This paper explores how mythical figures and comicbook superheroes can 1) inspire personal growth, social and planetary change, and 2) explicate aspects of the deep ecology movement and transpersonal ecosophy that invite further academic inquiry while at the same time 3) speak to concerns that ignite the interests of popular culture and personal mythology. Likewise the ecopsychological significance of modern fictional characters in comicbooks, graphic novels, and films will be examined. It is divided into two parts. Part 1 provides a theoretical examination of how definitions of the terms myth and hero and hero’s journey are framed, and their implications for understanding personal and transpersonal growth. Part 2 provides portraits of individual characters from comicbook lore, their evaluation, and their significance toward raising collective archetypal awareness of the psyche’s relationship with Earth—an ecopsychological framework. In addition the paper offers practical examples of how this understanding of comicbook lore can be used for cultivating a new quality of life on a planetary scale.
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Schroll, M., & Polansky, C. (2017). Bridging transpersonal ecosophical concerns with the hero’s journey and superheroes through comicbook lore: Implications for personal and cultural transformation. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 36 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2017.36.2.1