Jenny Brown (skywind8) wrote,
Jenny Brown

Mystery School - Story of Atalanta

Atalanta will be the story for Diana's Grove 2009 Mystery School. Seeing as it's currently November, that's just around the corner. Early registration ends Dec 21. Regular registration ends Jan 15.

Mystery School 2009 - Atalanta
The story about vows we ourselves.

"For us it has been established, beyond all doubt, that all sincere requests will be answered, but the form is always unexpected."

Will you let go of form and live in faith? Learn the ways you shine, stand firm in your integrity, choose what you will give your soul to, and perhaps leave room for a little divine intervention – whether the source of that divinity is without or within? The Mysteries of Diana’s Grove will spend a year re-telling, re-storying, re-living this myth into life in our own lives. Will you join us?

And for those of you who may be more interested in the writing side, there is a companion class focused on creative writing.

Journey in Words 2009
Journey into the Mystery of Writing

Explore the mysteries of life in three different forms: poetry, memoir, and fiction.

Signing up for Mystery School gives you access to:
* Moon Shadows: A journal in which to record your year.
* A monthly packet, available online.
* Our quarterly magazine, Between the Worlds
* Email groups in which to discuss your work with others
* Journey in Words, online writing classes

It also gives you the option (but not requirement) of coming to the weekend intensives at Diana's Grove retreat center. Those are priced separately. The online community and written materials are quite extensive, and many people participate from a long distance without ever visiting for an intensive. There's still plenty to learn.

Making it a bit more personal... Here are some of the things I've learned and done as a result of my participation. This is certainly not all there is; it's very much a choose-your-own-direction experience, and everyone is looking for something different.

* Self-understanding
(How I understand my world, interpret my experiences, act (or not) according to my values, choose limits and boundaries about my interactions with others, recognize my own needs and fill them, reflect on my challenges and successes over time, talk with others about things important to me, examine deeper questions based on story material that I wouldn't have thought of on my own)

* Communication practice
(Practicing how I present or explain things, how I ask questions of others, how I make requests in healthy community-supporting ways, how I listen effectively in more emotional situations, how to be supportive without disempowering someone or 'fixing' them without being asked, how I recognize power dynamics and adjust my responses)

* Group dynamics learning
(Recognizing my own and others' needs in group situations, comfort and its relation to power, facilitation skills, seeing beneath the surface to deeper needs, effective listening, balancing task priority with people-sensitivity, gracefully welcoming new people, being flexible to change and spontaneous plan adjustments; cornerstones [guidelines] of healthy community, and how mythic reality - the stories we assign to the heroes and villains in our own lives - can influence reactions and interpretations of events, and what to do with that)

* Intimacy and group energy
(Sharing authentically, choosing openness to my level, recognizing how my willingness to share and trust opens the door to others' sharing and deeper experiences, building a safe community container to do difficult work in, including self-examination, opening to change, grieving, and celebrating; understanding how community guidelines help facilitate safety and trust)

* Ritual energetics
(How people come together in ritual space, for any purpose, and how aspects like the music or drumming, ways of speaking, or even physical arrangement of the space can encourage a good experience or interfere with it; learning how to bring passion and intensity, focus and safety, intimacy and support and acceptance, to deep personal work in community; and a chance to practice with specific skills such as drumming or speaking; and how to simply have a Darn Good Time singing, drumming, and having fun together)

And not to forget it -- the reason for ritual, is that it helps me make changes I've chosen, in my own head and my life. The definition I've heard many times there is, "Ritual is a multi-sensorial prayer that helps us lay new patterns in our souls."

Usually, I use the informational side of the packets and story to identify places in my life/behaviors where I am not getting the results I want, or I am getting them but the cost is too high, or places where I simply want to grow into something new and exciting. And then I make focused choices about what to acknowledge, dedicate to, or put intention towards, and I use the ritual experience during intensives to make it "stick" in my mind... to make it more real. More tangible. More alive in me. The structures of ritual make it easier for me to do deep learning, learning something in my gut, in my deep emotional semi-conscious or subconscious knowledge, instead of just an abstract intellectual knowing. It helps me "get it" deeply, and that helps to make the changes last.

Much of the "informational" stuff is shared on the email lists and publications. The "skills and practice" tends to be easier to access at the weekend intensives, since those bring opportunities to practice.

Besides all that rich information, it's also a healthy and very loving and creative community, with a lot of really neat people. This is why I absolutely love it, and will be signing up for my fourth year. :)

There's more information and a photo gallery on the website if you'd like to learn more. Or you could jump directly to registration.

There are also some non-mystery-school retreat events during the year (open to the public) and also some open mystery school intensives (open to the public) if you're curious to learn more in person without committing to a year. The retreat center is about 3 hours south/west of St. Louis, MO.

It's fun. Interested? :)
Tags: mystery
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