Dr Geoffrey Berry
I gained my PhD (Monash University 2010) by writing an analysis of the symbol of light and what is has meant to people over time, especially in the context of environmental consciousness. The thesis answered the question: what does the way we think about light, in symbolic terms, say about the way we treat nature? It was driven by my feeling that when we think of light as some kind of ethereal force, connected to a kind of ‘otherworldly’ spirituality, we stop being true to our natures as intelligent animals who are dependent upon the earth and its other creatures. Both examiners ranked it in the top 5% of the world on several counts.
I also completed an MA in Creative Literature (Deakin University 2005) on our dreams as underworld journeys and initiatory rites. Sojourn (as it was called) explored the way our personal dreams can link us to a mysterious world of symbolic power, similar to ancient myths and shamanic journeys, even in a seemingly desacralised modern world. It also includes a philosophical component that outlines the ideas that went into the creative piece. Examiner Sean Kane (respected author of Wisdom of the Mythtellers) compared my writing favourably to that of Leonard Cohen. I was pretty happy with this result, to say the least.
In terms of academic work, I lectured at Monash and RMIT Universities and followed up my PhD with some EU-‐funded postdoctoral research in Ireland on utopias and the environment. I was Director of Studies at the Phoenix Institute of Australia, where I managed the Bachelors degree in Holistic Counselling and Creative Arts Therapies until the college was bought out in 2015. I have trained over 1,000 people to use myth, symbol and ritual for creative and therapeutic purposes; to deepen their understanding of the history of urban civilization and how technological evolution has impacted on our relationship with nature; and in many more subjects. I’m also well published on the symbol of light, the human/nature connection, and all the usual stuff you’d expect around myth, symbol and ritual, literature, media, imagery and identity, holy wars, Celtic stone circles and art. See https://independent.academia.edu/GeoffBerry for more details.
Previous to these academic adventures I ran a vegetarian establishment and live music venue in Melbourne, Australia. I played Australian Rules Football for the Frankston Dolphins, hitch hiked around Australia, Asia and Europe, played in a punk industrial art rock band called the Severins and was the Chairperson of the Melbourne Zen Group. I continue to practice Zen and am the Australian Representative for the International Ecopsychology Society. My earlier BA (Hons) included a double major in Literature (major in myth) & Philosophy (major in the human condition).
Nowadays I live on the south coast of New South Wales, where I live in close contact with nature and hope to introduce more people to ecological consciousness (including ecopsychology, ecotherapy and ecospirituality) through the Nature Calling project and website. Look for my Nature Calling ecoretreats and counseling and mentoring sessions online at naturecalling.org
Ask me anything…
Tell me your dreams, request guidance on deepening your connection to nature and the elements, work out your own sense of spiritual freedom, get feedback on your creative projects from an expert …
Consult with me and get clear answers straight from the source: nature, the world of mystery and clarity that is both within and without.
Address: Mossy Point, far south coast, NSW Australia.
Skype: Geoff Berry
Availability: online anytime, unless I am out listening to nature calling