Undines in South Novarya Wednesday, May 21 2008 

On a bright and sultry moonlit even, somewhere in the old Southlands of Novarya, two creatures (were they blondes or were they little mushroom-creatures?) walked far later than they really should have done. They came to a running stream beside a rocky cliff, and from somewhere, perhaps from a cave in the cliff, echoed haunting voices singing wordlessly the tune of the old Novaryani lullaby known as “Khindri”. We are privileged to have a brief record in sound of that memorable evening (since attached to a kinnie scene):

Undines in South Novarya

Were they the undines – the water-elementals – told of from of old, singing to sleep, perhaps, some human blonde-child or brunette-child stolen from her mothers on such a night as this?

We shall never know, for the listeners, shivering unaccountably despite the humid heat of that southern night, stole swiftly and silently back to their home.

Perhaps you will listen and decide for yourself.

The Legend of the White Buffalo Calf Maid Wednesday, Mar 5 2008 

Mengxia Yu adapted this story from a traditional Tellurian legend:

One day, two huntresses were out hunting for food in the Black Hills. They saw a white buffalo calf approaching them, and as they drew nearer it transformed into a beautiful maiden.

One of the huntresses had bad thoughts in her mind, so the maiden told her to step forward. The huntress did, and a black cloud descended over her body. When it dissipated, the huntress’s body had become withered and old.

The other huntress knelt and prayed to Dea. When she did this, the maiden told her to return to her people to tell them: “In four days, I shall bring you a sacred object.”

The second huntress did just as she was told. She immediately returned and gathered the elders, leaders, and all the maids in a circle. She told them what she had seen, and what the maiden had instructed her to do.

As promised, the maiden returned four days later. A cloud descended from the sky, and a white buffalo calf stepped from the cloud. The white buffalo calf stood up and transformed into the beautiful young maiden carrying the sacred object, the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, in her hands. She entered the circle of the maids, singing a sacred song.

The maiden remained for four days, teaching the maids. She taught them seven sacred ceremonies: The purification ceremony, the child naming ceremony, the healing ceremony, the adoption ceremony, the marriage ceremony, the vision quest, and the sun-dance ceremony. She taught them songs and the traditional ways. She taught them that as long as they remembered these ways, took care of the land, and served Dea, their people would never die, but always live.

When she had finished teaching the maids, she told them that one day she would return for the White Buffalo Calf Pipe. She gave them another gift, a prophecy: The birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that she would soon return. When she returned, she would purify the world, bringing back spiritual harmony and balance.

She departed the way she came, transforming into a white buffalo calf that stepped into a cloud which rose into the sky.

The birth of every white buffalo is a sign of Dea’s support for maidenkind against the Forces of Darkness. She is with us in these times of great danger.

Fairies from Vintesse? Sunday, May 20 2007 

Do you know the Cottingley fairy photographs? To my mind, one of the fascinating points about them – surprisingly rarely remarked on by critics – is how utterly Vintesse the fairies look. Just take a peek at the darlings. Look at their lovely up-to-date bobs and their perfect Puppenkopf faces. They might have stepped out of any Vintesse fairy-book and almost from a fashion plate of the Province.

Cottingley Fairies

This raises certain questions. Those doubting the pictures really ought (if they were more sensitive to qualitative rather than merely quantitative matters) to suggest that these clearly came from the imagination of Vintesse girls. Would real fairies present themselves in a manner so clearly influenced by human fashion?

My answer is – I think they might. There could be various explanations.

1. In the first place, fairies are not physical creatures. They are not normally visible. When they do take on visible forms, it might well be done with some assistance from the image-sphere of those to whom they are manifesting.

2. Human beings are the central or axial creatures of this world-system. We might well expect more peripheral creatures, who borrow their forms from humanity, to reflect something of the human ways of the time – just as courtly fairies in mediaeval descriptions resemble mediaeval human courts.

3. In historical Vintesse, the Western Islands were in a time of crisis, with the Great Darkness (that eventually eclipsed the culture and became the Pit) still being contested by the Stream of Light, which largely manifested itself in the Art-Neo spirit. Human beings were the main conduit for this spirit, but we need not necessarily assume that they were the only one.

Are there other fairy-friends in Aristasia? And what do they think?

The Feminine Earth: Earth Mother, Sky Mother Friday, Apr 13 2007 

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

Avala Wednesday, Apr 11 2007 

Miss Alice Trent said:

It has been suggested that Pure Aristasians are what the Greeks would have termed titans (or what the Buddhists call the long-lived gods) i.e. creatures living in a world of relative perfection – a kind of temporal heaven such as the Isles of the Blest. Such creatures do not require religion since they can neither sink below nor rise above their present state so long as that lasts.

However, since there is religion in Aristasia Pura, this would appear not to be the case.

Miss Ellhedrine added:

Miss Trent’s contention that Aristasia Pura is not a temporal paradise is confirmed by the fact that it has its own legends of such a paradise. It is called Avala and exists out on the Western Sea, “Yond of the seagulls’ cry” – to quote an Aristasian song I learned some time back, but I regret cannot fully remember now.

It is said that if one sails Westward, then just as in the East, there will come a point when Western technical things will cease to work, and if one could go far enough one would reach Avala, the land where the twelve golden apples of the sun grow on a great tree, tended by golden maidens.

Whether this is true or not – and, since Aristasia is a far less prosaic world than ours, it may well be – an earthly paradise would hardly have legends of finding an earthly paradise, now would it?

Avala

Do Aristasians believe in fairies? Wednesday, Apr 4 2007 

The idea that “longaevi”, nature spirirts, elementals and other creatures broadly understood as “fairies” are among the categories of being that inhabit our worlds is traditional among Aristasians as among most peoples. The idea that there are no fairies is historically the odd one and it seems to turn on the notion that only physical entities exist. The philosophical basis for this negative assertion is to say the least dubious.

The Feminine Universe implicitly accepts the existence of fairies in at least one place, so, while it is certainly not an “article of faith”, I think it is fairly generally accepted.

What precisely we mean by a fairy is, of course another matter. I think we tend to use the term for any creature that is neither human nor animal nor angel nor ghost nor demon.

Some people think that there are different planes of being, and that fairies live on another, which is why only certain individuals can “see” them. It is certainly true that the physical is only one level of being and that most people today have lost the ability to perceive other levels except on rare occasions when the worlds are exceptionally close. This is compounded by an ideology that denies their existence and therefore makes them even harder to see – a vicious circle of clouded perception.