What is it? —
— Education Conference —
Early Bird Sessions of movement and dream sharing
Fire - Desire, passion, will, war, alchemy, heart, sharing without diminishing, Tantra, Kundalini, catalyst, whiskey, storytelling by the fire,
Big Bang, spark of life, the Sun, eternal flame, lightning, the burning bush, the archangel's sword of fire, dragons, creative destruction,
purification, burnt offerings
The Big Story
Mayan Blessing of the House
Andres Botran, Manuel Tzoc Mejia
Mayan shaman Manuel Tzoc Mejia performs a traditional Mayan fire blessing of the house - our Mythic Journeys house. He will be joined by the Guatemalan
minister of culture, Manuel Salazar, and the Guatemalan Minister of Food and Nutrition, Andres Botran
Presentation of the Erdman-Campbell Next-Generation Prize by the Joseph Campbell Foundation to Alexander Rose
David Gonzalez, Daniel Kelly
MytholoJAZZ presents a classic Greek myth and a South American fairy tale. Orpheus overcomes ordeals in the underworld —
Cerberus the three-headed dog, Charon the boatman of the river Styx, and Hades himself — to recover his lost love, Eurydice. A Chilean
girl named Delgadina gains the Midas touch from a magical snake; her generosity wins the heart of a king and the enmity of a witch. Performed
to acclaim on Broadway and as a special project of the Smithsonian Institution, MytholoJAZZ is a passionate theatrical musical offering.
Presentations, Workshops and Breakouts
- Myth Understanding: Truly a Matter of Life & Death
Joseph Campbell wrote: "In the popular nightmare of history, where local mythic images are interpreted, not as metaphors, but as facts,
there have been ferocious wars waged between the parties of such contrary manners of metaphoric representation. ...One cannot but ask:
What can such tribal literalism possibly contribute but agony to a world of intercultural, global prospects as that of our present century?"
The "agony" about which Campbell so presciently wrote some twenty years ago is immediately apparent in newspaper headlines and radio
and television broadcasts: daily, in virtually every nation, intelligent and otherwise conscionable men and women berate, abuse, and kill one
another over different religious — which is to say, "mythic" — beliefs. Why? How can something as seemingly innocuous as a
"myth" provoke such uncontrollable passion in so many? To answer these questions, we need to understand what myth is and is not, how
myth has shaped human activities since time immemorial, and why these ancient, timeless tales still exert such power over our lives. It's truly
a matter of life and death.
This session provides a wonderful opportunity for both the experienced and the beginner to mythology to hear from and speak to one
of the world's foremost "myth activists" and a friend of and editor for Joseph Campbell.
- Technology and Magic
Derek Beres, Chris Klaus,
John Matthews, David Spangler,
Charles de Lint, Tim Murphy,
Technology is an extension of our selves — our minds, our bodies — into objective forms separate from us. It often seems that,
through the invention and use of technology, we are making our own wills manifest in the world — bending the rules to make what we imagine
become real. In other words, magic. But what are we projecting out into the world? What sort of reflection does this mirror cast back at us?
- MythBody to Live By
Chungliang Al Huang
Joseph Campbell and Chungliang Al Huang created this work together at the famous Campbell Esalen retreats. The session works with how
to embody the I Ching kinethetically (as well as emotionally) learning to experience the trigrams of the Yin/Yang forces in our own bodies
on 3 levels: spiritual — human —earthly.
- Second Skins: Costume and the Mythic Imagination
Honora Foah, Wendy Froud, Kristen McDermott, William Todd-Jones
Ball gowns, iron crowns, glass slippers, boots for cats, red hoods, satin spats, invisibility cloaks, burning robes — folklore and legend are full of magical
garments that transform their wearers into other selves, even other worlds. This panel will explore the power of costume and clothing to create,
change, destroy, or renew identity, in literature, myth, folklore, and popular culture. What happens when we change our dress, and particularly
when we "dress up" as someone or something else? Writers, performers, designers, and artists will discuss a variety of rituals, stories, and cultural
trends having to do with costuming, from Cinderella and Red Riding Hood to Mardi Gras and fetishism.
- The Handless Maiden: Into the Woods
Gertrud Mueller Nelson
The Handless Maiden and her transformation in the woods is one of the foundational stories about development along the feminine path.
In this workshop, Gertrud Mueller Nelson tells the story of the Handless Maiden and then speaks to it, helping people break it open for themselves.
