Other Side of Fire
A Story-Writing Workshop on Mythologizing Your Own Life
. . . seeing the mythicness
of everyday life,
of our lives as pageantry, as archetypal drama . . .
”We carry the collective memory of experiences that make us wise beyond our local knowing, deeper than our life histories warrant. Of this I am certain, for I have taken many depth soundings of the psyches of many people the world over. Get beneath the surface crust of consciousness, and all the scripts are present – every adventure story, myth, legend, fairy tale, and soap opera."
-- Jean Houston, A Mythic Life
In Peter Jackson's
film version of J.R. R. Tolkein's
The Lord of the Rings,
at the end of Part 2: The Two Towers, hobbits Sam and Frodo are climbing up yet one more interminable heap of stones,
up yet one more mountain, about to arrive at a ruin. As they near the top, the Shire theme song plays and Sam asks Frodo:
Sam: " Mr Frodo, do you think they will ever tell stories about us?"
Chuckling with indulgent incredulity, Frodo smiles fondly and replies, "No, Sam."
Intention and Scope of this Workshop
The title of this workshop -- "The Other Side of Fire" -- comes from
the qualities of fire as a source of light, purification, and transformation.
This workshop will help you more clearly see that you are on your own heroic quest -- your own "Journey With Your Soul." Seeing into your own deeper story can help you better listen and heed your inner knowing about what direction to take next.
In getting caught up in the complex demands of everyday life, people often feel they are doing not much more than just holding down their own little corner of the world. It is often hard to see the underlying blueprint, and therefore easy to slide into feeling stuck -- like a hapless victims of circumstances.
In actuality -- each in our own way -- we are all living our own slice of mythicness, working out our own unique contribution to mass consciousness.
We will use the wisdom from ancient mythologies and present-day interpreters as a way to look deeply into our lives. Then each person will use this mythologic material as a way to discover which motifs and archetypes s/he might be living out, thus gaining insights into the larger pattern of your life.
Each participant will use words -- as well as any additionally chosen communication modes such as music, photographs, etc. -- to individually compose a mythologic telling from his/her own life. This recounting could be one aspect or event, or possibly a broad overview -- including past, present, and even the future.
The overall tone of this workshop draws from material from ancient Greek and Norse mythology, Joseph Campbell's work on mythology; J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings ; Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With The Wolves ; Jean Houston, A Mythic Life and A Passion for the Possible and The Search for the Beloved, etc.; Carolyn Myss, Sacred Contracts; Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams. And others.
We will also look at ways in which contemporary artists incorporate mythologic structure and elements into their work. We will analyze several recent movies, and also selected scenes from the drama, Reviving Shallot.
Click here for details for the Sept 9, 2006 session in Alameda, California.