Conference Information

Our 1st Jung Midnight Sun Conference:  Nature, Psyche, and Culture will feature visiting Jungian Analyst Dr. John Todd of Evergreen, Colorado presenting Friday night (June 24, 2016) and Saturday (June 25, 2016).  Joining Dr. Todd on Saturday will be presenters Jungian Analyst Lara Newton, M.A., L.P.C. of Denver, Colorado, Jungian Analyst Holly J. Fincher, Ph.D.of New Hampshire, Dr. Kornelia Grabinska and Dr. Steve Parker of Fairbanks, Alaska.  The information below provides presentation descriptions and biographical information.  Following this information is an outline of the conference schedule, which begins at 6:30pm on June 24, 2016 and concludes on June 26, 2016 at 11:30am.

John Todd, Ph.D., L.P.C., Diplomate Jungian Analyst of Evergreen, Colorado
Presenter website – click here.
The Shadow of the Bat Part I (Friday)
The sun and light in general were extremely important to early peoples. Therefore, it was often connected with the sacred and divine. Given the latter, it’s not surprising that most early humans revered the bat, an animal that can see when there is no light. Not only was the bat held sacred for the essential role they play in our ecosystem as pollinators, seed dispersers, and natural insect control, they were also appreciated for their uniqueness. Bats are the only mammals that posses the ability for sustained flight, they nurse their young, and even share brainwave patterns common with those of primates. And yet, they mostly live underground in caves, sleep upside down, have the ability to see in the dark, and are nocturnal.  Despite their clear benefit to humans and our ecology in general, Western culture has demonized the bat and therefore one is forced to wonder why so much negative shadow material has been projected on the bat. What does the image of the bat hold for the Western psyche? What aspects of ourselves have been deemed demonic that are essential to our own inner ecosystems? 

The Shadow of the Bat Part II (Saturday)
This presentation will be a natural extension of the previous night’s lecture in that it will further explore the role of light in our lives and by extension, the light bringer (the bat).  How does the light bringer (the messenger of the unconscious) attempt to communicate with us? Clinical examples will be used to deepen participants understanding of the great importance of our relationship with the unconscious and how to strengthen it.

Dr. John Todd is a diplomate Jungian analyst based in Evergreen, Colorado who has been in the mental health field for the past 23 years.  A native of Florida, John began his career spending over decade as a children and families counselor for Hospice of the Florida Suncoast before starting private practice. In 2006 he relocated to Evergreen with his wife and two children.

Lara Newton, M.A., L.P.C., Diplomate Jungian Analyst of Denver, Colorado
Presenter website – click here.
Salute to the Sun:  A Look at Jung’s 1943 Seminar on Solar Myths and Opicinus de Canistris
“Just as the sun, by its own motion and in accordance with its own law, climbs from morn till noon, crosses the meridian and goes its downward way towards evening, leaving its radiance behind it, and finally plunges into all enveloping night, so man sets course by immutable laws and, his journey over, sinks into darkness, to rise again in his children and begin the cycle anew.” ~Jung, Symbols of Transformation

Here at the height of the sun’s reign in Alaska, we will explore solar myths with Jung by delving into his 1943 Eranos Seminar on Solar Myths and Opicinus de Canistris, as well as other examinations of the phenomenon of solar mythology that appear in his work throughout his career.  What is the significance of solar mythology, beyond the simplistic view that humans were (through ancient religions that we now call mythology) attempting to explain to themselves the conduct of the natural world?  What do these myths tell us about our own psyche?  Come explore and discuss the psychological phenomenon of the sun with me.

Lara Newton, M.A./L.P.C. is a Senior Jungian Analyst in private practice in Denver, Colorado.  She has been studying Jungian psychology for forty-two years and continues to find Jung a superlative teacher.  Lara is Director of Training for the C.G. Jung Institute of Colorado and president of the C.G. Jung Society of Colorado.

Holly J. Fincher, Ph.D., Diplomate Jungian Analyst/clinical psychologist of New Hampshire
The Alchemy of Sheepherding
Of course sheepherding is not, in itself, alchemical.  Rather, it is an exercise of managing and manipulating instincts through an interplay between sheep, dog and handler.  In truth, however, any activity one undertakes can be the containing catalyst for symbolic alchemical process, so long as the right conscious attitude is achieved within the lived experience.  In a lighthearted mood, this presentation will explore the basics of sheepherding and share some of the personal experiences the presenter has encountered with her own sheepdog and sheepherding activities.  Then, through the reflective lens of this material, we will explore the deep meaning of symbolic alchemy and Jung’s theory of individuation as it is revealed to us through careful consideration of the examples at hand. Sorry, no sheep or sheepdogs will be present.  Instead, they will guide us through our understanding and time together in spirit!

