July 23rd, 2007
|10:42 am - 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
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.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: creative
Current Music: "Rancho Deluxe", -JB
This is a wonderful exercise, and I think I might use this when teaching the 9 Virtues. It would be interesting to see which of the 9 Virtues their (the people who are taking the class) patrons exhibit most. We could even do a cross cultural analysis - and how do the 9 virtues differ in different cultures? Is hospitality different for the Celts and the Greeks and if so how? We could even break it down into the myths. What virtues are exhibited in certain myths? And...oh dear - you're giving me millions of ideas. Thank you!
It's fun to come up with new ways to get people to think about the Virtues, and having more and more ways to do it is good because person A might get it if you teach them one way, person B might get it if you teach it another, and person C might need you to teach it in a specific way :)
I'm glad I could provide another avenue of thought on these :) Let me know how it goes?
...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?"
I, for one, am less reconstructionist (fundamentalist?) than many, so I'm definitely interested in this sort of interpretive work. For me, religion should be an evolving thing, not static. I tend to get snippy with anyone that insists that their way of doing things is the way that it has always been done, and that it is the ONLY way, anyway.
I honestly could care less what some moldy old book says I should or should not do if I cannot apply it to modern life in some way. There are some things that our Ancestors did that we cannot/should not do, and a good example of this would be human sacrifice. There are also things that apply in our lives that would not have applied in theirs. For instance, we have an awful lot more comfort in our lives thanks to the current level of technology, but there are also downsides. Americans might be in need of a patron diety of exercise more than we need a patron diety of the hunt. I really can't imagine that the dieties, or at least our conception of them, couldn't have evolved along with humanity.
Besides which, studies of written history, anthropology, and archaeology can only go so far to describe to us what the ancients did. We are left mostly with items that didn't rot and weren't repurposed/recycled, and written history is often biased, so the picture we have of the past is, at best, incomplete, if not wholly inaccurate.
I think that as long as you note that your work is interpretive, and not indicative of Ancient Gaulish Religious Practice (tm), no one should have cause to think that you've morphed into a fluff bunny overnight [Gee, next you'll be telling us that you've recalled that you were one of the temple priests of Atlantis :) ], or to criticize your scholarship because you haven't heavily footnoted your references.
What would Gaulish Pagan religion have looked like IF the Romans hadn't conquered and IF Christianity didn't eventually supplant most of the native religion and folk practices? Who knows? Can't go back in time to change things.
Make sense to you? I hope so. It's a Monday after a particularly busy weekend, and I cannot guarantee that I'm managing to get my thoughts out in a coherent stream.
If nothing else, you have my support in continuing with your interpretive work.
Shhhh. You can't tell anyone that he was a temple priest at Atlantis. It's a secret, except for of course, those that buy his new book, "I Was a Temple Priest at Atlantis" for $29.95. ::::evil grin::::
All kidding aside, I think this work is helpful as well.
Shush! I don't need people telling folk what my next book is titled and what it's about!
Thanks. I'm big on labeling, after I've found numerous interpretations of the Esus myth that . . . well, they make no sense, but they're presented as "Ooh, this is the
Gaulish myth of Esus and his bull!" Like this one
: creative, pretty, and complete speculation.
The thing I worry most about, I think, is someone stumbling on it and co-opting what I'm doing and thinking it's somehow authentic. *shivers* If someone thinks I
know what I'm doing, well . . . *shivers again* :)
You shouldn't have to worry too much, though if it's creative and pretty enough, it'll wind up on someone else's website and you'll have to worry about them calling it authentic (if they even credit the author at all...)
*grins* Someone should :)
Very perceptive. Though I'm curious, what significance does the Crane have with your Grove in general?
Primarily, we use Garanus as our Gatekeeper. We may be the only Grove in ADF that doesn't use a deity for a Gatekeeper, and we're fairly consistent in that. It's kind of odd, but it works very well.
And, I have noticed, there is a real. . . well, a real love for Garanus within the Grove. People feel a very special connection to him, and express it in a variety of ways. Plus, he's not tied to any pantheon, so we can use him for all sorts of things that we do, and no one has to worry about being dragged "kicking and screaming" into another hearth culture if they don't want to :) The name may be Gaulish, but everyone has a crane :)