On a forum I frequent, a seeker new to Paganism asked how important mythology is to Paganism. Of course, that depends greatly on what flavor of Paganism you practice. They also mentioned that written lore stifles spirituality. Below is a large part of my reply, reworked slightly, as I feel that for Hellenismos mythology is vitally important, and it does not stifle spirituality at all.

As a Hellenic Recon, much of my practice, world view, and moral framework is based upon mythology. The rest is filled in with non-myth ancient sources, and a tiny bit of UPG. I'm not a new-age spiritualist, and if I were, I would most certainly be in the wrong religious field. I am religious: I believe in, worship, and have built my life around the Theoi. This means that a large part of my practice is making things not about me. As such, a new-age world vision and Reconstructionism do not really match.

Still, in my own way, I am very spiritual: I see the world as a place of wonder, a world influenced every day by the Theoi. Looking beyond myself in order to find the Gods has been a very spiritual journey. It's also a journey that I would not have been able to make without mythology.

Mythology not only teaches what kind of person you should strive to become, but tells us so much about the Gods. It speaks of Their likes and dislikes, Their spheres of influence, the way They relate to each other... and all give vital clues for worship. I look at the sun and see Hēlios' golden chariot. I know Eos had sped ahead before Him, and Apollon carries His bright rays down to us. I remember Hēlios' son, who would not listen to his father's advice and not only died for his hubris, but nearly killed many men with his recklessness. When I think of these events, I go over my own life to see where I am being as pigheaded as Phaëthon, and try to adjust my behavior. These myths make me a better person.

When I observe the cycle of the seasons, I see in it Persephone's cycle of Underworld visits. I can feel Demeter's grief. When I mourn the loss of Demeter during the Thesmophoria, I do not eat, as She did not eat. I do not make love to my partner, as Demeter refused to make the world fertile and pregnant with life. I do not do this, just as the women in ancient Hellas did not do this. They came together in a camp on the side of Pnyx, and they fasted, they wept, and they withheld sex. They recreated the time before Demeter taught humankind to cultivate the fields. It was a dark time, a time of hunger and pain. At the same time, this day was also used to remember the time when Demeter sought her daughter and neglected her duties as a harvest Goddess. This had also been a time of great hunger. They honor Demeter, and Persephone, and in return, the Goddess will look favorably upon them and grant them fertility of land and body once Persephone returns. This combination of myth and ancient sources makes me a better worshipper. I see the pattern that underlays the mythology, I perform the rites, and they bring me closer to the Theoi.

I could give you literally a hundred more examples of how mythology has influenced my religious life, my spirituality, my daily practice, and my life in general. It has shaped my person in such a way that I could not imagine ever living without them. I would not be able to practice my religion without investing in its mythological framework.

So these are my two cents. I hope they give you some insight in how I—as a religious Pagan—feel about mythology, and perhaps it will have given the original poster insights into their views as well. What place does mythology have in your practice? Is my world view recognizable to you? I would love to hear some of your closest mythological associations in every day life.