Sacred Mysteries: Myths About Couples in Quest
Author: Evans Lansing Smith
We should remember that for the ancients, the underworld was both infernal and Elysian; it was a dual realm, part hell, and part heaven. Like marriage. Like any relationship that lasts longer than three months. Sacred Mysteries explores the wonderful treasury of myths and folktales about marriage bequeathed to us by our ancestors, and which we must pass on to our descendants. What we see in the magic mirror of these myths is that deeper part of ourselves created by the marriage relationship. Sacred Mysteries retells and analyzes those myths and tales of marriage and relationship which involve a hero journey to the otherworld. It focuses on the archetypal symbolism in these marvelous stories, in order to provide a magic mirror of myth in which to reflect upon the mysteries of our relationships – their sorrows and joys, their ups and downs, their losses and recoveries. Joseph Campbell once remarked that marriage is a sacred relationship because it breaks down our egos, but thereby opens us up to a deeper dimension within ourselves. James Hillman would agree, and call marriage a “soul-making” journey, one that takes us down into the depths, where the mythic images of the soul lie buried. Sacred Mysteries celebrates and illuminates the ups and downs of couples on the quest. It focuses exclusively on myths, ballads, poems, stories, and folktales about couples who undertake a journey to the otherworlds within the soul – worlds only marriage and relationship can open up to us.