No. I couldn’t think of a better name for this.
______________________________________________________________________Table of Contents:
Ye Olden Days
Some Thoughts on Gender (Dynamics)
Cosmic Balance Reflected in Life
Dualism, Polarities, and the Like
I’ve learned to try and not put all my potato-chips on one table, and much less insist anyone else do. With that being said, I’ve said it before and likely will again – I find the primeval Goddess Cults (hypothetically speaking) fascinating. My gut tells me this is one of the oldest forms of religio-culture we have, and that reintegrating this in some way or other in our societies might someday help repair some of the many inorganic imbalances we have absorbed as a consequence of living as vassals within a globalist corporatocracy. My gut tells me that if we can understand and synthesise this, somehow, then we can make much more sense out of everything else that is tangentially tied together.
Or not. Whatever floats your boat or sinks your dinghy.
I’ll have been wrong about more important things.
I know on a personal level that delving deeper into the questions of Ancient spirituality has been enriching, such as we can with our extreme distance from it, and, frankly, what I believed to be our limited senses. In Neopagan (in the big tent sense of the word) you have UPG, which is a popular acronym for “unverified personal Gnosis.” Now in a way, everything you’re going to read from anybody is UPG, because human beings are incapable of being truly unbiased and everyone has to interpret the data they present. I’m no different. But I wanted to render a fair warning, this is less a scholarly paper. Much less an attempt at pretending to be one, than it is a kind of personal track record which has bent scholarship to its will. Which I think is fair enough. In the final analysis, the quest for unbiased research is a canard, because you, the reader, will form your own biases irrespective of my influence. As it should be. So. That being said; I’ve found the research to greatly improve my personal relationship towards the divine. As I understand it, which can only be a personal thing. None of what I write here is meant to be an imposition of any kind. Spirituality should be considered an open invitation, I think, not a tool of manipulation. What jives, take, what does not, leave. Anyway. More recently I have read books like Jean Markale’s “The Great Goddess,” or Vilhelm Grønbech’s “Culture of the Teutons,” all of which I highly recommend. I’ve touched on both Grønbech and Markale in review, if you are interested. Older books (to me) that I’ve read which have more or less been synthesised into the backdrop of my own understanding are Jan Fries’ “Helrunar,” Robert Graves’ “The White Goddess,” Graham Robb’s “The Ancient Paths,” and so forth. This will also be longer than my usual fare, a much thicker read, if you like. Perhaps more a small book than a long post. So there’s another fair warning. I’ve left a table of contents, which you should have seen by now, for those looking for particular angles. It’s rough, due to the limitations of my engineering skills online – where this will have first appeared.
I digress, from what I can see, there is a potential archaeological trail I can never verify for myself but trust in my received data to interpret. It would appear that among the oldest subjects of human art, were women. We suppose them to be Goddesses, which sceptics will claim as a stretch of the imagination. So is the Big Bang, which requires a secular priest class to understand for most laymen. Everything is a stretch of the imagination, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s what we have to deal with. So let us dispense with this notion that intuition is a dirty word, if you like. We infer them to be Earth Goddesses, which is a further stretch – they say. Then, evolution requires many more secular priests to explain, and reinforce. Everything is a leap of faith, the choice is in what makes you feel better at night. I, personally, have no compunction with accepting their being Earth Goddesses – or at least their Priestesses. Of course, we believe, because the cultures spanning the Upper Palaeolithic and into the Neolithic who appear to have indulged in an evolution of this gynocentric (we think) culture were illiterate, that we can rely only upon our intuition to come to more or less (we console ourselves to say) obvious conclusions. How now can the record as it stands speak for itself, without the benefit of our secular priest scholars today? Prehistoric man had a matriarchy. It collapsed. We have a patriarchy. Not a lot of nuance. But there is, there is a lot of nuance – despite the crudeness of the base observations. Not even sure I think it’s all true, I hate reductionism in most cases, and I think overemphasis on matriarchy that and patriarchy this, is obfuscation. Even if it’s not, I struggle with the tendency people have of wanting to cock the pendulum to one extreme or another. Blame my goddamned Yankee centrism. I don’t think Herodotus, who in a sense prescribes the first feminised ethnostate (that we’re told we know of) for the Amazons, imagined that anything was even ever so flat as that, not even the Earth, which you should know I think is phat. So phat that she’s round. Moreover, even in the heights of what is understood as Patriarchy there was still a component of delegation and honour on the feminine which ought not be denied. For example, during the periods of history that, at least when I was a boy, was called the Age of Nationalism (sexy) the various Nation-States depicted themselves in art in the personae of ‘Goddesses.’ Britannia for the Britons, Germania for the Germanics, Erin for the Irish, nobody for the Welsh, Columbia for the Americans – and so on. I think Erin has also been called Roisin Dubh, too. But don’t quote me. The French had their own leading Lady, whom for a while they renamed Reason. I think I’ve seen old art with the Swiss having their Lady Helvetia. On and on it goes. This is not a novel, nor idle invention. Roma Dea is in a sense the direct progenitrix for all these. Roma Dea seems to have been a nakedly Romanised Bona Dea, who was herself merely, The Good Goddess. The Good Goddess is thought to have been Cybele, who, incidentally, was said to have been celebrated on the Ides of March. BEWARE. The implication here is that in Rome, and all the Nations which have fought over her legacy, is that this Feminine Divine symbolising the very nation, and by implication her fertility, overshadows the male figurehead. This model has worked itself out organically in most of the myths I have read. The Germans (in the classical sense) we are told placed a high overhead value on the divine feminine, and worship of Goddesses seems to have overshadowed worship of Gods – or so suggests Tacitus, ever so… tacitly. For those unfamiliar she, being Nerthus some say, was hauled about on a litter or cart, shown hospitalities of the places she might visit. The culmination of this seems to have been a sacred body of water where the Goddess, her ride and artefacts were washed. And it is said her thralls were drowned – which I suppose made them tools. Here again, if nothing else, we see a representation of the sanctity of water in correspondence to the divine feminine. I might be bold enough to make a suggestion: from Grønbech and other sources we know that water burial was sometimes used as a vehicle surrounding reincarnation. For example, scum were weighted down and thrown into bogs, the proviso being that their soul, stemming from the body, could not escape and thus reincarnate back into the community. Could it have been that by offering the thralls of the Goddess as votives, that they were consecrated to her and reborn as it were, into greater communion with her? When we consider the racial memory of reincarnation among the Celts, which was indubitably tied to sacred water and the subterrain alike, then I think the possibility becomes more clear. I do not recall Tacitus mentioning a shameful execution of the servants to the Goddess, as typically the Germanics, being practical, often sacrificed criminals and perverts as a means of clearing out the trash and fulfilling an obligation toward the Gods. Anyway.
Before I even delve into any of the content I have planned, I will make a moral imposition, which you are of course free to ignore. And that is my belief that in slanting too far to either archy there is an inclement spiritual malaise one postures themselves toward. I don’t care who wins the battle of the useless enterprise, if we end up with a strict “patriarchy” or hypothetical “matriarchy” than society would collapse. Sparta collapsed because it became a neutered sausage fest. Amazon Prime collapsed because not only could the warrior women apparently not boat, they grossly overestimated the meaning of 2-day shipping on their ritual Bundt cakes which they would eat on their cruise and starved to death before Christmas. Gender is a polarity which requires balance and input. You cannot, without the abominations of modern science, create life without input from both masculine and feminine. That was always the role of neuter, no? Gender is cooperative, a thing is defined by the opposite, or against the opposite in some less than desirable cases. A neutral is something that is not yet cooperating. To indicate that a thing had not yet been fully initiated into its gender? In the German language, as I recall, Kind(er) possess the gender neuter, whereas men and women – Mann und Frau – by default are defined by their sex, their procreative roles. In a state of nature, that child is not raised in a vacuum – at least when you select to be on the right side of the r/k divide. Similarly, as culture is the child of the folksoul, it too is subject to gender cases, just like language. It follows, I think, that in a world where Nature ruled all, that gender would not be exclusive to human beings. Why would it be? I remember in German class that the girls all laughed and hemmed and hawed, why should a stool be masculine? Why is the steckdose feminine? The stool has feet; the socket receives the prongs of the electrical cord. There are clear implications. It’s not a mystery. But the Germans, as well as the English and all Europeans, evolved from a world wherein the Sky and Earth had gender. Lovemaking was the coming together of heaven and earth. So, again, if the Sun and Moon and Stars have gender, why wouldn’t everything else? And another bit for your consideration: if I recall, and correct me if I’m wrong, in the German language pluralised things tend to assume the feminine case. We will make this foreshadowing, but there is a tendency in the authoritarian (not a dirty words) European psyche to envision the collective as a feminine thing, a lady. Pet-names for objects of endearment in English often assume what would have been the feminine case, in the – forgive me – neutered English. A truck, often, is presumed feminine. So. I digress. You have the theory that a primitive Matriarchy reigned, a warless utopia in which wise women ruled despite this being an obvious artistic conclusion which your Herodotuses slightly despoil by depicting Amazons as warmongery and neurotic, and I think suspiciously conveniently receptive to Greek charm. And then the Indo-Europeans kicked their heads in and we became who we are – over some many thousands of years having forgotten whatever it was that made us this way but for the foggy annals of myth which can only help us so far when our folksoul is retarded and we struggle with mythopoeic simile and metaphor. Some take it further. Maybe there wasn’t even an invasion. Maybe the Matriarchy was matriarchic, some suggest, because man was so rough, unevolved, that he didn’t understand the power of his penis in childbirth and thus worshipped woman as a Living Goddess. He eventually figured this out, and was mad. So mad that all of history has been revenge-porn, ever since, and almost without exclusionary measure. Sure. I’ll say it again, but I don’t subscribe to that. Our ancestors are generally cleverer than credited.
But what can we say? We can look around. We can see how quickly your feminist movements have degenerated. I’m no friend of feminists. But even I can see that Wollstonecraft and lady’s suffrage likely would not see Gloria Steinem as their direct successor, much less the even more poorly articulated modern equivalents for whom the shoe branded “man hater” often but not always fits. It strikes me ironic that somehow in all this shuffle, that by “reclaiming” their power all modern feminists have done is become discount men with all the diseases, dysfunctions and disabilities that entails. Malaise, substance abuse, emotional deprivation, feelings of dissatisfaction, frustrations that their careers didn’t make them happy – and so on. This they do, often, in the guise of taking back some kind of mythik gynocracy which they supposed to have existed before the patriarchy. Indeed, the suggestions of archaeology – albeit so often seen through the eyes of men – directly contradict their assertions. This ancient feminism gloried in fertility, this and femininity linked arms, it seems rather indisputable, what is fertile, makes the feminine. It was not for nothing the Goddess had curves, try as they might, modern feminists cannot destroy the life-creating principle their very bodies “betray” them to. Ironically, it is here the ancient record that seems to betray them. There was always a role to model. The modern feminist, at her core, is an iconoclast. She will not move the goalpost; she will shatter them. And to what end? With no end-goal, how can there be a lasting victory? Ancient Goddesses had curves, the modern feminist argues over the nature of curves and in her feisty shtick does nothing but disabuse herself from any joy she might encounter in finding connections with the ancient, because the ancient betrays her. The Goddess seems to have taken pleasure in herself. Period. Stopgap. The modern perversion is to take pleasure in one’s action, which seems to me to leave a causal gap, a void that needs filling. Moreoften than not, what’s argued over is sound and fury. They, and we and everyone, would I think find much more peace in embracing some semblance of a pursuit of holistic beauty and spiritual enterprise, rather than arbitrarily pursuing ugliness, meanness, and the asinine quest for transgressive subversion of expectations and blatantly antagonistic philosophies which by design bring them only unhappiness. And when I say ugliness here, I am not prescribing a particular beauty standard – that, again, I think is subjective to the individual or consensual collective. Beauty is not skin deep, I remind you the Greek formula discussed in my review of Markale’s Goddess: kalos k’agathos. What is beautiful without, must be so within, and one assumes the vice to this versa. One should find the beauty in their own selves, where they are, in whatever capacity they can. If you have no grasp of this, no amount of causal change will bring it to you. No crash course, no lifting routine, no diet plan. You will find a way to find ugliness in any situation, unless you seize the beauty in it. To every polarity the inverse. Again, any movement which places goalposts on happiness, such as ‘I can be happy when we smash the patriarchy’ will fail – because the ghost will always linger. Seeking conditions is pursuing a negative, a negative multiplied always remains a negative. The patriarchy is an idea, it cannot die, it was never alive. It is a convenient narrative and nothing more. Reality was alive, and so was history, and that is being slowly drained of life and cannibalised for parts. The thing you think you’ve smashed seems to be like a haunting ghost you cannot escape. Surely, to persist in such a vein will bring no great happiness. It would be best to find a new path, not as isolated units, but a monad. Or not. Whatever floats your boat or sinks your dinghy. And make no mistake. I give you a long rope to hang yourself with, there is no love lost for MGTOW. Because all too often when you express dislike for A., then the assumption becomes you must subscribe to B. The same general ill-logic applies, but in this case, for men who are supposed to be rational creatures over emotional ones, men should know better. Not to glorify in the obtuse, the strawman, and to be sucked into an endless portal filled with slogans. Where is Brandon going? And what is he going to do when he gets there and realises that life sucks without women. Women, not trophies. Women, not notches. Women, the reflection of an elusive, at times frustrating Goddess. I have no great love for the male equivalent of feminism in its burgeoning forms. I find all of these incessant rabbles to be purposeful obfuscations, pedantic distractions. All of which sully a very, very simple guideline.
To each their own. That isn’t a libertine statement, but it can be made to be one – as any statement can be twisted. There is no necessary model which can be imposed thoroughfare and without exceptions across cultural lines. There were times when archetypal homes prevailed. Those archetypes, though, had time stamps and place names. There is no universal model. But we have so thoroughly destroyed culture and religion that, literally, to each their own. As it was in the beginning, so it should be again. We cannot have a streamlined culture yet. The streamlined culture we have is anti-culture; it is a vacuum which vomits consumerism by swallowing the declinations of real culture. It should be rejected. Until that happens, we can have no culture. Circumstances of an individual nature do not allow for it. And before my inbox receives an inquiry into buggery or glorification of individualism, its kinks, hang-ups, all that and its permutations, no. That isn’t it, either. I can acknowledge carrying capacities of lifestyles without resorting to social pet causes. A heterosexual couple in this day and age is hard pressed to be able to simply R E T V R N as they please. And thus, for me to prescribe “the traditional family,” would be at best laughable. What is even tradition being also a valid question. Shall it be the Christian tradition? Which one? Of the six gorillion protestant denominations, the 16 or so Catholic Sui Generii, the various metropolitans of the Orthodoxy? What about the blatantly heterodox incarnations like Mormonism, or Raelianism which use Christian lingo to create an otherwise unique amalgam of syncretic pulses? Or is Christian tradition an epoch? Baroque? Renaissance? Or throw that away, and retvrn to Pagang. Then what? Norse? How so? Shall you be Asatru, or Odinist. But are you even Norse? Bro, do you even Folkish? Are you a Universalist? There’s Theod. Of course an Irishman, while seemingly happy in Asatru, might retvrn to the potato field and embrace whatever names there are for potato-fried pagang gang. This isn’t to say tradition isn’t a noble goal, it is indeed. I think among the noblest. But my contention here is that it is not so simple as saying the word and assembling grape-krunk at the altars of the cargo cult. To reclaim the Odal, or the Oikos, is perhaps the foremost goal I think a man should set. Or a woman, for that matter. I could suggest steps to retvrn. But most women are not going to wake up, realise how badly they’ve been had, and quit the field. Especially when they above all are sold the bill about how this all benefits them. Any more than men are going to realise their worth and be ready to pick up the slack for a woman’s exit. Even if the man knows he is paying the bill, on account of forever being told to check his privilege. Both are mutually inclusive. Let’s be honest – men aren’t where they should be, and women need us to be there, financially, spiritually, physically. Many couples cannot be supported on a man’s single income. And to expect a woman who works to also be the traditionalist cornerstone of a house, is expecting too much. It is enough for a woman to run a house, much less run a house and work a job, and furthermore pursue any kind of spiritual completion. As men aren’t going anywhere without women, in their masses, and women aren’t going anywhere without men, in their masses – there again comes that whole cooperation theme I mentioned. Yet many try, and become cardboard cut-outs, flat simulacrums of the plentiful Goddesses of yore. That being said, the answer for many is equanimity. Where do the pieces fit? Keep them there, until they cease to fit. Do what needs to be done.
