Journal Archives

Below are archives from the print issues of Diving in the Moon. If you would like a printed copy of the Journal please contact the National Storytelling Network for prices and availability. Phone: (800) 525-4514

The Strong Women Project ~ Strengthening Our Communities through Storytelling

DIVING IN THE MOON HONORING STORY, FACILITATING HEALING ©Srebrenka Peregrin and Erika Katačić Kožić The storytelling scene in Croatia is still in its fledgling state, but thanks to several dedicated storytellers scattered throughout the country, it is slowly starting to spread its wings. The two of us met at a local storytelling event in 2014, …

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Co-Creating the World Through Story

By Allison Cox. It is kismet.  I take a break from editing storytelling articles to come to the IsleWilde Festival here on Vashon Island Washington, and stories are unfolding all around me. Artists of all kinds travel from near and far to join islanders in creating this weekend pageant where the line between audience and …

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Creating Community Through Storytelling

By Christopher Maier, M .A. People are starving for something that was meant to pass between them but is not presently passing. Call it a vibration if you like, or attention, or love. —Jacob Needleman I was in a university theater, and a man on a bare stage was telling stories. I was weeping quietly …

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Seeds, Mirrors, Hands and Keys: Stories to Support Mourning

by Gail Rosen. Grief is complex, with many qualities, many dimensions, many feelings, and many colors. A number of researchers have tried to define it, or at least lay out the path so that we can walk it with a little more wisdom or peace. It was once thought that there were stages to grief …

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Strong Medicine

by Laura Simms. A strong disease needs a strong medicine. – Mende proverb, Sierra Leone For 10 years, an unimaginable atrocity of civil war took place in Sierra Leone, a West African country, previously known for its hospitality, natural beauty and kind people. Hearing about what occurred there from the lips of children forced to …

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A Traveler’s Tale

by Shawn Small. Our small group of Boise, Idaho, high school students sat under the shadow of the ornate, white-chalk Comayagua Cathedral in central Honduras. We circled up on the ground, most cross-legged, creating an ideal atmosphere to process an exceptionally challenging yet remarkably fulfilling week in the summer of 2007. The soft breeze, brought …

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Stories of Spiritual Transformations

by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD. Major life shifts, including the curing of disease1, do occur following transformative spiritual experiences2. Spirituality has been defined as those aspects of human striving that relate to God, the Divine, the Universe or Largest Whole, Higher Beings, and/or those things that we have construed to be sacred. Spirituality is a …

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From “Once Upon a Time” to “Now I Know”: Healing Story at the Adirondack Arts & Healing Retreat

by Fran Yardley. A number of years ago, a beloved storyteller named Nancy Duncan taught me a valuable technique for eliciting stories and poems from others. She said to start with the phrase “Once upon a time…” and explore what that brings up. Then move to “Then one day…” and do the same thing. Finally, …

From “Once Upon a Time” to “Now I Know”: Healing Story at the Adirondack Arts & Healing Retreat Details »

The Three Little Sheep: A Healing Story Redux

by Sheila Wee. Every now and then storytellers may be asked to come up with a tale to address a very specific medical issue. In 2003,I was asked by the Singapore Health Promotion Board to create a story about asthma to perform at a Polyclinic (community health clinic) event for World Asthma Day. The story …

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Stories Embrace: Readers’ Theatre for Cancer Education in Alaska

by Melany Cueva, R.N., Ed.D. The intent of the Readers’ Theatre, created for my doctoral dissertation, was to open hearts and minds of Alaskan residents to address cancer issues through the reading aloud of, and simultaneous listening to, a scripted conversation. As story, Readers’ Theatre embraces a holistic, interconnected process of living and learning as …

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Playback Theatre: Putting Story on Stage as an Opportunity for Healing

by Barbara Esrig. I have been the Writer-in-Residence with the Shands Teaching Hospital Arts-in-Medicine program and involved in an oral history project at this Gainesville, Florida, facility since 1999. Every week I go to patients bedsides and ask them to share their life stories. I tell them that in every room there is an amazing …

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The Public Voice Project: Creating a Storytelling Program with the Formerly Incarcerated

by Lani Peterson Psy.D. The first Public Voice Project (PVP) was launched in November of 2004 by the City Mission Society in Boston. Over the course of four evenings, seven formerly incarcerated men met for the purpose of exploring the use and effects of storytelling. My participation with PVP was as the storytelling coach. Carla …

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Healing Storytelling: An Old Technique that Reaches the Young

by Lorna MacDonald Czarnota. For the past ten years, I have worked with at-risk youth. One of the facilities I visit regularly is a residential treatment center or minimum- security detention center. Although it originally housed only girls, three years ago the facility added two boys’ cottages. It currently houses up to 30 boys in …

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Peace in the Family: Stories and Skills to Build Healthy Families

by Susan Kaplan, M.S.W., M.P.A. “So nice to know that I am not alone! exclaimed one mother. “Now we can create something that is meaningful to us and not fight about it!” Earlier in the evening, she had shared with the participating families how explosive struggles between her and her daughter had stopped the planning …

