Postponing this instalment of Mythology Mondays

I’m sorry, but I need to postpone today’s Mythology Mondays post. (Gwyn ap Nudd was the winner, by the way!) It’s not ready, and I’ve been under the weather for the past week or so. I need a bit more time to put it together and instead of rushing and trying to finish it today (and having the work suffer, as well as my health), I’m just going to put it off till next Monday.

WHICH MEANS there will be a new post on Monday the 16th AND on Monday the 23rd — I don’t want to get off schedule, so I’m going to do two weeks in a row.

Soooo I need your votes! Voting usually would close at midnight on Monday, but as the Gwyn ap Nudd post will be up that day, I’m extending the poll length to Tuesday, the 17th. Let me know who you want to read about on the 23rd. (Also, I’m changing up the poll this time ’round and allowing two choices per voter.)

Thanks for understanding, everyone. I’ll see you on Monday!

-Katje

Manannán: god of endless bacon

This week we are talking about another one of my fave gods.

Manannán Mac Lir is the Irish god of rain, mist, the sea, and the Otherworld.

He first came into my life several years ago, and he’s been a huge part of it since. I’m going to try to talk about him a bit more neutrally in this post than I usually do at my religious blogs, but it’ll be hard, because I really love this dude.

Ok, so. Manannán.

Manannán is a psychopomp god — that means he’s a guardian deity between the realms of life and death. A word that can be used to describe this type of deity is “liminal” — it means “of or pertaining to a threshold,” from the Latin limen.

You can see this liminality in the things associated with him. Mist, of course, is very much associated with the idea of things being “in-between” — but so is rain, being a common weather pattern with both fall and spring, the seasons in between the extremes of winter and summer. (Mind you, depending on where you live, your rainy times of year might last a loooooot longer than seems normal. *Glances at both Ireland and BC*)

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The Dagda: the good god with a killer harp

Welcome to another instalment of Mythology Mondays!

The winner of our poll was The Dagda, a member of the Tuatha De Danann. (Runner-up was Manannan Mac Lir.)

I actually put him on the poll because I saw a post about him on Folklore Thursday a while back, and the picture shared of him made him look a lot like my husband. Or my husband looks like him. Anyway, it inspired me to read up more on him. (I’ve since discovered the picture is from Heroes of Camelot.)

Anyway, the Dagda — High King of the Tuatha De Danann for about 80 years.

The Tuatha De Danann is, in short form, the main family of gods from pre-Christian Ireland. They’re somewhat analogous to the Olympians of Greece — not the only supernatural beings there, of course, but some of the heavy-hitters, with a massive family tree that takes years to understand.

The Dagda is one of the “big guys” within the Tuatha De. He’s a chieftain, a druid, and a father-figure. (One of his epithets is “all-father,” though that might have more to do with his prolificness than a fatherly attitude — he sired a lot of kids.) He’s considered a very powerful god, especially as he’s said to have control over the weather, the seasons, and life and death itself.

The Dagda is well-versed in Druidic magic, and he has several magical items in his possession. One is his cauldron, which is so big it’s said the ladle can hold two grown people in it. This cauldron is known as the “cauldron of plenty” — it’s bottomless and apparently leaves no one unsatisfied (except cowards and oath-breakers).

Another item is his massive club, so big he apparently had to drag it in a wagon behind him, or across the ground. The hammer/head end of his club can kill many people at once (probably because of its massive size; I don’t know, just spitballing here), but the handle can bring people back to life. See: power over life and death.

Dagda also possesses a magic harp made from oak wood. This harp could change the seasons or the emotions of people. It also straight-up murdered some folks. Yes, the harp did. A harp.

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Hera: Queen of Heaven, Enforcer of Boundaries

Welcome to another installment of Mythology Mondays!

Today we’re going to learn a bit about Hera, Greek Queen of the Gods.

(Thanks to Kayla for suggesting her in the comments on my Facebook post!)

Hera gets a bad rap, honestly, especially with TV shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys being one of the main ways most modern Westerners know of her. She’s seen as jealous and shrewish, a vindictive, scorned wife of the king of the gods.

But let’s be real for a moment: if your partner slept around as much as Zeus did (according to the myths), wouldn’t you be a little cranky? I mean, assuming it’s not an open relationship (and for Zeus and Hera, it wasn’t).

One of the main things people know about the Greek gods these days (if they know anything) is that Zeus…was a bit of a player. And by “bit of a player” I mean he had sex with pretty much everything. Most mythological creatures in Greek mythology? Yeah, they exist because Zeus is their dad.

And the thing is, this is after he and Hera are married. In the beginning, they were both born of Cronos and Rhea (yeah, they’re sister and brother, which is honestly pretty common in a lot of mythologies; I know, it’s kinda weird; just go with it). However, Cronos was told his son would usurp him. So he ate all his kids, natch.

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Hephaestus, renowned artificer of weapons and wheelchairs

Welcome to the first instalment of Mythology Mondays!

Every other week (to start) I’ll be posting a short intro to a figure from mythology. Any mythology that I know something about is up for grabs — Hellenic, Roman, Irish, Buddhist — you name it, I might cover it.

I’ve studied a lot of mythology over the years, both because I enjoy it and because it is rich fodder for fantasy world-building. Also because I’m a polytheist, but you already knew that, I think.

Please note, for the purposes of these posts, the term “mythology” is not a pejorative. As an anthropological term, it is merely descriptive, referring to a body of work of stories told by a religious or cultural group to explain the truths of their worldview.

Calling something myth does not actually comment on whether or not it’s real. It’s important to remember that there is a difference between cosmic truth and literal fact, and they are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Myths reveal what a religion’s or culture’s cosmic truths are — that is, truths about the culture’s cosmology, or how they view the cosmos. They don’t comment on the existence or not of the figures within them. That’s up to members of the religion or culture.

I’m kicking off Mythology Mondays with one of my favourite dudes: Hephaestus.

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