Who Was Castalia?

Welcome to the website for Castalia Communications. We have been primarily a music-education reference company for over 35 years, and this site is designed to showcase our main line of products. But we have also produced many other products, from novels to psychology textbooks to political bumperstickers, most of which are found on this site.

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Our Company Name

Lady2016

There are many legends from Greek mythology about who, or what, Castalia was. In most, Castalia was the name of a spring on Mount Parnassus which was sacred to the Muses and to the god Apollo, who in addition to being the god of the sun, was also the god of music and the arts. The legend said that anyone who takes a drink from the spring will instantly be filled with poetic inspiration.

Another myth says that Castalia was the source of the river Styx, the boundary between the realm of the living and the underworld. No one could cross from one realm to the next without paying the boatman, Charon, to ferry their soul across. In our era, Castalia is famous as the name of a fictional, futuristic realm in Herman Hesse’s novel The Glass Bead Game that highly prizes artistic achievements and the life of the mind.

But perhaps the most interesting myth about Castalia comes from how the spring derived its name. The story goes that a beautiful young maiden named Castalia enjoyed bathing in the spring every morning. One day, the god Apollo took a fancy to her, and unable or unwilling to control his urges, the god of the sun appeared to her as she was naked and insisted on having his way with her. But the young and innocent maiden, rather than submitting to the amorous advances of the god of sun, instead threw herself into the deepest part of the pool and drowned.

Back in 1979, when we were forming a company to publish The Guitar Poster and get rich quick, it seemed to us that a name from Greek mythology would be perfect for a company dedicated to combining art and education. After consulting many sources (e.g., Bullfinch’s Mythology), we settled on Castalia because it had an artistic pedigree as well as a musical “ring” to it. The name just sounded right to our ears.

We were surprised several years later to discover that Castalia was also the name chosen by the infamous psychologist and LSD guru, Dr. Timothy Leary, for his foundation in Millbrook, New York, where he and his associates attempted to enhance the life of the mind against the wishes of the U.S. government.

We are honored to take our name from such a distinguished and multifaceted artistic source, and hope that our products, like a drink from a magical spring, will induce creative inspiration in all who use them.

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