When the Veil between the Worlds is Thin: Holy Nights 2016-2017

Holy Nights, not one but 12 holy nights begin on Christmas eve. A time to search for wisdom within. A Time to Dream. Mindfunda invites you for the Holy Nights Event 2016/2017. 

Each year, when the sun is close to the earth and the days are dark, there is an opportunity to connect with your inner light and wisdom.
It is an ancient belief that the sun, being the symbol of our consciousness, is being reborn on Christmas night.

12 Holy nights and the Darkness

According to Rudolf Steiner, the absence of light enables us to look for the light within. Just like one-eyed Odin, who sacrificed one eye for peace, had to learn how to trust his inner vision.

“On these nights, the darkest of the year, are closest to the Sun’s Spirit and this means that the Spiritual Sun shining from inside the Earth makes it translucent and illuminates everything from the inside, not as it is afterwards when the Sun illuminates the Earth from above, from the outside.”
Kristina Kain

holy nights
Art by Cuyler Black Inheritthermith
Holy Nights 2016-17: The Plan

When you enrol, you create an account on the Mindfunda Courses page. This will protect the dreams you share here: only other participants of the Holy Nights Event 2016-17 are able to reflect on your dreams if you wish for them to do that.
Each day, I share a new incubation with you. At night you read the incubation, if you wish you can create a ritual that will help you to concentrate on the theme of that day.

holy nights
Art by Randy Glasbergen

We start Christmas Eve 2016, December 24. The dreaming of this night is said to be precognitive for the month of January 2017. Since on this night the birth of the Spirit on earth is celebrated, our incubation will incorporate a search for your inner light and how you wish to reflect it this new year. Each day I will ask you to give yourself  a gift. It can be a spiritual gift, it can be a nice warm bath, it can be a paragraph you write from the heart to yourself. You will have a nice book filled with positive knowledge about yourself when these holy nights are finished on January 6.

Holy Nights: Epiphany

Each night you read the incubation. If you want to you can create a ritual to enhance the journey inside your spiritual realm. Each night is dedicated to one of the twelve months of 2017. On the last night you will have gotten a better grasp upon your own wisdom and feeling of spirituality.

holy nights
Art by Charles M Schulz

The last day we will share dreams and you will be asked to write a specific intention for yourself to embrace your inner wisdom every day. It has to be something tangible, something you can touch, feel or see. For example: you can write down at least two things that you feel really good about each day. Or write a certain amount of words on your new novel. Or study a subject you want your mind to indulge in.

Holy Nights 2016-17: join now!

You treat yourself to:

  • 12 exclusive and dedicated dream incubations,
  • A unique chance to listen to your heart, no religious strings attached,
  • A perfect chance to open up to special dreams,
  • Privacy to talk about your dreams with other open-minded participants.




take this course now

The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil

Author:  Al Ridenour
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Feral House (October 4, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627310347
ISBN-13: 978-1627310345
Price $16.50
Reviewer:  Catherine Poloynis



Buy the book using this link and support Mindfunda

Continue reading The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil

Lovely Lunatic Supermoon Gazing

I hope your Lunatic alert is buzzing this week, because it will be a Supermoon November 14, 2016. This is the time to join me for an adventure.


Have you always been wondering what your dreams mean?
Have you always wanted to take part in a dream group to discuss ideas about your dreams?
Always wondered why the indigenous people connected the moon with dreams?

This is your chance to find answers, together with a group of likeminded.
Join us now for the Mindfunda Supermoon event.

How do you know if you are lunatic?

Do you ever feel uneasy, out-of-place? Like you are from another planet?
Are you a sensitive person?
Are you longing for a tribe?

Being Lunatic is a compliment. You are someone who is authentic. And because you are sensitive to energies, the Supermoon might have an effect on you.

Do you ever experience, in a crowded room, that you are aware of the energy lines between people?
Can you connect with people who are important to you by tuning your attention towards their heart, just to feel if they are ok?

If the answer to these questions is yes (or you would like it to be a yes), than this is the right course for you. Come and join us.

Lunatic Energy

Indigenous people all empower the moon as a source of energy. Artist Lisa Park showed all of us how our brainwaves transmit energy.

Photo: from thelisapark.com
Come meet the Lunatic Dream Tribe

Come and join us. This Supermoon will probably affect your dreaming. If you want to know how, this is your time to find out. It will not be for another 18 years before we have another Super Moon Event like this. This is my lunatic offer:

  1. Four presentations filled with information about moon and dreaming.
  2. Four incubations dedicated to the phases of the moon.
  3. Two online 1h presentations/webinars that include safe dream sharing.
  4. The exclusive opportunity to reflect on dreams with other participants in a safe restricted environment.

So together you will get a stack of 11 items for just $39.99 (Hey, that’s less than $4 each!). Join us now!



Book Review: 11 titles on Mindfunda 2016

Welcome to this years’ list of book review’s that I put on Mindfunda.
At its core, Mindfunda is here to distribute useful information to you. Information that will make your life more fun. In three ways: we offer online courses, we offer book reviews and we offer blogs with information about dreaming, spirituality and mythology.

Do you miss a book? Had you read or written a wonderful book about mythology, spirituality or dreams you want me to review ? Let me know!

This is the 2016 book review list, that only contains books that were published this year. It starts with the most recent Mindfunda blog post and ends with the oldest post. If you want to buy a book, be so kind to use the affiliate link from Mindfunda. In that way you will support our good work.

book review
art found on CCHunterbooks.com
Book review 2016

Call Of the Cats, What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony by Andrew Bloomfield. Cats have an uncanny bond with humans. Just as I was offered this for a book review by the publisher, a friend of mine shared a presentation about how her cats had influence her dreaming.

book review
click here to buy the book

So you can understand that I had to say yes to this request. The book reads like a psychological novel. If you like cats, be sure to buy this book, you will not be sorry.

