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.
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 online Certificate in Applied Mythology brings together master teachers with participants eager to enter the magical world of mythology, where deep sources of wisdom can illuminate contemporary turns of life and fate.
Drawing on the sacred stories of many times and places, the 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, 6-week Certificate is designed so that story lovers from any location or time zone can participate.
Certificate Modules (6 weeks):
Individuation, Vocation, and Personal Myth – Fully embrace your own mythic journey with an introduction to the wisdom and significance of creative mythology (Joseph Campbell’s term) for understanding yourself—including glimpsing the larger mythic story behind your biography.
Instructor: Craig Chalquist, PhD
Sacred Storytelling and Cultural Mythologies – 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.
Instructor: Kwame Scruggs, PhD
Myths in the Media – Archetypes like Trickster, Villain, and Hero have not disappeared into ancient texts: they are bursting forth from movies, podcasts, YouTube, and other public venues. How would you like to enter the digital theater and mingle with mythic presences returned to life on every side?
Instructor: Kelly Carlin, MA
Techgnosis: Imagined Intelligence and the Future Real – This module explores how mythic motifs, images, and plots recur in contemporary technology and its edges of invention. Who, mythically, stares back at us from our screens, from autonomous vehicles, from the depths of artificial intelligence? How do smart devices hint at amulets and talismans?
Instructor: Erik Davis, PhD
Reawakening Sleeping Gods: Comic Books and the Birth of a New American Imaginal
Comic book superheroes exploded into 21st century popular culture both by way of the visual medium and through blockbuster Hollywood cinematic representation. In a vastly secular culture that has largely renounced “the gods” (and even religion), what does their “return” to us through our own cultural technologies say to us – or even about us? This presentation considers the return of the superhero as our own modern American mythology – a wildly diverse pantheon that reflects back to us our most far-reaching hopes and (im)possible desires. In placing the tools of comparative mythology and religious studies alongside the insights of modern depth psychology, a super-powered palette emerges that unveils the hidden potential of our own vivid imaginations. As we examine select comic book and superhero characters from the “Silver Age” 1960s through contemporary 21st century adaptations and innovations, we will discover together what the (re)emergence of these perennial “American gods” have to say to us about our own secret super selves today.
Instructor: David M. Odorisio, PhD
Creative Ceremony, Art, and Ritual – In this module learn to craft and present the tales that matter most to you, whether for small audiences or large, summoning the mythic force of your creativity to imagine a contribution to the time and place in which you find yourself. The second lecture in this module concerns the aesthetic and Dionysian dimensions of our mythic sensibilities, namely how the mythic collaborates and even applies itself to us—affected and expressive beings that we are—and our creative instinct to formalize our formative everyday ecstatic encounters.
Instructors: Mary Wood, PhD and Devon Deimler, PhD
Restorying Nature: From Apocalypse to Renewal – In a time of planetary peril, what can myths, fairy tales, and folk tales tell us about realigning ourselves with the natural world? What dangers does myth predict, and where does it move us forward? What might it mean to live in the light of Earthrise? This module completes the Certificate. Participants will be encouraged to complete a final project summarizing their learnings and key takeaways from the program.
Instructor: Craig Chalquist, PhD
Every week you will learn from audio or video lectures and presentations by program instructors; online discussion of lectures and readings with our presenters and other students; and links to other resources. Lectures will be recorded for participants to maximize participation for international attendees. Assignments will center on the Discussions forum, where participants will respond to course content. Participants should plan on setting aside three to five hours each week for engagement with the course material via lectures, reading, assignments and online discussion forum conversations.
Craig Chalquist, PhD, is Associate Provost at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and also holds a Master Gardener certificate and another in permaculture design. He is the author of Terrapsychology: Reengaging the Soul of Place (Spring Journal Books, 2007) and co-editor with Linda Buzzell, MFT, of Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind (Sierra Club Books, 2009). Craig was core faculty in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and former core faculty at John F. Kennedy University, where he served as acting department chair (Consciousness & Transformative Studies), designing and launching the world’s first ecotherapy certificate.
