Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story
Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story by Dennis P. Slattery

Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story by Dennis P. Slattery

Dennis P. Slattery, Ph.D. Talks About his new Book, Riting Myth, Mythic Writing

About the book:

The ten chapters that comprise the text have grown from my experience over the years offering writing personal myth retreats in the US and Europe. The hunger that people have for a container where they feel safe to delve into those aspects of their lives that have often remained untouched, is immense. The book offers in a succinct format, ways of understanding myth as well as methods for penetrating below the surface of one’s life to the mythic core resting deep in one’s being. An individual could spend years working all the questions that accompany each of the mediations as well as in reading a segment of the over 130 sources that are directly identified in the book.

My own teaching and research over 42 years in the classroom, from elementary grades through Ph.D. programs has given me a large lens by which to watch learning on levels that range from 9 year olds to 75 year old Ph.D. students. I have paced the theoretical as well as the writing meditations for this book to be an individual tutorial or one in which small groups could work the writings together.

Evident throughout is that riting and writing are closely aligned. As a writer and writing teacher, two of many roles I have engaged in the classroom, for over 42 years, I have watched how, when disposed rightly, an individual can use writing to unveil and discover aspects of him/herself unavailable otherwise. Why this may be so is the thesis of another book. But it is clear that writers generally can use this book to increase their own life’s texture and depth.

It is insufficient simply to jump into writing meditations as many “Mythic Journey” books have done in the past. Some of them I cite in my own work. Rather, I devote sufficient time to lay out what myth is, what mythic consciousness is, as well as what images will guide the energies of this text. The spiral, the pattern, the power of presence and psychic energy comprise the Quaternity of the book.. Around them the riting meditations swirl. I wanted to write a mythic journey text that had deeper substance than ones I have read, that offer a short course in mythology, psychology and narrative that others have not engaged on the level I do. I did not want to create another quirky new-age text that was short on understanding and long on writing. I believe I have found a balance of the two. In the process I develop a new understanding of the origins of myth itself.

I also include dozens of former participants’ responses that I believe the reader will find as fascinating as anything I have written in the text. It also gives the participant readers of this book a compass by which to think about how they might respond. It is a text and a guide to be used over a substantial period of time. In that time, the reader can gain a habit of mythic thinking by riting responses whose intention is to elicit the deep patterns of one’s ever-shifting narrative self, depending on where their psychic energy is drawn or withdraws from.

Excerpt from the Foreward by Michael Conforti

Imagine sitting in an Irish pub, drinking ale and listening to the bard weave stories about so many different things, or perhaps captivated by the glow of an outdoor fire while listening to an elder telling stories about history, traditions, and ways to navigate the different life portals that each and every one of us will have to enter at some time. And then-there are stories about destiny, that illusive, mercurial something that catches hold of us at the beginning of life and never seems to want to let go. La forza di destino!! These are the experiences one has in knowing and working with Dr. Dennis Slattery. Whether sharing a pizza and beer or having the luxury of attending one of his lectures or classes, one is privileged to experience an authentic “elder” who, in the tradition of all those wise ones who came before him, has the gift of bringing the world of myth and imagination to life and showing us that indeed these are as real as anything we can touch and hold in our hands.

Dr. Slattery reminds us that myths teach us about all aspects of life, from birth to death, and through the weavings of these eternal stories not only help us recognize the presence of these universal and archetypal patterns but also shows us ways to approach the transcendent.

With more than thirty years of teaching and working with myth, Slattery’s newest work, entitled Riting Myth, Mythic Writing, is a bold adventure in that it asks the reader to actively engage in the mythic tradition, who is asked to take on the role of bard and allow the soul to tell its story. While he opens the book in reminding us of the perennial wisdom contained in myth, he extends this work by inviting the reader to speak with Self and soul and, in a mythopoetic way, engage psyche as experienced in one’s own symptoms, fears, hopes, and joys.

Unless one understands inherent profundity contained and revealed in myths and legends, it may be difficult to grasp the challenge inherent in Dr. Slattery’s latest work. He wants his readers not only to know these perennial stories but to assume a certain authorship in the mythic process. His hope is that through this process of “Mythic Writing,” the individual will cultivate a meaningful relationship with those transpersonal forces which guide the life process.

There are far too many workshops dealing with myth, legend, and personal writing experiences where individual narratives are somehow elevated to the domain of archetypal, mythic stories. Personal narratives are temporal, whereas myths are eternal and exist as the universal bedrock upon which each new experience is built. The “prima material” of the soul’s experience may not easily accommodate personal narratives, which tend to override, dominate, and ignore those eternal processes that represent the gold of myths.

Michael Conforti,
Founder and Director of The Assisi Institute

Chapter Descriptions

Chapter One: "Introduction: The Soul’s Central Station” develops an archetypal understanding of myth as not simply stories but reaches farther back to energy patterns within the body that give rise to one’s fictional frame of reference. The archetypal emphasis grows out of the work of Swiss depth psychologist Carl Jung.

Chapter Two: "Meditations on Myth and Mythic Consciousness” develops the idea of myth as a method and style of consciousness.

Chapter Three: “Engaging the Myth That Rites You” reveals the power of (w)riting to make present in ritual action what often remains unconscious. The controlling geometry is the spiral as the most formidable model for the act of how we come to know.

Chapter Four: “The (W)riting Self” opens to meditations on one’s self as a writer in the past, present and future.

Chapter Five: “Riting the Aesthetic Self: Mytho-Poiesis” develops the place of beauty, aesthetics that have changed the course of one’s life or arrested one in a moment of awe.

Chapter Six: “Riting the Wounded Self” develops where in both our interior world as well as in the larger external landscape we have been wounded, scarred, dismembered or marked in significant ways.

Chapter Seven; “Riting Through the Embodied Self” reveals the connection between biology and mythology and the way our personal myth creates its narrative out of this confluence.

Chapter Eight:”Riting the Self as Other” exposes a poetics of affliction wherein we find ourselves in others as well as within our interior landscape.

Chapter Nine: “Riting The Spiritual Self” opens the boundaries and definitions of spirituality, spiritual practice and an awareness of the sacred.

Chapter Ten: “Reviewing and Riting the Patterned Self” is a work of remembrance: where do we see patterns in our speech, writing style, mannerisms and attractions that further outline our personal myth?

Advance praise for Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story:

“Writing provides us an unparalleled access to the deeper levels of our being. Through a generative exploration of the power of the symbolic and the metaphoric, Dr. Slattery invites us to directly contact the mythic patterns that are the ground of our psychic lives. Use this book as a guide—indeed, as a muse—to grow closer to your writing self. It will launch you into self-discovery.”

Mary Watkins, Ph.D. author of Waking Dreams and Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues

“This beautiful, wise and wonderfully practical book addresses the central fact of human life: we live in language as fish live in water. Dennis Slattery is a master teacher of the arts of writing and connecting with the poetry that lies at the basis of the mind and of the world. His long experience working and teaching the rites of language helps enable each of us to recover the lost speech that so many people are seeking. It is hard to overstate the importance of this work—psychologically, spiritually and even politically. Read this book and learn to live fully in your own body, the body of language, and the body of the world.”

Tom Cheetham, author of After Prophecy.

Order Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story directly from Dennis. You have the option to have your book inscribed and signed. $25 + tax and $3 shipping.

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