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Stories for the Journey

by Nancy Mellon. A sturdy Israeli lawyer and devoted father, Hanan experiences the great joy of storytelling almost every day with his young children. He insists that he would have missed this pleasure were it were not for his wife, Tsipori, who has been practicing storytelling as a healing art for several years in the …

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Personalizing Myth

by Suzanne Montz Adams. I used to think that myths were simply old stories that had little relevance for twenty-first century dilemmas. Yes, I admired their wildly imaginative content, the occasional unexpected twist, and the characters’ fantastical feats; but important to me personally? Not a chance. There was a slight glimmer of contemporary relevance, however, …

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The Three Paths of Transformation; Stories from the Alternatives to Violence Project

by Bobby Seigetsu Avstreih. The Alternatives to Violence Project started in the mid- 70’s by men in New York’s Greenhaven Prison who sought assistance from the local Quaker Meeting in developing ways to lessen the violent prison atmosphere. When I joined in 1986 A.V.P. had both national and international branches. I joined to seek out …

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Stories Transforming the Teller: Sacred Theatre

by Sharon Mathis. As a teller of healing stories, I know that a story invites the listener into suspended time, a landscape of possibilities where even the lies are true. Story creates a vessel big enough for the whole person, with delights for ears, intrigue for the brain, safe places for the heart, and spaces …

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Story and Transformation: A discussion from the HSA list serve

Compiled by Cristy West. Cristy West: I thought it might be interesting to consider what we mean when we talk “transformation” in the context of story. How are we hoping to transform our own lives? What sorts of transformative goals do we have for those we work with? What do we mean when we speak …

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Growing Through Enchantment

by Dr. Brian W. Sturm & Dr. William A. Sturm. There was once a stonecutter who wanted to be the most powerful being in the world. As he was working, the king rode by, and the stonecutter wished to be that king . . . and so it was. He felt powerful as King, very …

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Grief Tales: The Therapeutic Power of Folktales to Heal Bereavement and Loss

by Sunwolf, Ph.D. At nightfall the cuckolded and damaged king ordered another maiden and her slave brought to his  chambers and took his pleasure. As the night wore on the slave spoke,”Mistress if you are not sleepy tell us one of your lovely little tales to while away the night before I must bid you …

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Children: the Forgotten Grievers

by Diane Rooks. “Remember the children,” Matt Heavilin wrote, as he autographed the book for me that he and his mother coauthored. Their book, Grief is a Family Affair, offers many examples of how children are often the forgotten grievers following the death of a family member. Not only do most people think children can …

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The Woodcarver’s Gift

A Tlingit Tale Retold by Cristy West. In the Queen Charlotte Islands there was a young chief whose wife fell sick and died shortly after their marriage.  The young chief was deeply saddened.  No one could console him. Then a wood carver from that village came to the chief and offered to carve an image …

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Mourning into Daylight: The Place of Story in a Bereavement Group

by Fran Yardley. Over the past ten years, I have been following the path of working with healing story often. At first, I wasn’t sure how this would manifest. The 22 years of experience I have had working as a storyteller has taught me that usually, we do not choose our stories; they choose us. …

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Storytelling Unplugged

by Wendy Welch and Jack Beck. StUn (Storytelling Unplugged) is a Scottish non-profit organization, set up in 2000, whose members are tellers, singers, musicians and artists using their skills as practical problem-solving tools with people of all ages and abilities and in all kinds of settings. Prior to the establishment of StUn virtually all of …

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Fight or Flight Into Health: “S” and Cancer

by Tuly Flint. “Go away!” he screamed. “You are being a bad boy! You won’t get any present from me with this crying!” As I entered his room, I was barraged with shrieks from “S,” a four-and-a-half-year-old boy staying in our children’s oncology department. I work as both a social worker and performing storyteller in …

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The Everlasting Healing Power of a Story

By Chris King. When presenting my “How to Tell Personal Stories”workshop at a 1993 Ohio storytelling conference, I shared the story of my son’s bout with cancer in 1989 for the first time in front of a live audience. Finally, I could tell it with the truth and drama it possessed. Why for the first …

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Where Monsters Cannot Enter

by Laura Simms. In a tale from the Caucusus, a girl’s demand brings balance into the world. She requests that the Rose of Paradise be brought to her by her father. Her dangerous confrontation is with a Div and his Div sister, monster- like creatures that guard and covet the Rose, stolen and kept in …

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Bringing Us Back to Life: Building Community in Business Through Ritual and Story

by Seth Kahan. When I visit corporate offices, I so often experience a sense of separation from nature, as if people have forgotten about the sun, the moon, the seasons. Day after day, in climate-controlled hallways and putty-colored cubes, people work ceaselessly to further their organization’s objectives. Have they lost touch with something essential, with …

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Moth To The Flame

by Lorna MacDonald Czarnota. The blood on Becky’s cracked lip had begun to dry by the time she stepped from the bedroom into the living room. The door creaked loudly on its hinges. Becky froze, hoping Jeff wouldn’t wake. The only other sound was a low hiss from the television station that had gone off …

