Mythology and Resilience

A Conversation between Author & Painter Stephen Linsteadt and Mythologist & Transition Entrepreneur Willi Paul.

First published by









Stephen Linsteadt [SL] and Willi Paul [WP]


[SL] Carl Jung held the opinion that civilization is influenced on a global level by certain archetypal energies arising from the Precession of the Equinoxes. The twelve stages of this cycle of astrological alignments can be found to correspond to the twelve stages of the hero’s journey as outline by Joseph Campbell. Do you agree with Jung’s perspective and, if so, in what hero stage do you think we are experiencing at the present time?

[WP] I am not a student of Zodiac and this symbology. But there are new symbols in my work. See five archetypal energies below. Today’s journey is a mediated, hybrid Journey: on foot, with internet and the transmuted archetypes. False heroes and false journeys abound. Community is the Hero. Teacher and leaner moving forward together. Family is key.

I think today “our solo Hero” is threading sand in Campbell’s Stage 6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies:

“Now finally out of his comfort zone the Hero is confronted with an ever more difficult series of challenges that test him in a variety of ways. Obstacles are thrown across his path; whether they be physical hurdles or people bent on thwarting his progress, the Hero must overcome each challenge he is presented with on the journey towards his ultimate goal.”

I have encountered five archetypical energies related to climate change, Permaculture & Nature and their symbols:

1. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: A love to preserve unique landscapes for future generations. Mistrust of greedy, short-term land and energy developers

Symbols: Tree of Life, Permaculture logo, Yosemite, Seeds, Amazon Rain Forest, US Gulf Coast

2. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: Our hope is to build sustainable systems in our local neighborhoods and towns. Fear of food and fuel shortages; fights for resources between neighbors and governments

Symbols: Crude oil on rails, GMO; Convergence and sharing expo events; neighborhood plans and new rituals

3. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: A deep love for freedom to own fire arms; fear of guns and killing.

Symbols: AK-47, US Flag, Scenes from mass shootings, vigils, pawn shops

4. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: Fear that global warming will destroy all life on Earth. Mistrust of business and goal of short-term profits

Symbols: Rising coastal tides, melting polar ice, coal fired power plants.

5. Permaculture & Nature Archetype: Mistrust of energy privatization and corrupt safety practices. Love of the system and blind faith in corporate responsibility

Symbols: BP, PG&E, Duke Energy

[SL] What are the main themes in your New Mythology Landscape?

+ Para-normal
+ Universal struggle / message
+ Sacrifice (W. Paul)
+ Symbols and Archetypes (Jung)
+ Sharing (Transition Movement)
+ Community as Hero (Joseph Campbell)
+ Spiritual Resilience (Julia Bystrova)
+ ReWilding (Dan De Lion and Permie Pixie)
+ Nature is Sacred
+ Future-based (W. Paul)

[SL] What is your concept of the ‘Hero’ both for the individual and for the community?

[WP] My new role of the Hero is embedded in Permaculture (Nature) and the Transition (sharing) movements. We need Heroes that champion a fearless heart, a deep respect for sustainable / local agriculture and a courageous value shift away Capitalism and private property and profit.

Read complete conversation>>


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