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Art, Dreams, and Nature at Windows to the Soul Art Studio

By Jane Onstott

Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rebecca Peterson came to San Miguel on sabbatical in 1996 and never left. An art therapist, she has a master’s degree in psychology and another in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. Currently writing her dissertation on how embodied dreamwork deepens our connection with nature, Rebecca leads workshops in environmental activism, art journaling, and tin box (nicho) assemblage.

Jane Onstott: What made you want to stay in Mexico?

Rebecca Peterson: Among many other reasons, the earth-based ceremonies such as temazcales (sweatlodge) and equinox events here help me connect to Spirit, to reach that part of my own psyche that’s based in nature.

JO: Why is our relationship to nature important?

RP: While working on my doctorate at Pacifica University, I have become interested in deepening our human connection with nature and the cosmos. We are literally made of stardust! Acknowledging this helps heal our relationship with ourselves, with other human beings, and with the planet. Caused by human actions and unprecedented pollution, the current climate change crisis has disrupted the natural balance. Sometimes people feel hopeless, overwhelmed. I use guided meditation, visualization, drumming, art, and music to help people connect with nature and to realize that they can make a difference.

JO: You’re writing your dissertation on embodied dreamwork. What is that?

RP: This method induces a kind of flashback state into the dream. In this embodied state the dreamer experiences different perspectives within the dream—other people, animals, landscapes, even so-called inanimate objects. The work helps the ego become more flexible; it allows our habitual consciousness to be open to other perspectives. I am toward the end of a three-year training in this method with Jungian analyst Robert Bosnak.

JO: Tell me a little more about the workshops you offer.

RP: Tin craft is one of San Miguel’s main exports, and I teach a full-day nichos (tin boxes) assemblage class including a delicious lunch. Nichos assemblage is a great metaphor; you can create something beautiful even without a lot of artistic experience. Visitors or San Miguel residents, groups of friends, and families can create a unique and meaningful piece of art.

I also lead a half-day personal art journaling workshop based on themes from Carl Jung’s Red Book or from nature. Participants choose from my huge art materials collection to create their own journal pages.

At an upcoming workshop on August 28, will explore Jungian and aspects of the shadow: literally, the shadows we cast, shadows as shade and as an energetic substance that has to do with light and body form, as well archetypal and metaphorical aspects such as the repression of things we don’t want to see or deal with, and the value of darkness.

For more information about upcoming workshops contact Rebecca at or (Mexico cell) 415 107-6488 or (USA Vonage) 505 205-1316 and see

Jane Onstott is a freelance writer and editor of the website

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