Category Archives: Chuck’s Blog

Welcome to Chuck’s Place! This is where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Currently, Chuck posts an essay once a week, usually on Wednesdays, along the lines of inner work, psychotherapy, Jungian thought and analysis, shamanism, alchemy, politics, or any theme that makes itself known to him as the most important topic of the week. Many of the shamanic and psychological terms used in Chuck’s essays are defined in Tools & Definitions on our Psychotherapy page.

Chuck’s Place: The Time of Saturation

Time of Saturation…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

When we can absorb no more we reach a state of saturation where we essentially shut down, functioning on a kind of autopilot. This trancelike fugue state is prized in shamanic training where a practitioner is inundated with unexpected events to the point of saturation. This saturation defeats the ego’s ability to maintain its sense of normalcy and control. Deprived of its familiar fixation on order and predictability the practitioner’s awareness becomes pliable and open to new possibilities. Such are the conditions for all Earth inhabitants at present. Who knows what will happen today?

Our planet Earth, Gaia, is in her own process of becoming pliable and opening to new possibilities. We are currently being saturated with the effects of her labor through an escalation of fire, wind, water and earth upheavals. As Mother Earth rejects the burgeoning impact of the human species upon her body so does her human cohort, woman, challenge the practices of how mankind goes about spreading its seed.

We are currently saturated with the wildfires of Amazon Woman turning to ashes the careers of the sexually abusive power elite. Indeed there are innocent casualties in this massive conflagration  but, as with Mother Earth herself, a saturation of destruction is the necessary prelude to major reformation. Humankind must integrate its sexual instinct in a new, more balanced, compatible way. The time of unchecked sexually abusive behavior upheld by the silent collusion of woman is coming to an end.

In the world of governance we are saturated daily with radical shifts that evoke terror, deep insecurity, and panic. The calming father leader has been replaced by the wrathful Yahweh type, replete with emotional tirades and vindictiveness.

This same wave of incessant storm issues equally from Nature, MeToo, and leaders of governance. The common feature of all of these eruptions is saturation. We find ourselves confounded in our inability to absorb anymore. As with shamanic training our traditional hold on reality is being loosened. We are all being made pliable and open to new possibilities.

These possibilities include a reshaped Earth, a vastly different relation between the sexes and with the sexual instinct itself, and a governance far more acquiescent to the true needs of the planet. I caution getting too attached to the radical shifts being proposed and enacted by governance now. The greater intent behind this cascade of events is a loosening of our fixation on a world without change, the preparation stage for major transformation.

Onslaughts of saturation generate reactions of protest, numbing and dissociated indifference, until we arrive at the place of letting go of control, what the shamans call the place of no pity. From this position new worlds of possibility open to us as our allegiance to upholding old beliefs and attachments loosens.

Beyond the current fog of illusion driven by the saturation of fake news lies a world of transparency and acquiescence to the true needs of the planet. As we travel through the turbulence of these saturated times we do well to shield our light in the inner recess of the heart. All that is happening now is transient.

This time of saturation is the preparation or breakdown phase of major transformation. We do best, like Old Testament Job, to bear with patience the extremes of these times. Nothing can take away the sanctity of the self if we refuse the call to spend our energy attaching to half-baked solutions that avoid the fullness of real resolution.

Real resolution, post-saturation, is the birth of a new possibility. Imagine, for instance, a world where love and sex find their enduring union. Everything is possible.

Holding the candle within,


Chuck’s Place: Sexual Abuse and The New New Deal

What’s missing? Relatedness!
-Art by Jan Ketchel

Poised as we are for the juggernaut of The New New Deal we are simultaneously treated to the greatest exposure of aberrant male sexual behavior the world has ever known.

The New Deal was really Eleanor Roosevelt’s baby, the caring, warmly related mother who insured the health and well being of her progeny. The New New Deal is the return of Kronos, Zeus’s father, who ate all his offspring, except Zeus, to insure his unimpeded rule.

The seeming contradiction of these synchronistic events, the rise of divisive egotism and the downfall of the abuser, deserves careful scrutiny. What both events share in common is the absence of  relatedness.

