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with Emily Chow-Kambitsch
Sunday, May 24 / 1:30-3 pm
$15 in advance/$20 day-of
Myth Circle is a collection of movement, meditation, storytelling, and writing exercises that offer immersive exploration of a myth, folktale, or mythological theme. Expect to experience the personal relevance of myth, and to receive stories whose meanings evolve with the changing seasons of a life. In this session, walk the labyrinth, meet the Minotaur, find the way out.
For some background on our focal myth for this session, read below:
During the age before our own, on the island of Crete, the famed inventor Daedalus built the Labyrinth, an enormous, intricate maze with walls so high and thick that sunlight could barely penetrate. Daedalus built the Labyrinth to contain the Minotaur, a creature half-man and half-bull, born from the Cretan queen Pasiphaë. The living shame of the king and queen, he dwelled in the center of the Labyrinth, unseen and unknowable, except for stories of his fearsome shape and his inhuman malice. Unknowable, until it was time for him to eat.
He survived on human flesh, and each year the king of Athens on the Greek mainland would send Athenian youths as tribute to sustain him. One year, the Athenian prince Theseus volunteered himself. Theseus went to Crete, where the princess Ariadne fell in love with him and risked her life to help him stop the violence against his people by killing the Minotaur, her own half-brother. Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of thread, and she held the end and stood outside the entrance to the Labyrinth. He found his way to the center, encountered the Minotaur, and killed him. Holding the thread, Theseus found his way out of the Labyrinth, and to Ariadne, who waited, holding the other end, and watched Theseus emerge, his fingers staining the thread with her brother’s blood.
How do we reframe this story for ourselves? Is the Labyrinth outside of us? Within us? What lies at the center? Does it need to be vanquished, or can it be loved, honored, and understood? These and other questions will unfold as we listen, move, write, speak, and participate in the old bardic tradition in a space that honors safe and creative exploration of the abiding relevance of myth. All levels of movement and life experience welcome.
Warning of sensitive subject matter: Myths include all manner of human, animal, and divine interactions, and therefore may contain references to violence, misogyny, slavery, sexual exploitation, and/or cultural norms that might conflict with our own. Be mindful that this is a co-created exploration, interpretation, and reframing of story through modes of telling and moving. This is not a therapy or process group.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please write to me here.
To register, click here.
Emily Chow-Kambitsch has endless curiosity about the power of stories, personal and ancestral. Her admiration for the storytellers she has met from all walks of life has inspired her study of myth and folklore since childhood. She recently returned to her roots in Santa Barbara after eight years in the UK, where she completed a Master’s in Greek and Latin language and literature in Oxford and a PhD in Classics in London. She has performed stories and poems regularly at Oxford’s Catweazle Club and Hammer and Tongue poetry slam. Her commissioned writing on women in Greek myth was featured in the showcase, “Weaving Women’s Stories”, at London’s Being Human Festival in 2018. She has taught ancient Mediterranean languages, literature, history, and archaeology at UC Santa Barbara and University College London, and is writing a book reconstructing voices of vilified women from Greek tragedy. Having completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Yoga Soup, she is interested in exploring relationships between the body, movement, and speech as mythography.