Witchcraft is a term with a chilling and contested history – one that has been subject to profound re-visioning in recent decades. Practiced on the margins by the marginalized, witchcraft has simultaneously been excluded from officially sanctioned knowing and placed under the harshest scrutiny by mainstream authorities.
Practitioners of witchcraft have been keepers of the “old ways” – modes of knowing and practice that understood nature as alive, plants and animals as allies, and magic as real. Committed to healing and transformation on both individual and community levels, witches held a form of decentralized, grassroots power that threatened emerging religious, scientific, economic, and political forces that objectified the natural world and the human body. Viciously persecuted during periods of global colonization, witches have gradually re-emerged as touchstones for new ways of being in the world – ways that recognize the underworld as a necessary counterpoint to everyday reality, and value our deep embeddedness within the environment.
Who were the witches when they were the abject, the feared, and disproportionately women? Who are they now when they represent modes of empowering and extending consciousness from the margins?
This conference seeks to give voice to contributions by women and those who have questioned gender-rigid spaces in society, spiritual practices, medicine, and depth psychology.
Diane Purkiss (Keynote)
Ashley (Ashe) Kelly-Brown
As a result of attending this conference:
Participants will examine the history of marginalization through the lens of witchcraft, and apply new or deeper understandings of marginalization to their clinical and scholarly work.
Participants will relate material from across cultures to the types of trauma experienced by marginalized groups today in order to expand and integrate this knowledge toward more culturally-sensitive awareness, knowledge, and skills.
Participants will evaluate their own experiences and practices through multiple modes of knowing and being, through presentations and workshops that seek to challenge conventional hierarchies of rational knowledge.
Diane Purkiss, DPhil, is fellow and tutor of English at Keble College, Oxford. She specializes in renaissance and women’s literature, witchcraft, and the English Civil War. Purkiss was born in Sydney, Australia, and received her D.Phil. from Merton College, Oxford. She has held teaching positions at the University of East Anglia, Exeter University, and her current post at Keble College since 2000. Purkiss is the author of The Witch in History: Early Modern and Late Twentieth Century Representations (Routledge, 1996) and Troublesome Things: A History of Fairies and Fairy Stories (Allen Lane, 2000), among others.
Vivianne Crowley, PhD, AFBPS, CPsychol, is a psychologist specializing in mindfulness-based interventions and spiritual growth. She teaches Psychology of Religion for the Department of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, UK, and for Cherry Hill Seminary, Columbia. She sits on the Contemporary Pagan Studies program committee of the American Academy of Religion. Formerly, she was Lecturer in Psychology of Religion in the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College, University of London. She has numerous academic publications on contemporary Paganism, women spiritual leaders, and Jungian psychology. She was initiated into Wicca, Pagan witchcraft, when a teenager and has taught Wicca internationally for over 30 years, establishing covens across Europe and beyond. Her experience of Wicca as a contemporary mystery tradition and Jung’s models of the psyche, inspired her best-selling book Wicca: The Old Religion in the Modern World. Her forthcoming book on magick and spirituality, You Were Once Wild, will be published by Penguin-Random House in Fall 2020.
Rebecca M. Farrar, MA, aka the “Wild Witch of the West,” works as an archetypal astrologer and writer in San Francisco, CA. Her astrology readings focus on feminine, witchy archetypes of the natal astrology chart including Black Moon Lilith and dwarf planet Eris. She runs a Facebook Group and an in-person series that invites community conversations on the intersection of sex, power, and creativity. Her article “Pay Attention to the Omens: 10 Signs You May be a Witch” on Elephant Journal has more than 400,000 views. Rebecca completed her M.A. at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Her thesis, “Stargazing: Re-enchantment Through Language,” combines linguistics, consciousness studies, and enchantment with the stars. www.wildwitchwest.com.
Maria Veronica Iglesias, MA, was born in Mexico City, Mexico. She has a Bachelor´s degree in Library Sciences and a Master´s Degree in Mesoamerican Studies from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico). She grew up in a family that honors the Earth, the plants, and all the living beings. Veronica was initiated as a sahumadora (bearer of the Sacred Sahumerio) when she was 8 years old. She also was initiated in the sacred knowledge of Mesoamerican shamanism and she became a Portadora de la Palabra, bearer of the Sacred Word. She is also a Priestess of Ix´Cheel, the Mayan Goddess of Medicine. Veronica is currently researching gem stones and their therapeutic use, Pre-Hispanic medicine, feminine shamanism in Mesoamerica, feminine rites of passage, and Mesoamerican Goddess traditions.
Anne Jackson, MA, is a textile and tapestry artist and writer. Anne grew up in Chicago, and was educated at Vassar College, St. Andrews University, Scotland, and Middlesex University, London. She makes large-scale tapestries on the subject of witch-persecution and historic witch-trials in England, Scotland and Europe. Writing and public engagement are also parts of her art practice. Anne currently resides in England. www.annejackson.co.uk
Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is the chair of the Somatic Studies specialization in the Depth Psychology program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Working at the intersection of somatic studies and social justice, their scholarship focuses on the embodied experience of oppression, somatic approaches to research, and the poetic body. Rae is the author of several books, including Embodied Social Justice, Elemental Movement, and Knowing in Our Bones.
