Pregnancy as a Feminine Initiation
Publication Date:July 2012
Pregnancy as a feminine initiation becomes conscious to a woman when she engages with her pregnant imagination through dreams, art, emotions, and somatic changes. If the woman acknowledges her emotional and psychological reactions arising from core archetypal patterns, a “conscious pregnancy” occurs. Three stages of the initiation are outlined: Gateway, Attending, and Passage. Focusing on the Attending stage, three key psychological components are explored: shadow, syzygy, and simultaneity. Viewing the prenatal psyche through C.G. Jung’s lens of Analytical Psychology sheds light on how archetypal patterns and symbolic material associated with initiatory tasks supports maternal confidence and enhances mother/infant attachment.
Abt, R., Bosch, I., MacKrell, V. (2000). Dream child: Creation and new life in dreams of pregnant women. Switzerland: Daimon Verlag.
Ayto, J. (1990). Dictonary of word origins. NY: Arcade Publishing.
Barone-Chapman, M. (2007). The hunger to fill an empty space: An investigation of primordial affects and meaning-making in the drive to conceive through repeated use of ART. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 52, 479-501.
Barone-Chapman, M. (2011). Pregnant pause: Procreative desire, reproductive technology and narrative shifts at midlife. In Jones, R.A. (Ed.), Body, mind and healing after Jung, 174-191). London: Routledge.
Beane Rutter, V.(1993/2009). Changing woman: feminine psychology re-conceived through myth and experience. New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal Books.
Beane Rutter, V. (2011). Saffron offering and blood sacrifice: Transformation mysteries in Jungian analysis. In Beane Rutter, V. & Singer, T. (Ed.). Ancient Greece, Modern psyche archetypes in the making, 39-83. New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal Books.
Bromberg, P. (1998). Standing in the spaces: Essays on clinical process, trauma, and dissociation. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.
Chodrow, J. (1997). Jung on active imagination. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Côté-Aresenault, D., Brody, D., & Dombeck M. (2009). Pregnancy as a rite of passage: liminality, rituals and communitas. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 24(2), 69-87.
Côté-Aresenault, D., & Donato, K. (2011). Emotional cushioning in pregnancy after perinatal loss. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 29(1), 81-92.
Corbin, H. (1972). ‘Mundus imaginalis, or the imaginary and the imaginal.’ Spring Publication. (p. 1-19). Retrieved from http://henrycorbinproject.blogspot.com/2009/10/mundus-imaginalis-or-imag...
Culbert-Koehn, J. (1997). Between Bion and Jung: A talk with James Grotstein. The San Franciso Jung Institute Library Journal, 15(4), 15-32.
Cwik, A. (2010). Associative dreaming: Reverie and active imagination. The Journal of Analytical Psychology. 56(1), 14-36.
Deutsch, H. (1944). The psychology of women. NY: Grune and Stratton.
Hall, N. (1980). The moon and the virgin: Reflections on the archetypal feminine. NY: Harper Row.
Harding, M. E. (1970). The way of all women. NY: Harper Row.
Irigaray, L. (1993). Je, tu, nous: Toward a culture of difference. (Alison Martin, Trans). NY: Routledge. (Original work published 1990).
Jung, C. G. (1953/1966). Collected works Vol 7: Two essays on analytical psychology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1960/1972). Collected works. Vol. 8: Structure and dynamics of the psyche. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1959/1990). Collected works. Vol. 9i: The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C.G. (1959/1978). Collected works. Vol. 9ii: Aion: Researches into the phenomenology of the self. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C.G. (1998). Jung’s Seminar on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. (Jarrett, J. Ed.) New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Kalsched, D. (1996). The inner world of trauma: Archetypal defenses of the personal spirit. NY: Routledge.
Kortendieck-Rashee, B. (2011). Coming home to Demeter: Reflections on pregnancy as a natural initiation in the dreams of immigrant women, 85-98. In Ancient Greece, Modern psyche archetypes in the making. (Beane Rutter, V. & Singer, T.). New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal Books.
Lincoln, B. (1981/1991). Emerging from the chrysalis: rituals of women’s initiation. NY: Oxford University Press.
McNeely, D. (1987). Touching: Body therapy and depth psychology. Toronto: Inner City Books.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1995). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Neumann, E. (1994). Fear of the feminine and other essays on feminine psychology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Oxford English Dictionary (1971/1979). The compact edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, Vol II. London: Book Club Associates.
Rothman, B. K. (1989). Recreating Motherhood. NY: Norton & Company.
Savage, J. (1989). Mourning unlived lives: A psychological study of childbearing loss. Willmette, IL: Chiron Publication.
Shavarien, J. (1992). The revealing image: Analytical art psychotherapy in theory and practice. London, UK: Routeledge Press.
Swan-Foster, N. (1989). Images of pregnant women: art therapy as a tool for transformation. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 16(4), 283-292.
Swan-Foster, N. (2010). Pregnancy as a feminine initiation. Unpublished thesis for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.
Swan-Foster, N., Foster, S., & Dorsey, A. (2003). The use of the human figure drawing with pregnant women. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 21(4), 293-307.
Taylor, W. (2009). Mary the dawn: Ancient European Symbols of Fertilitiy and Pregnancy for pedagogical purposes. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health 24(2), 99-128.
Turner, V. (1987). Betwixt and between: The liminal period in rites of passage. In I.C. Mahdi, S. Foster, & M. Little (Eds.), Betwixt and between: patterns of masculine and feminine initiation, 3-19. La Salle, IL: Open Court. (Original work published 1967).
van Gnepp, A. (1960). The rites of passage: A classic study of cultural celebrations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
von Franz, M.L. (1999). The cat. Toronto, Canada: Inner City Books.
Westermarck, E. (1906/2007). The origin and development of moral ideas, Vol I & Vol II. Kessinger Publishing.
Winnicott, D. (1971). Playing and Reality. London: Tavistock Publications.
Winnicott, D. (1958/1992). Through pediatrics to psycho-analysis: Collected papers. NY: Brunner-Routledge.
Wright, J. (2000). Archetypal thin places: Experiencing the numinosum. Unpublished thesis. IRSJA.