The literal definition of the word “Mythology” is “a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.” A lot of folks I mention mythology to say something along the lines of “I like it. I know it’s fake, but I think it’s fun” or “Mythology is fake, why should I pay attention to any of it?” Valid! What I believe is that mythology is certainly not “fake”. I can only tell you what it means to me, for we all must experience our own truths..
The stories may have been written from the imagination (as far as we know), but mythology in itself is certainly very real and holds many truths and clues about the spiritual potential of mankind. It teaches us to use our imaginations, emotions and intuition to see beyond just a story. The myths are very descriptive..colorful..dramatic, full of journeys, magic, dilemmas, creatures etc. When we see a lesson or a moral with our imaginative power, we see it not only in a very powerful way, but we have the ability to see it and feel it with our own unique perspective, which makes it personal.
Some of my favorite myths (primarily norse mythos) tell tales of heroes and gods who are fallible and flawed, but have great hearts and intentions for their quests. Their imperfections become lovable. Perfection is simply, kind of boring. Striving for perfection instead of being in the moment and living life as you are, when and where you are. Think of the seven dwarves from Snow White..All of these characters are named based on an imperfection that makes them lovable. When we see these principles in the mythos, we have an incredible opportunity to see that we can appreciate mankind’s imperfections and even our own personal ones. Instead of trying to “fix” or rebuke them, we can embrace them and move forward. That’s just one petal of the lotus that mythology is.
Mythology also serves to help us to look inward. For instance, the dragon is a common theme in mythology, especially European mythos. What does the dragon do? He lives in a cave..guarding gold and virgins. These are things the dragon cannot make use of, yet the dragon guards them fiercely. The dragon is slain through what is usually not only an adventure of grand voyage, but of self discovery as well. The dragon is slain when the hero is ready to slay it on a physical and spiritual level. The dragon is a representation of our ego. It lives within, guarding things it can not make use of, but still holds onto with a fierce sense of purpose. When we look inward and acknowledge the dragon’s existence, we have to decide if it is something we want to face, acquire the courage to face it and then prepare ourselves on a physical and spiritual level to face that which is in us. Mythology is also an incredible expression of the different archetypes that man embodies without even being conscious of it.
We see this in nature, when animals are born and immediately begin to do what is in their best interest without even half a second of hesitation. We have this in us too and myths serve us well by displaying some of those attributes, helping to trigger the instinct in us all in order to move ahead with the lives we want to live. As you can see, myths embody imagination, emotion, morals and even give us a look into the psyche of man.
There are many different areas of Mythology and its wonders that can encompass a thousand pages..and hey, I’d love to do that! That is part of my intention with this incredible community. It is my hope that the perspective of mythology continues to shift and that mankind will continue to see it for what it can offer us.
What has your experience with mythology been?
Blessed Be, +Josh Hammond