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for the
Certificate Program
Applied Mythology

For more information
please contact
visit the Open Center website,
or call
212 219-2527


"It was a transformational experience. It has sparked the fire in me
to remember my own voice and my story. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
— Julie McDaniel at
Mythic Journeys

David Gonzalez, Michael Meade, Diana Wolkstein, Lisa Sokolov,
Honora Foah, David Spangler, Jean Houston, Fred Johnson, Ari Berk

The Certificate Program in Applied Mythology
is the next step in
the Mythic Imagination Mythic Journeys story.

"You are leading the way to the future we want to create.
I am so happy to be part of this and hope to contribute more."
— Louisa Calio

The Mythic Journeys experience created a hunger for more depth and a longer time to work with the Mythic Imagination 'art of myth' form. In response:

The Certificate Program in Applied Mythology
is an intimate one-year program with an extraordinary faculty.

The course unites the finest hearts and minds in the academic, social, and artistic arenas whose common thread is a deep understanding and every day application of mythic imagination. These teachers use myth and archetype in the realms of the highest levels of politics, inside prisons and with the homeless, with youth, in the university and as the foundation of art, from Broadway performance to the Kennedy Center. Authors of numerous books, plays, papers as well as operas and games, the Applied Mythology faculty conducts a remarkable series of master classes, coordinated by the Creative Director and Co-president of Mythic Imagination Institute.

Sacred and rowdy, passionate and intellectually rigorous, incisive and sexy — more than anything else Mythic Imagination is a return to the real. It is always about embodiment. Our 'applied mythology' form is where we stay close to the imaginal, mythic realm of wisdom, letting it penetrate our arts, our conversation and our work in social justice and environmental balance.

To apply mythology in this sense means to be aware of what nature and the gods are saying about their own natures. It is a way of allowing an independence of voice to the maple and the rose, to the bee and the roach, to the being of war and to the other human beings. It is a way to find your own voice through the encouragement and the exploration of the many voices that can speak through us.

"I loved every minute. The memory will live in my mind forever."
— Juanzetta, Princesa di Gozo

"Long life, honey in the heart, thirteen thank-yous!"
— Fonette Harris

"For me, it was a healing and life-cultivating event."—
— Kathy Stephowicz

"Truly, you created a wonderful atmosphere of humanity."
— Suzanne Degnats


  • David GonzalezThe First Session — October 18th-21st 2007

    David Gonzalez
    Diana Wolkstein
    The very first weekend, Broadway playwright and performer, David Gonzalez, whose work specializes in myth and folktale, and celebrated author, mythologist and storyteller Diane Wolkstein will plunge into the Ur-stories of the ancient Sumerian Inanna and the Greek Orpheus. This immersion in story will fill our palettes with a rich array of material to work from throughout the year. As we begin the exploration into mythology, the stories themselves are our guides.

    Diana WolksteinFrom full blown performance to quiet conversation, David and Diane awaken the connections between our personal stories and the great epics sounded thousands of years ago whose force still rolls toward us to this very day. The glory of myth is that in the form of a story it can be appreciated and loved by a child at the same time as it will yield riches when approached with intellectual incision, psychological insight or ritual enactment. The first step is to cultivate an intimacy with the stories and tellers themselves, which is the focus of the first session.

  • Michael MeadeThe Second Session — December 6th-9th 2007

    Michael Meade

    The incomparable Michael Meade leads the second session. A learned scholar of mythology, a consummate storyteller, a social activist and a true therapist, Michael Meade is a soul-man. Leading the session on Metaphor, Mr. Meade will conduct us through the inner landscape of the multi-dimensional imaginal world with which myth and story are imbued.

    The joy of living and the source of creativity lie in the ability to watch the linear stalk of story and reality burst into a many-petaled blossom of multi-valent meaning. To see many possibilities superimposed upon each other is the key to freedom No one opens up this glorious multiplicity like Michael Meade.

