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What's new, Bill?

Last update 4/16/2010

Michigan Witches Ball 2010

I am very excited to be a sponsor for this great event! To find out more about one of Michigan's best parties, click the link above.

All sales are now being handled through my Etsy shop: www.splendidfish.etsy.com
Click on the link above to see what is currently available.
Don't worry, friends, it's still me behind the scenes!

I've added a new section called

Gods, Heroes, and a Couple of Regular Guys:
Corbin's Tall Tales

When I create a new piece
of design work, it often happens that they come, much like a baby with a silver spoon in it's mouth, bearing a story. Unfortunately, when I sell a piece, the story is sometimes lost with it. I've decided to collect these stories into a section all
their own, for your enjoyment.

Enjoy them!

Don't forget to click on the BLUE WORDS anywhere on this site to enter
new worlds of mythic imagination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. This one comes in two forms:

Form A: Bill, how could you? You obviously have pagan leanings, yet, for your symbol, you have a fish!!! Isn’t that a Christian thing? Are you an undercover recruiter for some super secret Vatican conspiracy?

Form B: de Corbin, you servant of Satan! How dare you appropriate the sacred Christian fish symbol for the purposes of leading these poor ignorant lambs astray! The good Lord will strike you down and send you swimming eternally in lakes of burning sulphur (bring a kevlar bathing suite. No RSVP required.)!

(There isn’t actually a question mark there, but a question is implied. Also, I added in the bit about the kevlar bathing suite. Christians are famous the world over for their kindness, so I assume they intend it even if they don’t always write it)

A. Take a pill.

After your pulse steadies, throw out all those imitation Dan Brown novels you have stacked up next to your bed. And for the rest of you, you may want to look at the history of the fish as a symbol. The Christians would like me (us) to believe that religion, symbolism, spiritual thought and even history began, if not with them, then (at least) with the Jewish people (who’s world view the Christians were kind enough to spend 2007 years carefully fixing for them).

Carl Jung, in Aion, a book in which he explores the symbolism surrounding the advent of the Christ figure, devotes two full chapters to the fish. You might want to start there. Also, it is easy to follow fish symbols throughout mythological history – usually associated with female deities - for instance, Isis was known as “The Fish of the Abyss” to the Egyptians, and that little Christian fish you see on bumper stickers made up of two interlinked parenthesis was, before the Christians nabbed it, a religious symbol representing a woman’s… err… uh… well, never mind. It’s a fertility thing. At any rate, I always giggle when I see them on bumpers.

All of which is irrelevant, except that I want to point out that NOBODY owns symbols. They arise spontaneously out of somewhere, serve a purpose, and then go back to wherever they came from until they are needed again. The question you should have asked but didn’t is “Why did you pick the fish?”

The answer, which I will not really give since you didn’t really ask, is that I didn’t pick the fish. The fish picked me. And I will also add, cryptically, that everything I know was taught to me by a fish, and all it cost me was my entire life.

P.S. The astrological symbol of Pisces is composed of two fish and obviously predates Christianity. According to the legend, the two fish represent a mother fish who gives birth to a male child (the other fish). The story goes on to say that one day the mother will swallow the child back up. Those of you who are so hot for the “rapture” may want to take note of this. Perhaps the rapture is not going to be altogether what the Christians think it will be. A happy thought.

Q. Bill, sometimes it seems as if you are trying to tell me something, but as soon as I think I have a handle on it, you make some joke and I’m not sure if you’re just teasing. What’s the deal? Are you for real, or are you just goofing around?

A. Yes.

Q. Who are you, really?

A. When a man uses an assumed name, there are three different reasons he might do so:

At any rate, it strikes me as rude to ask something which is obviously either a secret, or information of which the one you ask is clearly ignorant (police officers, take note of this). Since I am certain that you are not a rude person, and probably not a cop (by the way, I’m just kidding about the cop thing. I really like the police. Some of the most engaging conversations I’ve ever had took place while handcuffed and bent over the hood of a car), I will assume you intended to ask the more metaphysical question which is better stated as “What is the essence of a human being?”

Frankly, while I do know the answer to this one, unless you also know the answer, nothing I tell you will make any sense. Of course, if you know the answer, there is no point in asking the question (unless you just like to show off). Isn’t this an awkward situation?

The best I can do is point you in the right direction, and hope that you do not mistake the pointing finger for the thing at which the finger points. To that end, here are the three riddles of identity found in the famous Book of Lost Words.

Q. Mr. de Corbin! Mr. de Corbin! You seem to be an educated man, well read, experienced in the world, and filled with mystical insights. Please, oh please tell me, how should I lead my life? What is the proper care and feeding of my soul? What must I do to join the glorious hosts in heaven?

A. Huh?

Sorry, did I wake up this morning and accidentally dress like your momma?

If, for some reason I can’t fathom, you insist on following me, you won’t get anything out of it but a good view of my butt while I walk away. You’d be better off joining some freakish cult somewhere and allowing yourself to be talked into castrating yourself or feeding your kids a nice glass of strychnine spiked Cool Aid.

But better than that, walk up here next to me where we can talk easily (or, assuming that you are female and reasonably cute, I can try putting a tentative arm about your waist. If you’re male, cute or not, we’ll just talk).

Copyright 2010 - B. de Corbin and Splendid Fish Studio