Journey to Cascadia:

Building a New Global Mythology

  Willi Paul, © 2012

Designed & Produced for the 2012 Study of Myth Symposium

“Mapping Future Myths for the Transition” Work Shop


 I N D E X


New Myth #17: Shamanator & the Cob Fire Hearts


The Road to Cascadia

Bed Rock


New Global Mythology Model (version 1.0) Overview & Detail

The Mythic Elements

[A] The Five New Alchemies and their Transmutations

                [1] Sound: Rock Music

                [2] Landscape: Permaculture

                [3] Spirit: Transition Movement

                [4] Community: Localization

                [5] Religion: Dark Green Religion

[B] Universal Archetypes

[C] The Hero

[D] Initiation – Personal & Community

[E] Instincts

[F] Triggers

[G] The Internet

[H] The Sacred Path

New Myth #21: Noah’s honey rust fortress (“junk yard permaculture”)


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New Myth #17Shamanator & the Cob Fire Hearts

Unstable condition, a symptom of life,
Of mental and environmental change
Atmospheric disturbance, the feverish flux
Of human interface and interchange

Leave out the fiction, the fact is, this friction
Will only be won by persistence
Leave out conditions, courageous convictions
Will drag the dream into existence
“Vital Signs” (edited) -


The 24’ octagonal community cob oven bears up, a statue on a reshuffled stone base in the middle of center court. The daily alchemy of the Tribe is energized by the cooking, meeting / planning, education, ritualizing, and yoga play around the oven. It serves as central heat, bread cruster and fire spirit.

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Straw was born into the bone crunching water crisis in Sacramento back in 2015 and tie-dyed her jeans cutting buds in a Salinas pot farm way back in 2020. A green tea Cali girl who rides a dinged-up 4 foot, mind warped skateboard. History to her boils down to the occupy-fueled NORCAL econo-crash and the firestorm at the Chevron refinery that buried the City Richmond and the telescope folks in the surrounding hills.

In 2020, currency is your word. Tribe labor feeds the collective soul.

In 2021, the Tribe occupied the JP Penny Mall.

The old Pennys Mall lost all of its bargains, security guards and petroleum tentacles long ago and no one cares that the TransPerm Tribe explorers took over the center court area in what some call an “eco-observatory.” Straw keeps inside the Mall property all of the time, relishing the few skylights covered in barbed wire; there are crops to tend on the roof and predators to scan in the militarized zone that once was a parking lot.

Straw’s day to day schedule is been fueled by the big cob oven and her continuous initiation by the Shamanator:

  • Mornings – Baking / Study
  • Afternoons – Yoga / Farming
  • Evenings - Community Meal / Tribe Meetings
  • Late Nights – Singing/ Dancing / Myth Writing

The Tribal member who takes the role of the Shamanator is debated and elected every seven months and no one can repeat the role unless they there no other interested  people. The Shamanator is the fire wood captain for the cob oven. He/she is responsible for heating the center court and family places, for the daily bread, warming the young and old muscles at yoga and tickling the sky lights at the late evening rituals.

Inserted into the side of the great cob oven is a plague that references one of the three original permaculture ethics:

“Care of People.”

Care of People is about ensuring the well being of both individuals and communities. As individuals, we need to look after ourselves and each other so that as a community we can develop environmentally friendly lifestyles. In the poorest parts of the world, this is still about helping people access enough food and clean water, within a safe society. In the post-crash world, it means redesigning our unsustainable systems and replacing them with sustainable ones. This could mean working together to provide efficient energy sources or providing shelter. When people come together, friendships are formed and sustainability becomes possible.

Straw watches Shamanator stir the glowing wood inside the oven with ease, as the smoke wisps up and out the covered vent in the roof. This process, often called community alchemy by the Tribe, symbolizes the transmutation of wood, fire and oxygen into local energy and the recycling of elements when burned. It is through transmutations of this sort – physical to chemical to spiritual – that alchemy supports growth in consciousness. As a community, the Tribe participates in all phases of activity and feedback, including honest evaluation.

