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GATHERING THE BONES: Skeleton Woman – Creativity and Healing in Community

GATHERING THE BONES: Skeleton Woman – Creativity and Healing in Community

This is a tale about the importance of community in relation to creativity and healing, a process that requires a certain courage, ingenuity, and attentiveness. Learning to work with the Life/Death/Life cycle, the essence of creativity, teaches us about the stages of creative action- animation, development, decline and reanimation. Being in vital relation to our own imagination, to others, and within community, we discover creativity, not only as a solitary act, but also one that restores, inspires, and deepens our capacity for connection and well-being.

Like Spring, preparing for the great revelation of new growth, we too find ourselves longing for renewal in these difficult times where hope is so often buried in indifference, short sightedness, and disconnection.

Art by Jeanie Tomanek, Skeleton Woman

GATHERING THE BONES: The Handless Maiden

GATHERING THE BONES: The Handless Maiden

“Traditional psychology is often spare or entirely silent about deeper issues important to women: the archetypal, the intuitive, the sexual and cyclical, the ages of women, a woman’s way, a woman’s knowing, her creative fire.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Understanding story from the inside out, from the bones to the flesh, reveals those indestructible elements that cannot be eradicated by oppressive forces. This grid, an underlying architecture, hold fragments, parts of the psyche, that comprehend knowing often prohibited or forbidden, but accessible nonetheless by instinct and intuition, whose retrieval brings us back to wholeness.

Please joins us for a six-week series exploring the symbolic journey of The Handless Maiden through the underground forest—an initiation into our own unknown and most authentic Self.

“In our own story, there is very little setting – but as it is typical in many northern European fairy tales, the dark enchanted forest is the most significant place, and it is, as always, the place in which the greatest transformation can be attained, by walking into the heart of the Mystery.” Dr. Sharon Blackie, This Mythic Life.

The Handless Maiden is a profound story about power, identity, and the courage to reclaim that which has been wrongfully taken.

The tale is a gruesome one. It involves not only the severing of the Maiden’s hands, but also the loss of the only world she has ever known. And yet, in travelling with the Handless Maiden and watching her suffer this dismemberment, we discover the depth of her insight, the range of her resources, the strength of her spirit, and the path that ultimately leads to re-growth.

In this series, we explore themes of wandering, endurance, and transformation. The quest within provides strategies and a map for how we, too, might encounter and triumph over our own psychic severing. Undertaking this journey, encourages us to access our creative center while piecing ourselves back together, bone by bone.

Image by Pantovola, La Loba; poster adaptation by Krishna Lalbiharie

TIMES OF CHANGE: Toads, Transition, and Transformation

TIMES OF CHANGE: Toads, Transition, and Transformation

Please join us for our next by-donation, on-line LSP event, which we now happily call a meeting of The Story Society. This evening, Times of Change: Toads, Transition, and Transformation, will be held on Thursday, April 22nd from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

Toads are wise mentors, able to adapt and thrive in any ecosystem and endure extremes of temperature. Long storied in myth and fable, they are celebrated as shapeshifters, skin shedders, teachers of magic and metamorphosis, visionaries, and healers. Through story and conversation, we will explore how the gifts of toad may help guide and support us as we transition through the times of COVID. 

Image of toad on hard light cool beige textured surface by Josch13 from Pixabay

MOTHERING OURSELVES: Trusting Our Inner Truth

MOTHERING OURSELVES: Trusting Our Inner Truth

Exploring, nurturing, and celebrating our Inner Mother encourage us to embrace with unconditional love who we are in this moment. It involves acceptance of what has often been maligned in culture, dismissed by systems, redesigned by industry. We are not to be “improved” by market standards of performance and beauty; deemed “acceptable” because we meet some future goal defined by commercial targets. We are not broken. We do not need fixing. Within, we have the resources, strength, insight, and intuition to call our name, to discern our gift, to tell our truth, and find our path. 

Please join us as we harvest the wisdom of the Inner Mother through story, movement, and conversation. As always, we track and trust the heart of the matter.

Photo by Elisabeth Waldman

NAVIGATING UNCERTAINTY: An Evening of Story and Conversation

NAVIGATING UNCERTAINTY: An Evening of Story and Conversation

Please join us for an evening as we gather around a virtual fire and share our living stories about the journey we have taken during these past 12 months. The space being held for this exploration invites you to share, listen, and contemplate losses and discoveries generated by this unprecedented time in our lives.

