Return to Turtle Island

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Doctoral Project

Viridis Graduate Institute - Ecopsychology and Environmental Humanities

Let me sing you a new song, one that comes from waters deep. The tide has come, the rivers flood, the soil is softened that the earth can breathe. I wish to bring you a new song, for the spring of living waters have come. To those who thirst for beauty, build us a fountain of the hope, the joy of the rising of the Sun.

~Voice of Skywoman: Kautz (2020), Return to Turtle Island.

Return to Turtle Island (Kautz,2020), is a retelling of the creation myth of the Indigenous Great Lakes People, the Iroquois Nation. The story calls for renewal, celebration and connection to the earth and all its inhabitants. The symptoms of our time require us to delve deep into the imaginary processes of the psyche along with a need for deep reflection. My Name is Jennifer Kautz, I am a doctoral student with Viridis Graduate Institute- Ojai, California, accredited Institute for Ecopsychology and Environmental Humanities. This story and ritual is part of my dissertation art project. My journey into the realm of myth and ritual began 20 years ago when I attended Anthropologist and Mythologist, Jean Houston’s workshops. With my immersion in Jean’s program, my dreams became more vivid, the symbols more mythic, and my poetry, more soulful. I came to Viridis with drawings, paintings, poetry, and unanswered questions.

The 5 Ecopsychological principles (Pye, 2019) have guided my processes and grounded them into practical application. I am presenting to you the culmination of this journey’s work as a mythopoetic story, artwork, and yoga ritual. Thank you so much for joining me.

Thesis Statement:

“Encouraging mythic and ritual discovery to emerge organically from a personal or community-based ecopsychological process is critical to helping reconnect modern humans to their ecological selves."

Research Questions:

~How is ritual and/or myth a necessary fabric of the earth? Humanity? Flora and Fauna?

~How is ritual an ecological necessity to engage with the Psyche? Mythopoetic self?

~Can the farm to table and community garden movement be a way into ritual and a sacred awareness toward life?

~How does the artistic process inform our personal and community mythology?

~How has the industrialization of economy, work, and food production harmed our mythopoetic selves? Killed ritual, culture, community?


Copyright © Jennifer L. Kautz 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © Return2TurtleIsland 2020. All Rights Reserved.