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Advanced Training Certificate: Applied Mythology

June 27th – August 15th, 2024

7 Week Live Course | Offered Live via Zoom

Program Description

What you will receive:

  • 7 Interactive Live Webinar Sessions with world recognized Myth Practitioners
  • 7 Video Learning Sessions to watch at your convenience
  • A Learning Resource Guide with links to suggested books, articles, films
  • A Private, on-line Discussion Forum
  • Pacifica Graduate Institute Advanced Training Certificate upon successful completion of the course

Course Description

“If you live with the myths in your mind, you will find yourself always in mythological situations. They cover everything that can happen to you. And that enables you to interpret the myth in relation to life, as well as life in relation to myth.”                                       —Joseph Campbell

“We are all part of the old stories; whether we know the stories or not, the old stories know about us.”                         —Leslie Marmon Silko

The Advanced Training Certificate in Applied Mythology brings together expert myth practitioners with participants eager to understand the multiple ways which myth structures not only storytelling, but psyche itself.  Recorded learning sessions will usher you into the world of mythology, where deep sources of wisdom can illuminate contemporary turns of life and fate. Live, weekly interactive sessions with master teachers will help you learn to recognize the mythologic patterns that are influencing not only world events, but your own individuation process.

Drawing on the sacred stories of many times and places, this Advanced Training Certificate invites you to apply what you learn to a variety of life areas, including self-development, love and family life, work and career, spirituality, consciousness, and personal creativity. You will also learn and practice the crafts of storytelling—including the science behind why it’s so effective—and ceremony creation for workshops and professional presentations.

Explore the inner, storied dynamics of current events: politics and power, science and technology, the media, the environment, religious and spiritual traditions from around the world, all from the standpoint of ready comprehension (no academic expertise required), everyday relevance, and practical application.

This online, 7-week Certificate course is designed so that both clinicians as well as story lovers from any location or time zone can participate.

This course is ideal if:

  • You are a student or practitioner of depth psychology, psychoanalysis or have an interest in deepening your mythic literacy as a way of decoding the social messages and deeper meanings behind the complex constellations of symbolic events emerging in a radically changing world.
  • You are a Myth-Lover who would like to deepen your understanding of how the mythic collaborates with the creative instinct to influence and shape the creative process.
  • You are a student or practitioner of depth psychology, psychoanalysis or a healer who is looking to deepen your own work by identifying and integrating the mythologic patterns that influence the individuation process as well as world events.

Course Overview

Week One:  Opening into Myth: True Lies and Inspired In-vocations

Instructor: Devon Deimler, PhD

Live Zoom session Thursday, June 27, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

This introductory module provides various practical definitions of mythology and mythopoesis that will ground participants as they move through the certificate program. The Greek root of myth is muthos, indicating an opening of the mouth. We will explore this starting image of myth for its relevance to storytelling, inspired affect, calling out, and taking-in of meaningful experience. Drawing from ancient and foundational sources, we will frame mythology as a humanities and humanitarian practice for our contemporary world.


*No class the week of July 1-5 due to 4th of July holiday*


Week Two: Sacred Storytelling and Cultural Mythologies

Instructor: Kwame Scruggs, PhD

Live Zoom session Thursday, July 11, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

The world’s spiritual cultures and communities have storied for us a vast repository of insights for wise living and benevolent relations with each other and ourselves. Learn more about what these traditions can offer us for facing contemporary concerns and daily events.


Week Three: The Collective Heroic Journey

Instructor: John Bucher

Live Zoom session Thursday, July 18, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

While the significance of our individual journeys will always remain, we are entering a new landscape of mythic consciousness. The journey of our collective has taken on increasing significance. In this module, we will explore how we might navigate a journey together as an ensemble, what we can learn and bring with us from our individual heroic journeys and what must be left behind. Building on the work of Joseph Campbell, Maureen Murdock, and others that have offered frameworks for how we might understand our passage through the various phases of mythic development, we will consider what a future mosaic of meaning could look like. Through investigating models offered by various narratives in literature, film, television, comics, and other popular culture, we will discover symbols, mythic motifs, and archetypal patterns leading us toward a new story.


