Monday, 11 August 2014

The Evolving Goddess

Poul Anderson, "Star Of The Sea" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), pp. 467-640.

I, pp. 467-469. Niaerdh creates sea life, sings rain or light, has the morning star on her forehead, sails an iceberg clad in fog, catches ships in a net, can drown the land with waves or bring her dowry of rain, comes to Frae on the rainbow, returns to her sea in the autumn but to his land in spring:

"'This shall be the year and every year henceforward.'" (p. 469)

Her daughters dance at the rim of the world.

II, pp. 557-561. Over the Wanes fighting the Anses, Naerdha steers her ship with the Ax of the Tree, casting eagles, white star on her brow. With Wotan's spear and Tiwaz's Helm, she pursues and kills Hoadh, the giant who attacked her. She changes his sons into black hounds, raids the Iron Lords, harries evil ghosts and leads the Wild Hunt.

III, pp. 624-628. The story is not of wild gods but of a man rewarded by a gentle goddess. Trees, vine, fruit, sea, ships, "...the well-being of mortals and peace among them" (p. 628) are Nehalennia's.

IV, pp. 639-670. "Mary, mother of God..." Hail, Star of the Sea.

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