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Online Creative Intensive
& School for Sacred Storytelling

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ARIEL SPILLSBURY
Craig-Chalquist
CRAIG CHALQUIST
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RACHEL BAGBY
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CAROLINE W. CASEY
BAYO AKOMOLAFE
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DEENA METZGER
Calling all educators, healers, facilitators, and changemakers—
Also known as the myth makers, seed planters, vision seekers, healers, alchemists, and dream weavers.

SPEAK THE
SPARKWhat is it

A 6-Month, Online Creative Intensive
& School for Sacred Storytelling
October 22–April 21
Two Tuesdays a month, 5–7 p.m. PST/8–10 p.m. EST
This is a place
where we learn to Listen,
Grow together,
And Catch the stories of our time.

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This is a place
For those who want to plant beauty in unrest,
Who believe that a well-told story
Told at the right time
That harnesses the learning from our personal stories
 And the stories of our time
Into magic and medicine 
Just might change a life
And just may change the world.

Welcome Storyteller….

“The business of stories is not enchantment.
The business of stories is not escape.
The business of stories is waking up.”
~Martin Shaw

I imagine you are here because you are drawn to story and storytelling.

You are beginning to realize that you want to be a storyteller (though you may not know what that means or where and how it will fit into your life).

There are four ways your storytelling could manifest:

  1. You want to tell your own story. You have valuable life experiences to share: You’ve learned how to heal a broken heart, or you want to. You know a thing or two about betrayal and forgiveness of yourself, of others. You know what is required to reach toward a dream. Or perhaps you’ve lived the consequences of doing none of this, and that is one of the hard-won lessons you have to offer.

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    And you feel that one of the ways of making the most of this life is by giving what is yours to give. Maybe you are sitting there with bags of sheep’s wool—a lifetime of experience—piling up in the corner. Every year, another bag is added, shorn from the sheep of your mistakes and misgivings, along with your joys and celebrations. And you realize you have the raw material to make something beautiful.

  2. You want to tell the old stories. You feel drawn to folk tales and myths. You want to dig deep and get to know these stories because you sense they can bring something needed to the times we are living in. You may feel called to tell stories that are woven with purpose and meaning. Perhaps you are beginning to suspect that what the aborigines of Australia say is true: The old stories must be told in the present so that the future can exist. And you might feel called to play a role in remembering.
  3. You want to change your story. Or you might be ready to change an old story. You want to be a more assertive author of your life. You’re ready to look at your life through the lens of story and examine where you’ve gotten stuck and what roles you’ve been playing and don’t want to play out any longer. Perhaps you keep ending up being the victim in too many stories in your life. Or maybe you always play the rescuer. Or maybe you’re done with the idea that some day your perfect prince or princess will bring you the glass slipper, and it’s finally time to create a new possibility of what happily ever after really You’re ready for a new role, and you’re ready for a new story.
  4. You want to tell new stories. Perhaps the muse has been whispering, knocking, and banging down your door with the seeds of stories, and you’re not quite sure what to do or how to cultivate them. Or maybe you have this inkling, this slight whisper from the trees and the rocks, and the wind keeps dropping bits and pieces of the earth song into your lap.

And so it is with many people who come to Speak the Spark. Some come with skill and experience, but most come because they were tapped on the shoulder by the muse, or were haunted by a story that is demanding to come through, or have caught the scent of a calling and are doing their best to learn its language so they can understand what it wants from them.

You know you have something to say, and you want to be more than just witnessed, and you want to do more than just convey the facts. You can feel that there is something more, something else that can happen between you and the listener that would transform your experience into a gift that can be carried forward, and that je ne sais quoi lives in a thing called story—and you want to know more about it.

You want to do more than just court the muse; you want to enter into a committed relationship with your creative life force.

You want to do more than just date a story; you want to take that deep dive of developing an intimate relationship with a story to learn each and every corner of it, only to be awed when it reveals a new teaching to you after you’ve told it ten times.

You sense that storytelling is not just about conveying the facts about your life. You want to provide meaning, insight, joy, and guidance, sprinkle it with humor and play, stir in some context and history, and throw in a dash of truth that not everyone is willing to speak out loud. And you want to share this like bread crumbs on the path for those who are following behind you so they may find a clear and direct route through the travails of life that you have already navigated.

Welcome to the path of Sacred Storytelling…

The 6 Gifts of Stories:

A Case for Storytelling in Troubled Times

“Life is a storied proposition.
Not a theoretical or hypothetical thing. It’s a storied thing.
In that sense story is deeply trustworthy.
Because it seems to resemble the way life literally seems to unfold.
Which is why the preliterate cultures … are principally oral cultures.
Their entire means of reckoning and understanding, recognizing, relating, loving … are borne along by Story. Story as a verb.”

~Stephen Jenkinson

STORIES ARE A PLACE OF LOVING

Love lives in our stories when we remember and carry each other’s hilarity, turmoil, longing, revelry, exemplary brilliance, heroism, and stewardship as well as the darkest parts of our shadows, fears, scarcity, and small-mindedness. And love lives in the listening: when we provide a sanctuary for a story to rest for a spell, where it lives again through our generosity of sharing so others can taste and benefit from the rich sweetness of our painstakingly earned wisdom.

