July 23rd, 2007


Three Cranes, Esus, and Tarvos

I've been working on further developing my connection with our Grove's namesake, Trigaranus (aka "Three Cranes", who we usually refer to in the singular as "Garanus" or "Crane"), within my own mind. If these 6th night rituals work out for the Grove, we'll talk about developing this a tad further as a Grove, too.

I started thinking about what names I could refer to each of the cranes as, and I started thinking about the Grove and what the Grove's strongest traits are.

I admit, my conception of Trigaranus is inextricably tied to my conception of the Grove.

As I was thinking about the Grove, though, I began to think about us in terms of the Nine Virtues of ADF, and I started thinking, "Which three virtues do we most exhibit?"

ADF's Nine Virtues are: Wisdom, Piety, Vision, Integrity, Perseverance, Courage, Moderation, Hospitality, and Fertility

Recent events were certainly on my mind, and I began to think about how our Grove is perceived inside and out. The virtue that stuck out most in my mind was Hospitality: we've seen a surge in growth recently, and we're becoming fairly well-known for providing hospitality (the joke has become that we are "Three Cranes Grove Home for Wayward Druids", which is great in our general opinion).

I thought about other virtues, and Integrity was the next to come to mind: not only in our words and actions, but relating back to the previous point of hospitality. We have a way of "integrating" folks into the whole here, and I'd like to see that continue and grow.

Vision was another obvious choice: I speak constantly about the Crane with "one foot on the land, one foot in the waters, and an eye constantly raised to the sky." I do that primarily to emphasize his tripartite nature as a creature of land, sea, and sky, but his eye to the sky could easily be interpreted as "looking into the future" while firmly "grounded in the present and past", if one wished to make a complicated explanation about it all (and this is religion: all explanations are complicated).

I then noticed that I had three functions with three cranes, and I was interested to see what I could do with the rest of the Nine Virtues (having six left over).

I started thinking about the parts of the myth that get no air play in our Grove: Esus and the Bull, Tarvos. I wanted to include them, as well, and so I set about giving them their own attributes from the Nine Virtues.

I ended up choosing the ones I did because I see Esus as a sort of "caretaker" to the tree: pruning it instead of cutting it down. This takes moderation, perseverance, and wisdom. I primarily see the bull, Tarvos, as a sacrificial bull, and thus connected it with religious action (piety), the continuance of cycles (fertility) and the courage bulls are renowned for.

It ended up looking something like this:

Esus, Tarvos Trigaranus, and ADF's Nine Virtues
Trigaranus Hospitality
Esus Moderation
Tarvos Fertility

It's interesting to me to start, in earnest, taking the religion of the Gauls and really doing interpretive work off of it. It's also a bit scary, as I often don't quite know "how far is too far" yet, and the last thing I want to do is jump off the deep end and into fluff. The best I can do is avoid pretending that this stuff is "really the way it was" and say, "Well, if I were practicing Gaulish religion today, what on earth would I be doing?"

It's very interesting to re-imagine the cosmos. Very, very interesting.