Myth is all around us and that’s a good thing!
Seeing the world mythically helps us to make sense and participate with greater satisfaction.
One way of understanding mythology is as a body of stories, practices and beliefs shared by a community. Historically, this shared understanding served to create cultural cohesion. Now, it seems, we are all living in different realities. So many world views coexist! We cannot assume commonality, but must recognize and honor the plurality of our experiences. And it is equally important that we build connections between our views. This can only happen if we allow ourselves to explore and share our beliefs and motivations. Shining a light within leads to many surprising discoveries. Exploring that deep, rich, inner terrain is the work of depth psychology.
Mythos-Sphere is grounded in a depth psychological understanding, which values bringing awareness and expression to psyche in its myriad forms. To study psyche, we can look to dreams and intuitions, creative expression and the exploration of the imaginal, and we can also look to the world–not only events, but also places, things, creatures... Anima mundi names the idea that psyche exists in everything. The term originated with Plato, and is seminal to the work of archetypal psychologist James Hillman. Similar concepts are found in other philosophical traditions.
Following Hillman’s understanding of psyche as continuous throughout world, the Mythos-Sphere process begins with awareness and attunement to location. Through reverie and imaginal dialogue, we open the door to intuitive communication and the deeper truth that myth provides. Through creative practice, we bring the imaginal into conversation with the material. Giving form to ideas nourishes us in a way that nothing else can, but this needs time and space: time and space to explore and notice, to get your fingers dirty, to follow a thread and see where it leads, to strengthen your personal artistic vision, to discuss your work in a supportive environment... For all this, you need to commit the time and space within which it can happen, something which has, unfortunately, become uncommon in 21st century America. Such work done in community and grounded in place has unique potential to build awareness of self, other and world. While over-reliance on intellect leads to tension and anxiety for self and society, working together on a creative-making project is relaxing and enjoyable, and has great potential to transcend difference and enhance interpersonal understanding.
Learning to see the mythologies in which we live brings value, meaning and richness to our lives. Humans have always lived within mythic systems and continue to do so. Yet, in today's world we need new opportunities to bring awareness to the experiences of myth and ritual, if we are to benefit from the gifts these practices offer us.