Fiction and the Shamanic Journey

In a series of posts a few years ago, I talked about the function of fiction. What is it for? What purpose does it serve? After all, it’s all a pack of lies — and what’s more, it’s lies that everyone knows are false. In that article I argued that fiction’s primary purpose was to…

The Wheel’s Hub: the Axis Mundi in Tolkien’s Middle Earth

Note: ¬†this post is intended to be part of the “Journeying to Otherworlds” synchroblog hosted by Mahud here. ¬†Other participants include: Faith and the Hero’s Journey (Hawk’s Cry: The voice of a witch) Journeying to Otherworlds: Access Denied (Between Old and New Moons) Lions at the Door (Quaker Pagan Reflections) More Than These Words (Aquila…

The Narnian Tarot

Lewis channels not only the Christian story, but the Universal Story — the one echoed in Gilgamesh, the life of the Buddha, King Arthur, and so on. This is the story that children connect to when they read the books, and the reason for their enduring popularity.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill Sings of Beltane

The following is a poem attributed to one of the greatest Irish heroes, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, said to have been composed by him shortly after gaining the gift of poetry from the salmon of wisdom. May-day, season surpassing! Splendid is color then. Blackbirds sing a full lay, if there be a slender shaft of day….

Poetic Interlude

A big part of my candidate year for the AODA is poetry — learning to read it, write it, and appreciate it. I admit that when I was younger I considered most poetry that I read to be too old, too pompous, too idiotic, and too cynical; but now that I am getting older, more…

The Instructions of King Cormac

Below I’ve copied in a remarkable ancient Irish text, “The Instructions of King Cormac“, taken from the Book of Ballymote, which dates to about 1390. The “Instructions” themselves are certainly much older — probably they date to pre-Christian times, since they fail to mention God anywhere. Ellen Hopman drew attention to it on the Druid…