Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 18 – Summing Up Symbolism

As psychologist Terrence William Deacon says, humans are a symbolic species. Across communication forms we use symbols to convey complex meanings. At an iconic level, symbols are easy to interpret, however, at an advanced level, they are difficult and cannot be understood without education.  Woodcut illustration from an edition of Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia, 1582 Source:... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 16 – Jung, Freud’s Protege

Freud’s protege, Jung, was a lot more thorough in his research of symbols, their history, and their meaning. At the risk of sounding condescending, I am impressed with how well he understood some symbology, like in the following: The meaning of the “ministering wind” is probably the same as the procreative pneuma, which streams from... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 16 – Child Development

Up until this point, religious institutions had dominated education, with the exception of Germany which mandated some form of state education be provided to boys from the late sixteenth century. In other places around Europe and Australia, state run education was introduced in a piecemeal fashion throughout the 1800s, albeit, initially boys were expected to... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 15 -Industry Revolution and Female Artists

The industrial revolution brought new challenges to humans. As machines gradually replaced the work once done by village artisans and commercial agricultural methods reduced the need for small farm crops, both genders became displaced. At the same time, middle class men began objecting to not being able to have a say in political matters. In... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 12 -Renaissance Artists

The third category, people who explored the potential for Aristotle’s truth without giving defiant allegiance, includes people like Durer who studied Ancient Greeks with the desire to apply their theories in practical means. His desire to explore mystical symbolism was quite overt, as already mentioned in reference to Melancholia. His representation of Biblical scenes has... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 8 – Dante Alighieri and the Virgin Mother

Dante Alighieri (1285-1325) is another example of a learned man educated under the influence of Aristotelian based ideas. Specifically, he supported Aristotle’s concepts of some men being superior and therefore having divine right to rule: I am referring to actions, which are regulated by political judgment, and to products, which are shaped by practical skill;... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 6 – Social Considerations

When Constantine legalised Christianity, beliefs pretty much became Romanised. Women were no longer permitted to have leadership roles (like evidence suggests they did in Christianity’s beginnings) and a hierarchical structure like the Roman military emerged., e.g., allegiance to a Pope, Archbishops, Bishops, Deacons, and priests being consolidated; all of these titles were “Father” positions. Amongst... Continue Reading →

Exploring Occult Symbolism From a History and Herstory Perspective of Education: Part 3 – History of Education (Western Version)

A poignant difference between humans and other animals is our capacity to learn, moreover, our species evolves through collective education; when one human makes a discovery or invents something new, all humans are propelled into new territory. For example, somewhere in the distant past, a single person observed that seeds made plants grow and from... Continue Reading →

St Mark’s Lion: What does it mean?

Christianity did not evolve in a vacuum. It emerged from a conglomerate of Jewish, Greek, and other influences that impacted its formation. In this blog I'm going to touch upon theological issues that outside influences had on Christianity’s development, but mostly I'm going to keep focus on some of it's symbolism, namely, St Mark's winged... Continue Reading →

Can you see the turtles?

About three years ago, my son, then 15, and I went to an exhibition opening at a small community center in a suburb on the outskirts of Brisbane. It was a chilly winter night and many of the locals were there in their finest felt hats and colourful scarfs. I had submitted a couple of... Continue Reading →

The Art of Perception: sight and mental health

The process of seeing involves light entering our eyes and influencing the physiological mechanisms for sight in our brains. At the back of our eyes is our “retina” which is largely composed of “cones” and “rods” that interpret visual information. The cones and rods send communication signals via nerve impulses to our visual cortex and... Continue Reading →

Hysteria to PTSD: Freud’s hypnotism still has some people in a trance

Over a hundred years ago Freud created a name for himself with the invention of psychoanalysis. Since then, scientific research has disproven most of his work, especially that which relates to trauma. Nevertheless, many people are still dedicated “believers”. Amongst those still under Freud’s hypnotic influence is Jordan Peterson. The consequences of such means that individuals with PTSD are at risk of not getting the support that they need to recover.

Genograms

Have you ever wondered how your family's history effects you? Have you ever noticed there are patterns of behaviour across generations? Common occupations? Reoccurring themes of tragedy? Have you ever suspected your family's ancestry was affecting you but couldn't quite figure out how or why? Our family of origin determines more than just our genetic... Continue Reading →

Depression, Adolescence, and Education

As part of my masters of mental health studies, I was required to write a newsletter-style report about a mental health issue directed at a specific group of professionals. I chose to write about depression, adolescence, and education for teachers: --------------- It is estimated that, on average, there are at least two students in every... Continue Reading →

Art and Trauma

What is Art Therapy? Art therapy, also sometimes referred to as art psychotherapy, is a counselling approach that incorporates the creating of artwork into the therapeutic process. Creating art provides a means of directly tapping into the subconscious mind and in doing so provides insights and directions for conversations that could be otherwise missed. Art... Continue Reading →

How to Zentangle: Art therapy style

When people first try art therapy there is often some level of self-consciousness. Thoughts and comments along the lines of  “will my drawing be ‘good’ enough?” or “I haven’t been creative since I was a kid!” or “I can’t even draw a straight line!” often come up. Such things often arise as a result of... Continue Reading →

Art Therapy and Neuroscience

Renée Spencer, 2018, Tree of Hearts, pencil on paper - digitally enhanced Art therapy and neuroscience have an intimate connection. There are many facets to this which can be explored, however, as an introduction to the topic this article will be focusing on the creative process. Other connections between art, therapy, the brain, and mental... Continue Reading →

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