This course has concessions available

New: Underworld Journeys: Myth, Psyche And Initiation

We will look at the classical myths of Demeter and Persephone, of Orpheus and Eurydice and compare them with the Sumerian myth of Innana and the Welsh myth of Pwyll. A main theme of these myths is the descent of the hero or the heroine to the Underworld and their ascent and return as fuller, richer and wiser beings. Modes of interpreting this journey have been many and the vehicles used to articulate it equally numerous, including those of art, drama, dance and song. We ask what lessons these stories may have for us today and how they may be used to gain insights into our personal identity.

Who is this course for

Anyone interested in literature, mythology, or psychology and how ancient tales can be made relevant to today's world.

What does this course cover

The Otherworldly myths of Persephone, Innana, Eurydice/Orpheus and Pwyll are explored in order to draw parallels with the psyche's voyage to the depths. Awareness of the treasures such a journey can result in are highlighted. Its relevance to the quest for personal identity, as an initiation scenario and the individuation process is emphasised throughout.
- acquire knowledge of famous stories from the Greek, Sumerian and Welsh mythology
- appreciate their similarities and differences
- perceive the value of an open-ended, non-dogmatic interpretative approach to the material
- be able to apply insights from the key themes to your own life situations

What will it be like

The course will involve group discussion, question and answer forum, lecture presentation plus audio aids. Relevant class handouts will also be distributed. Assessment will be via quality of responses and feedback together with overall enthusiasm displayed and an ability shown to make connections between material provided and your own life crises, etc.

What else do you need to buy or do

Preferably, bring along a notebook, loose-leaf file or folder. Reading around the subject in advance is always recommended, together with the viewing of appropriate media documentaries where and when available

What this course could lead to

Further study of comparative mythology and its themes, psychology, ritual and any area which may have a common affinity with the subject matter.

mwc logo

I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’