Animist Psychology seeks to identify and build on common ground between ritual, psychology, and cultural healing. This course is a good fit for practitioners of ritual arts, mental health professionals and students of psychology, and anyone interested in the intersections of ritual, culture, and psyche. No need for psychological training or prior experience with animist, earth-honoring ritual to join.
Ritual arts and psychology are deeply complementary and historically often one and the same; however, the field of psychology continues to grapple with heavy colonialist legacies, pressure from the larger scientific community to study the human psyche only in reductionist materialist ways, and a disproportionate influence of European-ancestored voices. Too often these biases replicate avoidable harm and the field of psychology misses opportunities to learn from effective approaches to psychological healing found in the world’s wisdom traditions. As a result, spiritual and religious practitioners, people without adequate resources, people wary of being judged harshly, and Black people, Indigenous peoples, and People of Color (BIPOC) too often feel excluded by the field of psychology and miss out on what is truly beneficial about psychotherapy and mental health services.
As a participant you can expect accessible and interactive learning, invitations to reflect at depth on your own journey through guided experiential practices, and an increased ability to identify and speak to important psychological and cultural dynamics in your personal lives and communities of practice. Topics include: colonialism and mental health, ancestral curses, archetypal possession, psychosis and spiritual emergency, belonging in places with major historical trauma, cultivating resilience in partnership with the ancestors and land, and a range of other considerations under the banner of Animist Psychology. Resources included with each lesson favor ancestrally diverse voices both within and outside the psychological establishment, and additional calls each week (times vary for international inclusivity) include options for BIPOC and LGBTQI-only small discussion groups. Finally, the approach to learning is kind and inclusive with lots of space for questions, and peer discussion.