“Dr. Chalquist’s transformative ideas are nothing short of brilliant. His work and teachings are critical to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. He has always had a profound impact on his students. I highly recommend his books and any opportunity to attend his workshops or classes.”
– Rebecca Elliott MA, Executive Coach and Consultant
Fall 2021: Terrabytes Webinar Series
What would a practical, embodied, inspirational
wisdom path for life on Earth be like?
These webinars reimagine Hermeticism, a blend of stories, ideas, and insights, as an
Earth-honoring path for today. Each runs for one hour and leaves time for discussion
and questions. Each blends philosophy, psychology, symbolism, interpretation,
and practices of reconnection with the intelligence of the natural world.
The thematic order parallels the Nine Agreements of Hermeticism.
From Hermetic to Terragnostic: Resurrecting an Ancient Wisdom Path
Hermeticism is an Earth-honoring path of knowledge, insight, and practice stretching back to ancient Egypt. From there, the Way of the Mage opened into Gnosticism, alchemy, depth psychology, spiritual ecology, and many other intersections of self and world, symbol and dream.
This introductory webinar and conversation will focus on these questions:
- What is Hermeticism? Who founded it, and why? What are its Nine Agreements?
- How does the Hermetic view of nature, Earth, and cosmos replace a mechanical model of passive objects with an organism of primal relationships?
- How might Hermeticism be updated to serve as an ethical, embodied, world-appreciating approach to understanding our role in these anxious times?
11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific
As Above, So Below: Living in an Animate World
Terrapsychology is a field of studies, ideas, and practices for reimagining and restorying how deeply and intimately our psychological life is involved with our surroundings, whether human or other than human. We learn tend how the world gets into the heart and how the heart reflects the world.
This webinar will focus on “redeing” how the world speaks to us in symbolism. Everyday objects, fires, storms, oracles, planetary transits: what if we quit squeezing them into boxes of causality and let them move our imagination? How would life be different if we walked through it interpretively, “worldredeing” whatever we came across?
One and Many: A Universal Delight in Diversity
Rooted in ancient Egyptian philosophy and practice, Hermeticism transmuted through exposure to different cultural groups, in Alexandria and elsewhere. In fact, some version of Hermetic wisdom shows up around the world, either brought there in antiquity or springing up on its own.
Find out more about how the ecology of the world favors diversity at every level, and about how Hermeticism moves beyond tolerance to delight in differences on common ground. We will also hear about forms of Hermeticism in India, China, and elsewhere.
Beyond Gods and Demons: Grappling with Guardians of the Threshold
In the Hermetic view, archetypal powers (“aeons” and “archons”), whether celestial or terrestrial, stand ready to give us difficult blessings that move us beyond their influence. Rather than being controlled by the movements of deities or stars, gnosis – consciousness aware of its own sources – opens our sphere of creative choice.
Join us for a presentation and discussion about roadblocks, obstacles, inner critics, and other Threshold Guardians we must acknowledge and see through to obtain the gifts they can bestow.
A World of Wonder: Imagination, Creativity, and Humane Science
Nous is often translated as “intellect” or “intelligence,” but in a Hermetic context it refers more to creative consciousness. From its earliest days onward, Hermeticism has insisted on imagination as a path into the very depths of the world, which meant: into our own depths too.
Alchemy—technical Hermeticism—was not just an attempt to change lead into gold. It was a multicultural inquiry into our deep relations with matter, especially when Islamic masters worked with it. This webinar will touch on alchemy as a language of creativity. C. G. Jung relied on active imagination to probe deeply into the psyche. We will also discuss how alchemical ideas can coagulate a sense of vocation and what integral and humane science looks like.
11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific
Dreaming the Myth Onward: New Takes on Ancient Tales
Gnosticism is a branch of Hermeticism in which old biblical tales were refashioned into calls for liberating the soul from oppressive powers. Centuries later, C. G. Jung wrote about “dreaming the myth onward by giving it a modern dress.” How might we retell traditional tales in ways that bring out their message for us now?
In this webinar we will ask what makes for a myth, a folktale, a fairytale, and a legend, explore the nature wisdom in ancient folklore, discuss its relevance for our day, and look into what Jung referred to in a letter as a “life myth”: the deep story we come in with and which consciousness opens to rich elaboration. In this letter he identified with Faust the alchemist. Who might we be?