STORIES CAN FOSTER BELONGING

So many of us carry a fear, “if people knew this about me, they could never love me.” So many feel so alone. When the truth of who we are, but haven’t been able to face or claim, is revealed or recognized in someone else’s story—when the parts of ourselves we think have no place in this world are spoken out loud by others—our story of isolation is allowed to rest, and that part of us finds a house of belonging to live within.

STORIES CAN FOSTER CONNECTION

Connection is an elemental function of the science of storytelling. When one person speaks and another listens, our brains merge in a way called neural coupling. A thread of connection is transmitted in the present while simultaneously creating connections to the stories from generation to generation linking us to the past. And as strangers gather and laugh and cry together through the shared experience of a story, a kinship is created.

STORIES CAN ACT AS BRIDGES

Stories can heal when we allow them to shift and transform. Just as a sapling grows into a tree, our stories can grow to become larger than the circumstance. Perhaps you were injured in your body, in your heart. You have a choice about how you tell that story—and you can choose to tell a story about how you healed. Or maybe your heart was broken, and your story may have the key to how to love again; or perhaps you lost trust, faith, or hope along the way, and your stories may give just these very things back to your listener. Stories are a place where we can alchemize our hard-to-tell experiences into medicine for others while healing ourselves.

HEALING LIVES IN OUR STORIES

Stories can heal when we allow them to shift and transform. Just as a sapling grows into a tree, our stories can grow to become larger than the circumstance. Perhaps you were injured in your body, in your heart. You have a choice about how you tell that story—and you can choose to tell a story about how you healed. Or maybe your heart was broken, and your story may have the key to how to love again; or perhaps you lost trust, faith, or hope along the way, and your stories may give just these very things back to your listener. Stories are a place where we can alchemize our hard-to-tell experiences into medicine for others while healing ourselves.

STORIES CAN EXPRESS AND FOSTER ELDERSHIP

As you have become older, you have reflected on your life and seen the consequence of a lack of interaction with elders. You yearn for older people with wisdom to pass on to us as it used to be. And yet much of that wisdom lives on in the old stories, the old legends, the old rituals. Many storytellers have had the experience of being eldered by old stories. They sit with the stories and, slowly, over time, the stories reveal things to them. Maybe it’s that stories act as our surrogate grandparents, or maybe stories are the horses that our ancestors can ride in on and get close enough to whisper something important into our ears. When we take our place of sharing the wisdom stories, the threshold stories, the stories that hold the hands of those who are on their way, we take our place on the path of eldership.

Here’s what I have come to understand about storytellers:

We make magic.

Avada Kedavra, one of the oldest phrases on our planet (from which we get the modern magical phrase Abracadabra), means “I create as I speak” or literally “what was said has been done.”

You could be the kind of person who gives stories as a gift and is committed to offering beauty, wisdom, and guidance during times of unrest.

You may want to tell stories that generate insight, compassion, courage, and empathy during times of mistrust.

You definitely want to play a part in the world that brings life, joy, and insight and provides a safe place for introspection.

You want your stories to have depth and be worthy of being carried and retold. And you want to be worthy of carrying and retelling the stories that come to you already laden with depth.

Our troubles, our fears, our desires… they live in our stories, and we provide them a place to live and walk among us every time we give them life through our breath.

To learn how to catch a story, to carry a story, and to tell a story is to learn how to come into relationship with a story and be lived by a story.

Storytellers use their voices to connect the past to the present so we can stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us as we weave the vision of our future. It’s ancient. It’s new age. It’s done by the middle-aged while having fun, making music, connecting the rhythm of the heart song in all of us.

It’s magic, I say. This much I know is true.

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EXPERIENCE YOURSELF AS

  • Belonging to a community dedicated to learning the art and craft of story
  • Supported in a nurturing environment where it is safe to experiment, try new things, and play with creative challenges
  • Having a vehicle to alchemize life’s challenging lessons (grief, loss, fear) into wisdom stories so others can learn from your hard-won understanding
  • Vibrant and ignited, your life force invigorated by inspiration while you create with intention and purpose
  • Joyful and playful in your embodied expression of the stories you tell
  • Confident in your ability to carry an old story and write a new story
  • Influencing the world around you positively through every story you tell
  • Purposeful and filled with clarity about what you are in service to and how you use your voice, language, and stories to align with your soul path

To walk in the world as a Sacred Storyteller
is to walk a path of commitment to
live with love,
embody generosity,
alchemize fear of the unknown into trust,
and transform what appears unforgivable into medicine
that can heal and reveal new pathways of understanding of the self
and the world around us.

Welcome to the path of the Sacred Storyteller
and to saying yes to living
a storied life.

Is Speak the Spark for you?

