Joseph Campbell's editor for a decade, is president of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and a poet/playwright with several decades of experience as group leader, teacher, publisher, and theatrical producer/director/designer.
In the Chinese Calendar, now in its 79th sexagenarian cycle, a year can be named in three different ways, one of which is after an animal in the Chinese zodiac. So 2014 in the Gregorian calendar — year 4711 in the Chinese — is the year of the Wood (yang) Horse. Though the Chinese system isn’t fixed (as is its western analog), tradition holds that the animal ruling the year of your birth shapes your inherent traits: your “MythBody.”
For years, Joseph Campbell celebrated his birthday (March 26th) at Esalen. To explain why, he would tell of Carl Jung’s wondering, “What myth am I living by?”— and when he realized that he didn’t know, writing “I took it upon myself to get to know ‘my’ myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks.” “That’s what a birthday is for,” Campbell would conclude, “and what Esalen is about.” In March 1988, five months after Campbell’s death, several of his friends again gathered at Esalen for “Campbell Week” — a tradition that has endured.