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Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation

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Farming Soul questions theories and assumptions that date back to the days of Freud, assumptions that separate spirituality from psychology. Patricia Damery finds answers through unconventional teachers and her relationship to the land –answers that are surprisingly intertwined.

During Patricia’s individuation process she experiences the importance of being rooted in a particular place, guided by the tenets of Rudolf Steiner’s Biodynamic® agriculture. Her professional journey to become a Jungian analyst is a path filled with review committees and unorthodox teachers.

Farming Soul offers perspective on the complex dynamic of the therapist/patient bond and a personal account of when to rely on one’s inner authority. This is a book about soul embodied and the essential recognition that spiritual, ecological, and psychological exploration is essential to reconnecting to our deeper selves.

184 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2010

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About the author

Patricia Damery

9 books4 followers
Patricia Damery is an author, a Jungian analyst in private practice in Napa, California, and a member of the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco. Her life has been about seeking the divine in everyday life and is reflected in her writing. Patricia's writing concerns remembering instinct, becoming more conscious not only of our personal psyche, but of our relationships to the animate and inanimate world as well. She believes this necessitates a shift in consciousness, “re-membering” an older way while also valuing our intellect, and that this shift is critical to the survival of life as we know it.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Malcolm.
Author 47 books86 followers
September 20, 2010
Author and Jungian analyst Patricia Damery and her husband Donald grow grapes and heather in California's Napa Vally where their biodynamic farming practices and spiritual attention to the land have brought them a rich harvest. That harvest, as described in "Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation," is simultaneously agricultural, psychological and transcendent.

"Storytelling opens us to aspects of ourselves that we override in every day life," writers Damery in the book's introduction. "It weaves both teller and listener into a larger fabric, suggesting correlations and increasing understanding."

Damery's story echoes John Muir's words, "I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." Going out and going in intertwine in Damery's journey where the lessons learned en route to becoming a Jungian analyst complement lessons learned in the vineyard.

Rudolf Steiner, the father of biodynamic agriculture, wrote that "All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature."

We discover through Damery's holistic journey that Steiner's words also apply to the process of discovering one's true self. Damery quotes an old Tewa prayer to Mother Earth and Father Sky that includes the lines, "Weave for us a garment of brightness that we may walk fittingly where birds sing, that we may walk fittingly where grass is green."

Damery's memories, dreams and reflections are woven from the warp and woof of her experiences arising out of analysis, meditation, shamanism and farming. "I understood," she writes, "that the 'garment of brightness' from the Tewa song was being woven for me, and that, in time, perhaps I could 'walk fittingly' on this earth."

Farmers, psychologists and other seekers on the path will find many correlations between their own journeys and the one that so beautifully unfolds in "Farming Soul." Damery's garment of brightness is kind lamp for eager eyes.

Profile Image for Grady.
Author 52 books1,690 followers
December 5, 2010
Re-Addressing Carl Jung

Patricia Damery has provided us with a source book of the many pearls of wisdom and insight that the great Carl Jung left as his legacy. She not only re-awakens us to the many forgotten aspects (or historically rejected aspects) of his teachings, but she also takes us on her own journey to individuation that she as a Jungian analyst has taken. This is a book to read slowly: it is not a memoir though is many ways it is just that, but it is a manner of introducing the aspects of Jungian psychology that we all need to acknowledge and absorb. She encourages us by means of sharing her self the four aspects of our body - the physical, the etheric, the astral, and the mental. And while many other Jungian analysts have approached this material in other books, few have made the concept Damery share so understandable and negotiable in a conversational manner.

But the other aspect of this book that makes it even more inviting to read is the fact that Damery and her husband have been practicing biodynamic farming for the past ten years. This fact is not an aside, but rather this fact is core to understanding the reacquaintance with Mother Earth. For those unfamiliar with this manner of living in synchrony with the earth, perhaps the following definition may help: 'Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms, emphasizing balancing the holistic development and interrelationship of the soil, plants, animals as a self-nourishing system without external inputs insofar as this is possible given the loss of nutrients due to the export of food.' Taking the journey Patricia Damery has taken gives us insight but also gives us a path to enter the same realm of being at one with the 'everything else' that is so often foreign to our way of hurried life. Spend time with this author.

Grady Harp
Profile Image for Miz Lizzie.
1,133 reviews
October 18, 2019
The psychic and psychological journey of Patricia Damery as she becomes a Jungian analyst. Like Jung, she ends up creating her own path, which incorporates shamanism, energy work, and Rudoph Steiner's biodynamics. The most interesting bits to me were the intersections of Jung and Steiner and especially the connections to the energies of the plants and land.
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