(urth) Laundress and Star (AEG spoilers)

brunians at brunians.org brunians at brunians.org
Mon Oct 20 05:56:21 PDT 2008

> Of course--I'm not using Chesterton as gold-star history here.  The
> question is whether we can infer that Wolfe had the sacrifices to
> Phoenician false gods in mind when he threw that "Cassiopeia weeps for
> her children" bit in.  It's certainly an interesting thought.  The
> Squid God is already Cthulhu layered with Cetus and sort of the pulp
> notion of a human sacrifice to quiet an angry volcano or storm.

I read a *way* interesting book about this, which does happen, in this
instance among the Mapuche of Chile. What actually is done (or was done in
this case) is that there is a disaster, volcano, storm, tsunami or
whatever and after the fact the sacrifice is done. The book is called 'The
Highest Altar': I have a copy around here somewhere.

The Mapuche are *very* traditional and their religious practice completely
non-Christian (altough there are Catholic and Protestant Mapuche (the
Incas never conquered the Mapuche, the Spanish never conquered the
Mapuche, the Chileans worked out an agreement with them)). Further north,
in the region around Lake Titicaca, the author investigates similar
practices which have become more or less syncretic and (here it becomes
very interesting) which the practitioners very consciously correlate with
European derived occult practices and Satanism.

>                                                              Are
> we meant to also take him as the deity honored by human sacrifice
> around the southern and eastern side of the Mediterranean?

That's his nephew Dagon.

>                                                               I don't
> know if this points toward any other interpretive clues, although it
> is interesting that what we typically consider a Greek myth is set in
> what is now Israel.

Who was Cadmus? Where did he come from? And Danae?

Where did people *think* that Perseus was from?

>                     That's rich turf--I doubt Wolfe would leave it
> fallow.

Wolfe is one of, like, three people I've met who really understands this

> Or maybe it's just Wolfe's guess at the origin of the Cetus myth.
> Ultimately the myth is about a queen trying to sacrifice her daughter
> to a monster, and the heroic foreigner who stops the sacrifice.

On one level. I don't think I would say 'ultimately'.

>                                                        Maybe
> Wolfe takes the myth as in part chiding by the Greeks of the
> child-sacrificing practice of their neighbors?

I doubt it, but maybe.

Maybe I was unclear about the Ba'al bit: all of these Kana'anim, Bni
Israel, Phoenicians, the lot of them, had lots of gods and one in
particular who was in charge of where you lived, addressed as Creator and
Master (or Creatress and Mistress) of the World, worshipped aniconically,
etc. Who it was varied on what city you were in. The Bni Israel, in the
time of David and Solomon, addressed YHWH as ba'al. Later on, the language
changed, the title confused with a proper name and applied only to the
other gods of other western Semitic cities.


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