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WAR AND WARRIORS: Archetypal Considerations, Melanie Starr Costello

  • 14 Sep 2017
  • 12 Oct 2017
  • 4 sessions
  • 14 Sep 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM
  • 21 Sep 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM
  • 05 Oct 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM
  • 12 Oct 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM
  • The Library at the Jung Society, 5200 Cathedral Ave., N.W., Washington D.C. 20008


  • Members who are either over 65 or are full time students

Four Thursdays beginning September 14th (9/14, 9/21, 10/5 and 10/12)


Melanie Starr Costello

“…to understand war we have to get at its myths, recognize that war is a mythical happening, that those in the midst of it are removed to a mythical state of being…and that no other account—political, historical, sociological, psychoanalytical—can penetrate…to the depths of inhuman cruelty, horror, and tragedy and to the heights of mystical transhuman sublimity.”

                                                      -James Hillman

“Our only chance for dissipating the archetypal force of war in our lives is to become conscious of how it works through us so that we do not remain possessed by it but rather can labor responsibility to direct its powers. Because of the ultimate nature of the effort, this labor is fundamentally a matter of soul.”

                                                      -Edward Tick

This country has been continuously at war for the longest period in its history, yet most of us remain removed from its acts and aftereffects. How do we account for this collective dissociation, and what can we do about it? How might an archetypal understanding of war and war-wounding promote greater social coherence, help us address political polarization around foreign policy, and draw us into appropriate engagement with returning warriors? Our readings view war and warriors through an archetypal lens, lending much-needed context for our understanding of the phenomenon of war and the experiences to which warriors are subjected on our behalf. Ancient and cross-cultural approaches will inform our discussion of ways we may participate in the process by which the returning warrior heals, passes into mature eldership, and takes up vital spiritual functions in the community.

Please read through Chapter 2 of Hillman’s book in preparation for the first meeting.


James Hillman, A Terrible Love of War, Penguin Books, 2004.

Edward Tick, Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War, 2014.

Melanie Starr Costello, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, historian, and senior Jungian analyst in private practice in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute-Zurich and earned her doctorate in the History and Literature of Religions from Northwestern University. She formerly served as Assistant Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was a Trustee for the Consortium for Psychoanalytic Research in Washington, D.C. and is currently Director of Education for the Jungian Analysts of Washington, a member of the Board of the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York and a training analyst for the C.G. Jung Institute-Zurich.  Dr. Costello has taught and published on the topics of psychology and religion, medieval spirituality, aging and clinical practice. Her study of the link between illness and insight, entitled Imagination, Illness and Injury: Jungian Psychology and the Somatic Dimensions of Perception, is published by Routledge Press. 

Jung Society of Washington

5200 Cathedral Ave., NW Washington 20016


Executive Director - James Hollis, Ph.D.

President - Erminia Scarcella, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A.

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Weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm; 

for summer hours, please call 202-237-8109

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Other Program Venues:

American University, Butler Board Room,
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington DC 20016

Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.

Jung Society of Washington

Directions: The Jung Society of Washington is located in the educational building of the Palisades Community Church. From MacArthur Blvd., turn east (away from the Potomac River) onto Cathedral at the light between Loughboro and Arizona.  We are accessible via the Metro D6 bus line.  Entrance to the Jung Society library and office is from the side street, Hawthorne Place.

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