This program IS RIGHT for you if…

  • You have something to give or you want to find and cultivate and dig deep for what is yours to give, and you want to learn how to do that through the medium of storytelling.
  • You know there is more to life than just the mundane. You want to live in a bigger story, and you want to play a part in creating it.
  • You’re willing to take a deep dive into your inner world, the mythic world, the fairy tale world, the unknown.
  • You’re willing to try new things in your creative life even though they make you a little uncomfortable.
  • You’re excited to be part of a diverse community of open-minded people who want to nurture the well-being of our planet.
  • You want more than just having your voice heard or witnessed—you want to know that your voice is being used with purpose and intention to positively influence the world around you.
  • You are struck by the notion that every ancient religion agrees that the world was sung, spoken, and chanted into existence… and now you are beginning to grok that the words you speak matter and have an impact and influence on those around you.
  • You are discovering who you are as a creator, and you want to consciously use this extraordinary tool of language and story to shape the world around you.
  • You want a new story for yourself, for how you look at the world, and for what is possible, and you want to be part of creating that new story.

I have a special place in my heart…

I have a special place in my heart for people who speak in myth, symbolism, archetype, and metaphor; word nerds who love etymology, mystic poetry, and astrology; folks who build altars in the forests and beaches. I often fall into deep conversation with people who read or listen to Joanna Macy, Caroline Casey, Stephen Jenkinson, Charles Eisenstein, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Martin Shaw, and others who carry a torch of illumination.

I have a special place in my heart for those who love the old stories, who know the religious stories, who know three versions of the same myth (because I often don’t).

For those who hear a call careening through the ether in a language they do not yet understand, but really want to. For those who feel the itch—of a story, of a voice that is ready to speak and be heard—and really want to answer it.

For those who see living on the planet at this time as a full-contact sport and who are seriously wondering if it might not be about racing to save anything, but might involve something else— some kind of deep listening, some kind of slowing, some kind of restoring a few things that were lost along the way.

For those who have been struck by the lightning bolt of creativity, and the ideas and stories are coming from all directions, and they have no idea how to manage what has arrived at their doorstep.

And I have a special place in my heart for those who don’t know yet that the world of creativity is theirs for the taking, and the spigot can easily be turned on once you know how to access it.

I have a special place in my heart for those who don’t want to just witness the times we are living in; they want to live with consideration for the future descendants of this planet.

For those who want to use their voices, the words they choose, and the stories they tell to influence the world around them. To use the power of those voices to find another way of living into the world they most want to be a part of.

And I have a special place in my heart for those who read all of this and just begin to catch the scent of something they want to understand and get to know better.

This program IS NOT for you if…

  • You want to use a story to promote your business or something you are selling.
  • You have no interest in personal exploration; you’re not looking to grow or open yourself up to new experiences.
  • You want this class to be therapy. While this course has the capacity to be therapeutic, if you’re tending to an issue that requires 1:1 support, this is not the place to do this work.
  • You’re committed to telling all of your stories in the same way forever.
  • You’re looking for someone to provide you a cookie-cutter structure for how to tell a story.
  • You want to feed the hungry ghost—you are desperate to be seen and heard, so you are seeking attention through storytelling.

What is the Sacred Storyteller’s Learning Journey?

(What will we experience in this class?)

“Give what you have.
To someone else, it may mean more than you dare to think.”
~Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Get to Know the Old Stories
Start at the beginning: the creation stories, the myths, the prophecies, the legends, the ancient stories that are in danger of being lost and forgotten.

Remove Barriers

Get to know the Critic, the Comparing Mind, and any other demons that haunt you; learn tools and techniques to receive the gifts they have to offer and how to silence what doesn’t serve your creation process.

Get to Know Your Story Inside and Out and in a Multidimensional Way

Tap into the first language of symbol as you draw a map of your life story and get an opportunity to see patterns and metaphors emerge from your subconscious. Name and claim all the roles and archetypes you have played in your life and get a sense of what might be missing and is wanting to be lived through you.

Eagle Eye: Examine the Stories of Our Time:

Pull out your microscope and study the stories surrounding you. From the news to your kitchen, you will examine the stories that live in and around you. You’ll hunt down the zombie stories, the clone stories, and the sacred stories among us.

Skill Building: Opening the Channel to Creative Life Force

Learn skills and techniques that open your creative channel and practice engaging the mythic imagination as you work with integrating symbols, metaphors, and archetypes into your stories.

Claim Your Medicine/Gifts

Claim your gifts—the ones you were born with or might be dormant, waiting to be discovered—so you can amplify this resource through your stories and all parts of your life.

By the time you finish this course, you will Claim Your Storytelling Archetype (you may have more than one or create one of your own).

What Kinds of Stories Will I Create?

“Everybody acts out a myth, but very few people know what their myth is.”

~Carl Jung

Throughout our time together you will have an opportunity to explore your storytelling archetype by trying on several different families of story.

The Hunter Gatherer: Ancestor Stories

Capture the stories from our families/ancestry that want to be preserved and passed on.

The Cantadora: Tending to the Ancient Stories

Get to know an old story inside and out so it has a way to live and walk among us.

The Midwife: Birthing the New Stories

Birth the new narrative and mythic stories that are asking to come through in our times.