There is also the question of temperament. In speaking of retvrn to Tradition, we tend to oversimplify the role of the nuclear family. This comes from an ironically commercialistic notion that the American 1950s is the last stand of traditional Europe, when in truth, it was the now obvious beginning of the obvious decay of it. For example, to expect to contain a family unit in a single house and confine it in definition to (at best) grandparents, husband/wife and children… is a sleight of hand against the Clan Network whose limelight the Nuclear Family robbed. It really DID take a village, to raise a child. Consider this, if you will. The Clan Network was power – true power. A Clan had influence, a family or more likely gaggle of families bound by strong ties had further ties to other families and clans. Influence. Influence is power in the White world because our entire moral imperative as a means of evolutionary strategy stems from maintaining positive influence.
Once, all White Nations had a Clan system. We think of Scotland as having the most intricate, but theirs is the most recent and arguably the longest lasting. However, the Norse had Clan systems. The Romans had a Clan system which evolved into the Class system. In mentioning Scotland, we might further stipulate that Scotland’s entire history turned on an axial clan dial. Without the Clan, Scotland would have had a much different history. A history indistinct from English history, I peradventure to suggest. Resistance to English rule often came about through unity of Clans, and lack of resistance to lack thereof. Now, the English. We had Clans, too. But in a way, since we along with the Germans and French seem to have been destined to act as harbingers of the industrialisation of the world, our Clans were subsumed by the idea of the Nation State. This was perhaps easier for us because of the direct imposition of Normanisation, which resulted in an interrupted Folksoul which I think began to reassert itself through the reign of the Plantagenet Edwards and up. Scotland was not as directly scrutinised, by Normans. So it goes. Of course, none of this assumes a distinction between Highland and Lowland Scots who were different animals at times. The overarching point here is that Scotch resistance came from the Clan, the Clan being the epitome of a communicable microcosm. The Clan was for a time far more important than National unity or pride, a nascent Nationalism being pioneered by their English neighbours. What remains was that because questions of honour and pride were tied to the Clan, there was a fatalistic sense of destiny imbued by the Clans. This same pulse permeated Norse Culture where questions of Frith could make or break Clans. Define for me a stronger moral power than this.
All the ENEMY had to do was cripple our means of synthesising influence (the Clan) and begin the atomisation process. It’s much harder for a Nuclear Family to amass considerable influence because it draws clear lines, typically by descent. For example, the Saxo Doxworthy family could have been a Clan and indeed it was. It has five bloodlines with five patriarchs who possess genetic clout from two halplogroups which come from a common wellspring… which is likely Denmark, but somewhere along the line they split up. The Saxo Doxworthy family once controlled huge tracts of land in Massachusetts, and with the influence of her collective network was eventually able to impact politics. Today? If yours truly goes back to Saxonville, Massachusetts (now renamed) though he sounds like a Masshole, will probably get beat by a roving pack of feral Irishman for talking gobshite about potatoes. Why? Because my grandfather focused on the nuclear family and actively dismantled a very lucrative legacy. I don’t blame him. He did what he thought was right based on the carefully rephrased information presented to him. Nor do I blame my father for minimising our power further. The seventies don’t appear to have been a forward thinking time. I do not look forward to the arduous task of working with my wife to take some of this back to realise the worth of the stupid meme that has it “we are all learning what our grandfathers took for granted.” It is what it is. We’ll do what needs to be done. But we cannot do what needs to be done alone, which is why we try to friend up with other families who share our values – these will, we hope, magnify themselves generationally. That is how the Clans evolved. And it seems fair to assume they can again – if we ply ourselves righteously.
Anyway. The point is this. In all things balance. I use the Sacred Marriage of Odin and Frigga, in their Nordic Hypostases as my chief example. They weigh heavily on my mind, and prefigure at the nexus of my ancestry, in whatever way you wish to tally it. Because if one wishes to stress the Danish or Norman influence on the English soul, nothing changes, both had at their root the Holy Ghost of Odin and Freyja by whatever name they were called. In every way, the God and Goddess balance each-other. Their every attribute is completed in the other. On their own, each can perhaps do what the other might, but it is clear that in their marriage a completion of worth is achieved. Frigga for example is noted to know much but say little, Odin conversely knows all but seeks more and in so questing leaves knowledge to the worthy. Odin is the paragon of mastering external causality, the Lord of the Gallows who achieves enlightenment through action and sacrifice. He learns the Runes, a transmissible, repeatable means of enlightenment, a dare I say, scientific approach. While we like to see Odin as the God of esoterica, his hermeneutic is exoteric. Masculine in every way for it is action oriented. Frigga is mistress of dominating the internal landscape, the Lady of witchcraft who achieves enlightenment through contemplative and meditative means, no doubt a speculative approach. She knows the herbs, which suggests an altered consciousness, she knows Seidr which we believe was a trancelike arrangement potentially like oracular ecstasy. In a way, you had the left and right hand paths. What is a left hand without a right? Imbalanced. Why should we expect that the masculine and feminine should approach enlightenment, thus the means to the occult, in the same way? That notion is insufferable, or it should be.
If we build culture with no input from the feminine we would quickly achieve a culture with slanted values. A mechanistic, action oriented thing with exceptionally poor introspection and wildly inefficient logistical acuity. Lacking good intuition, it would likely become a cruel and calloused organism. In those instances where we do see the feminine divine stripped and beaten down, that’s what you get. We can see it in the Semitic cultures, and it makes our skin crawl. We make excuses for it in the Hellenistic world – but I don’t see why, other than we’re bred to think we owe them something. Likewise, a culture erected without masculine input would likely degenerate so badly into whimsy that it would not support itself. It might have introspection, but there would be missed boats logically that would lead to critical failures. Whimsy magnified becomes capriciousness, and woman have every capacity for caprice when they feel over-entitled. We might peradventure to suggest that a lot of the monstrosity of society in and around the year 2022 was a product of uncalculated whimsy and a massive lack of accountability. None of this is an intentional assault against the validity of either gender, but the suggestion that all this he-said/she-said bullshit is just that. A profound waste. Cooperation, employment of assets are what’s needed. Which is easier said than done, and with this preamble over, I will now say I haven’t the notes imbedded in planning this paper to cover any steps to balance. That again I think falls to the individual house – balance cannot be imposed, that isn’t balance. I digress.
As to this paper. I will attempt to show that, I hope, there are at least some of the integral seeds of balance contained in our war fraught history. And that contrary to what most history books show, the Folksoul seeks equanimity. Let’s start with those ‘obvious’ conclusions I mentioned a few paragraphs above. Those being drawn from the supposed Goddess statues about whom obvious conclusions are obviously drawn.
I find “obviousness” to be an overrated construct. But intuition I do not. From what I can glean, there are common threads. You had these statues of women. While they varied in form and presumptive function, many were what you’d call chunky monkeys. Not literal monkeys, for those immune to my use of metaphors and euphemisms. Fat. Fat women. Zaftig. Plump. Etc. Not all, but many. Many enough becomes a pattern. So many that it becomes curious. This alone invokes curiosity and/or suspicion among those intrigued by putting faces to the beginning of culture. It flies in the face of what we think of as “common” “sense” that there should have been women of size to depict at all. After all… As it goes, wouldn’t have everyone been so busy running from angry mammoths that nobody would have had time for arctic chonk? Surely for what must have been a considerable standard deviation to not only occur, but be commemorated, that presumptive deviation must have been lent vast consideration. These Goddesses were important to our ancestors, so they should be to us, simply put – since it seems their precedence lends credence to our antecedence. Thus to intuiting understanding of the historical layers, the Örlög, if you will, of our situation. And so explanations radically vary. These statuettes or engravings did not merely “go away,” however. And whether for you it’s like seeing a train wreck or something angelic, it’s hard to look away from a mystery when you see one. Indeed, it would appear that as the clock struck forward they gained prevalence, eventually not contenting themselves to be atomised figurines in caves, they spawned shrines, towns even. With complex structures employing this leitmotif spanning huge tracts of land above and below ground. As above, so below. The complexity of which, we believe naturally, invokes some primitive, primal religion. It seems a sound investment, man is, after all, a religious animal. Evolution being what it is, it seems fair to assume the impulse that makes us what we are has been there from the long ages. But to grok this, it pays to unravel the thread a little – religion, too, doubtless has evolved. Religion, mind you, is a word that originally referred to the status of one’s devotion. Very simple. Religion today invokes images of belt buckles, cowboy hats and crooked Bible salesmen, but our ancestors had a kind of salient pragmatism that we would do well to reinvigorate. Theirs was a common sense that didn’t require countless volumes of pantomimic bloviating to encapsulate, said the writer to himself – out loud – while bloviating, loudly. Religion was originally a practical thing, with galvanising power – it was the throne upon which culture seated itself to reign over the face of mankind. Yes, I have used a royal metaphor – and I do so without shame. We are witnessing the involution of man through the slow death of living culture. Reverence of any kind is popularly associated with the extremes. It is not a fair association. So, I would gladly kneel and assume a higher culture if it meant securing my posterity a better future. Culture. They had a culture, our ancestors, and their Goddesses often sat on thrones or reclined in couches or on mats. That was not the beginning nor the ending of culture, simply here the facet I wish to understand. It forms, again, an archetype, a hard-point wherein humans began to see themselves – or their sacred mothering figures – in the divine. From whose point a wellspring of culture, a seldom recognised wellspring, ushered forth.
And eventually, this culture – whatever it was – went underground, figuratively and literally. This does not appear to have been out of shame, or fear. But worship. Indeed, one wonders if the purpose were quite religious. We assume so. It seems reasonable. There are left to us tantalising testaments, which, by the way – think of the meaning of the word tantalising, and how it fits, yeah? Tantalising hints, snippets. You have the great Hypogeum of Malta, a city beginning above ground and stretching under. The Sleeping Lady of Malta, one of the fat Venuses, was found there. Many believe she represents a kind of oracle, or prophetess. Theories range from sterile scholarship with little intuition, to religious interpretation saturated, dare I say dripping, with personal input. One such theory involves a book, called “Apocalypse Culture,” in which there is an essay suggesting that the Maltese Venus belonged to a caste of Palaeolithic priestesses to the Earth Goddess who in her stead were ritually fattened on ritual dream-catching beds under the belief that their growing girth would neurochemically alter them in such a way as to receive divine oracles from said Goddess whom their burgeoning curves would bring them closer to in resemblance. The proviso being that the fatness of the Goddess would translate necessarily to the bounties of the Earth. A generous portion of paleo to megalithic “do ut des,” I suppose. The author cites some studies conducted a-while ago suggesting a link between fat, hypothalamus and serotonin levels in recently awakened mediums as a means of providing grounding for this. Blavatsky is given as an example of such an archetype. Given the arrangement of Çatalhöyük and other such hypogea, I wonder what O’Neill would have made of those. As I say – I am sure Tim O’Neill, the author, has recourse to believe this but he fails to provide firmer evidence than the mere suggestion. The best I can do is cobble together traces of corroboration as to how it could make sense. Oracular priestesses were among the most suppressed sub-classes of feminine occult practitioner post hoc PIE. I suppose to stretch things thin, there is an episode in one of the Sagas wherein a witch, a Seidkona, was called in to work her magick. Her response ostensibly was ‘what, aren’t you going to buy me dinner first?’ She would not work without having eaten, nor without having been given her staves and her attributes. So, I guess, there’s that – a humungous stretch. Maybe. I had always assumed she was just spicy, and knew she could get a good deal better from her bargaining position. But there may well have been underlying custom, that or you can’t do magick on an empty stomach – I’ve never really done magick. So I wouldn’t know. I’m also not a woman, so there are things I can never know about Seidr. But as a quick aside, whilst we’re speaking of Seidr, Seidr is often believed to related to a quasi-sexual rite. This is debatable, but the argument is hugely prevalent and nigh omnipresent in Pagan circles – the term is said to relate to ‘seeth’ and is conjectured to have to do with body heat, is known to pertain to women, and relate to prophecy, prediction and sorcery which in some ways reminds us of the Pythia, of the Oracle of Delphi and other chthonic, feminine occult figures. Later on we will discuss this further. But there is a potential connection between if not Seidr, than at least some Nordic witchcraft, and the sexual mysteries proposed by the Hellenes and Celts in the form of Baubo and Sheela. But I digress. Another point is that of the figurines of which I am aware, there is only one depicted with what appears to be a potentially edible attribute and that is the Venus Lausel. It strikes me that were there such a cult, one hinged on feeding, that there might have been some other clue to indicate this. Still. It’s not unheard of, Tim O’Neill’s history – there are secular cultural artefacts to suggest that his theory has, ahem, weight. There are and have been tribes which believe a woman’s feminine powers are tied to her gravitic presence, as it were. And there are neglected cross-cultural connections which can be made that might lead them there and back again to the Venuses of old. So in the history of strange, stranger things will have doubtless occurred. And really, the gravettian figures of the most ancient Venuses wouldn’t have likely occurred by accident. For reasons thoroughly illustrated – we think. Intention is implied. If history is correct about starvation and misery being the norm (which seems questionable) than if one did not wish to be fat, they certainly didn’t have to be. Anyway. The fat Venuses of Dolni Vestonice, Kostenki, Hacilcar, Marmota, Gagarino, Moravany, Savignano, Willendorf, Laussel, Hohle Fels, and so many others – they haven’t gone away, one has to explain them, their purpose. Or not – it could all still be a waste of time, like anything else one sinks thought into. Whatever presumptive oracular traditions this society or these societies had was either obliterated, or (I think more likely) absorbed into the successive waves of culture which we are told replaced it. There is a parallel tradition of interpretation of this shift among the Moslems which I became recently aware of. But I won’t sully myself by pretending to understand the depths of it. What I will say is that because the object permanence of many of these statuettes and their locales are located in zones which Whites and Orientals both occupied prehistorically, there is room I’m sure for debate. But I am not a Moslem, nor an Oriental no less and I shall leave them to their turf to do as they please. In short… Curiously, if one digs in deep, there were heavily suppressed fertility and Goddess cults extant in Moslem controlled areas like Cairo and other places I can neither spell, remember, nor pronounce, where the standard of beauty was perhaps more Palaeolithic than the Hellenistic mind should have liked. Islam itself being in some ways, through the backdoor, by degrees influenced by Hellenism, as well as other branches of decidedly un-Abrahamic ideation. (Don’t tell the Mohamaddans I said that. Or do. I guess I don’t care.) There were until comparatively recent times prehistoric survivals of wife fattening customs and rituals separated from the mainstream but pervasive enough to warrant commentary which the Imams and so forth could not suppress, but successfully muted with their incessant religious prohibitions. It suggests an older custom which predates the Islamic, one spearheaded by the volition of the women participating – a point of reference which seems to have irked the legalistic Islamicists. Some scant records remain, and one could find them online if they so choose. They are… colourful. What’s interesting, at least to me, is that the Middle East did not always represent the culture that now inhabits it, there was a diminishing return of Indo-European blood in the early days of Islam in that region. And in earlier days that presence was stronger. This all might have connected in some way to the gravettian Venuses. In ancient days, “Venuses” of a kind found also in Europe were found there, suggesting a cultural link between these our, ancient ancestors, and thus, their practises – whatever those really were – with those potentially parallel customs suppressed and resurfaced within the context of Islam. It is not unthinkable, given that many pre-Christian customs were baptised by Christianity and thus sanctioned. It is unreasonable to believe something similar could not happen to Islam. Conjecture aside, no matter what we say, it will still be unsubstantial, albeit honest, speculation. But still, if one follows the work of men like Arthur Kemp, it becomes less implausible that there was a larger Indo-European influence over the current East – that “Indo” we attach to the early Europeans didn’t come from a vacuum. Somebody said, “go West, young man,” and so they did.
