Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

[caption id="attachment_76766" align="alignnone" width="899"] "Cliffs of Moher" by Zach Werner, licensed by Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)[/caption] As we begin a new year, our calendar seems to have a magical effect upon us, triggering a...

[caption id="attachment_76677" align="aligncenter" width="362"] Bonifacio Bembo, Visconti-Sforza Deck, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] As I sat down to write this article, I delightedly cracked my metaphorical knuckles, savoring the irreverent opportunity to use the Fool...

[caption id="attachment_76601" align="alignnone" width="1024"] "Taking A Leap Into The Unknown" by Peer Lawther, CC by 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Every year’s end, I and the inner female circle of my family draw animal cards as...

[caption id="attachment_76420" align="aligncenter" width="332"] The Fool from the Rider–Waite tarot deck by Pamela Colman Smith via Wikimedia Commons, CCO[/caption] This year in the MythBlast Series we’re exploring the symbols and archetypal images of the major...

[caption id="attachment_76231" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Snowy woods. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.[/caption] Dark, dark, dark, dark, dark.  The solstice will have come and gone by the time you read this, but the darkest time...

[caption id="attachment_76169" align="aligncenter" width="834"] A study by John William Waterhouse for his painting The Decameron, 1916.[/caption] "If you sow lightly, you reap Lightly. And a good crop Requires the kind of soil Where seeds sprout...

I am thrilled to write on the MythBlast Series’ monthly theme, “The Heroism of Failure.” Especially on the failure part, because I feel so qualified in the matter—so much relevant content from my past to...

This month, the concluding month of the year, our MythBlast Series theme is The Heroism of Failure. Perhaps it’s proper to explore this topic at the end of the year because in some sense, endings...

[caption id="attachment_75524" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Earthrise. Image Credit: NASA, Apollo 8 Crew, Bill Anders. CC2.0.[/caption] The inscription on the curved aluminum surface reads simply: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon,...

[caption id="attachment_75519" align="aligncenter" width="999"] The Venus of Laussel is currently displayed in the Musée d'Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France. Image via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.[/caption] This month's MythBlast Series highlighted text is Joseph Campbell's Myths To Live...

[caption id="attachment_75494" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Members of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) striking for better working conditions, c. 1970. CC 2.0.[/caption] A few weeks ago, on October 25th, we observed St. Crispin’s Day. I...

[caption id="attachment_75457" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Af John Charles Dollman-Guerber, H. A. (Hélène Adeline) (1909). Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas. Via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.[/caption] Light and dark. Heat and cold. These are some...

A foggy mountain road full of fall foliage and red and orange leaves on the trees and ground. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. CC0. I have noticed over the years, a characteristic of...

"Cosmic Cliffs" in the Carina Nebula. Image taken by the James Webb Telescope 2022. RELEASE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI. Public Domain. “I like the cover,” he said. “Don’t Panic. It’s the first helpful or intelligible...

All Saint's Day in Gniezno, Poland. Photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA. Halloween decorations sprang up suddenly, like giant mushrooms on front lawns all around my neighborhood this week—3 full weeks before the official holiday. (I’m...

Photograph by Flickr Dickson Phua(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). In this MythBlast year of Decentering the Hero, this month’s theme is Fear. We often don’t seem to think about fear in relation to heroism. The heroic deed...

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, c. 1490. Sacred realms. It’s so easy to discuss such a topic in the abstract. But how can we discern and honor such places and spaces in our everyday lives,...

Public domain. The Goddess, on the other hand, is in everybody, in every place, and is every place; the business of recognizing her there is the business of this mythology. Joseph Campbell, Goddesses: Mysteries of...

A postcard showing The Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, California, one of the most famous movie palaces of Hollywood's Golden Age. Image via Flickr user Alden Jewell. CC 2.0. Entering a movie theater is a sacred experience for...

Action figure of Anakin Skywalker. Photo by Eric Mesa, 2014. CC. After a lengthy journey full of hardship and struggle, the final threshold has at last been crossed. The dragon’s been slain, the maiden rescued,...

Borghese Dancers: a marble relief depicting the Hours, the goddesses of time in Greek Mythology, accompanied by the Graces. Rome, Italy, 2nd century CE. and now found at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. Original photo...

Lyngvig Lighthouse in Denmark. Alexander Stielau, 2017. CC 2.0, via Flickr. Joseph Campbell states in A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living that: Nietzsche was the one who did the job for...

