Monday, 1 May 2017

Gifts Of The Goddess

(This image is relevant.)

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!

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And the description of Rudi Mackenzie and his "attributes" also reminds me of how he fits common description of legendary heroes and great kings. Cyrus the Great, King Arthur, Beowulf, Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa, being the most obvious examples.