Liz Greene & Juliet Sharman-Burke,
The Mythic Journey: The Meaning of Myth as a Guide for Life
(Fireside, 2000)

"Myth," say Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke in their introduction to The Mythic Journey, "is the original self-help psychology." Ancient peoples told stories of gods and heroes to explain the workings of the world, from great disasters to interpersonal relationships. According to the authors, those same stories can still be applied to our modern lives.

In this book, they examine the stages of a person's life (childhood, young adulthood, vocations and so on) and the myths that correspond to each stage, using not just the typical Greco-Roman myths that many are familiar with, but also Norse, Celtic, Native American, Hindu and other mythologies. Each myth is followed by an interpretation that ties the story to modern life, to give the reader something to think about.

The Mythic Journey is a handsome book with heavy, glossy paper (which makes it also a rather weighty book), richly illustrated with classical paintings. It would be a nice addition to a mythology library.

It is not a book, however, intended for casual reading (it is labeled "self-help"). How helpful a person might find it is a matter of individual preference.

review by
Laurie Thayer

1 September 2007

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