MythLines 3: This world, the Otherworld, and the anima mundi

Continuing on with republishing my series of ‘MythLines’ columns from EarthLines Magazine … here is my offering (slightly expanded for this blog) from Issue 16, in November 2016.

(Featured image by Martin Stranka)


 

I’ve spent a lot of years studying the psychology of myth. My personal perspectives can be reduced to this, in a slightly oversimplified nutshell: Sigmund Freud’s theories on anything – inevitably, interminably, explaining everything in sexual terms – rarely interest me much at all; Carl Jung is marvelous (an inexhaustible, treasure-filled, deep well) but often a little too human-centred for my tastes; archetypal psychologist James Hillman takes psychology and mythology out of our heads and back into the world again, and so is always to be revered. Read More

MythLines 2: Fox Fire

Continuing on with my series of ‘MythLines’ columns from EarthLines Magazine, here is my offering from Issue 14, in March 2016. This brief article on fox women in folklore was accompanied by an original short story of my own, and a beautiful poem from Theodora Goss. Read More

MythLines 1: The Cailleach and the Wise Woman

For the past couple of years I’ve written a column, ‘MythLines’, for EarthLines Magazine. Since EarthLines has now closed its doors and soon will no longer be for sale, over the next few weeks I plan to post those articles here. The first is an article from Issue 13 in November 2015.

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The woods are lovely, dark and deep

It would be easy to say that I should never have left. It would be easy to tell myself that I should have known better, twenty years ago, than to leave. When a land claims you from the first moment you set foot upon it; when it is the only place you ever felt that your feet were in the right place, that you have ever felt that anything and maybe even everything in this crazy, fucked-up world we have created for ourselves might make sense, what sense can it ever make to go? Read More

Coming home

‘Have we died and gone to heaven?’ David asks, after our first dinner here in Connemara, cosied up around the old pine table which has sat in two other kitchens and seen many dramas unfold. It is the first dinner I have cooked on the old green reconditioned Rayburn; the first dinner in our big bright ochre-yellow kitchen, looking out of the back windows at the bee hives and chicken house. Yes, the bees came here first: the Blackthorn Beeing and its offspring from last year’s swarming season. Read More