Miotas home page: The site is currently used as a repository of resources and having fun using Joseph Campbell's narrative method to sounding some of the more inscrutable aspects of our cultural heritage.
The site is maintained and developed by Tony G. Dolan who heads up the Joseph Campbell Mythological RoundTable® Group of Dublin under the auspices of the Joseph Campbell Foundation
We also highlight occasionally festivals and artists of interest at: facebook.com/JCF.MRT.DUB
Miotas is the Irish for 'myth' but we're equally interested in béaloideas, Irish for folklore.
The purpose of myths was not to entertain but to put the individual and collective psyche in accord with the world around it. Joseph Campbell said that: Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths. When an organisation of symbols rendering the sense of life fails to evolve it is called, in the modern parlance, mythology.
Rituals can complement mythologies in giving insight into the psyche of a particular culture or people. The myth of a given people generally finds expression in their ritual which in turn reinforces their relationship to, and understanding of, the cosmos. Participation in myth based ritual can put us in accord with the wisdom of our body.
The original rendering of myth is often redacted to fit with current political or religious doctrine. A certain class of fairy tale, apparently in response to trauma, draws up from our psyche the vestigial dynamic systems of symbol, formed during critical threshold periods in Homo sapiens' slow acquisition of consciousness, and renders them as bizarre, but potentially abreacting, narratives.
This Palaeolithic map of key Eurasian archaeological sites and the location of cave paintings has its origin in an attempt to provide an index to Don Hitchcock's wonderful Paleolithic resource web site, http://www.donsmaps.com
Celtic Christianity: the map's intention is to offer a sampling of the persons, foundations, books and artifacts from the Celtic Christian period. There appear to have been influences from the Eastern Mediterranean that were mediated through Gaul.
Troubadors: the encounter between troubadors from the South of France and bards from Britain and Brittany gave rise to a rich fusion which then spread eastwards to give rise to works such as Gottfried Von Strassburg's Tristan and Wolfram Von Eschenbach's Parzival.
A list of short clips by luminaries such as Joseph Campbell, Marie Louise Von Franz and Carl Jung on youtube and Vimeo.
An interactive guide with accompanying photographs of places alluded to in James Joyce's most pluribiguous work.View guide...
Megalithic Culture: outline of key European sites which give some indication of cultural diffusions during the European Neolithic.
Overview of ancient astronomy: our ancestors looking into the night skies noticed that the firmament appears to spin about a fixed star. They did not know that the earth spins on its axis and that the pole star sits directly above this axis and therefore appears motionless. Instead they conceived of an Axis Mundi stretching from a World Mountain on the earth up to the pole star around which everything else turned. It can be depicted as a pole, a tree or a mountain.
Layered Cosmos: from gazing at the stars in night sky, the movements of the sun and moon, the rare blankets of clouds bringing rain, and even indeed, the observation of sources or water springing from the ground (the watery realm beneath); the Sumerians and later Babylonians evolved a layered view of the cosmos. This example was taken from a Kudurru stone of the Kassites (circa 1531~1155 BC)
Akitu Festival: drama in the heavens. In Mesopotamia, the Akitu Festival punctuates the sowing of barley in the autumn and the reaping of barley in the spring. In this period, circa 3200BC in Uruk, the Sun at the vernal equinox used rise in the constellation of the Bull, Gugalanna (modern Taurus) rendering the constellation invisible. This marked the onset of the arid season, and there are many depictions of solar-lions (desiccating heat) attacking lunar-bulls (power of growth/fertility) in Mesopotamian art.
Inanna, Ishtar, the planet Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth and therefore from the earth will always appear in the precincts of the Sun. The result is that the planet is brightest and easiest to see, at dusk after the Sun sets when it is still visible above the horizon and known as the Evening Star, and at dawn just before the Sun rises when it is visible as the Morning Star.
Astronomical Simulations: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has created a series of excellent interactive animations which allow the non specialist to get a feel for the extremely rich field of modern astronomy. Below under the Astro Movies tab is a selection of movies pertinent to the MRT's interest in the origins and evolution of civilisation.
As well as continuing the Power of Myth series we also took off on several trips, of which the most memorable were, to Uisneach, Vale of Clara and Tailteann. To see photos etc visit www.meetup.com/Odysseans