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Angela Gregory as a young artist

[caption id="attachment_19668" align="alignright" width="212"] Angela Gregory as a young artist[/caption] The art of letter writing has been significantly threatened since e-mails and text messages brought about faster and more efficient ways to communicate with words....

The recent OK, Boomer brouhaha both amused and bemused me, and made me think (surprise!) about Star Wars and Joseph Campbell, not that I needed an excuse. If you managed to miss it, so-called Millennials...

https://flic.kr/p/5NsmsK The Grail by Alice Popkorn. Used through a Creative Commons license As we begin the new year, I express my gratitude to Evans Lansing Smith for so skillfully editing Joseph Campbell’s research and writing...

Navaho sand painting to a Blessing Chant. New Mexico, c. 1950

[caption id="attachment_19386" align="alignleft" width="200"] Navaho sand painting to a Blessing Chant. New Mexico, c. 1950[/caption] In his 1986 publication The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, Campbell turns to a Navaho sand painting of a Blessing...

Enough is a feast by Arul Irudayam. Used through a Creative Commons license

[caption id="attachment_19326" align="aligncenter" width="799"] "Enough is a feast" by Arul Irudayam. Used through a Creative Commons license[/caption] Here in America, November marks the celebration of Thanksgiving, and we at JCF have adopted the theme of...

Scar (photo by Daniel Pasikov; used though a Creative Commons license)

[caption id="attachment_19189" align="alignleft" width="300"] Scar (photo by Daniel Pasikov; used though a Creative Commons license)[/caption] Scars are curious things given an even more curious name: the word scar is derived from the Greek word eschara,...

The Return of Jason (red-figure kalyx, Etruscan, Italy, c. 470 B.C.)

[caption id="attachment_19169" align="alignright" width="300"] The Return of Jason (red-figure kalyx, Etruscan, Italy, c. 470 b.c.)[/caption] I myself have been traveling around quite a bit, these years, from one college campus to another, and everywhere the...

Death on a Pale Horse (by William Blake, pen and watercolor on paper, England, c. 1800)

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="335"] Statue of a skeleton as the Grim Reaper (Trier Cathedral, German, c. thirteenth century; photo by Jbuzzbee, used through a Creative Commons license)[/caption] The exploration of death in this MythBlast is...

This month at JCF we are entertaining the theme of harvest. I’m not imagining a solely agrarian notion through which to explore that theme, but rather am  also referring to the harvesting of the fruits...

Diana and Actaeon (marble metope, Hellenic, Sicily, c. 460 B.C.)

[caption id="attachment_17969" align="alignright" width="300"] Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers (from Episode 6: "Masks of Eternity")[/caption] What is it that brought you to Joseph Campbell?  I remember distinctly what it was...

The Handless Girl (Gordon Brown, illustrator, Fairy Tales from Grimm, print, England, 1894, public domain)

“The Handless Maiden,” collected by the Brothers Grimm, is one of the most complete stories of feminine individuation in fairy tales. It addresses the wounding of the feminine by the patriarchal shadow, but it also...

Growing up in East Texas, I was afraid of exactly two things—funerals and poison ivy. I occasionally had nightmares about having to attend the local rituals of the dearly departed. To be fair, many of...

Parzival in the Waste Land (from Parsifal or the Legend of the Holy Grail, illustrated by Willy Pogany, print, United States, 1912)

[caption id="attachment_17895" align="alignright" width="214"] Parzival in the Waste Land (from Parsifal or the Legend of the Holy Grail, illustrated by Willy Pogany, print, United States, 1912)[/caption] Who will tell the stories if not You? Who...

Once heroes have endured the longest nights and defeated the mightiest monsters, once they have stared death in the face and survived to tell the tale, their journey is by no means over.  What may...

This month we in the US celebrate the genesis of our country, marked by the signing of a document establishing the sovereignty of 13 colonies and establishing their collective intention to form an entity unlike...

Tristan and Iseult

In the field and scope of mythology, those of us who think or work in and around myth often discuss the apparent absence of a contemporary mythology. In conversation, Joseph Campbell sometimes noted that we...

One of Joseph Campbell’s key innovations was mapping his model of a heroic story-cycle onto so-called “rites of passage” as they were so eloquently dubbed by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (1873–1957). Centuries earlier, however, the...

Melancolia by Albrecht Dürer (print, Germany, 1514. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of New York.)

Resurrecting the Hobgoblin of Doubt [caption id="attachment_17306" align="alignleft" width="203"] Daphne transforming to escape Apollo — from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Painting by Piero del Pollaiolo, Italy, fifteenth century. Public domain.)[/caption] We love our myths, don’t we? We...

Joseph Campbell, circa 1982

The deeper my relationship with Joseph Campbell, the more I see him everywhere—and not just what I come across for the Campbell in Culture posts I help curate. The references we hear about, the overt mentions, are...

In his 1944 preface to A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake, Joseph Campbell calls Joyce’s book “…a kind of terminal moraine in which lie buried all the myths, programs, slogans, hopes, prayers, tools, educational theories,...

[caption id="attachment_16392" align="alignright" width="182"] James Joyce, author of Ulysses, c. 1915 (Photo by Alex Ehrenzweig)[/caption] I recently had the pleasure of reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming—a story, eponymously, about Michelle’s “becoming,” grateful for the accessibility of...

Handwritten fragment from a piece of Joseph Campbell's fiction (Copyright © 2018 Joseph Campbell Foundation)

W.H. Auden once remarked that a real book reads us, an observation that seems right enough to me, and certainly seems right to apply to the work of Joseph Campbell. After all, Campbell spent his...

The Joseph Campbell Foundation will soon be releasing an ebook publication of Campbell’s Myths of Light, an utterly charming little book in which the attentive reader will be able to discern Campbell’s joy and exuberance...

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