“SpiritShield: Mythology in Transition at the Permaculture Convergence”- Plus Assignment & Questions. New Myth #84 by Willi Paul, Planetshifter.com
Raising consciousness is hard work, like transforming the war shield (hate) into a peaceful place (love); we need resilience-centric tools, bottom-up community processes to achieve new rituals and traditions. We seek a spiritual permaculture.
The alchemic sequence: War Shield > SpiritShield > New Myth is an artistic, participatory process; a timeline, story board, psychic protector and archetypical projection in the future. As a two-way conduit between the conscious and sub-conscious, the process of creating a new shield is one strategy to design and test new myths, rituals and traditions.
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What is a Convergence?
‘A typical Permaculture Convergence is an inclusive annual weekend-long event. The Convergence brings together a remarkable diversity of people, all with creative approaches for designing living environments, and economic and culture systems that thrive within ecologically sustainable limits. PCC teams-up with local communities for 'Shoulder Events,' supporting our allies with tours, panel discussions, workshops, and classes. Everyone who practices the ideals of Permaculture speaks a common language all over the world.’
Workshop Roles & Nuts & Bolts –
- Group of 12 – 15 participants and a Presenter
- Presenter is the Recorder
- Work Book
- Usually a large outdoor Tent with benches (or a classroom)
The goal, as a group, is to use the mythic tools provided, and the War Shield, to design the SpiritShield - a permaculture artifact and creative foundation for the new myth to come.
SpiritShield Design Process Building Blocks -
[A] 12 Elements of Modern Mythology (W. Paul, 2016) -
2. Universal struggle
3. Journey, Initiation, Community as Hero
6. Nature is Sacred
7. Threat of apocalypse
8. Digital - Non-Digital Collision
9. Future/ Sci-Fi-based
10. Permaculture and Transition
11. New ritual and tradition
[B] Myth Engine - Download Diagram to see integrated design concepts:
1. Creative Wheel – 17 core values in New Mythology Permaculture, Transition Movement and Nature.
2. The Mythic Spark experience is also described as alchemy, a collision of opposites. An “ah hah” moment – a convergence. A leap in human consciousness with potential for evolving current global archetypes. This spark can synergize new symbols.
3. Artifact – The Artifact is a Nature-Human synergy; perhaps historic. Examples include graffiti, hero, a bill board, historic sculpture, and a permaculture garden, with special powers and messages for the neighborhood.
4. Mythic Imprinting – Imprinting is defined as a two-way interaction with a selected Artifact that generates synergistic meaning for both participants and the Artifact. This iterative and initiation process is grounded in the initiation, journey and hero work from Joseph Campbell and is one way that artifacts can help neighbors can be creative.
New Poems, Pictures, Songs, Stories and New Myths are then envisioned, built and shared with the Community.
[C] About the Chief Arapoosh Crow War Shield (Artifact #1) and Myth –
“Arapoosh, also known as Sore Belly, was a prominent River Crow chief who lived in the first half of the 19th century. As a young man, while fasting, he received a shield, which gave him spiritual protection and the power of prophecy. Apsáalooke (Crow) shields almost always derive from powers of what could be referred to as the Above World.
In Apsáalooke belief, the beings of the sky—the sun, moon, various stars, clouds, and also birds—are very potent. When a warrior had a vision that communicated to him the particular powers of his shield, he would depict those powers, often from the Above World, on the shield. Sometimes they would be represented by the attachment of feathers and bird heads.
This shield was owned by one of the most famous Apsáalooke warriors and leaders, Arapoosh. The shield is interpreted as depicting a hero twin named Thrown into the Spring, who at one time disappeared, taken into the sky. His brother asked several different birds for help, but it was only the cranes who knew where to find Thrown into the Spring so that he could be rescued by his brother.”
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Building SpiritShield (Artifact #2) at the Workshop –
Participants consider New Mythology, Permaculture, Transition Movement and Nature elements which are then selected for the SpiritShield search based on their mythic potential and archetypical energy. Final images are silk screened on canvas then glued in place onto the stretched hide. Mythic imprinting helps in their artistic transition from the War Shield to the SpiritShield.
Symbols of the SpiritShield -
- Shield Base -Tanned Elk hide stretched (front) over re-used metal tent poles (rear)
- North, South, East, West signs – Birch twigs
- Lavender Flower Bouquet
- Hillside Food Crops
- Crane (in support of Apsáalooke Myth)
- Southwest Indian Sun symbol
- Soy Beans at Harvest
- Camp Fire
- Seed Balls
- Cob House with Green Roof
- Humans adding compost to soil
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Leveraging the SpiritShield to Build the New Myth
Assignment Questions -
1. How do you compare and contrast the two shields?
2. Which of the 12 Elements of Modern Mythology are pertinent to this New Myth?
3. Do any of these general story themes spark your interest for the SpiritShield Myth to come?
a. Spring - Sun - Summer - Fall - Winter
b. River - Land - Sun – Sky - Moon
c. Soil Renewal - Planting - FAMILY - Tending - Harvesting
4. What design elements on the SpiritShield speak to you?
5. If you built a real, full-size SpiritShield, how and where would you use it?
6. Does the SpiritShield illustrate any specific ethics and values?
7. Has is work changed your definition of spirit in any way?
8. What format would you like to use to create the SpiritShield New Myth (.png, .mov, word, etc.)
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New Book: "MythicWarriors: Reader and Myth Engine, Permaculture, Nature, Transition and the New Mythology. Interviews, Articles, New Myths and Messages from a Mythic Journey." by Willi Paul and Planetshifter.com (iBook & PDF)
Willi’s New Myths on Planetshifter.com
“The Secret Food Forest” – New Myth 72. Inspired by the “Mythology, Spirit and Permaculture” Workshop @ 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence. PDF + Video. Willi Paul, Planetshifter.com Media