Your Hero’s Journey® Redux: A Mythological Toolbox PlayShop 2015 July 12-17

Sunday Evening, July 12 to Friday afternoon, July 17, 2015
Facilitated by Robert Walter, President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation

For years, Joseph Campbell celebrated his birthday at Esalen Retreat Center in Big Sur, California. To explain why, he would tell of Carl Jung’s wondering, “What myth am I living by?”— and when he realized that he didn’t know, writing “I took it upon myself to get to know ‘my’ myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks.” “That’s what a birthday is for,” Campbell would conclude, “and what Esalen is about.” In March 1988, five months after Campbell’s death, several of his friends again gathered at Esalen for “Campbell Week” — a tradition that has endured. Eventually these festivities were dubbed “A Mythological ToolBox” to acknowledge that familiarity with Campbell is not needed to retool the myths that shape one’s life — though a sense of humor certainly helps.

littlebobWe are delighted to announce that we will be offering our second Mythological Toolbox PlayShop at Spillian — the sole location for this workshop on the East Coast after 30 years at the world-famous Esalen Institute. This workshop is facilitated by our good friend and colleague Robert Walter, Joseph Campbell’s editor for a decade, president of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and a poet/playwright with several decades of experience as group leader, teacher, publisher, and theatrical producer/director/designer. Come and experience the Hero’s Journey® in creative, chaotic, joyful, and challenging play.

During this week together, we’ll recall dreams and rekindle visions using such mythmaking tools as drums and dance, music and song, masks, medicine bags, and altars. Our mix of individual, small-group, and collective activities will provide opportunities for both reflection and expression. Who were you? What mise-en-scènes inspire your biographical saga? What treasures have you banished to the basement or secreted in the attic? Who are you? What’s displayed in your home or dangling from your rearview mirror? Who do you aspire to be? What face do you envision in the mirror? What remains on your bucket list? If you dare to revision yourself, then join our summertime rituals of rebirth. Please bring a meaningful but expendable totem and an unsung story or evocative song.

Recommended reading: Campbell, Myths to Live By, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and The Power of Myth.


Your Hero’s Journey® Redux: Mythological Toolbox Workshop Schedule
This workshop is five days long,beginning on Sunday evening, July 12, at 7 PM and concluding Friday, July 17, after lunch.

  • Hero’s Journey Redux® attendees are welcome to arrive any time Sunday afternoon after 3 PM.
  • Please bring comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Yoga class on the porch in the mornings if there’s interest!
  • We also can arrange a massage for you at $100 for 90 minutes. Please make arrangements with us for this when you make your reservations.

Workshop Fee: $765
Includes all programming, materials and meals.
Daily commuters welcome!

Accommodations at Spillian
Room Rates: $700 for five nights, single or double occupancy.
(20% off our regular room rate!)

800-811-3351 for more information!

  • camelotroom2brynnyeagerSpillian has eight delightful rooms. Please check here for more information on each room!
  • Most rooms have a queen or king sized bed; the Jules Verne Room has two full sized beds.



Additional Accommodations

If our rooms are all booked by the time you make your reservation, don’t despair! There are a variety of other lodging options in the area. Please don’t hesitate to call us for assistance.

  • River Run Bed & Breakfast in downtown Fleischmanns (five minute walk)
  • Pine Hollow Lodging for some really lovely vacation rentals of varying shapes and sizes around the area (ranges in distance)
  • Breezy Hill Inn, in a country setting right outside of Fleischmanns (five minute drive)
  • Streamside Apartment, a charming apartment designed by NYC green interior designer Cheryl Terrace in the village of Andes  (20 minute drive)
  • The Roxbury, a world-class, award-winning, brilliantly funky themed motel in Roxbury. (20 minute drive)
  • Motels: There are also a handful of small, independently run budget motels in the area — a couple just minutes walk away. These can be something of an adventure, so please call us for more information.
  • Camping. Please call us for suggestions!
  • If you have your own accommodations, you are welcome to join us for the workshop as a commuter. At this time, we don’t charge an additional commuter fee.


Spillian Meals

platterSpillian offers a superb, innovative re-imagination of mountain/camp cuisine, and we offer vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options at all meals. The Catskills are a growing hotbed of sustainably farmed  and foraged edibles, and we do our best to serve as much local, organic food as possible. We also offer very special hand made dark chocolate (sometimes even raw) by our talented Culinary Curator and Chef Melissa Zeligman, who is a trained chocolatier. We also have a wonderful collection of locally crafted teas.



Spillian Bar

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We also have a full liquor license and offer an array of hand-selected artisanal wines, beers, and spirits. We have some truly extraordinary locally crafted spirits and beers on hand, and our bartenders delight in creating custom drinks using these very special libations at our cash bar.



Spillian Estate




The house was built in the 1880’s as part of a summer cottage compound by the Fleischmann Yeast family, and is a museum quality example of Stick Style architecture. It is paneled in clear pine, with unique original oil murals on the walls, a deep porch that is perfect for sipping a drink and watching the light change in the evening. We have free wifi throughout the house, lots of good books, and comfortable couches to relax into when we aren’t in session.


Spillian Grounds

Heartwood2We have a delightful 33 acre parcel crisscrossed with a network of old carriage roads and trails that are being brought back to life by the New York New Jersey Trail Conference this spring and summer. (We are proud to serve as the Southern Catskills Outdoor Classroom for NYNJTC). These are easy to walk, and ramble through hemlock forests, past small springs and moss-covered ruins, and into small meadows. There is also a wonderful little pond just down the hill from the house that is a perfect spot to stick your toes in the water and watch the frogs. Please wander! And please know that we are in the deep woods here — we have a great deal of wildlife, including bear.


The Area

view1This area of the Catskills is wild and delightful and doesn’t feel like you’re only a couple of hours from Manhattan. We are booked the weekend before this workshop, but if you are interested in staying through the following weekend so you can explore the area, please let us know! We will be delighted to help you build a weekend that meets your Catskills fantasies — there is extraordinary hiking and boating in the area, along with mountain biking, tubing, birding, antiquing (we have a whole village of antique books down the road from us), Woodstock just 20 minutes away, and more. Just let us know you’d like to stay and we will make a magic weekend for you.


Questions and Reservations!

We’d love to answer any questions you might have! Click here for some FAQ’s, but please don’t hesitate to let us know if you’ve got any other questions for you. Please contact us at 800.811.3351 to register!