Myths, Legends & Folktales

Myths, Legends, Folktales

Prose Narratives

Myths, legends, and folktales are narratives in prose – referred to as prose narratives. This distinguishes them from proverbs, riddles, ballads, poems, and other verbal forms.


Myths are prose narratives which, in the society in which they are told, are considered to be truthful accounts of what happened in the remote past.

Characteristics of Myths

  • Accepted on faith, taught to be believed, and can be cited as authority in answer to ignorance, doubt, or disbelief.
  • Embodiment of dogma, usually sacred, and often associated with theology and ritual.
  • Main characters are usually not humans, but they often have human attributes – they are animals, deities, or cultural heroes, whose actions are set in an earlier world, when the earth was different than it is today.
  • Account for the origin of the world, of mankind, of death, or for characteristics of birds, geographic features, and phenomena of nature.
  • Recount the activities of deities – including their love affairs, family relationships, their friendships and enemies, their victories and defeats.


Legends are prose narratives which, like myths, are regarded as true by the narrator and his audience, but they are set in a period considered less remote, when the world was much as it is today.

Characteristics of Legends

  • More often secular than sacred.
  • Principal characters are human.
  • Tell of migrations, wars and victories, deeds of past heroes, chiefs, and kings, and succession in ruling dynasties.
  • Include local tales of buried treasure, ghosts, fairies, and saints.


Folktales are prose narratives which are regarded as fiction.

Characteristics of Folktales

  • Not considered as dogma or history, may or may not have happened, and are not to be taken seriously.
  • Though they are often told only for amusement, they may present moral truths.
  • May be set in any time and any place, and in this sense they are almost timeless and placeless.
  • Fairies, ogres, and even deities may appear, but folktales usually recount the adventures of animal or human characters.
  • Have been called “nursery tales” or “fairy tales.”

Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth
Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth

Edited by Alan Dundes

How Can We Change Our Habits?


The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


Don’t fight against your old habits by thinking about what you’re missing. When you feel deprived, you’re focusing on the wrong thoughts. You’re making your journey unpleasant and more difficult.

Instead, focus on how the changes will bring you the success you desire – that’s when you’ll build your new life instead of fighting your old one.

Mindset Re-Minder
Mindset Re-Minder

Beth Bianca

What Is Pantheism?


Meaning of Pantheism

The word Pantheism derives from the Greek words pan (all) and theos (God). Literally, Pantheism means All is God. In essence, Pantheism holds that the Universe as a whole is worthy of the deepest reverence, and that only the Universe and Nature are worthy of that degree of reverence.

Nature and Unity

The statement “Nature is my god” is perhaps the simplest way of summarizing the core pantheist belief, with the word “god” meaning not a supernatural being, but the object of deepest reverence.

Pantheism is a spiritual path that reveres and cares for nature – a spiritual path that accepts this life as our only life, and this earth as our only paradise. Pantheism revels in the beauty of nature and the night sky, and is full of wonder at their mystery and power.

Pantheism believes that all things are linked in a profound unity. All  have a common origin and destiny. All things are interconnected and interdependent. In life and death, humans are an inseparable part of this unity, and in realizing this we can find our joy and peace.

History of Pantheism

Pantheism is among the oldest religious beliefs. It can be dated back to at least the 6th or 7th centuries BC, when the Hindu Upanishads were written, and the Greek philosopher Hericlitus lived. Pantheism, of one kind or another, came to dominate the ancient world, East and West.

The spread of Christianity and Islam forced Pantheism underground for around 1200 years, but by the 19th century it was beginning to regain some of its old prominence. It was the dominant belief of many philosophers and poets, including Wordsworth, Goethe, Hegel, and Walt Whitman.

The wars and ideologies of the 20th century pushed Pantheism to the background again, but today Pantheism is having a renaissance in Scientific Pantheism, nature-oriented Paganism, Deep Ecology, philosophical Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and forms of Humanism that are open to spirituality.

Elements of Pantheism
Elements of Pantheism: A Spirituality of Nature and the Universe

How Do Thoughts Create Our Life?

Thoughts Create

As you think, so you are; as you continue to think, so you remain.

…..James Allen

Your thoughts are the beginning of the life you create. When you continue to think the same way, you’ll continue to see the same results. To change your life, you must change how you think.

Mindset Re-Minder
Mindset Re-Minder

Beth Bianca

“In The Beginning” – The Story Of Myth


Sacred Narrative

“In the beginning” is how many myths start their story. And, simply put, a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and man came to be in their present form. That myths are sacred means that all forms of religion incorporate myths of some kind. There is nothing disparaging about the term myth. The term mythos means word or story. It is only the modern usage of the word myth as “error” that has led to the notion of myth as something negative.

Metaphorical Guise

In common parlance, the term myth is often used as a mere synonym for error or fallacy. “That’s just a myth!” one may exclaim to label a statement or assertion as untrue. But untrue statements are not myths in the formal sense – nor are myths necessarily untrue statements. For myth may constitute the highest form of truth, albeit in metaphorical guise. If one keeps in mind that a myth must refer minimally to a narrative, then one can easily eliminate most of the books and articles employing myth in their titles.

Study of Myth

The study of myth is an international and an interdisciplinary venture. Scholars from around the world have contributed to the analysis of myth, and this includes scholars of anthropology, classics, comparative religion, folklore, psychology, and theology, among others areas of specialization.

Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth
Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth

Edited by Alan Dundes