Welcome to Cultural Mythology!
A lot of people don’t think that we have myths anymore, but we do. Mythology is not just a bunch of old stories or wacky things that less sophisticated people used to believe. Human beings are myth-makers, creating order and meaning from the chaos of the world and reaching into the unknown through the use of metaphors and narratives. Or to borrow a phrase from the world of computers (this is the internet after all), myths are the programs running in the background of our lives and our culture.
Our myths are the background of our belief systems and ideologies. They appear in the everyday, unquestioned assumptions we make about what is “true” or “false.” Truth is a very contentious issue these days and we are witnessing the rise of many forms of fundamentalism. This is dangerous, even deadly. But we can restore some balance, fluidity, and tolerance by becoming conscious of our myths and our myth-making process.
I’m very interested in change and transformation, for myself and for others. The mission of Cultural Mythology is to:
• Share myths and stories and educate people about their continuing relevance as personal and cultural tools and treasures.
• Support and nurture the emergence of mythologies that create a more beautiful, just, and sustainable society.
• Champion imagination as a crucial and fundamentally human facility. The crisis of imagination precedes all others!
As Joseph Campbell demonstrated, myths and stories, old and new, are still valuable and relevant for us because they provide guideposts along the journey of life. Our myths and stories carry the secret of what it means to be human. They help us to understand what we value and therefore why we should endure, what we are living for, and serving with our hands and our hearts. I tell stories because we need them--and it's fun!
I am a writer, artist, and storyteller with a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute. I lead the monthly High Desert Mythological RoundTable in Joshua Tree, CA and facilitate workshops on what it means to adopt a mythic perspective in one's life and work.
I hope you find this blog useful and provocative. Please feel free to comment and to contact me.
Walk in beauty,
Dr. Catherine Svehla