The Mentor: New and Old Teaching Stories

Learn an old teaching story and create one of your own.

The Alchemist: Changing the Story

From fairy tales to personal narrative, learn the ethics involved with changing a story and how it’s done.

The Healer: Medicine Stories

Create a medicine story designed to heal an unresolved story in your personal life.

The Wisdom Keeper: Threshold Stories

Explore your life experiences and how to give your hard-earned wisdom as a gift to those around you.

The Archeologist: Prophesy and Lost Stories

Go on an excavation for the old stories, the lost stories, the stories that were hidden and waiting to emerge in our time.

ONLINE COURSES

Who are my teachers?

  • Deena Metzger

    Deena Metzger completed her undergraduate studies at Brandeis University and Brooklyn College, where she earned a BA. She earned an MA at UCLA and a PhD at International College. In 1969, she was fired from her tenured teaching position at Los Angeles Valley College because of a course unit she taught on censorship and pornography. Her appeal with the California Supreme Court was decided in her favor, and she was reinstated at the college in 1972.

    In her poems, Metzger engages themes of peacemaking, intimacy, and healing. In an online review for Rattle, poet Lori A. May stated, “Ruin and Beauty is a welcome cornucopia of pleasures, dares, warnings, and resolutions. For each moment of ruin, Metzger offers suggestions for reviving beauty. Where there seems to be little hope, the poems subtly shift and provide some. Metzger … knows how to solicit emotion and call for action.” Her books of poetry include Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems (2009), Looking for the Faces of God(1989), and Axis Mundi Poems (1981).

    Metzger’s nonfiction prose includes From Grief into Vision: A Council (2007), Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing(2002), Writing for Your Life: Discovering the Story of Your Life’s Journey (1992), and Tree and The Woman Who Slept with Men to Take the War out of Them(1981). She is also the author of several novels, including La Negra y Blanca: Fugue and Commentary (2011), which received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature; Doors: A Fiction for Jazz Horn(2004); The Other Hand (2000); and What Dinah Thought (1989). With Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson, Metzger coedited the cross-genre anthology Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals (1999).

    Metzger is the recipient of several awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in California.

  • Rachel Bagby

    Rachel Bagby, author of the #1 bestselling book, Daughterhood: Sounding / Hidden Truths / Ignite Your Freedom, has devoted over 30 years to helping women voice their power. Founder of Singing Farm and Voice Blessings, she designs and leads programs with global reach, teaching change-agents to become joyful instruments of individual and organizational brilliance.

    An award winning social artist, international speaker, and leadership muse with a JD from Stanford Law School, Rachel’s clients have included entrepreneurial founders and mavericks at world-renowned organizations such as Google, Facebook, Organic Valley Co-Op and Rockwood Institute. Evoking the powers of story-singing, poetic intelligence and earth-centered contemplative practices, she helps leaders, artist, and healers galvanize the forces of nature within them, to accomplish bodacious, heaven-on-earth serving missions.
    Drawing on skills honed as a founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s ensemble, “Voicestra,” Rachel uses improvisation techniques to amp up her audiences’ presence and message, so that they increase their communicative power to transform the moment.
    Learn More: http://rachelbagby.com/

  • Caroline Casey

    Caroline W. Casey

    Caroline W. Casey is a Visionary Activist Astrologer, devoted to the principle that Imagination lays the tracks for the Reality Train to follow. Therefore the cultivation of imagination coupled with the capacity for complex story-telling is a key strategy for personal and collective change. As the late great Native American activist, Ruben Snake, used to quip, “Here’s a little bit of Native American wisdom for you – if we don’t change our direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed.”

    A native of Washington DC Caroline is the last of five children born to an Irish-Democrat-New-Deal Congressman, and a politically active Yankee Swede. She has a degree in Symbol Systems (semiotics) from Brown University, and has studied magic, mythology and social activism all over the world.

    Based in Washington DC, Caroline broadcasts her live weekly radio show, “The Visionary Activist Show”, wedding spiritual magic to ingenious social action to Pacifica station KPFA (94.1) in Northern California , replayed on L.A.s KPFK (and can be heard live on the web, by going to www.KPFA.org at 2pm PT on Thursdays).

    Primary astrological consultant for Time-Life Books’ 1989 book “Cosmic Connections”, she has offered mythological-astrological news analysis on ABC”s “Nightline”, CNN’s “Crossfire”, in “People Magazine “, on Public Radio, the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS’s “Nightwatch”, “Fox Morning News”, “Equal Time” etc.

    In 1980 Caroline was a weekly astrological political analyst on Washington Metromedia TV, with Mark Shields. Subsequently her Astrological Interpretation of World News and Politics has been sought in a full-page interview in The Washington Post, a full length cover feature also in the Post’s style section (July 2000), on the front page of the Providence Journal, the New Bedford Standard Times, the London Sunday Times, the San Francisco Examiner, and in an interview with James Ridgeway for the Village Voice. She has written astrological-political essays for Washingtonian magazine as well as an astrological-political column for George Magazine (July ’98-February ’99). And covered the 2000 election for National Journal’s Hotline.

