What is the Mythos-Sphere?
The Mythos-Sphere is a metaphor. If you can imagine a sphere all around you, containing everything of your experience, known and unknown, including your physical body and surroundings, as well as your beliefs, thoughts, dreams, memories, traditions, habits, and so on…this is a Mythos-Sphere. If you can imagine a sphere that contains everyone and everything…this is a Mythos-Sphere. If we imagine a sphere that contains you and me and the space between us, and all that lies within that space, this, too, is a Mythos-Sphere. By exploring that space together, we can build a sense of the shared mythology that holds us, and this is the Mythos-Sphere process.
The process comes out of the idea that a mythology is never just one story but a multi-dimensional world of interlacing stories. These can be viewed, or interpreted, from myriad points, and so I use the metaphor of a sphere.
What are the benefits of participating?
You may experience these benefits: reduced anxiety, a sense of relaxation or “spaciousness,” a sense of connection with other participants, a sense of connection with the surrounding landscape, enhanced ability to understand or allow the perspectives of others, increased insight or awareness of that which you find personally meaningful, new tools for exploring intuitive knowing and imaginal dialogue, new approaches to the creative process, creative inspiration extending beyond the experience. You may also gain a mythic or symbolic sensibility, or a sense of emergent meaning which extends beyond the experience.
Is this art therapy?
No. Although you may find the process therapeutic, this process centers on creative expression in community. it falls more within the realm of creative arts education, toward the goals of enhancing interpersonal communication and increasing inner-outer awareness, or one’s presence and participation within the larger environment. By contrast, art therapy is geared toward specific mental health outcomes within a psycho-therapeutic relationship.
Is this about Greek and Roman gods?
Yes and no. Greek and Roman mythology are often included in the western education, and these myths are the most familiar to many westerners, but every culture in every time has its own lived experience of mythology. Mythology naturally emerges as humans strive to make meaning out of the events and circumstances of their lives. Mythology should not be understood as “falsehood” but rather as the system of beliefs and understandings that forms as humans come to terms with their experiences of the unknown. As there are always unknowns in life, so, too, there is always mythology.
As Jung and many others have pointed out, mythology, as metaphorical expression, gives insight into the cultural psyche. It is generally easier to recognize the mythologies of others than to be aware of the mythology that one is living.
I’m not an artist. Can I do this?
Yes! The Mythos-Sphere process focuses on symbolic rather than aesthetic expression, and is designed for people of all artistic skill levels. It is not an art class, but a collaborative process. The objective is to give expression to ideas, emotions, and feelings, and not to create great or perfect art. Art-and-story-making activities emphasize playfulness and acceptance of expression, rather than accuracy of representation or “right/wrong” outcomes. We use simple hands-on creative activities to express feelings and ideas that may be difficult to put into words, in a way that supports sharing them with others. The process is intended to reduce anxiety and promote ease of creative expression.
I am an artist. Why should I do this?
While we use creative arts practices, Mythos-Sphere is not a skill building class, but a social context for sharing the experience of the unknown. As such, it is valuable for people of any skill level. Mythos-Sphere offers the opportunity to explore the creative process collaboratively. The experience provides the ground for shared metaphorical understanding, the fundamental bridge that connects individual with community. And it’s fun.
Tell me more about the process.
Using a mix of individual and group activities, we alternate meditative inner work with open-ended arts processes, chance operations, sharing, discussion, and narrative development. Moving between these processes encourages a rhythm between inner and outer experience. We begin by tuning into place, and we always return to the physical as a common touchstone for the expression of inner thoughts, images and feelings. The specifics vary from event to event, according to theme and individual variation.
By engaging together in this process of communicating the unseen, or imaginal, we build a sense of a collective story or group mythology to which each participant relates in their own way.
What’s shared ownership?
To work together collaboratively, we share the ideas and images that come up during the process. Participants agree that the ideas, artwork, and other creative material generated during the project may be freely used or modified among participants. Sharing from one’s inner experience or journaling is always optional, never forced. Beyond the framework of the event, all are free to continue working with the creative material generated by the group, as desired.
But what are we really going to be doing?
Lol. Hanging out together making stuff :) Typical activities include reverie in the landscape, journaling, guided meditation; collage, drawing, print-making; and group story-making using simple games and tools of chance/oracle (dice, tarot, I Ching). We use the improvisational “Yes, and…” approach, meaning that we accept all versions of the story as it unfolds. There can be many ways of telling it.
What is your cancellation policy?
If more than 7 days in advance of your reservation, you will receive a full refund. Within 7 days of the event (but at least 24 hours ahead), you will receive credit towards another event. Unfortunately, no refunds or credits are given for cancellations within 24 hours of your reservation.