Sky Woman from "Earth on Turtle's Back." Detail of a photograph by Steve Grant, 2011. Via Flickr, CC 2.0. Recently I had an appointment with a dental hygienist I’d never met before. Making small talk,...

Gigantomachy frieze of the Pergamon Altar: Athena contra Alcyoneus. Photograph by User:Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Let’s begin by reminding ourselves that the term “the unseen aid,” along with so many other potentials...

[caption id="attachment_23995" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Marshall Beach sunset. Romain Guy, 2012. Via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.[/caption] It's interesting how a book can show us a crystal-clear picture of who we were, are, and maybe even will be....

[caption id="attachment_23983" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Justice. Public Domain.[/caption] All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth Is Change. God Is Change. This is the central verse of Earthseed,...

[caption id="attachment_23968" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Foggy mountain view. Public Domain.[/caption] The theme for July at JCF is Community, a term that draws all sorts of positive, warm and fuzzy projections today. In its broadest sense, a...

[caption id="attachment_23957" align="aligncenter" width="1590"] Detail from a vintage magazine illustration. Via Flickr user x -ray delta one. CC 2.0.[/caption] From Correspondence: 1927 – 1987 (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell): [Barbara Morgan (July 8, 1900...

  [caption id="attachment_23944" align="aligncenter" width="733"] Joseph Campbell with his sister Alice Chartres in Paris, c. 1928. Copyright ©Joseph Campbell Foundation (jcf.org). All rights reserved.[/caption] When I was in graduate school studying mythology, I volunteered in...

[caption id="attachment_23934" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Smoky Sunrise No 2 by Mike Lewinski, via Flickr. Taos, New Mexico, 2017. CC by 2.0.[/caption] When I lived on a mesa in northern New Mexico, one summer night I left...

[caption id="attachment_23930" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Trickster Door by Lizgoldner, via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0[/caption] Stories of heroes and their exploits occupy an important place in the collective imagination. The hero leaves the familiar, struggles through...

[caption id="attachment_23925" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Mirror of Venus, by Edward Burne-Jones. 1875. Biblioteca de Arte / Art Library Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. Public Domain.[/caption] “The axiom is worth recalling here, because mythology was historically the mother...

[caption id="attachment_23879" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Hamlet statue at Gower memorial to Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Photo by Flickr user Sheep Purple, 2008. CC by 2.0.[/caption] Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they...

[caption id="attachment_21229" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Joseph Campbell and Jean Erdman, 1955. Joseph Campbell Foundation.[/caption] I am standing in a Hawaiian graveyard looking down at the final resting place of Joseph Campbell. My wife is in the...

[caption id="attachment_23873" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] "Doorway to Uxmal," by Hobie Caldwell. Uxmal, Mexico, 2016. CC 3.0.[/caption] Who’s not intrigued by boundaries? The markers of where a thing ends and another begins. Or they can be approached...

[caption id="attachment_23863" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Candlelit prayers during the Buddhist observation of Wesak in Thailand. John Shedric 2014. Creative Commons.[/caption] “Individualism is perfectly fine if the individual realizes that the grandeur of his being is that...

[caption id="attachment_23855" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Art and math intersect at the Taj Mahal. Aleks Krotoski, 2010. CC 2.0.[/caption] Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius. William Blake, Proverbs of...

double exposure

[caption id="attachment_23846" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Double Exposure, by Bill Reynolds, via Flickr. CC by 2.0.[/caption] This month in the MythBlast Series, we’re exploring the relationship of blurred boundaries to heroism. Anyone who has ever been in...

[caption id="attachment_23825" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Isadora Duncan in New York during her visits to America in 1915-18.[/caption] In this MythBlast, I want to contrast the words of the dancer Isadora Duncan (as quoted by Joseph Campbell...

[caption id="attachment_23783" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Matilda Lawler and Mackenzie Davis in the HBO Max series Station Eleven.[/caption] In the first essay of his collection The Ecstasy of Being, “The Jubilee of Content and Form,” Joseph Campbell...

I first heard of the 11th-century bronze Shíva Naṭarāja statue in 1991, while watching Power of Myth—the television series that made Campbell famous in Brazil, at least to me and others of my generation. In...

[caption id="attachment_23792" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] De val van Icarus, Crispijn van de Passe (I), after Maerten de Vos, 1602 - 1607. Courtesy of Rijksmuseum. Public Domain.[/caption] To begin, I offer you two words:  Atychiphobia. Kakorrhaphiophobia.  Dive...

