Folkloric Futurism

“We are receiving a request to move on still further, from the psychological to the mythological stage […] That understanding is not behind us, but ahead of us.” – Robert Bly.

I am a lifelong writer/performer, and creative space-holder/curator since 2013. Earth and Story saved my life. From 2020 onward, crystallizing in 2022, they are the foundations of the container for my heartwork going forward:

FOLKLORIC FUTURISM.

Myth-inspired earth-centered embodied learning.

The work weaves:

THE OLD STORIES + THE ORAL TRADITION. THE EARTH. EMBODIED CREATIVE EXPERIENCES. EXPLORATIONS OF INNER AND OUTER WILDERNESS. MYTHOLOGIES OF PERSONHOOD AND PLACE. THE BODY AS ORACLE. SOMATO-SPIRITUAL RESEARCH. HOLDING PARADOX. ASSOCIATIVITY / LEAPING CONSCIOUSNESS. DEEP LISTENING.

I give thanks always to Where It All Began: the old stories, the Great Mother and my more-than-human kin (lands, waters, plants, animals…), Dr. Martin Shaw and Mythsinger Daniel “3D” Deardorff, as well as Joseph Campbell, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Marina of ThruBody Therapy, and The Storytelling Circle.

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CURRENT OFFERINGS:

Wild Body Dreaming / Storytelling in the oral tradition – I work with the old stories, stories shared and passed down by our ancestors for thousands and thousands of years. I have a motley crew of stories that have chosen me that I can share in a variety of contexts, including space for listeners to “feed the story.”

The Way Out Is In: Intro Legend Session (1-1.5 hr) – 3-part exploration with archetypes, visualization, journeying/oracle deck creation. Practicing the ability to let go and receive; to walk into landscapes that already exist, to meet beings and guides that are already there (“no thinking required!”). Internally devised and initially made Alive with groups of friends + strangers in Spring 2020.

Ecotherapy session (1-1.5 hr) – Based on my training with The Earthbody Institute and affinity for wilderness vigil framing; possible virtually but especially efficacious when exploring in-person how to walk the land to merge inner/outer landscapes, and create containers and thresholds for receiving/deciphering meaning and metaphor from the wild earth.

– Customized Personal Legend Session (1-1.5 hr) – After the Intro session, it’s possible to continue exploring! We can weave emergent modalities such as: minute moving, creative intuition exercises, visualization and journeying, somatic work, rock poetry, ritual-making, and storytelling. No session is alike <3

Wild School: Interactive lecture/workshop formats for groups, schools, retreats/conferences, etc. – combination of storytelling in the oral tradition, Personal Legend exercises, and sharings/teachings from Corpus Legendarium / my body of work including:

body as compass/oracle, earth connection and reciprocity, developing associativity, deep listening to the land, rites of passage, hero’s journey frameworks, imaginative thinking in mechanical times, mythologies of personhood and place, mental illness/spiritual emergence, suicidality as metaphor, holding tension and dancing the mandorla, kingmaking, why we need the old stories…

LET’S TALK! In-person or online; please email me for more specifics, to talk about your dreamings + how we can collaborate. <3 At the time of this writing I have over a decade of experience in event curation/creation and community organizing, including multidisciplinary outdoor arts events for hundreds of thousands each year. Nothing is too big or too small, and besides, as Daniel Deardorff says: in myth we learn that if it’s not impossible it isn’t worthwhile ;)

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“It’s as if you were born into a family and your mother told you stories before you could even talk. And then something happened and you were kidnapped or your mother died and you were taken away and you were raised by people who didn’t have stories. And then suddenly you stumbled upon, in your life, the stories– and you hear the stories that your mother told you when you were a baby, that you took into your heart before you could even talk. Can you imagine what that would feel like? … These ARE the stories that our mother told us. And the mother that told them to us is the earth that we live on. Because all of these old stories grew out of the earth. And when we hear them we often find ourselves moved to tears.. Because the one in us that is a million years old remembers hearing our mother speak these stories to us, as she cradled us in her arms.” – Daniel Deardorff.

“When we were children, we felt metaphor; we didn’t care what metaphor meant. […] We experienced what was being read to us in our bodies; without our knowing it, the language was the psychic transformation of bodily energy. This huge conversion of energy from the physical to the psychic state, a conversion that constitutes metaphor (metaphor means “a carrying over”) is experienced without being understood. Too often, later in life, the reverse may happen: we understand without experiencing. […] Joined in the reading of a fairy tale, child and adult enact a fusion essential to the wholeness of life that the fairy tale embodies. Our bodies love metaphors because they join our bodies to our soul rather than abandoning them to a soulless state.” – Marion Woodman.

