Wednesday, 31 October 2012


In Gallicenae (London, 1988) by Poul and Karen Anderson, the God Lir personifies the sea.

"Lir" is a personification because the personal pronoun "He" is used and His "...wrath..." is referred to (p. 135).

However, it is also recognised that the Being referred to as "Lir" is impersonal:

" '...Lir wears no human face...' " and is not prayed to (p. 135).

However, Lir is sacrificed to and obeyed. Paganism can have it both ways. Is His "wrath" anything more than the unpredictable, impersonal destructiveness of the sea? It is the other, anthropomorphic, Gods who seal the Pact that makes Ys hostage to Lir/vulnerable to the sea.

Yet again, we are shown Pagan religious experience of Gods in and through nature. The Lir Captain says:

" 'In storm, in fog, in dead calm and sea-blink through endless silences: I have known the Dread of Lir...'" (p. 135).

To learn the will of the God, Lir Captain sails alone out of sight of land, fasts, thirsts and remains sleepless, then remembers something relevant to the question that he has in mind, after which a breeze blows him home. Fasting and thirsting weaken the body, causing euphoria and hallucinations. To learn, I suggest, following the Buddha's teaching, keep the body healthy, reflect and meditate.

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