Jungianthology Blog

In Memoriam: Shirley M. Fontenot

Shirley M. Fontenot was born on May 25, 1935, to Curtis and Marie (Ortego) Fontenot in Villa Platte, Louisiana. She was one of the youngest of six children. She lived in University City, MO, with her long-term partner, Rose.  Shirley was a “small” extraordinary woman. She became a Catholic nun, entering the convent immediately after high school.  She taught first grade for 16 years and often said her finest education came by way of the many children who passed through her classroom. During her time in the convent, she also earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.  

Shirley left the order after 26 years and moved from Louisiana “Cajun Country” to Chicago to pursue her interest in Jungian Psychology.  During the next 20 years, she completed master’s degrees in both Pastoral Studies and Divinity, as well as a doctorate in ministry, and worked as a psychotherapist. In 1993 she earned a diploma as a Jungian Analyst and enjoyed this profession for nearly 30 years. She was engaged in some form of formal education for one-third of her life. She semi-retired at age 87.

In 1996 she met and fell in love with Rose Holt, who was studying Jungian Psychology in Chicago. Shirley enjoyed a rich and fulfilling life with Rose. They moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. The two of them would enjoy hours of deep conversations about theology, psychology, family, and all facets of life, often during a shared meal at dinner time. Her favorite place to visit was Sedona, Arizona, where she and Rose enjoyed vacationing many times. In her later years, traveling became more difficult for Shirley but she and Rose spent many hours enjoying each other’s company and playing card games, Scrabble and most recently, Rummikub. She was a quiet contender.

Shirley also loved her annual family reunions. Coming from a family of 5 siblings, Shirley had many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and great grandnieces and great grandnephews, all of whom adored her and whom she adored. They would often come to St. Louis to visit, and Shirley always looked forward to their visits. She never forgot where she came from and remained humble and kind her entire life.

Shirley was a collector of items of a religious nature, especially angels. She was an avid reader of fiction and focused on historical fiction. The Harry Potter books were her favorites, and she led many adult seminars weaving Potter and Jungian themes. In some mystical way she was able to bring together all she had learned from first graders, all she had gleaned from decades sitting in classrooms, and all that her clients taught her into a wisdom that many recognized and drew from.

Shirley passed away at the age of 88 on March 6, 2024, at Missouri Baptist Medical Center and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her sister, Rosie (Tee) Eichler, her partner Rose Holt, along with many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Anne Bordelon, Estelle Hoskinson and Loretta Landry and her brother, Frank Fontenot.

A Celebration of Shirley Fontenot’s Life will be held Saturday April 6 at 11:00am at First Congregational Church, Wydown Street, Saint Louis, Mo.

Photo gallery and other links at osfuneralhomes.com

Call for Proposals | Fall 2024 Online & In-Person Programs

The C. G. Jung Institute Chicago welcomes proposals for programs of interest to the general public that explore Jungian thought, including the emotional and psychological issues of contemporary living, from a creative, symbolic, or spiritual perspective. Using the online form you can propose an event, lecture, or workshop to offer in person or virtually. All proposals will be considered for fall 2024. The submission deadline is April 30, 2024.

The C. G. Jung Club of Orange County | Unique Messages from the Self: Hexagrams from the I Ching Appearing in Dreams with Dennis Merritt (Video)

Dennis Merritt, Jungian analyst and member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, presents on hexagrams from the I Ching, a Chinese book of wisdom, that demonstrated synchronicity by the way they appeared in the dreams of a Western man in Jungian analysis. Discussion topics included using the I Ching in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy; a synchronicity experiment with the I Ching; shamanism, Native American spirituality and the origins of the I Ching; the archetype of the Trickster in conjunction with AI and Donald Trump; Pachamama, Earth spirituality and indigenous cultures; and Christianity contrasted with Chinese wisdom, Taoism and the yin/yang symbol.

The 3-hour event was sponsored by the C. G. Jung Club of Orange County [CA] on January 21, 2023.  Please consider joining or donating to this organization that makes the presentations freely available.

Book Release | Monsters in Life and Literature by Peter Demuth

Before becoming a Jungian analyst, Dr. Peter Demuth spent decades as a Forensic Psychologist, studying, evaluating, and treating violent criminals.  In this book, he brings his forensic experience and Jungian depth training to the analysis of famous literary monsters.

In Monsters in Life and Literature Dr. Demuth takes the reader on a journey into the world of the forensic psychologist, tasked with understanding the most extreme forms of what is usually referred to as the human capacity for evil. Demuth joins his long experience with the inhabitants of this world with his training as a Jungian psychoanalyst to cast light in the darkness through his theoretical reflections and his detailed examination of monsters found in myth and literature. The book is essential reading for anyone concerned with understanding these regions of darkness in the human condition.

—George Hogenson, Ph.D.
Senior Training Analyst at the C G Jung Institute of Chicago and the author of Jung’s Struggle with Freud—A Metabiological Study (2013)

Thomas Moore | A Therapeutic Way of Life (Video)

Thank you to the Jung Association of Western Massachusetts for sharing this video.