The mighty cob oven is the primary social engine for adaption and evolution in the re-purposed Mall. The oven’s flame is as sacred to Straw as the permaculture team’s inputs and outputs on the roof.

There are few parents and fewer babies in the Tribe. Mentors and friends work withShamanator and the Council to re-write the social codes and psycho babble from the creaking demise of capitalism. Nature is now guide and value-generator; health care, crop engineering and the arts are heavily influenced by Biomimcry. Songs about composting and pesticide-free grains often fill the cob oven arena doing ritualizing. The Mall is the transmutation chamber and the great oven the soul fire.

Straw is rising, the new soulbread from the community heart – in a quest for love and justice in the Permaculture Age.

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 The Road to Cascadia

As a green certified business and sustainability consultant, I launched Magazine on Earth Day 2009 to build a database of interviews and articles about innovation, sustainability, and the mystic arts. My bliss was renewed in 2011 when I designed to produce new mythic stories with modern alchemies. My work now focuses on what is sacred is to us, the community building power of permaculture and the transformative energy in the new alchemy (ex: soil, sound, digital) and global mythologies. Please see my ground breaking Myth Blog for the Joseph Campbell Foundation and pioneering videos on YouTube.

Key initiations as I prepare for my workshop at the 2012 The Study of Myth Symposium include: Mythic Map: A Transition Tool for Creating CultureChrysalis Songs for The Permaculture Age: Transmuting the New Myth, Alchemy, Symbols & Sacred, and Mythic Mandate: online workshop & documentary. My 24 new myths champion permaculture heroes in transition on mythic journeys in Cascadia.

Bed Rock

Rees’ assertion is that we are trapped in a collective cultural mythology oriented around the idea of boundless economic growth, and that the powerful narrative of this mythology has behaviorally, institutionally, politically and socially disabled us from honestly confronting the foundations of global un-sustainability. Therefore, he argues, we only come up with diversionary, gimmicky, peripheral or subsidiary ways of dealing with the challenge – because our primary motivations are precisely wedded at a deeper level to a cultural mythology that itself is at odds with sustainability… when what we really need is afundamental paradigm shift.

The mythology of sustainability, unlike the classic myths, was created with an electronic, mediated backbone or Internet. Not in My Backyard (NIMB) is now Not on My Earth (NOME); watch it on You Tube. Sustainability is fueling a shift in global consciousness and may create a new set of fears and songs and stories that could be just what the new mythologists ordered. Indeed, the practice of sustainability could be seen as quasi-religious to many. Why? Because so many of us have ditched our birthright religions with nothing else to substitute for the Sunday mass. Or because protecting Mother Nature is now a priority of such grand proportion causing some to blend a “hybrid of Wicca and Quakerism” in attempt to fuel a new set of global spiritual rites of initiations, traditions and “holy passages”.

Journey to Cascadia is grounded in the alchemies from the post-1960’s: anti-war, eco-friendly, Occupy – and in the present Apocalyptic Era (see New Global Mythology Model (version 1.0). Key to this journey is that I do not give much (if any) power to biblical or classical myths, acknowledging some symbols and conflicts. Cascadia is the result of the the global ecological disaster that is now underwaywater shortages, war for oil, toxic seeds and greed at all levels in society. The primary vision underpinning my24 new myths is that a post-apocalyptic survival awaits us and we need to be prepared. We desperately need new triggers and heroes to undertake community initiations and journeys to start the chapter of eco-human!

The term “mythology” can refer either to the study of myths (e.g., comparative mythology), or to a collection of myths (a mythos, e.g., Inca mythology). In folklore, a myth is a sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form, although, in a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story. Myths typically involve supernatural characters and are endorsed by rulers or priests. They may arise as over-elaborated accounts of historical events, as allegory for or personification of natural phenomena, or as an explanation of ritual. Myths are transmitted to convey religious or idealized experience, to establish behavioral models, and to teach.

