Madness, Shapechanging, and Art (Continued)

by Niko Silvester with art by Brian Froud Besides being solitary and dreamy, a shaman sometimes "becomes violent and easily loses consciousness, takes refuge in the forests, feeds upon the bark of trees, throws himself into the water or the fire or wounds himself with knives" (75).In the words of Stephen Larsen, a shaman is […]

How Cáer Came Into Being

by Patrick Cotter This aeon of which we speak littered newly with drumlins and moraines: the after–gutturals of glacial dishevelment, trees spread themselves over it like filaments of mould over a fermenting apple: this is the godly harvest that is Eriu. But if you are a god, sconce minutely between the leaves, revealed there running […]

Fire and The Fire Bringer (Continued) 2

Agni photograph by Ashok Khosla and Susan Bodenlos 3. Fire Gods and Fire Bringers Fire gods and goddesses are deeply-rooted in all ancient cultures, and their manifestations are quite diverse, but they all seem to share the quality of being associated with a form of wisdom beyond human understanding. The Hindu god of fire, Agni, […]


by Jeanie Tomanek Envoy by Jeanie Tomanek The hawk came innocent last year to the ledge of my sealed window in the glass tower where we capture blue in structured planes make clouds wrap corners, spoke sharp notes I refused to conjugate, and then was gone. Now he returns full-grown, breast feathers flecked rusty. Bold […]

In Praise of the Cook (Continued) 2

"Supari" by Patrick Manning Good cooks carry with them secrets locked away in the arcane languages of foods, herbs and spices. They study their alchemical properties, creating potent combinations that not only arouse our sense of taste, but offer wellbeing and longevity. In India, the 5,000 year old Ayurvedic systems of cuisine promise the knowledge […]

The Boy Who Was Born Wrapped in Barbed Wire

by Christopher Barzak There was once a boy who was born wrapped in barbed wire. The defect was noticed immediately after his birth, when the doctor had to snip the boy’s umbilical cord with wire cutters. But elsewhere, too, the wire curled out of the boy’s flesh, circling his arms and legs, his tiny torso.They […]

Ted Hughes and Crow (Continued)

by Ann Skea Trickster has never been restricted to one society. In European countries he appears in the guise of Jester or Fool, and his roots in the human psyche are deep. Alan Garner has collected Trickster stories from many countries in his book The Guizer and he writes: If we take the elements from […]

La Serenissima (Continued) 2

by Catherynne M. Valente II: The Feast of the Ascension My psaltery wept, but did not lie. I put my ring in the water. I cut my hair in the name of the Mother of Christ, Star of the Sea. I hung my hymen on a golden hook and there were no more strange and […]

Madness, Shapechanging, and Art (Continued) 2

by Niko Silvester with art by Brian Froud Shaman by Personal Quest Neither Tomás nor Fox show the usual signs of solitariness, absentmindedness or violence. In fact, they are both quiet and well–grounded people throughout the novel. When we first meet Tomás, he is already apparent as a shaman: Tomás stared into the fire, aware […]

Bluebeard (Continued)

by Terri Windling Illustration by Herbert Cole "The Robber Bridegroom" is another classic fairy tale about a murderous stranger. It too can be found in Germany and Italy, and in variants around the world. One of the most evocative of these variants is the English version of the story, in which the Bluebeard figure is […]