I put out a call recently for good sources to aid in constructing myths & religion for invented worlds. This was inspired, among other things, by rereading the Earthsea books (backward starting from Tehanu — that experience may get its own post) and being impressed yet again with the density and richness of the world LeGuin created.
Jeremy Antley recommended The Bathhouse at Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia by W.F. Ryan (no relation that I know of) which I am excited to read. Although I confess I first scanned the title as The Bat House at Midnight and was a little disappointed to discover that it will not be about places like this:
And Lisa Blauersouth (who’s just started a blog on fairy tales and myths! Click, people!) commented: “Mostly I’ve spent years reading every myth and creation story i could get my grubby hands on, then looked for patterns. Creation stories tell you pretty much everything you need to know about a given religion/culture–the who, the what and the how.”
I think I’ll be rereading George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By, too.