Like the Maltese Hypogeum of Valetta, there is also the old settlement at Çatalhöyük. Here you have a fastidiously organised city which penetrates under the earth. Above are statues of titanic figures with fleshy proportions. Among these are the more famous Seated Women (there are several versions of what may be the same icon). These depict the woman with what appears to be an offering bowl between her feet, seated on some kind of pedestal flanked by animals. Scholarship insists they are feline; I can’t quite discern from looking at the pictures what I think they are. What appears to be some kind of cape is draped around her shoulders. Below the surface, there are more of such figures that are evidently flanked by skeletal figures. Interpretations vary, but suggest that the lady is in the position of receiving the bounty of her huntsmen. It is surmised by some, that subjugative agriculture arrived with the invading Indo-Europeans, and ended a predominately hunter/gatherer lifestyle – which may in and of itself explain many things. The gravitic/levitic figures might literally represent feast and famine, embodied. It has been offered that the Goddess figure represents the received wealth of her tribe, and in turn, gives back that bounty in the form of life. As some suggest the offering bowl may be also a child. Or a vessel to receive a child into. I am leery of this, in that it seems to me somewhat unnatural to enthrone a woman to receive her child, the positioning would I assume be awkward and impractical. I think it is more likely that the Venus of Hohle Fels fulfils the direct birthing function, for if you look at her dimensions she appears to be carved to lay flat – the way her body aligns itself also suggests a horizontal plane, the way the breasts appear to be pushing back toward her head, etc. She could be a birthing figurine. That is, of course, a personal opinion.
What remains is the protuberance of found objects, and the probability that there are likely many more that did not survive. It begs questions: why did what did, survive? What was lost? Is what was found representative of the majority of what was, or have considerable nuances been lost? Given that worldviews have been assembled around yet more sporadic evidence than what comes to us from the Lithics, it behoves us to wonder. I think. Some of the found Venuses which were not fat, curiously, appear to be engaging in religious or axiomatic activities. An example is the Venus of Galgenberg which depicts a woman of trimmer proportions than her counterparts, and is shown very brazenly “saying hi to Kyle.” That is, giving a stiff armed salute, a sun salute, or more crudely now known as a “Nazi salute.” (What is even a Nazi, guys, amirite??) Were there more of these potentially sun worshipping Little Goddesses? Where did they go? Who has them?
I had read an interesting article to suggest that the Venuses were sacrificial victims, who were deliberately sized up before being interred somehow. Again, not unfounded. Human sacrifice is a, to our eye and ear, unpleasant but gradually irrefutable reality. One can do as many have and say that, for instance, Druidic human sacrifice was a gross over-exaggeration or that Christians trumped up the death toll because Adam of Bremen was a weenie. And there’s truth, I am sure, to this. Rome was an Empire, the life blood of every Empire is propaganda, and truth alone never set Christendom free – it too required PR agents. But you had also across the world the Savages who would fatten up victims before offering them to their fertility Gods. I’m sure there is more nuance, but I have never found any particular fascination with Amerindian prehistory – perhaps to my detriment. Inna Land of Da Nords, Kings who failed remarkably in their duties were often sacrificed – though they received little fanfare and it is duly unlikely they received a choice last meal. Unless that last meal was bog-water. At any rate – if one looks at some of the Venuses, one can perceive what might be ropes around limbs. This then leads one to ask if the faceless Venuses might have literally been “day of the burlapped.” (Bags over their heads.) Again, I’m not convinced. The “faceless” Venus of Willendorf, if you look at her, has a mouth hole bored into her face. The very morphologically similar Venus Kostenki has a clear facial outline. I think they were prehistoric proto-hipsters with real big beanie hats. I don’t think they’re elaborate hairstyles because when you look at enough of their backsides, many of them freely show hair hanging down out of the honeycomb looking hats. At any rate… Also, most of the Goddess figurines show no signs of bondage, so if indeed some were local sacrifices, then the rest were likely not. Maybe they have the spirit of Finnish Northern Maine, where they still have wife ‘stealing’ competitions where the winner wins his wife’s weight in beer. That is a symbolic act hearkening to a less symbolic tradition, sublimated, in which it is remembered that the only reasonable method for a Finnish man to acquire a waifu was to steal her and give her Stockholm syndrome. And drink beer, I guess, or at least give her beer to help her forget being 12 years a Slav. Which is great. If you drink beer. But I don’t. Because I’m no fun. Bloat maxxx? More like Dour Maxxx. And they say beer gives you bitch tits, messes with your endocrine and makes you squishy. I don’t want that. Life is hard enough.
But with that being said, I think there is a potential to deduce likelihoods. I personally have no contention with believing the Venuses were Goddesses. Why wouldn’t they be? Other than because SCIENCE. That’s easy for me to do because my definition of the term is very loose and I believe it’s debatable what actually constitutes a Goddess or God. I see no problem with ensconcing a Goddess in flesh and calling her holy. Neither, it seems, did our ancestors who had a long tradition that seeped even into the Judaeo-Christian tradition, of divine agencies being enraptured by flesh and living lives as mortal beings. One can think of the Book of Tobias, which reads not entirely unlike Baucis and Philemon, in which the big reveal is that your mysterious stranger is a Divine Entity. So. Did this believe derive from a vacuum? Nature abhors a vacuum. And man alone, seems to have been a vacuum, and thus we were always destined for enthusiasm – the meaning of the word being indwelt by Gods. An ancient belief was that Gods could possess mortals at the right time and place, under the right auspice, for the right ritual. This seems to have never changed, for it is agreed that the matriarchic and patriarchic religions held this to be true. Indeed, if my incredibly unsophisticated understanding of the Cult of Astarte gleaned from Markale pans out, there was developed the potential ideation of sexual congress being entirely symbolic, as opposed to highly symbolic as it was for myths among Greeks and Nords. Example; the Temple Prostitute ceased to be the prostitute when she was properly enthroned because the Goddess indwelt her. This would suggest a premonition of what becomes Transubstantiation for the Christians. Even this was not new, for we know the predicative Eleusian Mysteries held a number of rituals copypasta’d by nascent Christendom, being seaside baptism, and communion with bread and wine. The only missing link is the cannibalism so hated by Rome. So. A Woman can be a Goddess at the same time. I think.
What’s clear is that for art, which cost resources and time, to depict these women would have likely ensured they held prominence in the social contexts depicting them. Unless the traditional French answer of everything was porn is right, which I doubt. Time was perhaps more precious then than now, in that then life was direr. Perhaps our awareness of time is grotesquely magnified, but our prescient mortality is not. So. The Palaeolithic man or woman would have likely been a pragmatist. Somewhere I read that metaphorical thinking and abstract reasoning occurred much later – an evolution I think jives with the dating of the crude and highly objective Palaeolithic art into the seemingly nuanced subjective Neolithic art. I tend to think of the statement ”leisure is the foundation of culture,” or something to that effect. I personally doubt the wholesale efficacy of the belief, that our ancient ancestors developed nuance later. But I also remain sceptical of certain tenets of the religion of evolutionary science. Science, having once been a self-correcting organism, may lead me back there, but for now, I don’t need it to explain life to my child. Still. There appears to be a certain advancement of symbolism, beginning with the rather simplistic figurines. (We think, but should not assume) to the sublimely symbolic figures we have later before the culture making them was either snuffed out or absorbed. Most of the Venuses of Here and There were blunt objects, whose focus screamed, “here is a woman, look at her visible array of genitive organs.” But that these were blunt objects, to our oh-so-refined palettes, does not need imply they had no meaning. Fertility could well have been more than mere fertility without inviting gawmy metaphors. Fecundity is a condition of life. For the Paleo connoisseurs, the Divine Woman is life itself, fertility, nay fecundity, is not only life but life lived well.
The focus on fertility leads many to assume the pornographic nature of them. Which I think is as unfair as the assumption that primitive man was incapable of understanding what his johnson was for. It also smacks of brainlet puritanism of the worst sort, and by no means do I rail against puritanism, per say. However, to assume that nudity by proxy equivocates necessary licentiousness is a leap of faith too vast for my liking. It suggests repression of the senses, which I think it is fair to argue society suffers from. Furthermore, it negotiates away the idea of fecundity from fertility and debases the whole arrangement to function without form. Fecundity being a life force, is a step above mere fertility as a result of sexual congress. There were some statues who would have earned the title “Venus immodest” that the Victorians gave, such as the Greek Baubo figurines which show the portly Goddess manually, casually spreading the lips to her vagina, as they say if in invitation, while sometimes riding a boar. (Freyja’s brother has a golden boar, which she herself has been depicted sometimes riding. In Norse mythology also, at Baldur’s pyre a giantess rides a wolf to the party and yeets a dwarf to death. In Celtic iconography there is the Goddess Epona, but variants have shown women riding boars and bears also. There’ll be more about bears. All archetypes of the riding Goddess, maybe?) The Hellenic Baubos, plump women, other times quite large, whom we perceive to be beginning the process of masturbation, are not entirely dissimilar from the phenomena of Celtic figurines now referred to as Sheela na Gig – both, despite the distance assigned to them, depict the Woman spreading the lips of her vagina with her hand. What can be said is that the Sheelas have a much wider depiction of bodily types, yet hearken to a singular function. Lewd? Maybe. However, some of the Baubos, and I believe Sheelas, are shown holding artefacts. One Baubo rides a boar and holds what appears to be some kind of text. Other Baubos are shown holding a mysterious object. Many have been defaced by time or iconoclasts. So. The definition of lewd usually falls to someone outside the act. But then again – there is the room for Spiritism there too. Sex has always had form and function, practical application and metaphorical value. For, once more, on a subconscious level, the lips of the vagina are gateways to the womb, and spiritually speaking the Earth was held to be a womb from which life came, returned to, and at times came back from again. It is supposed that they, the Sheelas, are hypostases of the Morrigna, who as Morrigan, ritually copulates with the Dagda as a means of changing the seasons not entirely unlike the later, and perhaps sterilised or better, complementary, combat between Brigid and the hag Cailleach. Anywho. I had meant to talk about the absurdity of having to argue against fertility figurines seeming to meet the criteria for pornography in our over-sensitive modern world. Certainly, our ancestors would have had enough associative powers to see a baby’s head pop through the womb and know that, “well hey, look at that Bill – I think these two things are related.” Surely they would have associated birthing with living, and for to associate the sacred gate to Mons Venus, as it were, would make it easy to consecrate the womb as a temple. Even now, is it not true that in many cultures inspired by Puritanism that the genitive organs are spoken of in hushed tones? As if addressing a sacred cow? We are, always have been. So, personally, it is hard to imagine that the cult of sacrality around sex were not always so, that there was a time our ancestors were incapable of couching things in metaphor to avoid the taboo. But if true, in lacking intense metaphorical enshrinement, depictions of importance would have been blunt and to the point. From the womb, life, ergo the womb. Concomitantly, other Palaeolithic art was also very objective and to the point. Livestock was depicted. Later in ‘bawdy’ art, often Celtic, the womb would be depicted as a literal gate from which life emerged with the legs of women or Goddesses appearing as arches around their doors. Or maybe like the Baubo I described above. Just as later we see the hunting scenes which some interpret as ritual, these were very blunt images also, and yet they may well have interpretive significance. And later still we see these porcine Goddesses flanked by theoretically domesticated animals. As described above also.
Seldom do respectable archaeologists delve too much into the speculative sciences, and so inferences are made. Many believe that the Venuses were fat because our ancestors might have seen the corollary between Prehistoric Priscilla, the span of her hips and her ability to not die over the winter from malnutrition. Others suggest it was merely sexual selection, which then and now is supposed to be driven by impression of wealth. Surely a woman who had enough leisure time or resources to have built a coat of arctic chonk, would have resources that a strapping male could use. Or at least keep warm with. That was a prevailing attitude, despite the best intents of high culture, until even very recently. The death of this association en masse appears to have been with the Industrial Revolution, and the advent of mass consumer fashion. So it goes. It could have been that the weebs are right about time-travel, and this is all Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s fault. Who knows? Clearly not science. Or me, for that matter. Seriously, why are you still reading? This must all be terribly disappointing. Not a single promise of objective, universal truth!
Then of course you have the purely modern predilection to fail to dwell upon the multivariate nature of the figures depicted. Often the opinion is rendered that they smack of ugliness, rudimentariness. For them, it’s just proof of how far we’ve come. For simply, evolution is a straight line with no curvature. Obviously, we have evolved from the bulky, savage Goddesses of Old Europe and now magnify the pietas of the modern weeping virgin whom one fears might snap in bed. Except… we seem to have devolved from there, if that logic flows – because it is difficult to say if the artist of today could reproduce the great Virgins of yesteryear, or even those Great Goddesses of old. And modern art, as it is called, is often a travesty. It’s easy to say that in an age where a man with a computer and no skills to speak of can use programmes to implement his own imagination where three generations prior, his hands would have failed his mind. It also speaks volumes that with that his disposal all this supposed evolution, the “art” (((industry))) pushes reductionism, where before art had at least a concentric spiral dance of improvement. Yet now we degenerate backwards in the spiral, with any luck the centre shall hold. At any rate. I think it constitutes a failure of understanding to look at something and refuse to deduce intent. If one looks at the Palaeolithic Venuses, there are themes irrespective of body type, crudeness of depiction or skill employed. One can without a tremendous strain on the old grey matter, envision what they think these women looked like. Of course, ten men reimagining one statue might contrive quite a few visions, but that is beside the point.