The New Global Mythology Model that is building Cascadia uses most of the functionality in the definitions above but adds several important updates in this over-mediated, unsacred, and Nature-at-risk Apocalyptic Era. The New Global Mythology Model also facilitates the creation of new myths by both individuals and communities with new initiations and five new alchemies. Mythology, whether in the form of new poems, stories, or songs, requires a new spiritual search engine to go with the Universal archetypes. The journey is supported by mythic elements from rock music, permaculture, the Transition movement, localization and dark green religion – and the support of thesacred that comes with them. Whether or not the new myths from Cascadia are “positive” or “negative”, it is clear that critical lessons from present conditions on Earth – and honest, realistic visions of the future – are revealed.


“In 2015, Northern CA, Oregon & Washington seceded from the United States of America in a sacred coup d’état fueled by a feverish localism bent, new agriculture values and Transition spirits. That same year the new Union, called Cascadia, created a network for the protection of non-GMO seeds and other food sources, using decommissioned bomb shelters, root cellars and other protected underground spaces. Only a select few saw the coast to coast civil war with Monsanto Corp. ripping through the rest of the country the following year.”

New Global Mythology Model (version 1.0)

Overview & Detail


The Mythic Elements

[A] The Five New Alchemies and their Transmutations

By alchemy, I mean the transmutation of ideas and spirit into action. By recharging and sharing a new set of alchemieswe can support collaboration, visioning and planning for the Permaculture Age. Each new alchemy guides us at various tasks and emotional levels: from the individual to group to the planet. I feel that there is a recognizable spirit-charge or alchemy supporting permaculture principles across all cultures. Many experience the process of alchemy through sound and visual art. Look for new songs, dances and rituals based on permaculture practices.

There is no new mythology without alchemyAs our consciousness is raised and the elements connected, transmutation is possible. Alchemy can be mediated, voice activated, and Nature-fueled. It is love in action, the glue that makes myth universal. Powerful myths are shared fights and common solutions to the Big Challenges. Myths are also road maps or clues (examples) for the seekers and visionaries. We need to understand the power of the five alchemies in the new myths before “hearing” them. This journey to Cascadia or back to Oakland is precisely what Campbell advocated and is the hard work that we cannot afford to shun. It is dangerous to decry a Hero before the sweat is spilled and the information tested and shared. 

[1] Sound: Rock Music

As for rock music, we hear and see symbols through rock music and art. Band names and titles of records and songs contain important cues, many political or humorous, but some for “mythic punch.” Album art work is the first to be interpreted and often carries the same meaning all over the world. When musicians combine song lyrics with complimentary symbols, mythic meanings are reinforced and deepened. Symbols and metaphors are the seeds, our invitation to the feast. And many symbols, like numbers and colors, have ancient meanings and universal power. Joseph Campbell might have asked at this point: Do we know the power of these symbols? Have we lost our connections to the mythic reservoir?

I now wish to build upon the powerful ideas of Joseph Campbell with the New Global Mythology Model that allows us to create, sing and share new myths that support the post-apocalypse.

[2] Landscape: Permaculture

Permaculture draws from several disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, integrated farming, sustainable development, and applied ecology. The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant. Permaculture is both an emerging global social building tool and alchemic augur for the new Cascadian myths.  I earned my PDC or permaculture design certificate in San Francisco during the summer of 2011.

The following core principles of permaculture also weave a scared thread in Nature for many adopters:

Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.

Care of People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.

Setting Limits to Population and Consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.

 [3] Spirit: Transition Movement

The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Transition alchemy represents one of the most promising ways to engage people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected.

Recently several key themes have emerged from Transition:

Seriousness and urgency. There is a growing and indisputable recognition that our collective predicament is far more serious and more urgent than many of us had been willing to actively contemplate.

Emergence or what Christopher Alexander calls “Unfolding,” the evolutionary process by which the universe itself self-organizes, finding profound and practical lessons in how to catalyze Transition alchemy in our communities. I am in the process of learning about what is emerging in the Transition movement itself. In my community and groups, we’re discovering what is emerging in – and through - us.

