Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gullveig and the Loss of Innocence

With the coming of Gullveig, there was a loss of innocence. And yet her very coming had proven that that innocence constituted a vulnerability to corruption. Indeed, men had never been perfect. They were part of the organic world growing and struggling to grow, given dormant powers of insight, imagination, and even deeper, spirituality, that the Gods hoped the world would eventually awaken. But like all creatures they faced perils and experienced loss, and these had their toll. For the most part, before the time of Gullveig, these microdramas of the human spirit would resolve themselves within a generation or two, and sometimes in lesser time, but the fear that Gullveig had aroused was there, too, in the human makeup.

In the times of innocence, it is as if the elves spoke directly to these developing creatures, and that is how communion took place. But after the arrival of Gullveig, formal worship became necessary to retune what had been lost. And through the rites of worship, the Gods took it upon themselves to intentionally strengthen and cultivate the morale, virtues, and character of the folk, so long as the folk met them halfway by remembering to hold the ceremonies.

This was not a total loss from the perspective of the Gods, who over time have become very good at making lemon out of lemonade, and omelettes out of broken eggs, because it allowed them a conduit through which to bolster and fortify the human spirit and begin slowly accelerating its long, evolutionary journey. Whenever we meet up with a people who have formal rites, we know that they, too, in some way, experienced the winding thread of corruption that required periodic, formal, and communal correction. These tales are told in different ways but they speak to common roots. That doesn't mean, of course, that every folk experiences exactly the same things. There are many differences, but there are also common roots that unite and define us as mortals and as human beings.

Heid's spoiling magic was the arousal of fear and envy to controlling forces, the raising of petty squabbles to outright division, and the replacement of respectful difference and mutual regard to scorn, mockery, and the Art Freya developed to help beings commune with the rest of the nine worlds through love perverted into an endless Hatfield-McCoy witch-war frenzy of curses and malifice.

Thus, the rites are meant to bring us together where we have torn ourselves apart, to strengthen our courage and morale where we have fallen into fear, to replenish cycles of giving where both envy and stinginess had begun to split us apart, and to create an atmosphere both friendly and formal that allows for mutual regard to regain its footing and find its root.

And if religion doesn't do that, it's not doing its job. At the very least it should be on its way towards that goal. Is yours?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think, I am related to the notorious Hatfields on my mother's side of the family...

Some have said that I shouldn't admit to that...


9:31 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

There is no dishonor in that. The name means "Field of Heather", or perhaps even "Heathen Fields", so the name is quite poetic. We're all called upon to heal and improve our lineages and enrich the legacy that gets passed on.

Just on a humorous level, in terms of this Hatfield-McCoy feud, I'll invoke the prerogative of my poetic privileges and point out that the name Hatfield could also be glossed as "Field of Heid", and the name McCoy is from Mac Aoidh, meaning "Son of the Fire". What's humorous about this to me is hearing Loki and Heid invoked here in one of the most infamous feuds of all time, which is poetically perfect as it invokes precisely the kind of trouble they love to bring to the sons and daughters of men.

No offense to actual Hatfields and McCoys!

5:56 PM  

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