"Myth is the original self-help psychology," according to authors Greene and Sharman-Burke. "For centuries human beings have used myths, fairytales and folklore to explain life's mysteries and make them bearable--from why the seasons change, through complex relationship issues, to the enigma of death." With this lofty purpose in mind, the authors organized this collection of myths according to the stages of human development. For example, part 1 is titled "In the Beginning" and takes us through the early lessons of life--"Parents and Children," "Siblings," and "The Family Inheritance." Follow-up sections include "Becoming an Individual," "Love and Relationships," "Position and Power," and finally "Rites of Passage."
The authors offer diverse myths beneath each heading. Within a section on "Leaving Home" we find the myths of Adam and Eve, The Buddha's Departure, and Peredur the Son of Evrawc (a Celtic myth about finding the courage to leave a mother). The research and storytelling are topnotch, but what makes this lavishly illustrated guidebook stand out is the commentary that follows each myth, which explains the advice and guidance within these age-old tales. The Mythic Journey is indeed a self-help book, as readers help themselves to the everlasting lessons these stories offer. --Gail Hudson [via]