[caption id="attachment_23766" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Bored wolf by Johnathan Nightingale, 2015, via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.[/caption] The Joseph Campbell Foundation MythBlast Series has spent March musing about The Adventure and reading Campbell’s Pathways to Bliss which,...

[caption id="attachment_23760" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash[/caption] In 1968, singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson tried to make a phone call and heard a sound familiar to anyone that remembers the age before cell phones....

[caption id="attachment_23742" align="aligncenter" width="640"] "The Frog King," 1912. New York Public Library, CC0 1.0[/caption] Myths do not ground, they open. James Hillman In The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Campbell revealed the myth of the...

[caption id="attachment_23736" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash.[/caption] Joseph Campbell reminds us in Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation: Perfection is inhuman. Human beings are not perfect. What evokes our love...

[caption id="attachment_23726" align="aligncenter" width="762"] Cover, The King Who Saved Himself from Being Saved by John Ciardi. Edward Gorey, 1965.[/caption] Heroism and Adventure, the theme of this month’s MythBlast Series essays, seem to me to be a...

[caption id="attachment_21231" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Jean Erdman performing her piece “Ophelia” in 1972. Image by the White Barn Theater.[/caption] Jean Marion Erdman (Feb. 20, 1916 – May 4, 2020) was a dancer and avant-garde theatrical artist who...

[caption id="attachment_23703" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Mark Rylance as BASH CEO Peter Isherwell alongside Meryl Streep as President Orlean. Image courtesy of Netflix.[/caption] Despite all rumors to the contrary, Don’t Look Up is not about climate change...

[caption id="attachment_23696" align="aligncenter" width="788"] Albert Bierstadt, Evening on the Prairie. ca. 1870. © Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.[/caption] In a crisis our life often feels out of control, as if we have lost our quintessentially human...

At first glance, the frivolous dilettante seems an unlikely aspect of the archetypal hero. In the outcome-driven culture that most of us inhabit, dilettantes are creatures of a certain derision: we see them as dabblers,...

[caption id="attachment_23657" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Father Time with hourglass and scythe. Frances Brundage, 1910. CC BY-NC 2.0.[/caption] Welcome to another New Year, still in its childhood—a toddler beginning its adventure. Popular culture routinely portrays the New...

[caption id="attachment_23654" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Tête-à-tête. Edvard Munch, 1894. The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956. Public domain.[/caption] Although Joseph Campbell is often pegged as a partisan of Carl Jung, he begins The Hero...

[caption id="attachment_23649" align="aligncenter" width="2042"] Image credit: Disney[/caption] In circles where myth is a topic of discussion, the name Disney has sometimes brought about unsympathetic commentary, and often for justifiable reasons. The perceived bastardization of the...

[caption id="attachment_23626" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Photo by Javier García on Unsplash.[/caption] In 2022, the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s MythBlast Series will take an in-depth, year-long look at the Hero. However, this exploration of heroism will be more...

[caption id="attachment_21231" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] The dancer and choreographer Jean Erdman performing her piece “Ophelia” in 1972. Photo credit to White Barn Theater.[/caption] A theme behind Joseph Campbell’s The Masks of God, Volume 4: Creative Mythology...

[caption id="attachment_23532" align="aligncenter" width="720"] One of the murals at the Maya site of Bonampak, showing a procession of musicians. Created c. AD 580–800. Photo by Jacob Rus, 2004. CC 2.0.[/caption] We now enter the festivals...

I should probably warn you about bad puns and purple prose inbound this week. This month's theme is Return and Campbell spent a lot of time thinking about this topic, specifically in his analysis of...

[caption id="attachment_23405" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] From a series of six plates, etched by Hollar after drawings by Giulio Romano from the collection of Nicolas Lanier. Palazzo Te in Mantua. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London). Public...

[caption id="attachment_23392" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Paul Henry, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Heritage Gift from the McClelland Collection by Noel and Anne Marie Smyth, 2004[/caption]...

[caption id="attachment_23384" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) explores the confines of his new home on Arakeen, capital of Arrakis. Courtesy of Warner Bros.[/caption] The release of Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Frank Herbert’s influential sci-fi...

[caption id="attachment_23376" align="aligncenter" width="728"] A snail crawls over moss. via Creative Commons Zero (CC0).[/caption] “We all know the myth of the four ages—of gold, silver, bronze, and iron—where the world is represented as declining from...

[caption id="attachment_23361" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Courtesy of A24 Films.[/caption] One of the many magical qualities of stories is that we can go to them again and again, discovering something new with each return. As we mature...