A Day in the Life of the Brain by Susan Greenfield. Susan Greenfield describes a day of a normal guy and paints a picture of what happens in his brain.

book review
click here to buy the book

Easy to read, with fascinating chapters on dreaming, and on consciousness in animals.

Sleep Monsters and Superheroes edited by Jean Campbell and Clare Johnson, who both contributed chapters to this book.

Children and dreams… With this book every parent, every teacher, niece, nephew, uncle or aunt has a chance to introduce their children to the magic of dreaming.

book review
click here to buy the book

When I gave dream workshops for pregnant ladies in the beginning of this century, I was visited by so many parents and grandparents asking me how to handle the nightmares of their children. I prepared for the workshop by reading the information that was available on the website of Patricia Garfield. Patricia  Garfield also contributed to this book.  A wealth of information, you can add to your mother-toolkit.

Mythology of the Soul by H.G. Baynes.

A book that combines two things I love: mythology and art. Over 900 pages of information about dreams and Jungian psychology by one of the best Jungian analysts in England.

book review
click here to buy the book

If you like dreams, art and Jungian psychology, this is the book for you.

The Power of Ritual by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles Laughlin.

Human beings are sensitive to rituals. This book is written in a way that makes you understand the psychological, spiritual and psychical side of ritual.

book review
click here to buy the book

This book researches ritual in every aspect, leaving no stone unturned. It will be so much easier for you to create your own positive rituals after you have read this book.

Translating Myth edited by Ben PestellPietra Palazzolo and Leon Burnett.

Mythology is a cultural concept. Each culture, each century, has its own mythologies. This book has the ambitious quest to offer a translation: from century to century, from continent to continent.

book review
click here to buy the book


I really loved all the wisdom and stories packed in this book. It has become the theoretical backbone of my Mindfunda Movies course.

The Goddess and the Shaman by J.A. Kent.

The doors to the realm of the Elphame open through dreams. If you like shamanism as proposed by Micheal Warner, this is the book for you.


book review
click here to buy the book


It is not a work book however. If you are looking for ways to connect with the inner Goddess you might want to consider the online Mindfunda Mythology Course .

Big Dreams by Kelley Bulkeley.

This book is a plea to look at special dreams and research their characteristics. Lucid dreams, visitation dreams, mutual dreams.

book review
click here to buy the book

Only if we look at those special dreams can we come to an understanding of the phenomenon of dreaming, according to Bulkeley. What I like most about this book is the way that Bulkeley effortlessly writes about sophisticated neurological research in an understandable way.

What is Relativity by Jeffrey Bennet.

In the past I had so many time-travel dreams that I had this inner craving to understand more about its possibilities.

book reviews
click here to buy the book

This was a very interesting book review. I discovered so much reading this. Not all fun though, because time travel is not possible (my time travel dreams did cease soon thereafter). But if you are crazy about astronomy, if you are a star-gazer, or just Einstein crazy, this is the book for you.

Strange Gods by Susan Jacoby. A book not only about the cruel middle ages. It is still happening, conversions. Religion is intertwined with power and privilege.

book review
click here to buy the book


And last but certainly not least: Mythic Worlds, Modern Words by Joseph Campbell, edited by Edmund Epstein.

book review
click here to buy the book

Using James Joyce his oeuvre as a guide to the mythological aspects of your challenges.

Moon sick from the book review?

Enrol now and dream with me for a month: from Supermoon until full moon in December.

Cat Call for the Soul: the Bond between Cats and Humans

Call of the Cats
What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony
by Andrew Bloomfield
New World Library $ 10.70 paper version ISBN-10: 1608683982 kindle $15.43 ISBN-13: 978-1608683987
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn and Maria Cernuto


Buy the book using this link and support the good work of Mindfunda

Cat and the soul

Any cat owner knows a cat seeks out its owner. My Dropje, Dutch for Liquorice, came running towards me when I visited the nest of little kittens. I fell in love with her on the spot. She walked along with me as if she had determined with her feral intuition that we belonged together. I ended up writing my thesis for university with her purring in the palm of my hand. (Dropje was not as grumpy as she looks on the picture, I might add in her favour)

My feral companion for 17 years “Dropje” photo: Juvaniphoto

Something similar happens to the writer, Andrew Bloomfield. “a kitten in distress, crying for us, it seemed… This wasn’t so much a cry for the ears, it was a cry for the heart. I literally felt my heart vibrating with each shrieking call” (page 18).

Andrew Bloomfield’s book is not only about cats. It is about the human psyche. It is about cold hard nature. It is about commitment. It is about relationships between humans and relationships between animals. Love, loss, illness, all come into play in this book.


Maria Cernuto and a cat crie

Dream Specialist Maria Cernuto had the same cry of a kitten calling her. In her presentation for the online annual Psiber Dream Conference for the International Association for the Study of Dreams she writes:

“While inside my home, I hear a repetitious high-pitched sound coming from outside. My ears prick up with curiosity, I wonder, ―What’s that sound?‖ I decide to investigate and discover it is the cries of a distressed kitten. The kitty is popping its little head in and out from under the fence while mewing frantically, but then grows silent and remains hidden”. This cry went straight to Maria’s heart because of a dream she had that night. I will tell more about it in the paragraph about cats and dreams.

And just at the day her presentation was published, I got a request from New World Library to review this book. Cat and Heart, an intuitive match!

cat and humans

“There was a historical precedent to the connection we felt with the cats. Ten thousand years ago or so in the Fertile Crescent, cats went from being merely functional to being embraced as pets” (page 101). In Egypt they attained the status of a god. In Rome, “a bicultural heritage law decrees agar wherever five or more cats live in a natural urban habitat, they can’t be moved or chased away” (page 102).

me in Bastet costume

In Egypt cats kept the grain safe from rodents. A function so important, they acquired a divine status. “The goddess Bastet was even represented by a domestic cat. he visiting Greek historian Herodotus noted that an enormous temple complex was built in Bastet’s honer in the centre of the city, and having participated in a festival honouring her, he reported it to be the largest and most enthusiastic celebration in all of Egypt” (page 121).

