Warriors – Ancient and Modern

By Edward Tick

A Chapter excerpt from Soul Medicine: Healing through Dream Incubation, Oracles, Visions, and Pilgrimage. Forthcoming in January 2023, by kind permission of Inner Traditions Publishing, https://www.innertraditions.com/books/soul-medicine. All rights reserved.

The bulwark

I am leading a healing journey to Greece with World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans and their wives. We will use both ancient warrior and Asklepian dream incubation traditions, the origins of modern psychotherapy, for guidance and healing of modern wounds.

We stand at the rocky base of the towering Acropolis, Athens’s bulwark, and holy center. Her patron goddess Athena’s gleaming temple is high above. We are in the remains of the Asklepion, sanctuary of the healing god founded during plague and active for centuries. Suddenly rocks fall from above, barely missing us as they clatter on the stone walkway. We look up. Teenagers toss stones down from the height and laugh.

Some onlookers freeze or duck for cover, but short and broad John Giannini steps into the barrage. John is Italian-American, a Jungian analyst from Chicago and a World War II combat veteran. His humble size betrays his strength. He stands as if ready to take the shots from above to protect the rest of us. He looks up, points, and calls out, “Stop! This is dangerous, not a joke. This place is sacred. Athena is your goddess. No violence here. You are commanded to stop!” The youths drop their raised arms and slink away.

On her height above, Athena once had several guises. She was called Parthenos, maiden, the virgin goddess, and Nike, victory, with temples to these. Her third guise greeting every supplicant coming through her gates was the goddess’s tall statue striding forward with her spear and shield at the ready. She was Athena Promachos – The Defender, the One in Front, the Bulwark, the Protector. She taught that preservation and protection, not aggression and violence, were the true warrior values and strategy rather than aggression the best tool.

On the ground below, our group’s elder, an old combat veteran, strode forward to protect us all…

Read the full chapter here

Book Review: Ruzzi, Marco. “Generazione Littoriali. Rugby e fascismo in Italia dal 1928 al 1945”. Cuneo: Primalpe, 2022

By Gianluca Cinelli

Sport and politics are connected insofar as the latter provides the structural conditions to perform the former: laws, infrastructures, funding, and representation. There is one sombre aspect of this fortunate combination, namely when the political system is a dictatorship. This is the case investigated by Marco Ruzzi in his last book, Generazione Littoriali, in which he unfolds the story of how rugby was introduced to the Italian public and how it developed during the years of fascism and war.

Ruzzi’s book is remarkable in many aspects. The first is the richness of the information that the author provides about a sport that in Italy has occupied a niche, overshadowed by football and other specialities such as athletics or swimming, bicycle races, and Formula 1.

Read the full-text review here.

Rewards of a Journal’s life

As our readers know, the Close Encounters in War Journal is a scholarly publication that aims to make people aware of the multifaceted reality of war and its deep and often devastating impact on human lives. Over the years, we have decided to expand its scope to reach the broader public in a variety of ways, including the publication of short stories, testimonies, poetry, reviews and so on. Sharing, reaching out, and participating are our ambition, which makes the project of CEIWJ appreciated worldwide by an increasing number of people with the most diverse cultural backgrounds.

That being said, we are happy to publish today an unusual or, to better say, unexpected post through which we would like to tell the story of a recent pleasant event. We have been contacted by Stephanie, a mother reaching out for her son James, who is currently learning about the American military history at school. James has an interest in this topic and, as his mother puts it, he keeps going on to learn more, even after school. Browsing the Internet, James landed on our homepage and thought it would be no minor feat if he could participate somehow in such a project that he found inspirational. Thus, he sent us a link to a page about the history of military vehicles, which we found quite interesting, insofar as we are now preparing the next issue about science and technology: https://alansfactoryoutlet.com/a-history-of-military-vehicles-cars-trucks-and-tanks/. Knowledge is something one builds in bits and pieces, neither all at once nor once and forever. James was in the right place at the right time, as it were, and we are grateful to him for having shared his enthusiasm and this piece of knowledge with us and now with our readers.

Book launch: “Il ritorno del guerriero” by Edward Tick

Turin 5 May 2022, 6 pm; Cuneo 6 May 2022, 4.30 pm

American psychotherapist Edward Tick’s Warrior’s Return. Restoring the Soul after War (Sounds True, 2014) has been translated into Italian and published last March by Nerosubianco publisher with the title Il ritorno del guerriero. Guarire l’anima dopo la guerra.

The book will be launched on Thursday 5 May in Turin at 18:00. The Centre for Peace and Non-Violent Culture “Sereno Regis” will host the event. The author will join the event remotely to dialogue with the translators Gianluca Cinelli and Patrizia Piredda and answer the questions from the public.

The event can be attended remotely live on the host institution’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/serenoregistv.

The book will be launched again the following day (Friday 6 May) in Cuneo at 16:30. The event will be hosted by the Institute for the History of Italian Resistance in Cuneo (http://www.istitutoresistenzacuneo.it). The Italian translators and the publisher will be discussants.

