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Table of ContentsMythology

Mythology - 12 / 3 / 2002
myth - a type of speech defined by its intention, not its literal sense
community / culture
which comes first?
    myth or community
functions of myth
    origin myths - beginnings
    mores myths - reflection of community / cultural values
    sacred geography
        association myths - tying people and land together
        cosmological myth - structure of the universe
            axis mundi
            order & chaos / the abyss
myth as mask
    Masks of Eternity
        Joseph Campbell
    living / evolving - changing with the culture / community
balance - complements, not opposites
rendered with humor
ephemeral & eternal
microcosm - the individual
mesocosm - the society
macrocosm - the universe
folktale / folklore
    Sir James Frazer
        rationalist / hidden agenda
mythic language
    catharsis [see Systems of Purity]
        metaphor [kenning] - a figurative or compound expression used in place of a noun or name
            implicit comparison
    storytelling - interactive
        interactive learning [60 - 65 percent retention]
    dance - morris dancers
        cave art - Europe & Africa
        sand paintings - Navaho / Buddhist
    ritual [see Ritual & Theater]
    comedy [see Humor]
    clowning [see Clowns]
        sacred clowns
        fools - deformity, difference or innocence
        jesters - wit & satire
        Feast of Fools
            structure & anti-structure
                temporary license
            Lord of Misrule / King of Fools
                scapegoat / hero [see Systems of Purity]
                feted then sacrificed
        mask - from Latin, meaning specter, witch, mask
        not deception / disguise
        identification & assumption of attributes & powers
        re-enactment & reinforcement
    Jack in the Green
        destruction & revival / rebirth
Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend
The Golden Bough - Sir James Frazer
Historical Atlas of World Mythology - Joseph Campbell [5 vols]
The Masks of God - ibid [4 vols]
The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell, with Bill Moyers  
New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology

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