Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Queen Gunnhild contemplates three "powers" (see here):

the Man on the Cross;
the Man on the Gallows;
the Man with the Drum -

- Christ, Odin and a shaman. Odinism and Shamanism are old, familiar ways whereas Christianity presents a new combination of cultural and political power. Gunnhild makes an outer show of Christianity while still practising shamanism.

All three powers are present in SM Stirling's The Sword Of The Lady although, as with Gunnhild, it is women that practise shamanism, one beating the drum, the other entering a clairvoyant trance. Shamanism has the advantage that it focuses on someone who is living and altering consciousness here and now, not long ago or far away. The same claim can be made for Yoga and Zen which, of course, are beyond Gunnhild's mental horizons. I suppose that these Eastern practices could be ascribed to "the Man who Sits"?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Buddha as "The man who sits" is new way of describing him for me. And rather amusing!