Category: MythBlast

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Tracking the Wild Feminine

Our world is deprived of images of the Goddesses. That is not to say they don’t exist, but they are buried, hidden, and disguised in our culture, or they have been misunderstood and polluted....

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Languishing Poets and Longing in Temples of Cinema

Entering a movie theater is a sacred experience for me. My only routine public confrontations are with those that ignore the warnings about respecting the sacredness of the experience. Living in Los Angeles, I...

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Once a Hero, Always the Hero?

After a lengthy journey full of hardship and struggle, the final threshold has at last been crossed. The dragon’s been slain, the maiden rescued, the treasure recovered, and the kingdom restored. As our Hero...

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The Many Faces of the Goddess

In our physicalist, rationalist, demythologized, deconstructed and utterly modern world there is but little space in our mental field for what is deemed to be spurious, goddess notions. At best, the goddess is an...

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Skywoman’s Sacred Creative Power

Recently I had an appointment with a dental hygienist I’d never met before. Making small talk, he asked me what I do. I told him I’m a mythologist, which means I study stories that...

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Archetypal-Mechanics from an Unseen Aid

Let’s begin by reminding ourselves that the term “the unseen aid,” along with so many other potentials for that title like “the Great Mother,” “the psychopomp/guide-of-souls,” “the wise old woman or man,” etc., are...

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Meditation in a Former Chapel

On my first day of graduate school I became aware that the auditorium in which we gathered had formerly been a church. Despite efforts to secularize the place, a clear liturgical signature remained: a...

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Truth or Consequences

All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth Is Change. God Is Change. This is the central verse of Earthseed, a religion promoted by the teenage...

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At the Party: My Selves and Sundries

From Correspondence: 1927 – 1987 (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell): [Barbara Morgan (July 8, 1900 – August 17, 1992) was an American photographer best known for her depictions of modern dancers. She was...

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Releasing the Dreamings

  When I was in graduate school studying mythology, I volunteered in the archives that housed Joseph Campbell’s papers. My job was to create high-resolution scans of Campbell’s personal photos—baby pictures, childhood, youth, adulthood,...

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Why Not Dance?

Stories of heroes and their exploits occupy an important place in the collective imagination. The hero leaves the familiar, struggles through the dreaded dark night of the soul, and emerges as savior, role model,...

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Living Myths for Transformation

“The axiom is worth recalling here, because mythology was historically the mother of the arts and yet, like so many mythological mothers, the daughter, equally, of her own birth. Mythology is not invented rationally;...

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Love Will Make You Do Crazy Things

Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things....

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Reflections upon a Hawaiian Graveyard

I am standing in a Hawaiian graveyard looking down at the final resting place of Joseph Campbell. My wife is in the car with our eleven-month-old grandson, waiting. Waiting for me to come to...

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Reimagining Boundaries and the Gods Who Inhabit Them

Who’s not intrigued by boundaries? The markers of where a thing ends and another begins. Or they can be approached as meeting places where distinct phenomena bump up against each other. Or they can...

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The Sacredness of Rituals

“Individualism is perfectly fine if the individual realizes that the grandeur of his being is that of representing something,” writes Joseph Campbell in The Hero’s Journey. “Even representing a system of ideals and images...

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Temptations of Clarity

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius. William Blake, Proverbs of Hell The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason. G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy...

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The Boundary-Blurring Nature of Myth

This month in the MythBlast Series, we’re exploring the relationship of blurred boundaries to heroism. Anyone who has ever been in psychotherapy is likely to be familiar with the no-nonsense injunction to have clear,...

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The Rhythmic Cadence of Life

In this MythBlast, I want to contrast the words of the dancer Isadora Duncan (as quoted by Joseph Campbell in The Ecstasy of Being) with my own thoughts on rhythm. Rhythm in art and...