Interacting with the Polypoetic Psyche:

An Archetypal Approach

"We do not live most of the time in exalted states. The content of our stream of consciousness is usually not so lofty. Our psychic life is more like a squabbling theatrical company trying to rehearse a play we don’t even know the name of."

Charles Simic

A Six-Week Online Course

September 20th through October 25th

The world is suffering to the point where we no longer have the language to address its complexity and where literalism fails us. As we collectively squeeze through a bottleneck in history, human beings need a language to make meaning of the increasing disasters surrounding us. This course explores the language of archetypes – from the theoretical to the praxis in personal and organizational development. The premise of this course is that particularly in a time of “othering” we need a unifying language. Much like the human genome connects us all, there are archetypal images that unite us, as well. When we decode the universal language of archetypes we realize our capacity to hold multiplicity as a response to a time of global polycrises. A polypoetic approach may not only become useful but essential.

We will explore how we can bring ancient wisdom into modern thought through archetypes and examine key ideas from archetypal psychology, map archetypes through archetypal astrology and arrive at a practical method to see through the literal as we develop an archetypal eye. We will allow archetypal images to appear through the metaphor of theater and apply our insights to a practical method for bringing an archetypal eye to the workplace including opportunities in professional practice.

Students will receive an introduction to archetypal psychology and archetypal astrology and also learn such concepts as the Yin Function. We will examine how both an archetypal and developmental approach together offer powerful tools for human development as well as for a language that speaks to the nature of our times.

Course Faculty

Headshot of Laurence Hillman
Laurence Hillman

Laurence Hillman, PhD, is a global expert on archetypes and does corporate consulting internationally. He was born in Zurich where his father, James Hillman, known as the father of Archetypal Psychology, was the director of studies at the C. G. Jung Institute. Laurence specializes in helping his clients understand their deeper purpose and their life’s calling, especially in these challenging times.

His first two books are Alignments - How to Live in Harmony with the Universe and Planets in Play - How to Reimagine Your Life Through the Language of Astrology. He is also the co-author with Richard Olivier (son of Laurence Olivier) of Archetypes at Work - Evolving your Story, One Character at a Time. In his role as a consultant, he helps leaders and organizations understand their archetypal patterns and advises on high-level decision making in organizations.

He has lectured internationally and conducted workshops at the Globe Theatre in London where he blended Shakespeare and Astrology. At the Cycles & Symbols Conference in California, he lectured on Venus in America (co-presented with his father James Hillman). He has also taught at Jean Houston’s Mystery School and received his doctoral degree from Meridian University.

Find out more about Dr. Hillman’s work at

Course Modules

Week One

The Complexity of the Inner World: Staging the Play

  • The Roots of Depth Psychology – from Freud and Jung to James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology
  • Arriving at the Polypoetic Mind
  • What is an Archetypal Eye?

Week Two

Who is here? Mapping the Archetypal Landscape

  • All the World’s a Stage
  • Archetypal Astrology – Planets in Play
  • Recognizing our inner characters

Week Three

Training your Archetypal Eye

  • An Archetypal Healing Story – The Archetypal Praxis
  • “You Do the Gods – or the Gods Do You”
  • Recognizing your own Inner (and Outer) Play

Week Four

Archetypal Entanglements: When We Interact with Others

  • Recognizing Archetypal Patterns in Others
  • Using “Who is Here” to Understand Relationships
  • Externalizing our Inner Patterns

Week Five

Archetypal Thinking Applied to Culture

  • The Aquarian Age – where are we?
  • The Timeliness of Non-binary Thinking
  • The Yin Function

Week Six

Bringing Archetypes to the Workplace

  • How do we speak archetypally in organizations?
  • The Language of Archetypes at Work™
  • Bringing Archetypal Thinking into your Profession

Online Course Format

Course Structure
  • Six-week online course through October 25, 2022
  • Six live 75-minute Zoom sessions with faculty held Tuesdays at 10:00 am PT (Pacific Time) and recorded for participants who cannot join every session live
  • Resources, networking, and emergent community outcomes
  • Content and collaboration via Meridian's social learning platform
Course Schedule
  • September 20 at 10 am PT - First live course session
  • September 27 at 10 am PT - Second live course session
  • October 4 at 10 am PT - Third live course session
  • October 11 at 10 am PT - Fourth live course session
  • October 18 at 10 am PT - Fifth live course session
  • October 25 at 10 am PT - Sixth live course session
Course Fees

$250, including the synchronous course video calls (with recordings), online learning platform access, participation in the course learning community, plus course resources and written activities.


Meridian University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) - a higher education accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education. WASC is also the accreditor for Stanford University, UCLA, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Frequently Asked Questions

Meridian’s online courses are conducted via the University's own learning platform, Pivot, as well as the Zoom video conferencing system.

Our online courses promote community learning, through strong interactive engagement with fellow students and faculty as well as live video sessions with faculty.

You will need an email account, a high-speed internet connection, and access to a computer, iOS or Android device.

If you are planning to attend the course video calls live, you will need a webcam and microphone for your device. (Course video calls are conducted with participants video-enabled.)

Live 75-min video sessions with faculty and fellow students will be conducted throughout the course. Each week's live video call will be recorded and posted on the course platform.

Video presentations, readings, discussions and learning activities will be accessible asynchronously and may be completed on participants' own schedule. Course resources and recordings will remain available up to 30 days after the close of the course.

Full refunds are available until two (2) days before the course begins, by request via email.

You do not need to apply to a Meridian graduate degree program to take this online course. This course is one of Meridian’s open-enrollment courses

The course support team will be available to assist from start to finish. Please send your questions/requests/issues to

Convening faculty generally lead each live session. Contributing faculty typically contribute in one of the live course sessions. Course resources address the work of both convening and contributing faculty.

Meridian has institutional and federal financial aid options for our graduate degree programs. This open enrollment course does not have financial aid or payment plans available.