Human relatedness is born of the feminine in both women and men. The feminine underscores the interconnectedness of all life: wholeness. The feminine is eros, the glue that congeals a relationship, a family, a nation, a world.

In its purest form the masculine is pneuma, the imperceptible breath of wind that shows its effect by breaking up clusters of coagulated debris upon a lake, for instance, home to ecosystems in transition. In this image the masculine can be seen as aggressive, though I think more accurately as active. In its purest form the masculine is the active principle, yang, that spreads its seed far and wide creating ever new permutations of life.

This dispersion, however gentle the breeze may be, is destructive to what is. The dismantling of the social welfare caring state marks a radical breakdown of the inclusiveness and maternal supports that have served as the governing principles of the world for many decades.

The takedown of sexually abusive male icons and idols is its own dismantling of the status quo, largely fueled by the active yang energy in women. All are being emboldened by the bright light of consciousness to shine the light on hidden truths that have allowed an unrelated sexual instinct, housed in the dark recesses of the human shadow, to dominate with impunity.

What is currently lacking in both The New New Deal and our modern inquisition into abuse is the feminine principle of yin, relatedness. Perhaps it was time for a world restructuring. Perhaps care for all was becoming too inclusive, but clearly a push to completely shift resource into the hands of the least in need is missing something essential.

Similarly, to destroy careers without trial, to lump all male sexual behavior into the same category is lacking in a feminine relatedness that can feel its way to the differentiated truths in these many abusive vignettes revealed daily.

The truth is that any sexual contact that is not related, meaning not mutually agreed upon and desired by each person, is an abuse of human power.  A purely instinctual sexual encounter that lacks any real human connection, if  mutually agreed upon, is not abuse. However, the quality of such an unrelated encounter is not fully human, as it lacks the inclusion of the highest human potential, the ability to love. Sex without love is not related. The deepest human challenge is to reconcile animal and spirit in true union.

As we move forward from the disintegrative stage of our current world transformation we do well to realize that both action and connection are the yang and yin of our world. All new deals, wherever they may lead, require an equal participation and inclusion of both masculine and feminine principles.

Sexual abuse, as well as the New New Deal, reflects a preponderance of yang and a paucity of yin. Structures that lack balance will have limited life.

May we find our way to love,


Chuck’s Place: OCD, ADD & the Energy of Manifestation

My daughter was 4 years old. Her nursery school class sat in a circle as they prepared for their Halloween parade while parents and spectators waited on the grounds of the Randolph School.

I arrived early and decided to put on a scary mask before entering the school. I was immediately accosted by two warrior women teachers who chided my innocence, insisting I remove the mask to not freak out the children.

In nursery school, and for most of childhood, children are socialized to a world of predictable, familiar, routine behaviors. This consistency enables a sense of security that fosters the building of a solid self capable of taking on the world. An unexpected adult wearing a mask, even on Halloween, is too shattering for a child’s fragile ego in its formative stages.

For many reasons our energy gets blocked in…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Taken to its extreme, a perfectly predictable world of supreme order is the intent of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When we are in the OCD part of our being we are protecting ourselves from disruptive intrusions that threaten our security. Turning to habit and prescribed patterns of ordering our lives and environment promise to ward off danger.

When life becomes dominated by adherence to routine our entire energy reserves are deployed to uphold our familiar, safe, and secure world. In such times we have no energy available to manifest something new. In fact, regardless of what we might wish were different, our actual energy deployment is actively blocking any change. It continues to seek solace in the known and familiar, however unhappy that makes us.

Manifestation requires that we free our energy from our routines. The shamans teach us that all the energy we will ever have in our lifetime is the energy we were born with. If we want our energy for something new, we have no choice but to shift the way we employ our inherent  energy and point it in a new direction.

The greatest consumer of our inherent energy is self-importance. In modern times this translates into our relentless pursuit of attention and validation. Withdrawing our habits of seeking approval and validation for our appearance, be it our clothing choices, hairstyle, Instagram photos or Facebook comments, would provide a huge deposit of energy into our savings bank for manifestation.

Withdrawing our rigid attachment to our daily habits is another source of energy for redeployment in manifestation. Something as simple as getting up because you happened to wake up 10 minutes before the alarm can shift the entire day into new possibilities of manifestation. Of course such an occurrence should not become a habit; perhaps it will be equally important not to hear the alarm the next day and awaken to a whole new set of possibilities!