[caption id="attachment_23351" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] An abandoned house in Kolmanskop, Namibia, being overtaken by the Namib Desert. Photographed in 2006 by Damien du Toit. CC 2.0 via Wikimedia.[/caption] There is something about existence that has been...

[caption id="attachment_23333" align="aligncenter" width="1730"] Rural cooking pot repaired with Kintsugi technique, Georgia, 19th century. Cropped version of the original image by Guggger submitted to Wikimedia Commons. Used via Creative Commons 4.0.[/caption] October is metamorphosis month. ...

[caption id="attachment_23328" align="aligncenter" width="976"] Christian Convery, 11, as Gus, a hybrid child who is part-deer, part-human. Promotional image for Sweet Tooth (2021) from Netflix.[/caption] Change is in the air. Again. As usual.  The climate is...

[caption id="attachment_23322" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] The Love Song, by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. 1868–77. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Public Domain.[/caption]  For the rest of the year, we at JCF are highlighting the final volume...

[caption id="attachment_23317" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Alice, through the looking glass. Guildford Castle Grounds, Guildford, Surrey, England. Colin Smith 2012. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.[/caption] Do something, you change. Do nothing, you change. Fight change, you...

If we ever wanted to find a contemporary exemplar of living myth par excellence, we would need to look no further than the UFO phenomenon—especially with the recent video leaks and subsequent Pentagon disclosures on...

“People often think of the Goddess as a fertility deity only. Not at all—she’s the muse,” Joseph Campbell elucidates in Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine. “She’s the inspirer of poetry. She’s the inspirer of...

[caption id="attachment_23268" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] Art for Billie Eilish's 2021 album Happier Than Ever. Press photo.[/caption] A passage from the Homeric Hymns tells us of a goddess that stretches out her bow and fires her creation...

[caption id="attachment_23261" align="aligncenter" width="720"] "Goddess with Flares" from the portfolio "On Fire", by Judy Chicago, 1972. Printed 2013. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment.[/caption] This month...

[caption id="attachment_23253" align="aligncenter" width="2160"] Labyrinth. Misch Kohn, 1955. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase.[/caption] “And my understanding of the mythological mode is that deities and even people are to be understood in this sense, as...

[caption id="attachment_23221" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Jason Sudeikis in “Ted Lasso,” now streaming on Apple TV+.​ Photo courtesy of Apple TV+, 2020.[/caption] A man stands at the mouth of the Forest Adventurous, “where we meet our adventures...

[caption id="attachment_23210" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Parcival arrives at the Grail Castle, to be greeted by the Fisher King. From a 1330 manuscript of Perceval ou Le Conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes. Artist unknown. Public...

[caption id="attachment_23195" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Joseph Campbell and The Grateful Dead photographed at Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA on November 01, 1986. © Jay Blakesberg. Used with permission.[/caption] Amidst the tales of chivalrous...

[caption id="attachment_23168" align="aligncenter" width="720"] A statue of King Arthur at Tintagel, Cornwall. Public Domain.[/caption] The chocolate cake is on the table. I mean the thick, moist, rich, exquisite, multi-layered chocolate cake. It has been divided...

[caption id="attachment_23157" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Athena's Medusa shield: Part of the 42 foot Athena statue inside the replica Parthenon at Nashville's Centennial Park. Photo by Brent Moore, 2008, via Flickr. Used under CC BY-NC 2.0.[/caption] This...

[caption id="attachment_23149" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Empty Hands. Valerie Everett, 2011, via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0[/caption] However, one has to recognize a distinction between the ends and means of devotion and of science; and in relation to...

[caption id="attachment_23142" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Dev Patel, The Green Knight. Photo by Eric Zachanowich.[/caption] Games have long been a compelling presence in mythology. The origins of the Kurukshetra War between Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic poem...

[caption id="attachment_23123" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Parthenon in Athens. Photography by Andrew Baldwin, 2010, via Flickr. CC 2.0.[/caption] This month, the MythBlast Series is centered on Joseph Campbell’s The Masks of God, Vol. 3: Occidental Mythology. Given...

When I was invited by Dr. Mary Watkins, director of Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Liberation Psychology program, to volunteer to teach a correspondence course with inmates from a California state prison, I responded to her request...

[caption id="attachment_23092" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cotton Candy Skies. Lyle58 via Flickr. Creative Commons.[/caption] One more idea: mythology as the second womb—it must be constructed of the stuff of modern life. The tendency of the clergy is...