Self-organization. I am also beginning to learn the meaning of “self-organization,” which is actually a core principle of Transition, though little discussed. I am discovering that catalyzing self-organization of a community around re-localization or Transition is entirely different from community organizing!

Permaculture principles and ethics. We’re also beginning to understand how essential the principles and ethics of permaculture alchemy are to the Transition process. This alchemic translation will become increasingly important over time, because Permaculture is based on a very deep understanding of how life works.

New Cosmology/Universe Story. Man of us are also diving deep into the story of the evolution of the Universe, of the Earth, and of life itself. As Thomas Berry explains, this New Cosmology “explores the contemporary, scientific story of the origin, nature and function of the Universe from its beginning, through its galactic phase, its supernova events, the shaping of the solar system, Earth, life, human life and self-reflective consciousness as a single, unbroken series of events.” Alchemic transmutation on a grand scale. New Cosmology is helping us to recover our sense of the sacredness of life itself, and our fundamental connectedness with the processes that make life possible.

Pattern Language. As an important adjunct to the New Cosmology, we’re beginning to discover the importance of the patterns of evolution itself – the alchemy and patterns of wholeness and healing.

Inner Transition/Heart & Soul. Finally, I appreciate the alchemy of Inner Transition, what is frequently called “Heart & Soul”, the recognition that Transition in the outer world cannot occur without an Inner Transition.

[4] Community: Localization

Key ideas in the localization of community include:

Healthy Food. This is all about my backyard and working with other urban gardeners! Our food needs to be fresh, healthy, and locally produced and marketed.

Personal Responsibility. Localization mandates increasing levels of self-sufficiency, to the betterment of my family, neighborhood and town. It is now our challenge to support local ventures and local talent.

Shifting Politics and Capital. I can now exert some influence on my local schools and businesses. This produces a significant portion of the goods, services, food, and energy they consume from its own local endowment of financial, natural, and human capital. Regional and local funders must loan more to area businesses, keeping the community and feedback in mind. Localization alchemy hopes to restore an efficient balance between local production and imports.

Environmental Impacts. I need to focus on local and community vs. larger, national efforts and projects. Not just about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but how the human and natural eco systems support each other on a daily basis.

 [5] Religion: Dark Green Religion

“Since the publication of Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, environmental alarm has intensified and become increasingly apocalyptic. Meanwhile, nature-related religion has been rekindled, invented, spread, and ecologized. A great deal of this religious creativity has been dark green, flowing from a deep sense of belonging to and connectedness in nature, while perceiving the earth and its living systems to be sacred and interconnected. Dark green religion is generally deep ecological, bio-centric, or eco-centric, considering all species to be intrinsically valuable, that is, valuable apart from their usefulness to human beings.

This (dark green) value system is generally:

(1) based on a felt kinship with the rest of life, often derived from a Darwinian understanding that all forms of life have evolved from a common ancestor and are therefore related;

(2) accompanied by feelings of humility and a corresponding critique of human moral superiority, often inspired or reinforced by a science- based cosmology that reveals how tiny human beings are in the universe; and

(3) reinforced by metaphysics of interconnection and the idea of interdependence (mutual influence and reciprocal.”

(Excerpt from Dark Green Religion by Bron Taylor, p. 13)

[B] Universal Archetypes

An archetype is always some sort of structuring principle that lies outside of everyday consciousness and, when it emerges suddenly, exceeds all of my subjective expectations. Archetypes guide my perceptions and behavior, often without my awareness.

“Archetypes are found everywhere, as their symbols are a language of the mind, taken to different frequencies of thought and connected to each other by the collective unconsciousness. There are individual and universal archetypes. You become aware of them in meditation, dreamtime, remote viewing or other out-of-body experiences, when you doodle on a pad, crop circles or landscape art, other art forms, jewelry, hieroglyphs, a logo, on a billboard, anywhere at all. Archetypes can also be auditory, a tone, a series of notes, a harmonic. Reality is a series of metaphors set into motion by the synchronicity of archetypes we experience.” Christian GerikeNew Global Mythology Group

[C] The Hero

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development.  Campbell describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, as the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization. The hero who accepts the call to enter a strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance. In the most intense versions of the narrative, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help. If the hero survives, he may achieve a great gift or “boon.” The hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with this boon. If the hero does decide to return, he or she often faces challenges on the return journey. If the hero returns successfully, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world.

