Re: Ernaldan HQ

From: Jon Thorvaldson (
Date: Sun 04 Jan 1998 - 00:05:06 EET

Jane Williams wrote:

>"Priestesses of Ernalda also preside over the ritual with which any new
>child is welcomed into the clan. Unmentioned, because it is taken for
>granted, this ritual also cures the child of any congenital deformities...
>Was that the sort of thing you were after?

Not really. I was more after things like:

- -What sort of rituals or suchlike does a woman do when she wants a child?
- -What is done to ensure a healthy child?
- -What is done to ensure that she/they survives the birth?

IMO, the answers to these questions is found in myth and ritual. So what
myths do we have that deal with these things?

>I'd add to that, that the HQ required of a candidate for Ernalda
>priestess-hood is an attempt to re-enact Ernalda's early fecundity. The
>standard account (written by a bloke!), that says giving birth to a
>healthy child is a prerequisite, is missing the point as usual: if the
>HQ is successful, a child will be born, with no need for a father. Of
>course, men try to play down this idea, since it tends to diminish their
>importance :)

This is very interesting, and also very true to myth: How many
gods/godesses are not born without either parent, or wihtout any parents at
all! However, I think that it is not such a common phenomenon in the world:
IMO it would require quite unusual circumstances! But, as Glorantha does
not follow RW laws of biology, who knows? What is really needed for a child
to come into existance?

>I gather from scraps in KoS that "the Three" tend to make pronoucements
>at the child's birth: fate, geases, that kind of stuff. I've never yet
>managed to fit "the Three" into Orlanthi myth to my satisfaction: could
>they be three of the Earth goddesses? The three dark ones, who otherwise
>have no place in the child-birth cycle?

I envision that the mother and the newborn child are taken to the temple of
the Dark Earth (or something similar: a cave perhaps?) and that the child
is given a geas* by Ty Kora Tek, a prophecy or a ban about future
prosperity by Asrelia and... something else by Barbeester Gor. But Asrelia
is one of the Good Earth godesses... Hmm. Mixed 'em up, I did. But It fits
so well with Ty Kora Tek and Asrelia as the fates!

*A celtic concept: a ban or a foreknowledge of sorts. Sometimes it is
simply a ban ('Never refuse a fight.' 'Never tell your name to a
stranger.'), the breaking of which means serious bad luck or even death. At
other times it means that one will know how one shall die ('By a door.'
'Standing with one foot in water and the other on the back of a goat while
under a roof without walls, holding a golden spear.')

Jon Thorvaldson

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                        Jon Thorvaldson
                        Blodstensv. 1
                        S-752 58 Uppsala
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