I picked up my copy of the latest issue of Parabola magazine today. These are special days, only four every year since it’s a quarterly publication, and I learned early on to make it last as long as possible by spreading out the reading of it instead of doing it all in one sitting.
From the Parabola website:
“The Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition is a not-for-profit organization devoted to the dissemination and exploration of materials relating to the myths, symbols, rituals, and art of the world’s religious and cultural traditions. To this end, the Society is the publisher of Parabola Magazine.
What is a Parabola?
A parabola is one of the most elegant forms in nature. Every path made by a thrown ball, every spout of water from a fountain, and every graceful arch of steel cables in a suspension bridge is a parabola.
The parabola represents the epitome of a quest. As stated in our first issue, it is “a curving line that sails outward and returns with a new expansion—and perhaps a new content, like the flung net of a Japanese fisherman.” It is the metaphorical journey to a particular point, and then back home, along a similar path perhaps, but in a different direction, after which the traveler is essentially, irrevocably changed.
Parabolas have an unusual and useful property: as in a satellite dish, all parallel beams of energy (e.g., light or radio waves) reflect on the parabola’s face and gather at one point. That point is called the focus. In a similar way, each issue of Parabola has its own focus: one of the timeless themes of human existence.”
I discovered this magazine a couple of years ago and ever since have anticipated each publication date. I carry the most recent issue around with me everywhere and pull it out whenever I have a few moments to (re-)read an article, admire artwork or get lost in some poetry. There is always a wonderful diversity of traditions, opinions and styles in each magazine, and I often find myself using an article as inspiration to do further research on a particular topic or author.
The theme of each issue is great, exploring different paths to the same destination; sometimes building one upon the other so that by the end of the issue you have come full circle. An added benefit to having a clear theme is that when something comes up in my life or inside myself, I can easily refer back to some older magazine that deals with that theme – and often learn new things upon a later reading, or have different elements be relevant to my present situation.
At $9.50 per issue, it may seem pricey, but remember that you are only buying four a year. They now have digital editions, but I personally love to have a physical copy to carry with me and make marks in. You can also order back issues from the website here.
A couple of my more recent favorites are Seeing, Volume 36:3 and The Unknown, Volume 37:3.
Go explore their website. I’m pretty sure you’ll find something to inspire you.