Cat and Dreams

There is something about a cat and a human that manifests itself in dreams. “Sophie began to have recurrent dreams about Bandy (one of the feral cats in the colony). Horrible dreams of her being attacked by predators or otherwise running into misfortune” (page 171).  Bandy ended up being tangled to a tree while she was on a leash and could be saved at the last minute because of the dream.

Maria Cernuto shared this cat-rescue dream with us during the Psiber Dream Conference, I only give a part of this dream due to to length of the blog:

Deadly Pond:

“I am at someone’s house. They have an open patio with a pool and a large manmade pond, almost the same size as the pool, parallel to it. It’s bright and sunny out as I walk around the patio. I notice a couple of fish on the ledge of the pond, gasping/dying—two angelfish (one black with white stripes and the other yellow with white markings), and two large seahorses (a bright yellow and a bright red overlapping one another), about a foot long. I see water has drained several feet down and I see a rocky interior. I run inside grabbing plastic cups to fill with water. I am frantic, running to save them. Then I am gently pouring water on them. I make intense eye contact with the yellow seahorse as it opens its mouth to drink. I feel a deep, soulful connection with it. Its eyes express gratitude”.

When she hears the kitten cry, Maria asks her neighbour if she can search his garden.


“I called my next-door neighbour to ask for permission to enter his backyard. He consented and offered to send his son outside to help me. All we could see was white fur sticking out of the wooden slats of the fence. He climbed onto an overturned pot in order to look down between our fences and said, ―It’s not breathing or moving. I can’t see which direction its head is in. Thinking about my dream, I exclaimed, ―We’ve got to get the kitten out!”
Thanks to he dream they rescue the kitten and it is named Blondie.


If you are a cat lover, this is the book for you.
Information about the history of cats is weaved into the story.
It reads like a psychological journey towards spiritual maturity.

More about me, Susanne van Doorn:
Mindfunda Mythology



Consciousness: the Ripples in the Lake of the Brain

A Day in the Life of the Brain
The Neuroscience of Consciousness from Dawn Till Dusk
by Susan Greenfield
Allen Lane, 2016, kindle ISBN: 0241256674 $27.29 hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0241256671
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn

Use this link to buy the book and support Mindfunda


Continue reading Consciousness: the Ripples in the Lake of the Brain

3 things you should know about a Visitation Dream

A Visitation Dream is like an orgasm. If you had one, you know it. There is no doubt about it. A visitation dream is a special kind of dream.

“Visitation dreams have an even more illustrious historical and cultural background. Dreams of dead ancestors are a prominent and well-known experience found in virtually every indigenous culture studied by Western anthropologists and ethnographers.”
Kelly Bulkeley, “Big dreams: The science of dreaming & the origins of religion.” 2016, p. 77. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

visitation dream

Continue reading 3 things you should know about a Visitation Dream

From Genesis to Big Bang: a Mythological View on Creation Myths

Did you know that you can follow online courses on Mindfunda? Mindfunda Mythology consist of 6 lessons.

The Creation myth: Genesis and The Big Bang
The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology
Mythology of Men 
Mythology of Women
Mythology of the Trickster
Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword

This blog is about the first lesson in Mindfunda Mythology, a course that you can follow online, in your own time, at your own pace.
Continue reading From Genesis to Big Bang: a Mythological View on Creation Myths

Mythological Themes and Modern Movies

I have recently launched Mindfunda Movies;
Four film interpretations that help you apply the mythological themes to your own life.

Mindfunda Movie will give you a new perspective on: Pan’s Labyrinth and Girl Interrupted. This two films are interpreted as modern stories of female initiation in a men’s world. Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption are stories about male initiation in a men’s world. You will learn that it is not easier for a men to be initiated in the Western world. But the films give an interesting contemporary look on male and female once you learn how to unlock their Mythological themes.

Continue reading Mythological Themes and Modern Movies

Children Dream about Sleep Monsters and Superheroes

Sleep Monsters and Superheroes: Empowering Children through Creative Dreamplay
Clare R. Johnson and Jean M. Campbell, Editors
ABC-CLIO, LLC 2016, $48.00 paper ISBN-13: 9781440842665,
$47.85 ebook: ISBN-10: 1440842663
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn
Edited by Christian Gerike M.A.


children dream
Support the good work of Mindfunda and buy the book using this link
Children Dream, parents panic

Children dream. In their dreams they are creative, they are scared, they cope with the challenges the world imposes on them. Usually when children wake up crying, in terror, parents panic. With all the information in this book, that will never happen to you again.

Dr. Clare Johnson, author, Lucid Dreaming expert, board member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) and Jean Campbell M.A. author, former IASD president and founder of the online group Worldpeacebridge, got together to create a book about children’s dreams. And magic started to happen.

children dream


Jean Campbell, at the 2016 Psiber Dreaming Conference (a conference about the “psi” element in dreaming), tells how this book came about:

“We talked about how nice it would be to have a book that talked about working with children with their dreams. Clare and I said to each other, “why not see if we can find a publisher for such a book?” And the most amazing thing happened. When we wrote to the acquisitions editor at Praeger, the immediate reply (within five minutes of the request) was “YES!!) Now, I have worked on and off in the publishing industry for years, and I know very well that no publisher does that.”.


Children dream: history of dream books

When I heard about a new children- dream book being written, I thought: it is about time! The first really good book about the dreams of children I ever read was a Dutch translation of Jung’s Kindertraume: Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940. In 2012, Kelly Bulkeley and Patricia Bulkley, both contributors to this book, wrote Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams and Nightmares of Childhood. The Jungian approach is still valid after more than seventy years.

