One of the most persistent themes in myth and legend from the world’s many cultures is that of the story of the journey — the quest. In Mythical Journeys, Legendary Quests, noted writer on the topic, Moyra Caldecott, shows the connection between the sacred, mythic journeys as found in legend and story and the real journey of the individual soul towards enlightenment.
This perennial quest for reassurance in the face of human mortality is spread as wide as our existence on the planet and throughout history. Indeed Carl Jung and, more recently, Joseph Campbell have shown us that myth and legend are not just fantasy tales for children. They are powerful expressions, in code, of a deep yearning towards an understanding of human existence.
Moyra Caldecott has selected material from many cultures to illustrate this point: from ancient Egypt and Sumeria to aboriginal Australia, pre-Columbian America, Vietnam, India, Africa and Europe. With each legend retold, she provides background on its origin and detailed analysis of its meaning and significance.
Also in the spiritual adventure realm, Mythical Journeys, Legendary Quests: The Spiritual Search: Traditional Stories from World Mythology, by Moyra Caldecott, retells 16 myths from many ancient cultures ranging from Sumeria through Greece, Egypt, India, Scandinavia, Russia and Ireland. While the myths themselves are related in appropriately unsophisticated language, Caldecott's analyses of their themes, historical backgrounds and universal principles are incisive and informative. Unfortunately, Cheryl Yambrach Rose's garishly colored illustrations depict visionary experiences in almost hallucinatory terms.