Mythology Cafe: Abu Kasem's Slippers with Catherine Svehla, PhD

Abu Kasem’s Slippers: Good Luck, Great Deals, and Courting Calamity

Myths and stories are among our oldest teachers. As Joseph Campbell often said, myths still provide the guideposts to life---- but we must find them. Even the humble folk tale has something to show us if we are willing to learn, to be surprised or challenged, as well as delighted. Please join Catherine Svehla and Phillip Rosenberg for an entertaining telling of Abu Kasem’s Slippers, followed by conversation about (and with) this folk tale.

Abu Kasem’s Slippers is a Persian story from a collection by Heinrich Zimmer, edited by Joseph Campbell called The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul’s Conquest of Evil. It's a funny and thought provoking look at how we unwittingly tempt fate. How do good luck, great deals, and calamity find us?

Catherine Svehla and Phillip Rosenberg, have a longstanding interest in myth and story, poetry and music. Catherine has a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is a writer, scholar, artist, and storyteller. She blogs about the ongoing relevance of mythology at “Cultural Mythology: Myth, culture, and consciousness” ( and hosts a weekly radio show called “Myth in the Mojave,” Saturdays at 3PM PST online at Radio Free Joshua Tree (

Phillip is a singer/songwriter ( and published poet. He plays the drum to create space for the stories and enhance Catherine’s telling of them. Together they lead the High Desert Mythological Roundtable Group in Joshua Tree, CA, where myths and stories are the primary teachers.


As usual, meetings are free, but we would welcome small voluntary donations to be forwarded for the maintenance of the Joseph Campbell® Foundation's Mythological RoundTable® Program.

Please allow 90 minutes for this meeting.

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  • Marie T.

    I enjoyed it very much.

    August 25, 2013

  • colleenwhalen

    Fascinating, Scintillating, Alluring

    August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member


    August 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Regret I cannot make this event because I am a Second Saturday artist and must be in my studio. But, I do want to be informed of future events. Thank you!

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • colleenwhalen

    Many blessings to you...I am an Iranophile and a Sufi. So very happy to know you will have a classically trained storyteller spin a tale of ancient Persia's mystery, majesty and mesmerizing splendor!

    1 · July 31, 2013

  • dawn w.

    I'm so disappointed. I had already made plans to visit family in Reno on the 10th and I forgot about it. I'm happy to see them but really regret missing this.

    July 30, 2013

    • Jeanne A.

      We'll look forward to seeing you next time you can come.

      1 · July 30, 2013

  • dawn w.

    I'll stay posted about future opportunities.

    1 · July 30, 2013

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