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This is a forum for members of all Reconstructionist faiths and cultural traditionalists to interact and discuss resources for research -- primarily books and websites, although information about cultural resources such as music, art, and crafts are also welcome. Reviews and reading lists are welcome, and encouraged.

Important note: This is not a community for Satanic, Neopagan, Wiccan, or Hermetic/ceremonial magic(k) discussions. Posts on these topics will be deleted. Please check our community info page for more on this group.

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Jan. 26th, 2006 @ 10:10 am Baal Myth
I have been working on a literary project that consists of turning the cycle of Ugaritic myth into a short novel, epic in style. That is somewhat recherché I know. Who except for the lover of the obscure even knows what ‘Ugaritic’ might be?

Briefly, everyone knows that the Bible is full of myth, and that these myths might come in some sense from an older, ‘pagan’ civilization. Casual readers of the old testament might get the impression that the Canaanites had been wiped out sometime before King David, but this is not the case. The whole area that we think of as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel/Palestine, was inhabited in antiquity right up until the conversions to Christianity and Islam at the End of the Roman Empire by Semitic peoples who embraced many local versions of the same ancient religion that underlay Biblical myth. Jews were only a small part of the population of this area, and, just as today many holy places are shared by Jews and Palestinians, Morton Smith tells the detailed history of a shrine was used on Jan 6 each year by ‘Canaanites’ to celebrate the festival of the wine god Eschol and on the next day by to Jews to celebrate Yahweh’s triumph over Eschol, until St. Helena tore it down and built a church of the Epiphany (celebrating Jesus’ wine miracle at Cana). The temple of Baal at Heliopolis (modern Baalbek) was the largest temple of any kind in the world until the construction of the new St. Peters—but its Corinthian columns are still the largest ever executed (a replica of one is used as a water tower in St. Louis)—I could go on, but suffice to say that the traditional religion of this area was remarkably vigorous right up until the end.

Be that as it may, Ugarit was a city on the coast of Syria that happened to have been burnt down and sacked in the 14th century BC—preserving the clay tablets of the personal library of the city’s priest of Baal—Ilimiku by name—mostly his own compositions. And this is the principal source for our knowledge of the ‘Canaanite’ myth that underlies the Bible. But no one knows of these texts except for a few experts—certainly less than a thousand people in the world can even read the language and script in which the tablets are written (and I am not one of them)—and they are even tedious to read in translation (available for the most part only at Seminary and major university libraries) because the individual tablets are badly preserved. So I set out to make a literary version of these myths that might be appealing to the modern lay reader, and have used not only these tablets but the traces of Semitic myth that one may find in the Bible, in Hesiod and a few other hard to find places. What I have is an introduction that expands on this very message, and four chapters, the first one describing the creation of the world, and three more following the struggles of Baal as described by Ilimiku: against the God of the Ocean, in a struggle to achieve a supremacy recognized by the gods, and against death.

The project is most similar in English literature on the one hand to those of Blake and Milton, insofar as it explores biblical myth, and to Tolkien’s, insofar as it aims to reconstruct a lost mythos working with the broken pieces available to us. Though I make no claim to have equaled their achievement, I hope this gives you an idea of the genre.

An integral part of the concept from the beginning was to illustrate the text using images found on the web—mostly originating from my favored period of art between, let us say, 1840 and 1940, and if possible art published in that period in postcard form. This will remind the alert reader of Eco’s Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, but the idea was well formed in my mind before reading that excellent novel. Patrons of the old Art Magic site may recall my list there of pre-Raphaelite paintings intending to illustrate biblical scenes, but equally applicable to older Semitic myths.