[D] Initiation – Personal & Community

In all five active alchemies in the apocalypse era, both personal and community initiations are necessary in the New Global Mythology Model. Initiation is change:  from one geographic place to a new place or moving from an old perspective to a new one, initiations are often difficult to understand and execute. A new political campaign or permaculture event may involve a community initiation!

Key Questions: if there is no initiation, am I learning anything? What does risk have to do with initiation? Who is controlling the initiation?

[E] Instincts

In 1919, Jung wrote: “Instincts are typical modes of action”, while “archetypes are typical modes of apprehension”; instinct and archetype “determine one another”. The instinct drives the behavior pattern, while the archetype apprehends the environmental and/or physiological conditions under which the instinctual behavior is an appropriate response. No instinctual behavior will be initiated unless its archetype “apprehends” the necessary conditions.

[F] Triggers

An archetype triggers an instinct. Some personal and community initiations can also trigger instincts. Instincts also help create new alchemies for each era.

[G] The Internet

The Internet has speeded up the rate of initiation and mythic element creation and sharing since the 1980’s. The Internet has also speed-up up global consciousness raising and distribution and story synthesis. I have written 24 new myths I less than a year and many have read them.

[H] The Sacred Path

“I have long been of the opinion, based on my anthropological knowledge of tribal rituals, that it is the information that maintains life that is the sacred, i.e., sacred = life -maintaining information; and, the relationships that maintain life are the sacred, i.e., sacred = life-maintaining relationships. In communications systems theory, very simplified, there is a sender, a transmission channel, and a receiver. When those elements are engaged in the transmission of information regarding life-maintaining relationships, there is a sacred experience. So I would say that when we are engaged in this communication process, the sender/receiver/transmission channel/information are the quantification of the sacred, the tools if you will, and the actual relationships are the qualitative of the sacred, the feeling – the numinous, the experience of the One/All.” Christian Gerike, New Global Mythology Group

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New Myth #21Noah’s honey rust fortress (“junk yard permaculture”)

“Have you ever sat near a roaring brook and felt refreshed, been cheered by the vibrant song of a thrush or renewed by a sea breeze? Does a wildflower’s fragrance bring you joy, a whale or snow-capped peak charge your senses? You did not take a class to learn to feel these innate joys. We are born with them. As natural beings, that is how we are designed to know life and our life. Dramatically, new sensory nature activities culturally support and reinforce those intelligent, feelingful natural relationships. In natural areas, backyard to back country, the activities create thoughtful nature-connected moments. In these enjoyable non-language instants our natural attraction senses safely awaken, play and intensify. Additional activities immediately validate and reinforce each natural sensation as it comes into consciousness. Still other activities guide us to speak from these feelings and thereby create nature-connected stories. These stories become part of our conscious thinking.”    – On Connecting with nature: An Interview with Mike Cohen

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“Are you the resistance or the enforcer?”

“Depends on what you have to loose, girl.”

“Up periscope, Noah?”

“Yepper. Now where is that darn critter?”

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A circuit of safe huts

Noah’s shinny green donut hole of rusting cars and trucks from the occupation world now rings his psyche and permaculture visions like a boa constrictor wrapping around a freaked-out chipmunk. Some folks call the place “D-Troi.”

His particular version of the safe hut concept is just one of many designs that were established to help keep leaders and vendors safe as the Transitionites continue rebuilding the people and towns in Cascadia. Zeek and Molly’s tree house and vertical garden is next on the path, 12 miles north, fit with pulleys to get up and the across the Blue river.

“None of them dark light bastards can get into my place but that raccoon sure can, he is an egg thief to beat all.”

“There he is!”

