Re: Shargash

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 03:11:52 +0100 (BST)

Peter Metcalfe:
> > > Hardly. The comments about Tolat are fairly sparse and in
> > > the only one-line description of his cult (Player's Book:
> > > Genertela p34), his "cult somewhat resembles a combination
> > > of the Humakt and Uleria cults".
> >I'm happy to stipulate to the sparseness of the evidence (though
> >what you've cited _precisely_ supports what I just said, in fact).
> I do think there's a big difference between saying that X is
> fairly consistently described as Y and noting that there's only
> a single mention of X's cult somewhat resembling Z (which could
> be validly construed as Y but also could not be). Although weak
> reeds can be precise supports, it is still unwise to rest your
> argument upon them.

If you'd be happier with a form of words such as "such evidence as there is", then that will suffice.

> >Since he has a specific "husband" role, including both sexual
> >pleasure and procreation, his Fertility aspect seems to me to
> >be fairly considerable. ("Equal amounts" was not part of my
> >proposition.)
> Since most gods can be said to have similar roles, I do find
> it very dubious to point to those roles as being evidence of a
> Fertility aspect and thus Tolat is a fertility deity.

I'd be glad to hear of an example of a deity whose role of singledivinitiedly  climaxing and impregnating an entire nation, without any "mundane" intervention (MOBly revisionism aside) is "similar".

> In any case, Tolat only does this once a year and considering
> the full importance of his destructive nature, I'll hazard the
> guess that the night of Uxorial Ecstasy is the _only_ time that
> he's capable of doing so.

To paraphrase Sandy P, "once is evidently more than enough".

> >What do you mean by "the" classification of the divine world?
> >The point is that there are many such.
> "the" refers to the system that you were objecting to, being
> based on gloranthan publications, past and present.


> >You're clearly appealing to an objective one,
> I am? It is?


> >and either "not giving a damn" about the subjective
> >cosmologies of cultures where they differ from this, or assuming
> >that _they do not differ_, which I would certainly dispute.
> I said nothing of the sort. I said I didn't give a damn
> about the philosophical basis of the classification and
> simply used it for its utility value. The issue of whether
> cultural cosmologies differ from it is a completely different
> question from whether the classification system is objective
> or subjective.

On the contrary, that is precisely the same question. I'm not speaking of "subjective classification" in the straw-man sense of "I, myself, think the gods are like [blah]", I mean pertaining to different cultural/religious perspectives.

> In the case of Dendara/Entekos, it is unambiguously recognized
> that Dendara is the same as Entekos, so how is this specifically
> relevant?

This is specifically relevant becuase that is _not_ unambiguously recognised, and because it specifically _fails_ the obvious "common initiation" test. (To recast this as "same or different aspect" is to propose more problems than one is likely to solve, I think.)

> >this is a pretty clear indication
> >that this is not the case, at least for the Gloranthans concerned.
> >The proposed identity _is for them_ uncertain.
> I really need examples before I could either affirm or demolish
> this. I don't know for which gloranthans is the identification
> of God X with God Y is uncertain and for the known case of the
> Dara Happans/Orlanthi, the identities [Orlanth/Terminatus,
> Shargash/Jagrekriand, Yelm/Evil Emperor etc] are certain.

I suspect this will lead to a series of unchecked assertions rather than either affirmation of "demolition", but try:



And here's an easy one:


> You are assuming that the Heortlings look at Shargash and see
> the Annihilation/Void rune.

That's not _my_ assumption; rather, that's my inference from your apparent contention that Shargash _is_ the Great God of Annihilation/Void, and that such associations have universalist significance and recognition.

> They don't but see the Shargash rune which does not have chaotic
> connotations and is somewhat present in their own runic system

In other words, the "Core" rune of Annihilation/Void is essentially unknown to the Heortlings, and they blithely "miss" Shargash's allegedly fundamental runic association entirely? This is surely to either suppose a Core rune set that isn't very core, or some Heortlings that are fairly dense.

> >That they don't suggests to me that either he isn't,
> >in any usefully universalist sense, or that the Orlanthi have some
> >quite different perception of said Core Rune (which would rather
> >negate the point of it being a Core Rune).
> They have a different perception of the Core Rune but its power
> is still the same.

And this perception is what?

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