A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature

Available now from Routledge Press

The art on the cover is titled “The Union of Subterranean and Celestial Fire,” by Bob Sandford ( white oak and walnut.) It was created as part of the writing process. From the book: “Hillman writes of the union of celestial and earthly fire in the alchemist’s image of nature: “[n]ature’s fire is both celestial, descending from sun and stars and lightening, and arising from the earth out of thermal springs, gases, geysers and volcanoes. The alchemist [and we can add, the one who creates] works with both kinds…'”

Whatever that mysterious factor is that animates creative work– that gives rise to image, symbol, inspiration, guiding intuition and insights–our relationship with it is central to creativity. A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature: Imagining the Source of Our Creativity offers passage into a more fertile relationship with creativity’s mysterious source by performing that relationship. It engages the source in the middle ground of imagination, tending the images the source it offers of itself as relational overtures. Imagining the source is a mutual relational act.

A Jungian Approach adopts Jungian and Archetypal psychologies, which speak the soul’s native tongue of image, metaphor, symbol and myth. This speech, this style of consciousness, this poetic presence opens us to the source everywhere it lives.

Love and fidelity to our creative nature take us into the collective images, preoccupations and imbalances that alienate us. To heal these, we favor the archetypal feminine and attend our relationship with nature, cosmos, things and the body, the native dwelling of the living source.

This book is for those who stand at the threshold of their creative nature and those who have crossed it and simply must create to be whole. It is for those who desire to be more faithful to, and at home in, their creative nature. It is for those who seek a way to articulate their experience that deepens it. It is for those who seek not a set of procedures but a relationship out of which practical actions emerge organically.  It is for those who yearn for the source’s endless generativity to live more abundantly in their work. It is for those who seek epiphanies of the soul’s beauty that fan an undying fire. It is for those who hear the call to tend that fire, allowing it to spread until we see the soul everywhere and remember we are already home.

This book is dedicated to the source of our creativity, our heritage and our call.


A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature is an astonishing book for digging into what creativity is, and what it means with the support of Jungian and Archetypal psychology. This book fills a gap in Jungian literature between the works on the creativity of the psyche for healing and clinical applications and the Jungian addresses of art, including van den Berk’s Jung on Art. It shows the daimon of creativity at the heart of every human being.
        Uniquely, A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature draws from Jung and Hillman to create something that spans the work of both. This is rarely done and in itself of huge value to the Jungian field. This book is a psychological revelation of creativity. It is particularly impressive because it brings together aesthetics, philosophy and depth psychology in ways that enhance all three. As a teacher of depth psychology, creativity and the arts, I would use this book a set text, and recommend it to all students of Jung. It is moreover important to all those, artists, educators, students and clinicians that care about fostering the creative imagination.”


Dr. Susan Rowland

Chair of MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute
and author of Psyche and the Arts and Jung as a Writer

“In its style Sandford’s book is a creative expression of its content. Reading it, one gets glimpses of the ‘other’ who, in the many guises of the figure of the poet, tends the fires of the creative imagination. A richly woven tapestry much needed in our time with its addictions to a deadening literalism of the collective mind.”


Dr. Robert D. Romanyshyn

Professor Emeritus, Pacifica Graduate Institute and author of
Technology as Symptom and Dream and Victor Frankenstein, the Monster and the Shadows of Technology: The Frankenstein Prophecies

A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature has transformed the way I address creativity in myself and others. This archetypal meditation on creativity is itself a product of the creative imagination it depicts. Sandford, a musician and a craftsman—with other creative endeavors of which I do not know—knows the psychology of creativity from the inside out. If there be one word I would select to describe this book, it would be hospitality. The writing invites a hospitable presence to ego and image, sky and earth, dream and waking life. There is a deep embodied feel to the writing, as Sandford weaves together the literal and the metaphorical, the imaginal and the real, spirit and matter.
The style of imagining called empathy features prominently, so that nowhere does ‘opposite’ come to mean ‘opposition.’ There are no strawmen set up and slain, and overall, there is a pacific tone to the writing. Creativity turns out to be a ‘communal act,’ involving the psyche as a whole, embracing the source of creativity and the ego—among others.
Numerous examples help to ground the work, which is, indeed, also a significant theoretical contribution to archetypal psychology. ”


Dr. Robert Kugelmann

Professor of Psychology, University of Dallas
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