Download the flyers here:

Book launch – Turin, 5 May, 18:00

Book launch – Cuneo, 6 May, 16:30

Exhibition in Florence: “Voices of Liberty: Allied Servicemembers of Italian Descent in WWII”

Tuesday April 5, 2022, at 2.30pm – Exhibit hall C.A. Ciampi, Palazzo del Pegaso, via de’ Pucci 16, Florence

Curators Matteo Pretelli and Francesco Fusi

Combatants of Italian descent were present in the various Allied armies that took part in World War II against the Axis Powers. They were mostly sons of emigrants who had left Italy between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hundreds of thousands were Italian Americans serving in the U.S. military, but British Italians, Italian Canadians, Italian Australians, and Italian Brazilians also contributed to the war efforts of their countries. Being present in all theatres of the war, they also fought in Italy, a country that many knew only through the stories of their parents. The exhibition reconstructs this fascinating although neglected history by recounting the stories of these men who contributed to the Allied victory.

The exhibition will be open through April 22, 2022, Monday to Friday: 10 am-12 pm and 3-6 pm

Download the flyer here

“Burial at Sea”, by Lawrence Markworth

An old warrior, relegated to obscurity in the backwaters of San Diego Bay with the rest of the Navy’s unwanted fleet, waited. A destroyer, unable to serve her country after a crippling collision that amputated most of her bow, the USS Tingey was disabled, decommissioned, and cast aside. Guns removed from her decks, stripped of every piece of machinery of value, no longer able to fight, she lay naked, aging, and lonely, secretly wishing for rehabilitation or death. From her remaining superstructure, she could occasionally see the proud fleet leaving the bay for the real action in the South China Sea. She longed to be with them, cutting the waves at 30-plus knots, protecting aircraft carriers, looking for Russian submarines, or shelling the enemy in some far-away jungle. Instead, rust ran rampant through her decks, passageways, bulkheads and bilges, eating away at her insides like an inoperable cancer. But the worst was the neglect. No one worked on her, no one visited, no one cared. Nothing but silence, except for the occasional wave lapping at her rust-oozing sides, as a tugboat brought in another old hulk. How long could this idleness and humiliation last?

Continue reading the full text here

CALL FOR ARTICLES: Issue n. 5 (2022) – “Science, Technology, and the Close Encounters in War”

We are happy to announce that the round for submitting contributions to the Close Encounters in War Journal is now open for the next issue of 2022, n. 5, which is devoted to the topic “Science, Technology and the Close Encounters in War”.

Download the CFA in pdf here

Since prehistoric flint-headed arrows and spears evolved from hunting tools into weapons, all the different peoples introduced technological innovations that changed the face of warfare. Hittites fought on charts; the Greek infantry consisted of heavy-armoured hoplites; the Roman legionnaires fought with the deadly iron gladius and invented innovative war-machines and techniques to besiege enemy cities and fortify their own positions; the Frank horsemen used the stirrup to ride stably on horses, thus giving birth to modern cavalry. In medieval Japan, the Samurais fought with the katana, a sword that was a masterpiece of metallurgy and craftsmanship. During the sixteenth century, firearms appeared on the European battlefields, which changed warfare forever (also inspiring Ludovico Ariosto’s contempt for such a non-heroic way of fighting). Although hand-to-hand weapons remained the first source of wounding until the early twentieth century, artillery gained an increasingly dominant role on the battlefield, especially during the Napoleonic campaigns in Europe (1803-1815) and the American Civil War (1861-1865), with significant psychological effects on the soldiers. The increase in firepower rocketed in twentieth-century wars as the millions of shells of all calibres – including gas bombs – fired on the western front between 1914 and 1918 show. During the Second World War hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives were dropped over Europe and Japan and two atom bombs destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which started the cold war and the era of the nuclear deterrent, a new form of technological and strategic warfare.

War involves science and technology not only with regard to increasing the destructivity of weapons. One may mention, for example, the effort made by a team of British scientists led by mathematician Alan Turing to crack the German coding-machine Enigma during the Second World War. New techniques in healing the wounded and sick soldiers were developed during the Crimean War (1853-1856) and since then war has represented an opportunity to experiment with new surgical treatments to cure septic affections, wounds, fractures, concussion, poisoning, mutilation, and so on, which has also given impulse to the implementation of state-of-the-art medical equipment and high-tech prosthetics. As far as industry and scientific research is undeniably involved with warfare, scientists, technicians, and technologists strive to find new ways of mitigating the negative impact of war. Chemists, physicists, engineers, medical doctors, and other scientists made enormous efforts to support the fighting troops by carrying out a parallel and often obscure battle in laboratories, offices, and factories. The intertwining of science, technology, and war is therefore a complex and fascinating aspect of the history of war that tells much about how our perception of warfare has evolved through time.

Issue n. 5 of CEIWJwill investigate the theme of close encounters in war in connection to scientific and technological development by exploring its facets on a micro-scale, by studying individual testimonies and experiences, and from the theoretical and critical perspectives throughout history. We invite, in accordance with the scientific purpose of the journal, contributions that focus on the human dimension and perspective rather than on the broader understanding of how science, technology and war have affected each other in general. We, therefore, seek articles that analyse the close encounter in war with science and technology from the point of view of human experience, in ancient, modern and contemporary periods.

