Friday, June 28, 2019

Buzz Coil: April-May-June

Here are some notes about recent posts from blogs on our blogroll:

Annelinde's World: Annelinde Metzer's May 24 post, "Sara La Kali, is a poem about the Romani Saint's Day for Sara La Kali in the French town of Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer (aSara's Saint's Day just happens to fall on my birthday [as well as Bob Dylan's]. What do you make of that?) There are several stories or myths about Saint Sara. Among them, that Sara was the daughter of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, another that she was a servant of the holy family. Metzner gives additional explanation at the end of this poem with links to a video of the celebration of Sara La Kali's feast day and with photos. The blogging poet gives us poems that are tributes to the Goddess on May 5, with "The Sky in May," and on April 25 with "As Spring unfolds." Both with photos. 

Pagaian Cosmology: Australian author Glenys  D. Livingstone's June 16 post, "Solstice Season--Winter/Summer @ EarthGaia 2019 C.E." explores the similarities and differences between the solstice celebrations in Earth's northern and southern hemispheres. Her June 13 post, "Cake for the Queen of Heaven and Earth," introduces "the Winter Solstice Communion blessing as it has been done in the PaGaian tradition" and its relation to the biblical passage in Jeremiah about women continuing to bake cakes for the Goddess Astarte though it had been forbidden. On June 10, Livingstone's post is "We are Gift of Goddess-Mother Supernova." The title is a reference to the Goddess Tiamat and the star named for her.   

Fellowship of Isis Central: FOI's June 21 post, " Happy Summer Solstice," is a ceremony for the holiday that begins with incense activation and the instructions, "Let there be music throughout the ceremony." The May 26 post, "FOI Chicago Annual Goddess Festival" gives details about the upcoming Oct. 3-5 event. The April 23 post "Beltane Isian News 2019" links to the full recent edition of the "News."

HecateDemeter: Noting that she is writing on the anniversary of William Butler Yeats' birth, in her June 13 post, "Pre-Moving Potpourri," Hecate contemplates her move from a DC Suburb "to my new home in the mountains."  Among other things, she is looking for guest posters for her blog while she gets settled. Her series "The Magical Battle for America," continues in the posts of June 9 (Lady Liberty); June 2, May 26, May 19, May 12, May 6 ( bald eagles and other animals); April 28 (introduces Bald Eagles as a new magical symbol in the series), April 21 (eagles); April 14 (landbase and politics), April 7 (landbase). The fiction story "A Witch Without A Place" reappears from a few years ago (remember Gemmy?) in a April 30 and June 4 posts. In the post of May 1 "Blessed Beltane," a video follows her April 30 "A Prayer to Aphrodite at Beltane," that begins
"This is a prayer to Aphrodite.  This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for love and beauty.  This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for wine and roses.  This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for orgasm.  This is a prayer for Resistance."  

Association for the Study of Women and Mythology:  ASWM's June 20 post is an obituary for ASWM member "Dr. Savithri Shanker De Tourreil" who died 2 days before at the age of 84. Part of the obituary reads: "Dr. De Tourreil. . .held degrees in English literature and religious studies. . . " At AWSM, she "presented foundational and engaging studies on the matrilineal cultures and customs of Kerala. Her groundbreaking ethnographic doctoral research on women-centered social customs among the Nayar community, *Nayars in a South Indian Matrix: A Study Based on Female Centered Rituals* (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, 1995) continues to serve as an inspiring model of feminist ethnography, feminist religious studies, matrilineal kinship, goddess scholarship, Hindu women, social change and social customs."

 Broomstick Chronicles: A June 11 post by Macha NightMare (aka Aline O'Brien), "AAR 2017-IV (2017)," discusses witch burnings in Norway (16th-17th centuries) and shows parts of the process with many photos. (Also published on June 12 in COG Interfaith Reports.)

Brigid's Grove: Blogger Molly's June 15 post, "Prayer for Sacred Pauses," is a short but deep prayer to "Goddess of the sacred pause."

