"Myth stands in relationship to mankind in general as a dream does to the individual. A dream shows the individual important psychological truth about himself. A myth shows an important psychological truth which includes mankind as a whole . "

John A. Sanford

Introduction to HE!



"A person who grasps the inner meaning of a myth is in touch with the universal spiritual question life asks all of us."

John A. Sanford



"Myths have no life of themselves. They wait for us to give them body. Let but one person in the world respond to their call, they offer us their vitality unimpaired."

Albert Camus

Prometheus in Hell


"The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stands this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change. "

Joseph Campbell


"We live beyond any tale we happen to enact."

V.S. Pritchett, 'The Myth Makers'


"Myth and history are twins; they represent the ideal and the actual faces of the same reality, The difference is nevertheless important, for history connects us with the past and future whereas myth belongs to the eternal present."

J.G. Bennett

Masters of Wisdom



"Yet through all the variety, one theme is repeated many times. Again and again the effective force is a mystique. Again and again it is the same mystique, variously articulated. Leaders seem to keep looking for the same pattern, and of it is not there, they put it there. This is the pat- tern to which the tale of King Arthur, with his passing and return, gives a mythical form. We might speak of a mystique of transfiguration: The reinstatement of a long-lost glory or promise, as the point of departure for a fresh start, with intervening corruption swept away. On the classical level, 'it is Virgil's return of the Saturnian Age, and the gods before the gods. On the Arthurian level, it is the renewal of the Briton's Kingdom, whether as imagined by Spencer or otherwise. But as a vision in action, it is Israel's repossession of Zion; Luther's deliverance of the pure faith from papal captivity; Hitler' s revival of Charlemagne and Barbarossa; Gandhi's resurrection of buried India. It is Renaissance Italy, reborn; The Erin of saints and heroes; Ghana or Zinabive, reborn. It is the early Chou dynasty reincarnate in Confucius. It is natural Humanity rising like an earthquake under the crust of pseudo-civilization. It is the ghost of the Iroquois confederacy striding into the Winter Palace."

Camelot and the Vision of Albion

by Geoffrey Ashe

St. Martin' s Press


"One of the most uncompromising rejections of early Greek mythology was made by Socrates. Myths frightened or offended him; he preferred to turn his back on them and discipline his mind to think scientifically: To investigate the reason of the being of everything--of everything as it is, not as it appears, and to reject all opinions of which no account can be given. "

Robert Graves

The White Goddess



"In the nineteenth century a phenomenon was always explained by its causes, often at the cost of misunderstanding the phenomenon itself. We of the twentieth century know that a phenomenon, whether individual or collective, can be properly understood only in its creative movement, its archetype, its myth. The Archetype of Europe is simply an infinite quest: Adventure. Noah' s son 'Japheth' was given Europe and Arms and the promise of boundless expansion: 'Dilatatio'. Europe became the meeting place of 7 or 8 different traditions: oriental, Nordic, continental, maritime, individualistic, community minded, rationalist, and magical. The task of synthesizing all of this was undertaken by the Church. Europe is a result of this synthesis." The Gods are within," as Heinrich Zimmer used to say, and they are within our acts, thoughts, and feelings. We do not have to trek across the starry spaces, the brain of heaven, or blast them loose from concealment with mind-blowing chemicals. They are there in the very ways you feel and think and experience your moods and symptoms. Here is Apollo, right here, making us distant and wanting to form artful, clear, and distinct ideas; here is old Saturn, imprisoned in paranoid systems of judgment, defensive maneuvers, melancholic conclusions; here is Mars, having to turn red in the face and ready to  kill in order to make a point; and here too is the wood nymph Daphne- Diana, retreating into foliage, the camouflage of innocence, suicide through naturalness."

James Hillman
Puer Papers
Spring Publications
University of Dallas


   "In plunging into the deep sea of mythology full of monsters and marvels, one is shown a lot in roaming through the depth of the waters, but one is not taught very much explicitly about the very meaning of the features one is privileged to watch in perusing the old tradition. One has to use one's intuition in deciphering these dreams of the collective genius of a great civilization. In fact, Hindu mythical tradition, instead of explaining its amazing features to the understanding, unfolds them to the pious intuition of the Hindu masses; it impresses their imagination and guides their souls by an immediate impact on the unconscious which is stirred to correspond to the dreamlike features and events of the mythological tales as they evolve in being told."

Henry R. Zimmer

Heinrich Zimmer: Coming into His Own

ed by Margaret H. Case


"The mythical content often appears rather like an over painted, tricked out old beauty. Beneath all the frippery there is nothing of the reborn freshness of a youthful figure with radiant countenance, but only a shriveled, corrugated old thing with a rewritten face. Nevertheless, just such long-overripe old beauties are often the very ones to tell best the ancient tales of life; they are better at that, by far, than the young and attractive fascinators. The only problem is not to shudder at the look of them while we are listening."

Heinrich Zimmer


Book: "JOSEPH CAMPBELL: A Fire in the Mind" by Stephen & Robin Larsen

Book: "Mythology" by Edith Hamilton

Book: "Voices of the Ancestors: African Myth" by Tony Allan

Book: "Northern Mythology: From Pagan Faith to Local Legends" compiled by Benjamin Thorpe

Book: "Women of Mythology" by Kay Retzlaff

Book: "Who's who in Classical Mythology" by Adrian Room

Book: "Tree Of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism" by Howard Schwartz

Book: "An Introduction to Greek Mythology" by David Bellingham

Book: "Paideia-The Ideals of Greek Culture" by Werner Jaeger

Book: "Realm of the Rising Sun: Japanese Myth" by Tony Allan

Book: "Land  of The Dragon: Chinese Myth and Mankind" by Tony Allan

Book: "The Mythology of North America" by John Bierhorst

Book: "Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs" by John Lindow

Book: "Gods and Heroes From Viking Mythology" by Brian Branston

Book: "Triumph of the Hero: Myth and Mankind" by Tony Allan

Book: "Great Heroes of Mythology" by Petra Press

Book: "The Wise Lord of the Sky: Persian Myth" by Tony Allan

Book: "Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature" Ed. by M.E. Brown & B.A. Rosenberg

Book: "Myths: Myths and Legends of the World Explored" by Kenneth McLeish

Book: "Asian Mythology: Myths and Legends of China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia" by Rachel Storm

Book: "Egyptian Mythology" by Aude Gros de Beler

Book: "Myths of the East: Dragons, Demons and Dybbuks" by Rachel Storm

Book: "Mythology: Tales of Ancient Civilizations" by Timothy R. Roberts et al.

Book: "Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and Religion" ed by Simon Price & Emily Kearns

Book: "The Encyclopedia Of Ancient Myths And Culture" 

Book: "Mythology of the American Nations" by D.M. Jones & B.L. Molyneaux

Book: "Star Lore: Myths, Legends, and Facts" by William Tyler Olcott

Book: "The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Exploration of Myth expanded and updated edition" by Otto Rank






Back to Chrestomathy           Next Page