Alchemy, Symbolism, and the Mythic Journey

Symbolic literature writing course by Marcella Haddad

Next class cohort opens in Spring 2023. Sign up for the newsletter to get first access to register!

Asynchronous on Google Classroom

This 6-module class contains self-study materials in the form of video lectures, notes, readings, guided questions, worksheets, writing assignments, and a culminating week to apply these symbols and structures to your own creative work. We’ll be deep-diving into complex symbolic topics such as the stages of alchemical storytelling, assigning symbolic roles to characters, and how to use mythic story structure. This is an asynchronous class with no live meetings so you can complete the content on your own time.


Module 1: Symbolic Literature

  • Use symbols to activate cathartic storytelling
  • the difference between real life and story space
  • how to consciously use symbolism to tell multi-layered stories

Module 2: Soul Triptychs

  • How characters represent heart, mind, body, spirit
  • the Freudian triptych of Id, Ego, Superego
  • Using triptychs to inspire character interactions in scenes

Module 3: Literary Alchemy

  • The three stages of literary alchemy; Nigredo, Albedo, Rubedo
  • Alchemical characters such as sulfur, mercury, and salt
  • How alchemy can activate stronger character arcs and changes

Module 4: Hero’s Journey

  • Historical importance of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
  • How to use the Monomyth as guidance instead of feeling stifled by structure
  • The most important stages of the Journey and how they mark character growth

Module 5: Heroine’s Journey

  • Maureen Murdock’s response to Campbell and mythological connections to the modern
  • Differences between the journeys; rescue vs. destruction
  • Using mythic structures to explore our modern lives and creative nonfiction

Module 6: Practical Application of Symbolism

  • Using structures and symbolic worksheets to expand our stories
  • Strategies for using inspiration without being overwhelmed
  • How to start writing and revise with new symbols in mind

Tuition is $333 for 6 modules of lectures, readings, assignments, and writing worksheets. You will have access to the material forever after the class ends, as well as access to all future course updates!

ASMJ will open for registration in 2023

Feedback from past ASMJ students:

This class helped me to add a new dimension to my writing.  I grew my toolbox as a storyteller by understanding some of the universal elements seen in so much classic and contemporary work.  I feel more focused and intentional layering in symbolism, character traits, and even emotional journeys now that I’ve studied this content.  Even after taking the course, I’m still referring to the handouts and thinking through the concepts in new contexts and I read and write.

– Lauren Mallik

Thank you for your help with this, and for the whole course of just-exactly-what-I-needed-to-know-about-stories. I am thrilled to be so equipped to take on stories through this project and others.

– J

P.S. Have you taken one of the Mythic Story Structures series with me through Grubstreet? (Literary Alchemy, Soul Triptychs, or Hero/Heroine’s Journey)? Send me a quick email so I can give you a discount link for this class! Although there will be some review from these seminars, I do still recommend watching the lectures because there will be some new notes and connections for you.

Check out other classes I teach