Education and Interests
In my early adult years I was enamored of the French language and culture. Although at the time my passion felt like a mere interest that did not have any practical purpose, its long term impact is clear to me now. It was an enriching love affair that laid the foundation for my appreciation of poetic beauty, of art, literature and philosophy. I eventually took this interest to the university level and earned a B.A. in French and Icelandic from the University of Iceland in 1985. My translation of L'Amant (The Lover) by Marguerite Duras was published in 1986.
My studies in French inspired a longing in me to view the world. A short time job as a flight attendant with Icelandic Airlines granted me my first opportunity to visit France, the country of my dreams. It also exposed me to the magic of New York which eventually became my home for twenty five years. There I found a job with a Thomas Cook branch in the United Nations Secretariat which involved arranging travel for the organization’s multinational staff. In addition to the many opportunities that came my way to visit exotic and faraway places, it was a job that greatly expanded my vision of the world.
In 1995 I graduated with an M.A. in Icelandic Literature from the University of Iceland and received a Teacher Certification from the same university in 2002. In my M.A.-thesis I explored Norse mythology and Icelandic folk and fairy tales from the Jungian perspective and I fell in love again, this time with Jungian psychology. Before, in my B.A.-thesis, I had delved into 'ghost stories in past and present' from a Freudian standpoint.
In 1995 I became a member of the C.G. Jung Foundation in New York and have attended a wide range of courses, lectures and workshops offered by the Foundation, in Jungian studies, myths, fairy tales, and dreams.
After moving back to Iceland in 2002, I stumbled on the long lost 'magic of menstruation' when writing about Freyja for The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS). It was a discovery that led to an entry on Menstruation in The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images. Empowered by this new vision, I set out to re-examine my mythological heritage. My Book Quest for the Mead of Poetry: Menstrual Symbolism in Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales, published by Chiron Publications in March 2016, is the product of that research. Leading up to the publication, I have given Presentations on the subject: at a conference titled "The Depths of Dreams," held by the International Association for the Study of Dreams in Virginia Beach; at a conference titled "Fragile Subjects," held by the University of Turku, Finland; at a "Snakes, Dragons, and Other Scaly Creatures"-conference held at Jung Center in New York.
In 2007 I decided to take my interest in dreams to a professional level and entered a two year training program with Justina Lasley at the Institute for Dream Studies (IDS) in Charleston, South Carolina. I graduated as a certified dream therapist in March 2009. My work in this field has been primarily with groups.
In the late nineties my friend Diane introduced me to Tarot and I fell instantly for the beauty and magic of the medium. I have since studied the Tarot with Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone at the Tarot School of New York and have attended a few of their annual Readers Studios which offer a variety of lectures and study groups and, last but not least, a lot of fun. I have also had the opportunity to study with Rachel Pollack, whose Shining Tribe Tarot and prolific writing on Tarot have been a great inspiration for me. See The Birthing of my Manitokan. My passion for Tarot has found an outlet in group work and teaching.
In January of 2012 my poem Triptych won an award in a yearly competition commemorating the pioneering Icelandic poet Jón úr Vör (1917-2000). In addition to a generous prize, I was endowed with the honor of having my name engraved on a silver plate on the poet's walking stick, along with the names of previous winners. This felt like a coming home of sorts after a long journey.
Below are a few websites associated with my studies and interests: