The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology

The Animal in mythology. What role does it play? What does this tell us about ourselves?


“Myths are about the human struggle to deal with the great passages of time and life – birth, death, marriage, the transitions from childhood to adulthood to old age”

–  Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine.

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Join our online course Mindfunda Mythology now.

This is the second of a six part blog about the course Mindfunda Mythology:

The Creation myth: Genesis and The Big Bang
The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology
Mythology of Men 
Mythology of Women
Mythology of the Trickster
Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword

Animal as a symbol of inner force

This lesson of the mythology course focuses on animals.  The first one is the bear. If there is one representative of dreaming, this is the one. I have used the film “The Bear” from Jean-Jacques Annaud as an example to discuss the features of its force. There are questions that will make it easy to recognise the bear power in your own life. The bear is in my eyes a representative of the anima or the female power in the human soul. Bears usually live solitary lives, so the second animal I discuss in this online course is the horse.

Film poster The Bear

The horse is a social animal, the group leaders are the females. The horse, like the bear were among the first animals to be worshiped in ancient societies. What are mythological stories about horses and what can we learn from them?

Animal as representative of human’s helper

The dog, representative of the wolf family, is one of the oldest friends of Homo sapiens. Dogs and hounds are guardians of the way between: a path we all sometimes secretly walk. So many times we feel that we hear, see or feel more than other people do. We know this way between, but we hardly dare to discuss it with others, afraid to be called names that not do us, or our powers justice.

The last animal to be discussed is the Snake.
Once a sacred companion of the Goddess, now despised by many people. You will discover that there is a biological reason for our almost innate resentment of this animal. And you will get to appreciate the Snake and the symbolism it represents.



I hope to greet you soon as a participant of this wonderful course. You will learn so much about your life, about your dreams and about your own innate wisdom.

All Excited? Mindfunda Mythology is designed to make the journey of your life easier. You will get:

  • Knowledge about the Sefiroth, the Cabalistic Tree of Life;
  • You will be introduced to the two main categories of myth so you can (re)connect with the strength of your inner animal;
  • You will have access to al the 24 possible ways of behaviour of male and female archetypes;
  • You will be able to tap into the power of the Trickster whenever you feel reluctant to follow the call of your own path;
  • All these methods and techniques will enable you to enlighten your inner fire, your personal Grail;
  • You will get 44 exercises during the course, an average 6 – 10 exercises per lesson to help you master the knowledge.

Have a look at the Course page



If you want to sleep well and remember more dreams, here is a FREE eBook
for you with ten easy tips to quickly increase your dream memory.



What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.

(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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Extrovert Ideal versus Introvert World

An Introvert is a person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.

Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to "recharge" afterwards. The word "Introvert" has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.

introvert survival in extrovert world

When I was about 8 years old, my parents had to come to my school. The teacher used to have talks with the parents of each child in the class, in Dutch it is called “10 minuten gesprek”; a 10 minute conversation.


Art by Jeff Wysasky
Pleated Jeans

Continue reading “Extrovert Ideal versus Introvert World”

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year begins today, February 8th 2016. The Chinese calender is a lunar one, the New Year starts at the second new moon after the Winter Solstice. 2016 is the year of the Monkey. Continue reading “Chinese New Year”

Well of Remembrance: what goes down must come up

Ralph Metzner

The well is a familiar symbol in Myths and dreams.
I talked about it with Ralph Metzner this month
for a brand new Mindfunda Interview.

Ralph is a psychotherapist, Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies, poet and author. You can visit his website grounearthfound here. Mythology always played a significant part in his life and he wrote several books about it. One of these books is The Well of remembrance. (Click here to for the interview on YouTube)

The Well of remembrance is an exercise in ancestral remembrance -the kind of remembering that is the healing antidote to dis-membring"

The Well of Remembrance 

is filled with stories and facts about the history of Europe. Mirmir was the guardian of the well of wisdom. The name Mirmir is related to the Latin word memor. Mirmir’s well is the well of remembrance.

The well of remembrance

The aim of the book is to be a reminder of the importance of mythology in our critical times. Ralph explains in his book that the tribes that took over Europe had a civilization based on weapons, chariots and the taming of the horse. Their Gods and Goddesses where different from the rather peaceful hunter gatherers they submitted.

The one-eyed Odin is the God that builds three bridges that link apparently irreconcilable differences. Differences between the old Land Gods of the early inhabitants and the Sky gods of the new tribes. The first myth about Odin as bridge-builder is the self sacrifice of hanging himself on the Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Here he gets the gift of nature: to see and interpret natural rhythms.

In the second myth about Odin he sacrifices his eye to see how he can reconcile the war between the Aesir Sky gods and the Vanir land gods by creating a ritual of reconciliation. In the interview Ralph mentions that such rituals are so much-needed today in ordinary life as well as in politics.

In the third myth about Odin he descends down the roots of the Yggdrasil, meets Mirmir and gives one eye to the water that feeds the World Tree. Loosing the ability to recognize depth, he gains inner vision.

In my talk with him, Ralph Metzner emphasis that we should connect with the knowledge our ancestors. They wisper the stories you can only hear when you are at the foot of the World Tree Yggdrasil, diving in the emotional water of your past. The generations that lived before you, your ancestors can connect you with the Earth and all its wisdom.

He concludes the talk with the dedication in Well of Rembrance to the ancestors:

our ancestors,
who kept and told for us
the ancient stories

Our brothers and sisters,
who love the Earth
with all her beings

Our descendants,
who will inherit the Earth
and hear and tell again
the ancient stories

Do you like this post? Share it with your friends

I will be uploading another very interesting interview on my YouTube channel soon.
 Jean Raffa author talks about her award winning book Healing the sacred divide so be sure to sign up!

Grab yourself a free e-book and learn all about mutual dreaming using this link

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