Publisher of illustrated non-fiction
Underworld & Archetypes Fully Illustrated Mythology of Hades
by James Bennett  

VIDEO: the Author reads

VIDEO: Mr. Bennett explains how the hidden place beneath the earth is really within us: that the Underworld completes our psyche's wholeness and brings healing. He also describes how intellectual misunderstanding corrupted the imagery of the Mythological Underworld, and made it into a threat.

104 pages - 6" x 9" with 97 color photos


James Bennett

The author writes: "I am an observer of the culture through the lens of mythology and archetypal perspective."

"By looking and venturing down, by following the pathways of our dreams and the labyrinths of our imaginings, by opening ourselves to the creative uncertainty that's involved in stepping into the unknown … we will restore to the soul that sense of our place in the scheme of things.

"Allow the stories, pictures and images to sit with you and speak to you. This will spark your own connections and associations and open doors for you in unexpected and meaningful ways.

"The purpose of this book is to heal the split between heaven and earth, in ourselves and in the wider culture. My book is a small contribution to something much larger than any of us".


Mythological journeys to the Underworld exist in many different cultures. Their recurrence suggests their importance and necessity with regard to human experience. Psychotherapist James Bennett explores this subject in his book Underworld & Archetypes.

Having a deep love and fascination for the descent and ascent of Persephone in Greek Mythology, I was delighted to have the opportunity to review this book. I have long-held the belief that these stories of Underworld journeys, although on one level are metaphors for seasonal changes, also speak much about our own moments of crisis. I resonated wholeheartedly with the book's message that despite the pain and struggle that accompany such dark and difficult psychological descents, there is a deep value in the process with much to be gained.

James' book is written in three sections. The first deals with Western Culture's problematic fixation with transcendence; inherent in this obsession is the valuing of heaven above the earthly realms. This troubling polarisation has led to a perception of the material worlds of earth, underworld and body as inferior, flawed and even evil. James explores the psychological impetus that drives this split between spirit and matter, and illustrates how this unhealthy dissociation from the earthly realms severs us from our deepest sources of wisdom and growth.

The second section examines the myths of descent and reveals how these can be useful tools in encouraging us to positively engage with our own times of loss, grief and change.

The third section entitled 'The Space Between', discusses the importance of liminality in human experience; how change and transition are a constant factor in life. James reminds us that these liminal places are fertile with potential; thresholds where the known substance of our being - our understanding of the world and self - can dissolve and reform, triggering profound transformation and growth.

James' book will resonate with many on the Druid path. Druidry seeks to heal the split between spirit and matter, and the intimate connection Druidry fosters with the earth and its seasonal changes allows us to recognise that death and the descent are crucial to renewal and growth, whether it be in the natural world or within our own psyches.

As a psychotherapist of many years' experience, it is clear that James understands deeply our reticence to trust in this challenging process – there is nothing romantic or fun about pain and suffering – however, this great little book is both a useful signpost and a source of reassurance, suggesting that we are well-equipped for the journey, that the descent is a core part of our humanity and an experience we will all share.

Underworld and Archetypes is short in length but massive in wisdom. James Bennett writes with clarity and insight about a complex and intriguing subject. It is a perfect introduction to anyone unfamiliar with these fascinating myths and how they might serve to guide and enlighten our path. It is also an inspiring read for those veterans of the Underworld amongst us who know the myths and have the lived the journey but might need an encouraging reminder of its gifts. With a fascinating Bibliography and some lovely illustrations, Underworld and Archetypes is an enjoyable read I highly recommend.


U.S.A. : Amazon.com $16.63

U.S.A. : Barnes and Noble $16.63

U.S.A. : Walmart $16.72

U.K. : Amazon.co.uk £12.35

Deutschland Amazon.de EUR 26.92

Australia : Fishpond.com $22.10 AUD

eBOOK online

Kindle : AMAZON $4.49 USA


NOOK : Barnes and Noble $3.99

EPUB for smartphone ebook app or ebook reader
COLLINS $5.69 AUD Australia
FNAC.com 4.41 Euro France
BOL.com 5.06 Euro België an Nederland


By Laurence Hillman

"This book is a gem and a rare view at what is most repressed.... Combining clear and nicely composed language with amazing imagery really brings the wisdom contained here into focus. If you want to explore the "other" side of a light-seeking culture, the Yin, the dark feminine, darkness as source, inner riches, grounding and depth, this book is for you" -

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"What also fascinated me was the approach of the Art Director to match the illustrations with the text; the images gave me much pleasure and I appreciate the variety of the ones he chose. The way he displayed them on each page is also lovely, as they seem to be in a dialogue with the 2, 3, or 4 others the reader sees when the book falls open". - Jose, psychiatrist

Beautifully illustrated, a book that yearns to be discussed with book groups or friends - Carol Murphy, Review on Amazon

"It is a beautiful book; the images are stunning" - Mike Box, Saybrook University, Jungian Studies

"An incredibly compelling journey. You don't need to have experienced it to benefit from the profound words and insights of this academic and spiritual author." ~ Review on Amazon

• Even today many describe their recovery from illness, trauma or addiction as "going through hell". Does that not point towards the mythological stories of journeys through hades? Could they be interpreted into guidebooks in modern psychology?

Underworld and Archetypes Illustrated
Why are people sometimes plunged into a journey through Hell? Is it bereavement, withdrawal, or -- we just don't know why! Going thru Hell? This is a Jungian guidebook out of suffering. The author puts Hades in modern focus, for underworld mythology needs a C.G. Jung guidebook to help in therapy. There are archetypes in myths, particularily in the mythology of Hades. Within this book are the fearful archetypes illustrated in 90 photos. But what is the purpose of mythology? If we examine those archetypes in Jungian psychology, our understanding will help lead people out of Hell.