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Mythopoeic worldview

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

The term 'mythopoeia' was coined by JRR Tolkien to describe understandings of the world which are steeped in myth; which see below the surface of things to the divine essence within.

He sees no stars who does not see them first

Of living silver made that sudden burst

To flame like flowers beneath an ancient song,

Whose very echo after-music long

Has since pursued. There is no firmament,

Only a void, unless a jewelled tent

Myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth

Unless the mother’s womb whence all have birth.

 

-- JRR Tolkien, from Mythopoeia

Most Pagans share a mythopoeic worldview (of course there are many people following other religions who also share this worldview).

Once every people in the world believed that trees were divine, and could take human or grotesque shape and dance among the shadows, and that deer, and ravens and foxes, and wolves and bears, and clouds and pools, almost all things under the sun and moon, and the sun and moon, were no less divine and changeable. They saw in the rainbow the still bent bow of a god thrown down in negligence; they heard in the thunder the sound of his beaten water jar, or the tumult of his chariot wheels; and when a sudden flight of wild ducks, or of crows passed over their heads, they thought they were gazing at the dead hastening to their rest; while they dreamed of so great a mystery in little things that they believed the waving of a hand, or of a sacred bough, enough to trouble far off hearts, or hood the moon with darkness.

 

-- W.B.Yeats (Irish poet, 1865-1939)

 

See also

 

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