Others note that there is an obvious understanding of feminine geography employed. Personally, it strikes me a number of ways. This was the cutting edge of art at one point. T’ain’t no thing. Furthermore, one can look at the old figurines and easily imagine what is depicted. There’s a number of interpretive portraits of what the Goddesses might have looked like that one can find online, should they choose. Most are clearly tempered by confirmation bias and received Eros, and these biases can be found on both sides of a largely imaginary political gulf, but that doesn’t change the point that the transmission of depiction is clear enough to bridge a gap between imaginations. Another thing to take in mind is that carving is rather harder than drawing. Many of the cave paintings, such as the Lascaux, are technically advanced and beyond the ability of some modern artists to reproduce. Especially now given the malaise of what is considered “art” today. But consider; realism was obviously important. And it evolved. It’s not, I don’t think, massively likely that ancient art is mere imaginings, I suspect models were used, and that their art had a purpose beyond mere depiction.
What’s generally agreed upon is that these cultures were displaced by the Indo-Europeans. The Sleeping Lady of Malta went underground, and according to some became the Oracle of Delphi. With both examples being archetypical of flourishing Goddess culture and surviving Goddess culture. Personally, I buy this narrative. But not with the same enthusiasm I once did. I’m beginning to believe there was a more organic evolution than the “wham bam, thank you ma’am – the patriarchy” model oversimplified by most scholars. I do think that the Proto-Indo-Europeans, potentially exemplified by the “Old” Europeans, were disrupted by the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, formerly called the Aryans, who are supposed to have brought the future pinnacles of culture being the Hellenic and Nordic models. But I also think that the end result was synthesis – the Aryan was incapable of retaining thoroughbred distinction from the Old European and the two cultures were more or less hybridised, to varying degrees, which I suppose to explain the diversity among European tribes and the flux between Old European and Indo European elements. I’ve made the case in my writings before that I believe this is especially evident in the body of creative lore our peoples passed down. I will try and remember to post linkage following this post regarding my older writings, but I have returned to the trencher as it were to look into the topic as it is one that informs my own internal religious compass. However, make note, this will all point towards my own burgeoning beliefs rather than any concerted effort at hiding them behind what is often faux-scholarship. I tend to think anyone who spends time examining them fringes does so because the world he describes is something he wants, rather than something he posits. I’m no exception to prove the rule.
As to the hows and whys. It is reductionist, but I think it does make sense. Life-giving has every appearance of being a feminine principle. While life is cooperative, if indeed the more cynical theories of cognitive development pan out and early man struggled with metaphor than Life, Holiness, these things would have had feminine airs. The baby, human life incarnate, emerges from the woman’s womb. To connect with that divinity would have meant seeking through woman. Perhaps the gravity of the ancient Venuses is a nod to their magnitude, and importance. Speaking also from experience, there’s much more physical comfort in holding a woman with curves enough to receive you, rather than bumping up against something hard and unwelcoming. But of course, preference is a very personal thing and is far from universal. So it seems unfair of me to cast aspersions toward right or wrong. But I will recap a belief I developed during my first round of Venusian studies, which is that preference for thin or fat women might be encoded in the genes as throwbacks from very long ago – it’s a hapless flight of fancy I can never prove, but I sometimes suspect that if I could cut open a panel of chubby-chasers and count the rings I might find we have higher instances of throwback genes from the stage of human that inhabited Old Europe prior to the Indo-European influx and the theoretical shift in bodily perspective. I digress, we fall farther from a universal everything with every day the ‘culture’ at large further individuates, atomises itself into atavistic nonsense. But I’ve said it elsewhere, but I think a certain degree of preference within the sexual paraphilic spectrum is explained epigenetically, considering that cultures have displayed various aesthetic preferences over time. Their size was probably a positive indicator, one, zio-modernity seems unique in her predisposition for purposefully creating ugliness, so it is unlikely time would have been wasted on making ugliness, life has enough – here they had enough to not only live, but live well. Has it truly changed *that* much? Some folk still speak of ‘child birthing hips,’ and we have cutesy little sayings like ‘thick thighs save lives.’ Are they euphemisms, sure. But they’re there. And not for nothing. Never mind, at least out in the back country where I grew up, it wasn’t uncommon for women to say ‘oh, she must be doing well for herself’ if they saw a married friend that she hadn’t seen for a while had put on a little. And not just my backcountry either, I’ve seen it elsewhere too. So it goes.
Before attempting to move on, there are some interesting elements I have become acquainted with I think are worth mentioning. There is a gap in anthropomorphic art which lasted some 1,600 years and ushered in a transition point. This period has been called the La Tene culture. During this period, there was a flourish of geometric art and evidently animal motifs. I might stress that in some of the late megalithic Venusian art, a trend began to evolve as a ‘background’ leitmotif – waves, concentric circles, and tree branches. Incidentally, these would become – albeit *much* later – associated with Celtic religious thought. It has been noted that the Celts were loath to give shape to their divinities, and moreso to put a human face to them. It has been said that the most ancient Greeks similarly were slow to put faces to the Gods. A like claim has been levelled at the Romans, with many insisting they did not visualise their Gods until contact with the Etruscans who may or may not have also been inspired by Mycenaean art. How then did the European learn to ply his art? It may well have been that the Indo-Europeans settling the Near-East had greater contact with the Old European megalith builders, and thus greater infusion. Consider, if you will, as the Aryan moved West and North and South it is supposed he would have encountered less of the Hypogea styled necropolises of, say, Çatalhöyük, or the Valetta of Malta. Many of these had spiralling art. Yes, there are vast and intricate hypogea found in France, and likely moreso elsewhere that scholarship is slow to record. However, the impression of these, the foundation of vast cities above ground leading down – is lacking. This is due perhaps in part to the change in building materials, with the climes of Western Europe being harsher than those of the Fertile Crescent and such. Could this not explain in part for the presence of the Jötnar, the Titan as memories which seem highly antiquated? Might it become plausible to commemorate these vast cities with their depictions of zaftig women, by design, as the works of giants with arts to be unravelled? Consider if you will a few thoughts, if the Celts refused to depict their deity anthropomorphically, what would they have made of the statues of, say, a Valetta or a Tarxien whose hulking depictions of women were in every way, larger than life. In the Greek myth, I’ll remind you, whose origins are more Celtoid than we often assume, they might have originally baulked at such culture and deemed it monstrous – ergo the daemonised feminine in Greek mythos. And if indeed there did come about conflict worthy of remembering in myth and song, then it too would perhaps become more distant as the tribes roved out. Consider if you like the difference in details between, for example, Nordic and Celtic myths which survive. The Norse lore gives us an exquisite detail of Creation – the Celts do not. One assumes that at some point they must have had a cosmological creation story, but perhaps because they wandered so far from their genesis it was lost? The Celts, however, like the Greeks, seem to have far less sympathy for giants and the like than the Norse. And this La Tene period is determined to be the pressure cooker in which primitive Celtic culture was sharpened. It may well have been Celtic culture puffing its chest and achieving ascendancy over the Old European culture. It could be read that there was an intentional cordoning off of themes in the Greek, and to a less certain degree Celtic body of lore. But can you ever truly escape what goes before you? The Celtic tradition has a sublime memory for the old, taboo witchcraft, feminine archetypes with various masteries abound. Indeed, Celtic lore is utterly saturated with women in full possession of their own self-mastery, actualisation and so forth. The Sheela may be such a remnant. Another possibility I sometimes think about, is that perhaps it is not a conquest of the other as a forgetting of the self. In Norse legend, the Jötnar are the ancestors of the Gods. It may well be that by sailing away on his raft, Bergelmir sealed the fates of his changed progeny. The idea of a mass exodus via ship or watercraft is near endemic among Indo-European folklore. The Greeks and Romans have their deluge, the Norse theirs, and Celtic myth has a handful. Time changes much, and a return to sender would seem foreign given enough of it.
As another aside, there is another motif occurring in the ancient records of depiction which has a Goddess type seated or standing in a boat, with solar imagery depicting her. This might be a precursor or variant of the Solar Chariot, with the older, feminine Sun being in charge of the craft. It might also indicate that the Goddess accompanied travellers from Away to her new home as well. Or it might be those escaping the flood returning another day. What, with the whole deluge being encoded into the Racial Spirit of White Folk, and all. It might be noted that Ishtar is supposed to have been depicted as being ferried on a boat, and she is supposed to have been an archetype behind Aphrodite – they say. If I recall, and I may not recall so well, it was the petition of Ishtar in the Enuma Elish which spared humanity wholesale destruction when the Gods took ill to their noise. There are a number of metaphysical connections to be made, Goddess sanctuaries would often be tied to water, and water would be seen as a mystic bridge between life and death. Could the boat Goddesses be psychopomps bringing light to the dead? Or might the living themselves be seen as lights going into darkness? There are a great many ways I can see interpreting the theme, and all of them are interesting. It may well pan out that the Goddess of the Ships recalls Ishtar in her aspect of Merciful Mother, and thereafter the Waters of Life had not so much to do with remembering the waters of the First Womb of the Dark Universe, but the sparing of man the deluge. Over successive generations such a theme could easily be sublimated and distilled into a generic kind of reverence, sacred, unquestionable, as it seems to have become for the Celts with their assiduous insistence upon giving their votives to water, their belief in an archetypal Lady of the Lake, and so forth.
Before I go far astray with what is likely to have been an incredibly useless diversion to most, I’d like to note my current hermeneutic which is one I shall have neither invented nor pioneered. That is that I think Myth is a metaphorical truth. And that by incorporating the metaphor, untapped richness and meaning saturates these myths. And that by reclaiming this meaning, we begin to see how trenchant these stories and themes and indeed feelings are to the very day we find ourselves in. Therefore, actualising them gives us an intentionality over our lives which our current spiritual governors would greatly prefer we leave to them. I digress. When our ancestors did develop metaphor, I see no reason to think it would have been anything other than precious. Would metaphor have settled across humanity all at once? No. Selectmen and ealdormen would have possessed higher degrees of it. After all, Odin blesses mortal man with the poetaster’s portion as he escaped the Giant with the Mead of Inspiration; those splashed were blessed with poetry, charm or madness. It seems to me that’s a fair way of describing the religious stratification which can be triplicated throughout history; the mad (hoi polloi) always outnumber the charming (statesmen) and poetic (philosopher-kings) that they follow in faith. Again, in the early days of this evolutionary strain, wouldn’t those in charge of metaphor have run with it? Is it not true now that you can tell the man who has learned a new word by his frequency in its use? The man of letters rotates his vocabulary, the neophyte does not. Thus, I think it is fair to say Myth invokes a singular or plural history which describes true, if embellished events. And I think those events are themselves religious codes. Interpreted symbolically, a great many things make more sense. And this is not to say they lose all meaning, either. I see no reason not to believe many interpretations cannot be simultaneously true.
Blah-blahs aside. I want to further this thought by reinterpreting creative elements of mythology. What is the commonest thread? There is a great darkness. A cosmic emptiness. Might this be a dawning realisation of growing consciousness, the beginnings of appreciation for unorthodox thought and symbolic gesture? From the yawning void comes a great and primitive being. Sometimes she is a dragon. Other times he or it is a giant. This primeval progenitor is sometimes suckled by a great beast; it might be a goat or a cow. In time, this incomprehensible being gives birth to successively more perfect offspring which over the generations are announced as the Gods of the new order. The Gods lay waste to the primal beast, often beginning a war of the heavens in which the older generations of giants, monsters and lesser gods rise up. In the chaos, the very shape of the earth is renegotiated to degrees. Frequently, the blood of the primal one drowns out the undesirables, and in the wake of the flood the Gods built the Middle Earth from the corpse of the ancient one. Mankind in time is created – variously, created to serve or become more like, the Gods. In some mythologies the Gods are incredibly distant and callous, in others, they are our oldest kin and our relations – like intercessory saints before the Fates and Universe. Sometimes they appear like strangers destined to become friends. Perhaps there is truth in all of these.
I’d like to suggest first of all, that the conditions of precreation can be seen as womblike. If it can be deduced that life and death were enrobed by a womblike precession, then it follows that Khaos, being the conditions of the material world before consciousness and motion, is the womb of the Kosmos which comes, Kosmos itself being the seed of motion, and eventual consciousness – being. Being itself as a state of locomotion and volition. There was a popular philosophy in Victorian times employing a high degree of mechanism defining life as motion. It is also worth noting that in the very creation myths, there is a delicate balance which betrays a cosmogony of fertility. Specific balances and checks are required to produce any evolution of living. In surviving Norse myth, Day is masculine, Sun is feminine – Night is feminine, Moon is masculine. Likewise, Ginungagap, the primal womb, or void, was inseminated by the sparks of Múspell and the rime of Nifel. It takes on a procreative feel when you consider that heat and cold, being polarities, met in the middle and made the Waters of Life. Waters of Life permeate all Creation Myth worth their weight in salt. Middle Earth – the archetypal happy medium – emerges from this. Earth, who is at once a Goddess and a place of being, becomes the medium upon which life grows. But she is barren on her own. Thus she is perennially inseminated by Heaven in perpetuity. She receives as sacrifice and tribute all which grace her flesh. Likewise, some have asserted the superiority of Heaven by intoning that Heaven alone can reproduce asexually – as with the Egyptian God which was said to have seed which inseminated life outside a womb, I would suggest that the Cosmos itself, again, is a womb. Any seed received, would become life of some category or other. Thus, it cannot be seen as a purely self-actuated process, there are polarities even there. All Life, then, is a self-propitiating organism with Heaven and Earth representative of masculine and feminine energy. That which gives and moves, that which takes and grows.
Whatever the case, Earth emerges from the sea. In Norse, Midgard is shaped in Ymir’s blood, from his broken down corpse. Midgard re-emerges from the sea created by Surtr’s fire melting the ice of Fimbul’s winter, ostensibly recreating the causus genii of Ginungagap. It is clear, I think, the implication of a reincarnational cycle of the macrocosmic as well as the microcosmic. In his book, Jean Markale notes that it is telling that the Christkindl’s mother should have been renamed Maria, the feminine article of the Latin Mare, or “sea.” Thus, the metaphor is complete, as Ruach ha Kodesh hovered over the deep [water] so the Spirit hovered over Mary, who herself is Stella Maris, the star of the sea. In a way, the Virgin then IS the water of life from which the Logos (operative word) emerges. So it went when the Virgin of the Kalevala arranged life, she did so from the ocean into which she landed. Life emerges from fluid, is the intonation. Speaking of virgins, we might note that even the Genesis account of Scriptural fame can trace antecedents to the Near-Eastern religious epics which gave us Gilgamesh. While this doesn’t defame anything, in my book, it adds to a growing body of lore which elevates the primacy of the divine chaos, primordial waters, and genesis of life. That is inescapable, whether the fluid is the primordial ooze, sperm and egg, or literal miraculous water – the theme is the same. The waters fill the void, and from the waters come life. Irregardless, creation was had, and from an old order emerged a new. I find it likely that many of the conflicts noted are the sublimated tension of Anima and Animus, with Gods and Goddesses being representative of ancient layers (Örlög) of European man, being a repository of buried genetic memory from layers of history and peoples absorbed into a living, evolving Folksoul. If we had access to older forms of myth, unbroken by successive layers of conflict and resolution, we would find a more harmonious account of creation. A more organic flow. One which perhaps did not have a symbolic justification of primacy in the form of a sacrifice of the old order, symbolic of slaying dragons, giants or monsters.
