XVI: Light and fire


To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering ttgftyri.org into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.


Scene 8

And Gaim is certainly impressed by the apparent supremacy of the moon in all this; nonetheless, having come this far, he figures that he should at least find out what the world might look like from the very mountaintop.

And so he climbes on—and soon finds himself shivering from the increasing altitude—until before long, he comes upon some vast snowfield where yet another priest earnestly awaits him.

“I sure hope you don’t think you’ve already found the answer to all this,” the priest greets him briskly; “for the fact is, this ordinary world would be but some dry, frozen wasteland were it not for Our Lady of the Sun—whose primary role in making the earth fertile actually begins with her warm rays melting all the snow that you see stored up here.”

* * *

“And if only to gain a better understanding of that,” the priest continues when Gaim has again seated himself in preparation for hearing this further interpretation of everything, “why, you might begin by simply watching the sunrise—say, on a few consecutive mornings late in summer.

“For then you’ll notice Our Lady rising further and further to the south against the fading constellations; until indeed, you might tremble a little as you wonder just where she’s going—and especially, how long she plans to be gone, since the farther that she goes, the colder that she leaves everything around here!

“But then just as you might begin to fear that for some reason, she intends to abandon us people altogether, you’ll find her rising at exactly the same point on the horizon as the day before: she’ll ‘stand still’ there, so to speak.

“After which, you’ll be enormously relieved to see her starting north again—gradually warming the days, melting the snow, starting all the rivers flowing, and ultimately rejuvenating everything; except that in time, she’ll come to another, northern standstill and then turn south once more.

“In other words, her migration up and down the eastern horizon is actually delimited by these two turning points, or tropics—from an ancient grunt or something,” the priest explains proudly, “meaning ‘turn here’.

“And so I carefully circled those two dates on my calendar as solstice days, meaning ‘the sun stands still’.

“And then by counting the number of days between the solstices and dividing it in half, I went on to determine the halfway point of her two journeys from one tropic to the other over the course of the year—and circled the days on which she crossed this equator, first in one direction and then the other, as equinoxes.

* * *

“And so there are actually four seasons, rather than the traditional three,” the priest now points out, “—the fourth being Winter, which begins when the Divine One, in her well-known Fall guise as the Hag, finally reaches the southern tropic and dies.

After which, she’ll spend the entire winter in the afterworld, before ultimately being re-born as a young woman again with her northerly crossing of the equator, on the first day of Spring and the new year—when she’ll rise against a new constellation that I’ve recently come to delineate as the Virgin.”

Scene 9

“And then in an effort to tidy everything up,” the priest now goes on with his story, “I divided the annual round into twelve evenly spaced constellations and marked the moments when the sun enntered the first, fourth, seventh and tenth of these as the official beginning of spring, summer, fall, and winter.

“Which in turn, became the basis of my new, twelve month solar calendar; with the new first month called April—from an old root meaning ‘after’, as in right after the end of the old year—and the months themselves divided into four seven day weeks, irrespective of the lunar phases, or of whatever number of extra days might fall at the end of the month either.

“And of course, there were now more of those to deal with than ever: because in the interest of doing away with that old, partial thirteenth month that has caused the old, lunar calendar’s New Year to jump all over the place, why, after leaving the old first month at twenty-nine days in honor of a month’s original meaning, I simply did away with the thirteenth by distributing its days throughout the remainder of my own calendar—unfortunately, then leaving that number with something of a reputation for being unlucky.

“And finally, when further observation revealed that the year was actually three hundred sixty-five and a quarter days long, I found myself more or less forced to add a day to our shortest month every four years.

Scene 10

“But while my calendar is now about as perfect as anyone could possibly hope to make it,” the priest sighs hard and long as he continues, “I’m still having considerable difficulty getting people to accept it—mainly due to resistance from the old lunar establishment, whose own credibility and influence in the world is now at stake, of course.

“For instance, they want me to associate Our Lady’s death with the last waning moon of winter—meaning the one just before the spring equinox—and celebrate her re-birth a few days later with the following new moon. But I just don’t see it that way.

“And even some of my own followers have proposed that she’s really re-born at the winter solstice—rather than three months later, at the equinox. But granted that no one likes to think of the world as left without its Ultimate Succor for three whole months, I’m most reluctant to move New Year’s Day, with all its wild celebrating, from spring to that miserable time of the year.

“While still others complain that since my calendar leaves May Day, the old first day of summer, well short of the new first day of that season, what was formerly the year’s most important Holy Day has now been reduced to little more than a traditional ‘holiday’. But I figure they’ll get over it.

“Hardly to mention that some who still rely on the original, stellar calendar for marking the arrival of the spring rains remain so suspicious of both the lunar calendar and my new solar one that they’ve started up this little story: if the hibernating groundhog should poke its head out of its winter den during the old first month of the year and find rain or so much as cloudy skies, it’ll assume that spring has already arrived and remain above ground accordingly—modern calendar or no.”

Scene 11

But then the priest allows as he himself has recently discovered a problem with his calendar that’s a little puzzling—and more than a little disconcerting!

“Not that it matters yet,” he told Gaim, “—nor will it for a long time to come—but over the last several years, as I’ve continued observing the sun’s entry into the Virgin on the first day of spring, why, I couldn’t help but notice that this important day in our annual round is slowing moving westward!

“Meaning that spring won’t always arrive in the Virgin—but if my calculations are right, about two thousand years from now, maybe a little more, will pass over into the constellation that’s known as the Lion; and after another two thousand, into the Crab; and then the Twins, the Bull, Ram, Fish, and so on.