From the video description:

Let’s deepen and broaden the idea of “therapy.” Originally the word meant “to nurse, serve or care for.” We are all sometimes called to be a “therapist” for our friends, co-workers and family members. We can all learn from professional psychotherapy lessons in listening, talking and being present to another. Professional therapists might also benefit from a deepening of the concept of therapy. This presentation draws on C. G. Jung’s alchemical descriptions of therapy and transference and on James Hillman’s idea of therapy of the world. It is rooted in Plato’s classic definition of therapy in one of his dialogues. It is for both professional therapists and ordinary people who might want some guidance in speaking “therapeutically” to people they care about.

Links: Thomas Moore on the Jungianthology Podcast & Blog | Thomas Moore in Our Store | Jung Association of Western Mass (westmassjung.org) | JAWM Free Video Archive

In Memoriam: Don Troyer

Don L. Troyer, M.D. died on November 11, 2023 at his home in Three Rivers. He was born on January 13, 1949 to Dana O. Troyer, M.D. and Verna (Burkholder) Troyer in Dhamtari, India, where they were serving as medical missionaries. He grew up in Goshen, Indiana where he graduated from Goshen High School and Goshen College with High Honors. During medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland he married Verna Hostetler on August 27, 1972. After completing a residency in Family Medicine at Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1978, he and Verna moved to Paoli, Indiana to join Comprehensive Health Care, a medical group dedicated to serving one of the most medically underserved counties in southern Indiana.

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Freddie Taborda | The Continuum Between Aluna and its Spirits, Jungian Analysis, and God

“God does not call those who are worthy, but those whom He will.” Therese of Lisieux

The interface between indigenous spiritual life and Christian Mysticism may prove to be a fruitful ground towards addressing some worldwide challenges such as psychological alienation and climate change.

For example, Indigenous Sacred Geography -the idea that Nature is sacred and that Geography is the map that describes where the sacred spirits dwell- could help us see the divine aspect of Nature, in order to address the rampant destruction of the Earth. Also, the Jungian view of the Self -the center and totality of the individual- ,understood as the Divine within, could provide an epistemological and an experiential framework in which a fragment of God dwells in the human heart. There is a Divine Without and a Divine Within -two aspects of God located in Nature and, also, located in us. A continuum of Divinity.

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In Memoriam: James Wyly

Remembrance by Mary Wyly

Jim on his 84th Birthday

James Wyly was born in Kansas City Missouri. His mother came from an old family in St. Joseph, Missouri. His father from a family of Presbyterians in South Carolina. He was educated in public schools. For college he chose Amherst because it was far away and hard. He majored in English and studied organ at Smith Henry Mishkin. His friends included Tom Eighmy and Kelley Edey. His fraternity was Chi Phi I think. He graduated in 1959.

After Amherst he enrolled in the new DMA program at the University of Missouri at Kansas City earning his degree in 1964. From 1961 through 1963 he was supported by the Fulbright Commission for his research and dissertation on historic pipe organs of Spain, living in Madrid, the city he regarded as his real home town. He was prepared to teach organ, harpsichord, music theory, music history. 

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From the President | November 9, 2023

Our times are so full of change and confusion that one can feel like these poor creatures from the Clavis Artis, a mysterious late 17th century alchemical text signed by “Zarathustra.”

In the past few years, more people are finding their ways to Jung’s work and our Institute. Jung taught that by paying attention to dreams and the true imagination, we may discover creative solutions to problems that cannot be solved by will or by science alone. Jung also valued the development of an attitude of tolerance for the unknown and for the Other.

The programs at the Chicago Jung Institute offer opportunities for the personal growth that comes—for example—from the hard work of learning to hold the tension of the opposites and to recognize projections of our own Shadows rather than reacting, blaming, or scapegoating.

Each Fall and Spring we reach out to you to ask you to make a tax-deductible donation to support our programs, which include in-person and online workshops and lectures, podcasts, analytic training, and a two-year in depth study program.

These programs are priceless, yet we depend on your donations to make them possible.

Please give whatever you can!

Dyane Sherwood
President
C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago

Freddie Taborda | Aluna, the Collective Unconscious & God

ENGLISH/SPANISH

“In the Dark Night of the Soul, Bright Flows the River of God” (Juan de La Cruz)

Human beings have been seeking to periodically experience the profound love towards the Divine as well as the intense beauty and ecstasy that comes with it. This union was sought by the poet, Juan de Yepes y Alvarez (better known as Juan de La Cruz – John of the Cross), and this article will focus primarily on understanding some sentences from a mystic poem that he wrote as well as amplifying them with the wisdom of the Kogi Indians.

On a side note, I make the contention that a similar experience is reached by the individual, at some point, at the farthest end of the process of individuation and wholeness, during a Jungian Analysis that is methodologically conducted in the manner delineated by Jung, which was closely followed by his early collaborators (Von Franz, Hannah, Harding, Edinger, etc).

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