    Her audio book,Visionary Activist Astrology is published by Sounds True. She is the author of Making the Gods Work For You – the astrological language of the psyche (Harmony Books/Random House or Random Harmony) The audio version, a theatrical presentation of the material in the book, is also titled Making the Gods Work for You.

    She offers Visionary Activist Revivals at a wide variety of conferences all over America as well as in South Africa (presenting at the Parliament of World Religions), Sweden, England and New Zealand. A rousing and frequent keynote speaker, Caroline invites us to imagine, conjure, and implement a more lovingly ingenious world

  • Craig Chalquist

    Craig Chalquist, PhD, is a depth psychologist, professor, author, presenter, and teacherpreneur. He is core faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies and former Associate Provost of Pacifica Graduate Institute. His courses include depth psychology, ecopsychology, Jung, dream analysis, transpersonal psych, Systems Theory, and mythology. He co-designed and launched the Certificate in Holistic Psychology at New York Open Center and the Certificate in Applied Mythology via the Depth Psychology Alliance.

    Chalquist is the author of several books at the intersection of psychology, story, ecology, folklore, and place. He especially enjoys exploring what mythic motifs, plots, and images might be alive in specific events. "Myth is hardly dead: it is going on all the time, inside and outside of us. Every time we perceive how and why, more of our lived, felt reality is reenchanted."

    Chalquist holds Certificates in Greek Mythology from Oxford University, Hindu Scriptures from Harvard U, Storytelling for Change Statement of Accomplishment, Great Mythologies of the World, and Egyptian and Norse Mythology. He is the Administrator of Enchantivism: Social Transmutation through Inspiration and Storytelling and Co-administrator of Storytelling and Archetypal Activism, both on Facebook.

  • Bayo Akomolafe

    Bayo Akomolafe (PhD) is an ethnopsychotherapeutic researcher, lecturer and author from Covenant University in Nigeria. He is an international speaker, poet and activist for a radical paradigm shift in consciousness and current ways of living. He is Coordinator of the International Alliance for Localization. Bayo and his ‘life-force’, Ej, are currently on a journey to reclaim their lives and intimacy with the earth, with others and with community. He is writing his first novel, The Boy Who Stayed Outside. Ej and Bayo are ecstatic parents of a girl, Alethea.

    Disenchanted with the single story about wellness and being he had received via his Eurocentric clinical training, Bayo embarked on a quest to seek out the less-than-obvious stories his own people had told for hundreds of years. He met with Yoruba shaman-priests who spoke glowingly about the vibrancy of the nonhuman world, the limitations of human agency and identity, and a more holistic notion of prosperity and abundance. They taught him the limitations of ‘the white man’s pills’ and urged a collective shift from the hubris of modernity to a deepened alliance with the web of life, saying: ‘In other to find your way, you must lose it’. For Bayo, the shamans reinvigorated his recognition of truth as sacred play. Bayo continues to examine through his writing and talks how stories give birth to reality.

  • Ariel Spillsbury

    Ariel Spillsbury is a spiritual counselor guided by the wisdom of the Maya and the Mayan Oracle. She is a planetary midwife whose focus is on expanding consciousness, building the Sanctuary of the Open Heart, and honoring the Divine Feminine. The author of The Alchemy of Ecstasy and The 13 Moon Oracle. Her passion is participating in the conscious evolution of this planet and all its inhabitants. This takes the form of traveling to share the wisdom of the Divine Feminine around the globe, which she has done for over thirty years. She has devoted her life to the conscious awakening of all beings. This she has offered through writing, teaching, sacred theater presentations, creating a metaphysical store, conferences, consciousness events, lectures, seminars, starting a metaphysical newspaper, moon circles for women, spiritual counseling and maintaining a temple for the Goddess for twenty five years. Ariel is a cheerleader for consciousness, ceremonialist and consciousness initiator.

    She offers Initiation into the Mysteries of the Divine Feminine, Mayan Initiations, Divine Child Workshops and a sound and light technology called crystal singing. Ariel magnetizes sacred circles of light around the planet to bring people together in divine communion, love and remembrance. The present focus of her awareness is grounding a Living Mystery School, priestess training and sound and light temple on Earth called The Sanctuary of the Open Heart.

TIER 1: The Learner

The Learner is for the storyteller who wants to focus on learning and receiving.
There is no pressure to produce anything — you’ll do the majority of your creating when you are in class. You may participate in live classes or watch on your own schedule.

I have come to receive, and that is where I succeed.

What’s Included

  • 24 hours of online classes which include the following:
  • 6 classes studying with master teachers
  • 6 training modules
  • 6 workshops on the path of the Sacred Storyteller
  • Online community

Training Modules

You’ll have access to 6 training modules guiding you through the journey of the sacred storyteller. These short instructional videos can be watched on your own schedule and will provide a step-by-step guide down the path of the Sacred Storyteller.

