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Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

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Joseph Campbell, new mythologies of computing [Apr. 16th, 2006|04:05 pm]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

Like a fish snared by a bait, I got caught by Joseph Campbell's works. This is what I've been devouring recently. In his interview with Bill Moyers, shortly before his death, he said:

Moyers There is a fetching story about President Eisenhower and the first computers--

Campbell -- Eisenhower went into a room full of computers. And he put the question to these machines, "Is there a God?" And they all start up, and the lights flash, and the wheels turn, and after a while a voice says, "Now there is."

Moyers But isn't it possible to develop toward your computer the same attitude of the chieftain who said that all things speak of God? If it isn't a special, priviledged revelation, God is everywhere in his work, including the computer.

Campbell Indeed so. It's a miracle, what happens on that screen. have you ever looked inside one of those things?

Moyers No, and I don't intend to.

Campbell You can't believe it. It's a whole heirarchy of angels -- all on slats. And those little tubes -- those are miracles.

I have had a revelation from my computer about mythology. You buy a certain software, and there is a whole set of signals that lead to the achievement of your aim. If you begin fooling around with signals that belong to another system of software, they just won't work.

Similarly, in mythology -- if you have a mythology in which the metaphor for the mystery is the father, you are going to have a different set of signals from what you would have if the metaphor for the wisdom and mystery of the world were the mother. And they are two perfectly good metaphors. Neither one is a fact. These are metaphors. It is as though the universe were my father. It is as though the universe were my mother. Jesus says, "No one gets to the father but by me." The father that he was talking about was the biblical father. It might be that you can get to the father only by way of Jesus. On the other hand, suppose you are going by way of the mother. There you might prefer kali, and the hymns to the goddess, and so forth. That is simply another way to get to the mystery of your life. You must understand that each religion is a kind of software that has its own set of signals and will work.

if a person is really involved in a religion and really building his life on it, he better stay with the software that he has got. But a chap like myself, who likes to play with the software -- well, I can run around, but I probably will never have an experience comparable to that of a saint.

Moyers But haven't some of the greatest saints borrowed from anywhere they could/ They have taken from this and from that, and constructed a new software.

Campbell That is what is called the development of a religion. You can see it in the bible. In the beginning, God was simply the most powerful god among many. He was just a local tribal god. And then in the sixth century, when the jews were in Babylon, the notion of a world savior came in, and the biblical divinity moved into a new dimension.

You can keep an old tradition going only by renewing it in terms of current circumstances. In the period of the Old Testament, the world was a little three-layer cake, consisting of a few hunderd miles around the Near Eastern centers. No one had ever heard of the Aztecs, or even of the Chinese. When the world changes, then the religion has to be transformed.

-- The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers (transcript) Interview with Joseph Campbell. 1988

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Vishnu's Digital Dreaming [Mar. 24th, 2006|12:13 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

People in general know nowadays that computers come in two major parts -- hardware and software. You can touch hardware. You can see hardware. You can throw hardware to the back of the truck and pull an Office Space on it in the middle of a lonely field.

Read more...Collapse )

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Favourite... [Mar. 12th, 2006|02:26 pm]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

[mood |curiouscurious]

1. folktale/fairy tale and why
2. photo/painting of mythological/folktale theme
3. poem/song
4. recurring motif/symbol/myth

Post something from the above, or examples of all if you wish.
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The Library [Mar. 4th, 2006|02:10 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

I took this from Chapter 14 of Out of Control, written by Kevin Kelly. The original is here. This is the kind of stories I aspire to write ... you read it and it casts a spell in your mind. Enjoy.

My path to the fiction section on the third floor of the university library meandered through hundreds of thousands of books sleeping on shelves. Have these books ever been read? Way in the back of the library, where the dark fluorescent lights must be turned on by the browser, I searched the international literature section for the work of the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges.

I found three shelves packed with books Borges wrote or that were written about him. Borges's stories are famously surreal. They are so absolutely fake that they appear real; they are literate hyperreality. Some of the books were in Spanish, some were biographies, some were full of poems, some were anthologies of his minor essays, some were duplicate copies of other books on the shelf, some were commentaries upon the commentaries on his essays.

Read more...Collapse )

-- Out of Control, "In the Library of Form" -- Kevin Kelly

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Gothic Nightmares Exhibition, London [Mar. 2nd, 2006|12:23 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Opeth: White Cluster]

Above: Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare

Gothic Nightmares explores the work of Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) and William Blake (1757–1827) in the context of the Gothic – the taste for fantastic and supernatural themes which dominated British culture from around 1770 to 1830.

Featuring over 120 works by these artists and their contemporaries, the exhibition creates a vivid image of a period of cultural turmoil and daring artistic invention.

