“Old Myths, Old Gods, Old Heroes Have Never Died. They Are Only Sleeping At The Bottom Of Our Mind, Waiting For Our Call. We Have Need For Them. They Represent The Wisdom Of Our Race.”
I Have spent a few nights dabbling in how I wanted to start this blog… How to properly convey how important mythology is today and of course – to me. The truth is, I probably will never be able fully express my passion for these timeless stories. These moments in history convoluted in magic and battles between deities. I have spent most of my life surrounded by these books and poems. I can’t tell you that the great heroes Achilles and Hector were real, but I can tell you that their stories, their Myths are still relevant today.
These myths and legends often convey timeless and universal themes, which are relevant both in the art of storytelling and in portraying the human experience. Myths and legends also give insight into the values and perspectives of long-gone cultures. Their stories offer clues to how these people lived and what kind of societies they inhabited. For this reason, myths can also show what was different about human life when these stories originated and what has stayed the same.
They have value as literature, offering timeless and universal themes; they give us insight into other times and places; and they help us to see how much humankind had and has in common. A universal connection to the times long ago.
The themes of myths and legends are the same as those that are present in all great literature, just a few of which are man versus man, man versus nature, man versus the gods, man on a quest, family conflict, and coming of age. Most myths include at least one of these great themes and perhaps even several smaller themes. These are in the earliest "stories," the ancestors of all literature that we read today. Even aside from the beauty and creativity of these stories and accounts of historic events, which alone make them worthy of study, it enriches our study of literature today to see its earliest roots.
But with mythology so ingrained into our history, we can ask ourselves were all these stories fictional?
Every culture has its own mythology and these reflect the geography of the culture, the values of the culture, and the history of the culture. Japanese creation myths, for example, reflect the fact that Japan is an island nation, and the sea and its creatures play an important part in these myths. Myths can also tell us what a culture considers ethical, significant, and central to its ideologies, giving us insight into another culture.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that a man used winged sandals to fly from one destination to the next, or the Trojan war was started by a Golden Apple. But just maybe, a man could run so fast, to the spectators, it seemed he was flying. The City of Troy was so great, for it to fall the Gods must have been involved. I like to believe most mythology spreads from a small seed of truth that gets distorted and convoluted by word of mouth. It keeps some of the Magic alive, and I live and breathe that shit.
Regardless of your opinion on Mythology and its cross over into history and today. Mythology is simply subjective truth. Every culture imagines it in a different way. Despite the differences we see in various myths and legends, it is good to know that deep down, people are the same. We want to know how we came to be, we want to understand the natural world around us. The Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world still tie us together and live down deep within us, waiting be reawakened…