[caption id="attachment_23081" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Japanese Postcard: Teahouse and Garden. New York Public Library. Public Domain.[/caption] While in Tokyo on Wednesday, April 20, 1955, Joseph Campbell wrote in his journal about an item he read in...

[caption id="attachment_23078" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Fresco around the niches of the Columbarium depicting scenes from everyday life. C. 50 AD. London, British Museum. Creative Commons.[/caption] The journey into the mythic imagination which opens the abyss of...

In Chapter IV of The Masks of God, Vol. 2: Oriental Mythology, Joseph Campbell supplies his readers with a quote from the Buddha’s Fire Sermon, a dharma talk focused on renunciation and developing an “aversion”...

Life is hard; it wears us out. We are worn down by the tooth of time as well as luckless circumstances that are well beyond our personal control. We are worn down by people, especially...

The pathways that guide people to the land of myth are many. For me, it was a path called art. Growing up in a small town in East Texas, storytelling was in the very air...

[caption id="attachment_23024" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Constellations, by Dorothe. Creative Commons.[/caption] “Read myths as newspaper reports by reporters who were there and it doesn’t work. Reread them as poems and they become luminous,” [9] writes Joseph Campbell...

[caption id="attachment_23008" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Theatre with cut-out actors, by Thomas Quine. Creative Commons 2.0.[/caption] One of the things that I find endearing about Joseph Campbell is that frequently in his writing, as well as his...

[caption id="attachment_22983" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Lotus on water. Creative Commons.[/caption] Campbell was fond of talking about dualities and how getting beyond them forms a critical part of the hero’s journey: dualities like finite and infinite, transcendent...

[caption id="attachment_22977" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. Illustration to The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. Édouard Manet, 1875. Public Domain.[/caption] Edgar Allan Poe once wrote a little piece called “The Imp of the...

[caption id="attachment_22967" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Decameron. John William Waterhouse, 1917. Public domain.[/caption] There is a story from the ancient Hebrew tradition in II Samuel 12 where a king spots the beautiful wife of a young...

[caption id="attachment_22957" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Close-up of multiple flowers at Carlsbad flower fields. Creative Commons.[/caption] Once, a very long time ago, the Buddha preached a sermon to his followers by saying nothing at all. Instead of...

[caption id="attachment_22944" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Lawrence Ferlinghetti gets Parking Ticket, 1960s, by Gary Stevens. Creative Commons 2.0.[/caption] This month in the MythBlast Series, we’re focusing on Joseph Campbell’s Masks of God, Vol II: Oriental Mythology. On...

[caption id="attachment_22909" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Oblique view of Saha, on the far side of the moon, facing west. Command/Service Module Casper directly above Saha W, and Earth at right above horizon. Taken from the lunar module...

[caption id="attachment_22904" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Art exhibition "Dis/Connect, 2015". Cropped still from video by the artist, Illma Gore. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.[/caption] Art, among other things, is...

[caption id="attachment_22882" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Ulysses and the Sirens. Herbert James Draper c. 1909. Public Domain.[/caption] One of Campbell’s last projects, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion, was developed from...

[caption id="attachment_22858" align="aligncenter" width="720"] The Sacrifice of Isaac. 6-8th century, Egypt. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Public Domain.[/caption] In The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and Religion, Joseph Campbell writes that the...

[caption id="attachment_22759" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Persephone. Lila Oliver Asher, 1972. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Used via Smithsonian, CC0.[/caption] “Mythology is the womb of mankind’s initiation to life and death,” states Joseph Campbell in his collection of...

[caption id="attachment_22757" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Two herons and a goose. Unknown artist, Edo period (1615 - 1868) Japan. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, used via Smithsonian. CC 0.[/caption] Anytime I read,...

There is no doubt that Joseph Campbell’s words sing – and not just his prose, but the titles he chooses as well: The Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Masks of God, The Inner Reaches of...

[caption id="attachment_22715" align="alignright" width="1024"] Tzompantli at Templo Mayor, Mexico City. Photo by Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata. Creative Commons, via WikiMedia.[/caption] All roots are dark, and the deeper they go the darker they get until they...

[caption id="attachment_22686" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Picasso, son oeuvre, et son public, from La Série 347. Christies, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.[/caption] “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint...

[caption id="attachment_22655" align="alignright" width="720"] Four Drawings of the Myth of Apollo; Decoration of a Wall over a Mantel, Sala di Apollo, Palazzo Cavina, Faenza. Felice Giani, 1816. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Public Domain.[/caption] The...