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What the people say:

“I have worked with Audrey Dimola as a myth-carrier, myth-teller, myth-singer and facilitator; I have witnessed the deep, all-encompassing and undeniably potent connection that she has with every story held in her bones; I have been inspired by the passion, care and commitment with which she goes about uncovering the depths of her soul, and then in offering her experiences as a guiding light for others on a similar path. Audrey embodies for me proof of the power that story can have in changing the course of our lives.”

– Brendan Lucia (MA, HCPC, BADth) – Co-founder, The Storytelling Circle

“Audrey is a masterful facilitator – both solo and in collaboration – and a magnetic storyteller. She has a unique gift at weaving together personal history, ancient myth, and political realities, shining a light on an increasingly urgent mental health crisis facing our world today. She is not afraid to explore stories in their entirety and at their most nuanced, modeling a bravery and vulnerability that is contagious to anyone attending to her performance. Bearing witness to Audrey’s talents is, in many ways, a powerful form of time travel: a lesson in holding space for the past, present, and future all at once.

Audrey’s work is essential in the context of transforming and refining our approach to mental health. She is not afraid to dwell in the liminal space of symbol and metaphor and meaning, a space that resonates deeply for those of us who struggle with mental health challenges, or identify as mad, neurodivergent, or disabled. Transformation necessitates engaging with crisis, and engaging in crisis often requires an embrace of all the unique talents Audrey brings and holds in her work with story.”

– Jessie Roth – Director, Institute for the Development of Human Arts

testimonial after Intro Legend Session:

as a trauma therapist, i have been searching for innovative ways to explore grief in my body. the legend session with audrey was exactly what i’ve been looking for. i was guided through 3-4 visual meditations that allowed me to feel less cluttered in my mind, more centered in my body, and i’ve felt directed and focused all week. i’m excited to use these sessions to better connect to my ancestors, intuition, and future self. pro tip: go in with zero expectations and let your intuition take the lead. 10/10 would recommend – sonalee rashatwar, @thefatsextherapist

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Audrey’s Folkloric Futurism bio <3

Audrey di Mola is a NYC-born storyteller and artist, writer/editor/researcher, creative facilitator and sacred space-holder traversing the wilds of the deep heart. She is underworld-grown and Still Alive thanks to the regenerative, healing forces of Earth and Story. In dedication to this gift– her mythopoetic heart-work, dubbed ‘Folkloric Futurism,’ offers wondrous embodied experiences with the old stories in the oral tradition as well as oracular modalities including intuitive inward journeying into our own personal mythologies (with no thinking required!). For over a decade, Audrey has been lovingly gathering souls to safely and artistically explore their inner and outer landscapes, hosting and curating many multidisciplinary events such as Nature of the Muse, Church of the Sacred Body, How We Create & How We Cope: Intersections of Art & Mental Illness, and countless outdoor happenings for hundreds of thousands at Socrates Sculpture Park, where she served as Director of Public Programs from 2016-2021. She is currently a forest school educator, assistant for her late great mythologist-teacher’s Mythsinger Legacy Project, and featured storyteller for Dr. Sharon Blackie’s international Mythic Imagination Network. Audrey has also self-published four books of poetry and prose including ‘WILDLIGHT,’ is forever enlivened by the indomitable spirit of Imagination (and experiencing folks reconnecting easefully and excitedly to theirs!), and is led Onward by the words tatted on her forearms: ‘LIVE YOUR LEGEND’ and ‘A PRAYER TO SEE AND BE SEEN.’

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Related past events:

[Ongoing, starting 2022] Active member of the international Roundhouse Storytelling School; proud event/admin/research assistant of the Mythsinger Legacy Project, carrying the fire of one of my heroes, mythteller and musician Daniel Deardorff (1952-2019)

The Way Out Is In: Letting The Stories Lead Us – workshop for Tam Orlando’s Reclaim Your Creative Expression virtual retreat, storytelling in the oral tradition interwoven with Personal Legend/imaginative journeying – August 2022

Their Ways Are Wise & Wild: An Evening of Storytelling – interwoven with Personal Legend/imaginative journeying, in-person at Earth&Me in Astoria, Queens – July + August 2022

Immersion Session: The Woman Who Married Coyote – for Roundhouse Storytelling School – June 2022

Wild Body Dreaming with Audrey – monthly storytelling sessions for Dr. Sharon Blackie’s Mythic Imagination Network – started April 2022

Moving Through Myth – The Way Out Is In story session (La Loba, The Moon Palace, Prince Lindwurm) for Qoya/Wiracocha Foundation’s fundraiser for the Q’ero weaving women – March 2022