Sharing stories in community is medicine for body and soul. The first event that Living Story Project hosted centered around Wise Woman and her guiding principles – finding connectedness and accepting the inevitability of change seem especially relevant.

This evening is dedicated to the interconnectedness of our experience and understanding.

Image by Vasilisa Bushueva, Fantastic Forest

OUR GREAT COSMIC MOTHER

OUR GREAT COSMIC MOTHER

“The Great Mother in Her many aspects—maiden, raging warrior, benevolent mother, death-dealing and all-wise crone, unknowable and ultimate wyrd—is now powerfully re-emerging and rising again in human consciousness … Isis, Mawu-Lisa, Demeter, Gaia, Shakti, Dakinis, Shekhinah, Astarte, Ishtar, Rhea, Freya, Nerthus, Brigid, Danu—call Her what you may—has been with us from the beginning and awaits us now,” Monica Sjöö & Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother.

The Great Mother is the wine of life, the mother of all living things. She is the green Earth, the mysteries of the waters. She is the creative force, the primogenitor of wave, tide, and wind.

While we commonly associate Mother to Child, she is not limited to the convention of childbirth, and childrearing. In her saltwater cauldron gestates idea, art, music, dance, invention in the broadest sense – Life. She is maker, illuminator, muse. She is who we can turn to in time of need, as, in her light, she is compassionate, merciful, and loving. She is an advocate of connection, fusion, and relationship to Self, others, and the creative process within.

Please joins us as we explore the creative energies embodied in the Mother archetype, what happens to our creative process when those energies feel as though they have been extinguished, and how, in these times, we may reignite our creative Self.

Collaborative guests:

Odette Heyn C.M. Red with Grace Choreography: Stephanie Ballard

Marci Wenn, LCSW-R, Soul Collage© Facilitator

Artwork by Jeanie Tomanek, Star Quilt; poster adaptation by Krishna Lalbiharie

THE HANDLESS MAIDEN: Initiation in the Underground Forest

THE HANDLESS MAIDEN: Initiation in the Underground Forest

“In our own story, there is very little setting – but as it is typical in many northern European fairy tales, the dark enchanted forest is the most significant place, and it is, as always, the place in which the greatest transformation can be attained, by walking into the heart of the Mystery,” Dr. Sharon Blackie, This Mythic Life.

Please joins us as we explore the symbolic journey of the Handless Maiden. 

This is a profound story about power, identity, and the courage to take one’s life into one’s own hands to reclaim that which has been wrongfully taken.
The tale is a gruesome one. It involves not only the severing of the Maiden’s hands, but also the loss of the only world she has ever known. And yet, in travelling with the Handless Maiden and watching her suffer this dismemberment, we discover the depth of her insight, the range of her resources, the strength of her spirit, and the path that ultimately leads to re-growth. 

In this workshop, we explore themes of wandering, endurance, and transformation. The quest within The Handless Maiden provides both strategies and a map for how we, too, might encounter and triumph over our own psychic severing. Undertaking this journey encourages us to access our creative center and realize our most authentic Self. 

Art by Jeanie Tomanek, Silver Hands; poster adaptation by Krishna Lalbiharie

BLUEBEARD: Key to Knowing the Saboteur

BLUEBEARD: Key to Knowing the Saboteur

“In order to banish the predator, we must unlock or pry ourselves and other matters open to see what is inside. We must use our abilities to stand what we see. We must speak our truth in a clear voice. And we must be able to use our wits to do what needs be about what we see,” Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves.

The story of Bluebeard explores a crisis in culture pervasive in contemporary society. For thousands of years, women’s power, creativity, insight, and knowing have been written out of history. Women have been maligned, muzzled, and murdered by patriarchal predators who contend that women have no integrity of vision, no deep insight, no original voice, and no decisive action.

We all pay a price when women are diminished. Devastating global imbalances —there are many — demonstrate this truth. In Bluebeard, women are hunted and held captive by predatory forces; their freedom depends on discovering the key that unlocks their inner resources — resources long buried, but not destroyed.

In this workshop, we explore these predatorial forces as those that sabotage women’s rights to live fully. In examining both the light and dark aspects of the Saboteur archetype, we track processes of entrapment and liberation. This tracking allows us to ask questions; it exposes the rules, regulations, and conventions that are malignant, divisive, and life-denying within culture.

