Log in

a container for the psyche in an uncertain world

Log in

WAR AND WARRIORS: Archetypal Considerations, Melanie Starr Costello

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017
  • 4 sessions
  • Thursday, September 14, 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Thursday, October 05, 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Jung Society Library, 5200 Cathedral Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016


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

Registration is closed


“…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.

Featured Artist: 

Michèle Colburn, The Trip Wire Project, 2013 - Present. Surplus Vietnam-era military trip wire and knitting needles. Dimensions variable. Copyright 2017. Photograph by Lee Stalsworth.

One stitch = one life. The artist knitted a stitch for each U.S. wounded and deceased soldier in the arenas of Iraq and Afghanistan and for each deceased non-combatant in those countries since U.S. involvement began.The work is not only made in the studio and at home but also in public locations associated with decision-makers and profiteers. Collection of the artist.

Melanie Starr Costello, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, historian, and graduate of the C.G. Jung Institut-Zurich, holds a private practice off Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. She earned her doctorate in the History and Literature of Religions from Northwestern University. A former Assistant Professor of History at St. Mary's College of Maryland, Dr. Costello has taught and published on the topics of psychology and religion, medieval spirituality, 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. Currently her work explores archetypal currents running through the collective psyche in our times—a topic she takes up in her workshops on the Stranger, Aging and Spirituality, and on Dream Cosmologies.


5200 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


Our offices are closed due to COVID-19.

You can reach us with any questions regarding programs at


Our library is currently closed due to COVD-19. Please email to checkout a book. 




The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
Privacy Policy
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software