Introduction to Love and its Myths
1. What is love?
2. What are myths?
3. What do myths and love have to do with religion?
1. What is Love?
“Do you have someone to love? We all want to love and be loved. If you do
not have anyone to love, your heart may dry up. Love brings happiness to
ourselves and to the ones we love...” – Thich Nhat Hanh 1997
Types of love:
1.tinh : means a love with lots of heat and passion.
2.nghia : is a love that is “calmer, more understanding, more faithful.”
3.Eros: refer to that part of love constituting a passionate, intense desire for
something; it is often referred to as a sexual desire
4.Philia: entails a fondness and appreciation of the other.
5.Agape:refers to the paternal love of God for man and of man for God but is
extended to include a brotherly love for all humanity.
Myths:as fictional stories or a way to explain phenomena prior to advances in
1.Structuralism: is an approach in the study of myth and literature in general,
that investigates what are believed to be hidden meanings within the myth.
2.Functionalism: approaches myth with the understanding that it plays a role
or functions to justify or legitimate social structures and norms.’
What Do Myths and Love Have to Do With Religion?
Myths can help us make sense of our world and our role within it. Myths
provide “sanctioning power” for our ethical codes, what we do, and how we
do it. This is how myths are related to religion.
Aboriginal Traditions and Mythical Context
1.Describe and differentiate between logos and mythos
2.Explain how mythos and logos can overlap using examples such as myths
about Northern 3.Lights and the White Buffalo Calf Woman
4.Describe Aboriginal concepts of Love and Marriage
5.Discuss how myth is a religious concept 1. Mythos:is a story or narrative. Nowadays, we refer to these ancient
“fictional” stories as myths.
2. Logos: Logos, or “a ground” had been a similar way to describe an
account, a story that is recounted.
The Northern Lights: Mythical and Scientific Understandings video
-Scientists explain the Northern Lights with = empirical knowledge based on
-Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Hemisphere form a relationship with the
northern lights through = physical and emotional experience of the
-The “Father of Russian Science,” Mikhail Lomonosov relied on = both
mythos and logos narratives, through poetry and scientific experiments
-The Dene story about the powerful medicine man whose camp was attacked
and used the Northern Lights to return the hunters home is an example of =
mythos or a narrative that does not necessarily have a “ground.”
White Buffalo Calf Woman and the Sacred Pipe: A Myth about Love
Sacred Pipe Ceremony as the Universe at Prayer
● importance as religious expression
● rather than a set time, the ceremony is performed when it is needed
● give thanks, ask for help, etc
● contact point between this world and spirit world
● anyone can request the ceremony
● can be held in any space, the time is right when everything and
everyone is ready
● circle, oriented to the east (feather)
● ritual moves clockwise: south (sweet grass), west (pipe), north
● at times it is counter-clockwise to “unwind” with an eye to
● altar to west and fire in centre
● shoes off, moccasins on; remove items of outside world; place
personal amulets on altar to renew power
● eagle feather fans used to fan fire
● eagle bone whistle and rattle
● four folds of cloth (red, blk, yellow, and wht = four races)
● ties to peace and unity
● Ojibwa megis shell – leadership
● bowl of water and tobacco
● pipe purified in sweet grass, assembled, loaded with sacred
● offered in the six directions and touched to the breast ● charging the pipe and the seven gestures; “washing” with
● purification act – menstruating women and imbibing in alcohol
● use of teaching wand
● invoke the four powers, heavenly powers, and spirit powers
● use of medicine wheel
● whistle is blown
● invocations are sung – tell of creative acts, traditions, and re-
enact and re-new
● with restoration, now prayer can be made
● The pipe prayer
● everyone takes a turn explaining their confession
● pipe lifted up – smoke rises, sacred tobacco offering
● interconnectedness of all beings, sacrifice taken into each
person’s body as pipe is passed around
● drum and rattle – highly ecstatic with spirit presence sensed
● communal, interconnected with each other, deep bonds
of love are formed
● thanks for water and food – meal is shared
● closeness to the earth is emphasized
● some make private tobacco and cigarette offerings and requests
● pipe separated, ending the ceremony
● With the pipe, the native traditions are considered to be
connected with humans and non-humans, the sacred hoop
redistributes what is needed by the individuals in the