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Les Lancaster

Shamanic Kabbalah and Psychology: a Western Path for the Transpersonal Age

The lineage of the Kabbalah reaches back to the stirrings of western civilisation. It has been associated with Judaism, Christianity, alchemy and occultism throughout the Common Era, but points to a more ‘shamanic’ root in earlier historical periods. As we transition into the new global age, in which transpersonal values become critical, my interest focuses on how the shamanic, magical, and mystical lines of Kabbalistic practice might evolve in line with challenges facing contemporary western culture. Central to this evolution is the significant connections that the Kabbalah has with depth, and transpersonal, psychology—to be explored in this presentation. A shamanic kabbalistic psychology maintains a bridge with the worldview that spawned ‘biblical’ culture whilst promoting esoteric ways of engaging with the more archetypal dimensions of being, as understood in a contemporary, transpersonal context.


Les Lancaster has been instrumental in the growth of Transpersonal Psychology in his home country of the UK and internationally. He has previously served as Chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society, as President of the International Transpersonal Association, and as a Board member of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. Les is Emeritus Professor of Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, where, with colleagues, he initiated postgraduate programmes in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology in the early 1990s. Les is also a Founding Director and Dean of the Alef Trust, an Honorary Research Fellow in Religions and Theology, University of Manchester, and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Les’ research has encompassed cognitive neuroscience, consciousness, and mysticism.