One school of thought has it that the transition of the matriarchal Old Europeans’ power to the patriarchal Indo-Europeans was a struggle of cultural zeitgeist. The symbols of the Goddess as suggested by those going before the Indo-Europeans were serpents, among other things. This same school of thought suggests that the patriarchal Indo-European commemorated his victory by turning the Goddesses of old into monsters of the new faith. Medusa was probably once a Bona Dea. The Nagas of India might have once been saints. Tiamat may have been a jolly lady who had her cake and ate it too, once. Before she was fed an arrow and, we’re told, popped. It isn’t thoroughly far-fetched when you consider the minor elements and potential leitmotif of women and serpents in lore. It’s also interesting the vicissitude with which their negativity varies. For example, serpents are damnified in the Greek tradition. In Rome, it was a mixed bag. Bona Dea had her sacral herbs guarded by serpents. When Skaði scathed Loki, she hung a serpent over his head. Here and there the serpent was justiciary. The serpent itself could not have been wholly evil, as it punished an evil-doer. Serpents in Celtic lore never managed to absorb the same heady maleficence as they did for Greeks and Heebs. Serpents appeared to have been favoured in Egypt, and there is an obvious remnant of serpent-worship in the developing Hebrew religion – for did not Moses and Aaron receive the serpentine staff from the storm god, Yahweh, who appears to have taken over the role of Sin the moon god? Odin transformed himself into a snake in seeking the Mead of Wisdom. I’ll get into that below. There was a serpent which related to Hel, Goddess of death, along with Fenrir, were expelled from Heaven. These three being related is likely no coincidence – the megalithic Venuses incorporated bestial themes just as the Near East had serpentine. Jormungand fulfils a vital role as Ouroborous, holding Earth together and containing the waters of life. When you look past received bias against Jormungand whose name is flattering, we begin to see a new potential. In a sense the Great Serpent, Midgardsormr, safeguards the citadel of Jörð, being Midgard. It is only after Thor kills the serpent, relative to the Goddess Hel whose name once conveyed radiance, that the great flood ushered in the late stages of Ragnarok. The serpent, then, is not so evil as we might think. Jormun, etymologically, refers to greatness, and is likely related to the Irmin-Sul, which itself is not dissimilar from the Ygg-Dra-Sil. Anyway.
Freud is a genetic dead-end. Spiritually thinking, sex has always been more than the mere exchange of bodily fluids. It, too, is a metaphor. It bears repeating that the “conquests” of the randy Gods often betray symbolic meaning. An example is Zeus and the creation of the Muses. Zeus is meant to be glory personified, for 9 nights he lays with Mnemosyne (memory.) 9 is a divine number. He meditated. Wisdom has always been understood as a feminine principle to be chivalrously sought after, quested after, lusted after. After Zeus meditated with Hagia Sophia as Mnemosyne for those nine nights, she gave him the Muses (goddesses of concelebration.) Glory, when coupled with memory, begets celebration. Amazing. Will the wonders ever cease? Similarly, Odin’s various conquests are often betrayed by their names. Poetic conventions. Did Norse poetry not love kennings? So if Wisdom, for the man, is hidden in the body of a woman who is Hagia Sophia, Pistis Sophia and yet has other names in every culture – does it not follow that seeking for wisdom could take on sexual dynamics? Hypersexual, in the way the word could have been meant, metaphysically speaking. In the tale of Odin wooing the Maiden for the mead of wisdom, which she guards with her body, the elements are all there. Odin must go underground, to reach this woman. Furthermore, she is within a chamber hardly accessible – Odin penetrates the wall with an auger he had handy and, unable to fit in a hole so small, becomes a snake. The snake, being the symbol of the old Goddess culture, speaks perhaps to the later allegations of Loki of Odin resorting to ‘unmanly’ witchcraft. But wouldn’t that be your aim, if you wanted to discredit another during flyting? Accusing somebody of faggotry has always been the preferred insult from which there is no escape – such an insult requires an answer, and one cannot recuse themselves of it without proof. However, insults are often biting because they invert the truth. Serpents held a higher renown than they did after the Christians handled the lore. By becoming the Serpent, Odin might well have likened himself to Jormungand, the snake so mighty it held the waters of life between its scales, saving Midgard from Ginungagap. Such an initiation into Wisdom so arcane, could never be truly effeminate. And another thing; the Goddesses, then and now, were drawn to grottos, caves, which were always it seems symbolic of a surrogate womb from which life emerges from and returns to. Consider the Greek; Gaia’s body is the surface of our planet, and deep within Her bowels is Tartarus where the dead are received into for their time-complexed rites, in a way, the myths speak of Earth’s womb. Which in a way is where Odin went for his wisdom, meaning we could in a way interpret this much like we do his Ordeal on the Tree – it has elements of life, death and birth. If the underground sanctum of Pistis Sophia represents the borderline between life/death, then it seems Odin indeed had an ordeal, ending in his pursuit back to Asgard, the happy home of the Gods. Odin, the God of Sex, Death and Poetry. These things at first seem tangentially unrelated, but they are all deeply, deeply connected. What is poetry but mortality enshrined? And what is sex but the means to transcending death? If I empty my seed into the living image of the Divine Womb, I may die the little death and I may know I’ll fall into the great sleep some fine day, but if I do my due diligence and bring that seed to flower – I have my Son, the incarnation of myself and all my fathers. If I should perchance to have a daughter, bring my Ethel forth, then so it goes that my mothers will live on. And, crafty, scheming Anglo that I am, I shall see to it that my Ethel is strong of mind, strong enough to drive whatever family I have to begrudgingly give her away to. My sons shall be raised like the spawn of Englishmen they are; they shall be chivalrous, keen and upright – the envy of women with sense, but the daughters can be my little Boadiceas and they can go forth and loom over the upright. At least then I can insure my line bifurcates, even if it does so under a less desirable name. Nothing is simple. Nothing is flat. Odin is the twice crowned King of nuance. Life, Death, Poetry – all are suitable milestones on our journey to plunge ourselves up to the waist of the Great Womb of Hagia Sophia, the only one whose song I want to hear in my dieing days. So I digress.
There’s another facet to explore. Goddesses were probably giantesses. Consider if you will the Finnish Kalevala. While Emil Lönnrött was himself Christian, this religion was new to the Finns even as he wrote. Like many folklorists betrayed by the folksoul, Lönnrött did not want the old ways to disappear wholesale from the face of the earth, and so he saved them. It is touching, the sombre, almost mournful tone of Väinämöinen’s apotheosis – but there are glimmers of hope in his promise to return, suggestive of Lönnrött’s seeming credulity in believing in Christendom’s infallibility. Anyway. I have written about it elsewhere; however you have in Finnish myth an arbitrarily described giantess who is the prime mover on the face of the earth. She is also a largely sympathetic spirit, no evil is described as having been in her. This stands in marked contrast to the Greek myths. Throughout the Kalevala there are descriptions of shameless witchcraft, which Lonnrot may have witnessed in the sticks. It is not unreasonable to believe at some point the other Nordic races may have had a more tranquil creation story. In the evolution of lore, there seems to be a kind of moral evolution. The Old Order became associated with witchcraft, fertility, orgasmic or sensual mysteries, prophecy and the like. Stereotypically feminine domains. The secrecy of their rites was likely necessitated by some degree of suppression in certain cultures, though I suspect that the levels vary greatly with diminished returns among the Celtic and Nordic peoples and exaggerated reprisals among the Hellenic and Slavic peoples – inclusion of Slavic is a gut feeling of mine, but from my exceptionally neophytic understanding of Slavic lore – monstrous women are exceptionally monstrously and unpleasantly described, much in the way latterday German pagan saints were vilified by the post-Charlemagne church. Slavs however were taken in hand by the church much later, thus I infer that their delineation of women in religion was perhaps more or less natural and organic and unassisted by Christendom, whereas in the Celtic and Nordic cultures women retained a degree of power that unsettled the Graeco-Romans so staunchly it warranted constant comment.
The old Goddesses with whom a connection to the serpent was non-negotiable were marked with a kind of openness and tolerance for bodily presence and function, earthiness, plainness, that latter cultures shunned. The obviousness of human fertility and predilection therewith gave rise to a metaphorical connection to earthly fertility, thus creating a median range of divine entities between Jötnar and Æsir, these being the Vanir. The Jötnar became incomprehensible beings of monstrous primacy, and yet, remained oddly alluring. Why? It is probable that they were holdouts from the primeval fertility cult. To that end they probably had answers to the questions the conquering Indo-Europeans may have lacked – ergo Odin’s many stories of achieving cultural enlightenment. The Vanir likely predated the Æsir in both myth and reality, and likely acted as an evolution of the Jötnar. An intermediary evolutionary group, perhaps. A missing link. They were typified by an openness, earthiness and occult nature the Æsir regarded as suspect. And yet the same goes- the Æsir and Vanir were at times nearly interchangeable. Even more-so following the Hostage Exchange following the first war. It could be that the Vanir were in a way more like the titans than is previously thought, in that theirs was indeed a war of the heavens. Thereafter, however, the lines seem to dissolve heavily. This suggests a regime shift not so much of incompatible parties, but conflicting moral centres or attitudes toward cultural roles of men, women, as well as prophets, priests and kings. Or queens. With the arbitrariness of Æsir/Vanir/Jötnar divides potentially resembling more the ethnographic lines one might find in Germany prior to the Iron Chancellor, wherein you had a confederation of sui generii which were all called German but marshalled their Germanicness in unique ways. Call an old stock Bavarian a Prussian, see what happens. Or for that matter, the lingual diversity in England is vast. I once read an East Anglian grammar that defended Anglian English against posh claims that theirs was no longer English. An interesting concept, if among the Motherland there was concern that a pivotal definition of Englishness could arise against which all “divergents” could therewith be judged, is it then out of bounds to perceive that time, being cyclical, would not betray us to a likely story remembered mythically? I have read, and find it sensible, that the Jötnar, Vanir and Æsir cults might have been local deities that over time mixed as the Scandinavians expanded trade routes. Of course, this seems at first to conflict with the underlying hypothesis of a great replacement of Old Europeans with Aryans. But I’m not sure that it must. Anyway.
It’s not unthinkable that part of the transition involved contending with balancing aesthetic attitudes. The Indo-Europeans whom we generally acknowledge as having gained ascendancy over the Old European, as the Olympian crushed the Titan and the Æsir dominated the Jötnar and made truce with the Vanir. With the Greeks who seem to have been closer to that transition damnified everything they perceived as a precedent with far more harshness than the Celt or Nord who seemed to regard what threatened the Greek with a kind of perverse curiosity. After all; see again Odin who transcends the law of tradition from the Æsir by fraternising with Giantesses, tangling with Giants and not always and arbitrarily crushing Jötnar as his less tolerant son Thor did, so much as learning and weaponising their secrets. And again, given what we tend to understand of ancient xenophobia having been a real phenomenon I think it is safe to discard the Ancient Burger King Kid’s Club model. It is unlikely that the same peoples who had very real, and indeed dire, miscegenation laws were endorsing cosmic race treachery.
There’s another thing worth thinking about. Whereas the Hellenic cultures put emphasis on regulating feminine beauty as a standard, with loud derision of standard deviations from their feminine ideal, in the Celtic and Nordic bodies of lore the opposite is true. Men falling from a standard of idealism is decried. In ancient Brittany it was the pre-Christian Irish who had the fat belt. This was a belt with set notches, and if a man ever got to where it didn’t buckle he had to undergo ritual shaming and their equivalent of reality tv – I believe he was unallowed from public dinners and had to jog a lot until the belt fit. Then he got a guest spot on “my 600 Celt life,” cry a lot, and get endorsement deals with whoever makes spa belts. Makes me feel better about my lifting belt which is labelled “fat” and “not fat.” Wife don’t think it’s funny, but she should. Whatever. Point is, no mention is made of women having a fat belt or seeming particularly inclined to run infinite laps around the whoops track of unmitigated shame. Conversely, the Irish God Dagdha was once heartily ridiculed for having accumulated the freshman 15. On one occasion he is mocked by the Fomoire for having overreached himself while eating some porridge they tricked him into eating under pain of death. Seems unfair to me. But there you go. Eat the porridge, bigot. My intimation here is that men invoked higher shame for deviation because it involved their assuming what might have likely been considered secondary sexual traits of women; hips, breasts, etc. Whereas in Greek and to degrees’ Roman culture there was a horror and appalment at the over-exaggeration of these things above and beyond what is noted elsewhere where they might not have been stigmatised. Degenerated echoes of this are sublimated into today, where you have the comical mental dichotomy of the fat guy who thinks he deserves a “10.” If, and it is a big if, writers like Jean Markale are right about the insipid gender dysmorphia that gripped late Greece and through that vector, Rome, then the shoe fits. Maybe not that big an if. If the ‘patriarchal’ Mediterranean cultures rebelled in all ways against the ‘matriarchal’ Old Europeans, then it makes sense that their art would in a way become reductionist and accentuate an aggravated masculine concept, to the point where at some point, men began using male models to depict Goddesses, a kind of perversity which stretched far out even into relatively recent times in which male actors would play feminine roles. It also fits with the observation of men authors like Robert Graves have made, that the whole declination of celebration of the feminine leads to buggery. Which, as you know, happened. Conversely, at least in Teutonic society, buggery led to boggery. The Ergi were flattened and disposed of, etc. (Excuse me, while I go sing the Bog Song. Come back in three minutes.)
Something the Greeks did rebel against, was the serpentine nature of the religion we believe they displaced. Snakes take on a sinister nature. Much as in the Old Testament – more on that in a dite. Medusa, again, the Gorgon with hair of snakes, was likely once a beneficial Goddess. Likely one who tamed or employed snakes in iconography, as we see with some of the Mycenaean iconography of the bare-breasted Goddesses wielding snakes, presumably, taming their power. Snakes being related to secrets, life, death, and rebirth. The snake, after all, sheds itself and lives. A living resurrection. The symbolism would have likely been strong. Jean Markale makes a fascinating observation in his book, and posits that the Snake of the Old Testament may have been a prophet of a Goddess principle. This process extends in lesser degrees in Norse society where dragons become mildly to moderately antagonistic enemies. But there and again, you have the Jormungand whose vital role is to hold the world together – literally, to keep the remaining waters of life from spilling back into Ginungagap – is a potential interpretation.
Another note of Markale’s is Apollo himself. Apollo, whose name can be traced to the Indo-European word for apple (more to come) did not begin with this name. As a means of preemptive digression, Apollo is believed to be worshipped in Hyperborea by the Greeks where he returns in the winter when Dionysus reins over Greece, in some mysteries. It reminds me, in passing, of Hermann Wieland’s book “Atlantis, Edda and Bible” wherein the Aryans are described as pacifistic vegans who nevertheless excel at war – the ancient Greeks’ Hyperboreans (who occasionally interbred with mortal Greeks) are likewise described. Apollo was apparently a God of medicine before becoming a Sun God. Interesting, given his name’s relation to apples, and his hailing from and returning to Hyperborea where the vegans grow. Anyway. Apollo is supposed to have gained his attributes by having vanquished the serpent, Python. Python you may be interested to know, inadvertently gives us our word for pit. Pit, darkness, womblike conditions. Taking these things in hand, Markale notes that the priestesses of Apollo worshipped him below ground. Below ground, where the PIE Goddesses worked their magick, they took the name Pythia – from which our pithy derives. Apollo, Markale says, was not originally a Sun God. Rather, as we noted, Sun in Germanic and Celtic culture remains feminine, she only became masculine in Hellenic culture after some event or other prompted the shift. So it goes. So, Apollo, whose name relates to Apple, was not a Sun God, smashed what becomes a serpent, and becomes Sun God. I think it might be plain to see what is happening here.