Long-form storytelling events (with breaks for “feeding the story”!) of The Handless Maiden and Parsifal for UK-based The Storytelling Circle – 2021

Integrating the Hero’s Journey into your Life and Practice, presentation/workshop facilitated in collaboration for Institute for the Development of Human Arts – 2021

How to Convert Your Life into Legend: Inside the Hero’s Journey – solo presentation/workshop for Institute for the Development of Human Arts – 2020

THE WAY OUT IS IN – Creative Intuition Sessions piloted online with diverse groups and 1-on-1’s – 2020

THE BOOK OF LEGEND – personal essay and original mythos including the core myth that saved my life – self-published Sept 2019

A Prayer To See & Be Seen: Creative Reframing for Mental Health – 2-part event with guest speakers including documentary screening of “CRAZYWISE” – 2019

PROVENANCE – performative mythology / original ritual theatre on themes of mental illness, spiritual emergence, selfhood and origination – 2018

Church of the Sacred Body – showcase exploring stories held in the body through writing, ritual, and music – 2018

Women Who Run With The Wolves – showcase inspired by Clarissa Pinkola Estés (of course) and weaving story, poetry, music, and ceremony – 2016

MASHUPS! – holding space for a painter, dancer, writer, and musician to riff off each other and improv in the moment for a series of several ‘mashups’ – 2015

Nature of the Muse – fireside literary event exploring the interrelation between polished/edited work and writing that happens LIVE to randomly selected prompts written by the audience – 2013-2015

Upcoming events will be listed HERE.

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Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of dry leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away
– david whyte

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ON A BROADER NOTE / THE IMPORTANCE OF ALTERNATIVES

“There is a place for professional intervention, such as psychotherapy, for some, and psychoactive drugs that help avert acute crises.

However, the idea that these interventions are somehow superior to lifestyle changes, relationships, or non-technical approaches like yoga is an idea that is solely based on ideology and vested interests in maintaining professional standing and power. It is not based on science, and, in fact, may actually defy it.

People are different, and difference from the dominating norm is not necessarily evidence of inferiority and disease. Further, trauma, oppression, and adversity are a part of life, whether we wish to acknowledge or appreciate it or not. And, long-term healing happens through changes in the environment; changes that have been common sense for centuries prior to the advent of industrialization.

Relationships matter. Relaxation matters. Nutrition matters. Hope and purpose matter. Nature matters. Love matters.”

– Noel Hunter, Psy.D., from “Trauma & Madness in Mental Health Services”

REFER TO THE LIST BELOW IF YOU LOSE HOPE. THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY!

There are so. many. alternatives. to the traditional biomedical/biopsychiatric model for healing from/working with “mental illness,” trauma, and chronic stress– and so many ways to move forward from the deeply disempowering “sick brain that needs to be fixed” diagnosis phraseology of the DSM.

This was the deep original root of my pursuance of this Work, after what was perceived as mental health crisis/suicidality, and an eventual Bipolar II + Anxiety Disorder diagnosis (2018), which led me into my current evolutions– from investigating complex trauma and roots of destructive patterning (read my Mad in America article from 2020 here) onward into weaving earth, body, story, and spirit in a continuing and emergent way.

I’m always more than willing to discuss and offer my own perspectives and most helpful experiences/resources, many of which are listed below:

– Yoga (try Yoga With Adriene online!)
– Storytelling
– Hero’s Journey frameworks
– Grief work
– Meditation/Mindfulness
– Ceremony, ritual, and earth-based practices explored safely with initiated guides and practitioners
– The film “Crazywise” (pivotal for me)
– Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy
– Dance and movement
– Somatic Experiencing
– Sensory deprivation floating
– Breathwork
– Working with myth and archetype
– Cold showers / Wim Hof method! (for real)
– Qoya: a movement practice for living wise, wild, and free
Contextual-Conceptual Therapy/Suicide Therapy (which works with METAPHOR as a huge component)
– Ancestral healing work
– Visualization/journeying
– Sound healing
– Plant medicine (CRUCIALLY important who holds ceremony for/with you and can integrate with you afterwards- NOT EVER to be done recreationally)
– Spending time outdoors, in nature, communing with the earth and more-than-human kin
– Health and nutrition (literally, what you eat!)
– Community (retreats, group support, sharing circles)
– Healthy boundaries
– Twelve Step programs (Codependents Anonymous / CoDA changed my life)
– Non-verbal creative modalities like music, art, collage…
– Incredible peer-supported alternatives to the mainstream featuring events, community, Facebook groups, resources, and trainings such as Fireweed Collective (formerly Icarus Project) and the Institute for the Development of Human Arts (IDHA)

You have choices. You have options. You have rights. Remember that.

MORE LIFE. <3

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