Folklore, History & the Study of Myth

The Writings of Gary R. Varner

Moving on...

Over the years I have explored many areas of the world, including England, Ireland, Wales, the Yucatan, Canada as well as points of interest across the Unites States from California to South Carolina. I have visited amazing sacred locations and I have seen mysterious holy wells, Native American rock art and ceremonial sites, megalithic monuments found in such locations as Avebury, Stonehenge, North Salem, New Hampshire and Chichen Itza, Yucatan. These places of power are stunning but no less stunning are the smaller in scale centers of ritual such as the rock art of the Paiute near Bishop California or the Luiseno in San Diego county, California, the Hopi and Navajo in Arizona or the Southern Paiute and Yuman people in Red Rock Canyon of Nevada.

Over time I have found that indigenous and ancient populations around the world created their own special symbols which could be used to bring fertility and wealth to a people as well as to control and manipulate weather, heal the injured and sick or cause sickness and ruination among rival groups. From Ethiopia to Nova Scotia people have responded to the unknown forces of the universe in similar ways, in some cases in identical ways. Why this is so is one of the many interests I have in the study of folklore and mythology and the many physical manifestations of beliefs.

In the last few weeks I have decided to physically move on in my pursuit of more strange tales and unusual subject matter in the United States. I have relocated from my longtime home of California to a small, culturally rich town in the Blue Grass region of Kentucky. This is a place of the Mound Builders and is dotted with battlefields of the Civil War and Revolution. Tales of serpent people, demon dogs, water monsters, little people and Bigfoot will keep me busy for years to come and hopefully will provide additional books for you to enjoy.

I have met many people during my travels and find that almost all are amazingly nice, helpful and gracious. So too are they in my new town and new state. Some of the terms, customs and laws are based on Old English ways and that is particularly charming for me. You canít buy liquor in my town and in many other areas it canít be bought on Sunday.  We have county sheriffs, city police and constables here. We also have a place for artists to gather and a town with social justice on its mind.

I am happy to be here and hope you will join me as I search for the unexplained and unusual in this beautiful commonwealth.
 

I have been trained as an archaeologist and it was this background with its focus on ethnographies that got me interested in folklore and myth. Over the years both of these subjects appear to have waned in the public's interest. I attempt, through my writing, to keep these topics alive.

I was recently contacted by producers from the History Channel (H2) requesting my appearance on an upcoming "Ancient Aliens" episode on Korea's ancient dolmen and megalthic sites. The show, which was taped in March, will be aired sometime in September 2012. I have been advised by the producer that the air date has been significantly set back from the original May schedule. I will discuss the history of these sites, their cultural significance and folklore and modern man's relationship with sacred sites--giving a more balanced view to this fascinating topic. In early June I was interviewed on the Sacramento CBS affiliate, Channel 31, Good Morning Sacramento show to discuss my History Channel experience as well as my books. From  that show I was asked to do a two hour live walking tour of Sacramento's historic buildings to discuss the architectural symbolism present on these old structures. This show was aired on Friday, July 6, 2012.