Live Interactive Classes

We’ll meet as a group twice a month to learn and cocreate. You’ll have individual creation time in addition to small-group work where you are witnessed and receive feedback from instructors.

Guest Master Teachers

Get inspired by 6 live, interactive classes with guest master teachers of the craft. You’ll be exposed to a variety of approaches and techniques.

Private Facebook Group

Share what you’re creating and what inspires you, bring your blocks and barriers, and connect with our community between classes.

6 Training Modules

Each month you will receive a training video on the topic of the month. You will have an opportunity to watch on your own or with the group before our workshop class.

Register Here

One time payment of

$897

(you save $89.70)

3 payments of

$328.90

6 payments

$164.50

TIER 2: The Creative Catalyst

The Creative Catalyst is designed for storytellers who want to develop momentum in their creative life and seek ample opportunities to develop and practice their stories and improve their storytelling skills over time.

I want to walk away from this course being able to tell at least 2 to 3 stories, be accountable for my goals, and belong to a small-group cohort committed to my thriving.

What’s Included

Tier 2 includes everything in Tier 1 plus everything you need to support your momentum and growth as a creator and storyteller + access to 28 hours of classes with guest teachers in our archive, weekly emails with writing exercises, and a creative cohort to work with outside of class.

Weekly Creativity Igniters

A creativity prompt will be emailed to you each Friday to inspire your momentum and provide food for thought to work with in your small-group cohort.

Creation Cohort

You will be assigned to a group of 4 who are committed to calling out the greatness in you and your stories! You will be provided a video classroom where you can meet on your own outside of class, and you’ll have one meeting with your group and Leah to go over the structure and format of this group.

Master Teachers Library

Gain access to more than 28 hours of classes with master teachers from 2017 and 2018 programs discussing everything from the philosophical side of story to the embodiment of story. Teachers include Charles Eisenstein, Stephen Jenkinson, Pat McCabe, Michael Meade, Rachel Bagby, and more.

Register Here

One time payment of

$1,397

(you save $140)

4 payments of

$384

8 payments

$192

TIER 3: The Performance Intensive

This is an advanced course (no prior experience required) for storytellers who want to take their stories to the stage. You will explore who you are as a performer; expand your comfort zones as you step into embodying the story; and learn how to develop a relationship with an audience. You will gain confidence with learning the craft of storytelling and the art of producing events.

What is unusual about this performance intensive?

Students receive a portion of the profits from their performance. For too long we have pretended that artists are not valuable and a necessity to a thriving society. This course heals the loop of reciprocation; when people invest the time, energy, and resources to cultivate their gifts into a form that can be given as a gift, they receive in return.

(Please note that Tier 1 is a requirement for the Performance Intensive and must be registered for in addition to personal retreats.)

The Performance Intensive

“The performance workshop was transformative. I not only learned how to write my own stories and perform them confidently, I also learned how to LIVE story. Leah supported me in getting to know a story so well that it embeds into my skeletal structures, flows through my emotional waters, burns through to a personal truth, and finally affects the way I live and breathe. I have loved stories my whole life, and still Leah introduced me to the mysterious transformative power of stories in a way no other teacher has.”

~Melinda Bielas, Storyteller in the 2019 Performance Intensive

What’s Included

RETREAT SETTING

Relax, rejuvenate and create in a rustic retreat setting held by the redwoods north of San Francisco. You will be nourished by catered meals, commune in nature, and soak in the hot tub as you make space to dive into the depths of your story work.

Prepare Your Audience

Discover the behind-the-scenes art to designing a performance and how to increase the engagement of your cocreators and listeners.

Embody Your Gifts

Explore how the story wants to be lived through your body as we investigate the parts that are asking to be expanded and tend to what is constricting and blocking the flow of your creative expression.

Sing to the Genius

Learn how to give and receive feedback as you draw out the best in the stories and storytellers around you.

Develop Production Skills

Collaboratively develop, market, and produce our cocreated performance event. Get hands-on experience in everything that is involved with producing an event so you walk away with confidence, knowing what it takes to bring your stories to the stage.

Receive

Receiving can live on the other side of giving; collect a percentage of the income generated from our final performance.

3 Ways to Attend
the Performance Intensive

“I’ve learned that being a Sacred Storyteller is about so much more than telling stories well. It’s a way of Being in life—of being in service, available to the Divine, in the specific ways that are truest to our own natures. Leah is a masterful guide and a committed advocate for creators and for the Creator in us all and has taught me a new way of being in partnership with inspiration and wisdom. Speak the Spark has been an experience so much more profound than I expected. I’m so grateful for the gifts! ”  Grace Boda, Storyteller in the 2019 Performance Intensive

OPTION 1

In-Person Creative Retreat: Introduction
(No prior experience required; open to 8 students)

3 weekend retreats in the Bay Area, CA

Focus: Solo Performance 

This is an introductory course for those who want to develop their stories for performance. On 3 weekends, we will meet Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon at an overnight retreat center in the redwoods. Meals are catered. Between the retreats we will meet once a month in an online video classroom. Our location is rustic and involves very basic amenities, so you’ll have time and space to connect with the natural world. Camping is an option.

