Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Myths

I am struggling with the creation myth. I have ideas about the oceans giving birth to the land, or at least being tricked into forming it somehow. I have ideas about horses being the ones to do the tricking and being the ones responsible for forming the landscape. I have ideas about other gods becoming involved somehow. These ideas though are all in the air.

The Promethean myth on the other hand is a bit more promising; I think it useful to draw on mythic themes already explored and remembered in Brythonic legend and story.

At a very broad outline at this stage;

mankind lives as hunter gatherers, struggling through hard times and enjoying bountiful ones too. Our hero lives in a time when it is a particularly harsh winter, he sees his family and his tribe dying and starving and so he calls on his gods – I'm thinking horse here as the goddess of the land itself upon which he lives – and she takes pity and reveals that the gods feast well on the meat of an animal know to them as a swine. Our hero makes his way to the realms of the gods and takes a pregnant sow from them – Hen Wen perhaps to pull an idea from existing legend and to fit in with the theme – which he takes back to his tribe and from this sow springs the fruits of agriculture. A quick diversion here; agriculture marks a pivotal point in the developmental history of humans, it is the point where we stop being controlled by the forces of nature around us and begin to take control of our own destiny, settling down, the first towns and cities, the beginnings of our divorce from 'the natural order' (clumsily put I know).

So the gods are mightily pissed off at this point; Belenus scorches the earth to kill the crops, Nodens causes the rivers to burst their banks flooding and killing crops and livestock, disease etc strike.

Here I have begun to lose it, I'm not sure if perhaps tour hero petitions the gods and they take pity, or perhaps they demand something in return or even there is some sort of separation between man and gods. Perhaps Ambactonos steps in. perhaps there is even a split between the gods with some taking pity and others wanting revenge – it might lead to ideas like occasional bad harvests and spoiling being wrought by some of the gods at times.

So much to think about.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Golden



This is the rather ugly rendition (in the ever versatile though never graceful)in Microsoft Paint of something I have just agreed to as part of a deal that I have struck with a god. The inscritiption is 'Viridios Belenus-Lugus'; 'the great god Belenus-Lugus'. I hope that is a reasonable passing of the appropriate Romano-British-Latin!

I mentioned a while back about an
agreement I struck with Belenus this time last year - which he fulfilled on his part and I am currently in the process of fulfilling on mine.

Again this is a work related petition; same employer, different position and far better pay etc. Similar deal in many respects, though mainly ensuring any hurdles are not a problem and that once sorted the blasted paperwork with HR doesn't take as long to sort out - will be interesting to see if the number four recurs again.

This all falls within a 3 weeks period of daily devotionals I am carrying out directed toward Belenus-Lugus. I will do something on that when it isn't as late.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Prometheus

So, this new myth thing I have been posting about. Two spring to mind that could be useful; a creation myth and a 'Promethean' myth. The idea of the Promethean myth (as in Adam and Eve or Prometheus himself) is that of something gained by humanity but at a great loss (whether it being kicked out from the Eden Project or being hepatically challenged) to them at the same time. To quote Bo:

“Either way, we transgressed somehow; deep in us, there is an obscure and lingering guilt--for being animals and yet not being animals, for being so clever, so rootless and questing, for having the power of speech and symbol-making; and, ultimately, a shadowy guilt for being conscious at all.”

It is this idea that we are on the one hand part of nature and the ecosystem but on the other separate from it, no longer as bound by it and free to go against it if we choose. Some of the very fundamentals of nature we have distanced ourselves from entirely: the predator-prey interaction and 'survival of the fittest' for example. I wonder if this guilt and this feeling of separation are at the heart of many of the pagan religions? With their emphasis on landscape, spirits and gods being all around us and our kinship with the natural world? I wonder if the surge in neo-paganisms is a reaction to our onward march away from the Garden of Eden, in vehicles powered by that Promethean flame?

Our conciousness, our ability for abstract thought and our self awareness mark us out as different – more specifically it is the ability to think in abstracts that really set us apart from the other animals, some of whom have conciousness and self-awareness to some degrees – and as such it marks a fundamental and monumental shift in our place in the world. Such a thing should be marked in myth; a moment when we took up the flame and stood out in the world, became who we are today (this we should celebrate) and in doing so we lost something (this we should mourn). Any new myth of this sort should be both a celebration and a mourning and also a story of hope for us as a species and what we can move onto and achieve.

A creation myth of sorts is vital, no other mythic type acts as such a strong glue in placing a people in the landscape and forging the initial links between them and the gods.

More on Myth

The shiny blackest crow
flew down to say hello
And much to her surprise
he had two mouths for eyes.


Little Bird – Goldfrapp

I've been listening to Goldfrapp's 'Seventh Tree' a lot this past week – mainly because it is very soothing and I need to relax a bit more. These two lines stand out more than any others.

I was at the Ludlow Esoteric Conference again this past weekend – had an absolute hoot with nearly the whole coven there, at one point we had taken over a large part of the Bullring Pub in the middle of town with ourselves and assorted other people we collected. The conference was as good as ever – the book fair was grand, I spent some pennies on nice things – and it seems that was the last one there will be. Gary Nottingham has decided to call it a day with a fine show rather than let it slide into mediocrity. Very brave. Very sad. We shall have to find some other middle England town to invade on a yearly basis and befuddle them with our loud ways and smutty language. Midian Books were there too and I got to chat to the very talented lady who I was banging on about – unashamedly - in the last post. I still havent gotten her name! She is going to send me a digital version of the Horned God/Baphomet picture I was so pleased with so that I can put it up on here and do them both justice.


* * *

So back to this thing I was on about last time I was in bed – here again as it happens – myths. Myths as glue, a socially cohesive construct. Social in far more than the sense of just people and their interaction, supersocial if you like; humans and their interaction with the worlds around them. Preserving surviving myths as a good means of examining the supersocial (new word just for this purpose it seems) activity of our ancestors, but bearing in mind they were a different people living in a different world and that we live in modern times. Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' is a wonderful examination of the gods and how they have survived in a modern and changing world; Mr Ibis and Mr Jaquel as a perfect example of gods 'evolving' to survive in a world that no longer needs their old skills.

So I think the task we need to take up is to build a new body of mythic literature; the recollection of our interaction with the gods and the landscape. Loose stories woven into a much durable fabric and perhaps with fantasies of relevance to add important nuggets of importance that deserve to be carried on and hunted out by those willing to look beyond them as mere fairy stories. A brief mention of bacon sandwiches on a plate before Mr Jaquel; a passing of mention of someone seeking Blodeuedd scenting lillies on the air or perhaps a recollection of an old forgotten well long forgotten but not lost in the stories of Nodens. We should think of these mew myths as a time capsule, stuffing in all we can in the hope someone is fond of digging in the years to come.

We need t be honest about these myths too, they are modern, they are a new glue, not some hidden myth of long ago that has surfaced and that sheds new light. That is out and out deceit and the type of thing the pagan community struggles with; Wiccans have moved on from the fallacies of it being a stone age cult survival and its time we really put to bed such nonsense like stories of 9 million witches burned (Never again the burning times! or some such shit they cry) or witch groups STILL claiming 20 generations of Hereditary Brythonic Cunning Men (I shit you not, someone out there claims this) We need to build a solid foundation for the future and making a start on a mire is an idiots game.
When writing this new mythos of ours it needs to be new, fresh and relevant and we need to be honest and open about its inception, its origins and its purpose. Honesty and integrity are valuable and very much necessities.

Anyway, more again to come – im in bed again and it is time to sleep.