Speaking of assuming roles, that the Greeks – and others – transferred the powers of the Sun from feminine to masculine entities is noteworthy. If you have followed my older works, you’ll perhaps recall the Celtic God Grannus, the Sun Face, whom I tried to compare with Odin in the Lorecast. Jean Markale makes an interesting notation, that this God was likely derived from Grainne, which herself is owed grian, or “Sun.” It is noted that the moon, however, retains a masculine quality. I should like to add, that earlier Markale made reference to Sinai as being a mountain dedicated to the Semitic moon god, Sin. This would certainly be interesting, in that if true, then YHWH would have been acting somehow in that capacity when he came to Moses there. Suggesting a lunar connection, as opposed to a solar one as we might expect. Moving on. Markale makes the point that from the start, the Goddess was symbolised by solar cultic mythology. He stretches the Venus figurines somewhat to make the case, in his estimation, the baroque Venuses exemplify solarity through their rotundity. The Venus Laussel, specifically, bearing her horn, is cited thusly. Here it has been theorised from a number of angles. One is that the horn, with thirteen stripes, accounts for a woman’s menstrual cycles – which follow a lunar calendar, as we understand it. There is the possibility that the horn predates the cornucopia and is a symbol of abundance – which seems fitting given her figure is itself, abundant. Then another is that the horn symbolises the masculine divine, as opposed to the divine feminine which holds it. The horn came to symbolise the wild, male energy of the ancients’ cosmology and may well continue unabated into what the Romans called Rustic Deities such as Satyros, who has been compared with Cernunnos or Herne the Hunter. Surely Herne the Hunter echoes the ancient, apparent, Palaeolithic deity. Markale believes the horn is itself a representation of the masculine which is itself a show of all potential integral roles, son, husband, father, so on. This, he feels, flows unbroken into the future Greek epics of Aphrodite and Adonis, or earlier Cybele and Attis. An archetype, as it were. He also mentions several Norse figures, such as Sigdrifa and Brunhild who have definitive flame, thus solar, motifs. One might also speak of the various luminous entities such as the Alfar, and their potential female counterparts the Disir. These, which we call now Elves, were once regarded as beings of what can be spoken of as condensed light. In many ways, they read like the Greek Christian descriptions of Angels, only we know they were ancestral spirits. That their light shines, may be indicative of a former role as agents of a Solar Deity. Perhaps these are what the subterranean priestesses saw, lights shining in the darkness. I might add, then, Brigid was a Goddess of Spring, thus a solar entity who also symbolised the storing of bounties for the winter when the Cailleach reigned. There is of course Epona the Horse Goddess, who was at once a psychopomp. Her birds could wake the dead and put the living to sleep. (In order to master the Runes, as an aside, a Nordic initiate had to be prepared to learn the language of the birds – often harbingers of which were Ravens, Odin’s familiars, all connected to the ecstasy between life and death.) She has been depicted with the shining diadem in earlier times, and might we infer also that her horsemanship evokes a tradition of solar enterprise? Even as I write this, I wonder if there might be a lost connection with Lady Godiva of the English tradition, and the horse Goddesses of old. Quaint folklore often betrays deep roots. Lady Godiva dared her husband to lower the taxes and agreed to ride in the buff should he do so. He agreed to humiliate her, but she went along and did what she said she would – but let down her hair in a moment that might have made Rapunzel proud. In Heathen circles it is agreed that the length of one’s hair is some kind of medium for energy. These opinions, while superficially goofy, do not appear in a vacuum. Consider the barely converted pagan figure of Samson in the Christian Bible. He belonged to a sect which believed that the cutting of their hair destroyed their power – and what did the stereotypical evil woman do? Give him a trim like Richard Spencer’s. Anyway – associatively speaking, the shoe might fit, and the story of Godiva, or Godgifu (the Gift of [a] God) has elements of femininity too convenient for me to ignore. I digress. Well known is the association of Celts with the chariot and the sun, which again is feminine. And how could I forget to make honourable mention of Ostara, the most underrated Goddess of all, perhaps. She is said to be cognate to Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. Certainly Ostara, who inspires the Anglo-Saxon Eostre (Easter) that like Brigid above, ushers in the spring – is a Solar Goddess. A claim often professed and rebuked is that her name comes from Astarte and Ishtar, a Goddess whose title is Queen of Heaven which links her again to the Virgin Mare which is the Goddess in disguise. Does the shoe not seem to fit? Queen of Heaven, the very title evokes a regal, imperial glow. In the Isles, all of these Goddess Archetypes seem to flow very conveniently into a predestined mould. And a quick thought; as to the Horse Goddess being Psychopomp, if indeed the roles were reverse and the God took over for the Goddess this role, I think Odin was wise to assign his ladies to do the deed. For it seems to me that a maternal hand would be well met in this role, rather than one of the fearsome warrior or grim reaper.
Back to the question of how the Goddess could be Mother Earth, and the Sun at once. Understand, then. At least to my mind, there is a means within the esoteric philosophies Nationalists have championed to have it both ways. What would the Goddess be if she couldn’t have her offering cake and eat it too? Consider if you will, that we understand there is the Golden Sun and the Black Sun. If The Gods of the Aryan represent the Golden Sun, and Champion the Celestial, whereas the Goddesses of the Old European represent the Black Sun, and Champion the Chthonic – than there need be no perilous dichotomy. There is perhaps less a need to couch our narrative in stilted, jingoistic nonsense like “they stole civilisation.” That makes us look like Kangz. The Goddess in Her Solar Aspect may well represent the Black Sun. The Black Sun, for those unacquainted is the invisible and perfect Sun which informs the Golden Sun we see in the Sky. This flows from the ancient Greek (and likely older) notions of the Aether, in which the uncorrupted perfection of all things exists. Does that suggest the lesser nature of the Golden Sun, in a word here, no. Often in Celtic Myth, the lone hero was informed by the feminine aspect which determined his gea. In this, we might see the Sun in many ways – the masculine solar aspect being the Golden Sun, with the Black Sun being that which drive it in – both are required to do as their function impels by both Wyrd and Örlög, so there is no sense in making arbitrary scales of greatness. In the same way Odin and Frigga serve each-other in their genius, so the Black and Golden Sun complement each-other. The Black Sun is the esoteric to the Golden Sun’s exoteric. You need one to live, and this is obvious, without the other, there would be no life to see. Even if you dig no deeper than scientific means, can we say the Sun is simply an orb in the sky to ponder? No. If we did we would hearken merely to the alchemic Gnostic formula which has it that the Sun is a blob of very, very shiny Aureum. Thus, the Light that Shines from the Darkness is still Chthonic, as the Palaeolithic Goddesses were lights to their confessors in the dark of ancient caves, and moreso in the underground tunnels and labyrinthine, serpentine hypogea. In this way, Jörð and Frigga can yet be extensions of a like divinity. The entirely of life is a monad, self-fertilising, because contained with it are the potential seeds of all possible outcomes of life. This again, is not unsound doctrine, for is it not so frequently accepted that the Hindu Gods are emanations of Brahma? Aspects of Brahma? All are valid entities, yet ultimately indistinct from their source. Is that not the idea of the trinity? Consubstantiality, without compromise? These ideas are older than time, and are not limited to the few religions that successfully championed them. They are the inheritance of the ancients, and it seems fair to me their essential natures be returned in some manner or other. Otherwise, they are being wasted, languishing on dusty shelves with no audience but deaf scholars who will hear no hymn, nor ode to any Goddess, God or any of it.
As to apples. While the Fruit of Eden which Eve eats, having been tempted/liberated by the Serpent of Wisdom, (Some Gnostic sects held that the Serpent represented a beneficent God, while YHWH constitutes an evil demiurge, literally, a God driven mad by self-conscious incompetence before other, more intrepid Gods) has been scholared away as being a pomegranate or some other thing… The Folksoul will always see the apple. It takes us back to a time before these distinctions would have mattered. And besides, why would Eve have wanted to make her American pie with anything else? So it warrants discussing the Apple P.I.E. of Eden. (That’s Proto Indo European, and a tastelessly tasty non-pun.) Apples have exceptional value in myth, legend and lore. So it seems fitting to depict this as the fruit Eve couldn’t get her fill of. Whatever the scholar class’ efforts depict, due in no small part to the victory of the White Folksoul, the Apple is what Eden’s fruit came to be understood as. In many European mythologies, the Apple represents either arcane knowledge or secrets to immortality. In Celtic myth, the undying dead are whisked to Emain Ablach, the Isle of the Apples, beyond the veil and across the sea and according to some, in the Kingdom of Mananan the Sea God. Those waters of life, again. The Morrigan has been depicted as a guardian of the underworld, controlling the grove of the apples. By the way, Emain Ablach, when rendered in the Original English, becomes Avalon. Here Morgana takes Arthur into her proverbial bosom and keeps him until he can be the Once and Future King. This indicates a tradition of the Apple itself having regenerative properties. Controlled by a nourishing Mother archetype. In the Norse, it is Idunn who doles out some sweet Granny Macs to keep the Good Gods fighting the Good Fight. What do they do? They make you young – they regenerate you. One can imagine this process would be very similar to what is understood from the Celtic lore. In Greece you have the Apples of Discord from Eris, which are probably inverted holdouts from something better from when the Great Goddess still taught the secrets of life. Given that the Greeks tended to grow sour of their Goddesses, you might easily imagine Eris had once been a plump young lass doling out good will from a thatched basket. You had the Apples of Hesperides, which Hercules needed – that task might represent some initiation or other. Maybe in some day of yore, the Apples helped him overachieve his way out of demigodhood to plain godhood. And what was the tetragrammaton’s discomfort about man? That he should seize the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil, knowing them as he did. The Tree of Life was there also, but that wasn’t it’s concern. Might we be so bold as to infer that this fruit was initiation into Wisdom, being the hallmark of a life worth living? One of sentience, will and volition? The figure of Wisdom is the ultimate feminine archetype sought by the masculine. In a way She is utterly evasive, and cannot be found, but this prompts man to seek his own perfection. Odin sought Her, and never ceased in his wanderings. It is why he became the wisest God. The Perennial Sophia, she is too vast to be understood, her curves so generous they encompass all – everywhere yet nowhere to be found. She has saturated every myth with her presence, and she sits the cornerstone of every foundation. Petra Sophia, perhaps. And the Tree of Life? Might it be where the Ancestress of Idunn, or Iduna herself first learned to grow? Nevermind that the archetype of Idunn and her apples are not limited, I think it was Nehellenia the Goddess local to what land now belongs to the Dutch had as her artefacts a basket of apples and a dog – both conditional symbols of the underworld. I think these things are all related. Eve, from the Latin Hevae, ultimately comes from the Hebrew Chavah (we’re currently led to believe) which means ‘life.’ It’s said it can also mean full of life, mother of life, or simply living. As an aside, which I think is a fair aside to make, in many couples it is the woman to whom joy, radiance, and that whole business of ‘joie de vive’ is credited. So why wouldn’t the archetypal woman have the name life? Also potentially notable is the inverse: it is precisely Lif and Lifthrasir who survive the Ragnarok, and here we have Life and the Servant of Life, like with Eve their names are themselves potentially literary conventions meant to convey a deeper spiritual meaning. But there you go. “Life” eats the fruit of wisdom, begets death from the demiurge, and may have been representative of an older Goddess of life after all. At the risk of sounding pedantic, where the acknowledgement can be made that the Jews invented nothing, and are not necessarily the people of the Old Testament (their own history records their gradual evolution from older, different tribes) than it stands to reason that to whatever tribe Eve belonged to, either from starting or altering it, had its own lore which did not pass into the Genesis account whose purpose is merely story-telling and not cultural transmission. Just eat the apple, bigot.
The Old Goddesses, who would have represented what was beautiful and sensual to their host, were often embellished by snakes. As mentioned, in Rome, certain feminine cults had secrets so precious no man could learn them, much less enter the temple. Then there was the Bona Dea, who had healing herbs guarded by snakes. In all possibility that is a highly fragmented survival of some ancient faith, wherein the Goddess left her wisdom. The snakes don’t seem to correspond to any sexual, ecstatic element of natural worship. But rather to the unearthliness of Wisdom. Symbolically speaking, I find it difficult to contrive a familiar any more, forgive me, unfamiliar than the snake. Slithering, with eyes unlike ours, emotionless, unknowable. What a power that unknowingness would be to have as a weapon. I can see why the snake, so elusive, so sleek, would be the artefact of Wisdom.
As to the erotic element of things… one cannot make a sweeping pass at reading about the Sheela na Gig or the Baubo archetypes without the elephant in the room being discussed. They are very sexual motifs. And they aren’t alone. They are not without reminiscence of a Nordic figure called the Ormhäxän, which is celebrated by, I believe, the Swedes. Well, those few who know of her. The Ormhäxän is a kind of image which depicts a woman poised not unlike the Sheela and Baubo, which is to say, with her legs akimbo. Quite widely spread. However, her body is set about by gripping snakes which she holds outward in each hand. Above her head, which is adorned with a ceremonial dress, is a great snake. Jormungand? At the core of the serpent is the triskelion, which is generally accepted to be a solar icon. The heads of the serpents depicted, those held and those in the ‘sky’ have different heads. One held by the woman has a fierce maw, the other a demurer and passive face. Those faces occur in the triplicate formula of the heavenly snake above, along with a third which may or may not in fact be the tale of the cosmic serpent. The whole scene is enshrined by knotwork. Does it depict some older conception of Seidr? Clearly the imagery is symbolic, and the similarity of the woman’s posture to the Sheela and Baubo I think ought not be ignored. Here we might see the erotic element of the Goddess, or Priestess (it’s still debateable whether the unknown figurines actually depict Goddesses) combined with the higher value of the serpent. Clearly, on the Ormhäxän stone, the serpents are tied to a solar function. The cosmic snake, to the Norse, I argue was not always evil – as Hel herself, as Nehellenia, or Ellen, was once a beneficent figure and not the grim half-corpse of post-Pagan fame. Furthermore, in the Near East where the Goddess had a crucible, the Serpent indeed was a solar motif. Hathor, of Egypt, was Goddess of Snakes and borne of the Sun. As it has been argued that the Babylonian, Egyptian and Indo-European tradition share very ancient, hard to imagine roots, then it follows that as the three branched away from the centre, that their opinions would have changed. Besides. One gets the feeling that this damnification of serpents among the Nordics was recent to the Eddas, where Odin himself is not unknown to become a snake to get it done.
Elsewhere in passing I mentioned that some Goddesses had been seen riding bears. In Jean Markale’s book, The Great Goddess, he takes pains to hint at the possibility of a Bear Cult. Or perhaps I read too deeply into it. I understand that Varg Vikernes’ French bride has done some research into Bear Cults of ancient Europe. I know next to nothing of her work, but perhaps I should. At any rate. Artemis, Markale illustrates, has at the root of her name an old word for Bear. Being Ar-. Others might argue that the Ar is short of Aryan. And this may be so. But I find the bear explanation more plausible. Arthur, we know, is most definitely derived from the Bear, not so much as Waddell’s insistence that Ar-Thor is the meaning. Ars, Artoi, so forth, all meant bear. Artemis had a cult dedicated to bears. They performed a “bear dance.” There is the question of Berne, Switzerland being a hotspot of bear activity. They found there statues of Artio, a bluntly Celtic Bear Goddess. Artio, who was described by Markale as a Goddess whose aspect was the fierce mothering instinct, but also her role in helping the Earth hibernate. I would be remiss if I did not recall that Finland had in the pages of the Kalevala an exquisitely obvious means of discerning a Bear Cult. Vainamoinen prayed to the Great Spirit Bear, which seems to have been an aspect of Ukko the High God. The Great Bear is recognised also by the Virgin of the Air, the Giantess who is the primeval one of Finnish mythology. Then again you have Beowulf of Anglo-Danish legend. Beowulf’s name is thought to perhaps be a kenning. “Bee Wolf,” might well be a clever way of saying “Bear.” Just as the “whale road,” is the ocean, and so forth. And who else sailed the whale road? Bergelmir. In his boat, we’re told. A blood ocean is what was spilt when Ymir was put to death. Bergelmir took his wife in a boat and went to somewhere else to make progeny. Bergelmir, it has been theorised, means “roaring bear.” In the way that Aurgelmir, which is another name for Ymir, is supposed to have meant something like “mud roarer.” So, perhaps the primitive bear cult was the purview of giants after all. In latterday Norse lore you have Wolf and Bear cults which pains are taken to inform us were most explicitly NOT the norm. The Ulfhednar and the Bjornserkr were looked upon with suspicion. These were radical devotees of the God Odin who had learned ecstatic rights, and like Rich Piana, left humanity behind. They were feared, regarded with suspicion. Why? Maybe Odin taught them unbroken, successive things which stretched back to a time that not even the poets could imagine. Such knowledge, of forebears and truths, would make one seem quite formidable to the hoi polloi who might not like to have truths uncovered. Odin, a God whose principal function is seeking wisdom and turning up truth, was not always a welcome God in the lands he was sovereign over. Consider that.
In my own distant homeland of England, you had during the conversion times a kind of half-pagan syncretism which smacks of oh-so-much comfort. I might also boast that our Wōden was never feared in the same way as the Scandinavian Odin – they say – with our version of the Allfather being more the archetypal shaman. Something akin more to the Gandalf Tolkien wrote as a blunt reimagining of said God. Anyway. Before this syncretism, we had an array of Goddesses somewhat absent elsewhere. I’m sure it was our undying charm, why would Erce and Nerthus and up want to stay with Nehellenia when they could hang out with Grandpa Meddybemps? I digress. Markale in his Goddess book makes an interesting point. Britain has a unique air to her which seems to be fertile ground for the Goddess. This notation of his, which suggests the Isles change the people, rather than the other way around, has made me rethink one of my own suppositions. I had previously concluded that the heaviness of Goddess Worship among the pre-Christian English might have been due to proximity to the Celts, which I came to suspect in dealing with the so-called Northumbrian Row of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc which deals almost exclusively with trees. Which smacks, to me, of Ogham. Trees being of unequivocal importance to the Celts. But I wonder, perhaps the Celts themselves were changed upon embarkation to what is now Britain? What mythology but Ireland’s boasts women so wild and free? Perhaps the Isles have an aura to them which shifted the gears of the Anglo-Saxon. After all, he stands in his ancient form as parallel in many ways to the Scandinavian, the archetypal Viking. (Although his Futhorc is better, even if the Scandinavians maintained better mythological records – I like to think we balance each other out.) Accounts of a peasant’s liturgical practise has it that God had a wife, and that this was… wait for it now… Mother Earth. Jörð, as she is known in her Anglicisation as the Norse Goddess. I have read convincing arguments to suggest the auxiliary English Goddesses like Nerthus and Erce are permutations of Earth. Why not? I think the ideation of Hypostasis is convincing, the idea that for example, Frigga’s handmaids are emanations of Herself. Is it then not possible also that the many, many, many Goddesses of the ages are permutations of the Oldest One? It makes sense, therefore, that in England the Mother Goddess would have been content to be: Mother Earth. Perhaps that is what she appeared to us as. While to the Irish she was many things, but ultimately, all seem related. The stark parallels between aspects of function in Irish myth to Norse myth are satisfying, to say the least. But at any rate, I can’t help but think that in the end, the divine essence is best suited to a parallel. The divine feminine and masculine divine. God and Goddess. This seems to be the root of most myth, most myths become henotheistic. Zeus and Hera, Jupiter and Juno, Odin and Frigga, and so forth. Why not make the leap and consider they might be hypostatic expressions of a dyadic, ecstatic creative force? After all, we can argue that Tyr is a potential function of Odin, having potentially in time become a form. The same seems true of many Goddesses, such as Demeter being “Mother God,” and Jupiter being “Father God” in their respective myths. Odin himself is Allfather, but like Jupiter the Godfather, he has his personal name. Allfather Odin, whereas Jupiter’s is Jove. Hera has been said to be a function of Demeter, as is Hekate. Above I made the allegory to Bergelmir. Let us assume the Deluge. If a Tribe splits, with a diaspora leaving and embarking for elsewhere and a core group remains – over time they will evolve divergently, yes? Peradventure the prodigal clan returns; both will have changed much, and neither will recognise the other in full. This I think explains much in myth. The Jötnar can be the ancestors of the Æsir while constituting a simultaneously foreign and yet interchangeable host which is at once sympathetic and antithetic.
Absurd ideas like those found in Wicca are only absurd because they have been abused into senility by (((publisher’s interests.))) And the idea of dualism is neither new, nor particularly revolutionary. Many Gnostic sects believed there to have been a God and Goddess, from whom the lifespring comes. Thus, God’s Wife being Our Mother Earth is not truly strange. It is perfectly reasonable. And I think it makes good sense. It also fits with the decorum of the polarised nature of our mythologies. Our ancestors were much more sensitive to things, and English is a castrated language which lacks the appropriate gender cases of our ancestral tongues. So it warrants reminding, there are three genders cosmically, as etymologically. There is neuter, which is actuated by masculine and feminine. Ginungagap was the ultimate neutrality, which was fertilised by polarities. All life comes from balancing the imbalanced. I think in one of the Gnostic myths, Adam was originally a giant and a hermaphrodite. God made Eve from Adam, thus allowing for balance to unfold. It reminds of several Germanic legends – which potentially, offhandedly, may have inspired later Gnosticism which drew heavily from many pagan wells. You had Tuisto, for example. And Mannus. These were giants that are believed to be either asexual, or hermaphroditic. The Norse Ymir, most believe, was asexual – there having been no mention of a coequal giantess to sire him children that he clearly didn’t want. Much like Uranus of the Greeks. Oranos, heaven, who with clear intent brutally subjugated Gaia, the Earth. There is the obvious power play, but the archetype of masculine Heaven and feminine Earth play out. Much in the way they are layered more or less in Norse myth.
And what of God? When we speak of God what is our telos, our pathos, ethos? Anything? At least in the high theology of the middle ages, the height of what detractors call patriarchy, God was Absolute Simplicity. That is, an Absolute which can be reduced no further. Here is this definition, and there are any number of others. Most, however, do not think of these. Most think of a dude with a bloody Big Lebowski beard sitting up on a cloud with his fishing rod. Or a bloodthirsty tyrant. Or some other kind of emotionally crippled red herring inside of a strawman that hasn’t been set on fire yet. It has been sagely observed of the Virgin Mary that she is whatever her postulants need her to be. Sceptics note with their airs that in the countless apparitions of the Lady that She appears in the cultural garb, as well as the flesh of the ethnics she visits – or else embodies the paragon of what they aspire to. And isn’t that what a Goddess whose genius is beauty, creativity, fertility, and other such womanly qualities… do? If the Goddess appeared to followers expecting a lady but as a revolting hag, then the visions would be dismissed forthrightly as madness. Furthermore, the argument can be made that she may well have. The lore of our peoples is rife with the Gods coming into human flesh for to test the hospitality of man. In the story of Baucis and Philemona, Zeus and one of his sons did just that. Odin never takes the same name twice. Indeed, we can see that the Goddess does appear in many stages of life. The Irish pioneered the concept of the Triple Goddess long before it was named. But the opposite can and should be seen as true. That if the Virgin Mary in her guises, a thinly veiled Goddess, can be so much for so many – than the same would be said of God. God is what his sons need him to be; a warrior, a poet, a lover; that they may become these things too. The pursuit of Man has been God, as the pursuit of woman has been the Goddess. In the Deity we find the reflection of what our blood and honour demands we be. So when I speak tomes of praise for the Goddess, by no means to I mean to kick God down the ladder’s rungs. Wōden, or if you like, Odin, is an archetype with a lesson and application for more or less every situation a man might encounter, and the ethos, and therefore telos he instils is the very one (I feel) best suited for the survival of man, and by extension, women, in this ever uglier world of ours. I’ve written about that elsewhere and earlier – I doubt my opinion has changed, I’m getting too old for radical change, gradual evolution is all I have time for now.
As a means of progression, as to the idea of Hypostasis – if Mary is to be the hypostasis of an ancient Goddess, (hypostasis in my opinion is a strong word, but composite I don’t think is) as with Frigga and so many others, then I can say the same of Venus. Venus Aphrodite is surely among the world’s most famous Goddesses if indeed she cannot lay claim to supremacy in show. Most regard Venus Aphrodite as a highly composite character. I have argued elsewhere that I think the composition and recomposition occurs more heavily in Aphrodite, which I won’t rehash here. However, speaking to Aphrodite, the Greek aspect of Venus, her very creation invokes knowledge of older myths. She was born from a shell, congealed in the blood ocean of Uranus after his castration by the sons of Gaia. (Here credence for the Hellenes and Helots seems to lean in favour of the emasculated patriarchalist theory.) Nevertheless, the shell invokes memories of older Mesopotamian myths such as that of the Blood of Kingu or whatnot. Of course, it’s highly regarded she is a love Goddess, a lust Goddess and a whatever you need her to be Goddess. She was also an import from the before times. She is neither Olympian nor Titan, neither Cyclopes nor Monster. She is, then, an obvious avatar of an extraneous Goddess. And her attribute is fertility. It is a hideous mistake, and dare I suggest a privilege of modernity, that allows us to reduce the construct of fertility to a mere sexual aspect. The land has fertility, and middleground fertility cults extolled this. But we might also consider that there is a fertility of the spirit, as well. This would suggest a means to what we now call the mind-body, or mind-muscle connection. This separation of mind and matter, as in mind over matter, goes to show how disembodied we have truly become. The dissociative element of society being such that the body is treated as a mere vessel in which, if one is lucky, the spirit might reside. Consider then the ideation of the North recaptured by Grønbech, the body is an extension of the spirit which was predestined to grow in accordance with the innermost components of the soul – which were indistinct from the corporeal matrix. Why should we assume otherwise? Is this not the whisper of “mortal soul?” Echoes of before, when the divine feminine was rotated on the axial wheel of fate as she ought to have been. Fertility is fate. Fertility is the actualisation of all these heady concepts the later Aryan epics extol. When we come to Venus, I think, we have a marvellous association. Not merely the Venus, or rather Aphrodite, emerging from her clamshell. Not simply Venus, mother of Cupid, or Aphrodite, who regulated Eros. No, no. Venus is the foremost Mother of Nations. She is the Mother of Rome. She is the Mother of Heroic Lines. She is Venus Genetrix, Venus the giver of life – the offerer of beginnings. This wonderful nuance betrays a connection to the Goddess of Beginnings spoken of by Markale. Is it a small deal that Caesar Augustus Octavius, the Princeps of Rome, should have made clear that She was his Ancestress? Would it not have seemed more “Roman” to choose a more traditional option like Janus or Mars? Was Romulus not sired by Mars through Rhea Silva, herself an aspect of the Divine Virgin – the Birthing Goddess? Venus, being the Great Mother of Nations, can be thought of in few higher terms by mortal men. She was also such a Goddess that lent her name to love, generation. Yet, her aspect of fertility was more austere than that of the Greeklings who scoffed at fertility as it had been and knuckle-dragged it into promiscuity. These two aspects of the Goddess seem to me to very clearly resonate with a chain that’s since been broken. And like with the Freyja/Frigga “divide” they provide examples of trajectories fertility can take, the so-called Dionysian and Apollonian ways (as Nietzsche had once described in another context.) With the Dionysian mysteries relating to the ecstatic, sensual and existential and the Apollonian to the central, meditative and transcendental. An Aphrodite extols the immediate benefits of the fertile life, while a Venus projects forth through generations and with nothing more than her womb, shapes the world, by the careful selection of progeny.
As to the Lady, Mary, herself… I can speak of this here, as this is my own turf. When I read Jean Markale’s book, “The Great Goddess,” I would have rather had a deeper dive into Paganism, than Christianity. I learned what I wanted to know about that when I gained my Theology degree from Catholic College. It is what it is. Mary is a composite of Pagan Goddesses. I can say that, I think, without intentionally offending any Christian readers. (Good on you if you made it this far, I guess.) That doesn’t change her essential history. Again, One thing can be Many things without ceasing to be the First. Miriam may well have been a Hebrew woman living in a hut in Ephesus. Or perhaps there never was a Miriam and perhaps Maria Virgo was a Roman invention as some claim, a kind of covert means of extending Roman rule in a new religion. A strange theory, I’ve heard worse, definitely. But all of these things can be simultaneously true, and later Church doctors could absolutely take these truths and doctor them further by grafting local ordinances of Pagan belief onto her. In this way, and this way alone, could Christendom truly flourish. Paganism had to spread the masculine pantheon by cooperating with the Feminine Divine to satisfy the inborne pulse to find Her. Christendom, therefore, could never eradicate Heathendom. Attempts to do so nakedly ended only in superior resistance, as it was with Widukind and Radboud and others.
In a way, much like Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Mary herself is the White Washed Tomb of which Christ speaks – a clean exterior containing dead history, which by means of being carried in a live vessel has never truly died. It is true that if one divorces themselves from the incessant meander of the scholar tribe, that Christianity is Jewish and all that yah-yah – this does not change that it is the synthetic amalgamation of probably a hundred mystery cults, most of which had European Roots. When you take the claim further and realise that, again, Jews invent nothing and themselves assembled an amalgam on the backs of Semitic mythology as well as Aryan and other in the form of influence from Zoroastrianism, Hellenism and up… it becomes easier to see certain things. None of this is to forgive or forget what has been done IN THE NAME of Christendom. Nope. Not at all. But we should not be so quick to throw babies out with bathwater. A dismantled and thoroughly deconstructed Christendom gives us back many primal elements of our Religion(s.)