Poster adaptation by Krishna Lalbiharie

BLUEBEARD: Tracking the Saboteur

BLUEBEARD: Tracking the Saboteur

Bluebeard tells the tale of sabotage—both from within and from without. It speaks of a predatory force, known as the Saboteur. This force is in all of us and can make its presence known anywhere…whether it be in the marketplace, the local bar, the classroom, or in the privacy of one’s own mind.

The Saboteur remains alert, watchful, anticipating our next step, thinking it knows best, and is therefore more able than we are to direct our attention, define our goals, and describe our longings. But the objects of our desire as devised by the Saboteur are fool’s gold, which always proves subversive and destructive.

This incredibly powerful force is one we must reckon: “It is a derisive and murderous antagonist that is born into us, and even with the best parental nurture the intruder’s sole assignment is to attempt to turn all crossroads into closed roads,” Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves.

All is not lost, however. There are ways to track the Saboteur. By discerning its approach, its strategies, the gaps in its logic, and discovering our inner resources, we can call into play the forces designed to challenge its seductive power. In so doing, we bring the Saboteur out from the shadows of our unawareness and into the light of our better knowing.

In a supportive and nurturing environment, this one-day workshop will explore:

  • how myth provides insight into our life stories and psyches
  • how we get in our own way and therefore undermine our capacity to achieve goals
  • how to develop intuitive sight to see red flags for the dangers they represent.
  • how to discover choices where none seemed to exist
  • how to trust ourselves to follow paths that are most authentic and life giving.
  • how prevailing and seemingly inevitable forces, habits, and conventions diminish the capacity to live fully and in our power.

Poster adaptation by Krishna Lalbiharie

WISE OLD WOMAN: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype II

WISE OLD WOMAN: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype II

Old Woman, once banished, is resurfacing in the lives of people — young and old — within culture and in relation to the earth.

While long discarded, she has never quite gone away. Perhaps you know her symbolically as Witch, Crone, Spider Grandmother, Hecate, Baubo or Sophia. Intimately connected to the phases of the moon and the cycles of the seasons, she is mentor to the mother and sidekick to the maiden.

She is the one who knows how to slow down, finds pleasure in simplicity, understands the healing power of humour, and has profound compassion for the earth and all who inhabit it. She is the seed-saver — the one who preserves and protects. She is a seer: past-sighted, present-sighted, and far-sighted.

Wise Woman is made wise by many things: through study, creative collaboration, observation and, most significantly, by having lived deeply into all her life experiences. This growing involves many layers of understanding — both above and below ground.

Wise Woman can manifest in many ways. She may live alone in a house that dances on chicken legs. She might bubble up in a cauldron or fly through the night sky. She might sit beside you in a coffee shop or suggest a book title while you browse aimlessly in a library. She is everywhere. She is also within.

Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype invites you to reconnect with old woman wisdom, to reimagine aging and rediscover the profound importance of mentoring relationships between old and young.

Image by Susan Seddon Boulet, Spider Woman; Poster adaptation by Krishan Lalbiharie

WISE OLD WOMAN: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype II

WISE OLD WOMAN: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype I

Old Woman, once banished, is resurfacing in the lives of people — young and old — within culture and in relation to the earth.

While long discarded, she has never quite gone away. Perhaps you know her symbolically as Witch, Crone, Spider Grandmother, Hecate, Baubo or Sophia. Intimately connected to the phases of the moon and the cycles of the seasons, she is mentor to the mother and sidekick to the maiden.

She is the one who knows how to slow down, finds pleasure in simplicity, understands the healing power of humour, and has profound compassion for the earth and all who inhabit it. She is the seed-saver — the one who preserves and protects. She is a seer: past-sighted, present-sighted, and far-sighted.

Wise Woman is made wise by many things: through study, creative collaboration, observation and, most significantly, by having lived deeply into all her life experiences. This growing involves many layers of understanding — both above and below ground.

Wise Woman can manifest in many ways. She may live alone in a house that dances on chicken legs. She might bubble up in a cauldron or fly through the night sky. She might sit beside you in a coffee shop or suggest a book title while you browse aimlessly in a library. She is everywhere. She is also within.

Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype invites you to reconnect with old woman wisdom, to reimagine aging and rediscover the profound importance of mentoring relationships between old and young.

*Image: Spider Woman by Susan Seddon Boulet; Poster adaptation by Krishan Lalbiharie