Epicycles

Healing Water Goddesses

Healing Water Goddesses

Betsy CornwellJan 31, 20215 min read

Water is crucial to all life on Earth, and from the earliest records of human history we have venerated its healing and regenerative powers. It is no surprise that many healing water deities are goddesses: the life-giving, wellness-nurturing properties of…

Suvannavanna Hamsa Jataka: The Golden Swan

Suvannavanna Hamsa Jataka: The Golden Swan

Margo McLoughlinMay 1, 202024 min read

Prologue Long, long ago, in the far distant past, the Bodhisatta was born as a swan.1 He grew up to become the leader of a great flock of swans. They were known as the Dhatarattha clan. Their feathers were the…

Sarabha-miga Jataka, The Noble Stag, Retold by Margo McLoughlin

Sarabha-miga Jataka, The Noble Stag, Retold by Margo McLoughlin

Margo McLoughlinApr 28, 201910 min read

A Deer Hunt. c.1775 from Kotah, Rajasthan, India. Pigments on paper Once the Bodhisatta was born as a deer. He grew up to be a magnificent stag—a Sambar, the largest of the many kinds of deer that roam the forests…

Ceremony, an Aztec myth, By Fray Juan de Torquemada and Translated by David Johnson

Fray Juan de TorquemadaJul 26, 20182 min read

Tezcatlipoca from the Codex Borgia They say that after the birth of the Fifth Sun, when the Gods had sacrificed themselves to get the Sun moving in its daily course, that their disciples walked about sadly…

Izanagi and Izanami, a Japanese myth, Retold by Paul Jordan-Smith

Izanagi and Izanami, a Japanese myth, Retold by Paul Jordan-Smith

Paul Jordan-SmithMay 27, 20184 min read

Searching the Seas with the Tenkei (天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図 Tenkei o motte sōkai o saguru no zu). Painting by Kobayashi Eitaku, 1880-90 (MFA, Boston). The story of Izanagi and Izanami has been adapted from two traditional sources of…

How Wisdom Became the Property of the Human Race, by Anonymous (West African)

How Wisdom Became the Property of the Human Race, by Anonymous (West African)

Parabola EditorsApr 11, 20162 min read

Again and Again Anansi Tried To Climb the Tree There once lived, in Fanti-land, a man named Father Anansi. He possessed all the wisdom in the…

The First Tears, an Eskimo folktale, Retold by Anne Twitty

The First Tears, an Eskimo folktale, Retold by Anne Twitty

Anne TwittyMay 10, 20182 min read

Photo by Steve Halama One day First Man went out seal hunting along the seashore. He saw many seals. He chose a seal, and carefully crept…

The Unasked Question, Retold by Paul Jordan-Smith

The Unasked Question, Retold by Paul Jordan-Smith

Parabola EditorsJun 9, 20175 min read

From The Boy’s King Arthur, 1922. N.C. Wyeth Anonymous | Medieval European “AND WOE TO HIM who failed to ask the question burning in his heart.…

O My Country!, A Maghreb folktale, Retold by Anne Twitty

O My Country!, A Maghreb folktale, Retold by Anne Twitty

Anne TwittyApr 29, 20183 min read

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art. King Salomon knew the language of all living creatures, and all obeyed him, especially the birds. One day this great…

The Thanksgiving Prayer, Adapted from the Mohawk

The Thanksgiving Prayer, Adapted from the Mohawk

Parabola EditorsNov 24, 20166 min read

Illustration by John Kahionhes Fadden THE THANKSGIVING PRAYER Adapted from the Mohawk by John Stokes and David Kanawahienton Benedict The People Today we have gathered and…

Tsunemasa, Retold by Kenneth Lawrence with Artwork by Kumiko Lawrence

Tsunemasa, Retold by Kenneth Lawrence with Artwork by Kumiko Lawrence

Kenneth E. LawrenceApr 29, 20175 min read

Artwork by Kumiko Lawrence Attributed to Zeami Motokiyo | Japanese Noh Retold by Kenneth E. Lawrence Translated by Edward Kai Lawrence Art by Kumiko Lawrence When…

Hagoromo, Retold by Kenneth Lawrence, translated by Kai Lawrence. Art by Kumiko Lawrence

Hagoromo, Retold by Kenneth Lawrence, translated by Kai Lawrence. Art by Kumiko Lawrence

Kenneth E. LawrenceJan 31, 20185 min read

Illustration by Kumiko Lawrence Attributed to Zeami Motokiyo | Japanese Noh Retold by Kenneth E. Lawrence Translated by Edward Kai Lawrence Art by Kumiko Lawrence A…

The Verses of Ambapali, by Margo McLoughlin

The Verses of Ambapali, by Margo McLoughlin

Margo McLoughlinNov 8, 20165 min read

A new translation and commentary by Margo McLoughlin Ambapali | Buddhist In Vesali, in ancient India, at the time of the Buddha, a baby girl was born spontaneously at the…

The Christmas Angels, by Risa Levenson Gold with Artwork by Jean Zaleski

The Christmas Angels, by Risa Levenson Gold with Artwork by Jean Zaleski

Parabola EditorsApr 29, 20154 min read

By Risa Levenson Gold with Artwork by Jean Zaleski It was a bitter cold, rainy December twilight in Manhattan several days before Christmas. I was waiting in the persistent drizzle for…

Kuzunoha

Kuzunoha

Parabola EditorsFeb 26, 20171 min read

Kuzunoha the Fox Woman. Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) Kuzunoha is a popular figure in Japanese folklore. In this print, Kuzunoha’s true form (a fox) is visible in…

The Way of the Householder, Retold by Rama Devagupta

The Way of the Householder, Retold by Rama Devagupta

Rama DevaguptaNov 1, 201710 min read

Photograph by Hans Eiskonen Anonymous Hindu Long, long ago in a holy forest, there lived a young ascetic named Kaushika. Because he had renounced the worldly…

The Brave Little Parrot, Retold by Rafe Martin

The Brave Little Parrot, Retold by Rafe Martin

Rafe MartinJan 31, 20174 min read

Anonymous | Buddhist Long ago, a little grey parrot lived in a green forest. She was a happy bird, and loved to fly. One day a dark storm hovered over…

The Awakened Eye, by Frederick Franck

The Awakened Eye, by Frederick Franck

Frederick FranckApr 2, 20183 min read

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926): An Orchard in Spring, 1886 I was five years old. My mother and a friend I was expected to address as “Aunt”…

Ave Maria, by Jenny Koralek

Ave Maria, by Jenny Koralek

Jenny KoralekJan 29, 201612 min read

Vincent Van Gogh, Pietà (after Eugène Delacroix). 1889. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam As the following passage begins, Jesus of Nazareth, here called Yeshua, is suffering on the…