Week Four: Psyche’s In-Signt: Illumination in Creation Myth and the Creative Process

Instructor: Joanna Gardner

Live Zoom session Thursday, July 25, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

In creation myths from around the world, creator goddesses and gods demonstrate big, bold creativity when they make the earth and sky. In other words, these sacred narratives contain metaphorical models of creativity that can inspire and empower your creative process. In this session, we will delve into one aspect of mythic and applied creativity: insight, or illumination. You will learn about the psychology of insight, how it relates to C.G. Jung’s transcendent function, and how it appears in a variety of creation myths. Most importantly, entering into these mythic models will help you experience your creativity as the sacred force that it is.


Week Five: New Times, New Heroes: Reimagining Myth Through the Heroine’s Journey and Afrofuturism

Instructor: Li Sumpter, PhD

Live Zoom session Thursday, August 1, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Myths shape and inform reality through the power of archetype and symbol. Each generation takes a turn at retelling timeless tales and reimagining old symbols that reflect the collective imagination and resonant signs of the times. The Hero embodies the hopes and fears, strengths, and weaknesses of the people. But when it comes to the representation of our cultural heroes in history, myth, and the media, there is not always equity and inclusion. This module compares the classic Hero’s Journey to emergent narrative models like the Heroine’s Journey and the Quantum Quest in contemporary film, graphic novels, and animation. We will examine art and media through the lens of “archetypal aesthetics” and the historic experiences, future visions, and marginalized perspectives of BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) and female-identifying peoples and protagonists. Through “mythic literacy” we will decode the social messages and deeper meaning behind the complex constellations of vital symbols, active archetypes, and rising stars illuminating new myths for a radically changing world.


Week Six: Creative Ceremony, Art, and Embodied Ritual

Instructor: Mary Antonia Wood, PhD 

Live Zoom session Thursday, August 8, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Ritual has been described as “serious play.” This paradox illustrates the possibility that actions performed with intention coupled with spontaneity and an openness to chance can have revelatory, transformative, and even magical, effects. If myths are stories, then rituals are the necessary embodiment of those stories. We will experiment/play with intention this week as we discover the rhizomatic origins of myth and ritual and how to bring more of their magic into our lives, the lives of our communities, and the life of the planet.


Week Seven:  Deep Ends and Near Futures: Myths of Metamorphosis and Many Returns

Instructor: Devon Deimler, PhD

Live Zoom session Thursday, August 15, 2024 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Our concluding module plays with the Dionysian dimensions of our mythic sensibilities, which discover meaning through aesthetic experience, ecstatic transformation, and integrating drama and underworld perspectives into everyday life. We’ll reflect upon how the mythic applies itself to us—what this looks like in contemporary conditions of madness, inspiration, and inevitable (even catastrophic) change—and we’ll imagine what unique mythic roles each of us might play in today’s theatrum mundi (theater of the world).

By the End of This Course You Will Be Able To:

  1. Identify how mythic motifs recur in contemporary technology.
  2. Experience your own relationship with myth as a useful metaphor for exploring the psyche and its teleology toward wholeness.
  3. Increase your attunement to the mythic world around you and its impact on you (intrapersonally, interpersonally and transpersonally)
  4. Better understand the dynamics of mythic sensibilities and how they manifest in times of chaos, inspiration and transformation.
  5. Become acquainted with the spectrum of qualities the Dionysian mythos presents within the context of a mythic pantheon.
  6. Critically and creatively apply a Dionysian lens to the transformative encounters of one’s own life and/or the challenges of our contemporary and future world.
  7. Transcend popular and established mythic models of consciousness and human journey with the intent of moving from an individual structure to a collective structure.
  8. Survey narratives focused on collective journeys that have been recurrent in popular culture through the framework of mythic cycles frequently explored in mythological studies.

Program Details


June 27th – August 15th, 2024

International participation is encouraged and welcome

Registration Fees

  • $695.00 – Pacifica Student Rate
  • $895.00 – Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students, & Senior Rate
  • $1095.00 – General Rate


Suggested Readings for Devon’s Modules

You have the option of putting down a 50% deposit when registering for the program and paying the remaining balance in installments of your choice until Thursday, July 18. You can select this on the registration form.

Limited scholarship and reduced tuition opportunities are available for this program. Please email retreat@pacifica.edu to request a scholarship application form. The deadline for scholarship applications is June 17, 2024.

All of the live Zoom sessions will be recorded and made available to everyone registered for the program. If you watch the recordings and keep up with the online discussion forum you will qualify for the certificate of completion. Live attendance to the Zoom sessions is not necessary.