- World Building
Peter Beagle, Bill Bridges, Andrew Greenberg, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
As the popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and the Star Trek series reveals, a compelling world or setting is often as important as the
characters and stories within it. Why do we keep coming back to these places, even when the stories are over and the characters have left the
stage? This phenomenon has been given new form with the rise of massively multiplayer online "persistent worlds," where players create their
own stories within virtual environments. What do fictional worlds have to tell us about our own world and our yearning for someplace other?
- Sleeping Beauty Awakes
Carolyn Dunn, Heinz Insu Fenkl, Midori Snyder, Terri Windling
In the 20th century, fairy tales came to be viewed as simple, silly, sexist stories in which passive, dutiful, beautiful girls grew up to marry rich
Prince Charmings. It was largely forgotten that in centuries past fairy tales has not been so simple and saccharine, happy endings had not been
guaranteed, and heroines had not sat passively awaiting rescue by a passing prince. Fairy tales in the past had looked unflinchingly at the darkest
parts of life: at poverty, hunger, abuse of power, domestic violence, incest, rape, the sale of young women to the highest bidder in the form
of arranged marriages, the effects of remarriage on family dynamics, the loss of inheritance or identity, the survival of treachery or calamity. The
old fairy tales had much to say on subjects such as these. and on how one finds the courage to fight and prevail against overwhelming odds.
Such tales were passed down through the generations by word of mouth, women to woman, mother to child — using archetypes as a
mirror held to daily life, particularly the lives of those without clear avenues of social power. In this discussion, we look at the ways women storytellers
have used fairy tales to portray the truths of their lives — from the anonymous oral storytellers of the past, through the woman fairy tale
writers of 17th/18th century France and 19th century German, to feminist fiction writers, poets, and scholars today.
- The Storied Earth: Rejuvenating Oral Culture as an Ecological Imperative
To our indigenous oral ancestors, the local earth was alive with stories! Traveling through one's terrain, one felt secrets sprouting from every nook
and knoll, lurking under the rocks and waiting to swoop down from the trees. The wooden planks of the house would complain, bitterly, when the
wind leaned hard against them, and whispered wishes would pour from the windswept grasses. Everything was alive, and all things had the power
of meaningful speech...
There remains something about this storied way of speaking — this acknowledgement of a world all alive, awake, and aware — that,
even today, brings us close to our senses, and to the palpable, sensuous world that surrounds us. When we begin to tell stories, the imagination
flows out through our eyes and our ears to inhabit the breathing earth once again. The persistence of the old stories is the continuance of a way
of speaking that blesses the sentience of things, binding our thoughts back into the depths of an imagination much vaster than our own. To live
in a storied world is to know that intelligence is not an exclusively human faculty, but is a power of the animate earth itself, in which we two-leggeds,
along with the hawks and the thrumming frogs, all participate.
It's high time, then, for a rebirth of oral culture. We can't restore the health of the living land without restorying the land. Let's get to work.
The Big Conversations - More information coming soon!
- The Fire Inside: Founding the Future
Betty Sue Flowers, Sharif Horthy (Founder of the Guerrand-Hermés Peace Foundation), Michael Karlin, Arsenio Rodriguez (a Founder of the Alliance for a New Humanity), Michael Meade
How do you find the way to your real life, the one destiny intended for you? And once you find it, how do stay on the path? The perceived
obstacles and setbacks cause most people to never take the step. The necessary commitment and dedication takes courage and passion —
a fire inside. Sharif Horthy, Michael Karlin, Michael Meade and Arsenio Rodriquez — all of whom have taken that step and founded
organizations for furthering the path — share with Betty Sue Flowers their advice on igniting the fire and keeping it burning.
- Catching Fire: Imagination and Activism
Jean Shinoda Bolen, Carolyn Dunn
Outrage in defense of what and who we love is Mother Bear activism, which finds the strength to rise up to save what we love. Compassionate
action is spiritual activism. Fierce compassion says "enough is enough!" Relationship, interdependency, empathy, nurturing, connecting are
expressions of the feminine principle. An Urgent Message From Mother is emerging into individual and collective consciousness. Mother is Mother
Earth, mother archetype, maternal instinct, the Sacred Feminine — the feminine principle. Activism from the feminine principle differs from
movements led by a charismatic male leaders. It is grassroots activism that infuses ordinary people with imagination.
- The Evolving Mythic Zeitgeist
Stewart Brand, Alexander Rose, Robert Walter
Joseph Campbell wrote: "The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner
of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change." As Stewart Brand knows, an image can change the zeitgeist, such
as when the photos of the whole Earth seen from space altered our awareness of the globe and our local relations on it. What are the new and
evolving shifts in the zeitgeist?
