Feathered Ladder: Selected Poems

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Two volumes of poetry have been combined in this special edition il piccolo publication.

"Brian Landis is a master storyteller; Dennis Patrick Slattery a master teacher in the art of writing myth. Both are skillful poets who have teamed to produce this refined volume of poetry. Feathered Ladder speaks brilliantly to me." —From the Foreword by Stephanie Pope, Cultural Mythologer and poet — mythopoetry.com

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About the author

Brian Landis, MA Economics, Denver University, MA Depth Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Luis Obispo, California. His writing has been published internationally, most recently “Duet For Marimba” in Mythopoetry Scholar; and a review of The Beauty Between Words, in Psychological Perspectives. He has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize in poetry.

Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D. has been teaching for 44 years, the last 20 at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 20 volumes, including four volumes of poetry: Casting the Shadows: Selected Poems; Just Below the Water Line: Selected Poems; Twisted Sky: Selected Poems; and The Beauty Between Words with Chris Paris. He has co-authored one novel, Simon’s Crossing with Charles Asher. His more recent books include Day-to-Day Dante: Exploring Personal Myth Through the Divine Comedy; Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story; The Soul Does Not Specialize: Revaluing the Humanities and the Polyvalent Imagination with Jennifer Selig. His new book, Creases in Culture: Essays Towards a Poetics of Depth was published by Fisher King Press in January 2014. He is completing a work on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick for publication in 2014. He offers riting retreats on exploring one’s personal myth through the works of Joseph Campbell in the United States and Europe.

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il piccolo editions
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Published on
Mar 21, 2014
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Poetry / General
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Dennis Patrick Slattery

We need a sense of myth for our individual and collective equilibrium. Sanity itself may be tied to having some kind of lively imagination so that one can feel the strange fantasies that continue to insist themselves into consciousness in both waking and dreaming states....

– from the Foreword by Robert Sardello

The essential paradox is this: Myth points to a baseline that can never be fully drawn; there exists no lowest layer for myth.

– from the Introduction by Glen Slater and Dennis Patrick Slattery

... rituals in fact do not require complementary myths to ’explain’ them, nor is ritual a ’re-enactment’ of myth, but that rituals speak eloquently in their own right.

– from Chapter 3, “Rambu Solo’: the Toraja Cult of the Dead and Embodied Imagination,” by Laura Grillo

A myth occurs when the objective reality confuses itself with a subjective reality. The myth is, so to speak, a montage, and montages can lie – but they can inspire as well. A myth can support either revolution or the status quo; it can provoke enthusiasm or repression.

– from Chapter 7, “How is Psychology a Mythology?” by Ginette Paris (Pacifica Institute)


Foreword by Robert Sardello

Introduction by Glen Slater and Dennis Patrick Slattery


1. The Myth of Biblical Monotheism by Christine Downing

2. The Heart of Hindu Mythos: Yogic Perspectives on Self-Realization by Patrick Mahaffey

Ritual and Symbol

3. Rambu Solo’: the Toraja Cult of the Dead and Embodied Imagination by Laura S. Grillo

4. Mandala of the Naropa Dakini: Archetypal and Psychological Commentary by V. Walter Odajnyk

Literature and Film

5. Oedipus at Colonus: Pilgrimage from Blight to Blessedness by Dennis Patrick Slattery

6. Aliens and Insects by Glen Slater

Psychology and Philosophy

7. How is Psychology a Mythology? by Ginette Paris

8. Légende-Image: The Word/Image Problem by David L. Miller

Dennis Patrick Slattery

Developed in the spirit of C.G. Jung, and extended by the work of James Hillman, Depth Psychology: Meditations in the Field grows directly from the soil of the Romantic Movement of the 19th century, itself a rebellion against the legacy of Enlightenment fundamentalism, which emphasized the literal reality of the world, and feasted on Measurement and the quantification of all knowledge.

These essays build on the observation outlined by Jung in his provocative introduction to The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature:

"Since it is a characteristic of the psyche not only to be the source of all productivity but, more especially, to express itself in all the activities and achievements of the human mind, we can nowhere grasp the nature of the psyche per se but can meet it only in its various manifestations". (p 85)

We believe the essays in this volume honor the spirit of Jung’s regard for the psyche’s diverse expressions.

(Pacifica Institute)


Introduction: Pacifica Graduate Institute – Unfolding a Dream

A Note from the Editors

Chapter 1: The Contemplative Self – The Spiritual Journey and Therapeutic Work 

by Charles Asher

Chapter 2: Creativity as an Archetypal Calling 

by Dianne Skafte

Chapter 3: Psyche’s Silent Muse – Desert and Wilderness 

by Dennis Patrick Slattery

Chapter 4: Sigmund Freud’s Mythology of Soul – The Body As Dwelling Place of Soul 

by Christine Downing

Chapter 5: A Depth Psychological Approach to the Sacred 

by Lionel Corbett

Chapter 6: Religious Pluralism in the Service of the Psyche 

by Patrick J. Mahaffey

Chapter 7: The Challenge to Stay Open – Buber and Bion 

by Avedis Panajian

Chapter 8: Dreams are Alive 

by Stephen Aizenstat

Chapter 9: Telling Our Stories – Making Meaning from Myth and Memoir 

by Maureen Murdock

Chapter 10: Divinities of Marriage 

by Ginette Paris

Chapter 11: The Chrysalis Experience – A Mythology for Times of Transition 

by Hendrika de Vries

Chapter 12: Look Out – Three Occasions of Public Excitation 

by James Hillman

Chapter 13: ‘A Myth is as Good as a Smile!’ – The Mythology of a Consumerist Culture 

by David L. Miller

Chapter 14: Yes, Indeed! Do Call the World The Vale of Soul Making – Reveries Toward an Archetypal Presence 

by Robert Romanyshyn

Chapter 15: Seeding Liberation – A Dialogue Between Depth Psychology and Liberation Psychology 

by Mary Watkins

Chapter 16: The Presence of Absence: Mapping Postcolonial Spaces 

by  Helene Shulman Lorenz

Chapter 17: Prisoners of our Imagination – The Boys Inside the American Gulag 

by Aaron Kipnis

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