The focus of Sleep Monsters and Super Heroes is on dream play: “Led into dreamplay by a supportive adult, children can become “superheroes” in their dreams, and this empowerment carries over into their waking lives” (page 9). Each of the 17 contributors shares a vision. The book is filled with an interesting array of visions from artists, scientists, lucid dreamers, parents, teachers. They all share methods, insights they have acquired, and techniques you can apply.

Sleep Monsters and Super Heroes, Empowering your Children through Creative Dreamplay, is divided into four parts:

  1. Creativity and Healing;
  2. Inner and Outer Worlds;
  3. Extreme Dreams;
  4. Extraordinary Dreams.

    children dream

    Even though I would like to quote every author that contributed to this book, the blog would become too long. I did some cherry picking, even though it was very hard, and only picked one chapter per part.

Creativity and Healing.

Patricia Garfield, in her chapter “Superkid and Other Joyful Dreams: Creative Dreaming with Young Children”says: “Researchers tell us that people who have a sense of accomplishment in life are those who set goals just a little beyond the level they are sure to attain”.

children dreamArt found bright accountancy.com

As parents, we can assist our children in setting realistic goals; we can glimpse these inner goals through the window of our children’s dreams” (page 11). So dreams do not only give parents a glimpse of the soul of their children, but are also a useful tool in setting goals.

Inner and Outer Worlds

In the chapter “The Impact of Digital Technology on Children’s Dreams” Jayne Gackenbach explains how dreams have changed due to our increasing dependence on technology and games. And dreams do not always change for the worse. Young people that game supposedly have more access towards obtaining the ability to engage in lucid dreams. At the 2016 Conference of the IASD, one of the keynote speeches: Playing the Dream by Frank Bosman was about this subject.

children dream


“Gamers are more likely to consider the “nightmare” as fun and perceive it like playing a combat-centric game. Gamers see a drastic change in their threat perception and reaction, and events or experiences that may paralyze others in dreams are instead an empowering challenge to overcome. In other words, heavy gamers experience dream events that bolster their confidence rather than create negative emotions” (page 122).

So gaming isn’t all bad for your children/boyfriend/spouse/fiancee. Negative emotions will probably be handled better, because the gamer is working with it all day and night.

Extreme dreams

In the chapter “Weirdness in the Night: Terrors and Disorders in Children’s Sleep” Ryan Hurd gives more information about parasomnias: sleepwalking, sleep paralysis and sleep terrors.

“Sleepwalking erupts out of deep sleep, when delta waves predominate the sleeping brain in the first half of the night. Sleep walking and other arousal disorders usually surface within an hour or two after the child goes to sleep. The sleepwalker rouses and moves about for a few minutes with open but distant eyes. Children can perform complex behavior as well, although their movements may be clumsy and not well defined. When confronted, a sleepwalker may simply navigate around the obstacle without acknowledgement or respond foggily at best”.

children dream

Any parent who has experienced his child sleepwalking knows it can be a very strange experience to see your child aware, but in another state of being. Ryan not only gives expert advice backed up by research, he is been through all of this himself when he was a child.

Extraordinary Dreams

In the chapter “Dream Magicians: Empower Children through Lucid Dreaming” Clare Johnson reminds us of how common lucid dreams are for children.
“One 2006 study by Qinmei, Qinggong, and Jie shows that most four-to-six-year-olds believe that there may be a way of controlling the action in their dreams, while knowing that this is a dream” (page 289).



children dream
Art cartoon wizard: joyreactor.com


“Being a dream magician can be as simple as thinking a clear, guiding thought in a lucid dream, or it can involve more complex actions such as reciting mantras and spells, creating new dream scenes, or using magical props such as an invisibility cloak or a wishing ring” (page 290).


To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Here are some pro’s and cons.


  • This book provides you with a wealth of information and techniques about helping children to dive into the world of dreams.
  • There are contributions from researchers, teachers, and parents.
  • The book is easy to read.
  • Not every author focused on dreamplay, but this could also be added to the con’s of this book.


  • 48 dollars is rather expensive, even though it is value for money: more than 350 pages of information about dreams from different angles.
  • Not every author focused on dreamplay, but this could also be added to the pro’s of this book.
More about Mindfunda

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NEW: Mindfunda Movies
FREE: Ebook Mutual Dreaming


Film Feature: Four Stories about Gender

I want to thank Jungian Author Susan Scott, artist Brenda Ferrimani and Psychoanalyst Lou Hagood for their advice on Mindfunda Movie.

It is the season to watch a film. Days are getting shorter, evenings are getting longer. Nowadays films are easily found online, but these four classic films will be an asset to your collection. Mindfunda introduces Mindfunda Movies.

Two movies about the way our culture perceives women: Girl Interrupted and Pan’s Labyrinth. And two movies about the way our culture perceives men: Pulp Fiction and the Shawshank Redemption.

film about girls

Continue reading Film Feature: Four Stories about Gender

How to Remember your Dreams

christianderikejpgToday’s Guest Blog: Remembering Dreams  is written by Christian Gerike M.A, who teaches The Psychology of Dreams  at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California.
It is Part II of a two Part series about Sleeping and Dreaming. By clicking the link you can read Part I: Sleep Well, Remembering Dream.

Continue reading How to Remember your Dreams

Sleeping Well, Remembering Dreams

christianderikejpgToday’s Guest Blog: Sleeping Well, Remembering Dreams  is written by Christian Gerike M.A, who teaches The Psychology of Dreams  at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California.
It is Part I of a two Part series about Sleeping and Dreaming; you can read Part II: Remembering Dreams here.

Continue reading Sleeping Well, Remembering Dreams

Extrovert Ideal versus Introvert World

An Introvert is a person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.

Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to "recharge" afterwards. The word "Introvert" has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.

introvert survival in extrovert world

When I was about 8 years old, my parents had to come to my school. The teacher used to have talks with the parents of each child in the class, in Dutch it is called “10 minuten gesprek”; a 10 minute conversation.


Art by Jeff Wysasky
Pleated Jeans

Continue reading Extrovert Ideal versus Introvert World

Schizophrenic Dreams and Art: Mythology of the Soul

Mythology of the Soul
A Research into the Unconscious from Schizophrenic Dreams and Drawings
by H.G. Baynes
Routledge 2015, $61.18 paperback, Kindle $49.46 ISBN 9781138852334
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn
Edited by Christian Gerike

The Routledge Tayler and Francis Group started an initiative to re-publish works of distinguished authors that were no longer available. The initiative is called Psychology Revivals. Mythology of the Soul is one of the re-published books, it was originally published in 1940.

Continue reading Schizophrenic Dreams and Art: Mythology of the Soul

Inspiration: 4 Ways to Find Intuitive Solutions

Inspiration is a volatile thing. I just came back from a very inspiring holiday. I traveled through England and France for almost three weeks in search for the Arthur Myth (see my online Mythology course: the final lesson is dedicated to what Gustav Jung claimed was the mythology of the Western society: The Arthur Myth).

Now, even if the children have gone back to school and I have got plenty of books to review, it is still hard to get inspiration. So in today’s Mindfunda I will make an effort of suggesting ways to get inspired.

Continue reading Inspiration: 4 Ways to Find Intuitive Solutions

The Power of Ritual: Informative and Intriguing

The Power of Ritual
by Robbie Davis Floyd and Charles Laughlin
Daily Grail Publishing, 2016, $26.95 paper, ISBN 978-0-9874224-9-1
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn


Buy the book using this link and support the good work of Mindfunda
the power of ritual: introduction

Do you remember the eighties when Joseph Campbell talked to us about “The Power of Myth”? It was magic on television. His engaging way of telling a story combined with the way he glued it to the challenges of that time, it made us all feel that mythology was very much alive.

Three decades later, authors anthropologist Robbie Davis Floyd Ph.D., and neuroanthropologist Charles Laughlin explore the Power of Ritual.
In the foreword Betty Sue Flowers, editor of “the Power of Myth” says:
“In The Power of Ritual, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles D. Laughlin have done for ritual what Campbell did for myth-tell stories, personalize the study of ritual, and relate ritual to the concerns of everyday life”.


Joseph Campbell in the Power of Myth


Even though it is not written as a textbook, it has an academic thoroughness about it. It explores all the facets of ritual: the brain of the Homo sapiens, mythology, the “hardware” of ritual: the drivers, the techniques and the place, the “software of ritual: the emotions and the transformations it can sustain in a certain society.

Where myths are the stories that make us come to terms with the world, rituals are a sword with two edges. Ritual helps you make sense of the culture you live in and it can help you change that culture.

the power of ritual: giving structure

They give a list of 9 core characteristics that constitute the anatomy of ritual, based on Ronald. L. Grimes’ The Craft of Ritual Studies. (Grimes put Ritual Studies on the academic map). This list is the guideline that is used throughout the book.

“Ritual is one of the oldest human activities-often considered as important as eating, sex, and shelter. Why has it persisted so long? Why does every attempt to suppress it result in creating it anew? What makes ritual seems at once so foundational that even animals do it so superfluous that Protestants once imagined they could dispense it altogether?”

Ronald Grimes, Introduction to Reading in Ritual Studies


Art: The Biosphere by designed by Buckminster Fuller, photo by Dennis Bathory-Kisz


In eleven chapters there is a diligent search for the power of ritual. In every corner, every room, every symbol, every core symbol is interpreted as a part of a ritual. A ritual can be positive as well as negative. A ritual is dualistic: it has to sustain a culture and its rulers, but it must also be a vehicle for social change.
Not an easy subject.
But it is clear that a ritual gives structure, and it needs a certain place, a certain time, with people acting in certain ways, dressed in certain clothes. Even if a ritual has no effect, people usually blame this on something they themselves have done wrong.

the power of ritual: Personal stories

What sets this book apart from other books are the very personal stories the authors use to illustrate the values that are part of any ritual. The authors take the daring step to share some very personal stories to illustrate the 9 principles of ritual and in doing so they dare to break boundaries. The only thing that was unclear to me as reader, is who is telling the story.

Almost every personal story is told in the third person perspective. To me this was a little confusing at times. There are two authors: has one author told the story, and has the other written it down?
In the final chapter, Robbie Davis finally dares to write in the first person perspective, as she tells the story of the celebration of her deceased daughter.

Her daughter died in a car crash, one of the most heartbreaking experiences any human being can ever experience. And telling it from the first person perspective makes it strong. I was there too, celebrating the life of this vibrant young girl. Being a mother myself, I feel the loss, the desperation and the celebration about the short, but beautiful life she had lived.

“When I was called to attend the lightning of the candles on the birthday cake, I told the caterers to STOP and hold it for a little while, and then I took my sweet time to walk around the beautiful gardens to note how friends and relatives had clustered to eat and talk about Peyton-forever engraved in my memory are the shining candles and my equally shining family and friends. I had learned not to simply ride the ritual train, but to stop it for a little while. so I could simply bask in the moment to drink in from the ritual every single thing it could give me.”


What is the verdict: to buy or not to buy?

