Myth and Folklore (along with age-old traditions behind holidays and other seasonal celebrations) help us to bridge the mystical realms that parallel what we think of as “normal reality”.

Wikipedia defines folklore as:  “the body of expressive culture . . . including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, and customs.” This is an analytical way of saying that it is folklore and legend that connects us to the ancient, poetic wisdom of our ancestors, a deep well of knowledge rarely tapped in modern, western society.

Often, folklore is translated to us within a subset of written and spoken language, invoking a right-brained system that is closer to the kind of communication offered in our dreams …. cryptic symbols that can be puzzling, sometimes frightening, and sometimes playful. Superstition also falls into this category.

It is folklore, myth, legend and superstition that bridges past, present, and future in transcendent, magical ways—-even while guiding us to a greater understanding of ourselves and our own personal journey on this magical-mystery tour called “life on Earth”.

The best way to begin one’s treasure hunt for invaluable clarification and surprise bonuses buried deep within myth and legend is to search out books such as Barbara Walker’s “The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths” along with “Secrets or A Dictionary of Superstitions” by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem. These compilations are two excellent examples (of many) that offer well-researched resource material and I have heavily drawn from both of them for this article.

For instance, did you ever wonder why it’s considered “bad luck” to break a mirror? According to Barbara Walker, “the ancients attributed mystic powers to any reflective surface, solid or liquid, because the reflection was considered part of the soul. Heavy taboos were laid on the act of disturbing water into which a person was gazing, because shattering the image meant danger to the soul. Hence the similar taboo on breaking a mirror, now said to bring seven years bad luck.”

Walker goes on (in the mirror section of her book) to write about scrying, the art of divining the future …. accomplished by gazing into a (back-lit) mirror, bowl of water, or other clear, polished surface. She writes: “Water represented the Abyss, the numinous hidden spirit world; its reflections therefore could be read as shadows cast ahead by future events. In fairy tales, the land of souls often appeared as a hall of mirrors.”

There has been an under-reported, modern-day resurgence of the art of scrying. In part, new interest has been stirred by an innovative medical doctor named Raymond Moody. Dr. Moody has also written several books on the subject of “life after life.” Dr. Moody conducts paranormal studies at his private research institute in rural Alabama—a place he calls “The John Dee Memorial Theater of the Mind”.

John Dee popularized crystal gazing in sixteenth century England. Dr. Moody is continuing in the spirit of John Dee as he uses scrying as a tool to evoke “apparitions of the dead” under controlled conditions. For this purpose, Dr. Moody built a mirrored room where guests come to scry, hoping for a visit from a dead loved one—Dr. Moody supervises these encounters with a high percentage of success.

So, you can quickly see how one can travel down the long, curving road of folklore and soon find oneself at multiple junctions, intersections, and crossroads. One simple question leads to an answer embedded with more questions …. revealing even more complex answers and so forth …. Like I said, it’s the ultimate treasure hunt and adventure once you cross that invisible (but very real) bridge known as folklore.

Myth and legend offer comforting reminders that there is more to this world than meets the eye. In subtle, and not so subtle ways, such knowledge reveals a profound truth …. that we do not walk alone in this 3-d world, that unseen forces help us to shape our future; this includes those poignant, transcendental “bread crumbs of thought” left by our ancestors, also known as folklore.

Marked by our own spiritual growth, we are encouraged forward as we discover otherworldly clues that can lead us to enlightenment.