ADD, the acronym for Attention Deficit Disorder is at the exact opposite pole of OCD. When we are at our ADD pole we are completely at the mercy of our impulses, all our vital energy exhausted with what captures our attention in the moment.

Such a depletion of vital energy also precludes any energy reserve for manifestation. The challenge at the ADD pole is to actually invite routine and habit to provide a structure that conserves energy waste. Thus, the person who lives life completely spontaneously might benefit from rigidly setting the alarm and conforming to some level of routine. In this case routine supports energy conservation.

It remains for each individual to assess which pole they naturally favor and institute the necessary changes to conserve energy. With manifestation it truly is all about the energy. To hold an intent with no available energy for manifestation is to get caught in an energetic whirlpool of wishful thinking.


From an old energy miser,


Chuck’s Place: Meet the Animal—A Twist

Please note that due to some website updates about a month ago some phone users may have been unable to access recent content on our website. Thank you to our readers for alerting us to the problem! It has been fixed!

I was six years old. Powerful rhythmic music filled the room. A young woman, Rita was her name, and my older sister broke into a violent hip swaying pelvic dance—the Twist! I was overcome with dizziness and fear. I hid in the closet.

Rolling force of nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Today I understand that experience as my first conscious encounter with what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico called the Rolling Force, the primary vibrational energy behind life that shapes the reality we live in. In this instance that vibration manifested in the Kali-like physical body movements of Rita and my sister.

What I was to learn from this encounter was how overwhelming this  expression of the rolling force of animal rhythmic abandon was for my tender child spirit. In effect, my human spirit, or growing sense of ego identity and consciousness, was extremely fragile and needed to ward off the disintegrating effect of this rolling energy of nature. The key was to be able to maintain control over this flow at all costs.

My retreat to the closet allowed me to stop my exposure to the flow of energy, to separate my consciousness from the raging, twisting river of dance energy that threatened to drown me. This was spirit triumphing over matter. And so it begins.

Our evolving species has fixated its awareness upon a consensual reality of mind over matter, or spirit over nature. Within ourselves we prize the rational goal-oriented mind over the instinctual animal we are encased within. We joke about the animal we are, like the comedians among us who are proving to have taken it too far.

The consequence of this disidentification with the animal is a complete miscalculation of, and unrelatedness to, the power of its instinctual energies that flow within the human body and are essential to human life.

Sexual desire, for instance, is an essential component of the human animal. The human spirit, as ego, must deal with its instinctive hormonal promptings yet has no clue as to how or what to do with it. To truly relate to this instinctive energy is to encounter the Twist!

How does mind get comfortable being taken on a ride by an impersonal force of the body? How does consciousness hold on, channel, remain responsible and related with its instinctual, rhythmic self? Tall order for a spirit that just wants to exploit this instinctual energy without a real relationship with the body.

The present outing of the sexual behavior of powerful men clearly evidences the abusive use of control to obtain some measure of twisted sexual release by exploiting the bodies of both women and men. Outings of these behaviors must continue, yes, to bring justice to crime, but even more fundamentally to give credence to the dire state of immature relatedness to the sexual instinct in modern culture. The consequence of this dissociation and hubris is quite apparent: aberrant sexual behavior.

The powerful raging rivers of opinion and outrage that flood the gates of social media run the same risk of miscalculating the power of thought (spirit) over instinct. Nature always prevails.

The young boy in the closet has spent his life building a relationship with his rhythmic animal partner. Shortly after his encounter with the Twist he was to experience the same vibrational shattering in a pure spirit meeting while his body lay frozen in deep sleep. Rhythmic vibrational contractions permeate life in the body as well as life in the spirit.

In physical life our opportunity is to partner our spirit consciousness with the sensual rhythm of our animal nature. This is the key to the mastery of intent and manifestation. The abuses of control and power are really maladaptive attempts to solve the riddle of who we really are and form some form of relationship with our mysterious other.

What the abuses currently reveal is the underlying terror of powerful men to connect with their mysterious other in a genuine meeting of respect and love. This is indeed the greatest challenge of life in the body.

