Spiraling Towards the Center

Here’s another of the Featured Articles by a Planet Waves collaborator that has just been published to the Cosmophilia website, and is open for everyone to read. Here, Stephani Stephens provides insight into the ways Jungian techniques have helped her to discover her own belonging. The full article is available here. — Amanda P.

by Stephani Stephens

Sometimes I wonder if I am going crazy. What is it about this particular era, all the white noise ‘out there’ making the ‘in here’ the only way to make sense of it all? The louder and more hectic life becomes, the more I crave the confines of an inner perspective to help me find my way.

Carl Gustav Jung

Carl Gustav Jung

It is no wonder with my Sun and Moon in Libra and six planets sitting over the 8th and 9th houses. I am an ENFP (Extravert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceptive) on the Myers Briggs scale, a Wooden Dragon in Chinese astrology, and a medium with a PhD.

I am also a Jungian, meaning that how I live, how I read, what I watch, and how I interface with the world is influenced by the ideas of Carl Jung. And with all of these prisms of perspectives and ways to know myself, I ask almost weekly, “Do I fit in? Do I belong here and now?”

Having all of these ways to explore who I am doesn’t make living any easier. Rather, I become more fluent in the specifics of who I am while I’m struggling.

By calling on divination, astrology, psychology, shamanic techniques and other chthonic assistance (concerning, belonging to, or inhabiting the underworld), I can honestly say that at least I’ve tried to grapple gracefully with the ebbs and flows of life. I’ve tapped into those internal settings that bring meaning and value to my decisions. Perhaps this is why I am a fan of Jung. He too struggled, doubted, and faced his loudest inner critics while wondering whether he fit in — and if so, how?

Continue reading here.

9 thoughts on “Spiraling Towards the Center

  1. Lizzy

    Thank you for this wonderful piece, dear Stephani. I discovered Jung years ago, when I was going through my own dark night of the soul – and it was as if I’d found a friend. Like you – my life is characterized by inner exploration, and the need to bring what is hidden to the light. Your piece gave me solace and warmth, at a moment when I’m feeling overwhelmed by current world events and an alienating climate at my workplace. But I have also learned the importance of working with these feelings and allowing them guide me, to try not to resist them. Good luck with your inner quest, dear Stephani – you’re a lovely soul!
    PS I didn’t know about the Red Book – thanks for that!

    1. Stephani Stephens


      So sorry, so late!

      Thanks so much for your lovely thoughts and it sounds like your have found a way of listening and living truthfully. It is funny how we end up playing roles in our lives and as long as we see those, work and family they can revolve around who we are not simply what we are.

      Thanks again for sharing.

  2. wandering_yeti

    I’m glad Jung wrote an introduction to a version of Yi Jing: Chinese medicine is what my ‘unconscious’ that is to say my body was looking for. Or to frame it differently it’s the best medicine on Earth for the kinds of things that used to make me sick and feel out of tune and crazy. The height was a daily devotion of coffee, cigarettes, sugar, grains, more sugar, some sugar in the coffee, some sugar on the grains, burger, fries, and/or pizza and plenty of munch material that was a far cry from something picked in a garden. I was sick, crazy and out of tune. No wonder: my heart was being poisoned from within which just tuned me into the crazy vibrations in the world. If a stormy person crossed my path I’d catch their storm in my heart and couldn’t really help it while I was also feeding the demon with my food choices.

    I feel compelled to say these things here cause I tried to understand my dreams for years by picking them apart with symbol books and Jungian ideas. I didn’t really change until I adopted physical practices that I learned from Taoist Asians. Even the Confucians aren’t afraid to touch themselves to practice self healing techniques that most westerners would feel ashamed to adopt. Europe’s madness comes largely from the poisons in the food and the art supplies for the rich and the food and the industrial pollution for the poor. Ok China has all that too but in Europe you also get the absolute condemnation of the flesh that still reverberates even in post Enlightenment English speaking cultures. Sure, the Confucians have male superiority and all their patriarchal douchebaggery but what they don’t have is the Roman Catholic + Aristotle notion that flesh is sinful in the first place. That idea trashes the root and then we feel rootless.

    This isn’t to say one culture is better than another. The East has its Empires and assholes too and its own form of crazy. But in general there’s more belly brain in Asia and therefore more integration between the body (the Belly Brain) and the mind (Heart Brain plus the Head) especially where traditional medicine and martial arts have been preserved and developed. There’s no Protestant Work Ethic that calls your self healing practice “navel gazing”. Since the Taoists weren’t working around Aristotle’s ideas or the Catholics utter condemnation of the flesh they could develop practical healing arts that don’t require anything but your body~mind to practice including sensible awareness of which foods heat and which foods cool.

    When I’m not overheating my inner state with the food I eat I don’t feel crazy or out of tune or out of my place in time. As long as my head can root in my belly brain’s spatial senses I know my place and can adapt to whatever needs my input as it comes my way. I just think psychology is flying blind when it doesn’t even consider a person’s food practices. When the root is poisoned the whole tree is crazy.

    1. Jere

      Yeti, thanks for writing this. Wise words.

      As far as psychology flying blind, I would say yes if it attempts to go it alone. Though personally, I make attempt at understanding its integral nature. I’m still crossin’ wires trying to get the shit to work! 🙂

      Healthy practices,


    2. Stephani Stephens

      How did you do that ? Read my diet?
      You are reminding me of some specific and important thoughts around my eating habits and I am grateful for this. You are right, sometimes the body just knows if we would only listen. And the listening sometimes feels like being on simultaneously playing radio stations. Thank goodness I have found some practitioners who, with gentle knowing, remind me that I in fact have a body and need to listen quietly to its truths.

      Thanks for sharing and sorry so late in responding! I have been so busy with caffeine, sugar, dairy (preferably in the same cup!)

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