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The Rhythm of Mythic Journeys '06: Schedule and Description

Michael Meade Sobonfe Somé Deepak Chopra Peter Beagle Jean Shinoda Bolen

Mythic Journeys is two segments over the four-day weekend. We begin with a small preconference, Mythic Journeys: In-Depth, allowing 250 attendees to meet and interact with our guest speakers in an intimate and engaging environment. The remaining Main Conference days open to a larger audience of approximately 750 attendees.

Read Andrew Greenberg's article about Mythic Journeys '06

Here is the general rhythm of the day:

7:30 am Participatory activities, yoga, singing, dream work, etc.
9:00 am The Big Story
11:00 am Workshops, performances and presentations
12:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm The Big Conversation
4:00 p Workshops, performances and presentations
6:00 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Performances

There is a half hour break between all activities. Each day starts with small participatory groups. At 9 a.m., we all gather together as one group for The Big Story. This will be either a performance or a storytelling that exemplifies the theme of the day.

At 11:00 a.m. and again at 4:00 p.m., we offer a myriad of performances, workshops, readings, poetry, conversations, papers, and other presentations.

After lunch, the afternoons begin with The Big Conversations. These take an aspect of the day's theme as a starting point. Conversation groups are small; presenters face each other in a semi-circle and sit in comfortable chairs. The conversations have moderators, but are free-flowing between participants. Most importantly, these conversations are interdisciplinary, matching up artists with scholars, business poeple with poets, scientists with novelists, ets.

After the second round of workshops, it's dinner followed by an extraordinary line-up of performances that go on into the wee hours of the morning.

This year, our main theme is Imagination, a central force for the arts, invention, leadership and more. Many people, from James Hillman to various political commentators, have spoken recently about how our culture suffers from a "lack of imagination." Myth and imagination share a vital link, and we'd like to explore that link at this year's conference.

As with the 2004 conference, we also have a theme for each day, a "container" for the ideas discussed and worked with throughout the day. These themes are guides for the journey. They help create resonances.

The daily themes are simply Earth (Thursday), Air (Friday), Fire (Saturday), and Water (Sunday). More specific themes will span all four days, in earthy, airy, watery or fiery garb. More of these will be emerging, but here are some major ones:

  • Adolescence, Initiation and Mentoring — This is an important theme for our educators' conference, but it also applies to the In-Depth and Main Conferences. What can myth tell us about our culture's forms of initiation, mentorship, and how we guide our adolescents?
  • From Sumer to Iraq — Obviously, we are all dealing with the issue of Iraq at the moment and will continue to do so for years to come. The oldest written myths come from this region, followed by many others, including those of Islam.
  • Into the Woods — "The Woods" in all its senses: ecology, nature, the fairy tale place that is a dark testing ground, the mythological stories of the woods as a womb, a safe haven, etc.
  • Time — What is the relation of time to myth and its eternal truths? What of the mythic archetypes, grounded in our past, and their role in our future?

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