Exploring and Creating our Personal Myths through Colour and Symbols

I have worked as a community artist with marginalized groups in Ireland for more than 20 years. This was mainly using a form of Drama called Forum Theatre. The key method in this type of Drama is to arrive at collective images of social oppression that the community identifies and then transforms.

Over a period of years however it gradually became apparent to me that there is something that the individual has to do for themselves to make meaning and purpose out of their lives. Only then can they contribute most effectively to community. Given my background it was only natural that I became interested in developing the image - of colour, art therapy, dreams, movement. I particularly developed the work of Jung with its emphasis on images and symbols and the myths that emerge from them. The myths we resonate to tell our story and propose solutions to the problems we encounter in our journey.

Since becoming a teacher of Aura-Soma, the more I examined the colours and bottles, the more images and symbols emerged. However as I developed this it became clear that, unexpectedly, both traditional and personal myths were also emerging. Through exploring these myths, both the central problems in the individual's journey were posed, while at the same time, possible solutions were hinted at. Where a traditional myth did not emerge participants created their own myths based on the personal images and symbols they associated with specific colours and bottles or the traditional associations with the name of the bottle. Both processes both told their story in an unforgettable way and allowed them to experience what one astrologer explains as real learning. It is

.. "to gain consciousness in the moment when we are touched and something resonates in us. This is a place of vulnerability and is fragile. Such healing is often only possible in the creative therapies which free us from reality and lead to the hidden, deeper mysteries".

I have now developed this as a course in its own right. Initial bottle choices are deeply explored, bottle by bottle, layer by layer. Various artforms are used to expand and deepen the images - art, drama, movement, sound. This process follows the principle of non-intrusion. It is an unfolding process that leads to a myth which emerges in a specific art form. Which form depends on what direction the process takes for the individual. The myths that emerge are woven into a final outcome for presentation to the group. This may take the form of short story, a storyboard, drama, dance or group performance. It may occur indoors or outdoors.