OPTION 2

In-Person Creative Retreat: Advanced Course

In-Person Creative Retreat: Story and Ceremonial Performance

5 weekend retreats in the Bay Area, CA
(This is an advanced course. Interview is required.)

Focus: Working with story as ceremony plus solo performance

We begin by focusing on developing a story ritual around betrayal and forgiveness. We conclude with a solo performance.

OPTION 3

Online Performance Intensive

6 online workshops
(No prior experience required.)

Focus: Solo performance

This is for storytellers who want to take their stories to the stage but can’t travel to attend in-person retreats. This intensive is attended online and will culminate in an online performance. You will develop online marketing skills in this course and learn how to tell a story in an engaging way on camera.

In our 4-hour intensives you will have the time you need to create; break out into small groups; and practice and receive individual coaching.

Registration for The Performance Intensive is by interview.

Please schedule your 20 minute session here:

Schedule for
Speak The Spark

Oct 22nd: INTRODUCTION session.
Nov 5th Guest Speaker  Carolyn Casey
Nov 19th Workshop
Dec 4thrd Guest Speaker Rachel Bagby
Dec 17th Workshop
Jan 7th  Guest Speaker  Deena Metzger
Jan 21st Workshop
Feb 4th Guest Speaker Bayo Akomolafe
Feb 18th Workshop
March 10th Ariel Spilsbury
March 24 workshop
April  7th  Craig Chalquist
April 14th Workshop

In Person Retreats:
Sat 4pm- Mon 11am
Nov 16th – 18th
Feb  8th – 10th
March 28 -30th

Zoom Classes (Mondays)
Dec 9th 5-7pm
Jan 13th 5-7pm
Feb 24 5-7pm
March 16th 5-7pm

FINAL PERFORMANCE Monday, March 30th    

 Semester 1
(Focus: Story Ritual: The Story of Medea and Betrayal & Forgiveness)
Thur 4 – Sat 11 am

  • Nov 14th – 16th
  • Feb 6th – 8
  • Feb 13-15th

Performance: Saturday, February 15th
Story Ceremony: The Story of Medea: Betrayal & Forgiveness

Zoom Calls (Tuesdays)
Dec 10th 5-7pm
January 14th 5-7pm
February 25th 5-7pm
March 17th 5-7pm

Semester 2
(Focus: Solo Performance)

  • March 26th – 28th
  • April 16th – 18th

Performance Saturday, April 18th

We meet Thursdays on our video platform from 10:30am-2:30pm PST
Oct 31st,
Nov 21st,
Dec 19th,
Jan 23rd,
Feb 27th,
March 19th,

FINAL PERFORMANCE (online); March 20th

MEET YOUR GUIDE
Leah Lamb

“LEAH LIVES IN STORY, IT RESONATES IN HER BEING –
AS A TELLER,
AS A WRITER/THINKER,
AS AN ACTIVIST/WORLD CHANGER,
AS A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST ROOTED IN THE ANCIENT.
SHE KNOWS THE ALCHEMY OF MYTH, AND THE MIRACLE OF LIFE,
AND THE TANGIBLE MAGIC OF LANGUAGE PERFORMED.”

~Joe Lambert, Founder of The Story Center

Leah Lamb
Writer I Producer I Transformational Storyteller

Leah Lamb learned about how stories could be allies and friends when she was a child wandering the fields, creeks, and ponds of a rural farm in Vermont.

Her first loves were writing and theater. She started off young in the world of theater, touring with a school of the performing arts and going on to be the youngest person invited to join the ensemble of the Studio Theatre of Richmond, Virginia.

Leah experienced first-hand how stories can unite when her play about suicide, “Berries,” was produced by VA Young Writers for The Theater. She went on to study the Eric Morris technique and the Meisner Technique at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. She worked at Williamstown Theatre Festival and off-Broadway.

Her love of the environment led her to study at Prescott College, where she earned a double major in outdoor experiential education and environmental education through performance. After she worked with youth at risk for many years as a wilderness guide with Outward Bound and other programs, her fourth love—social justice—led her to earn a master’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She continued writing short stories all along the way, but when the Iraq War broke out, she organized a rapid response team of 50 artists to explore American identity during times of military crisis in a live performance called Piecing It Together. In 2004 she produced ENGAGE, a live multimedia performance that brought together the audience with political leaders and local justice groups of all interests to address the issue of minimal youth political engagement.

Leah has created experiences where story can be worked with as a tool to heal, transform, and mobilize: she went on to write and produce the award-winning eco-spot PSA I Did Nothn’, which was aired on Current TV, and she has worked with Active Voice to develop and implement social engagement campaigns that use story as a tool for social change in film.

Leah worked with Al Gore and produced and hosted The Green Channel at Current TV. She has written for Fast Company, Vice, Spirituality & Health Magazine, National Geographic, NewsWatch, GOOD, The Huffington Post, and the Discovery Channel’s Planet Green, and covered the Copenhagen and Paris UN Climate Talks.

