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Folklore Bibles by Waverley Fitzgerald
 
When I was an unhappy sophomore transfer student at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, I spent my lonely evenings in the library, taking notes from Funk &Wagnalls Encyclopedia of Folklore and Mythology. I was fascinated by the articles about obscure holiday customs, the symbolism of flowers, magical stones and strange deities. I still have my notes from those days, written in green ink fountain pen ink.
 
But today I don't have to go to the library. I have my own copy of Funk & Wagnalls, inherited from my mentor, Helen Farias, and full of her penciled margin notes. I keep it right beside my desk. It's still the single best place to turn for folklore. After spending hours researching the lotus in various flower books, I finally turned to F&W and found both three times the quality and quantity of information. Reliable, user-friendly and now available in paperback.
 
The other richest source of folklore in my collection is the great compendium (12 volumes when first published in 1890) by the great Scottish folklorist, Sir James George Frazer. Like many other brilliant scholars (Robert Graves and Barbara Walker come to mind), he had  an agenda and managed to make the data he collected fit the patterns he discerned.
 
I am skeptical of his theories about the annual ritual killing of the sacred King (perhaps because it's not a tradition I wish to perpetuate) but I'm Ok with his lumping together Jesus, Adonis, and Osiris as reborn and dying vegetation gods (some scholars don't agree). Also Frazer, in his 19th century way, assumed that "primitive" peoples did things like make love in the fields or light bonfires at summer solstice because they believed that through sympathetic magic these acts would encourage the plants to grow and the sun to rise. It seems just as likely they understood the value of a symbolic act, the same way we do.
 
-- Excerpt from Living in Season, the official newsletter of School of the Seasons, Volume 1, number 10 (c) Waverley Fitzgerald.

The Tale of Camelot

The tale of Camelot is not one, but many tales.

The Tale of Camelot
The Tale of Camelot
The Search for the Holy Grail

There first is the tale of poor Arthur, begotten from out of the shadow of deception and murder. His father bequested to him a life of betrayal and doom, but in the course of this life he fulfilled the shining prophecy of the wizard Merlin to become the greatest king of the greatest kingdom on Earth.

The ideals and spirit of Camelot became like the very Grail that was their quest to centuries of dreamers, who even today dream of a society where honor is respected, the weak are protected, the many can be one, and might does not make right.

For More on King Arthur
For more on King Arthur
Search the Fellowship Archive

The scales of Fate held Arthur's life in balance as he paid for the sin of his father, who deceived a married woman using Merlin's sorcery and caused her to betray her husband. King Uther satisfied his lust and murderous appetites without regard for constraints of the present or fear of retribution in the future. The progeny of that union, Arthur, paid for it with his own future by being deceived and betrayed by love at every turn.

He  first was betrayed by his own half-sister Morgause, who used her magickal arts to snare him and lay with him to conceive his child and his bane, Mordred. But though this consequence would be inevitable and the end of it all, the betrayal of his cherished wife Guinevere was a cut felt more deeply.

The tale of Guinevere is yet another fable of pitiful helplessness under irresistible forces. Poor Guinevere, the young maiden who gave her first love to Arthur. At his side, she was adored by the people, but the love of Arthur's best friend and the best of all his knights broke their union and the kingdom apart. Loveless, childless, homeless, she fled in shame to a nunnery to seek solace in submission to God.

Wondrous is the tale of Merlin, Arthur's teacher and father-substitute, counselor and enabler, the wises and most learned of men -- but ultimately a man who was not immune to deception and betrayal by woman himself.

Excalibur
Excalibur

Wondrous is the tale of Excalibur, the sword which possessed strength and mystical powers to elevate Arthur from the low station to which he had been abandoned to that foreordained to him as King. As it was the talisman of the beginning of Arthur's ascension, so it paid his passage to his descent from glorious life. When Lancelot's fever spread the sickness of discord around the Round Table and Mordred and his armies had destroyed the kingdom and dealt his body mortal wounds, Arthur's final journey was to return the sword to the Lady of the Lake, to Avalon, where some say Arthur still resides.

Arthur the Once and Future King of all the Britons has been remembered beyond all the days of his life; the tale of Camelot lingers on when all memories of that time have long slipped into legend.

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Buddha: A Hero's Journey to Nirvana

Joseph Campbell, in his epochal book 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces,' emphasizes that the essential trait of a hero in the making is his restlessness. Not at ease with his immediate environment and circumstances, a constant unease gnaws at his heart, prompting him to question the very nature of his existence. This inner strife is the first inkling that a greater destiny lies ahead of the potential hero.

Campbell divides the evolution of the hero into five distinct phases:

1. The Call to Adventure
2. Crossing of the Threshold (Entering the Unknown)
3. Trials and Tribulations of the Journey
4. Attainment of Enlightenment
5. Return of the Hero

The Buddha's journey to spiritual awakening or 'Nirvana,' as it is popularly called, perfectly mirrors the above mentioned progressive development of a hero. Read the rest of this article at ExoticIndia.

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courtesy Virginia Tech

Sacred Scarecrows
Why did architects and stone carvers use them in so many variations to adorn medieval cathedrals? Many believe their purpose was to ward off evil in a world rife with fear and superstition as plague and afflictions thought to be of demonic influence killed thousands. Evidence has been discovered that suggests that griffins and gargoyles may have been modeled on creatures that actually existed.

Fae by Moonlight
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Inner Landscapes: 

Metaphysical Interpretation of Fairy Tales

"There is only one story and it is the story of your journey into consciousness and your recognition of the Divinity within you and in the life around you." ~ Joan McKenna

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