Dreaming Animals: Individuation in a Jungian Analysis

Penelope Tarasuk

… the animal is sublime and, in fact, represents the “divine” side of the human psyche. You remember that the purpose of the Dionysian mysteries was to bring people back to the animal…the animal within…which then forms a bridge between (her) self and the original primordial man concealed beneath the historical layers of the past…

Following a series of animal dreams from a profoundly creative woman artist; we move into and through the individuation process of her eight-year analysis through her dying and conscious death.   Here we find psyche’s deep instruction, beauty, and assistance in life’s completion. Epiphany–the direct experience of Deity–came via dreams and in a vision of an animal before her death. I use this series of dreams as I feel that dignity and depth of Jungian Psychoanalysis are illustrated and accessible.

This presentation grew out of my deep interest in nature and appearance of animals in dreams and in the lives of patients over the course of forty years of practice.

What is the meaning and function of animals visiting us in dreams or meeting them by chance? Which animals bring us education, wisdom, humor, terror, beauty, and joy? Can we relate to a creature with interest? Who are we afraid? Do we dream or imagine mythical or other beings? How do we treat animals in dreams and in waking life? What is the relationship between our body and instinctual life? What does this tell us about ourselves, about us as a society and culture? More details.

By following a series of animal dreams from a profoundly creative woman artist, we move into and through the individuation process of her eight-year analysis through her dying and conscious death.   Here we find psyche’s deep instruction, beauty, and assistance in life’s completion. Epiphany–the direct experience of Deity–came via dreams and in a vision of an animal before her death. This series of dreams illustrates and makes accessible the dignity and depth of Jungian Psychoanalysis. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to work with their own animal dream images.  Please bring drawing materials and journals. More details.

Penelope Tarasuk, PhD, the first Jungian Analyst in training at the Jung Institute of Boston, was born in Washington D.C. and has lived primarily in MA. She also lived in Panama, Seoul, South Korea, and Santa Fe, NM.

Artist since childhood, she attended Philadelphia Museum College of Art, combining art with psychology in undergraduate and graduate school at UMD, including advanced study Family Systems Therapy. Working on the front lines of human services and community mental health, she began Jungian studies in 1975 receiving her Diploma in Jungian Analytic psychology 1988 and completing a Ph.D. in 2002. Her sons were born while she was in Jungian training; one is a physician at UWA Hospital, Seattle and the other a computer scientist in Silicon Valley.

Penelope brings 40 years of experience in psychology to individuals, families, groups, and communities through her work: in-patient treatment, residential facilities, schools, and community mental health centers. Her workshops and lectures in the United States and abroad focus upon dreaming, active imagination, nature, art, and breath work. Deepest interests: accessing the heart of creativity through dreams, images and symbols, art & writing, and being in nature. She is devoted to supporting development of spiritual life and has a deep practice in Tibetan Buddhism since 1974.

Former member of the Training Board of the C.G. Jung Institute-Boston, she is currently a senior training analyst, supervisor, and faculty member. POLISHING THE BONES, London, Musewell Hill Press, 2017 is about a woman artist’s analysis & individuation through dreams, nature, love. Penelope was present throughout her dying & death.