Wednesday, January 25, 2006

hit and myth

10 Myths that Wiccans should know
This list represents a minimum compendium of myths and legends that Wiccans should know, in my opinion. They should also be well-versed in the myths of whichever particular pantheon(s) and deities they feel drawn to.

They should also know the myths of their own folk heroes (e.g. Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer in Scotland, Owain Glyndwr in Wales, El Cid in Spain, Jeanne d'Arc in France, Tannhäuser and Herman in Germany, Ctirad and Šarka for Czechs, High John the Conqueror for African Americans, etc etc.) I have included Robin Hood and King Arthur in the main list because ideas relating to them have fed into Wiccan ideas and philosophy.

Edit: after discussion with friends, I feel bound to point out that when I say should, I mean "you owe it to yourself if you want to be a quality witch". Knowing about the things on the list above will help when writing and participating in rituals, as then you will get more out of them.


Joe said...

To say nothing of the fact that a familiarity with the most common of our mythic archetypes is, all Wiccan ritual aside, an important part of the development of any person's sense of self and the world around them, since the truly enduring myths endure precisely because they speak to us and tell us something about humanity.

I feel sorry for people who ignore myths - it must be like looking at an Impressionist painting in balck and white; you can see the surface but the inner workings, the history, the reasons and emotions beind it are invisible. I couldn't get a quarter of the enjoyment I get from reading if it wasn't for some familiarity with myths. Besides which, some of those you list also make damned fine stories to listen to (preferably around a roaring fire on a cold winter night).

Daniel Cohen said...

Interesting list. And now we get the chance to suggest other myths at the same level.

I'm not sure that I would regard the Mabinogion as containing necessary myths, important as the stories are.

I think one myth of the Sovereignty Goddess is essential. Depending on taste it could be Niall of the Nine Hostages, The Wedding of Lady Ragnell (better than such versions as the Wife of Bath's Tale), or the ballad of King Henry. And probably Gawain and the Green Knight - you can maybe tell I'm a Gawain fan.

Yvonne said...

I was including Gawain in the Arthur mythos, but agree that Gawain and the Green Knight should be on the list. And the Sovereignty Goddess, good idea.