Interview with Violet


(1994). Journey of the adopted self: A quest for wholeness. NY,USA: Basic
(2009) Ghosts in the adopted family. Psychoanalytic Inquiry: Vol 30, No 1, 71-79.Published online 31 Dec 2009. Retrieved from

VERRIER, N. (1993). The primal wound: Understanding the adopted child. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press.

SUMNER, B. (2020). Tree of strangers. Palmerston North, NZ. Massey University Press.

Minnie Dean
HOOD, L. (1994). Minnie Dean: Her life & crimes. Auckland, New Zealand: Penguin.

Transformational writing

TIBERGHIAN, S.M. (2018). Writing towards wholeness: Lessons inspired by C.G.Jung. Asheville, NC. (Chiron Publications).

MATOUSEK, M. (2017). Writing to awaken: A journey of truth, transformation and self-discovery. Oakland, CA: Reveal Press./Archetypal psychology.

Imaginal/Archetypal psychology

(1992). Care of the soul: An inspirational programme to add depth and meaning to your everyday life. London, UK: Piatkus.
(2012). Dark nights of the soul: A guide to finding your way through life’s ordeals. London, UK: Piatkus.

ROBERT ROMANYSHYN. An eloquent voice for the soul dimension and depth of being.

(2002). Ways of the heart: Essays toward an Imaginal Psychology. Pittsburgh, PA. Trivium Publications.
(1999). The soul in grief: Love, death and transformation. Berkeley, CA: Frog Ltd.

MARY HARRELL. Imaginal figures in every day life. Exemplar of the imaginal.

HARRELL, M. (2015). Imaginal figures in everyday life: Stories from the world between matter and mind. Asheville, NC. Chiron Publications

Where to buy

Haunted: The Death Mother Archetype by Violet Sherwood, PhD is available from good bookstores (if they don’t have it at your local bookstore please ask them to order it).
Also available from

Photo of Haunted book by Violet Sherwood

FAQs for 30 days of self-compassion: Engaging the archetypal energy of Quan Yin

The course offers writing and drawing practices. Can I substitute other ways of engaging with the practices?

Yes, writing and drawing are simple effective ways to develop a transformational journal practice, but feel free to use whatever means of creative expression feels aligned and alive for you. You might paint, dance, sing, play music, take photos, collage or move your body intuitively in response to the poetic images of Quan Yin’s wisdom poems. What’s important is that you do the practices regularly to the depth your able to bring to them at this moment in your life. 

Can I benefit from the course without doing the exercises?

You may receive some benefit from simply reading the poems and commentary and allowing them to work on you – a bit like the ripples of a pebble thrown into a pond. However, if you really want to benefit fully from this course and engage your intuition and archetypal imagination you will need to focus your intention with daily (or regular) practice. Just as muscles get stronger from strength training, your intuition and access to the archetypal imagination will grow stronger from regular training. 

Can I do this course if I don’t identify as female?

Yes, we all need to balance the energies of the Sacred Feminine and Divine Masculine within us. Western culture and modern civilisation have denied the Sacred Feminine, leading to a dangerous imbalance in the wounded Masculine that is manifesting in many global problems. Restoration of balance requires re-energising and balancing the Sacred Feminine in our world and in our inner selves. Think of these energies as energetic metaphors rather than literal gender expressions. To heal and embrace wholeness we all need to attend to the harmonious balance of both these sacred energy poles.

What is the archetypal imagination and why is it important?

The archetypal imagination experiences and perceives through metaphor, image, pattern, story, myth. It is the natural intuitive and embodied way we experience life when we are not overvaluing reason and logic. It is a kind of meta-consciousness that can see beyond the literal and our limited personal perspectives to a greater interconnected consciousness. Seeing the bigger picture helps us feel empathy, compassion, and to receive wisdom and guidance from within that complements and enhances our logical linear thinking.

Is this course religious?

No, the course engages an archetypal pattern of compassion through a universal image of the caring feminine, in this case through the Chinese goddess Quan Yin. The image engages the universal qualities of the compassion, nurturing and care innate within all of us, and helps us to awaken them.

If I’m from a religious background will the course interfere with my beliefs?

These universal qualities of compassion are innate in all of us and all of the major religions have stories, images and enlightened beings who represent these qualities. You can awaken these in this course without interfering with your religious beliefs, or you can substitute the image of Quan Yin for the corresponding  image in your religion – in Christianity for example, the Virgin Mary is the same archetype as Quan Yin and helps us cultivate the same qualities. 

Isn’t focusing on our selves selfish when so many others need help and care?

This is where we need our non-logical meta-consciousness to fully realise and embrace that all of us feel vulnerable and have struggles, pain, or some other kind of suffering in our lives. We all need support, kindness and care. And it is not selfish, but a radically powerful act to offer ourselves compassion and care so we are supported and strengthened to help others more authentically and in ways that don’t harm us. Many of us were taught to focus on caring for others and received the message that we weren’t worthy of that same care. However, all of nature’s processes are self-generating cycles that enable them to keep going. When we constantly give without receiving we break the self-generating cycle that keeps energy flowing. When we learn to give to ourselves and to receive from ourselves as well as others, energy becomes self-sustaining rather than depleting. A healthy energy system enables us to help more others more of the time. 

Coming Soon:



Virtual Retreats


Subscribe today and you’ll receive occasional email newsletters about our coming events and activities.