“And so my calendar will eventually lose ground—with the first day of spring eventually falling back to March thirty-first, then to the thirtieth, twenty-ninth, twenty-eighth, and so forth; until hopefully, before spring started arriving in February again, someone will get around to addressing the situation!

“Because as sure as there are rude young in this world,” he grimaces in conclusion, “some will come to regard those who continue to look for the arrival of spring on April first—if only their elders—as side-splitting old fools, and thus fair game for some ‘April Fool’ tricks.

“While whoever’s in charge of it all by the time we actually back into March just might try to establish that new first month of the year firmly in everyone’s consciousness by naming the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months Septem-ber, Octo-ber, Novem-ber, and Decem-ber.”

And finally showing Gaim a statue of he Ultimate One with the radiant solar disc framing her head, he declares that the Serpent, Dragon or whatever now breathes fire!

For what could possibly claim ascendancy over the sun, he asks as Gaim lets out a long, weary breath and nonetheless climbs on.


The sun too has traditionally figured as one of the Great Mother’s more important aspects, as evidenced by the following deities from both past and present.

________________________

  • Aaa: Mesopotamian sun deity
  • Aimend: ancient Irish sun deity.
  • Akewa: Toba sun deity
  • Akycha: Alaskan sun deity
  • Amarerasu: Shinto Japanese sun deity
  • Aquehua: Toba Argentinan sun deity
  • Arinna: Hittite sun-deity
  • Aschtoreth: Canaanite sun deity
  • Beiwe: Saami Finnland sun deity
  • Bila: aboriginal Australian sun deity
  • Catha: Etruscan sun deity
  • Chaxiraxi: aboriginal Canary Islanders sun deity
  • Chup Kamui: Ainu Japanese moon deity who is said to have traded places with the sun because she was so embarrassed by the adulterous and lecherous behaviour that typically occurred at night
2. Chup Kamui
  • Dou Mu: Chinese sun deity
  • Ebhlinne: ancient Irish sun deity
  • Eibhir: ancient Irish sun deity
  • Ekhi: Basque sun deity
  • Étaín: Irish sun deity
  • Grainne: ancient Scottish sun deity
  • Gnowee: aboriginal Australian sun deity
  • Gun Ana: Kazakh sun deity
  • Hekoolas: Miwok sun deity
  • Igaehinvdo: Cherokee sun deity
  • Ilankaka: Nkundo sun deity
  • Istanu: Hittite sun deity
  • Kagaba: Ugandan sun deity
  • Keca Aba: Russian sun deity
  • Kou Njam: Siberian sun deity
  • Magec: Tenerife sun deity
  • Malina: Inuit sun deity
  • Marici: Buddhist Chinese sun- deity
3. Marici
  • Meret: ancient Egyptian sun deity
  • Mor: ancient Irish sun deity
  • Olwen: ancient Welsh sun deity whose name means ‘Golden Wheel’
  • Ostara: Germanic sun deity
  • Päivätär: Finnish sun deity
  • Pattini: Sri Lanka sun deity
  • Saule: Baltic sun deity
  • Shams: Arabian sun deity
  • Shapshu: Canaanite sun deity
  • Sól: Norse sun deity
4: Sól
  • Solntse: Slavic sun deity
  • Sulis: ancient British sun deity
  • Sunna: Nordic sun deity
  • Tabiti: Scythian sun deity
  • Tate Velika Vimali: Huichol sun deity
  • Unelanuhi: Cherokee sun deity
  • Walo: aboriginal Australian sun deity
  • Wuriupranili: aboriginal Australian sun deity
  • Xatel Ekwa: Hungarian sun deity
  • Xihe: Chinese sun deity

____________________

While as for the new, fourth season and the recognition of the solstices . . .

  • Angerona: ancient Roman deity of the winter solstice, anguish, and fear
  • Beiwe: Saami Finnland deity of zthe summer solstice
5. Beiwe
  • Cailleach Bheur: Celtic/ancient Scottish deity of winter, perceived as a hag who was reborn as a child at the end of every October and thereafter brought snow until she was eventually deposed by the deity of spring
  • Carlin: ancient Scottish deity of winter; said to be born on the last night of October, when the spirits of the dead roam the world of the living
  • Frau Holle: ancient German deity of winter
  • Gerda: Norse Earth-mother in her winter guise as the frozen ground
  • Hemantadevi: Tibetan Buddhist deity of winter
  • Hu Tu: Chinese deity of the summer solstice
  • Janis: Latvian deity of the summer solstice
  • Koliada: Polish deity of the winter solstice
6. Koliada
  • Marzana: Poland winter-deity
  • Poshjo Akka: Saami Finnish winter-deity
  • Rheda: German winter-deity
  • Snegurochka: Russian winter-deity
  • Tonan: Aztec deity of the winter solstice

_________________________

Photo Credits

1: Ancient History Encyclopedia https://www.ancient.eu/Amaterasu/

2: Goddesses and Gods http://goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com/2011/02/goddess-chup-kamui.html

3: Rubin Museum of Art https://rubinmuseum.org/collection/artwork/marichi-goddess-of-the-dawn

4: Journeying to the Goddess https://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/goddess-sol/

5: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/265290234285396321/?nic_v1=1babTTxZ2HIiIHEc2hqTZ%2BnGBnvMD%2Fcx8HX7yWC9HHITXt21l7yNeRkmGToUhroaKk

6: Goddesses and Gods http://goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com/2008/04/goddess-kolyada.html

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