Mythology as we know it has a couple of different components. Primarily, mythology conjures scenes gods and goddesses in resplendent elegance or fierce battle. Every society to have ever existed has acknowledged powers greater than themselves: things like light and dark, flood and drought and the changing of the seasons. It’s easy for us today to see how placing these things within spirits that resembled human beings was a way to make sense of a chaotic and often dangerous world and to make someone or something other than ourselves accountable for life’s difficulties and blessings.
The second part of mythology is the stories of human or semi-divine heroes: men and women who went to the extremes of human existence and thereby highlighted the peaks of what we are likely to experience in our own lives. Things such as sadness at illness, grief in the face of death, love and all of its many strings and the need to fight for our own space in the larger world are all taken to almost super-human ends to demonstrate hope and courage. Continue reading