Dissertation Title:

By Stokkes and Stones: Manitou Asúnal, Woodstock, and the Age of Aquarius


Jonathan Vaughn

Date, Time & Place:

March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am


Mysterious stone structures are scattered across the place known today as Woodstock, New York—on the side of Overlook Mountain, in its hollows, and in the valley below.  This hermeneutic study seeks to uncover the symbolic meaning of the place and its stones for our cultural-historical time.  The study shows that the place that birthed the Woodstock Festival of 1969 continues to influence people into the present—at the dawn of a symbolic new age, the Age of Aquarius.  A depth psychological lens reveals the ways in which psyche—conscious and unconscious—interacts with the physical matter of the place.  Furthermore, applying a decolonizing lens gives primacy to Lenape perspectives of the place that the Esopus Munsee called Waghkonk—the “peaceful, beautiful valley”—and the principle that manitou asúnal (spirit stones) are Grandfathers.  Utilizing the Lenape myths of creation and Ansisktayèsàk (Pleiades), the study shows the ways the repeating symbols of those tales—human, stone, tree, and star—recur physically and archetypally in the place of Woodstock and ripple out, influencing the entire globe.  Ultimately, Woodstock is revealed as a liminal place—a place between worlds and between ages—as a perspective and a way of being, as a place of creativity and regeneration, and as an alchemical place of coniunctio or coming together.  The ancient image of Aquarius, the Water-Bearer, embodies these traits, as do contemporary images of the Tarot’s Star Card and of the Great Mother archetype.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, ZZ, 2014
  • Chair: Dr. Keiron Le Grice
  • Reader: Dr. Sandra Easter
  • External Reader: Dr. Jeanne Lacourt
  • Keywords: Jungian Psychology, Stones, Lenape, Woodstock, New Age, Aquarius, Great Mother