Monday, 1 May 2017
Gifts Of The Goddess
When my daughter was at primary school, somewhere between the ages of five and eleven, we had this conversation -
Aileen: Dad, do you know about gifts?
Me: What gifts?
A: There's air. That's a gift. There's fire. That's a gift...
Me: Gifts from who?
A: The gods.
Me: Who's told you this?
A: Mr. Bellamy.
Me (inwardly): Aileen's Headteacher's preaching polytheism. That's cool!
Of course, he was recounting a Greek myth. Everyone who exists has the gift of existence. Fortuna has selected us from among the many potential people who did not get born and I am grateful. Sometimes I want to ask the One why It has not created better servants but of course I do not believe that It is a person. Personification is a deeply ingrained mental habit.
Some individuals are specially gifted from birth.
Poul Anderson's Veleda:
communes with the sea and the goddess;
tells new stories about the goddess;
leads her people to war against Rome in the name of the goddess;
potentially remakes mythology, subordinating the Aesir to the goddess;
instead proclaims the goddess once again peaceful;
preserves the symbols of the star and the sea that later generations incorporate into the image of the Virgin Mary.
SM Stirling's Rudi Mackenzie:
is both handsome and skilled in war;
has a special affinity with a wild horse;
is identified as the Lady's Sword at his wiccanning;
is called forth by a foreigner's visions and Voice.
And if these be not gifts, then they will suffice until the real ones come along!