The Greek pre-Socratic philosopher Empedocles described the nature of God as a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere, a sentiment echoed two millennia later by French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal in his depiction of nature as an infinite sphere. Indeed, the notion of circle has been everpresent since the dawn of recorded history and in the dark unknown preceding that dawn. It can be expressed mathematically and utilized technologically, but conceptually its ecumenical nature touches the spiritual, the poetic, the atavistic. As Helena P. Blavatsky states in Secret Doctrine:
“…the primordial form of everything manifested, om atom to globe, om man to angel, is circular, spheroidalhaving been with every nation the emblem of eternity and infinity— the serpent swallowing its own tail. To realize the meaning, however, the sphere must be thought of as seen om its center. The field of vision or of thought, is like a sphere whose radii proceed om one’s self in every direction and extend out into space, opening up boundless vistas all around.”
The editorial staff of Lantern has chosen “circle” as the theme for our second issue, to be released on the Summer solstice. The circle is a form, but when taken as thematic undertone, quite formless. The idea of circle as theme could be, and in fact is encouraged to be, taken in as many directions, through as many mediums, and as many nuances as possible. We do not mean to imply nuance as edict, but rather as an encouraged permissiveness made express. As in art and literature, theme may be express or implied, and we do not require submissions to be images of circles or direct discussions of such. Although your interpretation of “circle” may be direct, abstract, or in-between, your contribution may be just the connection we are seeking.
We encourage you to submit your work to Lantern: poetry, short fiction, essays, images, music, academic pieces, we want it all. We are interested in thought and expression and connection, and we don’t much care what forms those things come in. We will value your work for its strength of character and for its contribution to something better. Please view the theme of circle as you wish—creatively or destructively, literally or figuratively—and feel free to wander off om its center point as we walk beyond the lantern’s glow to the endarkened places where academic and other such publications stop. Ultimately we hope Lantern will challenge its readers to find the common thread among the images, words, and thoughts, and that its contributors will, as Salvatore Quasimodo penned, challenge “the existing cultural order by attempt[ing] to break through the circle of artistic castes to reach the center.”
To submit visit: http://lanternjournal.org/submissions/
Editors of Lantern,