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Illustration: Ilze Avotina

Latvian Cultural Trauma, Abandonment Complex and Healing Paths

An article written following the  conference: "Cultural Trauma and Healing. Interdisciplinary Vision". Riga, Latvia,  20-21 Sep 2019

Cultural trauma and cultural complexes—unconscious emotionally charged reactions exhibited by groups of people sharing a common culture —cannot be fully apprehended without understanding that they stem from (1) the past and present realities of the world the experiencers inhabit, (2) the inner somatic states of the individuals, and (3) the meaning assigned to these inner and outer realities. Thus, a true grasp of Latvian cultural traumas, the physical and emotional afflictions of the Latvian people, their abandonment complex, and potential paths of healing call for a transdisciplinary approach of exploration.

Read the full text.


Illustration: Ilze Avotina

Chaos Theory, Archetypes, and a New Feminine

Full talk at the  conference: "Chaos and Interdisciplinarity". Asheville, North Carolina,  26-29 June 2019

I am concerned about our notions of the feminine.  Therefor I talk about archetypes, archetypal images of Anima and Animus. Whether they serve us well today. 

I make use of the insights of the Chaos Theory because Chaos theory is one of the most recent and, seems to me, one of the most promising theories about the natural world that we humans belong to and, thus, we must make use of it. Read the transcript of the talk.

See the video recordings of the talk:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Illustration: Ilze Avotina

My talk is about a saboteur in the Latvian pscyhe and identity, historical trauma, and a potential transformation. 

I talk about trauma, but I emphasize transformation.

Yes, we do need to go deep into the messy and the dark to understand our “as is” state. And we also need to see through it with a psychological attitude for our "to be" states.


I am rather convinced that it is time for us to: Actively Imagine potential transformations for groups, and to foster breaks in outlived symmetries—outlived states of being.  

Read the transcript of the talk.

Shadow, Group Trauma, and Cultural Complexes

Full interview (November, 2016)

Our traumas and the Shadow contents of the psyche--the parts of ourselves we tend to hide--show up in our encounters with the mythical world in dreams and visions. Mythological legends that tell about the meetings with the extra-human entities communicate traumatic experiences of groups of people or entire cultures. 

Read more on Pacifica Post or listen to the interview.

Illustration: Ilze Avotina

Illustration: Ilze Avotina

The shadow in Latvian mythological legends: A Jungian perspective

Full dissertation (June 19, 2015)

This study with a depth psychological perspective explores Latvian traditional mythological legends. It interprets the supernatural beings of the stories as images of the Shadow archetype that concern the legend tellers’ challenging experiences with material wealth and their sense of worthiness.

The study is an important contribution to research in Latvian culture, as it both explores traditional cultural texts and places the explorations in today’s context. 

Full dissertation

Illustration: Anette D. V. Vestergaard

Dragons and Dreams

Article, in Quadrant: The Journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation, Volume XLIII:1. Winter, 2013.

Imagination sparked by the dream-like quality of folk tales makes for a rich source of inner intelligence and wisdom. The author recounts never-before-translated Latvian folk tales about dragons and explores them as the collective dreams of a people.


The folktales convey messages from the imaginal realm directly to the unconscious mind, bypassing the potentially crippling logic of the conscious mind. The dream work methods of Carl Jung, James Hillman, Stephen Aizenstat, and Robert Bosnak (active imagination, dialoguing, and embodying) are used to engage with the folk tales to allow for even greater imaginal knowing.

Full article

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