Monday, January 21, 2008

Our Mythology

I've been very sensitive to how ritual enriches life. Rituals are things like getting the same tea everytime you go to a coffee shop, or smelling a book before you read it, or washing your hands before a meal. And as little and arbitrary as they are, my life is richer and happier because of them. For many people still living in this world, mythology reinforces these rituals: History, Great People and Big Pictures conspire to weave the trivial flourishes of one life into a bigger narrative that accounts for everything that has ever existed.

The places chronicled in the Dictionary of Imaginary Places, the beings explored in the Book of Imaginary Beings and all the musics with echoes have been wandering my mind. I look for little worlds everywhere, and I cherish the people who create them .

I want a mythology that I can use in this world, a world with lots of different cultures, too much information, cars, computers and cites that juxtapose all of the approaches to beauty that exist. I'll start with the sky. Who are in the stars and what are their stories? Here are the sky's current labels: http://www.astromax.org/con-page/con-88.htm. Here are the sky's current stories: http://www.astromax.org/con-page/winter/gem-01.htm

Help me rewrite the sky. Here is are some references:



Sky charts
http://www.ed.arizona.edu/ward/Twinkle/jul98sky.gif

Very Very detailed Sky charts
http://www.aavso.org/charts/Constellation
for example:
http://www.aavso.org/charts/Constellation/ORI.

Detailed South African Sky charts
http://www.saao.ac.za/fileadmin/images/whatsup/jan08.jpg
try changing jan08 to aug08 or feb07 etc, for the south african sky in other parts of the year.

Chinese sky charts (Chinese constellations):
http://www.chinapage.com/astronomy/constellation28.html
Leading, at the bottom, to
http://www.chinapage.com/astronomy/chart/nexhibit6.gif
and
http://www.chinapage.com/astronomy/chart/nexhibit5.gif

Fictional Skies:
http://www.therugs.com/zoom.asp?id=COURMETcon

1 comment:

Mundane Turbulence said...

Hey Seth, this is Christian...what a lovely blog you have (I've got one too at herwitz.com/blog)!

I like your bit about rituals...it reminds me of my continuing search for personal history/identity by way of genealogy and genetic testing. Also, I'm working on creating a coat of arms for myself (a very specific little ritual).

Anyway, I'll be reading!