  • Lisa SokolovThe Third Session — January 31st-February 3rd 2008

    Lisa Sokolov
    Honora Foah

    The third session is lead by Lisa Sokolov. She was cited as the Rising Star Vocalist list of 2005. She is the Director of The Institute for Embodied VoiceWork at the Institutes for the Arts in Psychotherapy in New York City. She lectures and performs internationally, and her recordings Lazy Afternoon, Angel Rodeo and Presence have won press acclaim and many "Best of" awards, including 5 Star Masterpiece and Best of the 2004 for "Presence" from DownBeat Magazine. As a musician, Lisa Sokolov daily engages with the realities of rhythm and finding the true voice, two of the great themes and forms of mythology.

    Honora Foah Alongside Honora Foah, she will engage in both the stories and the experience of these two great themes. Working as well with a depth psychologist, we will dive into the dream of finding the true voice within the great cosmic cycles. This session rocks between the macro and micro-cosmic, the Yugas, the Mayan calendar, the turning of the galaxies and the individual breath, the moment of each heartbeat.

  • David SpanglerThe Fourth Session — April 24th-27th, 2008

    David Spangler

    Joseph Campbell says 'a ritual is an enactment of a myth'. This is the original 'applied mythology'. The great archetypal world, 'the world behind the world' must poke through and permeate this world for us to sense depth and meaning to our lives. People have always, therefore, 'enacted the myth' in innumerable rituals of mindblowing variety. Yet at its core, ritual is trying to connect the most simple and basic human acts of survival with sacredness.

    We will also explore ritual in a simple yet profound way, preparing and eating food while we explore the mythology of ritual and blessing. Lead by 'practical mystic' David Spangler, this fourth session goes to the heart of our place in the world and on the food chain. Many many rituals are expressions of gratitude and blessing for the opportunity to stay alive because we are able to eat. Every culture in the world circles this gateway to life with profound ceremony. Give us this day our daily bread.

  • Jean HoustonThe Fifth Session — June 12th-15th 2008

    Jean Houston

    Having entered deeply into the world of myth and dream, the next session, Community, uses this experience to stimulate the imagination in the service of our own life purpose and what we have to offer the wider community. The inimitable Jean Houston, who has been spending the last several years as a United Nations Development Program Ambassador, working around the world in many diverse cultures with 'social artistry', brings this program to Applied Mythology. Dr Houston, a mythologist and anthropologist who began her career as a protégé of Margaret Mead, has applied her life's work to the issues we face in creating new societies.

    This spring, Dr Houston was in Kathmandu training leaders from twelve Asian countries to reimagine the way we live. We must find sustainable cultures — environmentally, socially and personally. Mythology and the imaginal world have always been the narrative underpinning. Jean will help us re-connect to the creative fonts within ourselves and within mythology, specifically calling out our abilities to find the way forward.

  • Ari BerkThe Sixth Session — August 15th-18th 2008

    Ari Berk
    Honora Foah
    Fred Johnson

    The sixth and last session is Meaning, lead by Ari Berk, Fred Johnson and Honora Foah. Fred Johnson This meeting will tie together all of the previous sessions. Mythologist and anthropologist, author, raconteur and educator Dr Ari Berk, and Mythic Imagination creative director and co-president Honora Foah will lead the group through a process of synthesis, aided and abetted by the masterful jazz musician Fred Johnson.

Recognizing universal human experiences and life-motifs is an essential element of engaging with the living human communities around us. Yet a mature consciousness also tries to look deeper, perceiving and celebrating the differences between individuals and between cultures. Using myth as a tool of human and personal development allows the dignity and mystery of otherness to flourish alongside our sense of individuality.

Myth is first and foremost a maker of meaning. Ignorance of myth is ignorance of the roots of culture, our own and the rest of the world's. An exploration of myth is foundational to an understanding of the morals and values people hold, as well as being the wellspring of literature and art.

Designed to be useful both personally and professionally, the certificate program in Applied Mythology will cover three main areas.

  • First is general conversance with world mythology. Within the reading, teleconferences and conversations, students will explore a variety of myths from numerous cultures and time periods. At the same time, we will be learning and developing many creative and critical strategies for working with myths in depth, thus allowing us to apply wisdom from the myths we encounter across the entire curriculum.