The central exhibit is Henry Fuseli’s famous The Nightmare 1781. Ever since it was first exhibited to the public in 1782, this picture has been an icon of horror. Showing a woman supine in her boudoir, oppressed by a foul imp while a ferocious-looking horse glares on, the painting draws on folklore and popular culture, medicine, concepts of imagination, and classical art to create a new kind of highly charged horror image. This is the most extensive display of Fuseli’s art seen in Britain since 1975 and includes around sixty of his most important canvases and drawings including Titania and Bottom c1790, The Three Witches 1783 and The Shepherd’s Dream.

A selection of works by Fuseli’s contemporaries and followers, dealing with themes of fantasy, horror and perverse sexuality, complement his work. This includes over twenty-five exceptional watercolours and paintings by the visionary artist William Blake...More here plus info on how to get there etc...

This looks fantastic. I intend to go in the next few weeks and write some kind of a review when I return, and if any of you go - please feel free to let us know what you thought.

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Folk Tale Seminars in Perth, Scotland [Mar. 1st, 2006|11:16 pm]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

[mood |chipperchipper]
[music |Eddie Rabbitt: I Love A Rainy Night]

Hi everyone, my dad was harrassing me to go and look at his website that he's been working on, and I was looking in the Events section and came across something that might be of interest to people here. (Please also pass this along to anyone you know that may be interested!). From here: http://www.spanglefish.com/trans-scot/library.asp

Folk Tale Seminars 2006 by Robina Pye

Folk Tales (or fairy stories) are ancient and wonderful stories that come from the deepest levels of our soul. Speaking in the symbolic language of the unconscious they are teaching stories dealing with the major challenges of life, the dawning of sexuality, leaving home, marriage, the birth of a child, the death of one’s parents and the themes of youth, maturity and old age. Their purpose is to guide us step by step through life’s important transitions and to take us into the wisdom of maturity.

more information...Collapse )

Dates: 19th February 2006 & 19th March 2006
The seminars will continue throughout the year omitting April, July, August and December.

Time: 2.30 (prompt)–5.30pm
Cost: £18. Please phone The Orchard to book.
Place: The Orchard, Kilgraston, Bridge of Earn,
Perthshire. PH2 9HN 01738 813618

more about Robina & the venueCollapse )
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Useful Links - Root [Feb. 22nd, 2006|11:42 pm]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

[mood |creativecreative]
[music |Mediaeval Baebes: Dringo Bell]

This is a collection of all links we've found that are useful sources for Mythical Realms. I'm posting them altogether like this for easy access. Please continue to highlight any wonderful links you find as new posts, and either lunar_echo or myself will add them here for future reference. A link to this post will be available from the userinfo page, so you can click there and come straight here if you're looking for some help or inspiration! All links open in a new window.

Folktexts: A library... An extensive archive of e-texts and source material, simply huge!

The Online Medieval and Classical Library Another massive but extremely useful site for those interested in medieval & classical texts - a collection of vital works.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales One my favourite websites, and beautifully put together. Reliable versions of fairy tales and their folktale history, with interesting annotations.

The Endicott Studio Journal of Mythic Arts Another of my favourites, with some great essays and contemporary material. Diverse collections of original art & writing.

Sacred Texts Website A fabulous site filled to the brim with interesting and incredibly detailed mythological & religous texts from all over the world.
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songs & poems [Jan. 25th, 2006|12:59 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

Hello all, I was wondering if you had any favourite songs or poems that had a mythical aspect to them? I always love finding these little treasures & seeing how artists incorporate them in their work. One song that springs to mind is PJ Harvey's Sheela-Na-Gig.

sheela-na-gig picture & background infoCollapse )


I found a poem by Patricia Smith not too long ago called Medusa, it's gorgeous - full of references to other stories. Enjoy!

Poseidon was easier than most...Collapse )
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Sacred Texts Link [Dec. 9th, 2005|12:57 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

Me again. I was browsing this community and noticed </a></b></a>lunar_echo's list of links, and thought I'd post one to a site I'd found which seems to be full to the brim with interesting and incredibly detailed mythological and religous texts from all over the world.

Sacred Texts Website
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Maori Myths - Hine Hukatere [Dec. 9th, 2005|12:12 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts

I thought it was about time I contributed something here, but have been racking my brains trying to think what to post, so I thought I'd just go with a little story I found a while back that I'm completely in love with.

A few years ago I was in New Zealand, and it's hard not to become utterly interested in the Maori history and of course their legends & mythology. Of course they've still got such a wonderful nature-based element to them... and when you're actually there you can feel the land just oozing it all. So I was searching around the internet reading up on various texts and came across the story of Hine Hukatere, and I utterly fell in love with it. Remarkably, a few elements in it relate to a piece of poetry I'd written a long time ago/was working on (you know how it can be ;), which blew me away completely.

I wanted to post this here because there's a tendency to not come across some of these myths from smaller communities, and the ones from the Pacific region just seem so fresh and alive for some reason... it's interesting, because that sort of vibe is still so prevalent in the culture there today.

Hine Hukatere MythCollapse )


What the heck, I'll post the poem I wrote. ;) I ended up dedicating it to Hine as it just seemed like the right thing to do. :)

Ice Blessed SkinCollapse )
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