  • The book gives a very good analysis of ritual, and frequently surprises you with new data and insights. For example: have you ever conceived giving birth in a hospital as a ritual? Have you ever realized that a ritual is like an unstoppable train? Have you ever realized that there must be a combination of internal as well as external drivers to change consciousness when performing a ritual? This book gives so much information and so much examples that you will feel more knowledgeable once you have read it.
  • I really like and admire the fact that the writers share personal stories. Having the guts to step outside the scientific anthropological point of view, they practice what they preach. You can not study a phenomenon without having experienced it yourself.
  • There are many models and theories discussed in this book. Nine aspects of ritual, states of consciousness, a cognitive matrix, the cycle of meaning, four stages of cognition… A multitude of ways to analyse ritual.
  • The book is quite easy to read.
  • There is a lot of attention for mythology and dreams in this book. Charles Laughlin is an accomplished practitioner of Tibetan yoga and talks about dreams and dream incubation with ease, and he even shows the box he created to sleep in.
  • There is much attention to the birth process of human beings. Lots of Western women (like me) never get proper educated about it because our grandmothers, mothers and sisters are too traumatized to discuss the process.
    “An electronic fetal monitoring machine, which Robbie has interpreted as the primary symbol of hospital birth (Davis-Floyd 2004), also speaks with many voices, promising to provide full information on the strength of the laboring mother’s contractions and the contraction of the fetal heart rate, representing the vast corporation that created it and the technical know-how that went into making it, and giving women a sense of psychological and emotional trust in the information it provides” (page 57).But this machine also sucks up the attention: the mother is no longer the centre of attention: the machine is. Having given birth twice in the hospital (I was obliged to do that being diabetic) I know from experience that when the heart rate of my second baby dropped significantly, this became the center of my attention for several agonizing hours.


  • All the models and theories can become quite confusing. I had some trouble of allocating some concepts into the picture the authors are trying to describe. There are nine major characteristics of a ritual, there are four stages of cognition, there are the twin axes of instantiation, there is the cycle of meaning, there is the technocratic, humanistic and holistic paradigms of medicine there is a cognitive matrix… It can be a bit confusing to get the big picture the authors are trying to paint for you as reader.
  • Unfortunately, there is no e-book available (yet).

More about me, Susanne van Doorn:
Mindfunda Mythology




Translating Myth: Re-wording the unseen knowledge

Translating Myth
Edited by Ben Pestell, Pietra Palazzolo and Leon Burnett.
Legenda 2016, hardcover $120.00 kindle $37.22 ISBN978-1-910887-04-2 (hbk) 978-1-315-54320-8 (ebk)
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn, edited by Christian Gerike.

Translating Myth is a book that attempts to scientifically define myth. Or at least, come to describe 5 aspects of it: how to translate it, how to create it, how to establish it in a a new country, how to sing its poetry and how myth is related to politics. The book clearly establishes that myth can not be measured nor captured, but it is only possible to study the ways in which one can enter the realms that display myth to an individual.

Continue reading Translating Myth: Re-wording the unseen knowledge

Holiday Heaven: 5 destinations

Me and my family recently came back from a holiday visiting places connected with the Arthur myth. King Arthur is the mythological king that would unite England. I write more about Arthur and the Grail Mythology in Mindfunda’s Mythology, on online course to help you understand more about mythological themes in your life and in your dreams.

King Arthur

Continue reading Holiday Heaven: 5 destinations


Arthur in Mythology

Mythology seems to be lost in society. “Mythology consists of stories about half-naked Greek Gods running round doing crazy stuff and getting away with it”.
I used to think so… Untill I had a dream that showed me that stories are not always just stories…

Arthur in dreams

Sometimes, mythology just comes knocking on your door in a dream. For me, that happened several years ago. In a dream, I heard a voice over say: “You belong to the court of King Arthur”. I said back: “No that is only a story”. I was wrong about that. Mythology is about solving life’s problems. Mythology is about learning to live with life’s problems.

Round Table

In the Mindfunda Mythology Course, I created a lesson about Arthur. It is called: Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword. This is a quote:

The Grail in the Arthur myth is about a spiritual kind of love, felt deep in the soul, where it touches upon the waters of life. Whenever you experience “a dry spell” in your life, a depression, you know you have to find the grail again. And according to the Arthur myth, you need to ask the right question on the right moment to find the grail and heal the fisher King“.

But sometimes mythology is hidden in themes that play a role in your life that is obvious for an outsider, but not for you. That is why each lesson has open-ended questions so you can re-interpret your stories, as well as your dreams. I will give you another example from the course:

“If you look at dreams you had about your mother and reinterpret them as dreams about mother earth, does their message change? How is mother earth talking  to you? Is she protecting you? Is she urging you to change your life? To change your nutrition?”

Arthur lessons

The Arthur lesson is the last one of six. Together they make a perfect line up of the trouble that one comes across while living life. The first lesson: “Creation Myth: Genesis and Big Bang” re-writes modern society as a contemporary myth. It’s exercises will give you clues into re-interpreting your dreams with new mythological meaning. The second lesson “The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology” will help you connect with and accept the animal part in your own personality. The third lesson “Mythology of Men” will help you understand men more. Whether you are born in a men’s body or in a woman’s body. The same is true for lesson number four: “Mythology of Women”. In lesson number five I invite you to a private party.  I invite you to a private party. “Trusting the Trickster: Hanging  With Loki and His Friends“. The focus of this lesson is to recognize and embrace the Trickster in yourself. We have already discussed the last lesson: “Mythology of the Grail: Pulling Out the Sword” in more depth in this post.

Each lesson consist of 26-30 pages A4 filled with text, exercises and a literature list filled with good inspiring books. I hope to see you soon at Mindfunda Courses.


