Lady of the Wilds

From: David Cake (
Date: Tue 28 Mar 2000 - 19:03:44 EEST

>I've pointed out recently on-list that most religious cults will have a mystic
>component (indeed, it's one of the four functions of religion, as pointed out
>by J. Campbell, but probably not his original idea : description of reality,
>basis of accepted morality, ritual life of the faithful (a very complex set
>of notions, and not to be dismissed : basically their life cycles), and the
>mystic life (whether charismatic, philosophical, intellectual, aesthetic,
>transcendant, whatever).

        A very good point. I'd add that in Glorantha, it may five
components, there is always the practical magical component as well.
        The basic point, that all cults have a mystic component, is a very
important one. I'm pleased to see it reflected in the HW rules.

>BUT ; for a cult to be 'mystic', the mysticism of the religion must be
>dominant. And this doesn't work with the LotW as far as I can see.

        Yes. There is a mystic secret here, but not a mystic life. The
basic mystic path is about union with the divine, the absolute, and a
rejection of worldly life. THe LotW path is different - its about
interacting deeply with the world, or at least specific parts of it, even
though it rejects normal human life.

>I could go on at great length, but I basically think that the LotW
>is a shamanic goddess. Certainly, she might have a stronger mystic
>component than most ; moreso than Odayla *certainly*.

        I agree.

>But I also think that the way to go would be to develop her as an exotic
>shamanic tradition. Her devotees awaken no fetches, don't travel in
>the Spirit Plane (at least, not explicitely), and don't confront a
>'Bad Man' during their initiation rituals.

        Yes, animal allies. They don't travel on the spirit plane, they
'vision quest' - alter their perceptions so that they can see and interact
with the near spirit plane. And I think their initiation is confronting the
lady herself in some way - they are casting off their old human civilised
self, and becoming one of the ladies wild creatures.



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