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Opening Pandora’s Box

By Patti Christensen. One of the ancient stories that pops up in modern tales is Pandora’s Box. We hear that if some action is taken it will “open Pandora’s Box” or cause some terrible thing to happen that cannot be undone. An Internet search finds the following uses: “War on Iraq will open Pandora’s Box,” …

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Is There a Storyteller in the House? Telling for Peace

by Caren Neile. Twice in two months this past winter, I participated in peace rallies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. The rallies were held in the “free speech area,” little more than a slab of concrete connecting two sides of the urban campus. Because I teach storytelling at the university and host a …

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The Rising Is in the Telling: Learning from My Elders

by Rosann Kent (and Sarah Moore). When I wanted to understand the role of recall in the aging process, I did what any self-respecting journalist would do: I interviewed the experts. I talked to psychiatrists and psychologists who specialize in memory, researchers who study the mind-brain connection, as well as the pioneers of reminiscence and …

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Healing The Earth: The Guardianship Project

By Jack Maguire. In “The King Has Horse’s Ears,” a traditional Irish story, the king’s barber tells the secret tale behind that title to a tree, the only confidant he can trust. Later, a harp is made from that tree, and, yes, the harp itself sings that tale to a throne room full of the …

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The Healing Power of Nature Images in Story

By Garth Gilchrist. Growing up in the forests of western Washington, wading up maple-canopied streams and scrambling through the branches of big fir trees, I was happy. I still draw on those memories, and the leafy stories they spawned. They provide me with a good deal of my own sense of roots, values and identity. …

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Sharing Our Stories, Intertwining Our Lives: Strengthening Community Ties Through Oral History

by Allison Cox. A small ad on the back page of the local middle school newspaper read: “seniors wanted for oral history project. The Journalism students would like to interview you to learn what life was like in previous decades. Please call if you are interested.” “This newspaper is distributed for free all over the …

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The Tiger’s Whisker

A Korean Folktale Retold by Bonnie Malouf. Once upon a time, many years ago there lived a man and his wife. They were very happy together and kind to each other. They delighted in their life together, working and enjoying life side by side. They kept their house, worked in their fields, and tended a …

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Connecting Across the Years: Storytelling in Assisted Living Centers

by Kathy Murphy. Imagine a small group of older people sitting in a living room. I begin to tell stories. Someone in the audience might fall asleep, or interrupt me, or get up and leave. Or, something magical might happen… I am a freelance storyteller, working mostly with senior adults in long-term healthcare facilities and …

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The Twin Faces of Sorrow: Stories That Help Heal Grief and Rage

by Kimberley King. When I got there, the camp was buzzing like a hive of angry bees. Teenage girls were stomping about, slamming doors, cursing, shouting, threatening to run away. The friend who had asked me to tell stories met me at the car. “We’ve had a major blowout,” she told me. “Maybe you should …

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Cows

by Anonymous. There are stories hidden in our daily food. I dedicate this story to all the women in America with cancer in their breasts. I love cows. I love their lovely dangly pink udders and their patient luminous eyes. I love their milk and drank it every day growing up in the forties, until …

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David and Sarah

by W. Kirk Avery The names have been changed but not what happened. Many years ago now, a simpler time and life space perhaps, what was real then was just never before written down. With each passing season, fewer and fewer folks who actually lived in the village back then are still around even to …

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The Hound of Llewelyn

A Celtic Tale Retold By Angela Cay Klingler. Do you have pets? A cat? A dog? Fish? Birds? How about a snake, iguana or rat? Certainly there are differences between the kinds of pets people have. Take a cat or a dog for instance. One minute a cat will thread itself around and through your …

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A Land Twice Promised: A Conversation with Noa Baum

By Caren Neile. Teller Noa Baum’s new show, “A Land Twice Promised,” details four women’s experience of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The show is based on Noa’s childhood in Israel, as well as on countless stories from her mother, her Palestinian friend Juana LaBolle, and her friend’s mother. In this interview with HSA Social Action Committee …

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Many Happy Returns

by Margaret Jones. Every week for a year, the routine was the same. At 4:00 p.m., I packed my bowl, a bag of rock salt, some small white candles and a story. I then drove five miles to an apartment complex that housed teen parents and their kids to conduct a storytelling session. Each week, …

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Storytelling for a Community in Transition

by Elisa Pearmain. “We are looking for a storyteller,” the acting principal informed me on the phone. “The school is going through a big transition. We are a thirty-year-old alternative public school that has just lost its only principal of 29 years to retirement. We are also being forced to move to a new building …

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Story as Soul Food

by Lorraine Calbow. Teaching for over 20 years, I’ve learned to trust in the power of story. I have observed first hand that metaphor invokes and is indeed the language of the soul. Story, an elongated metaphor, allows indirect learning to occur because each person gets to decide what is relevant and meaningful. Indirect learning …

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