Noah never meant to be part of the Transition, it just sorta fell on his head. Strange people just started showing up with food and seeds and he bartered his security. He had to make a choice between bad times and better values. His junk car collection is now a 14’ high ring of old gas guzzlers, tires and dead chrome. One has to know where the tunnel is to access the place.  He considers himself the king of sheet mulch. The soil in the space is long gone toxic from the rust of old times and technologies.

He trades in honey, wire and hub caps, batteries, fabrics, wind shields, tires and salty stories.

Noah’s camp is more like an ameba, built with multiple rings: gnarly steel and mashed-down upholstery; a food forest ring, junk cars, then the commons. A semi-chaotic, semi-integrated / biodegraded ecosystem with bees and honey.

Herbs dangle in old pots and starter plants are snuck into tires. The cob oven smokes up on one end of the commons and solo tents ring the other. Noah can pull a patch work awning over the space if rain wets the place.

Junk yard permaculture – with a sacred twist.

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Tires are beat drums, hub caps percussion

While the coon waddled back to his own hole in the woods, other humanoid creatures arrive around dusk for the new Moon ritual. The cob oven is repurposed this night as the heart torch for Nature visions.

The center space is kickin’ with dust and whirling ankles.

Chanting, arms entwined in a circle, the howls and imaginations of the dancers boil into One.

A time to revolve, give thanks and spin some Love.

To share the story of future now.

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(A) Join New Global mythology Group discussion

(B) The first 24 new myths

(C) Five Methods to Write New Global Myths:

 [1] The first online workshop:

[2] The first face-to-face workshop:

[3] “The Mythic Sound Scape Constructor Process:”

[4] Stanley Krippner’s presentation Jung and Neuroscience video-conference at Sonoma State University (sponsored by the Psychology Department):

A Neuromythological Approach to Working with Dream: Myths Evolve

1) The prevailing myth is outmoded.

2) A counter-myth emerges, challenging prevailing myth.

3) Dialectic between the old myth and the counter myth emerges a new myth which embodies the best elements of both.

4) And is synthesized into a new guiding myth, presented as a single statement.

5) Translated into real life.

The new myth is stronger as it embodies the positive elements of the old and the new; the old myth can sabotage the new myth due to the grip that the old myth has on us.

[5] Community Mythology Project

Community Mythology Project (CMP) is about us taking control of the stories that influence our behavior. Too often we are consumers of the stories of others — Hollywood, cultural legacy myths, the media, ideology and political myths. We let ourselves be programmed with attitudes and behavior that fuel a lifestyle, economy, aesthetic sensitivity and spirituality that may not be optimal. We also opt out of participating in a fundamental human right — the privilege of being creative, active, hands on in consciously shaping our future according to our values. With a CMP this is done as a group with everyone contributing. As we exercise our creativity, we recognize the rights of others to create. We learn to appreciate art, literature, poetry, performances and in the process learn about each other through our varied responses to a common myth framework. 

 (D) Willi’s eBooks

Book One – – Activating the New Alchemy and Mythologies for the Sustainability Age – Thought Leader Interviews by Willi Paul and David Metcalfe

Book 2 – – Activating the New Alchemy and Mythologies for the Sustainability Age - New Myth Series & Foundation Articles by Willi Paul and David Metcalfe

Book 3 – – Activating the New Alchemy and Mythologies for the Sustainability Age – Alchemic Drawings & Mythic Stories by Willi Paul and David Metcalfe

TRIBES: 15 New Myths for the Permaculture Age by Willi Paul

Regenerator: Transition Tools for Mapping New Symbols, Songs & Mythology
by Willi Paul,

Calling the Seeds: 19 Interviews with Women in Permaculture and Transition: 2010 – 2012. A Source Directory by Willi Paul

Mythologists, Mystics & Magicians in Transition: 18 Interviews from the Magazine Reservoir 2010 – 2011. A Source Directory by Willi Paul 

The Chameleons: 23 Interviews with Men in Permaculture and Transition: 2010 – 2012. A Source Directory, By Willi Paul, Magazine