And then the journey into sacred storytelling began. It involved a cliff overlooking the ocean and going in for a deep, long listen for a whale of a tale that would eventually become known as Leah’s first novel, The Whale Dreamer. It was in this time that Leah discovered her place in the lineage of mystic storytellers and began her work with Soul Stories. This journey has involved studying with the 13 Moon Mysteries School and Stephen Jenkinson’s Orphan Wisdom School in addition to learning from many other masters of the craft. Leah also produces the storytelling series In Living Landscapes and creates story ceremonies addressing the challenges of our time, including Story of the Witch, which toured San Francisco, LA, and NYC. Leah splits her time between Hawaii and Topanga Canyon.

Your voice is needed.

storytellers

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper.
It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”
~Maya Angelou

Your Love Is Needed.
Your Genius Is Needed.
Your Stories Are Needed.

Storytellers transform the world around us by using one of the most sophisticated technologies on our planet. This tool has the capacity to shape the unseen into a vibration forming words that alter the experience of those in our presence. It’s not just the words that we speak but also the resonance of our voices that transform life for our listeners.
Words can lie.

But when we know how to listen, we can recognize the dissonance between truth and fiction regardless of the words, since we can feel the resonance.

And that’s where storytelling breaks the confines—it speaks in symbol, myth, and archetype in an effort to do what would seem impossible: create a place where the unnamable, the untouchable, and the unseeable can be known.

Why Register Early?

  • All tiers are invited to get an advance start on the reading list
  • All tiers can start accessing our private facebook page
  • All tiers will receive their first assignment + workbook on walking the path to psychic silence in preparation for our work together.
  • Tiers 2 & 3 will be given access to the class archives and can start learning from master teachers as soon as they register

Are you ready to prioritize the creator in you?

Testimonials

FAQs

A: Stories can take time to reveal themselves, they can also take time to integrate. It isn’t always easy to maintain a long course commitment such as this, and yet what you put in will give back to you.

A: My how observant you are! This is true, I tend to have more women in my class than men. This course is open to all who feel the call, and it’s true, if you are a man you may be in the minority here, but please know you are welcome and wanted.

A. It is strongly advised to participate live as often as you can because it is far more fun, and classes are interactive. With that said, the thrill of joining this kind of online format is that you will always receive video and audio of each class within a week of class so you can listen on your own schedule.

A. Yes. All of the above. This course is a 6 month journey into the realms of storytelling and we will have an opportunity to play with many forms.

A. When you register for the course, I invite you to make a commitment to yourself so you can set yourself up for a successful journey based on your time, capacity, and goals. Here is the way it is framed:

  1. I want to absorb, take in, and receive. I’m in that stage of listening, learning, and gathering in. I want to relish in the joy of play and creativity with no goal or outcome in site.
  2. I’m ready to practice and develop my storytelling skills.
    I want to share the stories that are coming to me and through me in a safe environment that doesn’t judge and is based on play and support.
  3. I’m ripe and ready to perform and want to join the performance intensive track.

Once upon a time, one of my dearest friends, Dominique Lando, the very person who suggested I stop reading my stories and start telling them, was out in the New Mexico desert with another dear friend. A rain storm approached. And then lightening came. And as they ran for cover and stood waiting for the storm to pass, Dominique removed her sweater. Sparks flew everywhere, there was so much electricity in the air. “That! She said. I want THAT. The aliveness of life made visible.” I met Dominique years later, speak the spark was part of her email address, and as I hunted for the words that would speak to what we are doing here, it was perfect. May we all have friends who call to and call out and call for the aliveness that lives within so it can be made visible for all to see.

Stepping into the field of storytelling as a sacred form could invite a transformational process. This requires time, commitment and dedication, and at some point, it is very natural to say to yourself, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” (Just imagine what a caterpillar goes through while becoming a butterfly!) For that reason, as your super ally, in support of you taking a strong and  loyal stand for yourself, a 80% refund will be honored with in the first 15 days of the program; after that time no refunds will be issued. Before enrolling in this course, we invite you to ensure that this is the time you are ready to say yes, because the strength of your commitment is a ripple effect that will go through you…through your cohorts, and through your teachers, and create strong binds that go in all directions.

“WE THINK WE TELL STORIES, BUT STORIES OFTEN TELL US: TELL US TO LOVE OR HATE, TO SEE OR BE SEEN. OFTEN, TOO OFTEN, STORIES SADDLE US, RIDE US, WHIP US ONWARD, TELL US WHAT TO DO, AND WE DO IT WITHOUT QUESTIONING. THE TASK OF LEARNING TO BE FREE REQUIRES LEARNING TO HEAR THEM, TO QUESTION THEM, TO PAUSE AND HEAR SILENCE, TO NAME THEM, AND THEN BECOME A STORY-TELLER.”

~REBECCA SOLNIT

“I loved the in-person retreats in the redwood grove. Leah is a tenacious master who would not stop until I met the underbelly of my story and gave it voice.  It was a life-changing experience with a cohort of incredible women, my story-sisters.

~Olg Aura, Storyteller in the 2019 Performance Intensive

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