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Sea, Spirit, Sanctuary: Nantucket and Herman Melville’s Epic, Moby-Dick, as Spiritual Quest

Location: Nantucket Island

Date of : October 05, 2021

Speakers: Dennis Patrick Slattery and Willow Young

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In the tradition of C.G. Jung and mythologist Joseph Campbell, we will sojourn to the “far off isle” of Nantucket, 30 miles into the wild North Atlantic Sea. During this time together, we will explore the mythopoetic depths of Melville’s Moby-Dick as we deepen our relationship with nature and seek to align with our constant companion, the wise soul within. This voyage will also include how there was “almost a biblical fervor with which the Nantucketers viewed their whaling destiny”, which Melville develops in what can be called his spiritual epic journey of one’s soul that is Moby-Dick. Once the whaling capital of the world, Nantucket is now a place of refuge for those seeking inner renewal and restoration.

Drawing on Herman Melville’s classic epic of America and his book, Our Daily Breach: Exploring Your Personal Myth Through Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, professor and author, Dennis Patrick Slattery will guide us to a deeper understanding of place as well as to help us discover new levels of meaning in the tale of the white whale. There exists an intimate relationship between the industry of whaling and the spiritual quest of the soul offered through Quakerism as a spiritual path to one’s destiny, a path that Ishmael travels on board the Pequod. Together, we will pay close attention to the content of the readings as well as the context in which we will live while reading it.

Jungian analyst and professor, Willow Young will draw us into Jung’s life-long engagement with the natural world, his study of natural sciences, and the emergence of late 19th century scientific thinking. She will share her Nantucket, which has had a deep impact on her since her childhood on the island.

This retreat will nurture our capacities to listen to nature within as she speaks to us in our dreams, imaginings, and musings, and without, as we listen to the nature of place, landscape, and experiences of synchronicity. We come with an intention to nurture ourselves, with story, the nature of our imaginations, and inner promptings. The treasures of the natural world will be highlighted in the afternoon excursions on Nantucket Island. Melville’s epic will find resonances in the natural order of the island to create a rich experience for all participants. Exploring the island invites a metaphor for exploring oneself, with the ever-present unconscious prompting us to wholeness. Here, amidst the island solitude and quiet, we can discern our responses to the inner resonances of both body and soul.

Join us on this special journey to explore and experience Nantucket’s historical significance, its connection to Melville’s classic tale, our relationship with the natural world, and insights that arise in us from fathoms deep regarding our personal and mythic spiritual journeys.


For more information, click here.