Epicycles

Out of the Box: How Raven gave light to the world

Out of the Box: How Raven gave light to the world

Leslie HebertOct 30, 20223 min read

Before I gave birth to the child, I lived alone with my father in a cold world of eternal night.  Outside the door of our longhouse a thick blackness covered the earth. It was so dark that when I took…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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”…

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…

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…

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…

Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

Pamela TraversJul 22, 20153 min read

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), Tea house at Koishikawa. The morning after a snowfall We sit on our heels on the tatami, the Japanese woman and myself, telling…

Out of the Box: How Raven gave light to the world

Out of the Box: How Raven gave light to the world

Leslie HebertOct 30, 20223 min read

Before I gave birth to the child, I lived alone with my father in a cold world of eternal night.  Outside the door of our longhouse a thick blackness covered…

Two Stories, by Mullah Nasr Eddin

Two Stories, by Mullah Nasr Eddin

Parabola EditorsDec 7, 20163 min read

Mullah Nasr Eddin Mullah Nasr Eddin, or Hodja Nasr Eddin, is a legendary Turkish teller of tales, a sort of wise fool, to whom all sorts…

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…

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.…

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…