Holly J. Fincher, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist in private practice.  Her life and work are committed to the understanding of C. G. Jung’s psychology in context with the reality of the objective psyche, and this approach is reflected in her activities as an analyst, teacher and writer.  A California native, Holly currently resides near her ancestral roots in rural New Hampshire where, in balance with her ongoing research and practice, a growing flock of sheep and a border collie named Maat keep her grounded and busy with some of life’s additional realities.

Kornelia Grabinska, Ph.D., Jungian psychologist of Fairbanks, Alaska
The Spirits of the Land, Sea, and Sky as illustrated by Inuit folktales.  The Inuit lived in intimate relationship with the land, sea and sky.  They were part of that environment and not separate from it.  This close relationship is represented in the folktales.   According to the tales deities such as Sila, the weather deity, or Sedna, the Sea Mother, or the Moon Man, the sky deity, would interact with humans and respond to humans in benevolent or destructive ways.  In the folktales, animals transform into a human form and live with humans, some humans possess the knowledge of transforming into animal form.

The land itself had many spirits everywhere. Some places, the tales say, were to be avoided because of the malevolent spirits living there.  These spirits were dangerous, they wanted to take possession of a human, they wanted to be alive again.

These beliefs are present in the lives of people today in much deferent form.  Looking at contemporary Inuit art we can see the themes of the ancient myths and witness the aliveness of the spirits.  In this presentation, several important folktales will be shared with participants.  Examples of Inuit art will be presented to illustrate the above themes.

Kornelia Grabinska, Ph.D. is a Jungian psychologist and diploma candidate at the Centre for Depth Psychology – According to C.G. Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz in Switzerland.  She has facilitated workshops on Jungian topics for over twenty-five years as well as presenting on topics such as Archetype of the Wilderness, Myths of the North, and Inuit Folk Tales.  In addition, she is a founding member of the C.G. Jung Society of Northern Alaska and continues to serve on the board.

Steve Parker, Ph.D., Jungian psychologist of Fairbanks, Alaska
Philosopher’s Stones
Jung wrote in Man and his Symbols, The stone symbolized something permanent that can never be lost or dissolved, something eternal that some have compared to the mystical experience of God within one’s own soul.”

In this talk, Steve Parker will present material related to stones — the symbolism of stones, Jung’s work at Bollingen, the alchemical background to the Philospher’s Stone, and Parker’s own work in building a Stone Sanctuary after a severe heart attack.

A visit to the Stone Sanctuary in Fairbanks will be part of the talk.

Dr. Parker is a Jungian psychologist and stone mason in Fairbanks, Alaska.  He is the author of the book Heart Attack and Soul, a story of spiritual transformation after a severe heart attack. He facilitates a large and active community discussion group on Facebook discussing the work of C.G. Jung and his ideas.  In addition, he manages the web site, Jung Currents, devoted to the work of C.G. Jung.


Conference schedule

June 24, 2016 at The Folk School
6:30-7:15pm – Registration/Social/Welcome

7:30-9:00pm – Feature Presentation – John Todd, Ph.D., L.P.C., Diplomate Jungian Analyst of Evergreen, Colorad0


June 25, 2016 at The Folk School
8:30-9:0oam – Registration
9:00-9:15am – Welcome
9:15-10:45am – John Todd, Ph.D., L.P.C. – Shadow of the Bat Pt. II
11:00-12:30pm – Lara Newton, M.A., L.P.C. – Salute to the Sun
12:45-1:50pm – Lunch – on-site; catered
2:00-3:30pm – Holly Fincher, Ph.D. – The Alchemy of Shepherding
3:45-5:15 – Kornelia Grabinska, Ph.D. – The Spirits of the Land, Sea, and Sky
5:15-5:30 – Closing

June 26, 2016 – Stone Sanctuary – 1030 Meadow Mouse Road
9:45-10:30am – Continental breakfast/light snacks
10:30-11:30am –  Steve Parker, Ph.D. – Philosopher’s Stones
11:30-12pm – Closing/End of conference

Attending from another city within Alaska or out-of-state?  Please visit our General Information section to learn about discounted rates available from our conference hotel and rental car company.