Myth-making is soul-making

Myth is the language of psyche – of soul. And the psychology I’ve actually practiced down all the years (as opposed to the disenchanted, scientistic, experimental methodology I was taught early on) has always been about soul – and has always been founded on a deep immersion in myth. Above all, it’s been about working with the mythic imagination in order to understand, express, create soul.

Soul-making and myth-making: two utterly entangled ideas in that psychology – and mythology – which I specialise in.

But what are we really talking about, when we talk about soul? It’s a word that’s almost always used when we’re speaking about humans. The human soul: my individual soul, or yours. But as James Hillman – founding father of Archetypal Psychology – suggested, psyche is not really in us; we are in psyche. We’re a part of the world psyche; the world soul. Each individual human soul – combined with the soul of everything else that exists – is a part of this anima mundi: the world, ensouled. Everything that we are now, and everything that we might someday become; everything that we see, hear, smell, imagine – all of these things are unique expressions of the anima mundi, captured in a particular time and place.

Isn’t that a beautiful thing? And whatever else we might or might not do or be, isn’t that – at the heart of it all – enough? Not constantly to be striving; not to feel that we have to save the world, or ourselves. But rather, sometimes, to remember to be, like the beautiful rosa mundi bush – the ‘rose of the world’ – which I cherish in my garden, just one uniquely beautiful expression of the anima mundi, in this time and in this place. Sometimes – just sometimes – that’s all we can be. And sometimes – just sometimes – it’s enough.




2018-11-18T14:21:58+01:00June 27th, 2018|Article|5 Comments


  1. Emily June 27, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Such beautiful words, thank you.

    • Olive June 27, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      This time and place in the USA…anima mundi?
      This feels like soul wounding. So saying, I also agree with what myth is and I thank you for writing.

  2. Duncan Saunders greenmanharper June 27, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Ahhh…just what I needed this morning!

    Blessed Be!

  3. June 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    While in process of house renovation and relocation I am being enchanted by the beauty of my surroundings and grounding myself in cultivating a sense of gratitude at being blessed with living in highlands of Scotland. I
    My mantra is around enchantment in the details ….and the fact I didn’t find my house , it found me. Your book is waiting collection and is flying to my home in Greece with me as my replenish restore and rest intention of my retreat. Thank you for inspiration.

  4. Going Batty in Wales July 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I needed that! Thank you! One day I will learn the lesson.

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