Miss Johannah made an inspired connection:

I’m sure that this is probably obvious to sagettes among us, but it only recently dawned on me.

I was thinking about how Telluria abandoned its feminine nature socially in the ’60s and it occurred to me that they also abandoned their connection to the feminine mother earth at about the same time.

The Earth has always been regarded as Feminine. Mother Earth, nurturing and stable. The Pit has no respect for nature or the environment. People are not rooted in the ground and connected to the seasons the way they used to be.

It seems true to me that the Pit did not only reject beauty and femininity on a personal and social level, but also on the very profound level of rejecting its very home because it reminds it of feminine beauty.

What do other Pettes think?

Miss Madeleine Gray responded:

Miss Johannah has posed a wise question concerning the mother of us all.

The Mother Earth is of course feminine. She is the ultimate brunette, caring for us all in return for our respect and devotion.

Surely it is the duty of everypette to tend to her needs: that duty is part of the very nature of all of us.

Equally, the more we live in harmony with each other, the more we and our mother are in harmony. This is to the benefit of all.

Miss Karen added:

The contributions about our Mother Earth and the coincidence of the terrible attack on her beginning at the same time as the attack on femininity seem to be true and convincing.

But one thing puzzles me. In The Feminine Universe Miss Trent explains how, in patriarchal Telluria, the Earth Father and Sky Mother changed places, just as the Sun became masculine and the moon feminine – all part of the process of assigning the “superior” and “spiritual” elements to the masculine and the “inferior” and “material” to the feminine.

Is this right? Is Mother Earth a real concept or a patriarchal one? Can anyone help?

Miss Alice Trent responded:

Miss Karen’s question is a very interesting one. What must be remembered is that the whole concept of masculine deities is rather a late one. In the earliest times all deities were feminine. Masculine “gods” were introduced slowly, first as consorts and subjects of the All-Mother, then as equal partners, then as superior partners, and finally, in the latest monotheisms, the feminine deity was eliminated altogether from patriarchal theology.

However, in Aristasia, as in the primordial majority of Tellurian history, masculine deities do not need to enter into our reckoning at all.

As Miss Gray rightly says, the dark Earth is the archetypal Brunette, while the bright Sky or Sun is Blonde, and the two form a whole, often with the Rain or the Lightning regarded as the Mediatrix between the two.

And it may be remembered that while we speak of the pollution of the earth in Telluria, the problem affects the sky as well, with pollution of the air, weakening of the ozone layer and the poisoning of the Rain, the Mediatrix between Earth and Heaven.

So indeed, we may say that the whole of feminine nature has been under attack during the same period that femininity itself has been under attack.

Miss Carol wondered:

I was curious to hear Miss Trent speaking of the earth, sky and rain as deities. I don’t know if I have misunderstood, but is the religion of Aristasia a sort of primitive animism or nature worship?

Miss Alice Trent answered:

In order to answer Miss Carol’s interesting question, it is necessary to consider what we mean by terms such as animism and nature worship. In particular, we have to understand that when such terms are used by modern Tellurians (and by modern I here mean the last few centuries) they have a special colouring caused by the peculiar intellectual history of modern western Telluria.

The Christian West has undergone a process of separating nature from the Divine up to the point when that religion is inherently hostile to what it terms “the supernatural”, and indeed believes in a mechanistic, materialistic universe with God balanced (in my view rather uncomfortably) on the top.

The concept of nature implied by this view is of an inanimate agglomerate of matter – and when this civilisation speaks of “primitive nature worship” it tends to be projecting its own view of a purely material natural world onto earlier (and some current) peoples and imagining that it is this that they are worshipping – which would certainly be absurd.

However, since no such process has taken place in Aristasian thought, it must be understood that the Aristasian mind sees natural things as ensouled, or as outward manifestations of the eternal Archetypes which they embody. So while an Aristasian is not aware of the physical nature of the sun, or that the moon is a satellite, she also sees them as the physical manifestation of the Solar and Lunar principles which must always exist and therefore existed long before our physical sun and moon came into being and will exist long after they have passed away.

And so it is also with the earth, the rain, the planets and other “avatars” of eternal principles. They are to be honoured just as a Princess or a Mother is to be honoured – not merely for herself but as the bearer of a principle beyond herself.

As one begins to understand this, one sees that “nature worship” is no less intellectual or spiritual than the Higher Religions, as they are termed. In Aristasia reverence for nature and supernatural religion form a continuum, perhaps rather in the way that they still do in the Tellurian Far East.

I hope this clarifies the matter a little.

Miss Isalene added a footnote:

Miss Trent’s comments on “nature worship” reminded me of a poem written by a proto-Aristasian some time ago on the landing of an em-eh-en on the moon:

Thou, bender of high nature to thine own pedestrian ends
Have lied, and lied most grievously, to me:
Have told me that the Highest Huntress,
Ever-resplendent in her silvern chastity
Is merely an insensate clod of rock;
And to compound thy lie, have trod on it.

Apart from the rather neat conceit of “to compound thy lie have trod on it” – one may indeed compound a thing by treading on it, but it is not the lie here that has been trodden on, but the “clod of rock” – the point of the verse is surely the one Miss Trent was making. It is not denied that the “clod of rock” exists and can be trodden on, but to claim that the said clod is the sum total of the eternal Entity called the Moon – that is the lie.

See also
The Earth Mother: A fallacy for all seasons