Allow me to return to the above. Mother Earth, being our Goddess, has a womb. Did not many lives emerge from and return to Gaia’s depths? Gaia’s womb is Hades; her deepest regions are Tartarus. And our ancestors, perhaps preternaturally, developed customs which bely this. The great womblike arches of prehistory, that lead to and from both life and death. Then you have the omphalos – the so called belly button of the world. Here it was believed the connection to heaven was rife. The Greeks placed their Oracle of Delphi there, and she was said to have possessed a round stone. Stones often having spiritual connotations. The Celts with their Druids were said to have occasionally, and with purpose, sacked Greek sites like this. The burial mounds, rounded tops, may have invoked the essence of a woman’s heaving belly – full of life. The great spirals seen across the civilised world over, these have been taken to symbolise the journey to and from the womb, a simulacrum of the Goddess experience. Consider then the nature of the standing stones, their assumption of telluric or at least vibratory energy, and the measurable impacts these have on the psyche. Many have postulated that in the absence of modernity, our peoples had what we would now describe as extrasensory capacities. Energy which science harnesses and blasts across the Ethernet was not so prevalent, and to find it, would have altered or ancestors’ consciousness’ in a marked way, whereas we are perhaps numb. Also: The afterlife was always believed to be within the earth. The Greeks believed the way to the afterlife was a geographic question. So did the Norse when you consider the ideation of Modgud and the Helgrind – the gates of Hell. A bridge before the gate. The gate, remember those lips. Note: the afterlife was likely a feminine construct. Hel, whose name relates to brightness and holiness, is Goddess of Death. The Irish Morigna whose name is Phantom Queen, is not unlike her. Persephone becomes Queen of the Underworld in the story of Hades and Persephone – it is possible that she was originally more active in that role. It may well have been that the priestesses and oracles maintained the traditions of the Ancient Ones, who sensed the telluric energy and built their hypogea to their forgotten Goddess(es) managed to pass secret knowledge which was absorbed by the development of evolving European Cults. Furthermore, I would be remiss if I did not at least translate the notation made by many that the standing stones fulfil a phallic, or masculine archetype – especially as history progresses, whereas the grotto or the inner Earth evokes feminine, vaginal intonations. The Henges were convincingly said to be precessional markers leading to Celtic burial mounds, literal underground cities of the dead. If true that the Celts had a formulary for reincarnation like the Nords, then it pays to wonder if the dualism of masculine standing stone and feminine grotto served as a polarity of fertility to point toward the recreation of life from “dead matter.”
Many would corroborate this, in some way or another. Men like Robert Graves believed the secrets were encoded in Chivalric poetry, which he writes of in the White Goddess. When all of this is taken in conjunction other anthropological work like that of Gronbech, who writes in depth of the Nordic Conception of Reincarnation which he seems to think functions independently of any particular God, things seem to fall into place for me. The Norse believed lands had spirits. And that clans had souls. Thus, specific grounds could become holy. These were selected for as burial grounds. Remember: the funeral pyre seems to be an Odinic Invention, this idea perhaps on some level relates to the ideation of ruinous sacrifices, or immolation, sending prayers and/or souls to the Gods. Remember also, if it pans out that Odin ultimately represents the masculine divine as concentralised by the Indo-Europeans, then it would make sense that he should prefer his dead to rise through the air to the heavens whereas those old devotees of Earth should prefer She keep what She has. Anyway. The barrow long predates the pyre. And it is that in the barrow that reincarnation occurs. Here you could visit yourself – for in the Nordic mind the “ego” was merely the extension of a soul which a clan shares.
I think it is reasonable to assume, therefore, that this very notion of Earthly reincarnation via the barrow, the barrow symbolic of the womb as tied to the gynocentric art mentioned, is a holdout from the before times. A carryover from the oldest parts of Europe. The Celtic doctrines of rebirth seem rather similar. And even trapped in Greek myth there is a hint of it. Conversely, Odin’s dead do not necessarily reincarnate. They are not always reborn. The point of Valhalla and the presumptive female version of Folkvangr exist to “catch folk” as the name Folkvangr might suggest. They are caught. Much like the Buddhist Samsara, this is their Nirvana. Freed from the incarnational cycle, Odin’s dead become who they are. If you think of it, the Teutonic Soul included the body, an idea being that the soul would reincarnate near where the body lay. To immolate the body would suggest a removal of the body to Away. This would have made ruinous sacrifice by flame a very powerful ritual. They exist apart from the Folksoul, which is a continuously regenerating spiritual entity that bears clans and families as an insignia. I think, in a way, this contrast illustrates the importance of the Earth-burial, for divergence from it may have contributed to the dour look of Odin, what with the Folksoul being tied to the land. It is also tied to the Earth, intimately, in a way that’s hard to impress in casual terms. But suffice to say, terms like Ethel properly understood, do do this justice. Ethel, you should know in English, is a feminine term. A feminine concept. Ethel, from Odal. Homeland, immobile property, spiritual inheritance. Odal-Land was made by feeding Mother Earth our dead, not only that but our tributes of gifts. Our dead make the land holy, our blood in the soil. Our gifts energise the land, and so on. The land in turn becomes ours, and resonates with us spiritually. Mother Earth keeps us in her great womb. In ancient days, Gronbech says, the intrepid man visited ancestral graves and therefrom reawakened ancestral memory. He became who he is, often by seizing equipment left there for him by his ancestors. This he uses to defend the Odal-Land, the feminine principle that masculine forces strive for which is at once a place, but a concept of honour, inheritance and the future. It seems that Odal-Land can be forged, but it is a long and hallowed process it seems. I think also in light of this it makes more sense to me why (I believe it was) Edred Thorsson – Stephen Flowers – who submits that the Ethel Rune herself is derived from ancient pictographs for the womb. Similarly, to the Elder form of the Rune Yng, or Ing. It makes sense, if the land itself, fed with the blood of hallowed dead, is the Odal-Land than the potential connection is clear. I think of the iteration of the Rune often favoured by Nationalists, whose shape is not without reminiscence of the spread legs of a Baubo, a Sheela or Ormhäxän. As with many things, the understanding may have been sublimated and enculturated to the point where it didn’t require endless exegetic to appreciate. It is also why my first daughter shall be named Ethel – when the Norns see fit to move my wife and I toward bringing her to term. (Though I confess, I should like more sons than I now have, to carry on my patrimony when I am dead and to spread it far and wide as has been the ambition of many a greater man than I.) Ethel is the greatest encapsulation of the 14 Words, for those of us who care about such things. Berkana, on this note, or Beorc; is another fertility Rune. We understand this to be something women carved into their nails during troubled pregnancies. It is also said, sometimes, rather than being merely a stolen beta from the Greeks, symbolises the breasts and belly of the fertility Goddess. Berkana has been supposed to have been rendered Bercht, which might be a form of Perchta – or so I have read. As we know, oftentimes European Fertility Goddesses can be understood from their Christian perversions, as any Goddess or God more generally can be gleaned from the crooked inversions.
Allow me to make a clumsy segue. Fear. Fear of loss. Sigmund Freud, which is a bitterly ironic name for the world’s best known coke addled Jew to have had, had much to say of fear of women. I discard most of it. What is not discarded is the root of observation. Our world lives hidden in another womb altogether, soaking in juices that stink and rot the soul. Fear. Fear. Fear. There is a fear of reclaiming actual femininity on the whole – for whatever that means to you, and I make no distinction whether you are a man or woman. Understanding, and appreciating the feminine doesn’t seem to be a one-sided job, although when it is, it is painful. Nevertheless. It doesn’t change the fact that we have been crushed into narrow moulds and it is expected we shall not escape. Yet. Some do. This causes fear. They become freaks and malcontents to the public eye. This isn’t a new fear. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good fear. All of this preamble should have gone to suggest I will tie this into fear of women, and I shall. Women have their own way of wielding power against which men are customarily helpless. A woman’s intelligence is emotional. When she learns the language of your soul she can manipulate you. A clever man knows when he is being manipulated. But the woman is often immune to his attempts to operate on her level – he spoils the pudding with too much thinking. A man can take years to learn a woman’s emotional intelligence, but to reward him, she will merely feel a new feeling and like the serpent bend but never break under the weight of his unyielding reason. So a timeless “struggle” which has never needed to have been a struggle has gone. It is natural that the man should fear losing himself in the abyss of a woman’s desires, which often to him seem just so – abysmal. I do not use the word in this paltry, cynical modernistic lens. No, no, no. The abyss looks back – remember. It is not so bad a thing. This is why we see aspects of the Goddess. It is why she is a Triad to the Celts, why she can be a Dyad to the Vedic folks. As the Dyad she comes as Genetrix and Dominatrix, the one who creates and the one who batters into submission. She comes as giver of life, and destroyer of worlds. Is it unfair? How much of the Battle of Troy came from the whim of a woman? Behind every great mover and shaker of men, there is often a woman. What she cannot do directly, she can manipulate into being with intuition. What a man accomplishes by skill, training, and grit, a woman can do by moving him on whim and luck. This could seem like a very mysterious power. In her Triad she is Maiden, Mother and Crone – the exotic, the new and exciting; the seasoned, experienced and confident; the masterful, knowing and reminiscent. There are other expressions. But it is the Devourer, as Markale calls her, that men fear.
One of the strongest lessons that Odin teaches, is not mgtow, contrary to some modern doctrine, but equanimity. Odin learns the language of a woman’s soul. A God that thinks in numbers and words, he learns to think in colours and smells. He comes to know and appreciate that women prophesy on a different level entirely. He also knows that there is a consent of will involved. That means to domination lead nowhere. Odin did not peel the secrets of Seidr from Freyja’s backside against her will. He did not rape Gunnlod in her cave. He did not batter the brains of the Volva and read the entrails for knowledge. He won these things through wit. He won the wisdom of the Vanir by balancing Anima and Animus. That did not make him a homosexual, as Loki the Great Miscegenator implied. It made him wise. Odin knows that one cannot achieve wisdom by approaching the world from a single lens. Does one gain knowledge of the stars by refusing to change lenses in their telescope? No. One of the aspects of Fate which is helpful to note is that the intuition Odin learned from the seeresses would have helped him immensely. One cannot map their destiny by logic alone. It is a sense, and a pulse. Women with their emotional self-centre seem better equipped to palpate this than men, who get lost in variables. In many ways, the woman’s impulse for self-betterment impels her to grasp destiny better, whereas the principal of the man is to navigate the day’s survival with the facts presented him. It is why, traditionally, it was women who operated the esoteric while men exploited the exoteric. A woman can frequently become lost in her grand futures and fail to see the forest for the trees, and most especially the tree that could fall and kill her. The man, meanwhile, often suffers from a lack of ambition beyond navigating the immediate, he sees every tree and the threat they contain, but forgets about the forest – and most importantly, the Elysian Fields beyond. Odin, by learning to balance the concepts of Fate with the Wisdom of daily living, was able to outmanoeuvre what would have been a massacre at the Ragnarok and ensure the living space of both Gods and Men. He did this by following his destiny, which is not a tangible variable. His far-seeingness was the marriage of intellect and premonition, which isn’t to see either men or women have neither, but that both have each in unequal measure. All things being unequal.
And you can see the transition, I think. In the ancients of days, there was not a monstrous mother. There was the Goddess and her receiving curves, her bounty. During the time of whatever cultural conflict we had that produced them, we see the degradation toward or elevation to of women into monstrous figures. The woman and the snake so often become blended together in a hybrid apostasy designed to invoke terror. One can use Kali as an example and say as they will of the esoteric interpretations, there is nevertheless an element of intended terror in the way she joyously, savagely thrusts out her red, consuming tongue as a challenge. The male-brain understand this well. Y’know, the whole orgasmic, eroticisation of violence bit. I dream sometimes of being able to thrust out the tongue at the foe I might crush. But somehow coming from the women this masculine impulse seems like an absolute mindfuck. So it goes. The “monstrosity” of Kali Durga mutes somewhat when we come to Medusa and the Gorgons, those women of the serpent who have been literally fused to them. When we rove further out there is the naked ambition of women in the Celtic Lore, but they are not damnified who use their power. For the Greeks, Hera alone is closest to what is more common to Celtic Lore. This aspect of Hera, the ruler, becomes an artefact of supposed oppression for the Greeks. And many Irish archetypes feel similar. It has been supposed these vengeful ladies are tokens of the spirit of matriarchy rearing its head as the patriarchy subsumes it. This may be, but again I think the model is simplistic. For even in what we typically associate as purely patriarchic modes, there is a celebration, alongside horror, of the feminine. But as I have suggested, in the Nordic model there is a cool balance culminating in Odin. Here we can see the beginning of recognisance of the geniuses of men and women respectively, and an acknowledgement of their beneficiary roles in society. Remember; in times where survival trumped feeling, ideal roles became matters of cultural survival, and not mere opinion as they are in later ages.
I think I should begin to wrap this up. Life is a monad, existence, but existence as a whole. Gronbech noted that the modern mind does not grasp this totality because it is not lived. When one begins to apply metacognition, as we have to, then one disassociates from life. Life is life, infinitely more beautiful and meaningful than we like to admit on our day to day business. One is inseparable from it. Doldrums being what they are, torpor being what it is – it is easy to forget. Our history is turned on an axiomatic and teleological shaft which sees an infinite repeat of a preternatural Hegelian dialectic of conflict/solution/synthesis, at the core of which is an empathetic conception of the universe at the core of our myths founded in a reflective understanding of polarity/fertility/creativity. Layers of this primitive cult were absorbed, and reabsorbed unconsciously over the ages, creating the stories and their intricacies we know and love. The Gods of one layer become the devils of the next. If there is good news here, and I think there is, is that our primary notions of Evil may be largely illusory. The majority of conflicts in our history is the tragic irony of us conquering ourselves. When, really, the world might belong to us, but we will always belong to Earth. Life in accordance with laws of nature, rather than unlife trying to rewrite Nature’s Laws and rape Nature’s God, would bring a true renaissance of spirit. Remember, stark good/evil dualism is a more recent graft, where the primitive dualities were naturalistic, cosmological forces that fertilised Life, the Monad. Life for us reaches the Zenith for us with Earth, our Hostess and Goddess within whom we live. She herself was spawned from the cosmic womb, fertilised by the Heavens. Our earliest histories seem to have been an ode to the Mother Goddess, and her spiritual genius. Times changed, and circumstances demanded a hardening of the heart and soul, but within the shrapnel of the evolving cults of Paganism were seeds of the Old. And always they sought return, no matter what religious blanket they wore. Always the Folksoul reared itself, and asserted dominance, by changing archetypes to become more suitable. Consider the hermaphroditic nature of the Monotheist God that by necessity you end up with. Hegel considered that God was nothingness until observed from without. That kind of God, I argue, is the Life Principle proper – it can be no more fully male than female. And thus you have this feminine principle of God, the Anima to the Animus, called Wisdom which was there from the start. There is no other way life could blossom into perpetuity from a stilted monad lacking in all potential.
So it goes. As I say, this may be all a waste of time. But these are some beliefs I have come to adopt, which have given my life increased meaning and value as I continue to make sense of the ever dwindling time the Norns have allotted me. And maybe, when I am dead, I shall find there shall be some Akashic Record or other and one of my prayers is answered – being that I want to check my notes against something real. See how far off the beaten path I really am. That and to feel that these endeavours are not always in vain, and have more meaning than the entertainment of my own ego and the unbelievably small number of other people by percentage who find this sort of timeless riddle interesting.
Links to stuff the above talks about:
For more musing on European religion as referenced, go here.
For more on and about Grønbech, kindly go here.
For more about Markale’s Goddess, go here if you would.
If you want to read some devotional poetry, there’s the following pieces… Vril, Goddess and Green-Man, Dusk Till Dawn, Morning Star, Ode To The Perennial Sophia, Snake’s Back.
If I assemble a slide of paleolithic photomographs I’ll set them here.