Twitter: @susannevandoorn
Free Ebook Mutual Dreaming

Problem Solving using the Committee of Sleep

Life is about problem solving. You just conquered a problem. Before you have a chance to lay back and enjoy your peace of mind, another problem is calling to be solved. Deirdre Barrett Ph.D, who teaches at Harvard, wrote a book about how dreams can be used as tools for problem solving.

problem solving
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Continue reading Problem Solving using the Committee of Sleep

Imagery in Dreaming


For the annual dream conference organized by the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) I was invited to join a panel to discuss Dreaming and Mental imagery. My co-presenters were Kelly Bulkeley, who recently published the book Big Dreams,The Science of Dreaming & The Origins Of Religion, Antonio Zadra, Professor in the Department of Psychology, Université de Montreal, and photographer and dreamer Bonnie Mitsch.
Continue reading Imagery in Dreaming

Ariadne’s Clue, a guide to the symbols of humankind

If you buy the book using this link you will support the good work of Mindfunda.

Ariadne is the goddess of passion. She is the daughter of Midos, King of Crete,   and Pasiphae. She helped Theseus battle the Minotaur who was stuck in the labyrinth. Ariadne gave him the clue to escape out of wandering around in a pool of possibilities. A simple woollen thread, that enabled him to find his way back. But she did not only show him the path, she also helped him to concur the monster that was hiding in the dark, by giving him a sword. She did all that for the promise of marriage. Theseus promised to marry her as soon as he came back from his mission. But he left her. Poor Ariadne…
Dionysius married her and they allegedly had two children: Stapylus and Oenopion.
Continue reading Ariadne’s Clue, a guide to the symbols of humankind

Cognitive Dream Theory: Bill Domhoff

Bill Domhoff
Photo global.usb.edu

Mindfunda Talked with Bill Domhoff about the Cognitive Dream Theory. In the Mindfunda Online Course Dreaming about the Brain, this is one of the three models discussed. The other two are the psychodynamic model of Mark Solms and the Activation-Input-Modulation  of Allan Hobson. The latter being the most widely accepted theory of dreaming by scientists.

Continue reading Cognitive Dream Theory: Bill Domhoff

Shaman – Magic: The Goddess and the Shaman

The Shaman is usually the Wise Man, who has the ability to travel to different realms of being to guide his tribe through difficult times. A healer, a wise man, a trickster sometimes, if that is necessary for the healing of a soul. Shamanism is the oldest religion known to men. Well, actually the first religions were animist, a religion that attributes a soul to plants and objects. But that is a shaman way of thinking.




The shaman is male

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a guy-shaman. Think of Michael Harner’s Core Shamanism as he has described it in his book “The Way of the Shaman“. Think of the Shamanism of Robert Moss, who modernized the concept in a professional manner. Think of Michael Smith, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal) with his Crow’s Nest. You know what they have in common? They are all men. Wise old man. Even though in ancient times there where many female Shamans. The word shaman derives from the word ‘Shamanka’, a female shaman.

“The Goddess and The Shaman, The Art and Science of Magical Healing” isn’t a historical document about female shamans. If you are looking for that you should try a classic like “Woman Shaman’s Body” written by Barbara Tedlock Ph.D.

The Goddess and the Shaman is a personal story of a woman, taken over by the voices of the Elphame, The Elf World.



Kent describes how she became “taken over” by the other realm, the Elphame and had what she calls “an Ontological Shock”. She writes: “When the path found me, I discovered that I had a surprising array of psycho-spiritual abilities that emerged fully formed. It shocked me, frightened me, and caused me to doubt to doubt my sanity”.

She goes on to describe a process of Out of Body Experiences that occurred as epileptic seizures during nap time. Because her brother had read Monroe’s “Journeys Outside of the Body” and lended his copy to her, she began to feel more  confident. She was not the only one experiencing this. She began to experiment, to travel outside her body.

Shaman Ritual

The way to get to the Elphame is to perform a ritual. Rituals are very beneficial for the human psyche, as research has shown. Rituals create a doorway to the Elphame. Going to your therapist each week is a form of ritual. Going to the doctor is a form of ritual. Each ritual has its dedications, its energy, its own sacred language. The ritual circle is discussed but there is also the warning to protect oneself for bad entities.
But most of all, the ritual of re-connecting with nature is emphasized. There is a link to ecopsychology, that I had never heard of and seems very interesting. The view on “madness” is examined through stories of her patients. She shares a lot of personal dreams visions and experiences with her third vision.


What I like about the book is that the Goddess speaks to J.A. Kent in dreams. Dreams are the door to what Kent calls “The Elphame”.
I also like the very personal writing style of J.A. Kent. She talks about how her experiences made her question her mind. Being that vulnerable in a book takes a lot of guts.

This is a really informative book that gives you lots of insights into shamanism and into the pagan revival of the goddess. An important revival of honoring the female energy in a predominant male oriented society.

I was a bit disappointed about the information on how to reach in for your inner goddess. Do not expect this to be a workbook. It is more a personal story, filled with information about the goddess and its manifestation forms.
The way J.A. Kent leans on the Core Shamanism principle as defined by Michael Warner is either a big complement for his ability to reach his inner goddess, or a lack of creativity in J.A. Kent. If you dedicate a book to the Goddess and the Shaman, why not take the female line of shamanism. The Chukchee shaman women, or the Chinese Wu, or the Artemis Perasia in Anatolia, ancient Turkey  for example. Maybe that will be a subject for a next book.

Do you want to learn more about the Mythology of the Goddess? Enroll in Mindfunda’s Mythology course. An online course that will help you understand the mythology in your life and in your dreams.

