Paths to Transformation: From Initiation to Liberation


  1. Kate Burns traces the process of our nature to transform ourselves, correlating it with rituals of initiation.


It is our nature to transform ourselves from time to time; to cling to old ways is to resist a fundamental law of nature-death before rebirth. In Paths to Transformation, Kate Burns traces this process of transformation and rebirth, correlating it with rituals of initiation and amplifying the stages with a rich collection of images, dreams, and case studies.

Historically, the passage from adolescence to early adulthood was supported by extensive rites, and we now know that the absence of such rites in modern life has cast youth adrift and rendered them immature and dependent beyond their years. Similarly, our ancestors venerated aging, including its mortal goal, as a summons to wisdom rather than a horror to be resisted by every possible means. During the expanding years between youth and death, the question of how an individual is to find a personal path worthy of the soul becomes most pressing in our postmodern world.

“This book is both healing wisdom and a guidepost. Kate Burns lucidly shows us how numinous events invade our settled and crafted worlds and challenge us to enter into deep dialogue with the psyche, beckoning us to let go of the old and worn out and go forward into adventure, renewed life, and liberation from social conformity. She speaks with a sage voice that is at once profound and humble. So illuminating are her insights, and so alive her discussions, that I found it difficult to put the book down.” -C. Michael Smith, PhD, author of Jung and Shamanism in Dialogue: Retrieving the Soul/Retrieving the Sacred

“Kate Burns brilliantly illumines the difficult passages which occur in the lives of all of us. Sharing personal stories, case studies, and the insights of depth psychology and anthropology, she defines the various stages of transformation and reveals how one can participate more knowingly in the process of personal growth.”-James Hollis, PhD, Jungian analyst and author of Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts Who Run Our Lives and What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life

Kate Burns is a Jungian analyst with a private practice in Houston, Texas. With an undergraduate degree in mathematics, she worked as a geophysicist until a downturn in the oil industry sent her back to school for an MBA from Rice University. A desire to explore spiritual issues led her to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, followed by studies at the International School of Analytical Psychology, Zürich. She has taught classes at the Jung Center in Houston since 2005 and has devoted herself to the practice of yoga since 2000. She serves on the board of directors for Jungians in Training Zürich, an organization raising awareness about C. G. Jung, his life and work.


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