I have just posted a draft of the first chapter dealing with creation in my Live journal:

http://malkhos.livejournal.com/1821.html#cutid1


If you make the effort to look at it, please leave a reply, especially if you find anything profoundly defective about it.
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Fidus
malkhos:
Sep. 10th, 2005 @ 10:29 pm Slavic mythology books question...
I've been hard pressed finding books about Slavic mythology and, even more so, paganism. I was wondering if anybody knew of some particularily good reads out there, or any good translations of Slavic myth (Polish, Ukranian and Serbian especially). Thanks in advance.
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ME!
fafner88:
Apr. 25th, 2005 @ 08:09 am Book Request
I'm looking for books and articles dealing with figures from Greek and Roman mythology. More specifically: their context. What might they have been representing, how they were perceived by contemporaries, and so on. Any suggestions?

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<crossposted [...] <lj>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

I'm looking for books and articles dealing with figures from Greek and Roman mythology. More specifically: their context. What might they have been representing, how they were perceived by contemporaries, and so on. Any suggestions?

<i><crossposted to <lj comm="recons"> and my own journal></i>
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oak in winter
brannen:
Apr. 25th, 2005 @ 12:59 am
Here's an article I wrote comparing the deities Dionysos and Osiris. This is only a temporary home for the piece, which will be moved to one of my personal websites eventually. (Apologies for the pop-ups, but like I said, this is only a temporary home for the piece.) Note that I am not claiming that Dionysos = Osiris, simply discussing their many similarities.

X-posted to several communities - apologies if you see this multiple times.
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sennefer:
Mar. 15th, 2005 @ 11:47 am Cookbooks, Around the Roman Table
I know that I have enjoyed tracking down ingredients and trying to create traditional Aztec recipies, so I thought the Religio Romana people might be interested in this.

Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome
by Patrick Faas

In addition to a wealth of material about culinary customs and techniques in ancient Rome, Patrick Faas translated more than 150 Roman recipes and reconstructed them for the modern cook. Here are eight recipes from from the book—from salad to dessert.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/233472.html
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windingRoad
vivianstcloud:
Mar. 12th, 2005 @ 05:15 pm Cup of Wonder Issue Number Eight!!
Cup of Wonder Issue Number Eight is now (finally!) available!!
More info on this final issue is available here.
Details are not yet up on the website [direct your complaints to aboxofeyes ;-)], but if you want to order through there, just click for a "1-year sub" and put in which issue you want during payment.
Of course, you can order right from me, just email me at: vireonefer at yahoo dot com
Copies are $10.00 US, and trades are possible.

Cup is an annual journal of pagan reconstructionism. Over the years we have published fine material of interest to the various reconstructionist religions, material on Hellenism, ReligoRomana, Kemeticism, Asatru, and other, less well-known religions. We also were privileged to publish some excellent poetry and prose, and even a bit of art (like the gorgeous cover of this Eighth issue!).

(If this is inappropriate here, i'll delete it. Just let me know.)
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vireoibis:
Mar. 10th, 2005 @ 11:52 am
I'm not a paid advertising agent, but I thought I might pass this along to Recons in the US and Canada.

The Discovery Channel Book Club can give you some nice deals. Their in-stock archaeological and history section would be particularly suited to Greek, Roman and Kemetic types.

This has been an unpaid public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood Romanophile.
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ursus77:
Mar. 3rd, 2005 @ 11:23 am
An addendum to my previous post. This site is a great online library of core Heathen texts:

http://www.nidafjoll.com/library.htm

Enjoy!
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daughters-pb
hagazusa:
Mar. 3rd, 2005 @ 10:50 am
I've just learned that the Frau Holle by Gardenstone that I recently reviewed is available free online. Although ordering the book and supporting the author is always a good idea, too!

http://www.nidafjoll.com/library/frauholle.zip
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daughters-pb
hagazusa:
Feb. 17th, 2005 @ 11:14 am Frau Holle and Hollar?
Current Mood: curiouscurious
About eight years ago I was doing some research for a ritual and came across a reference to a male god who was said to be the husband/lover of Frau Holle. I have moved a number of times since then and have lost the reference. It was in a scholarly work on southern Germanic myth and legend. Has anyone else come across this reference?
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frauholla: