Re: Corn Rites (from HW)

From: Ian Cooper <>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 10:14:24 +0100 (BST)

Moved this from the HW list:

>I recently ran an episode for our group, which
involved the HonEel corn rites. I decided to modify the supposition that Alanthore is the *victim' in the rights and made Sinoda the victim.<

Peter Metcalfe
>Why? HonEel rescues Sinoda by killing Alanthore and
gets corn.

In the original myth Sinoda dies (though prior to this he gives HonEel corn) murdered by Alanthore. So for Sinoda to live breaks the existing myth, instead of following it.

>Having them play innocent Sinoda diminishes this
concern IMO as it just becomes another version of Sacrificial King (already prominent in Tarsh and Esrolia).<

But that is part of the reason that in Tarsh and Esrolia such an interpretation of Alanthore seems likely to me. They already have an Earth tradition of sacrificial kingship. Far easier for HonEel to integrate the rites if they follow a religious pattern that already exists in the area. "Yes these rites involver a sacrificial king just like before...". In addition it dovetails with HonEel's assasination of Pyjeemsab. She seduces him, sacrifices him and then bears his child. Phoronostes, like HonEel's earlier child is doomed to die a tragic death... Surely HonEel is repeating the sacrificial rite here, dancing the same steps.

>But Sinoda is not meant to be a sacrificial king.
That appears in Orlanthi rites (based on a celtic parallel) whereas the corn ritual is ultimately from Bliss in Ignorance (and modelled on an Aztec rites to Xipec Toltec, our lord of flayed skins) where no sacrificial king appears.<

Sure Bliss in Ignorance may use native American parallels (though my copy of Campbell says that they are just variations on the sacrificial kingship theme). But why wouldn't the Orlanthi use European parallels for their corn fertility rituals as well. Surely the fit is better, the ritual and its interpretation likely to make more sense to them. Sure they may do it differently in Bliss In Ignorance, but who is to say who is right and who is wrong. Isn't the Emperor's participation in the rights 'sacrificial kingship' Isn't this another example of what HonEel tried to achieve by (mis)identifying Ernalda with She-Who_Waits, the blending of foreign and native cults.

>[...] with the seduction and sacrifice of Pyjeemsab,

>Pyjeemsab was not sacrificed. Murdered, perhaps, but
it's more probable that his ticker expired in the marriage bed.<

Why? With the Tarshite history of sacrificial kinship would such a sacrifice not be the likely explanation, with HonEel's history, why not propose that this is another performance of the same dance, instead of a soemthing new.

I do appreciate the desire for 'newness' in Glorantha rather thatn repeats, but the fit just seems so good to me.

Ian Cooper      

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