Healing Story Alliance The Healing Story Alliance explores and promotes the use of storytelling in healing.

Imaginative Education Research Group The Imaginative Education Research Group is dedicated to showing how learners’ imaginations can be routinely engaged in everyday classrooms.

John Fox Awakening soulfulness in the human voice through poetry.

National Association for Poetry Therapy Dedicated to healing body, mind and spirit through the creative and therapeutic process of hearing and writing poetry.

National Storytelling Network The National Storytelling Network brings together and supports individuals and organizations that use the power of story in all its forms.

Parabola The Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition is a not-for-profit organization devoted to the dissemination and exploration of materials relating to the myths, symbols, rituals, and art of the world’s religious and cultural traditions.

Poem Hunter Spreading the effects of poems in the social and individual life of people, where a continuous change is undergoing.

Southern Cross Review Review of fiction, education, science, current events, essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy.

Storytellers of Canada The national representative for those involved in maintaining and practicing the oral tradition of storytelling across the country.

Vancouver Society of Storytelling Connecting storytelling with the voices and listening ears of individuals, organizations, and communities. This is done through workshops, monthly events, presence at free public events and by producing an international festival.


Belinda Bruce, 2004-5

We are swinging on a silken thread. Storyteller Abegael Fisher-Lang has paused, hands suspended in the air, and the crowd gathered in the fireside room of the Silk Purse Gallery leans a bit closer, waiting to be brought back into the narrative web. This is the art of good storytelling, an art as ancient as language itself. We have a deep need to tell and hear stories. It is how we share experience, understand each other and create community. Fisher-Lang, a professional storyteller-educator, experienced an early fascination with the spoken word. In her youth, she participated in poetry readings, her imagination sparked by the works of William Shakespeare. She began rehearsing storytelling techniques after the birth of her first child, and cut her first teeth at Vancouver Storytelling Society events held at the Naam Restaurant in Kitsilano…

Storytelling Magazine
January 2005

Possibly there’s no greater change than menopause, aka THE change. There’s no chance of getting through it without living and breathing new stories. For instance, the story of my own body is changing even as we speak, from a shapely little folktale to something decidedly more epic in girth. I used to set the pace and my body would comply effortlessly, but now my body shouts the commands, and the rest of me lines up with complete accord. To rebel would get us nowhere. This is starting to look like a ‘learn as I go by’ time of life, to use a Mexican friend’s delightful rephrasing of the idiom.

So, where are the stories that bring joy and wisdom to this time of change? I was mulling this over not long ago, having been invited to present stories of midlife at last year’s Vancouver Storytelling Festival. One morning, I awoke with the words ‘Crones are the midwives of time passing’ ringing in my head. Beautiful, poetic, I thought, but what does it mean? I told my wise friend Anne, and she shuddered: don’t use that word crone, it’s ugly. How could it be, I answered, the shape of it is smooth and cool and clean. I said crone – stone – bone… moan, hone, tone. I liked it’s opening cutting-into-the-world sound ‘Cr’, like cracking, crying, crow-like. I decided to keep the word ‘crone’, with all its darkness and complexity, and to follow it into story…

West Vancouver Community Arts Council Publications
Susan Woods, 2004

Abegael knows the healing power of storytelling, having spent most of her life enchanting and being enchanted by stories that reveal the truths of life. “Stories are more than simply learning tools for young children. We often lose track of the importance of stories for adults, as a powerful way to envision and create our futures. It’s the way we tell each other who we are, where we’re from, what’s important to us, where we’re going, what our dreams are”. Many of her own stories stem from an early connection with nature in Nova Scotia, and also with the church community in which she was raised. She learned an appreciation for the power of words early, listening to the nuns recite the psalms, and the priests speak the liturgy in a sanctuary filled with music, architecture and light through stained glass. “I remember being in awe of all that. Ritual, with its space, light and voice, filled me with wonder”…

Speak Up Speak Out Canadian Association of Professional Speakers
Vancouver, 2003

Its not just a catchy maxim that the power of speaking can transform the world; it’s been known since ancient times. That’s why all world cultures recognize the story-space with invocations that let people know, Ah! Now the speaking will be different than before, the listening will be different… we are in a new place. Storytelling opens the no-stress listening space that, curiously, facilitates greater learning though it appears that the listener is simply enjoying and responding to a story.

The difference between speaking and storytelling, in a nutshell, is the power of imagination. It is through inviting the muse that a story can transform teller and listener. A wise speaker never memorizes a text, but strives to experience the story through an imaginative rather than a cognitive process. Rendering a story off-page through a series of creative movement and visualization exercises ensures that the teller’s imagination is engaged, and, as if by magic, so is the imagination of every listener. The transformative power of a story arises during this meeting of imaginations, reliant on the inner preparation of the teller…

May/June 2002

The cauldron of story has always been boiling, writes JRR Tolkien in his essay On Fairy Stories. Not only do stories inspire, entertain and inform, they actually “hold up the world’ – no small feat!…Mythic themes mirror a lifetime’s table of contents: new beginnings, tests and quests, initiations, heroes/heroines, true love, meeting destiny, settling he score or noble resolution. The challenge posed by myth is no less than individual freedom; these stories are still so potent today because they honour our soul-sized life dilemnas. Listening to a myth, and participating in creative exercises arising from it, can offer a way of exploration into our own life stories, and may help us understand overwhelming feelings. At certain times, a specific myth may beckon, offering a thread into self. … I had been fascinated with the Greek myth Demeter and Persephone for years, before I recognized that my pain as a daughter had led me to that story. Working with the profound images in the myth was comforting, helped me to comprehend some life-decisions, and strengthened my own joy in mothering…