Interpreting Myths and Mount Shasta
For those myths that originate in the Mount Shasta area, it is up to the reader to determine whether to believe it as literal history, or a symbolic story. The history of mythological theory includes either the literal or the symbolic interpretation of myths. Taken literally, myth is a primitive form of thought that will eventually be replaced by scientific reasoning. In its literal form, the myth will always be read for its original meaning without elaboration or further interpretation. Symbolic interpretations of myth maintain that myth is allegorical, using symbols to represent something else, and contains some kind of timeless wisdom.
How to Interpret a Myth
In interpreting myths, it is important to study the myth as it was originally recorded in its grammatical and historical context. Also, the text before and after a passage is equally important to the passage being interpreted. The immediate context of each particular passage must be taken into account because the text is clearer when complete. Accordingly, the logical flow of the text works best when taken as a whole, not in part. Unclear passages of the text should be interpreted by more clear passages. In other words, the text should be used to interpret the text. In myths, especially older ones, the main points are often more clear than the details. In addition, symbolic meaning must be interpreted with the historical, cultural, and geographical background of a text considered.
Ways of Interpreting Myth – Twelve different ways of interpreting myths