Kelly Carlin, M.A. In 1993, at the ripe age of 30, she graduated from UCLA, Magna Cum Laude, with a B.A. in Communications Studies where she discovered her voice as a writer. She and her husband Robert McCall, wrote together and achieved some success in TV and film. After her mother’s death in 1997, Kelly found her true calling; autobiographical storytelling, and wrote and performed her one-woman show, “Driven To Distraction.” However, something more than the entertainment industry was calling Kelly, so she pursued her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate institute in order to explore the nexus of storytelling, psychology and those big questions of life.
Erik Davis, PhD, is an author, podcaster, award-winning journalist, and popular speaker based in San Francisco. He grew up in North County, Southern California, and spent a decade on the East Coast, where he studied literature and philosophy at Yale and spent six years in the freelance trenches of Brooklyn and Manhattan before moving to San Francisco. He is the author of four books: Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (Yeti, 2010), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape (Chronicle, 2006), with photographs by Michael Rauner, and the 33 1/3 volume Led Zeppelin IV (Continuum, 2005). His first and best-known book remains TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (Crown, 1998), a cult classic of visionary media studies that has been translated into five languages and recently republished by North Atlantic Press. He wrote the libretto for and performed in “How to Survive the Apocalypse,” a Burning Man-inspired rock opera. He has hosted the podcast Expanding Mind on the Progressive Radio Network since 2010, and earned his PhD in Religious Studies from Rice University in 2015.
Devon Deimler, PhD is an artist, writer, and mythologist. She is Curator at OPUS Archives and Research Center—home to the collections of James Hillman, Joseph Campbell, and Marion Woodman, among others—and is Scholar in Residence, Special Editions Editor, and Founder/Curator of the Cinemyth Film Series at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles. She earned her doctorate in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute with her dissertation, Ultraviolet Concrete: Dionysos and the Ecstatic Play of Aesthetic Experience, which received the institute’s Dissertation of Excellence award. Devon earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she focused on event-based work and modern through contemporary art and film history. Her professional experience in art and music includes founding an independent record label and collaborative event project, Wildfire Wildfire Productions, working as Assistant to the Director at the Dennis Hopper Art Trust, and teaching photography and modern art history. More at devondeimler.com.
David M. Odorisio, PhD, serves as Director of The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, and is Associate Core Faculty in Pacifica’s Mythological Studies graduate degree program. David received his PhD in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and teaches in the areas of methodology, psychology and religion, and Christian mysticism. He has published in Quadrant: Journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Jung Journal, Philosophy East and West, The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, among others, and is editor of the forthcoming volume Merton and Hinduism (Fons Vitae), and co-editor of the volume Depth Psychology and Mysticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).For further information, please visit David’s website: www.ahomeforsoul.com.
Kwame Scruggs, PhD, holds a Ph.D. and MA in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is the founder and director of programs for Alchemy, a non-profit organization in Akron, Ohio established in 2003. Alchemy uses mythological stories to engage urban adolescent males. He is a recently appointed board member of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Creative Youth Development National Partnership.
For more information, visit www.alchemyinc.net.
Mary Antonia Wood PhD, is Co-Chair of the Engaged Humanities and Creative Life 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 received her doctorate in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute where her thesis was entitled, “The Archetypal Artist: Re-imagining Artistic Expression at the Crossroads of Fate and Free Will.” Wood is currently at work on a book for Routledge based on her doctoral and post-doctoral research on the archetypal forces that shape a creative life.
This program will be hosted Online
Cancellations 21 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. Less than 21 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. The Retreat at Pacifica reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In this instance, you will be refunded in full.
Disability Service On Campus:
It is the Institute’s goal is to make facilities, programs, and experiences accessible to all members of the community. The Institute works individually with those who are disabled to determine how individual needs can best be met. For additional information regarding Disability Services, please visit https://www.pacifica.edu/student-services/disability-services/.
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