Hearth Moon Rising: Scroll down to bottom of page for links to blog posts including: April 21 post, "Visions of the Cat," an excerpt about a vision quest from Hearth Moon's book, Divining with Animal Guides, and the April 16 post, "Event Chart for the Notre Dame Fire," an astrological look at the recent destructive fire at the Paris cathedral along with some of the cathedral's history.

Shakti Warrior: The subject of the June 1 post in this blog, "Arnemetia," is introduced by Shakti Warrior as "a Romano-Celtic water goddess."

Veleda: Max Dashu's blog now seems to be leaving off the dates of the posts (at least I couldn't see any ;-). In any case, because the policy of Medusa Coils is to post details only of blogs that show dates with their posts (actually I believe this is part of the definition of "blog"), and because Veleda's posts have usually been dated and because these are longish, well-detailed and extremely well-illustrated, and because I guess these posts are recent, I will list the titles of what appears to be the newer posts, assuming reverse chronological order common to blogs: "The keebèt and women’s ceremony in the Chaco," "Pattern Recognition: Across Space and Time," "Serpent Goddess in the Tree," and "Furies and Witches."

Because of the large number and variety of bloggers and posts on the following blogs, we suggest you visit them and select the posts that interest you most. 

Pagan Square: This blog of many mostly-Pagan paths is sponsored by BBI Media and includes SageWoman blog posts.

Feminism and Religion: Many bloggers from various religions and paths.

The Motherhouse of the Goddess: Blog affiliated with Motherhouse Podcasts and Mystery School.
The Wild Hunt: Pagan, news-oriented blog that has grown from single blogger to many bloggers.


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

REVIEW: Correspondence by Joseph Campbell

 Correspondence, 1927-1987 by Joseph Campbell, edited by Evans Lansing Smith and Dennis Patrick Slattery,  New World Library, 2019, 419 pages.  
 This is the latest book in a series of collected works being published by New World Library in cooperation with the Joseph Campbell Foundation. At this writing, there are about 22 books listed in this collection. “Medusa Coils” has reviewed tw0 of these books previously: Goddesses and The Mythic Dimension. Correspondence, as the name implies, focuses not exclusively on Campbell’s other books, but rather on his correspondence with other people—some well known, others lesser known— about his and their work and sometimes about their personal lives, so it, in a way, becomes both  autobiography and biography. It provides an unusually personal view into the community of intelligentsia, both in and out of the university, particularly those who have a great interest in mythology. So I feel it will be of greatest interest to people today with similar interests rather than specifically those interested in Goddess—although like The Mythic Dimension, it includes this subject also.
The b&w pictures throughout the book are mostly of Campbell or Campbell and his correspondents. Most of the book’s chapters form a chronology of the development of Campbell’s approaches to mythology. The chapters, along with some of the people with whom Campbell corresponds in each chapter, are:

