancient Sumer, Babylon and Egypt with Inanna, Isis and Mary Magdalene at the centre of the archetypical story of the importance of the Other Goddess.

About the presenter
Dr. Joanna Kujawa is the author of The Other Goddess: Mary Magdalene and the Goddesses of Eros and Secret Knowledge (April 2022), many short stories (Best Australian Stories 2004 and 2005), essays and an academic volume on spiritual travel. She sees herself as a Spiritual Detective who asks difficult questions about spirituality, such as ‘Can spirituality and sexuality be experienced as one?’, ‘Who was the real Mary Magdalene?’ and ‘How can we bring back the Divine Feminine to create a more balanced and interconnected world?’ She has PhD from Monash University, and MA and BA from the University of Toronto. You can connect with her via her book – https://, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube,

Psychology and Spirituality in Young People

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young Australians aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing, these figures continue to rise. The solution? Jung would propose a return to ancient wisdom. That is, the use of ancestral knowledge traditions that highlight the importance of connections to Self, Spirit and Nature. How can this be achieved? In therapy, mythos can be used to reframe logos—mythological stories and creative imagery can help young people to make meaning from their suffering like Sisyphus, or learn the importance of balance like Icarus. Archetypal symbols can also help youth feel connected to something greater than themselves, and their immediate problem or issue.

Spirituality means different things to different people. For Jung, it is about religious and non-religious experiences that help an individual connect with their spiritual selves through quiet reflection: time in nature, private prayer, yoga, mindfulness and meditation, music, dance or art. Jung was against dogma in all its forms. Yet he understood that spirituality is essential for individuation. In young people’s increasingly fast-paced, mediated and technologically advanced world, it is vital.

This seminar is about the practical application of Jungian psychology and psychotherapy to improve the lives of young people. In particular, how Dr Gordillo uses Story Image Therapy (SIT for short) in daily practice to facilitate young people’s spiritual, emotional and psychological growth.

Emerging research shows that spiritually integrated approaches to treatment can be effective. Moreover, there are scientifically-supported reasons to be sensitive to spiritual practice in clinical work and counselling. Unlike other life dimensions, spirituality has a unique focus on the sacred—themes of transcendence, individuation, meaning-making and connectedness. Any psychology that overlooks these, according to Toula, remains incomplete. Asking young people about their spiritual views can open the door to deeper conversations. And it is through this dialogue with the personal and collective unconscious that young people can transcend their suffering, like the phoenix rising from ash, to attain their highest potential.

About the presenter:
Dr Toula Gordillo is a practicing Clinical psychologist and Jungian psychotherapist in busy medical centres on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. She is also a former school teacher, guidance officer intensive behaviour support and acting head of student services in some of Queensland’s largest state high schools. As an international guest speaker, Toula has engaged school staff, students and parents in learning the importance of ancient stories and images for health and wellness at Wakatipu State College, New Zealand and Cambridge College, India.

Dr Gordillo is a published author of numerous academic and non-academic journals, magazines and books including: Youth Voice Journal, Viewpoint, The Artifice, Immanence – Journal of Applied Myth, Story and Folklore and Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She has been a guest speaker for the Sunshine Coast’s Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and has presented at seminars and conferences including: the Narrative, Health and Wellbeing Research Conference presented by Central Queensland University, Children’s Media Symposium hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast and the International Mental Health Conference presented by the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association.

Toula is a member of the CG Jung Society of Queensland, the International Depth Psychology Alliance, the Australian Society of Authors, The Queensland Writer’s Centre and the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (ACATLGN). Dr Toula Gordillo Dr Gordillo is the author and creator of Story Image Therapy (SIT)®, Talk to Teens and The Mythic Toolbox.

A Big-Enough Land: identity, and Self without borders

Misidentification is one of the most persistent and insidious causes of suffering and mayhem. Although developmentally we need to establish a solid and boundaried sense of ego-self and to feel a sense of belonging in our own culture (natal, or chosen later on), this means we will find our selves living on a land of borders, peopled with the acceptable; a place of exclusive invitation, guarded against potential invasion from ‘the other’ and from the unconscious. Every time we feel, “I am this, and not that,” we tend to polarise and contract.

Yet safety is a core psychological need at all ages, especially when we have suffered abuse, criticism and rejection, abandonment or trauma. So, how to negotiate a less contracted landscape in our psyche; one where we can feel safe to explore, to wander, to include and celebrate, rather than feel compelled to silence or reject our own opposites and the opposites in others. And who are we beyond the opposites?

Kris sees this negotiation as a practical activity – potentially worth pursuing because it can directly enhance our sense of freedom, well-being, wholeness and connection – but not as a moral activity of shoulds, goodness or forgiveness. This is a should-free land; this land is your land!

The tension of opposites is as ancient as light and dark, star dust and gravity; it fills Greek mythology, Vedanta, Christianity, and the ‘I, it and Thou’ of Martin Buber. It is as all-pervading and stubborn as a hundred daily annoyances; it is both stealthy and alluring.

In this presentation Kris will use Jung’s concepts of individuation, the transcendent function and projection as the basis for applying the processes of the Psychology of Selves and Voice Dialogue to this intriguing issue of identity and identification in our relationship with ourselves and with others.

About the presenter:
Kris Hines is a counsellor and facilitator in private practice on the Sunshine Coast. She has a Diploma of Counselling, a Diploma of Teaching and an M.A. in Education. She draws on an extensive experiential background in Jungian psychology through analysis, professional development, and archetypal mythology and dream work. She has presented professional development trainings for the ACA and QCA, and workshops on themes of Jung, voice dialogue, bonding patterns in relationship, myth, conflict resolution, voice, and life journey and self esteem for children and adults. Her work has also been in prisons, in Sydney and New York, and in a spiritual community in India. She is trained in Voice Dialogue facilitation and often uses its concepts in individual and couple work as a powerful way to bring unconscious patterns into the light for conscious integration. She is eternally thankful to Carl Jung for his concept of wholeness and the healing richness it brings, and for his de-pathologising of the human condition.