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Questing for Our Personal Myth: Writing, Remembering, and Renewing Our Story through the Teachings of Joseph Campbell – A Workshop with Dennis Patrick Slattery

Location: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Workshop Leader: Dennis Slattery

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Ancient Cave Paintings in Patagonia
Aboriginal paintings, Cave Hands, Patagonia, Argentina.

Living myths…are not to be judged as true or false,
but as effective or ineffective, maturative or pathogenic.

—Joseph Campbell, Flight of the Wild Gander

Myths are living symbols. They serve each of us individually and collectively as guides to aid us in harmonizing our interior world with the surrounding landscape we inhabit. They serve us on a personal level as ordering and organizing principles whose aim is to offer our lives a sense of coherence, not perfection. Joseph Campbell believes that myths reveal the movement of psyche, indeed “of the whole nature of man and his destiny” (Flight,35).

This workshop will include a blending of many of the major insights Campbell discovered through a life-long quest for myths’ origins, structures and benefits for living a full and authentic life. In addition to two formal presentations on Campbell’s insights about myths’ values, as well as pages from several of his books for us to meditate on, we will engage in a series of ritingmeditations from my book, Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story, to allow participants to deepen their understanding of the myth that guides them, consciously and unconsciously, toward a fulfilled life. We will also discover, through a series of rituals, what connections myth and ritual share. We may, in the process, discover what essentials of our personal myth have exhausted their shelf life and what elements might be cultivated further.

Copies of writing meditations featured in Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story will be provided, as will pages from Campbell’s books.

Dennis SlatteryDennis Patrick Slattery, PhD., is an Emeritus Core Faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he has taught for the past 25 of his 45 years in the classroom. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 27 books. He has also published 200 articles in newspapers, magazines, journals, book collections and on-line journals. His books include The Idiot: Dostoevsky’s Fantastic Prince, The Wounded Body: Remembering the Markings of Flesh, with Glen Slater he co-edited Varieties of Mythic Experience: Essays on Religion, Psyche and Culture, and with Jennifer Selig he co-edited Reimagining Education: Essays on Reviving the Soul of Learning. He has authored Harvesting Darkness: Essays on Film, Literature and CultureThe Beauty Between Words: Selected Poetry of Dennis Patrick Slattery and Chris Paris; Simon’s Crossing, a novel co-authored with Charles Asher; Feathered Ladder: Selected Poems of Dennis Patrick Slattery and Brian LandisRiting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story; and Creases in Culture: Essays Toward a Poetics of Depth. More recently he has published Our Daily Breach: Exploring Your Personal Myth Through Herman Melville’s Moby-DickA Pilgrimage Beyond Belief: Spiritual Journeys through Christian and Buddhist Monasteries of the American West; with Evans Lansing Smith he has co-edited Correspondence: 1927o-1987, letters from and to Joseph Campbell; with Craig Deininger he has coauthored Leaves from the World Tree: Selected Poems of Craig Deininger and Dennis Patrick Slattery; and with Jennifer Leigh Selig and Deborah Ann Quibell he has co-authored Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit. For the past 9 years he has been taking painting lessons in both acrylic and watercolor mediums. He offers Riting Retreats exploring one’s personal myth in the United States, Canada, Ireland and Europe. For more information, visit


The workshop will be held at Hotel Santa Fe in downtown Santa Fe. Owned by the Picuris Pueblo, the hotel will provide a warm and intimate environment for our gathering.

Please plan to arrive on Thursday at least by 4:00 pm. Check in is scheduled for 4:00-6:00 pm with dinner served 5:00-6:45 pm followed by the evening session from 7:00-9:00 pm. The workshop will end with breakfast on Sunday.


For complete information and registration, visit:

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Toni D’Anca • • 805.455.9941