March 26, 2012

Remembering Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was born March 26th, 1904 and passed on October 30th 1987.

He was a mythologist, writer, and speaker and is best known for his PBS series with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth that aired posthumously. He was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. His many books have had a huge impact upon understanding the purpose of myth in various cultures, throughout time, and include important insight into the functions of myth. Campbell’s book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, influenced George Lucas’s Star Wars and provided Lucas with a foundation to create a consistent mythology.

He had a great influence upon me as a writer and as a video lecturer, his is beyond comparison to any other speaker in his videos, particularly with Bill Moyers. His advice to “follow your bliss” is important to my personality, but his concept to MYTH – Make Yourself The Hero, was mind changing. His MYTH concept was the imbus for the “cattle raids,” which we held at many gatherings in the mid-west in the early 1990s. In the “cattle raids” we would steal each other’s stuffed toy cattle using and then tell stories about the evening fire. The stories would grow in the telling, often to mythic proportions. The story telling, where your actions became the basis for the development of new myth, became the stuff legends come from.

Likewise, The Masks of God was an important influence upon my understanding of how deity is interpreted by different cultures at different times. The cultural context of the people is fundamental to understanding the development of their myths as well as understanding how spiritual relationships develop.

Today, on the 108th anniversary of his birth, I remember Joseph Campbell and give thanks to him as an Ancestor.

March 24, 2012

"Solitary Druid" = murder your family - NOT

I always worry when the State wants to use their ignorance about Druidism as the basis for motive.  The idea that someone calling themselves a "solitary Druid" means that they wanted to get rid of their family is ludicrous.
I hope the judge bars the mention of the defendant's beliefs as no good can come to anyone, either the defendant or the Druid community, if the prosecution want to use such information in such a way.

That said, I would think that the defense would want the person's Druid beliefs brought up.  That Druidism holds that all life is sacred is an important tenet. And that "solitary Druid" only means a person following a Druid path without benefit of a grove, congregation, or in-person clergy.

I sincerely hope that Vaughn didn't do it and is found not guilty, but if he did it, there is no amount of honor price that could be paid for such a despicable act.  (Illinois abolished the death penalty last year.)  
Christopher Vaughn's defense team seeks to bar mention of his Druid beliefs -
In one dated April 24, Vaughn asked, "does anyone know of anyone in the Yukon territories by chance?" and added that he wanted to move there "permanently," said Assistant State's Attorney John Connor. Vaughn spent time in Canada a month later, he said.

Prosecutors also want to include a posting Vaughn made in which he called himself a "solitary Druid." Connor said it was another indication Vaughn wanted to rid himself of his family.

March 10, 2012

Author seeks essays on polytheistic experiences

Saw an interesting request for essays for inclusion in a book being done by an author, William McGillis. I think maybe I'll write up an essay about my encounter with a mountain lion and submit it. That encounter was probably the most spiritual, sacred, experience in my life. 

William McGillis « Cambridge Centre for Western Esotericism
Seeking thoughtful, original, and previously unpublished non-fiction essays recounting first-hand encounters with Gods, ancestors, spirits, disembodied intelligences, and sacred presences in nature.