public programs past

Leaping Between the Horns
Modern Dilemmas, Mythic Sense, and Ancient Imagination

A Weekend Retreat With
Michael Meade in Santa Barbara

Friday, March17, 7:00-9:00 pm 
Saturday, March 18, 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Sunday, March 19, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Amidst the 'crisis of imagination' and the radical disorientation of mass culture, myth intones its age-old speech to the inner reaches of the human soul. Within the soul the Old Mind dwells with its mythic imagination and unending inspiration. The exact medicines for the dissociations characteristic of Western culture lie in finding again the archaic continuity of the Old Mind and the hidden unity of human imagination.

Yet, finding the way requires being lost, for it is the 'lost soul' in each of us that would find again the 'dimensions of the mythic mind.' Only those willing to suffer the uncertainty and tensions of being 'betwixt and between' can arrive at the place where a sudden leap or shift makes a renewal of life possible. Such a leap makes 'mythic sense' when nothing else makes any sense. Such a leap leaves common sense behind yet involves being in touch with the concrete world of the senses. Such a leap depends less on blind faith than on accepting sudden spiritual impulses.  

Mythic sense involves both the inward, downward motions of soul and the transcendent shifts of spirit, which open vertical dimensions hidden in each moment and each event—whether inner or outer. The way through dilemmas, both personal and cultural, involves learning to tap again the evocative, oracular, compelling voice of myth and imagination, which echoes in the psychic depths, ever capable of revival, and potent with hidden resources.

Seen this way, obstacles and dilemmas can create a 'fording place,' a crossing ground where a leap between the old and new, the concrete and spiritual, the time-bound and the timeless may be attempted. Despite the increasing insecurity of contemporary life, the Old Mind remains ready to leap between the worlds to the subtle, yet fecund ground of imagination.

At this weekend workshop, Michael Meade will offer mythic tales and perspectives, which weave together the psychological with the mythological, the visible with the invisible, the immediate with the ancient.

Themes will include:
  • Domesticated libido and leaping energy
  • Obstacles and the nature of change
  • Kairos: The time bound world and the eternal moment
  • Fording the river between the worlds
  • Kali Yuga and the re-imagination of things
  • The moment that deepens and opens to the Unseen

Michael Meade, D.H.L., has studied myth, anthropology, history of religion, and cross-cultural rituals for over 35 years. His hypnotic and fiery storytelling, street savvy perceptiveness, and spellbinding interpretations of ancient myths and symbols illuminate many crises in current culture. He has the unusual ability to synthesize this material, tapping ancestral sources of wisdom and connecting them to the stories people are living today. He is the author of Men and the Water of Life; editor, with James Hillman and Robert Bly, of Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart; and editor of Crossroads: A Quest for Rites of Passage, and numerous audiotapes. Meade is Founder/Director of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, a network of artists, teachers, and activists that fosters community healing and development efforts (for more information visit

© Pacifica Graduate Institute - All rights reserved