That little boy continues to learn how to meet his partner in love and the Twist. Perhaps a partnership with our younger other is the place to start.

Twist and shout,


Chuck’s Place: Total Transparency

Transparency calling…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Jeanne, our bodhisattva guide from infinity, has shared that there is no hiding in life beyond the shadow of this dimension. Encounters in infinity are fully transparent; when you encounter another you are both fully revealed to each other.

Life in this dimension is clearly evolving along that principle now as we experience a greater preponderance of public outings, exposing all the secrets.

From an astrological perspective this is reflective of the transition from the Piscean age of the past 2000 years into the dawning of the age of Aquarius where we are currently squarely situated. The Piscean was largely the age of Christianity that swept the world with its emphasis on raising the spirit and, while acknowledging the shadow, sequestering it to the private black box of the confessional booth.

The spirit is rising to new heights in the Aquarian age, shining an even brighter light upon the shadow. Trump has ushered in an unabashed expression of the life of the shadow, long operative but hidden beneath the persona of high ideals and perfection.

The current energetic wave of “me too” is instantly bringing down career politicians, actors, and pillars of the establishment with a force equivalent to nature’s hurricanes and earthquakes. Confession has burst fully into the public eye and instead of private penance we have crime and punishment.

How refreshing to have the truth revealed on such a massive scale. Perhaps at last this wave can finally overturn the stifling denial and “false memory” shutdowns of prior eras. Transparency, though it runs the risk of inquisition excess, is the necessary technology for needed evolutionary shift.

The consequence of sexual abuse upon the individual is generally PTSD, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, a syndrome that guards the wounded personal spirit by freezing it out of life.

I have spent my entire professional career cracking the nut of PTSD, largely resultant from sexual abuse. I know that this interest issues from my personal journey with the violent abuse inflicted upon my mother while she and I were as one, when I was contained within her womb.

Curiously, the cure for PTSD is total transparency. This includes the total revelation to the self of the fullness of stored abusive experiences, as well as the ability to be transparent beyond the self, freed of shame and blame. A momentous undertaking, but totally doable, a totally healable journey.

Jan has offered her well-documented journey of total healing from Complex PTSD in her Recapitulation Diaries series of books as an example to all journeyers that complete healing is possible. Jan has no emotional attachment to judgmental reactions to her revelations; it is her gift to those intent upon healing. Her energy is concentrated on the fullness of life now, her energy freed from all the old frozen places.

Having discovered recapitulation as one road to healing from PTSD, I am now concentrated on the deeper dilemma of the human animal/spirit that generates the atrocities of sexual abuse. My current hypothesis: human consciousness (spirit) is largely dissociated from its animal self.

Truly, who really thinks of themselves as an animal. Who really knows what it means to be an animal? Thinking and reflecting are actions of spirit. To know thyself is a spirit function. The animal that we are has its own form of knowing that expresses itself through instinct and powerful emotion. Consciousness, as aware spirit energy, completely underestimates the power and wisdom of this archetypal substrate of animal being.

The rapid pace of technological, spirit-driven, advance has so seduced the Aquarian into the belief of the possibility of a totally rationally mastered world that it scoffs at the power of its animal core. Furthermore, it is deluded into the notion that body can be remastered and manipulated into spirit ideas of perfection and correction without dire reaction from its animal self.

These are the challenges the millennials of the Aquarian dawn face as they press for total transparency for our evolving species. A  reconciliation of spirit and animal human requires an attitude of respect for the wisdom and needs for both of these sides of the self. An attitude that treats the body as a circuit board for manipulation certainly devalues the wisdom and knowledge of eons of evolutionary experience.

As well, as we  move toward total transparency we must adopt the shaman’s central dictum: suspend judgment. We must become unbiased witnesses to the self and accept the parts of our spirit and animal selves that are generally riddled in shame and relegated to the shadows. This does not condone acting out, but it does reckon with the truth of the powerful forces that rage and hunger from within and must find a home in the wholeness of life.

Total transparency is total knowing, total acceptance, and total integration of wholeness of being. To eliminate the shadow we must transparently accept and live all that we are. Tall order indeed, but this is the calling of our time. Begin with self, see what you find!