What Is Personal Mythology?

A personal myth is a narrative of fundamental, life-orienting significance for an individual person. It is what provides the subjective sense of meaning and direction to a person's existence, since your personal myth is what acts as the ultimate lens through which your experiences are interpreted and assessed. 

Personal myths do for the individual something akin to what traditional religions once did for whole cultures or societies. That is, they provide a core, anchoring story that answers the big, fundamental questions of life. These answers are what guides a person in the actions they take, and thus the development and realization of their identity. 

While a personal myth can relate to larger cultural mythic frameworks in a number of ways, your personal mythology is ultimately rooted in your own experience, and thus has a degree of uniqueness that makes it, well, personal. 


Progressing with Your Personal Mythology

In a basic sense, everyone has some collection of personal myths that propel them through life. But for most people, their myths are largely unconscious. The currents of cultural norms and expectations push them along; the legacy of past experiences, some traumatic, impinges upon their decisions and actions unrecognized; popular ideologies or traditional religions absorb them into their group or party's commitments; and on and on, all the while never really asking the question for themselves: Why?

Asking questions about life, and your life in particular, is the first step to actively exploring what your personal mythology is and how it's been influencing you. This seemingly simple turn sets you on the path of Discovery. 

1. On the Discover page, you will find a number of insightful resources which, among other things, get you asking the big questions--question you must answer for yourself. Who are you? Why are you here? What grounds you and where are you headed?


Once you start becoming more aware of the personal myths that are operating in yourlife--noting the discrepencies between the answers you've inherited and the answers that arise organically from within--you can get consciously involved and start taking an intentional role in the process yourself. Interrupt old myths that don't serve you. Participate in a dynamic practice of making new myths that do. 

2. On the Create page, explore posts that aid you in this crucial project of personal meaning-making. Get in touch with the deep truths at your core, learn to listen for your own call, and get inspiration for giving these personal intuitions form. Tell your story and formulate your own collection of ideas, symbols, and rites that express your personal interpretation of the divine.

As you progress through these stages of discovery and creation, you are not alone. There are other people out there engaging in similar efforts. Apart from offering helpful resources to aid you in your journey, this site hopes to serve as a means to connect and share with others.

3. Join the discussion about personal mythology in our Facebook group. Share your own personal myths and creative mythologies on the site. Get involved, and participate in a collective effort to develop a thriving, living mythology for today's world.

Guide-Posts: The Basics

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What is Personal Mythology?

Sam Keen describes the levels of myth (from cultural to familial to personal), discusses the inherently hidden quality of myth, and lays out the fundamental questions that any functional personal myth will answer.

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Sam Keen

and Anne Valley-Fox

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Personal Mythology 101

Feinstein and Krippner talk about personal mythology as the lens through which we interpet our life, discuss it in the context of Joseph Campbell's 4 functions of myth, and address the importance of intentionally shaping your own personal myth.

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David Feinstein

and Stanley Krippner

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Reflections on a Peach-Seed Monkey

Sam Keen talks about the role of personal mythology in a culture after the "death of God," or the loss of traditional religious narratives. He suggests that the individual is now responsible for developing a meaningful story out of the material of their life.

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Sam Keen


About the PersonalMythology.org

PersonalMythology.org is an online hub created to serve as:

  • a resource for educating and inspiring people around personal mythology,

  • a guide for helping them through the process of creating their own, and

  • a forum for sharing their myths and connecting with others.


The site was launched in 2019 by Brendan Graham Dempsey, M.A.R.