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Happy Halloween!

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

This week, heading into Halloween, was filled with ups and downs.

The NHS had been nagging my husband to get a flu shot. A bit later on, they started nagging him and his WIFE to get a flu shot. Since we aren’t yet eligible for COVID booster shots, we decided to go for it. Every little bit of protection helps, right?

On Thursday we drove to a Ramada Inn where a NHS rep met us in the parking lot, got our details, and instructed us to drive through a tent where Robin got jabbed in the right arm and I got jabbed in the left. So easy. So painless. Or so I thought.

It took a few hours before I started feeling cruddy. Finally I went down for a nap. Robin was fine, but the following day he felt cruddy too. We took several catnaps—literally with the cat sleeping between us! I felt like I lost 2-½ days of productivity to that stupid shot. I’m sure it’s a blessing, but it’s annoying when the medicine makes you ill.

Fortunately, it didn’t stop me from shooting a 5-minute promo for my presentation for the Australian Association for Psychological Type Conference that's coming up in a couple of weeks. This video gives some hints about what I’ll be presenting:

This is an online conference, so consider registering if you have interest in Jung's theory of psychological types.

Earlier in the week we returned to Stratford-Upon-Avon—this time to visit another Holy Trinity Church. We visited this village years ago and did all the touristy stuff, but missed this highlight. The 800-year-old church is bound up with the life of William Shakespeare in that he was both baptized and buried here. Surely for this reason it is the most-visited parish church in the UK, if not the world.

Resting on the bank of the River Avon, this is said to be one of England's most beautiful parish churches and—to my delight—the chancel contains 26 carved misericords from the 15th century. Remember how much I love misericords?!

Having said that, the subject matter of the misericord behind me is pretty awful. These are three carvings of the same woman, like a three-part story. She wears a hat that was fashionable for married women in the 15th century. In the left-most carving she has her tongue hanging out, which is symbolic of the devil. In the middle carving she is turned to one side with an evil grin suggesting she is nagging her husband or spreading evil untruths or gossip. In the right-most carving she is shown wearing a “scold’s bridle,” which forcibly holds the tongue down with a metal bar, and was a barbaric punishment for women until the 1800s.

The bridle notwithstanding, we had a lovely morning exploring the church, and even enjoyed a lunchtime piano and organ concert.

Let us not speak of the parking citation.

On Saturday we made a return to Canterbury for some unfinished business, and spent a bit of time in the Lady Godiva Gallery of the Herbert Art Gallery. Godiva is the patron lady for Canterbury—much more so than we previously realized!

We also picked up the sight of a sculpture on the side of the new cathedral that we had missed before—another St. Michael slaying the Devil. This time, St. Michael’s features are said to be a likeness of Lucian Freud, Sigmund Freud’s grandson!

Friday sent us back to Kenilworth Castle, where we took part in a Ghost tour. Basically, it was a guided walk around the castle grounds with a Victorian-attired guide telling us stories about ghosts and legends associated with the Castle.

One thing he told us, which I hadn’t realized before, was that the Queen Elizabeth who is associated with the Castle is the same Queen Elizabeth associated with Dr. John Dee! (I continue to chase John Dee around the country!) We don’t know whether Dee ever visited Kenilworth, but still it was exciting to make that connection. (And yes, I am wearing a bat on my head!)

Most importantly, this was how we decided to mark Halloween this year. We might get trick-or-treaters visiting on Halloween night, so we bought some candy in preparation. But Halloween celebrates the thin, liminal boundary that separates the waking world from the world of death, which has appeared in so many of our travels and church visits. In fact, Jung considered the unconscious to be the land of the dead, with inhabitants from beyond the veil residing there—whether ancestors, monsters, gods, goddesses, or other figures of myth that manifest in our dreams and active imaginations. Jung deeply explored this world of the unconscious and its denizens and was amply rewarded for his effort.

We’re making some big moves next week, so stay tuned!


-Dr. Vicky Jo

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