Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Shining Charioteer

Righty then, as a commentator on the last blogasm asked; “who is the sun/cowherd in your cosmology?”

I mentioned that the Bull Sons of Taranis and their wives are the clouds. The Sun as I mentioned was formed from the eye of the first one – Dyeus - by Taranis at the making of the world and so isn't a god or goddess as such. To my mind the sun is borne aloft on/in a chariot driven by someone else. I should also point out that I don't actually believe these to be the case – we know what the sun is, where clouds come from and that the world was formed from by the accretion of dust and debris left over after the sun formed from hydrogen gas etc. This is all a mythic overlay of the world, a way of placing the gods within a framework, a tool with which to order and consider things.

So, the Shining Cowherd. Several gods are associated with Apollo from inscription and iconography. Grannus is a good candidate but not a deity with whom I have a connection. On the other hand, Belenus is also associated with Apollo and the name does mean 'shining one' (and also possibly 'henbane god' – for whatever that means and alludes too) and to me has a personal connection with healing springs, spas etc which are also known of as being connected with Grannus e.g Aquae granni in Germany.

Add into this the mention I have made before- prompted by Bo – that Belenus and Lugus were one and the same and that Lugus has some connection to harvests etc then it isn't too much of a stretch to consider that Lugus-Belenus is the solar charioteer to whom thanks are given at the harvest for a fine summer.

Something I came cross is mention of a 10 day festival to Grannus from an inscription:

NORIGIS F(ilius) VERG(obretus) AQV
NOCTIACIS GRANNI D(e) S(ua) P(ecunia) D(edit)
Translation: "The Vergobretus Postumus son of Dumnorix gave from his own money the Waters of Mars for the ten-night festival of Grannus"

Now presumably the Waters of Mars might be a drink of some sort – finding anything online is a pig as it brings up nothing but references to a Doctor Who special on last year. As to when this festival occurs – not a clue. But certainly something worth investigating at some point.

New Moon

The new moon is days away so at some point later this week I will be lighting a candle for Briganti, leaving some food and milk for the household ungods and making a pot of tea for the ancestors.

Yesterday I rooted through some of the the boxes packed away after moving in to find some of my photo collections, mainly in a search for some photos I have of great grandparents and the like to tie in with the ancestor observances.

It occurred to me that to be perfectly frank, most of my immediate ancestors for probably a generation or so back really wouldn't approve of what I am doing as they were either staunch Catholic of Welsh Baptist. So I find myself wondering whether I should either (i) be arrogant enough to assume they now see things differently and persevere or (ii) carry on regardless of their disapproval. the fact of the matter is that those ancestors who would be more approving (probably) are the ones I don't know and never really will.

It is something of a dilemma.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Bull Sons of Taranis

I think I have mentioned these figures before in an idea for a myth and also in the blogasmed 'Hymn to Ambactonos'. A comment over on the Dun Brython site asked who these Sons of Taranis were.

To be honest they were something that emerged from my mind as I was writing, in the same way as the first of all animals appeared in the 'Making of the World'; funny ideas thrown up by my imagination during a bout of creativity.

This question though actually got me thinking about it a bit more and it was a pretty quick jump for me to decide on who these sons actually were and where they fit into the cosmology of mine.

They are the clouds.

More accurately, they are the rain clouds that scud overhead, whose milk is the rain that waters the land and whose hooves thunder and make the sky tremble when they are in full flight. They have wives of course! These wives are the herds of clouds who fill our skies; the white clouds upon the blue plains of the heavens.

The idea of clouds as cows isn't nothing new, in fact they are regarded as such in the Rig Veda and tie in with Indra quite a lot (Indra being cognate with Taranis).

So a new layer to my own cosmology; the herds of the sky led out each dawn and shepherded across the sky by the chariot of the sun. often the while, gentle wives and sometimes the Bull Sons come with their three voices of rain, thunder and lightning.  What is particularly useful is that these rainclouds are personified in the Rig Veda as Parjanya and there are three hymns to him. these might serve as a useful basis for 'adaptation' and use within practical devotional work along with hymns to Ambactonos etc.  Also of note is that these hymns could also be viewed as incantations of sorts asking Parjanya to come and water the land. 

Summon the powerful god with these songs;
praise Parjanya; win him over with homage.
The bellowing bull.
freely flowing with luscious drops
places his seed in the plants as an embryo

Trans. W. Doniger 1981