Browsing the archives for the American tag

Secret Service Code Names: The Power of Names in Politics

U.S. Secret Service code names have been used to refer to the president and VIPs since the Truman Administration. I find them fascinating, because they are a modern expression of a very old mythological theme, the Magic Name or Secret Name. Names have power in both mythology and psychology. In many mythologies, speaking a name […]

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 […]

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 […]

World Flood Myths: Giants, Stones & New Life

Within the last year, devastating floods have hit Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil, Queensland, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, such that the Christmas flooding in the southwestern U.S. seems like a single drop of water by comparison. Floods are epic events that claim or change lives, fundamentally altering landscapes and leaving traumatic memories in their wake. Unless you have […]

Vodou: African Religion in Haiti

I have been buried in dissertation and real life and neglected this blog. However, I have just posted an article on Haitian Vodou whose Adsense and Amazon revenue will go to Hope for Haiti, a good charity helping with Haiti relief efforts.  Here’s the introduction: What Is Haitian Vodou? Haitian Vodou (Anglicized as Voodoo) is […]