NEXUS - Mythological Studies
|Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt.|
Nexus is derived from the Latin verb nectere: to intertwine, reminding us of our powerful connection to the mythic world.
Nexus is an educational program founded by Brian Clark and Peter O’Connor to foster the exploration of myth, symbol and image in a contemporary context. Programs offered in the past have included Greek Mythology, Irish Mythology, Gods, Heroes and Dynasties, Aspects of Myth, Mythic Women and An Introduction to Irish Folktales.
with Brian Clark
Journeying into the Mythic
MYTHOLOGY, PART I: Cosmogony and the Olympians
Mythic themes and stories contain psychological truths, which expand our understanding of our selves, our own journeys and our relationships. In this course I will introduce mythology by looking at the meaning of myth, archetypes and cosmogony. The focus of the course will be to study the pantheon of the Greek gods and goddesses in depth. As personifications of archetypal patterns we will explore their mythic themes in terms of psychological development, stages of life and personal meaning.
|Asclepius, the Greek god of healing|
MYTHOLOGY, PART II: Heroes, Heroines and the Dynasties of Ancient Greece
Symbolically the hero personifies the urge to individuate and process of becoming an independent member of a larger collective. The hero is often associated with the Sun as it symbolises the dawning and rising into life as well as the setting or descent into darkness. The heroic journey with its rites of passage, initiations, monstrous encounters and fabulous adventures, which the hero experiences, is akin to the trials and labours of our life. We will look at this archetypal journey, its rites of passage and purpose through the eyes of heroes such as Jason, Heracles and Theseus and the souls of heroines like Medea, Ariadne and Antigone as well as the dynasties that shaped their fate.
MYTHOLOGY, PART III: Myth & Religion: Rituals & Mysteries
Archaic Greece gave birth to many new cults and centres of worship, which grew into sacred sanctuaries known throughout the ancient world. In this course we will examine Greek religion and its relationship to myth through the exploration of the rituals, initiations and mystery rites of some of the cults. Our exploration of myth and religion will take us on a journey through the sacred terrain of the ancient Greek world: Artemis’ initiation of young ‘she bears’ at Brauron, the mystery initiations at Eleusis of Demeter and Persephone, the mystery initiations at Samonthrace, the oracles of Didyma, Delphi and Dodona, and the healing rituals of Asclepius at Epidauros, Cos and Pergamon. We will also journey through time and explore on the fringe of mainstream religion into Orphism and Magic.
|Statue of Apolo found near the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens|
MYTHOLOGY, PART IV: Aspects of Myth
Throughout the course of world mythologies certain themes dominate. These motifs address the concerns, interests, experiences and desires of every human being. In this course we will examine six recurring themes, emphasising Greek myth with references to comparative themes in other mythologies. Some of these archetypal themes include not only our familial and personal relationships but our relationship to the natural world of plants and animals, healing and magic, underworld and other world journeys, all themes that adders a deeper aspect of human life. In this course we will focus on these archetypal themes and how they inspire deeper understudying of our situation.