On the history of The Historia Illius Itineris, also known as “The Movement.”
It’s only an overview and is in no way complete.
By Andrew T. Austin
There was never any intent to create a new movement. In the beginning, all that existed was an idea that the therapeutic exploration of a person’s problem could be vastly improved upon, especially considering the appalling state of psychotherapeutic practice today.
The universe thus conspired that a cast of characters of considerable professional esteem arrived upon the scene and contributed enormously to what was to come next, even if they didn’t know it themselves. Additionally, some of these characters have continued to this with a more deliberate contribution, to whom I am entirely grateful and humbled.
This idea led to a series of observations, key of which was the recognition that significant portions of communication remained unexplored by contemporary methods and frequently appeared to be invisible to both communicator and recipient. This communication was soon proven to be entirely idiomatic in nature.
The next key observation was that this idiomatic communication could yield a large amount of data that was encoded within it. Thus began an exploration in the fields of linguistics and therapy that later came to be known as “Metaphors of Movement.”
One of the earliest presentations of this work occurred high in the mountains of Colorado in 2009 to an esteemed audience, some of whom were appalled whilst others came to be long-term trainees and/or collaborators in the development of the work.
The name, “Metaphors of Movement” was first attributed by Steve Andreas in a blog post review of that high altitude training event. The reference was not as a noun, but rather as a descriptor of some of what had been taught. Thus, lacking a better name, Metaphors of Movement was immediately adopted, possibly with too much haste. It was later determined that Charles Faulkner, one of the brilliant cast of characters mentioned earlier, had used this name in reference to some of his own work featured in “Worlds Within a Word – The Metaphors of Movement and Change” published five years previously in 2005.
Further “workshops” in both the USA and Europe to a variety of different audiences began to give shape to the disparate set of concepts that constituted the early “Metaphors of Movement” work and distinct patterns began to emerge.
By 2012, so much material had emerged from Metaphors of Movement that a more systemic organisation of the work was clearly required. It was decided that the model of “university faculties” would be most fitting, with sections such as “Metaphors of Business”, “Metaphors of Emotion”, “Metaphors of Music” and so on, each structured as though a separate faculty within a central university. Despite initial interest from various parties, this project never quite got started and the whole project stalled for just over a year.
During 2012-2013, a protracted period of poor health meant that I had a lot of free time to be exploring and developing the different aspects of Metaphors of Movement and one startling observation began to emerge which was impossible to ignore. It was found that the inherent structures behind the metaphors of movement practices perfectly paralleled the occult sciences known in the West as “Magick” and that much of the therapeutic delivery of this work remarkably resembled the Western initiatory traditions. As a result, the concept of a separate project to be called, “The Movement”, was developed. “The Movement” was to be a psychodramatic embodiment of the emergent principles that defined Metaphors of Movement as a completely new field in the exploration of metaphoric experience.
Thus, it was unavoidably concluded that the most fitting operating metaphor for Metaphors of Movement would be that of the Western initiatory orders. As a result of this restructuring, creativity began once more in earnest. By separating out the idiomatic linguistic components from their implications and inferences, the geocentric nature of the metaphoric experience was revealed. The correspondences of this geocentric nature are revealed in the diagram referred to as The Compass.
In July 2014, an opportunity to travel to Tokyo, Japan to teach this work presented itself. Taught entirely through translators and devoid of all idiomatic delivery of the work, it was found that with some minor adjustments, these geocentric correspondences could be fitted perfectly, even in a foreign culture and language.
The correspondences form the basis of the rituals of The Historia Illius Itineris also known as The Movement. Admittedly, owing to its connotations “ritual” is a problematic word, but no other word fits the central activity of The Historia Illius Itineris. Each ritual takes the structure of an initiatory experience, again, “initiatory” is also a problematic word. “Initiation” means “to begin” and in keeping with the Western initiatory traditions, learnings occur primarily through dramatic experience rather than direct instruction. The candidate is a participant in a psychodrama in which he or she is led to a variety of experiences which communicate essential information about navigating the metaphoric plain.
So why the ritual and psychodrama? Well, not everything can be taught in a linear fashion. Imagine the difference between explaining the taste of an orange to a naive blind man, giving that same blind man his own orange to taste.
So, as of May 2015, the first three degree’s “dramatic rituals” have been written and completed and membership for The Historia Illius Itineris is now invited.
We have begun.