[caption id="attachment_22636" align="aligncenter" width="720"] The Child and the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season 2, exclusively on Disney+. ©2020 Lucasfilm Limited &™. All Rights Reserved.[/caption] Modern technology has given us more ways than...

[caption id="attachment_22606" align="aligncenter" width="720"] "Mictlantecuhtli (left), god of death, the lord of the Underworld and Quetzalcoatl (right), god of wisdom, life, knowledge, morning star, patron of the winds and light, the lord of the West....

[caption id="attachment_22464" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Full Moon over Wukoki. Wupatki National Monument, National Parks Service. Public Domain.[/caption] Over the coming year, we at the JCF MythBlast Series intend to explore Joseph Campbell’s great work, the four-volume...

Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Photo by Tyler Lapkin, 2018. This September marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. One of the reasons I am so proud and honored to...

Penelope and the Suitors. John William Waterhouse, 1912. Public Domain. When Penelope tells her story to the stranger, who is Odysseus in disguise, she reveals how the loom strategy she used to keep the suitors...

Japanese Pied Wagtail and Red Lotus illustration from Pictorial Monograph of Birds (1885) by Numata Kashu (1838-1901).

Japanese Pied Wagtail and Red Lotus illustration from Pictorial Monograph of Birds (1885) by Numata Kashu (1838-1901). CC. Joseph Campbell’s volume Asian Journals includes an essay called “Hinduism,” in which Campbell shares a mythological overview...

Ganesha statue. Public Domain. Joseph Campbell thought a lot about the differences between Eastern and Western mythologies, and one of the key distinctions he identified lies in the degree to which the absolute truths that...

Room In New York by Edward Hopper, 1932. Public Domain. The myths of the Sámi people speak of Beaivi, a sun goddess that brings healing to those whose mental and psychological health has been damaged...

[caption id="attachment_19992" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Pondering: Climber on Smith Rock ponders his next move up Monkey Face. Steve McClanahan, 2016. Used under Creative Commons license.[/caption] In his book, The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, Joseph...

[caption id="attachment_19977" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Tie-dye by Lisa Ann Yount, 2007. Public Domain.[/caption] Recently, I engaged in verbal combat with a friend over whether Joseph Campbell would have liked the TV show Game of Thrones. Imagining...

[caption id="attachment_19921" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Isadora Duncan, c.1915. Photo by Arnold Genthe.[/caption] In his book The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, Joseph Campbell demonstrates not only his insatiable curiosity and wide-ranging, omnivorous mind, but also,...

[caption id="attachment_19899" align="aligncenter" width="2019"] "Flamenco." Photography by Flavio Grynszpan, 2011. Used under Creative Commons license.[/caption] It is easy to glamorize the gifts and benefits of artistic creativity, the unique sense of transcendence it brings to...

[caption id="attachment_19879" align="aligncenter" width="720"] A door to a balcony overlooking the ocean at Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Taken by Flickr user Christopher V. San Juan, Puerto Rico. April 2012.[/caption] Soul seeks a life that...

The Hero's Journey®

[caption id="attachment_17226" align="aligncenter" width="720"] The Hero's Journey® (from Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Novato, Ca: New World Library, 2008), p. 210. Copyright © 2008 Joseph Campbell Foundation. The Hero's Journey is a...

[caption id="attachment_19821" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Spectators at Iowa football game, The University of Iowa, 1950s. Courtesy of the University of Iowa Libraries' University Archives.[/caption] In 2015, Time Magazine ran a piece exploring why student athletes struggled...

[caption id="attachment_19796" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus. J. M. W. Turner, 1829. Creative Commons.[/caption] Published by New World Library for the Joseph Campbell Foundation in 2012, Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction witnesses many of Campbell’s...

[caption id="attachment_19748" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Moon Rising Over Craftsbury, by Bernard Lebleu. Craftsbbury, Vermont.2015. Used under Creative Commons license.[/caption] "Get up!" Through his sleep, Freddy Bliss vaguely heard the agitated voice, but he was unwilling to...

Campaign buttons, by Russ Walker. 2010. Used under Creative Commons.

[caption id="attachment_19707" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Campaign buttons photo by Russ Walker, 2010. Used under Creative Commons license.[/caption] “Politics.” It is the word of the moment. One might even say it’s the word that exemplifies the age...

Sign up for our popular weekly taste of myth and its relevance today along with occasional news and special offers from JCF!