‘DANCING WITH THE GODS’
Manifesting Your Own Myth
A Seven-Day Residential Paul Rebillot Workshop Presented by The Fool’s Dance Gestalt Company
The ‘Slí an Chroí’ Centre, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow, July 2nd to July 8th, 2016.
DANCING WITH THE GODS: There can’t be many Irish people who are not familiar with at least a few stories from Celtic mythology – the sad fate of the Children of Lir, perhaps, or maybe some of the heroic exploits of Fionn and the Fianna. The classical Greek myths have also found a place in the collective consciousness of the West as shown, for example, by our use of the adjective ‘Herculean’ for a particularly demanding task, a reference to the twelve near-impossible Labours of Hercules. Even some myths from cultures even less familiar to us than ancient Greece are now quite well-known in the West, among them the Sumerian saga of Inanna, (Goddess of love, fertility …. and war) journeying to the Land of the Dead to visit its ruler, her vengeful twin sister Ereshkigal or the tale of how the Egyptian Goddess Isis found, reunited and reanimated the scattered remains of Osiris, her murdered husband. In pre-literate societies such stories must have been preserved in the oral tradition by ritual telling and retelling over thousands of years. Why have these stories so tenaciously survived into our own time? They have done so because they express deep truths about the human condition.
Within the depths of every person’s being is a story. These stories tell themselves over and over again in the lives of individuals as well as in the myths and rituals of every age and culture. If we are unaware of our own story, we risk being lived by it, mistaking the Gods for mere coincidences and reducing archetypal dramas to personal neuroses. Again and again, we find ourselves tangled in the same old situations and struggling over and over with the same old issues.
A myth or legend that attracts us, haunts us and draws us in does so because our psyche recognises that there is something within the story that we need to learn. Once we become aware of our story we can begin to draw on the energies of the archetypal patterns within it, cooperating with them, and – by working with them creatively – live our personal myth forward to new awakenings.
Participants in this workshop are asked to choose and bring to the workshop a myth (or a legend or a folk-tale so long as it has a supernatural element) from any culture. It is not necessary to have explored the psychological significance of the myth – it is sufficient just to be familiar with the story and to be attracted to it. That attraction indicates that the psyche sees in the mythic story something that it needs in order to become whole.
Working with the myths that they bring, participants will seek to discover their personal stories and to experience them through Gestalt process, movement, art, fantasy, dramatization and ritual. We will explore our personal mythological world, not from the point of view of academic or aesthetic interest, but because it can serve as a reservoir of healing energy for ourselves and for those with whom we come into contact.
PAUL REBILLOT was born in 1931 in Detroit, Michigan. Following a successful academic and professional career in the performing arts as musician, writer, actor, director and teacher he trained as a Gestalt therapist with Dick Price (an influential early pupil of Fritz Perls) at the Esalen Institute where he also met with the mythologist Joseph Campbell. From these two influences – together with his own uniquely creative insights – Paul developed the ‘Hero’s Journey’, the first of a unique series of therapeutic structures which drew on both his training in Gestalt and on his background in the world of music and theatre. Annually from 1991 to 2008 Paul presented a series of very successful workshops in Ireland, among them ‘The Hero’s Journey’, ‘The Lover’s Journey’, ‘Owning the Shadow’, ‘Death and Resurrection’ and the present workshop. In March 2008, he retired from work in Europe and he died in February 2010.
THE FOOL’S DANCE GESTALT COMPANY: We are a group of people in Ireland who have worked for many years with Paul Rebillot, are graduates of his Advanced Training and who have extensive collective experience as Paul’s assistants, and later – with his blessing – of co-leading his workshops. We came together after Paul’s retirement with the aim of ensuring that his transformative work in Ireland would continue.
FURTHER INFORMATION: This workshop is suitable for anyone with an interest in self-exploration or personal development. Although based on the Gestalt approach to psychotherapy no previous experience of Gestalt is required or assumed. To request the full workshop brochure or for any other queries e-mail to Fergus Lalor at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 021-4505711 (answering machine available).