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Mythological ToolBox: Retooling Your Hero's Journey
Date: March 24, 2013
Time: 5:00 pm
Category: Workshop
Duration: 5 days
Venue: Esalen Institute
Link: http://www.esalen.org/workshop/11690
Address: 55000 Highway One
City: Big Sur, CA

Esalen Cliffs and Bathhouse

Retooling Your Hero's Journey 

The Mythological Toolbox™ Playshop is an annual workshop held at the
Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
 This spring's event will be held March 24- 29, 2013.

Every year for more than two decades Joseph Campbell celebrated his birthday, March 26th, at Esalen. To explain why, he would tell of the day that Carl Jung suddenly realized "what it means to live with a myth, and what it means to live without one." Jung asked himself, What myth am I living by? Finding that he did not know, he wrote, "I took it upon myself to get to know 'my' myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks." "That's what a birthday is for," Campbell concluded, "...and that's what Esalen is about."

In March 1988, five months after Campbell's death, some of his friends again met at Esalen for what had become an annual tradition, the Campbell Week. This unbroken progression of springtime gatherings was eventually re-titled A Mythological ToolBox, partly because these explorations involve retooling the myths that shape our lives, and partly because prior knowledge of Joseph Campbell is not required. The only prerequisite is a sense of humor.

There is an eclectic array of tools in our exploration of mythmaking, so no two years are the same. We might dance or sing, talk or sit quietly. We might make music, masks, altars, or medicine bundles. We might tell stories, decode films, unravel dreams, kindle visions. There is a mix of solo exercises, small-group activities, and collective projects to provide opportunities for reflection and expression.

Yet, always, we talk of transformation: Who were you? What childhood stories were impressed upon you? What were your favorite games? What did you treasure in your youth? What is enshrined on your mantle, hung from your rearview mirror, taped to your refrigerator door? What lies forgotten in the basement? What's secreted in the attic? Whom do you aspire to be? What new adventures do you envision? What face do you hope to see in the mirror? What's set upon your metaphoric altar, emblazoned on your bumper, pursued in your fantasies?

If you are willing to re-vision yourself, then join this improvisational ritual of rebirth. Please bring a small totemic object that is both meaningful and expendable.

Joseph Campbell Foundation President Bob Walter will be joined by special guests Kwame Scruggs and Jerry Kwame Williams (co-facilitators at Alchemy, Inc., which uses myth to work with urban, at-risk, male adolescents), percussionist Judy Piazza, and "the piano man" - JCF Fellow David ("Red") Rhys-Johnson. 

Start planning now to come March 24 - 29, 2013, and experience ReTooling Your Hero's Journey: A Mythological Toolbox (20th edition, revised)

Accomodations/Tuition range from $650 to $2,350 for the week, depending on what option you choose (from sleeping bag space to premium lodging), and includes bathouse use and all meals (and midnight snacks, bottomless coffee & tea, etc.)

Accomodations & Pricing (follow the links)


Cost: Varies: $650 - $2,350
Contact e-mail: stephen.gerringer@jcf.org

CAVEAT: The Joseph Campbell Foundation provides this calendar of events as a public service. JCF Associates are advised to seek out more information. An appearance on this page should never be taken as an unqualified endorsement by the JCF (except for clearly marked JCF sponsored events).