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Richard Tarnas

Richard Tarnas is a cultural historian, author, and professor of philosophy and depth psychology. He has taught graduate courses and seminars in archetypal astrology to hundreds of students at accredited graduate schools in the United States for the past twelve years.

Born in 1950 in Geneva, Switzerland, of American parents, he grew up in Michigan, where he studied Greek, Latin, and the classics with the Jesuits. From 1968 to 1972 he attended Harvard, where he studied Western cultural history and depth psychology, graduating with an A.B. cum laude. Moving to California, he lived and worked for ten years at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, studying closely with Joseph Campbell, Gregory Bateson, Huston Smith, James Hillman, and Stanislav Grof, and later serving as Esalen’s director of programs and education. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Saybrook Institute in 1976. It was in these years at Esalen that he began his astrological studies, eventually conducting systematic astrological research in both psychology and history, while giving many hundreds of personal readings. In 1978-79, he wrote Prometheus the Awakener, a monograph in archetypal astrology that has been published in many journals throughout the world, beginning with the National Council of Geocosmic Research Monographs (1981) and the Spring Annual of Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Thought (1983).

From 1980 to 1990, he wrote The Passion of the Western Mind, a narrative history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern which became a best seller as well as required reading in many university courses. His intention in writing this book was to provide a philosophical and historical foundation and preparation for a subsequent work, Cosmos and Psyche, that might serve as a bridge for the larger public of intelligent readers to be initiated into the astrological perspective. Since 1993 he has taught at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he was founding director of the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He also teaches on the faculty of the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, and has frequently given public seminars in England, Switzerland, and Latin America.


After three decades of research and writing, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View was completed, and in January 2006 was published by Viking Press. An interview with Richard Tarnas and an excerpt from the book were published in the December/January 2006 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.

Read an interview with Richard Tarnas about his book Cosmos and Psyche from the December 2005/January 2006 edition of The Mountain Astrologer. More information, reviews and excerpts from the book can be found at http://www.cosmosandpsyche.com

Praise for Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View

"Breathtaking in the scope and scale of its vision, this extraordinary book shatters our cosmological assumptions as it awakens us to a living universe and its creative intelligence. Tarnas succeeds masterfully in bringing his encyclopedic knowledge forged in writing the critically acclaimed Passion of the Western Mind to the task of discerning the archetypal pulse of history. Spellbinding, eloquent, compelling, Cosmos and Psyche will be a marker for an entire generation."

Christopher Bache,
Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies,
Youngstown State University, author of Dark Night, Early Dawn

"It is hard to think of many books written in the past century that will still be read two hundred years from now. Cosmos and Psyche will top that short list. It is majestic, sweeping and profound. This will be a book for the ages. It will stand over time with the seminal expressions of the human spirit."

William Van Dusen Wishard
Principal, World Trends Research,
author of Between Two Ages: The 21st Century and the Crisis of Meaning

Buy it at Amazon.com

Praise for The Passion of the Western Mind

"The most lucid and concise presentation I have read, of the grand lines of what every student should know about the history of Western thought. The writing is elegant and carries the reader with the momentum of a novel…. A noble performance."

Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces

"The best intellectual history of the West in one volume I have ever seen."

Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions

"One of the most illuminating, satisfying, beautifully written, lucidly argued—and important—books I have ever read."

Keith Thompson, Utne Reader

Buy it at Amazon.com


Evelyn Roberts, D.F.Astrol.S.