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Greek Hero Myths: Symbols of Transformation by Gary Kidgell

This book is not just a simple re-telling of the ancient Greek myths – it’s a work-book and practical guide which helps us to probe that journey of discovery which is the pathway to our Higher Self. It is a densely-written book, packed with information, but at the same time easy to read and flows well.

We are all heroes setting out or already engaged in the quest for spiritual enlightenment, and at times that’s not easy, as Gary shows, because, to quote H.P. Blavatsky (pg 64) “when one treads the path, all that is good and all that is evil surface.”  Gary explains the symbolism, and very usefully links it to our own paths of self-discovery, showing how the stories can give us help, guidance and advice.

In the introduction he draws together the Greek myths linking them to the work of previous writers in the field, such as C.G. Jung, the pioneering early psychoanalyst responsible for major research on archetypal thought-patterns. Gary also considers in depth insights provided by spiritual pioneer H.P. Blavatsky in her seminal works of the late 19th century, and gives a useful introduction to the wisdom teachings, its concepts including the Soul and the Higher Self. He brings in the work of Joseph Campbell, a major writer on comparative mythology and symbolism, plus the study of esoteric astrology as developed by Dr. Douglas Baker.  Some basic techniques are also outlined which help in our exploring of the symbolism presented in the book, of how we can each make it personal and use it to help with our own quest on the spiritual journey.

Gary then investigates some of the major hero myths, bringing in all the components which he introduced in the introduction – and not just these, but a wide range of other cultures and belief systems are drawn in producing a fascinating journey of exploration. Through the stories of Heracles, Cadmus, Perseus, Bellerophon, Jason, Theseus and Odysseus major concepts are considered, such as the importance of the role of the ‘goddess factor’ and the feminine deities who are major influences in the journeys of the heroes examined.

Other references – to name just a few – range from the Hindu Upanishads, Vedanta, the Bhagavad Gita, through Buddhist texts and Celtic/mystical Christian Grail legends, to more recent writings on tarot symbolism and chakras. Gary weaves all these together to present a wide-ranging and fascinating view of the evolutionary journey which mankind needs to undertake.

Major reference is given throughout the book to the wisdom teachings, and also, how our each being a spiritual aspirant and pioneer is helping to further both the spiritual energies on our planet and for humanity as a whole. The book is illustrated including several pages in colour with a diagram showing the seven levels of consciousness, and depictions of some of the myths.

The breadth of information here in this book is impressive, it’s useful for our own self-development, and is also a fascinating read.

About the author:

Gary Kidgell has studied the wisdom teachings for over thirty-five years. He is a professional astrologer specialising in esoteric astrology. Gary has lectured extensively on esoteric subjects, as well as undertaking numerous astrological consultations throughout the UK and in Europe. He joined the Theosophical Society in 1994 as a founding member of the Dundee Lodge and as President. Gary is the current Organising Secretary for the Theosophical Society in Scotland and the Librarian for the Theosophical Society in Scotland Charity.

Claregate Books 2020
ISBN: 978-1-910228-97-5
208pp
Cost: £15 plus £2.50 p&p UK

The book is available from:

BOOKS

or contact Gary through Facebook.

Gary has written this piece introducing Greek Hero Myths: Symbols of Transformation:

My new book, in essence, is a fusion of the wisdom teachings with the concepts of Jung, Campbell and others. The first chapter is entitled The Spiritual Path. This outlines The Way of the Monad; the nature and purpose of the Soul and the ‘Hero’s Journey’ Myth; Archetypes and Myth and the importance of the spiritual aspirant developing abstract thought together with suggestions as to how one may engage with the symbolism of myth.

I then proceed to consider the symbolism of seven of the Greek hero myths as a portrayal of the challenges and rewards associated with the treading of the Path: Heracles; Cadmus; Perseus; Bellerophon; Jason; Theseus and Odysseus. The description on the back page is as follows

‘The mythical tales of Ancient Greece have exerted an unrivalled effect upon the arts and literature of Western civilisation. Commentators such as H.P. Blavatsky, Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung were profoundly aware that mythology is a representation of archetypal energies which underlie human expression and the fulfilment of our potential.

In this work, Gary Kidgell illustrates that the triumphs and travails related to spiritual development are beautifully illustrated by the symbolism found in the adventures of the questing heroes of Greek myth. The challenges and rites of passage that the heroes face mirror those which confront us as we seek elevations in consciousness. The characters found within the mythic landscape: the monster of the abyss, the arch-villain, the crone, wise man, the beneficent gods and goddesses all symbolise archetypal psychic components inherent within the human psyche. These surface when we undertake the hero quest experiencing undulating circumstances of tragedy and triumph in pursuit of higher states of consciousness.

Whilst offering insightful interpretations of the Greek hero myths, this work also offers the reader techniques whereby one may engage with these richly symbolic tales, relating the events and circumstances of the questing adventurer to one’s own life and one’s endeavours towards spiritual development and growth.

 

Written by

Janet Hoult studied graphic design at Hornsey College of Art in London, where she also researched the work of the artist Kandinsky and the symbolism of the dragon. She has an interest in dowsing, ancient history, archaeology and Theosophy. In connection with these fields she co-edited 'The Essential T.C. Lethbridge' and has written and produced 'Dragons: their history and symbolism'. More recently she has been a speaker on Theosophical subjects, including 'The Secret Doctrine'.

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