Duncan Campbell, Delia Sherman, Derek Kayongo, Robert Sardello
Is war inevitable? At what points in a culture's development (or de-evolution) does it become a national pastime? How can myth and story
(which are frequently invoked to bolster national identity) work against national and industrial aggression and help to build bridges between p
eople and nations? How can myth help us to live with the inheritance of a violent past?
Coleman Barks, Ekiwah Adler Beléndez, Laurie Patton, Cheryl Sanders-Sardello
Love comes with a knife — Rumi. What is our relationship with pain? How do we improve this relationship?
William Doty, Midori Snyder, Terri Windling
"Do not step off the path!" Transgression implies that there are borders, limits to behavior and social roles which cannot be crossed without a penalty.
Yet folk tales and fairy tales often encourage characters to challenge these limitations, to transgress heroically or outrageously as they undergo rites
of passage or just kick the shins of authority. What are the contemporary implications of transgressive behavior?
- The recipient of the Next Generation Erdman-Campbell Prize in conversation with Robert Walter
- Hearth and Heart
Steve Aizenstat, Ari Berk, Brian Froud, John Matthews
The intimate tales told at the hearth maintain and express the dreams, hopes, and fears of the people, defining and helping to negotiate the boundaries
of this world and the Other. These dream-like tellings provide an honored place to beings dwelling just beyond the threshold of our every-day
environments — animals helpers and hinderers, fairies, spirits of the dead, and all the Travelling Folk who come to seek a place with us by the fire.
- Trial by Fire: Initiation
Tom Blue Wolf, OR Melling, Gertrud Mueller Nelson, Robert Swan
We all have known times in our life when the "shit has hit the fan." In the face of harsh trials and trying times, we often undergo transformation,
as the fire burns away false desires and allows us to see our true choices - even those we don't want to make. Traditional societies had ritual means
of helping others to face these trials. What happened to ours? How do we pass through the fires, treasure our scars and honor what it takes to
become a human being?
Workshops, Performances and Presentations
- Illness as a Soul Journey (Workshop)
Jean Shinoda Bolen
Serious illness takes us into the mythic realm of the underworld. Like abducted Persephone or Innana's descent, diagnosis and treatment is not just
about the body but about the soul. In this workshop, Jean relates these myths. Participants will also be in small circles to share and appreciate how
their own experiences with illness brought them "close to the bone" into the realm of soul.
Maren Tonder Hansen
Amazingly and marvelously, a myth written on clay tablets 4,000 years ago in Sumeria offers astute guidance for our own lives. How can we live wise,
fertile lives? Inanna offers an archetypal pattern for us to consider. Through guided experiential exercises, group discussions, and dramatic re-enactment,
we will explore the themes of the descent of the ego at the seven gates, the role of empathy in transformation, and the emergence of a new,
- Hanging Out with Peter Beagle, Charles de Lint & Mary Ann Harris
Peter Beagle, Charles de Lint & Mary Ann Harris
Sit back, relax, and have a conversation with these creative fan favourites.
- Flame and Shadow: Breaking Beyond Duality in Yoga Philosophy & Movement
Yoga has been presented in America as everything from tension release and aerobic wonder-workout to spiritual gateway to bliss and liberation.
These qualities are all possible, but only through what Joseph Campbell borrowed from St. John when calling it the "dark journey of the soul."
Images of clouds and white clad gurus only tell half the tale — to access the lightness of being inherent within each of us, the unfolding
of tension through physicality and physiology must begin with inner exploration of muscle and mind. In this presentation, journalist/yoga instructor
Derek Beres discusses the mythology of anatomy, diving inside the physical/spiritual/mental metamorphosis possible through the focus and discipline
of yoga postures and philosophy.
- David Anderson's Films
The winner of several British Academy Awards, the short films of David Anderson are among the most imaginative work with image and archetype
ever made. In the time of Angels, Deadsy, Dreamland Express, A Sense of Gravity. Anderson will also speak with the participants
about the films.
- Compassionate Communication
Faye Landey, Cynthia Moe, Jim Gandee, Mark Feinknopf
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) was founded by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and is sometimes referred to as compassionate communication. Its purpose
is to inspire us and help us respond empathetically to others and to ourselves, through its emphasis on deep listening and speaking from an open heart.