  • Second, myths exist in every culture because humans respond to places and events by fashioning narratives to explain their experiences, to explore the mysteries of the worlds around them. These creative responses, which we know as myths, are part of the deep structure of the mind and heart. We will explore these structures, as well as the ways people have traditionally, artistically and politically worked with and responded to them. In our time, myth-like images and narratives are being manipulated towards highly politicized and often frightening ends. Being able to look such narratives in the eye and unravel their coding is a way towards personal and political freedom.

  • Last, the Mythic Imagination motto is 'Every life is a story, and a story can change the world'. In the light of James Hillman's The Soul's Code, the extensive work of Robert Sardello and many others on connecting to the deepest strains of the soul's meaning and intention, the Applied Mythology program endeavors to relentlessly encourage the inner purpose of our hearts to become the guiding desire and principal of our life's choices.

Everywhere there are storied forces — from advertising to schooling, from war making to consumerism — that are trying to eat our lunch, to eat our time, to use our lives to enrich something or someone else. These forces do not care about our own destinies or purposes. If we do not live our own lives, the world itself goes off course. We are unable to meaningfully contribute if we do not own ourselves.

To understand a mythology is to understand an ecology.

Based on the 'Art of Myth™' form developed at the Mythic Journeys conferences and performance festivals, Applied Mythology is intended to help connect the personal, cultural and universal spheres of the mythopoetic realm, in order to ground each of us in our own lives and our own sense of purpose and meaning, so that we are able to contribute to the re-imagining of our communities, our cultures and even the world.

The traditional foundational stories are easily told yet profoundly wise and informative, both as a way of understanding ourselves as individuals and what we are to do, and as a description of the particular ways and values of a particular place in the world.

What are myths? The Applied Mythology program is designed to answer this as a felt and tasted world. We will be active intellectually, but physically and emotionally alive as well. By the end of the year-long program, we will have learned a great many myths, a great deal about myth, and much of different cultures and the archetypal realm of dream and imagination. We will also have been connecting all along to this realm within ourselves.

ABOVE ALL, MYTH IS EFFECTIVE. What else has survived for the entire length of human existence?

The Certificate Program in Applied Mythology is a one-year program of 160 hours, broken into six long weekend experiences, scheduled as follows:

  • STORY — October 18th-21st 2007
  • METAPHOR — December 6th-9th 2007
  • FINDING THE INNER VOICE/BIG RHYTHM, SMALL RHYTHM — January 31st-February 3rd 2008
  • RITUAL — April 24th-27th, 2008
  • COMMUNITY — June 12th-15th 2008
  • MEANING — August 15th-18th 2008

Each session is an immersion into the work and stories shared within that session and the work of that teacher. The courses will meet (unless otherwise noted) at The New York Open Center.

Full Payment: 07SP24AI
Open Center Members: $3,700
Nonmembers: $3,750
Payment Plan: 07SP24BI
Payment Plan info call 212 219-2527 ext. 110

What do I get for my money?

  1. An overview of mythic literacy. Myth is the foundation of every culture on the globe as well as a basic key to art and literature. In both form and content, Applied Mythology is designed to reconnect us with the knowledge that is our neglected birthright. You get the experience of told myths and folktales and an inspired reading list.

  2. Time with and connection to some of the most interesting, intelligent and vivid people alive today. The greatest strength of the program is the extraordinary faculty. Just spending time with these people is life-changing.

  3. Tools for increasing perception, structuring thought and making decisions personally and professionally.

  4. Connection to the Mythic Imagination community. Graduates of the Applied Mythology program will be eligible for roles in the next Mythic Journeys and other MII programs.

  5. Fun-the reason myth has been so extraordinarily effective in passing information, wisdom, and values through thousands of years is that at root, this way of being, this way of learning is deeply pleasurable and satisfying.

  6. Professional credit.

for the
Certificate Program
Applied Mythology

For more information about this certificate program, please contact myth@opencenter.org, visit the Open Center website, or call 212 219-2527.

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