According to tradition, the word “myth” comes from the root “mu,” which means “I close my mouth” or “I close my eyes.” It is the root of “mystery” and “mystic,” as well. Myths are the powerful mysteries that infuse and shape our lives from a profound, only half-understood place. Mythology refers to the traditional stories told about these powers that are personified in human-like figures: heroes, gods, goddesses, nymphs, angels, and events that may cross the border into Otherworlds. Other times, too. Outside of time. The great religion scholar Mircea Eliade referred to mythic time as “in illo tempere” — in that time, not this.

We are pleased to welcome Thomas Moore back to present another e-course for Spirituality & Practice. He is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul, in which he often discusses myths. His many other books cover bringing soul to personal life and culture, humanizing medicine, finding meaningful work, doing religion in a fresh way, and crafting caring conversations. He is profiled in our Living Spiritual Teachers project, and his previous ten e-courses at S&P have been among our most popular.

About this course, he writes: “I will focus on Greek mythology, not because it is better than the mythology of any other culture but because I know it best and because it is such an influential element in our culture.” We will study some of the major deities through their stories:

  • Hippolytus (Euripides)
  • Aphrodite (Homeric Hymn)
  • Artemis (Acteon)
  • Daphne (Ovid),
  • Hermes (Homeric Hymn)
  • Oedipus
  • Narcissus
  • Dionysus (Bakkai)
  • Hephaistos (Graces in Iliad)
  • Odysseus and Kirke (Odyssey)
  • Alkestis

The figures of myth have been honored through the centuries in painting and sculpture, and eventually in depth psychology, as in Freud’s take on family tensions through the Oedipus myth. In depth psychology we try to see the deepest stratum of human experience by reflecting on it through the filter of mythology.

Moore explains his approach: “The school of psychology that I use comes from C. G. Jung and James Hillman. Hillman, who was a close friend of mine, had an uncanny ability to notice subtle ways in which ordinary life experiences evoke certain myths and the gods and goddesses. He would talk freely and deeply about the god or goddess working in the background of our daily lives. The Greek playwrights often inquired about which god or goddess is hidden in our depressions and anxieties? Hillman asked the same question, meaning which kind of mythic, underlying power is making us unsettled or causing us to act-out in self-destructive ways? He would also ask, how do we benefit from the presence of a certain myth or mythic figure?"

Moore hopes that this course gives you ways of imagining your experience that deepen your way of life and help you deal with painful issues. It is not a surface survey of mythology but rather lessons in how to use mythological psychology to see more accurately who you are and why you feel and act the way you do.

This is a 12-session e-course. It was designed to be received on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with an essay by Thomas Moore, practice suggestions, and ways to bring a myth’s meaning into your own life. As it is "On-Demand," you choose your own start date and frequency for delivery of the emails to your inbox. You will also have access to the recording of the Q&A Zoom Session with Thomas Moore that was held in 2023, when this e-course was first offered live.

Join us by clicking on the subscribe button below. (4 CEHs for chaplains available.)

Available On-Demand
(choose your own start date and frequency)


SubscribeGive as Gift