The model is simple, yet powerfully transformative, and focuses on identification of our own deeper needs and the needs of others. Come and learn
communication tools that can transport you to a consciousness for maintaining connection and compassion even in the face of stress, fear, and uncertainty.
- Daisy and the Dreamtime
A play by Lynne Kaufman
A staged reading of a multi-award winning play about the first white woman to be initiated into Australian aboriginal dreamtime. Written by Lynne Kaufman,
a long time friend and colleague of Joseph Campbell, this is the story of an irish woman, raised on Celtic folk stories, whose inner receptivity allowed
her to transcend the cultural prejudices of her time and form a connection to another tribe. Following the performance there will be a Q&A session
with the author and Bob Walter, President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation on the mythological content of the play. The actors will also join in.
- Grief Ritual
Grieving is a way of cleansing the soul. It has an energy capable of washing away lingering clouds and festering wounds in one's life. During this workshop,
participants perform a grief ritual based on the ancient teachings of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, Ghana in West Africa.
- Part Seen, Part Imagined
An informal journey through the aesthetic development of artist Charles Vess. A visual exploration of his artistic influences, from Arthur Rackham
to Howard Pyle to Arnold Bocklin and beyond, as well as an exploration of the sometimes accidental, sometimes purposeful effort to create an
individual painting, illustrated with step-by-step graphics.
- Popul Vuh
Manuel Tzoc Mejia
The Guatemalan Ministry of Culture has sent Manuel Tzoc Mejia, a Mayan storyteller, to share the ancient Mayan sacred text of the Popul Vuh,
the Book of the Dawn of Life, telling the creation myths of the Mayan people. "We must be very practical," Manuel says. How are human
beings to understand and to know their function? Manuel will concentrate on the parts of the Popul Vuh which speak about the Creation, nature
and the human emergence from nature — how we are from her and immersed in her, and how we become the bridge between the powers
of earth and the powers of heaven.
- Tending the Dream Is Tending the World
Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.
To develop a respectful and sustaining relationship with our dreams, we must return to a more "indigenous" sensibility, one that is informed by the
psyche of nature — an awareness that our own essential psychological spontaneities are rooted most deeply in the psyche of the natural world.
We are born out of the rhythms of nature, and to ignore these rhythms is, ultimately, to deny our psychic inheritance.
7 pm Twilight Event
Deepak Chopra, Coleman Barks, Michael Fitzpatrick
Coleman Barks and Deepak Chopra swap poems of Rumi and Tagore, and discuss synchronicity, the spontaneous fulfilment of desire, and how 'the blessing
is next to the wound'...to the music of Michael Fitzpatrick and his cello.
Mythic Exploration and Performance
- Music, Creativity and Myth — Genius and Madness
Lorin Hollander mixes enlightening discussion and virtuoso performance in an exploration of the Hero's Journey of Mussorgsky's
"Pictures at an Exhibition." Just as many of the great creative geniuses were tormented people, many highly gifted individuals today
suffer with the same unbearable turmoil; it is an inevitable component of their very giftedness. (One in seven commits suicide, two
in seven try.) Joseph Campbell discovered that the experiences of the personality disintegration and reintegration (what we call, but
perhaps can no longer, manic-depression) of these spiritually and psychologically different people are identical to the "hero's journey"
— the departure, initiation and return — as found in the world's great mythologies. The great creators left evidence,
personal chronicles of their mythological journeys expressed in their works of art. In addition to having been an infant child prodigy
who composed music at age three and performed Bach's Well Tempered Clavier at five, Lorin Hollander brings 35 years of exploring
the inner world of highly gifted with an international community. Performing Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition allows the audience
to experience a felt-sense, to live through the emotional and spiritual impact of a "hero's journey." This presentation illuminates new
ways for understanding works of great art as well as the lives of highly gifted people.
- Snow Glass Apples
A play by Neil Gaiman performed by the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company.
Once upon a time there lived a young princess with skin as white as snow, with hair as black as coal, with lips redder than blood. Most people think they
know what happens to this young unfortunate girl. Most people are wrong. Snow Glass Apples is the story of a wise Queen who wants nothing more
than to reign over her kingdom peacefully but is forced to match wits with an inhuman child who has an unnatural taste for blood.
Emerald Rose weaves Mythic subject matter into their high-energy fusion of Celtic and Rock music. Known worldwide for their electrifying
performances, Emerald Rose moves easily from mystical ballads to Pagan anthems to their own brand of good-time Folk. Join Emerald Rose
Saturday evening at 9pm for dancing and general revelry!
What is it? —
— Education Conference —