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Submissions for MYTHS are now closed. Thanks to all who sent in their work!

“… for all men have need of the gods.”
     —Homer, Odyssey (Book 3)

Or do they? Humanity seeks purpose. We seek order, truth, belonging. In times past, we looked to myths and gods in order to explain the world to ourselves and to understand why we should continue to endure. In Joseph Campbell’s words: It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward. Myths and religion are often seen in the western world today as something that only irrational fools would believe in — we have now science, empiricism, the provable world. We cast off the narratives that hindered us. What more could be left? Yet we make new gods to fill their places even though we don’t label them as such. We look to ideologies and technologies and new narratives that are meant to hand down to us the irrevocable truth, meant to build for us strong social structures, meant to take us into the next era of greatness. There’s a tight feedback loop between the gods we believe in and the societies we create, writes Aaron Z. Lewis of his 2019 pantheon of gods, which is why we must take seriously the metaphors we believe by. 

So we want to know: what are the myths of today? How are they propelling us forward or holding us back? Have they changed from old, or is it that we’ve strayed from some true essence our ancestors knew? What purpose do they serve? What of the monsters, the supposed villains? Do they hold a clue in dismantling the binaries that our present narratives bind us to? What is the relationship between myth, reality, and subjectivity, and how do we tell? How do we retell? What are the personal stories that have saved you? What should the myths of tomorrow be? 

While Oscen is accessible to everyone, our focus is on the perspectives that often get ignored. We want intersectionality. We want views on everything — no tokenism!

We publish anything, from articles to photography to playlists. We’re looking for multidisciplinary explorations in both subject and in style, so feel free to range far and wide outside the prompts below.

 

 

Next month

These are some of the major themes we want to explore, though you are welcome to range far and wide!

BINARIES: gods vs monsters / beauty vs ugly / good vs evil / chaos vs order / battling deities / antiheroes / shades of grey 

NARRATIVES: personal myths / cultural myths / the story we tell of ourselves / reality vs subjectivity / ideals / utopia / dystopia / narratives of meaning 

INHERITANCES: the things our parents have told us / the things our ancestors believed in / things passed down / things lost / memory / atavism / mirroring / progress vs cycles / Uroboros 

ARCHETYPES: historical or literary analysis of myth / Jung / tarot / roles / journeys / rewriting myths / reclaiming myths / disrupting myths

Guidelines

If it’s written: around 1000 words, and no more than 1500 (please send as a Microsoft Word-compatible document)

If it’s visual: no more than 6-8 photos for a collection or a photo essay (please send as high-res as you can in .jpg or .png) – include a title and brief description

If it’s a playlist: send it as a written list and we will try and make it Spotify-compliant! (please include a title, brief description, and cover art in .png)

Send up to 3 submissions. Works do not have to be previously unpublished, but please let us know where it has been published before for purposes of acknowledgement. Unfortunately, we cannot offer payment to contributors, but are looking to change this as our platform grows bigger and better.

No discrimination. Anything racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, etc. will not be accepted.

Email submissions with a third-person bio to hello@oscen.co