Richard Roberts

We are continuing our series of conversations with an author, a poet, a Tarot scholar and a mythologist Richard Roberts.

In the 1960s, Alan Watts presented Roberts with a letter of introduction to Joseph Campbell, which led to a 20-year mentorship with the famed scholar of mythology – a partnership which included collaborating in seminars and writing books, and which lasted through the remainder of Campbell’s life.

In his college days, Roberts had vowed never to write a novel until he had an idea no writer before him ever had. In a vision, he conceived of a book in which his characters would “go into” other literary classics and interact with the characters, all the while writing in the style of the original authors of those classics. Roberts regards the resulting book, The Wind & The Wizard, as his life’s masterwork.

In this episode, Richard Roberts introduces the MonoMyth as a path to individuation, tells a story of his own “belly of the whale” experience, and how his publishing company Vernal Equinox Press came to be.

  • MonoMyth as a path to individuation
  • Myths are psychic openings to individuation
    • For many academics myths at the time were nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales
    • For one who places self-knowledge above empirical knowledge, myths are psychic openings to the inner world and to the outer cosmos
    • Ouroboros symbol, ying-yang symbol
    • Joe pointed out that serpent was the God of Levant thousands of years before the creation of the Book of Genesis
  • Sophia and serpent
    • Creation of the World, Adam, and Serpent as an instructor
  • Joe’s mentorship for Richard’s evolution
  • Tarot book publication
    • Modern psychology confirms that the Tarot cards comprise an image comparable to that encountered in dreams of the path of initiation
  • Belly of the Whale
    • Morgan & Morgan press – a hoax publisher
    • Richard’s mother got sick
    • Getting stuck in New York airport
    • Joe tells Richard to “ride the tiger”
    • Court gives rights back to Richard
  • Idea for the Vernal Equinox Press
    • Publishing was expensive back then; Richard proposes the idea of his own publishing to Joe, he agrees
  • Story of Vernal Equinox Press
    • 1953 – Richard being grad student
    • Course “Myth and the Bible” – no courses like that anymore
    • Early vegetation gods (4000BC) would die and revive around Vernal Equinox, and it appears the Easter resurrection of Jesus follows this pattern. Therefore, synchronicity with Richard’s birthday of March 21.