Myths of Ancient Greece had a significant impact on the cultural formation of the people of European countries as well as the countries where European citizen massively migrated due to various historical events. These myths entered the culture at the level of archetypes, at the level of the language There are many metaphors we use to describe one or another typical life complexity coming precisely from Greek myths. “Trojan horse”, “Apple of discord”, “Procrustean bed”, “Augean stables” and so on.
“The Greek Myths” deck contains 68 cards with the images of ancient Greek Gods, heroes, plots and magic objects.
Variants of the deck’s use:
«Magic object metaphor». Client’s instructions: “Focus on a question that bothers you or on an actual situation that requires analysis and decision making. Choose the cards that represent objects, turn them over and mix. Pull out three cards randomly. Look at the images on these cards.
How are they related to your situation, what hidden sides they cover? How do you understand the metaphor that reflects the main idea of this subject? How does this reflect in your situation? What additional questions does it arise?”
«Personal myth». Client’s instructions: «Pull out a few cards reflecting your situation. Looking at the pictures, tell us about people interacting in this situation, objects that are significant for its emergence and development, and the forces that influence on it. ” The therapist analyzes the story. Perhaps it will be built on a well-known plot, and the selected cards will refer to the same myth. In such a case, we should take into consideration the development of this story in the original – what is the potential for the hero. In the case of the original story construction, it is being analyzed twice – at the obvious, simple level of searching for analogies with the client’s life history, and at the level of hidden motives and dispositions, in line with the processing of traditional projective tests.
«Mythomaking Client’s instructions: “With the use of cards depicting people, exploits, situations and artifacts, describe the situation of a difficult choice or the conflict that requires solution. Then randomly pull out 4 cards of Gods. Explore one of them, inspire with the spirit of this God or Goddess and think what help he or she would have provided you if you were an ancient Greek hero, and they were your patrons. Each of the four Gods will offer their own version of your situation development or the conflict resolution. As a result, there are four different endings of the same story. Which of these options do you like most of all? What rational grain can be applicable in real life? What could be realized? How could you combine these stories, taking from each something valuable?”
«Family Therapy» The couple should choose from the “Heroes” and “Gods” categories three cards each, which will represent each of them in three states in relation to the partner: What I am, when I feel love for you; what I am when I’m indifferent to you; what I’m in conflict – a card for each role. Ask the partners one after one to describe carefully their cards. What kind of emotions does a person feel looking at the cards? What emotions does his/her partner feel, looking at the cards and listening to the descriptions? Has the partner learned anything new and important? What is the difference between the descriptions of the cards? What is good in the second and third cards? The insights that have arisen at this stage of discussion need to be written down. Next, offer to choose a card from the category of plots or artifacts, which you can reconcile and integrate these three images of “self-concept”.
«Aim & Resources». Sort the cards into 4 sheafs: Gods and Goddesses, people, plots and subjects. From the sheaf “objects” select an open image representing the aim that you want to achieve.
Describe the similarity of the image on the card to your aim. Also in the open choose from the plots a card that will show your way of action in order to achieve this aim, which has not yet led you to success. Then pull out randomly 3 cards with people and with the Gods. People symbolize your internal resources, that you haven’t used to achieve your aim yet and that can help you achieve it. Gods symbolize external help, that you can get if you apply for it. Ask yourself, to whom are these cards pointing at? What external resources, what types of assistance do they mean? After you understand what internal resources you should use and whom to turn to for different kinds of help, turn over the plot cards and check if you have a desire to replace the way of achieving your aim with another card, or support it with another card.
«Working with Losses». In the Greek mythology many people after their death the Gods had taken to the heaven, where they became stars or constellations: Castor and Polydeuces (constellation Gemini), Asclepius (Ophiuchus) and Orion, Pleiades, Persephone (Virgo), Chiron (Sagittarius), Deucalion (Aquarius), Callisto (Big Dipper), and many others. You can help a person to cope with a loss that is hard for him to go through. Ask him to choose cards: What kind of person people thought he was? What kind of person was he for you? What kind of person were you for him? Looking at these cards, tell the deceased person what you want to say – about your mutual history, your feelings for him and about his departure. ” Ask him what he can do for the sake of this loved one, in memory of him? How can you participate in the work of his life? Ask the client to choose a card-symbol of what he wants to send to the deceased to the better world. Now invite him to choose one or more cards of the Gods: “Ask these Gods to take care of your loved one.” And, finally, ask the client to put on the palm a card, symbolizing the deceased.
“Imagine a bright starry sky, blow on the card and visualize how the character from this card flies into the sky and a new star lights up in the sky. Make a visual contact with the star. Now the star your loved one has become will shine to you every night. In order to see it with your inner look you should just close your eyes. Your beloved one is with you forever…”
«Associations Game». In a small group Everyone receives an equal quantity of cards. The leader closes the eyes, the other members of the group with the help of gestures agree who they choose. The leader opens his eyes, and each member of the group hands him one of his cards, which points to the chosen member of the group. The leader should guess the chosen person. It’s allowed to choose the leader too.
«Zigzag Plot». Everyone in the group receives an equal quantity of cards A group is making a story, one by one pulling a card our of the deck and telling their part of the store with the corresponding plot’s changes. The difference from the free story is that each participant changes the plot in his turn: The first one comes up with a happy turn of the plot, the second might think of an unpleasant experience, the third – again an episode of luck or help, a fourth comes up with another problem again, and so on. We finish the story with a traditional happy end.
© Eva Morozovsky