About the Teachers

John Bucher, Ph.D. is a mythologist, storyteller, and writer based out of Hollywood, California. He serves as Creative Director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation and is also an author, podcaster, and speaker. He has worked with government and cultural leaders around the world as well as culturally significant companies including HBO, DC Comics, The History Channel, A24 Films, Atlas Obscura, The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation. He has served as a producer, consultant, and writer for numerous film, television, and Virtual Reality projects. He is the author of six books including the best-selling Storytelling for Virtual Reality, named by BookAuthority as one of the best storytelling books of all time. Disruptor named him one of the top 25 influencers in Virtual Reality. He holds a PhD in Mythology and Depth Psychology and has spoken on 6 continents about using the power of story and myth to reframe how individuals, organizations, cultures, and nations believe and behave.

Joanna Gardner, PhD, is a writer, mythologist, and magical realist whose research focuses on myth, creativity, wonder tales, and goddesses. Joanna serves as adjunct professor in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Mythological Studies program, and as director of marketing and communications for the Joseph Campbell Foundation, where she also contributes to the popular MythBlast essay series. She is the lead author of Goddesses: A Skeleton Key Study Guide and a co-founder of the Fates and Graces, hosting webinars and workshops for mythic readers and writers. You can find Joanna’s blog and additional publications on her website, joannagardner.com.

Devon DeimlerDevon Deimler, PhD, is a writer, artist, and researcher. She is Associate Core Faculty in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Mythological Studies program. She is also Curator of exhibits and events at OPUS Archives and Research Center (home to the collections of James Hillman, Joseph Campbell, and Marija Gimbutas, among others) and a has served as Contributing Artist, Scholar-in-Residence, and Special Editions Editor at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles. Devon earned her PhD in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica. Her doctoral dissertation, Ultraviolet Concrete: Dionysos and the Ecstatic Play of Aesthetic Experience, won the Institute’s Dissertation of Excellence award. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her experience in the arts includes founding an independent record label, Wildfire Wildfire Productions, and working as Assistant to the Director at the Dennis Hopper Art Trust. She is currently working on a monograph on the work of archetypal psychologist and dramaturg, Nor Hall, revising her doctoral work for general publication, and other projects revolving around myth, metamorphosis, and ghost stories. More at devondeimler.com

Kwame ScruggsKwame Scruggs, Ph.D., holds a Ph.D. and MA in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is the founder and executive director of Alchemy, a non-profit organization in Akron, Ohio established in 2003. Alchemy uses mythological stories to engage urban adolescent males. He is a board member of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. For more information, visit www.alchemyinc.net. kwamescruggs.com

Mary Antonia WoodMary Antonia Wood Ph.D., is Chair of the Depth Psychology and Creativity with Emphasis in the Arts and Humanities program, and the owner of Talisman Creative Mentoring, a practice that supports artists and creators of all types. Through one-on-one consultations, group workshops and classes, Wood assists creative individuals who desire a stronger and more authentic connection to the deepest archetypal sources of creativity. Wood has been a visual artist for over twenty years, working in a variety of media. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has been collected by both public institutions and individuals. In addition, she has collaborated with writers and artists on public art commissions. Wood is the author of The Archetypal Artist: Reimagining Creativity and the Call to Create.

Li SumpterLi Sumpter, Ph.D., is a mythologist and multidisciplinary artist who applies strategies of worldbuilding and mythic design toward building better, more resilient communities of the future. Li’s creative research and collaborative projects engage the art of survival and sustainability through diverse ecologies and immersive stories of change. Li is a cultural producer and eco-arts activist working through MythMedia Studios, the Escape Artist Initiative and various arts and community-based organizations in Philly and across the country. She holds an MA in Art and Humanities Education from NYU and a MA/Ph.D. in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

General Information


Hosted Online


Cancellations 14 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. After 14 days, up to 7 days prior to the program start date, a 50% refund is available. For cancellations made less than 7 days of program start date, no refund is available.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.


Registration Details

June 27th – August 15th, 2024

  • Number of Classes: 14 Classes
    7 Video Learning Sessions (60 mins.)
    7 On-line Interactive Sessions (90 mins.)
  • Class Length: 60-90 min.
  • Class Time: Noon – 1:30 PM PT
  • Total Duration: 17.5 Hours