Chapter 1: “Wanderings— Paris to Pacific Grove, 1927-1939,” Angela Gregory (sculptor), John Steinbeck (novelist), Ed Ricketts (biologist).
Chapter 2: “Decade Mirabilis, The 1940s,” Roger Sherman Loomis (Celtic mythology scholar), Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (museum curator), Henry Morton Robinson (novelist and, with Campbell, author of A Skeleton Key To Finnegan’s Wake), Maud Oakes (artist, ethnologist, and writer specializing in Native American tribes).
Chapter 3: “The Banquet Years, The 1950s,” Margaret Mead (cultural anthropologist and author); Henry Corbin (philosopher, theologian, professor of Islamic Studies); Carl Jung, (founder of analytical psychology and explorer of archetypes); Stanley Edgar Hyman (literary critic and husband of author, Shirley Jackson).
Chapter 4: “The Masks of God, 1959-1968,” Alan Watts (author, philosopher, theologian and for 5 years, an Episcopal priest, who developed an interest in Buddhism, especially Zen, as well as other religions— in addition to their correspondence, Campbell’s 1974 introduction to Watts’ (d. 1973) TV series appears in this chapter.); Mircia Eliade (author and lecturer, especially on spiritual topics); John D. Rockefeller 3rd (exhibitor at The Asia Society in New York City); Ted R. Spivey (English professor and author with interest in archetypes, dreams and psychic development); Signe Gartrell , aka Lynn Gartrell Levins, (author with interest in dreams and psychic development); Barbara Morgan (photographer and artist best known for her pictures and portrayals of famous dancers); Henry A. Murray, M.D. (psychologist and professor at Harvard University, where he was also director of the university’s, Psychological Clinic) Swami Nikhilananda, speaker originally from India, and founder of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center in New York); Lewis Gannett (author); Larry Glen (reporter with interest in mythology); Joseph Chaiken (theater director, founder of The Open Theater in. New York; Herman Goetz (art historian who writes to Campbell of Hartmut Schmoke’s interpretation of the Song of Songs, “as an Ashtharot ritual dissected and disarranged because it had been too popular to be suppressed by the priests of Jehovah…”[Note: Ashtharot is transliterated elsewhere as Ashtoreth, Ashteret, Asherah and other spellings].
Chapter 5: “Political Matters – Thomas Mann to the Vietnam War, 1939-1970,” differs from other chapters in that it is devoted to a specific topic in multiple years, while the other chapters are devoted to enumerating individuals with whom Campbell corresponded in shorter time periods with specific years and contain multiple topics. The chapter starts with a full-page picture of Campbell from his 1954 passport photo. Among the people corresponding with Campbell discussed in Chapter 5 are (as you might guess from the title) Thomas Mann (novelist) who disagreed with Campbell’s political views although he previously had expressed admiration for Campbell’s work. Among other correspondents in this chapter are Arthur Miller (playwright), and Gary Snyder (environmental activist who combined Buddhist spirituality and nature in his poetry, essays, and lectures).
Chapter 6: “The Mythic Image, The 1970s,” opens with a description of the difference between Campbell’s approach to mythology, and those of other people famous for their approaches to mythology. It also notes in the material from several of Campbell’s correspondents – including that of the Herbert S. Bailey of Princeton University Press, which was, at that time the publisher of the book – Campbell’s receipt in 1977 of an honorary doctorate from Pratt Institute, and includes Campbell’s address to the Pratt Institute graduating class the day he received the award. It also includes 20 of the endorsements from writers and scholars, etc., encouraging Pratt to give Campbell the award. A number of the other notes and letters to and from Campbell and his correspondence relate to the editing and publishing of this book.
Chapter 7: “The Last Decade, The 1980s” includes a discussion that may be of particular interest to readers of this blog: the material published after Campbell’s death in the book, In All Her Names: Explorations of the Feminine in Divinity (HarperSanFrancisco, 1991), which Campbell edited along with Charles Musès, and in which Campbell discusses “the Mystery Number of the Goddess," and refers to Marija Gimbutas’ work. It includes correspondence from Einar Pálsson, a mythologist known mostly for his work related to Iceland. In letters to Campbell, Einar connects the mythology of “Fryr/Freyja” to that of “Osiris/Isis” as well as the relationship of elements (such as fire and water) to shapes and numbers. Also included in this chapter is correspondence between Campbell and Jamake Highwater (journalist and author of more than 30 books of fiction including some for children, art, poetry, and history), and Phil Cousineau (author, lecturer, filmmaker, whose work includes mythology).

The chapters of the book end with a “Coda,” of “Testimonials and Condolences” mostly to Campbell’s wife, Jean, after Joseph’s death from cancer in 1987.

Other information and comments by Campbell and other people about Jean appear throughout the book.
The front matter includes: The poem, “Correspondences” by Charles Baudelaire; “About the Collective Works of Joseph Campbell” by the editors; Foreword by Dennis Patrick Slattery, PhD; Introduction by Evans Lansing Smith PhD; Notes on the Text; Overture by Robert Walter.

The back matter includes: An appendix: “The Works of Joseph Campbell, (a list with pictures of 31 books and their relationship to the chapters in this book); “Notes,” (about the front matter and chapters); “Works Cited (alphabetically by author);” “Permission Acknowlegments,” with related page numbers; Index, including indication of subjects that are illustrated; and “About the Joseph Campbell Foundation.”

Yes, this is quite a thorough book and is likely to be especially valuable to students, scholars, and others with interest in Campbell and related subjects

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