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Myth Salon: Winter Solstice with the Oracle of Los Angeles

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

The annual Winter Solstice Myth Salon will be the night of the Winter Solstice, Thursday, December 21 at 5PM Pacific, and will feature the Oracle of Los Angeles, Amanda Yates Garcia, for a night of ritual, tarot, ceremony and deep-diving into one of most sacred days of the year – when the Earth reaches its maximum distance from the sun. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Accordingly, throughout the world in ancient and contemporary cultures, the Winter Solstice represents a time of renewal, as well as transition and transformation.

I first met Amanda Yates Garcia during one of her performances on ancient rituals at the Getty Villa. I invited her to present at one of the early Myth Salons in my Santa Monica home (above). As virtually everything has moved online, the Myth Salon will be providing Amanda with all the warmth and intimacy that zoom can offer, together with an incredible panel, each of whom will contribute their skills. Dr. Raïna Manuel-Paris will bring her skills in tarot and mythic imagination. Dr. Jonas will offer readings in contemplative spirituality (and maybe serenade us on his shakuhachi flute. Dr. Dennis Slattery will deepen our experience of the Winter Solstice with poetry of renewal, transition, and transformation.

Thursday, December 21 at 5PM Pacific

Event Description: Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. For many pagans, this holiday is known as Yule, an archaic Anglo-Saxon term meaning “wheel”. Yule signifies the cyclical nature of time, and the rebirth of the sun from the darkest depths of winter. In the daytime things may be bright, but we can only see what's around us. We are centric - focused on ourselves. Only at night can we see out into the far reaches of the universe. The darkness expands our perspective. Winter Solstice gives us the opportunity to recognize the magic and healing power of the dark. It’s the time of year when, from a place deep in the cold earth, the seed finds its spark of life. Witches often make Solstice altars to honor what has passed from our lives this year and welcome in the new. We decorate the altar with bows of evergreen trees, cedar and mistletoe. When the season is over, we tie the boughs to our bedpost as offerings to our commitments in the New Year. Then, at Summer Solstice, we burn them in a bonfire to celebrate the work we've done. In this Solstice ritual we will honor the wisdom of the dark, of the mysteries; we will celebrate to liberate ourselves and the world from suffering, to reaffirm our values, and inaugurate a new era of clarity and purpose in our lives.

Featured Guest: Amanda Yates Garcia is a writer and public witch. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The LA Times, The SF Chronicle, The London Times, CNN, BRAVO, as well as a viral appearance on FOX. She has led rituals, classes and workshops on magic and witchcraft at UCLA, UC Irvine, MOCA, The Hammer Museum, LACMA, The Getty and many other venues. Amanda hosts monthly moon rituals online, and the popular Between the Worlds podcast, which looks at the Western Mystery traditions through a mythopoetic lens. Her book, Initiated: Memoir of a Witch, received a starred review from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly and has been translated into six languages. To find out more about her work visit her Substack, Mystery Cult with Amanda Yates Garcia.


Melinda Lee Holm is the author of Your Tarot Guide, Tarot of Tales, Your Magickal Year, and Elemental Power Tarot, and co-author of Divine Your Dinner. She has read tarot for people all over the world including GZA of Wu Tang Clan and Buddhist leader Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (Khyentse Norbu).  Melinda is currently earning her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at the University of California, Riverside’s Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program. She has been featured in Vogue, InStyle, WWD, Condé Nast Traveler, and the Hollywood Reporter and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, an elderly cat, and a tiny perfect dog.

Raïna Manuel-Paris, Ph.D. Raïna Manuel-Paris, born in Paris, France, of French and Caribbean descent, lived in England and then moved to the United States in her early twenties. Her love of transformational story telling has taken her from an MFA in Film from Columbia University to a Ph.D. in Mythological studies and Depth Psychology. She is a published writer of non-fiction, including The Mother-to-Be’s Dream Book, published by Warner Books, poetry, and several scholarly articles, as well as a documentary filmmaker, The Bridges of My Father, Cannes Film Festival 2009. She recently completed her first novel, a mythical fairy tale, Arabella & the Wise Women. Her understanding of what gives meaning to daily life has led her to her work with dreams, and to include meditation practice in her classrooms.  She is a lecturer and scholar who speaks on several subjects, including “Awakening the Magician Within,” “What Women Want”, “The Goddess,” “Love: Primal agent of change”, “Love and Sacred Medicine,” “War, Trauma and Spiritual Transformation”, and “The Major Arcanas of the Tarot as a Sacred Life Path”.  "The Cradle and The Crown" is her passion. It is a unique process she has developed over time. With it she helps people recover their natural innate joy and claim a felt sense of inner authority. She has been learning the frame drum, the ancient drum of priestesses, and Natural Horsemanship with the great teacher and trainer Chris Sobenes.

Robert A. Jonas was trained in Object Relations psychology at Harvard and used his post-doc Masters in Spirituality from Weston Jesuit School of Theology to explore the healing resonances between Christian contemplative prayer, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and Buddhist (Vipassana, Zen and Tibetan) meditation. Jonas founded the Empty Bell Sanctuary in western Massachusetts in 1994, and now leads interfaith contemplative groups. He is a biographer of Henri Nouwen and student of Sui-Zen, the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi). He has performed in many secular and spiritual contexts and has played at three Buddhist-Christian retreats with the Dalai Lama, including a performance under the Bodhi Tree in India. Jonas has recorded three CD's. His Sui-Zen album, "Blowing Bamboo," is available on iTunes, and one example of his many integrations of shakuhachi and nature.

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.


The Oracle’s Invitation: If you’ve always secretly felt like the world is full of magic, and that you are too, you’re right. In my work, I focus on helping you access the magic that already moves through you, awakening your capacity to thrive. Visit to book workshops and sessions with Amanda Yates Garcia.


Melinda Lee Holmes' Invitations!

Raïna Manuel-Paris, Ph.D.

Robert Jonas' Invitations

Dennis Slattery’s Invitations:

Dana White’s Invitations:

Will Linn’s Invititations:

  • Climate BootCamp: The Climate Bootcamp was designed for the Harvard Alumni Society Committee for the Climate and Climate Reality with the help of Mythouse to serve as a virtual course to support those ready to bring change within an organization.

Special Thanks to the continued support of the Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association.


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