Monomyth Earth

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Tue 16 May 1995 - 10:53:02 EEST

Sandy writes:

> I am one of the monomythized believers in a pre-Yelm worldwide
> Earth cult, though I don't claim Ernalda or any other currently-
> worshiped earth deity was recognizably present then. I believe
> that there are ancient Earth temples, all over Glorantha with
> weird throwbacks to ancient ways of thinking that seem abnormal
> to modern Gloranthan folk.

This is how I run things, too. Not that I'd say they were necessarily "monomythised". Just a heck of a lot older than any of the recent stuff (like Men, and Kings, and Emperors, and the like). Esrolia is a good example of this: it ain't a coincidence that their chief Earth Mother Goddess, "Esrola", sounds a heck of a lot like "Asrelia", who is recognised as GRANDmother Earth elsewhere in the more modern cultures. The Old Ways are strong, there.

(This doesn't connect to my other pet theory about Earth Goddesses, that "if Ernalda is the Mother Goddess, then Maran Gor is the Mother-in-Law Goddess," but I thought I'd mention it, just the same).

I've been thinking about the Four Elements, and their evolutionary sequence, and what this might mean for the Earth and the Moon. This next is a crackpot theory that you might find some Pelorian White Moonies believing:

THE WHITE MOON'S REIGN In the beginning, all of Glorantha was made of the Three Old Elements: Darkness, Water and Earth.

There was a pattern to Glorantha, which we call the Matrix. The Old Elements knew of the Matrix - in some ways, they were the Matrix - and this insight into the patterning of the world let them see what would come next. As when we watch our daughters weaving baskets, and ahead of their completion we can see the design is flawed, so the Three Old Elements saw what would complete the pattern of Glorantha. And it was flawed.

They foresaw a harsh, bright-shining orb, that would hang in the centre of everything and regulate all things by its presence. It would be ruled by a jealous, warlike Sun God, who would invent divisions in the world. He would bring unwanted blessings and hateful curses, and would change the world as nothing before it had done. It would be the end of the harmonious, consensual ordering of everything which the Three Old Elements had known. And it would finish the pattern: after this, nothing could ever change, for better or for worse.

So the Elements gave of themselves to pre-empt the flawed completion of the Matrix, as when we gently supply a reed which is long enough and strong enough to hold our daughters' baskets together, despite their flawed designs. They created a beautiful, serene orb to hang in the centre of everything. Darkness, and Water, and Earth, all of the Three Old Elements were mingled in the White Moon's creation. She ruled the crops, and the tides, and the secret powers within: but never overtly. She shone softly, not harshly, and moderated her light by passing through the phases, from full to dark and back again. She unified the world, to preserve the harmonious, consensual ordering of all things. Through her cycles of death and rebirth, she ensured that the pattern would never be wholly completed, that creative change and development would remain forever within the pattern of Glorantha. All things can change by moonlight.

Alas, their plans came to nought. The Sun God they had foreseen usurped our beautiful White Moon, casting her aside from her rightful place in the heavens and shattering her, bringing the masculine violence and destruction of Fire, War and Empire to the world. Her reign of peace is now a Mystery, unknown to most. But we know, we who keep the secrets of the White Moon's Reign. There is a completion to the Matrix which needs not the Empire and Warfare, Fire and the Sword: there are ways to achieve the harmonious ordering of everything, despite the flawed pattern of Glorantha. And this can still be attained, despite the treachery of the Red Moon's betrayal. For all things can change by moonlight, and we have moonlight aplenty to work with.

NOTES: After writing this, I wondered if the Styx, "The Last Drop of Darkness", was another attempt to preserve the "perfect" Matrix (of just one element) by anticipating its next step. Darkness that acts like Water, eh? Pretty suspicious...

I also think these people would have a myth explaining that it was through their surviving Lunar influence that the Sun God was induced to beget his heir and successor, who overthrew him, maintaining the cycle of changes in the world.

You see, we come from a basically Yelm-vs-Orlanth background: "Four Elements Good, Five Elements Bad" (or Better). Plus the Orlanth-vs-Lunar background: "Five Elements Good, Six Elements Bad" (or Better). I was just winding back the clock, to see what happened when the old female matriarchies were supplanted by solar imperial ways.

Again, I don't believe this is what happened, but I think someone in Glorantha might. And if anyone has heard or read Greg's "Naveria" story, it's very relevant: she would be the next stage in the myth of solar usurpation ("The Lunar Pre-Empire Strikes Back").

All Hail the Moon of Peace!
(but only if you want to)


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