Legends: historical fact or spiritual truth.

hercules
Our hero

Legends can have a strong connection to events in history. They are normally narratives that tell a story about characters in the legendary tale that are sometimes historical people, such as rulers or warriors, wrestling with supernatural and superhuman entities. Sometimes historical characters are imbued with mythic or magical powers, at the very least they have special talents.

The distinction between a legend and a myth can become fuzzy, since many legends derived supernatural or spiritual elements from mythology. Legends tend to relate stories about the world or even the lineage of particular members of society instead of stories about the spiritual or religious ideas.legendary dragon

Since a legend is tied to events in history, dragons in legend are sometimes considered ‘historical dragons.’ For example, in France, the dragon Tarasque is linked to a particular event in French history; as a result, the Tarasque is considered a ‘historical’ dragon.

The legend must include:

  • a hero – usually with a divine influence in their birth
  • a villain – a force that opposes the hero that can be viewed as evil

The stories about our hero must also include:

  • a quest or journey – that usually benefits everyone except the hero
  • obstacles or challenges the hero must overcome
  • a struggle against apparently insurmountable odds
  • eventual success!

The hero must confront the villain and use the skills learned through the different challenges or obstacles overcome along the journey. The ultimate success becomes a key to what makes the hero a legend and creates a platform for further stories on other adventures. Real or imagined!

These stories then become part of the myth surrounding the legend!

Urban myths and legends are something completely different entirely as they are often based on deliberately false or misleading information.

The truth is out there among the stories, we just need the wisdom to find it so that we can become the new legends into the modern age.

 

Myth: historical fact or spiritual guidance

“As to the myths, Plato declares … that they were the vehicles of great truths well worth the seeking.”  H.P. Blavatsky, 1877. ‘Isis Unveiled’

plato
Plato

Are myths a description of historical fact or spiritual guidance for us to achieve a state of enlightened living? Or, are they tales to keep us amused and philosophers stimulated with mental exercise?

Myth is an immensely complex subject, and often it is difficult to define except in opposition to other terms. Perhaps an oversimplification: mythology is traditional knowledge associated with ritual or social customs from a particular social group. In this way, myth is related to religious or spiritual elements, and a mythic story contains supernatural beings, deities, and spiritual powers.

Traditional knowledge is passed down by previous generations and can take the form of myth. If myth is accepted as traditional knowledge, it is an inherited set of ideas; and as traditional knowledge is not limited to any format, myth can apply to musical elements, rituals, chants, aphorism, epics, short stories, blessings, charms, spells, and so on.

dragonweb

The important distinction for myth is, generally speaking, the connection of spirituality and religion. A mythic dragon will appear alongside of deities, heroes, or monsters, and the myth will likely relate to a religious element, such as an icon, story, or blessing.

These myths passed from generation to generation has been an effective way to pass tribal wisdom to each new generation. Within the story-line of the myth is a moral value hidden within to stimulate discussion or further enquiry into deeper levels of understanding.

All myths have a similar structure;

  • Separation or departure
  • Initiation or death
  • Return or rebirth

In all myths, the ‘heroes journey’  results in the hero returning transformed or changed in some fundamental way that causes them to gain special powers or recognition of their divinity.

heroes journey
The hero’s journey

They are often stories about heroes as legendary characters involved in some struggle with a god, person or creature that is opposing them in some way. So they are stories about conflict and eventual victory. They often involve a quest on behalf of some benefit to their community, clan or social good.

The hero needs to face challenges or fears that he uses to develop skills that he or she can use at the next level of challenge. Each new skill helps the hero recognise a new level of their divine nature.

As H. P Blavatsky notes, it is a statement about the inherent divinity that exists in us all that we reach towards as a guide to our behaviour. They are an example for us to aspire to.

Hello world!

Welcome to Dragon’s Web.

I have long held the view that what the world needs is to reconnect with the myths and legends of our respective cultures.

For too long we have shifted to a reliance on ‘scientific thought’ and the desire to prove with facts that an event happened or that a person actually existed in order to give the story some validity.

We seem to have forgotten that the validity of the story comes from the message hidden within the tale. Whether the events or people actually existed is irrelevant to the message!

This is why movies and TV shows depicting the struggles between heroes and villains are so popular. They have replaced the stories found in books where your imagination could create the realms of ‘Middle Earth’ or of ‘Hogworts School of Wizardry’ far better than the artists working in the magical realm of movie magic. They just can’t compete with your imagination.sleeping dragon

A healthy imagination is so necessary for our mental and spiritual health!