Myths. Legends. Stories and fairy tales. We grew up with them, we read them to our kids, they entertain us and transport us to different and magical times and places.
But you know, I don’t think thats all there is to it. If we go back a very long time, a really really long time, before we had the computers and the interweb, before we had books, before we had written words.. these stories were more than just a moments delight, they were teaching tools, ways of passing on knowledge, skills, and social rules. I guess that sharing stories to transport ideas was a pretty effective way of doing it, you get someones attention with a gripping tale, they follow it avidly, wanting to know whats going to happen, and in the process, they learn something. Myths explain the unexplainable, they tell us why the earth shakes sometimes (often related to giants or angry gods), why it rains, why we even exist!
Another function of myths is to provide role models, explain society and how to behave in it, and share morals and values. Heroes become the example for all of us, facing their challenges and overcoming them, learning that attitudes like bravery and courage are valued and valuable to us personally as well. When we chose to focus our own heroes journey, in the Golden Fleece Course, on the journey of Jason and the quest for the legendary fleece, we found that there were a number of messages within this myth that really spoke to us as creative people.
The first was the whole idea of the epic journey! This represents adventure, exploration, and discovery.
Then comes the idea of not being alone on this journey, taking our crew of shipmates along, a team effort, knowing that we are not in some kind of vacuum alone but accompanied by others on the same path, to help and support. And we see this happening in many wonderful ways on our Facebook group page and in the forums!
It was also appealing to find that Jason himself, the hero of this story, is not perfect, he has some pretty impressive failings along the way, and he accepts help when he needs it from mentors and crew. This gives us the idea that we also dont need to be perfect, that sometimes creativity really is one step forward and two steps back.. but we continue on because thats what we do, creativity is in our souls and it is our destiny, and just like Jason, we keep moving forward. This also represents our courage, without trials there can be no courage, if everything was easy and simple, we wouldnt need to rise to meet the challenges, so the idea of embracing the difficulties is actually an important part of the journey, and I am sure anyone who is regularly involved in a creative activity will know, the old saying is true – 10% inspiration, 90% hard work!
We also loved the idea that our goal is some kind of ‘mastery’ and power. For Jason the goal was the Golden Fleece, so of course, for any fiberista that item alone is enough to grab our attention! But what does that represent? For Jason it was the path to Kingship, to gaining his mastery, literally, over the people and the land. For us, I see it more as a mastery over our talents, that during our journeying (and really, does that ever end?!) we gain self knowledge and insights into our inspirations and motivations, that give us a greater depth of understanding about where our strengths are, and the confidence to take creative risks. The opportunity to try new things and then explore them in depth is the opportunity to achieve mastery, taking a new spinning technique, for example, and practicing it, exploring it, becoming familiar enough with it to try our own variations of it, that to me is real mastery!
We hope these are things that participants in ‘our’ journey to the Golden Fleece will gain during the course. That would truly be legend 🙂