Tag Archives | Mythology

A Conversation with Richard Long, Author of ‘The Book of Paul’

LongGetting blurbed by Stephen King is the Holy Grail of the horror writer. If you don’t know what that means, it’s when an author (usually famous) reads your book and gives you a quote to put on the cover of your book to attract readers. For Stephen King to put his name on it, you know the book has to be outstanding. And when you’re talking about The Book of Paul, it is. I first heard Richard Long on a podcast and the way he described his book really caught my attention. He delves deeply into the occult, mythology, and astrophysics. As these are the same themes running through my books, especially The Portal Arcane series, I had to check it out. The Book of Paul does not disappoint. Long wrote it in a “cinematic” style that is fast-paced and streamlined. He doesn’t waste a lot of time on narrative description and his characters are so visceral you’ll swear you’ve been friends with them for years.… Read the rest

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Apocalyptic Imaginary: Best of Modern Mythology eBook

best-of_2011-ebook-frontThere is a limited time offer over at Modern Mythology: a free PDF of the 2011 “best of” anthology. It’s available as a direct link on the right sidebar of the site, and doesn’t require your email address (as many “free” eBooks do.)

More about the book:

This book captures and expands upon the unique commentary and analysis that has helped define the Modern Mythology project in 2011. Through the voices of many contributors, we collectively take a hard look at the blurred lines between narrative and truth, philosophy and literature, personal history and cultural memory. All of this is done with an eye towards the imagined apocalypse that is always just around the corner.

It’ll only be up there until the end of June, so nab it now. (Print edition.)

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Alan Moore and Psychogeography

Picture: Karen Karnak (CC)

Picture: Karen Karnak (CC)

Alan Moore interviews are always worth reading. Here he discusses psychogeography as it applies to various of his works.

via Reasons I Do Not Dance:

What exactly, in your not unlimited understanding, is Psychogeography?

In its simplest form I understand psychogeography to be a straightforward acknowledgement that we, as human beings, embed aspects of our psyche…memories, associations, myth and folklore…in the landscape that surrounds us. On a deeper level, given that we do not have direct awareness of an objective reality but, rather, only have awareness of our own perceptions, it would seem to me that psychogeography is possibly the only kind of geography that we can actually inhabit.

What books and writers ignited your interest in psychogeography?

The author that first introduced me to the subject was the person I regard as being its contemporary master, namely Iain Sinclair, with his early work Lud Heat.

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The Myth of the Lazy Youth

As we have seen time and time again, one of the challenges of modern myths is their relative invisibility. It is the outsiders of any age, those who are alien to their own times, that make the best artist shamans, and the same goes for mythic explorers. If you are too close to a culture, you will very frequently mistake the truisms of culture, the myths, as a fact. This is true with “human nature” (as we have seen), and it is also true with our myths of labor and work.

Let’s consider the example presented when one generation judges another,

“Twenge and Kasser analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked the views of a representative sample of 17- and 18-year-old Americans since 1976. They compared the answers to key questions given by high school seniors in 2005-2007 to those provided by previous generations.

To measure materialism, the youngsters were asked to rate on a one-to-four (“not important” to “extremely important”) scale how vital they felt it was to own certain expensive items: “a new car every two to three years,” “a house of my own (instead of an apartment or condominium),” “a vacation house,” and “a motor-powered recreational vehicle.” They were also asked straightforwardly how important they felt it was to “have a lot of money.”

To measure their attitudes toward work, the seniors rated on a one-to-five scale the extent to which they agreed with a series of statements, including “I expect my work to be a very central part of my life,” and “I want to do my best in my job, even if this sometimes means working overtime.”

The researchers found a couple of disturbing trends.

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Sinister Yoga

From Modern Mythology:

“Breathe in, hold in, breathe out, old, focus on purifying the mind and body with white light” — how many of you have heard this before? (Quite possibly while internalizing thoughts of lighting the teacher on fire as they use words like “sensation” as code for “agonizing, excruciating pain” as they twist you into a pretzel.)

Here at Modern Mythology we are often looking at the origin myths behind what has become rote practice. This may involve delving into etymological history or just conjecture about the possibilities that have since been forgotten. However, in this case, it seems that our work has been done for us. If you’d like to check out an alternative perspective on yoga and the myth of the yogi, check out David Gordon White’s “Sinister Yoga.” (This is not to say that alternative myths are not myths themselves.)

This approach challenges many of the preconceived Western notions of yoga.

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Ancient ‘Gateway To Hell’ Unearthed In Turkey

Ancient oracles approached the ancient portal and received hallucinations and visions from the noxious fumes belching forth, reports Discovery News:

A “gate to hell” has emerged from ruins in southwestern Turkey, Italian archaeologists have announced. Known as Pluto’s Gate — Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin — the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.

Historic sources located the site in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now called Pamukkale, and described the opening as filled with lethal mephitic vapors. “This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death,” the Greek geographer Strabo (born 64/63 BC) wrote.

The site revealed a vast array of broken ruins once it was excavated. The archaeologists found Ionic semi columns and, on top of them, an inscription with a dedication to the deities of the underworld — Pluto and Kore.

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The Underworld of the Periphery: Countercultures of the Future

From Modern Mythology

Those that just don’t fit, the underclass or outcast, those of the periphery, the counter-culture — these are popular topics around here, and for good reason,

“Peripheries are often border zones where peoples or things are thrown into unexpected contact, hybrid spaces yielding new possibilities for social and cultural organization.”

Think of the musical genres, poetic innovations, and linguistic creoles of the Caribbean; or think of the social “margins” or the “queer periphery,” where disenfranchisement and stigmatization give rise to relatively free experimentation in social practices and cultural life. Though centers may seem more advanced or more privileged than peripheries, decisive change and innovation often begin at the fringes. Yet the very tendency toward difference and transformation out on the margins often meets with a violent reimposition of norms from the center: Soviet tanks rolling into Prague, or the Janjaweed and Sudanese military sweeping through Darfur, or the police descending on Stonewall.

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The Words of Traitors: bridging expectation, mediums and genres

Announcement from Modern Mythology:

Described as “Beautiful!” by award-winning sequential artist and author David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil, Dexter), Words of Traitors is an attempt at laying bare the inner workings of hope and loss, love and despair, with the raw fury of a complete mental breakdown. At the brink of death, our life flashes before our eyes. Are those memories nothing more than lies? Our memories construct our sense of identity, but can we rely on them?

This work explores the fallibility of memory and how much our memories change over time and ultimately betray us, becoming “words of traitors.” Each story is based on a jigsaw of real memories told by a fictional narrator. The combination of magical realism and real life allows both the writer and the reader to explore the language of the  subconscious.

The production process was an intense alchemical experience, much of which was documented behind-the-scenes on the Words of Traitors website.

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John Major Jenkins on Mayan Cosmology and 2012

Joe Moore presents episode 40 of the Occult Sentinel Podcast:

This is a recording of a talk that John Major Jenkins gave to Evolver Boulder on December 6th 2012. He discussed the trajectory of his work, his key findings, and how he found them. I personally think his work is pioneering and foundational to Mayan studies.

He is the author of a number of books including:

Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date
Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan, Egyptian, and Vedic Traditions
The 2012 Story: The Myths, Fallacies, and Truth Behind the Most Intriguing Date in History
Pyramid of Fire: The Lost Aztec Codex: Spiritual Ascent at the End of Time

John also helped to translate and edit The Key to the Kalevala by Pekka Ervast.

See his website for more information – http://www.alignment2012.com

Audio MP3

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