into the imaginal territories

Faith Harkey

about me

I am presently a master’s-seeking student at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Depth Psychology program. From there, I hope to progress onward to my Ph.D. at the University of Essex. I have long applied imaginal work in the areas of dreamwork and fiction writing, and have used imaginal techniques to author the middle-grade kids’ novels Genuine Sweet and Sneak Thief. Though I am not writing much in the way of fiction these days, I still believe in the power of the novel to open us to wider worlds and greater truths. My current research focuses on the areas of complex psychology, subpersonalities, active imagination, and imaginal ethics, and I am Principal Researcher at Imaginalia Institute. Finally, I am both an anglophile and an indophile, and so would especially welcome inquiries concerning opportunities in both these parts of the world. imaginalia institute  |    linkedin  |  c.v.

about my work

Though no one would deny that the seeds of our adulthood are sown when we are kids, not everyone agrees on the cause of that shaping. Contemporary psychology considers nature (genetics) and nurturance (the care we receive from the adults in our lives) as central. Archetypal psychologist James Hillman, however, considers that childhood is also the time that the daimon, the inner agency or telos that shapes our lives, takes hold of our destinies. For me, the daimon helped me make sense of both the nature-based and nurturing forces in my early life. The seeds of everything you’ll find on this website have their roots in the call of my daimon.

Very early on, I found my way into imaginal worlds. I understood that my nighttime dreams were significant, and I still sit in consultation with many of those otherworldly sojourns to this day. In my first lucid dream, I learned that I could speak to the scary monsters who visited in my sleep — and remarkably, they seemed to listen. At the same time, immersion in the world of stories, and as I got a little older, the imaginalia of novels, taught me that the outer world is not the only world that matters.

And so it is that you will discover, here among these electronic pages, what a life sourced largely in the imaginal looks like. I have discovered that fictional characters have real agency, and I’ve conversed with the complexes who inhabit my inner world. Ultimately, I felt so compelled by these exchanges that I finally settled into the work of the practicing scholar and complex psychologist. I believe that studying and venturing into the subtler words warrants — and rewards — as much dedication as one offers to them. I am honored that, through the voice of my daimon, this work has found me.

I hope you are intrigued by what you find here, and that my research will invite you to consider that what happens on the inside of us may be at least as important as what happens on the outside. You — all the parts of you — are welcome here.