The following questions (among others) may be taken into account:

  • How has the close encounter with technological novelties in war over diverse historical periods, from ancient conflicts to cyber-war, affected witnesses and their narratives (e.g. chemical warfare; biological warfare; nuclear warfare; explosives and firearms; shell-shock; firearms vs. hand-to-hand combat weapons; etc.)?
  • How is the close encounter with science and technology in war approached in oral history and personal narratives?
  • How is the close encounter with science and technology in war approached in literature, cinema and TV, photography, ICT, and the media?
  • How does technology affect the representation of the close encounter in war, for example, through photography, digital imaging, satellites, drones, ICT, and videogames;
  • To what extent do scientists/technologists participate in war through their work and with which ethical implications (e.g. from the perspectives of physics, nuclear research, chemistry, biology, medicine, and engineering)?
  • How does the close encounter with science and technology in war affects the human response to violence, for example through ICT?
  • What relation does connect technology, trauma, and healing (e.g. war medicine as a form of close encounter in war concerning healing techniques, history of war medicine and Medical Corps, war and prosthetics, war and mutilation, trauma, and PTSD)?
  • What are the psychological and ethical implications of encountering science and technology in war?
  • Can the close encounter with science and technology in war help understand the relationship between humans and their environment, for example, concerning the Anthropocene, the impact of technological warfare on the environment, the deployment of animals in war, and the exploitation of natural resources.

CEIWJ encourages inter/multidisciplinary approaches and dialogue among different scientific fields to promote discussion and scholarly research. The blending of the Humanities with such disciplines as Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Ethology, Medicine, Physics, and similar will be warmly welcome. Contributions from established scholars, early-career researchers, and practitioners who have dealt with the close encounter with science and technology in war in the course of their activities will be considered. Case studies may include different historical periods and geographic areas.

The editors of Close Encounters in War Journal invite the submission of abstracts of 250 words in English by 21 March 2022 to ceiwj@nutorevelli.org. The authors invited to submit their works will be required to send articles of 6000-8000 words (endnotes included, bibliographical references not included in word-count: please see submission guidelines at https://closeencountersinwar.org/instruction-for-authors-submissions/) in English by 15 June 2022 to ceiwj@nutorevelli.org. All articles will undergo a process of double-blind peer-review. We will notify the results of the peer-reviewing in September 2022. Final versions of revised articles will be submitted by November of 2022.

Announcement: Potomac Fiber Arts Guild

Event on Zoom, 8th January 2022

https://potomacfiberartsguild.org/january-8-2022-tappert-and-matott/?fbclid=IwAR1GGH_6yo0zgn5sPHjwioCiX3gTXpxuQ6tK8yjMd19bA63yI8Fsp7EVxAQ

Trauma – Truth Telling – Transition with Tara Leigh Tappert and Drew Matott

This presentation documents the long history of artmaking within military life and as an aspect of the cultural history of war. It demonstrates how creativity has been and remains a powerful outlet for healing and transitioning from the traumas of war. In the 20th century the American military incorporated the use of crafts in two major service areas. During and after WWI occupational therapy and vocational training were rehabilitation tools; and during and after WWII recreational therapy was a leisure activity intended to promote a sense of well-being and efficacy. In the 21st century the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan inspired such top-down government art therapy programs as Creative Forces at the National Endowment for the Arts. Complementing the current government-led programs are many grassroots arts initiatives for veterans, military family members, and refugees displaced by war. Two groups – Combat Paper Project and Peace Paper Project – have used the detailed and methodical papermaking process as a tool to address the traumas of war.

Book Review: Claire Langhamer, Lucy Noakes and Claudia Siebrecht (eds.). “Total War. An Emotional History”. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000

By Simona Tobia

Total War. An Emotional History features some of the most renowned scholars in the fields of the history of emotions and war and culture studies, but the value of the book goes well beyond the expertise of its authors. The eight studies in this edited collection place “the emotions of war centre stage” (Langhamer, Noakes & Siebrecht, Total War: 1) and investigate the intensity and impact of emotions in the total wars of the 20th century. By proposing to use “emotions” as an analytical tool, they also recognize the transformative power of these emotions and consider their linguistic, cultural and physiological dimensions. The volume’s methodological thrust is to use the “expression of emotion” as an analytical category and to study the “emotional agency of historical actors” to then reach new conclusions on motivation and causation in the context of total war.

Download the full review here

Review: “Coming Home in Viet Nam”. Poems by Edward Tick

San Fernando, CA: Tia Chucha Press, 2021. 187 pages

Seeking the most powerful healing practices to address the invisible wounds of war, Dr. Ed Tick has led journeys to Viet Nam for veterans, survivors, activists and pilgrims for the past twenty years. This moving and revelatory collection documents the people, places and experiences on these journeys. It illuminates the soul-searching and healing that occurs when Vietnamese women and children and veterans of every faction of the “American War” gather together to share storytelling and ritual, grieving, reconciliation and atonement. These poems reveal war’s aftermath for Vietnamese and Americans alike and their return to peace, healing and belonging in the very land torn by war’s horrors.

Download and read the review of the book here