"I'm Not Dead!"

From: John Hughes <nysalor_at_primus.com.au>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 14:28:36 +1000

DEATH AND THE UNDERWORLD I'm certainly with Martin on this one: IRW mythology heroes often enter various underworlds/hells without separating body and breath. In fact, that's what makes their presence there so remarkable.

I'm certainly comfortable for death imagery to be associated with something like the Lightbringer's Quest, which involved a cosmic resurrection, but less so in other areas.

The debate seems afflicted by definitional paroxysm where 'being dead' is defined as 'being in the land of the dead'. Can we come up with something less circular? What does it mean for a deity to be 'dead'? Is Yelm dead? Is Humakt (or indeed Hueymakt) dead? Does Elmal die every night? What is the difference between Ernalda 'sleeping' (my understanding and also the HW term) and being (temporarily) 'dead'. (very little, I suspect).

If death, as the runes tell us, is also 'separation', then I see a few ways forward. If a deity is 'separated', then what are they separated from? Their place in the cosmos? Their cosmic powers? Their worshippers? I suspect the Descent of the Red Goddess may provide some clues here.


nysalor_at_primus.com.au                          John Hughes

For every thing that lives is holy, life delights in life; Because the soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd. - - William Blake.

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