Ashley (Ashe) Kelly-Brown is the owner of Pura Luna Women’s Apothecary. She is also a Herbalist, Green Witch, and Peri-steam Hydrotherapist. She is also the owner and lead makeup artist for LunaBella Make-up and Hair in Santa Barbara, CA. Her journey to holistic healing and alternative medicine came about from a desire to heal herself 7 years ago. Looking for the blessing of this challenging time in her life, she sought out healing and education in the jungles of Costa Rica. In the small jungle beach town of Puerto Viejo, she was introduced to the healing plants of the rainforest and their physical and spiritual medicine. The plants healed and transformed her. After 3 years of trips to the jungle, she decided to learn more about plant medicine local to North America and becoming a “green witch”, which led to the Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education where she received her certification as a medicine woman in June of 2017. In addition to healing and learning from the plants, she has several courses in other healing modalities to aid in her quest to help women heal themselves.
Erica Mather, MA, is an author, yoga therapist, Forrest Yoga Guardian, and life-long educator. She teaches people to feel better in, and about their bodies, and to view their bodies as an ally and best friend on the journey of life. Her forthcoming book Radical Body Acceptance: End the Time-Sucking, Confidence-Crushing Pursuit of Unrealistic Beauty-Standards and Start Living Your Life (New Harbinger 2020) is a 7-step spiritual journey helping women befriend their bodies and utilize them as tools and allies on their quest to live their best lives. Her Adore Your Body Transformational Programs help overcome body image challenges, and the Yoga Clinic of NYC supports students, teachers, and health professionals learn about empowered care for the body. Mather is a recognized body image expert, a Forrest Yoga lineage-holder, and was also named one of the next generations’ important yoga teachers by Yoga Journal. She writes for Mind Body Green on the topic of body image challenges, is a regular columnist for Rivertown Magazine and is a popular repeat interview on the SoulFeed Podcast, Hay House Radio’s Angel Club, and more. Mather lives in New York City. Visit her at www.ericamather.com
Debra Merskin, PhD, is professor of media studies at the University of Oregon. She earned her first PhD in public communication from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and completed coursework toward a second PhD in depth psychology with an emphasis on ecological psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her research and teaching focus on intersectional race- and gender-based theories and examine exclusion or stereotyping by media of marginalized human beings as well as animals other than humans. She is the co-creator of the style guide for journalists and other professional communicators interested in respectful and accurate portrayals of animals in media at animalsandmedia.org. Dr. Merskin is the author of Media, Minorities, and Meaning: A Critical Introduction (Peter Lang, 2010), Sexing the Media: How and Why We Do It (Peter Lang, 2012), and Seeing Species: Re-presentations of Animals in Media & Popular Culture (Peter Lang, 2018).
Ann Marie Plane, PhD, PsyD, is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. Ann specializes in Colonial North American history, with an emphasis on gender, colonization, and the lives of Native Americans in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New England. Throughout her career, she has been devoted to creating learning communities, whether in her initial work in museums, or in her work as Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In additional to her teaching and scholarly writing, Ann is also a psychoanalyst, having completed her PsyD from the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She is the author of Dreams and the Invisible World in Colonial New England, and co-editor of Dreams, Dreamers, and Visions: The Early Modern Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press).
Susan Rowland, PhD, is Chair of the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and teaches in the Depth Psychology Program with Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. She is author of a number of books on literary theory, gender and C.G. Jung including Jung as a Writer;Jung: A Feminist Revision; C.G. Jung in the Humanities; The Ecocritical Psyche: Literature, Evolutionary Complexity and Jung; and The Sleuth and the Goddess in Women’s Detective Fiction. She will be presenting from her forthcoming book, Remembering Dionysus: Revisioning Psychology and Literature in C.G. Jung and James Hillman.
Walter Woodward, PhD, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. He is also the State Historian of Connecticut. Dr. Woodward’s research interests include early American and Atlantic world history, alchemy and the creation of New England culture in the 17th century, and the Hartford Witch Hunt, including changing patterns in Witchcraft prosecution.
Oksana Yakushko, PhD, is the Chair and core faculty in Clinical Psychology department at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her publications and presentations focus on xenophobia, feminism, and social justice from lens of depth and critical psychology paradigms. She has received awards for her work on human trafficking and immigration, including receiving American Psychological Association’s Presidential Citation in 2007 and being named the Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 2016. Her recent publications include articles on indigenous psychologies and women, including on history of witch-burning as a form of suppression of indigenous and women’s knowledge. In addition, she has written on gendered and cultural unconscious in research, on women’s spirituality, on systematic exclusion of depth psychological perspectives in mainstream psychology, and on ideological paradigms in psychology that promote social oppression (e.g., eugenics, “positive” psychology). She has collaborated with foundations and organizations, which address historical and current xenophobia, including the U.S. Holocaust Museum. She is active in psychoanalytic, humanistic, and feminist organizations that focus on lives and experiences of diverse communities.
Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus
801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Continuing Education Credit:
This program meets qualifications for 9 hours of continuing education credit for Psychologists through the California Psychological Association (PAC014) Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing education for psychologists. Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.
This course meets the qualifications for 9 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Pacifica Graduate Institute is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (#60721) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Pacifica Graduate Institute maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.
For Registered Nurses through the California Board of Registered Nurses this conference meets qualifications of 9 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177). Full attendance is required to obtain a certificate.
Full refunds for registrations and lodging will be provided up to 14 days prior to an event. Cancellations made 13-6 days prior will receive a 50% refund. There is no refund for registrations or lodging cancellations made within 5 days of your arrival or if you do not show up or leave a program or event early. The Retreat at Pacifica reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In this instance, you will be refunded in full.
Disability Service On Campus:
It is the Institute’s goal is to make facilities, programs, and experiences accessible to all members of the community. The Institute works individually with those who are disabled to determine how individual needs can best be met. For additional information regarding Disability Services, please visit https://www.pacifica.edu/student-services/disability-services/.
For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.