The Core of Caring: A Fivefold Heartsteading
Emphasis on caring for oneself and each other appear in Hermeticism’s earliest literature. Each of us, the Asclepius tells us, is a magnum miraculum, a “great miracle” worthy of every consideration. Reflection must be balanced with ethical action in the world. Nonhuman beings worthy of care included our animal friends.
Join us for a discussion of a simple and practical Fivefold Caring model and its relation to ecoresilience, communities of deep learning, and heartsteading: creating circles of support, resource, experimentation, and revisioning, all organized around a compelling concern.
Living in Cycles and Seasons: Practices of Earthly Dreaming and Alignment
For most of human history, we woke with the dawn, slept at night, ate what was in season, and rested in winter. We used no alarm clocks, and our schedule was largely nature’s. Might we resynchronize ourselves with natural cycles and rhythms without losing all the advantages of modern living?
We will explore this through reconnective practices, schedule analysis, and work with dreams that link us inwardly to the natural life on every side, even in urban settings.
11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific
True Human Being: Surviving Our Initiation
“True Human” was how Hermetics described us when fully conscious and mature. Noting that empires and religious institutions curtailed this flourishing, Gnostics told tales in which various heroines and, less often, heroes guided us back to ourselves not through revolution, but through walking the ways of wisdom, knowledge, and care.
In this webinar we will muse on what a mature, full-spectrum human being is like, consider enchantivism as a form of storytelling for better possible futures, and explore stages of transrevolution, whereby deep social and structural change works from inside a complex system outward to bring beneficial results that endure.
Systems and Complexity Theory offers powerful tools and maps for understanding the intricate systems in which we live and work, from dyads to families to neighborhoods, businesses, and entire nations. Learn how to work beyond stucknesses and repetitive interactions, how systems come to self-organize, and what emergent possibilities await as new relationships form around novel patterns. Besides, it’s a lot of fun to try out systems experiments on your family…
It’s All Storied
Learn how and why storytelling can provide more power, motive, and memory than most methods of instruction or persuasion. Why do stories stay with us so much longer than lectures? What are the implications for conflict resolution? Mentor and leader development? What is involved in how to craft a story well, how to create effective space for it, how to prepare and work with an audience? What can story tell us about the heights and depths of human nature?
Power of Folklore
Buried in myths, fairy tales, legends, and folk tales glitter pockets of wisdom and lessons learned over thousands of years of keen human observation from every culture on the planet. Find out how the images, plots, and motifs from folklore return to life every day in the news, at work, at school, in our relationships, and even in symptoms and dreams. How do we work with this dynamic? What do the old tales offer, and how do we learn to creatively elaborate them in ways that move them forward?
Power of Place
My doctoral work focused on how the places where we live and work operate powerfully on the psyche, with the contours of the land emerging in the contours of how we are with each other. The study of these subtle relationships is now known as terrapsychology. Here we see why we land in certain places, why some help our efforts while others hinder, and why we remain always in ongoing conversations with our surroundings.
A lot of research attests to significant boosts in health, happiness, and wellbeing when we get back in touch with the natural world. Did you know that soil bacteria can ease depression? That just an open window can speed recovery from surgery? Learn about how plants, animals, and landscapes act as our mentors and therapists, regrounding us in our minds and bodies as we recall our place as fellow creatures of the animate Earth.
Years of work as a counselor to men (and some women) arrested for crimes of violence and as an instructor to psychotherapists and advocates for victims gave me insight into the core forces of human destructiveness. Seeing possibilities for how to work with these forces increased my faith in human nature. What helps us move from anger and violence toward reconciliation and peace? How might aggression give way to assertion?
Is the image of Earthrise just a colorful photo, or might it signal a worldwide reorientation toward participatory, networked, inclusive ways of being? Was mythologist Joseph Campbell correct when he told Bill Moyers that Earthrise is a mythic image for our time? If so, where might this take us if we align ourselves with this vast planetary shift in collective consciousness?
In a letter to a colleague, C.G. Jung identified the story of Faust the alchemist as his “life myth.” But in Jung’s hands, the tragedy transmuted into a tale of wonder, discovery, and depth. What myths do we walk into or bring along with us? How might we find out, and what shadows and strengths come with the unfolding story? What can we learn from examining the myths of well-known people?
Tales of California
I spent eleven years studying the history, culture, and physical territory of the state of my birth, a journey of immersion into the myths and legends gathered throughout the Golden State. The very name “California” emerges from a work of fiction. What can the images and stories and facts of California tell us about the soul of this place? How might they change our perceptions of every place?