THE MYTHIC TOOLBOX
In ancient Greece, stories about gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters were an important part of everyday life. They explained everything from religious rituals to the weather, and they gave meaning to life.
The characters, themes and lessons of Greek, Roman, Norse and other cultures’ mythological stories have shaped art and literature for thousands of years. They have also inspired scores more recent plays, films and novels.
The Mythic Toolbox program uses Story Image Tools to teach young adults about the importance of ancient mythic, heroic stories and images to the modern world. It also teaches about storytelling and writing and how this fits with the school curriculum e.g., Psychology, History and English subjects.
Some of the greatest minds in history knew of story’s power. One of the greatest storytellers of all time, Plato, knew first-hand that stories could generate images that influence behaviour. Credited with the invention of the first university and highlighting the importance of education, it was Plato’s The Republic, particularly his allegory of the cave, that was used to contrast the way in which we perceive ‘reality’.
Sparta was a warrior society in ancient Greece. At the time, the Spartan warriors were considered the best soldiers in the known world. Training began at age 7 when all Spartan boys left home to go to military school. During their training, until the age of 18, the boys were subjected to rigorous skill-development, exercise and discipline.
Trainee soldiers learnt obedience, endurance, courage and self-control. Though obedience to State does not feature so heavily in modern Western society; the qualities of endurance, courage and self-control are still necessary to overcome life’s challenges.
In The Mythic Toolbox program, participants see arrows as the people or problems that cause them stress or pain (stressors) and the Spartan shields as the positive resources (protective factors) that help them to deflect the arrows. They are encouraged to, symbolically view themselves as a heroic Spartan warrior.