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Myth Salon: Curiosity, Care & Craft - Heroines & their Polymythical Ways with Maria Tatar

Building on the work of Joseph Campbell and expanding it to include heroines, Maria Tatar takes us back to Scheherazade and her use of domestic craft in the form of storytelling. With her 1,001 stories, Scheherazade deploys the art of telling tales not just to survive but also to save the lives of others and change the culture in which she lives. For centuries, women were unable to heed the call to adventure, embark on journeys, and return from ordeals with instruments for healing. Instead, they were obliged in the main to stay at home, using words as their weapons and homespun in the form of textiles to broadcast injury and repair the fraying edges of the social fabric. The women who have figured prominently in our cultural imagination were bedeviled by curiosity. Like Pandora and Eve, they had more than a touch of evil and were shouldered with the responsibility for making sin and mortality a part of the human condition. This talk will focus on how curiosity can be etymologically linked with care, and how those two attributes, along with craft, form the defining features of the heroine. Women may not have been able to leave the house, but they found ways to tell their stories and bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

Maria Tatar is a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows and the John L. Loeb Research Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures & Folklore and Mythology, Emerita. At Harvard, she served as Dean of the Humanities and Chair of the Committee on Degrees in Mythology and Folklore. Author of numerous works on fairytales and children’s literature, including Annotated African American Folktales, edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr, for which she received the 2018 NAACP award for Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction. Her newest book, Heroine of 1001 Faces has brought us here today.


Christopher Vogler has been the most influential teacher of myth to storytellers since he wrote The Writers Journey. He worked as a story consultant in the departments of 20th century Fox, Paramount, and Walt Disney, where he contributed to Aladdin and The Lion King. after publishing his landmark work, he developed stories for 101 Dalmatians, Fight Club, Courage Under Fire, Volcano and The Thin Red Line.

Dr. Maureen Murdock is the author of the best-selling book, The Heroine’s Journey, which explores the rich territory of the feminine psyche. This groundbreaking response to Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces has become a go to for storytellers. Maureen was Chair and Core Faculty of the MA Counseling Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute and teaches memoir in Pacifica’s program “Writing Down the Soul.”   Murdock is also author of several volumes that deepen her exploration of the heroine, imagination and memoire. We’re all looking forward to the documentary in progress around the Heroine’s Journey!

Dara Marks, Ph.D. Is a leading international script consultant with an expertise that focuses on the feminine heroic. Creative Screenwriting Magazine has consistently rated her among the top consultants in Hollywood, where she has spent the last three decades working with major studios and independent filmmakers, advising on film and television projects. She also offers workshops on her book, Inside Story: Power of the Transformational Arc and leads retreats for women worldwide on the feminine heroic. Dara holds a Ph.D. In Mythological Studies from Pacifica with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology.

Dr. Dyane Sherwood co-authored the book (with the late analyst Joseph L. Henderson) relating a series of alchemical illuminations to the process of depth transformation, Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor solis (2003). She has also published on a wide range of topics and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. She is a Certified Jungian Psychoanalyst and a Teaching Member of the Sandplay Therapists of America. In her last Salons with us, Dyane helped us look at alchemical integrations of the feminine and the heroism of women weavers.

Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor in the Mythological Studies Program At Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has authored, coauthored, edited or coedited 33 volumes of poetry, non fiction and fiction. His most recent titles include The Way of Myth: Stories' Subtle Wisdom and The Fiction in Our Convictions. His web site, contains a series of blogs, paintings, adventure invitations and online courses.


Dana White, Ph.D. a contributing faculty member to Pacifica's myth degrees and author of numerous volumes on mythology. Over the course of his career, Dana has worked in radio and industrial television, as a vice president of marketing for Merrill Lynch, and as an academic department chair at an art college. He edits and designs books, produces films and motion media for universities, corporations and non-profits, and is a professional photographer with more than 40 books to his credit.He currently produces and hosts the Myth Salon, a venture he co-founded in 2016 with Dr. Will Linn,


Will Linn, PhD, Will is a Creative Mythologist. For three seasons and thirty episodes, he anchored the Sky, ZDF and History Channel TV show, Myths: The Greatest Mysteries of Humanity as one of the two recurring “meta experts.” He is the founder of and Head Mythologist for Fascinated by Everything—a visionary experience company that creates narrative art in next-generation mediums. Will served as a leader for the Joseph Campbell Foundation over an eight year period and was the founding chair of an innovative film and performing arts college called Relativity School in Los Angeles Center Studios. From 2015-2023, he taught myth, anthropology, writing, story and philosophy at the college while leading high school, graduate and professional coursework in the United States and Europe. His media and conference appearances, publications and roundtables have been focused on the poesis of nature and technology, meta-narratives of transformation, historical arcs in the mythic imagination and the archetypal revolution of meteor-steel.


The Myth Salon is all about cultivating community – bringing people and ideas into a delicious convergence every month to explore ideas of substance. Dr. Will Linn and Dr. Dana C White, the indefatigable moderators of our Myth Salon, congregate the mythological community to explore upon this rich and fertile path, and increase the amperage of myth and substance wherever we are. When we nurture and sustain our community relations and involvement, we all benefit! The full playlist of Myth Salons since the Spring of 2020 can be found Here.

MYTHOUSE INVITATIONS - Mythic Calendar: The Mythic Calendar integrates the world’s major holidays into a single calendar of media and information rich portals that explore the mythic dimensions of each holiday, sign of the zodiac, flower of the month, birth stone and celestial event. Check in with the mythic calendar each month and with every holiday to stay engaged with mythic time.

Mythology Channel: Explore ten years of mythic radio series, round tables, myth salons and special events in the Mythology Channel’s content library.


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