Twitter: @susannevandoorn

The Treasure Hunt for the Black Swan

Kelly Bulkeley’s new book: Big Dreams, The Science of Dreaming & The Origins Of Religion is, a sometimes personal, story of the treasure hunt for the Black Swan.
The scientific study of dreams has collected dreams in laboratories. But most dreams are forgotten. But everybody has had a dream they could not forget. A dream that was so profound in vision, in emotion and in impact it changed their perspective on live. They are called “Big Dreams”. In his book Bulkeley investigates those Big Dreams, the Black Swans of Dream Research.

black swan
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Continue reading The Treasure Hunt for the Black Swan

Mother’s Day: A Tribute to all the Mothers

Mother’s Day, a day to honor all mothers around the world. Including the ones that did not bear children. I n this blog I will tell you about how I became captured by the archetype of the mother. And how it influenced my own relationship with my mother.

mothers day

Continue reading Mother’s Day: A Tribute to all the Mothers

Albert Einstein and the Theory that Explains Everyting

Jeffrey Bennet is the author of a new book about Albert Einstein his theory of relativity. He writes in his introduction: “Prior to studying relativity, I had misunderstood the basic nature of space and time”. That sounds intriguing doesn’t it? If you are like me, you have this eagerness to learn more about the hidden laws of nature. And Einstein seemed to have uncovered some of these laws and was well on his way to compose the theory that explains everything. In this blog I tell you more about the book What is Relativity? An intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Idea’s, and Why They Matter and I encourage you to find laws of the human psyche together with me. Because if nature depends on laws, the human psyche does too.


albert einstein
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Continue reading Albert Einstein and the Theory that Explains Everyting

Prince Rogers Nelson, his Royal Badness


Prince, super musician left the Earth. Today is Earth day and I wanted to dedicate my bog post number 199 to Mother Earth. But Prince… was something else. So today I want to tell you about how he influenced my life. Continue reading Prince Rogers Nelson, his Royal Badness

Nightmare and Dreams: a presentation for Rivas

Six percent of the population regularly suffers from a nightmare. But a nightmare is a blessing in disguise. No other dream gives a dreamer such a strong impulse to act upon a dream. It is like a dream urges you to change your ways. Literally, or symbolically.


I was invited by the Dutch Rivas Organisation to give a presentation and a workshop about dreams and nightmares. An invitation I gladly accepted. I spent an evening listening to Professor Kerkhof, who was the main speaker for the evening. His expertise is Sleep and he works for the University of Amsterdam and the Sleep centre of The Hague. After his presentation, people gathered to visit several workshops. Here is a brief summary of my presentation that evening. Continue reading Nightmare and Dreams: a presentation for Rivas

Conversion as a way of thinking

Being raised as a Catholic I was always taught that conversion was a gentle process to help people to get their souls saved. Believing in one god was the highest thing, and the only thing that could bring salvation.

Continue reading Conversion as a way of thinking

Elephant in dreams: 3 archetypical implications


"I am in a garden, outside, and I see a stone. A grey stone. When I pick it up, a whole range of grey little elephants come crawling underneath it. accidently I drop the grey stone and see the elephants running away, bringing themselves into safety"

Given that it is the week before my birthday, I always am alert to dreams that might tell what the next year of my life will have in store for me. In my Mindfunda Mythology courses I give much more information about the archetypical meaning of symbols.

Continue reading Elephant in dreams: 3 archetypical implications

Conscious: our capacity to know about us

Being Conscious to me is knowing who you are. Having a concept of self. Being type one diabetic I have experienced first hand what can go wrong with this concept of self due to low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia). I remember how I, at one point in time, felt that I could not walk anymore in a straight line. I fell down.

Some teenagers started laughing because they thought I was drunk, or a drug user. I remember clearly how my brain reported back to




Continue reading Conscious: our capacity to know about us

Online Courses from Mindfunda

online courses

Online courses are the most convenient way to keep learning. In your own time, at your own convenience. In your pajamas with a cup of coffee, or when your housemates are away so you have some peace and quite. Mindfunda proudly presents two online courses about dreaming. Continue reading Online Courses from Mindfunda

James Joyce: Juicy, Jaunty and Jaded

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses

James Joyce
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James Joyce and mythology

Mythic Worlds, Modern Words, On the Art of James Joyce, edited by Edmund Epstein for the Joseph Campbell foundation tells us how we can use James Joyce as a guide for interpreting mythological material. The book discusses the interpretations given by Joseph Campbell during the course of his life. In different lectures, workshops and presentations he has told about the effect the writings of Joyce had on him since he discovered them in 1927 in Paris.

Continue reading James Joyce: Juicy, Jaunty and Jaded

st. Patrick’s day, three reasons to join the fun

st. patrick’s day

st. Patrick’s day… The Irish people remember st Patrick on the day he allegedly died. March 17. Who was this guy and what did he do with snakes? Why is everything green on  st. Patrick’s day? And why should we care about this folklore event? Read on to find out. Continue reading st. Patrick’s day, three reasons to join the fun

International Women’s Day

It is International Women’s Day. A day I would like to thank all the women who have supported me. I have so many lovely sisters/mothers/friends that have taken care of me. Who supported me when I was down. When I doubted myself. Who cheered me up when somebody was rude to me. I am going to name a few ladies who have been so supportive. But the blog would be too long to list them all.

International Women's day

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The Mentalist: the New Hero


the mentalist
The Mentalist aka Patrick Jane

Lately I have been watching the series The Mentalist on Netflix. The show features a good-looking blond guy who drives (and there my heart melts because it is my favorite car ever) a DS. A Citroen. In America. How cool is that?

Watching the show I can’t help but notice some similarities with another very bright and rude characters: that of Gregory House and Sherlock Holmes in the series Elementary. All three men ar white and have women in their work that support them in the trouble that they have caused by being their brilliant self anti social self. Is this the the new hero? Continue reading The Mentalist: the New Hero

3 ways the Moon affects your Dreams


Moon: reckless heart in heaven,
why do you row towards the west
in that cup filled with blue wine
whose hull is defeated and sad?

Moon: it is no use flying away,
so you go up in a flame of scattered opals:
maybe you are my heart, who is like a gypsy,
who loafs in the sky, shedding poems like tears!

Cesar Vallejo

Continue reading 3 ways the Moon affects your Dreams