Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

If you have been a thorough reader you know I do tend to favor Persephone over the other goddesses. I suppose in part Her story resonates because it is the same framework as the Hero's story. The genders have changed but the goal is really the same. When Persephone was under the shadow of Her mother she was rarely written about. Few adventures can occur with the virginal Spring. When as Inanna-Ishtar She traveled below to see Her sister on the occasion of the death of Her husband you should recall her position and status. Even as Spring she was not Eoster or Diana later. She was in a holding pattern, waiting for Her myth to unfold. So She travels below, to the land of Hel and Ereshkigal to attend the death rites of Her brother-in-law. The Consort of the Queen Priestess is sacrificed to ensure future prosperity. His blood is sprinkled over the fields. Nowadays the farmer sprinkles liquid shit on the fields for the same purpose. The liquid shit is from cattle, the symbolic animal of the Consort. So then, did it go from blood to shit as it appears? Or was the shit mixed with blood in the beginning? As Below, so Above the old saying goes, so we can assume that the not-consumed parts of the Bull-Consort were used and recycled, in the exact same way the Amerindian used all the smallest parts of the bison, a symbolic animal that was sacrificed for the good of the People.

So now we have Persephone in Her various aspects traveling down to attend a yearly festival in which a Chosen Male is sacrificed to create a flow of blood and entrails which will enrich the Earth, another aspect of Demeter. Now we should pay attention to another early situation in which a regular flow of blood signifies fertility and a passage to another personality and function. Non-technological societies have their young girls move to a secluded hut with the door closed as she has her first menstruation, and those which follow. She isn't being punished, She is becoming a woman. When Persephone returns to the surface She is a full blown Woman and wears Her hair up.

Woman's purpose in the Pantheon, the role Demeter and Inanna play, is to bear the child and nurture it. It is the Child's purpose to seek a greater purpose, to act out a ritual, to die and be born again in three months. So Fall is preparing for that journey into darkness, not in fear, but more in rapture, knowing that after death, after every death is life and life reborn.

Yet how different it is should the Hero descend and emerge again! Herakles went down to retrieve His wife, whom he sort of accidentally "killed". He always feels bad when He sobers up. He travels down the passage and meets monsters along the way, handles them abusively and makes a deal to get His wife back. Easy peasy, He does the work and goes to get His wife and ALMOST gets her back, but naturally there is a caveat to Her return: He can't turn to view Her until She is ALL the way into the open, out of the Cave. Being exceptionally horny after dispatching a few wild beasts, of course, He turn around as soon as he steps into the light, ready for a little post-death nooky. Poof! She's gone and He goes back to getting drunk and killing things.

Not much to build a religion on but somebody did. Dionysus slash Yeshua do a better job, except for the end where it turns into a bizarre cult that goes around killing people. I can never quite wrap my head around that kind of runaround, but I suppose it has something to do with testicles and limited blood supply. That situation was solved under Ishtar by sacrificing a bull at the last minute, rather than a Consort, or perhaps "just" a Consort. There's this statue of Her with a vest of testicles to show how serious She can be. In fact, when she got all het up once and started showing Her PMS side, they had to spike the blood with beer so when she drank a stadium load of blood she also got quite high, went to sleep and got up later feeling much better. Now recall that they did not have Genny Cream Ale back then and hops wasn't always the only herb in making beer. It was quite common to have the herbal equivalent of meth in beer, also Viagra, acid and angel dust. Beer was a sacred brew made by the Priestess and a select few. Hence the constant association with the Goddess and Grain, a living thing which is buried in the earth, only to rise again for the greater good by providing both bread and beer.

Alice doesn't take off Her jewelry and skirts as She travels down the passage to Her myth. She doesn't end up stripped of Her flesh and hung from a nail like Inanna does. Her symbolic companion is a Hare, a symbol of both fertility and associated with the moon, the "man in the moon" is quite often a Hare. She is accosted and held by cards, which in the period were as often used for fortune telling as games. Her future is told, She rises up shedding Her old submissive self, overturns Her enemies and emerges reborn. Or at least refreshed. Now we do not know if the bottles of "Drink Me" held blood or not, and the ocean of tears is significant because tidal waves are made by Pluto, the god of the underworld, who used to be Ereshkigal in Sumerian times. But there was no tidal wave, was there? Nope, just Her paddling along until a mouse shows up. Mice tend to do that when the myth is about a Woman. men get Lions and such, but Women get cats and mice and Men. Especially Heroes and Villains.

Well after all that climbing down and through the thing I think we can say that it was fun while it lasted, so far about 20 thousand years and counting. Autumn is here, the trees are starting a new brief but colorful show time. The air smells of apples and leaves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel