Warriors and Witches: Understanding Archetypes and the Monomyth for Therapeutic Purposes
Description: This 60-80 minute workshop will introduce students to the Campbellian monomyth and universal archetypes of human behavior in order to support a deeper understanding of applied expressive arts in health and therapeutic settings. Students will complete a number of brief online readings and an archetype assessment prior to attending the workshop so that they may be more familiar with both the monomyth and the archetypes. During the workshop we’ll discuss these archetypes and their relationship with expressive arts, especially dance and movement. We’ll then consider applications for activities that utilize archetypes and movement in health and therapeutic settings. Students will complete the workshop by developing individual or small group “archetype dances”. This workshop is part of Dance 312: Teaching Methods for Adults and Diverse Populations.
- Students will become familiar with Jungian (and literary) archetypes
- Students will gain a rudimentary understanding of the monomyth
- Students will discover their own dominant archetypes
- Students will gain insight as to how awareness of archetypes aids growth and development
- Students will make connections between archetypal self-awareness and bodily movement
- Students will develop an understanding of how archetypal self-awareness and bodily movement may be utilized in health and therapeutic settings.
- Students will choreograph an “archetype dance”.
Materials Needed: Students will need access to the internet and a computer in order to complete the readings and archetype test. Students should also wear comfortable clothing the day of the workshop as they will be moving/dancing.
GETTING STARTED PRE-TASKS (approximately 60 minutes): The following sections are your workshop pre-tasks. Failure to complete these will prevent you from fully understanding and participating in the workshop. As you are college students, I expect you to skim and scan your readings for specific info and main ideas; I do not expect you to have read every word! Pay attention to my suggested time frame; no need to spend more time on these…think of them as a warm-up and overview!
***When you’ve completed the pre-tasks, leave a comment/reply at the bottom of this page with your name and major, the author and title of the publication related to dance and archetype (as well as a link if possible), a 1 paragraph reflection that summaizes what you make of all this, and finally, your archetype info copied and pasted. Your completion of these activities will show me that you have completed the pre-task and are ready for our workshop! I’ve left a sample comment to show you what I’m expecting.
PART 1, MONOMYTH (15-20 mins)
In order to prepare for our workshop, let’s take a look at the documents/videos/survey below and then reflect on what we see/think/feel. This first document compares the Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter characters, suggesting that sometimes we encounter universal stories that show characters in universal situations and exhibiting universal behaviors. Take a look at the document and then consider the reflection below.
REFLECTION (5 mins): What do you make of this similarity between Luke and Harry? Consider the common formula used in many animated Disney films or Hollywood blockbuster movies – what do they all have in common? Here are a few short video clips to get your thinking wheels turning:
THE MONOMYTH (5 mins)
Take a look at this page: http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00212/monomyth.html
This is an introduction to a common series of situations termed the monomyth. This idea was first introduced by the writer James Joyce in his novel, Finnegan’s Wake, and then later developed by mythologist, scholar and professor Joseph Campbell who after years of researching comparative mythology and culture suggested that this monomythic sequence of events may be found across history and across cultures. In short, many of the world’s most-loved stories, folk tales, fairy tales, etc share some striking commonalities.
REFLECTION (5 mins): Can you think of other stories, movies, etc that share the action discussed in the monomyth? If you had to pick one of the stages from the monomyth that most closely described where you are in your life, today, which one would it be? Why? Now read the passage below from Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth (click me to view this book at Amazon.com)
“The whole sense of the ubiquitous myth of the hero’s passage is that it shall serve as a general pattern for men and women, wherever they may stand along the scale. Therefore it is formulated in the broadest terms. The individual has only to discover his own position with reference to this general human formula, and let it then assist him past his restricting walls. Who and where are his ogres? Those are the reflections of the unsolved enigmas of his own humanity. What are his ideals? Those are the symptoms of his grasp of life.”
– (Campbell, The Power of Myth, p.121)
REVIEW of PART 1: Ok, so far we’ve considered Campbell’s monomyth as rooted in primitive cultures, universal (not just related to one culture or historical period), evident in multiple types of literature and reflective of the hero’s journey, a common sequence of events/behaviors that we all encounter throughout our lives. Next, let’s go deeper and examine these situations/behaviors, also known as archetypes.
PART 2, ARCHETYPES (25-30 minutes)
READINGS: Begin by reviewing the following pages (10 mins):
- Carol Pearson’s Archetypes (pay special attention to the list of 12 common archetypes at the left; click on them to learn more)
- Star Wars Origins
- You Are the Starring Character in the Story that Is Life
QUIZ: Now, let’s have some real fun and take an online quiz (10 mins) to find out what our current dominant archetypes are. When you’re done, copy and paste your info into a comment/reply at the bottom of this page along with your reflection and reference (more on that below).
READING: Ok, as a way to wrap this up and make connections, review the following essay (5 mins), Mythology as Dance: The Missing Link to Civilizations by Mindi Bishop.
Homework Assignment (5-10 mins): Do some research in the school library, online databases, Google or even Google Scholar and find at least one article/book that examines both a) myth/story/monomyth/archetype AND b) dance/movement. Please bring this to class as we will discuss and share what we have found! I prefer you to identify works that also discuss healing and health. Please include the reference for your book/article in your comment below.
DAY OF THE WORKSHOP
I. Review archetypes, monomyths, origins of dance and discuss our current understanding of the workshop topic. (10 mins)
II. Discuss the articles/books we found about archetype/monomyth and dance. (10 mins)
III. Discuss our own dominant archetypes. (10 mins)
IV. Archetypal movement for healing and expression. (20 mins)
V. Students choreograph an “archetype dance”. (20 mins)
VI. Final review. (5-10 mins)