Category: MythBlast

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Engaging The Renewing Feminine Within

“People often think of the Goddess as a fertility deity only. Not at all—she’s the muse,” Joseph Campbell elucidates in Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine. “She’s the inspirer of poetry. She’s the inspirer...

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Billie Eilish and the Transforming Artemis Archetype

A passage from the Homeric Hymns tells us of a goddess that stretches out her bow and fires her creation into the world. “The peaks of mountains tremble. The forest in its darkness screams...

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Ego, Irony, and the Goddess

This month the MythBlast Series is focusing on Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine which is, I think, a tremendously important contribution to the Campbell oeuvre edited by the gifted Safron Rossi (who is...

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To The Female God of the Labyrinth

“And my understanding of the mythological mode is that deities and even people are to be understood in this sense, as metaphors. It’s a poetic understanding.” Joseph Campbell, Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine,...

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The Power of Tenderness: Ted Lasso, Grail Hero

A man stands at the mouth of the Forest Adventurous, “where we meet our adventures when we are ready for them.” (Romance of the Grail: The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Romance, 116) He...

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The Healing Integrity of Love

Our featured volume this month in the MythBlast Series is Joseph Campbell’s Romance of the Grail: The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Myth. There is much to like about this lovely volume as it...

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Rhythms of the Grail

Amidst the tales of chivalrous knights and exciting Arthurian quests that Joseph Campbell unpacks in Romance of the Grail: The Magic and Mystery of Arthurian Myth, he makes an intriguing observation about how the...

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The Principle of Honor: A Poor Substitute for the Real Thing

The chocolate cake is on the table. I mean the thick, moist, rich, exquisite, multi-layered chocolate cake. It has been divided so that each guest may have two pieces. As it turns out, one...

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Lions and Tigers and Athena, Oh My!

This month we turn to Campbell’s volume Occidental Mythology. For most of us raised in the West, Western mythology is where we get our start investigating myth, and that means the Greeks. For me,...

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The Blessing of Spiritual Poverty

However, one has to recognize a distinction between the ends and means of devotion and of science; and in relation to the latter there is no reason to fear a demonstration of the derivation...

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The Mythical Game of The Green Knight

Games have long been a compelling presence in mythology. The origins of the Kurukshetra War between Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic poem The Mahābhārata begin over a game of dice. Mythologist David L. Miller...

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Virtue and Democracy

This month, the MythBlast Series is centered on Joseph Campbell’s The Masks of God, Vol. 3: Occidental Mythology. Given that we in America are celebrating the fourth of July on the day this MythBlast...

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Incarcerated, But Not Imprisoned: Joseph Campbell’s Hero Myth

When I was invited by Dr. Mary Watkins, director of Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Liberation Psychology program, to volunteer to teach a correspondence course with inmates from a California state prison, I responded to her...

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A Lover’s Quarrel With the World

In Chapter IV of The Masks of God, Vol. 2: Oriental Mythology, Joseph Campbell supplies his readers with a quote from the Buddha’s Fire Sermon, a dharma talk focused on renunciation and developing an...

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Poetic Imagination: The Rich Language Of Image And Metaphor

“Read myths as newspaper reports by reporters who were there and it doesn’t work. Reread them as poems and they become luminous,” [9] writes Joseph Campbell in Myths of Light as he invites us to cultivate...

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Flirting With Reality: At Play in the Play of the World

One of the things that I find endearing about Joseph Campbell is that frequently in his writing, as well as his lectures, he displays a palpable enthusiasm for certain subjects. When I read Myths...

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The Jewel In The Lotus

Campbell was fond of talking about dualities and how getting beyond them forms a critical part of the hero’s journey: dualities like finite and infinite, transcendent and immanent, sacred and profane. The blooms of...

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The Blooming of Truth: Campbell on the Mythic Past

Edgar Allan Poe once wrote a little piece called “The Imp of the Perverse,” and I do believe that there must be in the fashioners of piously held beliefs, all over the world, an...