Browsing the archives for the All Myth Posts category

Amaterasu Hides Her Face

Cart commemorating Amaterasu’s cave, Kyoto (click picture for details) Credit: Ganjin on Flickr, CC Several recent Mythphile posts hinge on “return of the sun” mythology. Around the world, people have always told stories about night and winter. They attempt to answer a life-or-death question that had no answer before the science of astronomy: how do […]

The Word and Unstruck Sound

Words have power, and many creation myths begin with god speaking or singing the universe into being. The New Testament speaks of Logos, the word. Kosmos, the universe, which also means “that which is ordered, structured,” arises from logos, the word. This is older than Christianity, of course: Greek philosophers spent a lot of time […]

In Memoriam: The Shoe Tree of Nevada

The Shoe Tree is dead. Long live the Shoe Tree. I learned about Nevada’s Shoe Tree on the “Loneliest Road in the World” from a touching article in the Los Angeles Times. In December 2010, this modern-day sacred tree was cut down by vandals with a chainsaw, after serving as a curious and cryptic symbol in […]

Sopdet, Egypt’s Herald of the New Year

Set your calendars, Egypt. No, not for 2/11/2011. (Congratulations and good luck!) I’m talking about August 2nd, when a very old Egyptian goddess is set to rise. Like most agrarian societies, the Egyptians watched the skies closely. They needed some sort of calendar to tell them when to plant and plan their harvests. The regular […]

The Curious Myth of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day Ceremony Photo Credit: Aaron E. Silvers, CC America’s Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a puzzling, fascinating, contradictory calendrical festival whose roots may go back to pre-Christian European traditions — and then again, they may not. What fascinates me about Groundhog Day is that it seems to follow the same pattern as many ancient […]