The Personal Myth Spread

What are the details of the Myth that you're starring in right now...?
What are the details of the Myth that you’re starring in right now…?

What if you were the main character in a Myth? Imagine your life story being recast in archetypal form, like you were a figure in some tale out of something like Greek or Norse Mythology, or Egyptian, Aztec, Slavic, Yoruban…you name it. Your life is a hero’s journey… But exactly what tale is it??

Here's Atalanta, priestess of Artemis, immortalized in bronze by Paul Manship in 1921 for her prowess as a huntress, her devotion to her Benefactress' ideals, and for her unparalleled foot-speed...what attributes of yours will be cast in metal by some admiring craftsperson??
Here’s Atalanta, priestess of Artemis, immortalized in bronze by Paul Manship in 1921 for her prowess as a huntress, her devotion to her Benefactress’ ideals, and for her unparalleled foot-speed…what attributes of yours will be cast in metal by some admiring craftsperson??

1 = Hero. This describes you in mythic terms. Orpheus was a great musician. Atalanta was a speedster, and a “woman in a man’s world.” Odysseus was a thinking hero, relying more on wisdom than on pure brawn. Heracles was brawn incarnate, and operated as a bit of a monster-slayer… So what kind of hero are you?

2 = Benefactor. Many great heroes have had Divine support in their various campaigns: Jason most likely would never have gotten his mitts on that Golden Fleece if not for the Olympian aid of the great Goddess of Wisdom Herself, Grey-Eyed Athena…while Perseus would have been tapped out before his own quest ever got underway if not for the interventions of both Athena and Hermes, the brilliant Messenger-God. So which Mythic Figure or Archetype is your patron, guiding you and watching your back?

3 = Magic Item. King Arthur had his magic sword, Excalibur. Wonder Woman has her golden lasso. There are Odin’s enchanted spear, Zeus’ thunderbolts, Thor’s hammer, the tridents of Shiva and Poseidon… There’s Hades’ Cap of Invisibility, and Idunna’s apples of youth, and Frey’s magic boat that always finds a friendly wind, and can be folded up and put away in his pocket when not in use… What are your magic implements? Are they weapons? Is it clothing? Is it books or plants or transport? What’s up with your magic paraphernalia…?

4 = Road Ahead. What is the nature of your quest? What are you attempting to do or learn? What is your overriding, defining mission? Oedipus was trying to escape a dark prophecy. Inanna and Persephone were both forced to descend into the Underworld. Paris wanted to steal beauty. Stephen Strange sought to become the greatest sorcerer in the world… What’s your own hero’s mandate?

Perseus was sent to kill Medusa, whose gaze turned the living to stone -- who's your nemesis, or the monster you were born to confront...?  Image by Wilhelm Janson, 1606...
Perseus was sent to kill Medusa, whose gaze turned the living to stone — who’s your nemesis, or the monster you were born to confront…? Image by Wilhelm Janson, 1606…

5 = Nemesis. A hero can often best be evaluated by the quality of their greatest enemy. Holmes has his Moriarty, Batman his Joker, and Little Red Riding Hood her Big Bad Wolf. The children of Derry had Pennywise the Clown. The Roadrunner has the Coyote, and the Spy In Black and the Spy In White have each other over in the pages of “Spy Vs. Spy.” Who do you have as a dark reflection of yourself? Who’s your arch-foe? What monster were you put on Earth to slay (or die trying)…?

Do you need a hand plotting out your own Personal Myth?  I’m not the Oracle at Delphi, but I’d be happy to run this spread for you…  Book a private reading with me today!

3 thoughts on “The Personal Myth Spread

  1. Wow! I did not realize how knowledgeable you are on myth! How would you recommend a novice like me should get into reading these classics? A lineage at a time? A time period? An anthology?

    This spread is awesome by the way and informative for all types of questions really…thanks for sharing.

    1. Do you want to learn about mythology as a whole (in which case, I think you already know your Joseph Campbell!), or are there specific bodies of myth that you’re keen to learn? To be honest, while you can always go to the classics for any major field of myth — like, say, Hesiod and Homer and the great tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides for Greek Mythology, or the Eddas for Norse Mythology — more modern retellings can have merit, too. This may sound loony, but I think the best initial primers on Greek and Norse Mythologies are this pair of kids’ books by a husband and wife team named the D’Aulaires (they did one for each — I just wish they’d done another for Egyptian Mythology…and several others…). I first learned about these myths from these books as a grade school kid, and I still love them and recommend them wholeheartedly! They’re fun, engaging, kind of sweet in a weird way, and they give comprehensive overviews in a very visual, very easy-to-digest way. Seriously, even flip through one of them in a book store before buying…you might really appreciate them!

  2. Oh…the official titles of the two books are simply “D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths” and “D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths.” Pretty straightforward!

    And thanks so much for the kind words about the spread, I really appreciate it!

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