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JLL Biographical Notes

Comparative mythologist, author and teacher John Lash is one of the foremost exponents of the power of myth to direct and shape an individual’s life, as well as history itself.
Robert Sardello, co--founder of the Dallas Institute of Arts and Humanities, called John "the true successor of Mircea Eliade." Others compare him to Joseph Campbell, whose trailblazing work on Parzival and the Grail Quest has been extended by John. He is a lifelong student of world mythology, Tantra, Buddhism, Gnosticism, the pre--Christian Mysteries, alchemy, astrology, and naked-eye astronomy.

His latest book, Not in His Image (2006), a manifesto of the goddess revival, is fast becoming an underground classic. It introduces the concept of Gaian experimental mysticism, or telestic shamanism, as a recovery of the pagan Mysteries. In a full-page review in the Sunday L. A. Times, Jonathan Kirsch compared it to The White Goddess of Robert Graves. He also compares John Lash to Nietzsche for the strength of his radical critique of salvationist faith.

John has traveled widely throughout the world and lived in Japan, the UK, Greece, Norway, France, Spain and Belgium.

Published works:

The Seeker’s Handbook: The Complete Guide to Spiritual Pathfinding (1991)
Twins and the Double (Thames & Hudson, 1993)
The Hero - Manhood and Power (Thames & Hudson, 1995)
Quest for the Zodiac (Starhenge Books, 1999)
Not in His Image (Chelsea Green, November 2006)

The Seeker’s Handbook, which Jean Houston called “a remarkable cartography into the mazeways of the spiritual journey... at once intellectually exciting and a lot of fun to read,” was a Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club Alternate.

In 1981 John founded the Institute for Creative Mythology in Santa Fe, New Mexico. ICM offered an open forum to explore “directive”—psychologically active—myths and their expressions in culture and daily life. At ICM John gave lectures and interactive seminars on a broad range of subjects, including Gnosticism, the erotic psychology of the Troubadours, Mesoamerican calenders, and Goddess rites of participation in the seasonal cycles of nature. Over several years he developed a course in alchemy that resulted in an extensive syllabus and study guide entitled “The Great Work: Alchemy and PsychoEcology.”

Little Red Schoolhouse, Friendship, Maine
where all the trouble began

His unpublished and in-progress works include original studies of alchemy, the Dendera Zodiac, the World Ages, and Gaia-oriented, entheogenic shamanism. He is the leading exponent of metacritique (the radical analysis of belief systems).


John Lash is co-founder and principal author of metahistory.org, a unique portal for gnostic and pagan perspectives including Planetary Tantra, an open source vision for interactive magic with Gaia. The purpose of this site is to challenge unexamined beliefs and foster a future myth melding the Sophianic vision of the Gnostics with Gaia theory. Consistent with John's previous work, the site emphasizes the Divine Feminine. Metahistory.org presents unique views on alien intrusion (the Gnostic Archons) and develops the third-generation perspective on the entheogenic shamanism that originated with Robert Graves, Aldous Huxley, and R. Gordon Wasson.

India, February 1966
"Hey, up there, have you lost your fuckin' mind?"

In spring 2006 metahistory.org (then sponsored by the Marion Institute) introduced a twin site futureprimitive.org, dedicated to exploring inspired and sustainable strategies for a planet-friendly future. John found the name "future primitive," designed the new site, formatted the illustrations and layout, composed the mission statement, provided a MacBook Pro, software, office facilities and accessories, and personally and financially supported his long-time friend Joanna Harcourt-Smith for two years, time to get the site up and running. Joanna now runs futureprimitive.org independently of his support, but sponsored by the Marion Institute.

For over 35 years, John Lash has specialized in studies of sidereal mythology: that is, myths found in all cultures around the world relating to the patterns in the skies. He has developed original techniques of observation, combined with a method of reading those patterns and relating them to the way we live and view the world. In Quest for the Zodiac, he shows how the mythic images encoded in the constellations register the place of each individual on the learning curve of the human species. John is recognized as one of the leading scholars on ancient astronomy, the Zodiac, and precession of the equinoxes (World Ages).

With Romy Kundun, Fall 2004
"Left to the human perspective alone,
we cannot even know what it means to be human."


Additional to writing and teaching comparative mythology, John Lash has been writing screenplays and experimenting with film ideas since 2001. His first screenplay, Sabina, tells the true-life story of Sabina Spielrein, the first mistress and muse of world-famous psychologist, C. G. Jung. This story of transcendent love probes deeply into the foundations of modern psychology, revealing the suppressed role of a brilliant woman who inspired Jung only to be rejected by him. Sabina Spielrein deserves to be recognized as the Anne Frank of the Jewish intelligentsia. With the success of John's screenplay, she has every chance of that.

Recently, John, co-writing with his publicist and colleague Madonna McManus, completed a screenplay based on Dr. Sax by Jack Kerouac, iconic author of the Beat Generation. Kerouac's daughter and only child, Jan Michele, was John's wife and closest friend of 28 years. Today, John co-owns book and film rights (assigned to Frances Ford Coppola) to On the Road and over a dozen other books by Jan's father. He is currently developing film ideas based on these prestige properties as well as other screenplays totally of his own invention.

Contact: jll@metahistory.org




Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.