Marian Apparitions in times of war and conflict: a depth-psychological approach to understanding the emergence of the numinosum during periods of darkness.

March Sunday 26thValeria Céspedes Musso

Marian Apparitions in times of war and conflict: a depth-psychological approach to understanding the emergence of the numinosum during periods of darkness.

One hour ZOOM, not recorded. Beginning 5 pm CET (Frankfurt am Main), 4 pm PST (London), 8 am PST (LA)  

Moderated by Sonia Sheely

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Carl Jung is known for introducing concepts such as the collective unconscious and archetypes, but his legacy is one which also includes an openness to observing and understanding phenomena such as collective visions and the uncanny, an interest which can be traced back to his 1902 doctoral dissertation, “On the Psychology and Pathology of the So-called Occult Phenomena”. This openness allows us to explore and examine phenomena such as Marian apparitions. In my analysis of the Marian apparitions of Zeitoun that took place from 1968 to 1970, I offer an interdisciplinary methodological approach to investigate visions of the Virgin Mary stemming widely from the works of Jung and relies on theories of the psyche proposed by Jung and post-Jungians. Specifically, I draw on Jung’s theoretical model in Flying Saucers which offers a structure to analyze numinous objects as constellated material which emerges out of the collective unconscious. Studies of Marian phenomenology show that the appearances are usually accompanied by a concatenation of events such as social upheaval, economic crisis, and war. In this lecture, I present the findings of the application of this depth-psychological approach to the Zeitoun case including the existential crisis leading up to the appearances (i.e. 1967 Arab-Israeli War), the significance of the apparitions, and the integration of the numinous symbol by Egyptian society.

Valeria Céspedes Musso, Ph.D. is an independent researcher and is in private practice in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She received her doctorate in Psychoanalytic Studies in 2017 from the University of Essex, UK. Valeria is currently a Diploma candidate at the CGJI Zürich and a student member of the English Research Commission at CGJI Zürich, Switzerland. She has a Master’s degree in Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston, USA, and worked as a labor union organizer in Los Angeles helping workers form unions from the ground up. Valeria has published in the International Journal of Jungian Studies and is the author of Marian Apparitions in Cultural Contexts, Routledge, 2018; and The Mexican-American cultural complex: Accessing the depth-psychological problems due to challenges of assimilation in American Society in Jungian Perspectives on Indeterminate States: Betwixt and Between Borders, Routledge, 2020. She is currently undertaking research on the topic of Dia de los Muertos and the mourning rites of Americans of Mexican descent in Los Angeles.
Warm Regards,
Sonia Sheely 

(she/her/hers)Candidate, Ph.D. 

in Clinical Psychology, with Emphasis in Depth PsychologyPacifica Graduate Institute

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