(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Ross Arlen Tieken ross.a.tieken at gmail.com
Wed Apr 10 09:19:21 PDT 2013

Wolfe is not a "traditional" Catholic because he does actually believe  
that other gods exist. The vegetarianism is complicated though--it is  
a mark of those who are particularly sensitive and sacrificial and is  
not expected for most. Remember Wolfe is from Texas. Vegetarians  
aren't "normal" here (in Texas), but those who have religious reasons  
to do so receive high respect.
Also, I am a scholar of Neo-Paganism, and did some anthropological  
work in England with them for about six weeks. Their attitudes are not  
as simple as you recount them here; they are far more modern and  
dependent on modern attitudes, and far more influenced by Golden Dawn  
practices, which is sort of a hyper-modern ceremonial magic. On the  
other hand, there are those who are trying to resuscitate Anglo-Saxon  
or Germanic paganism, what they call Theodish beliefs or Heathenry.  
Their magical practice comes from casting the Runes, known as Asatru.  
But this group continues to attract members that are crypto-Nazi,  
white power, and weird Blavatskian root-race occultists. Now most of  
those who are a part of Heathenry are not those people, and they are  
still tainted with the ahistorical myth of the Christian Oppression of  
the Vikings, but in general they actually have a lot in common with  
normal folk Catholicism. Wolfe feels attracted to these people I am  
sure, as I did, but likely wished for something a little more  
historically grounded. In that way, he (and I) are not "traditional"  
Catholics, but that does not mean that we are outside orthodoxy.  
Catholicism subscribes to what used to be pagan ideas and attitudes;  
this is both acknowledged and embraced by the modern Church (having  
experienced the rebirth of early Church history and patristics in the  
1920's and 30's.


On Apr 10, 2013, at 9:01 AM, Lee Berman wrote:

>> Marc Aramini: I have always maintained it is the transformation of  
>> vegetable matter to blood
>> quite literally, the watchers behind silk being the vanished gods,  
>> the trees, who will eat of
>> flesh and be transformed into something between vegetable and  
>> flesh.  This is why the hyacinth
>> flower is so symbolically important as well at the end - the future  
>> is the convergence of blood
>> to flower and fruit to blood.
> I agree that the plant-animal connection of the Eucharist is an  
> important Wolfean theme which
> ties religious symbolism to naturalistic themes. Perhaps because I  
> am not catholic, I get the
> impression Wolfe is not quite content with the tranformation and  
> feels something further or
> more advanced is in our future.
> I am struck by a couple vegetarian advocacies in BotNS (Severian  
> musing on it as an ideal as he
> descends the cliff and also the concept of The Green Man). The  
> higher beings in the Sun series
> such as the hierodules and hierarchs would not seem to be meat- 
> eaters and The Neighbors seem to demonstrate an herbivorous,  
> ungulate sort of nature.
> I am also struck by the tendency toward vegetarianism for modern  
> paganists, who worship mother
> nature and Great God Pan and the Green Man and other dionysian  
> deities. Gene Wolfe has said
> that he is not a traditional Catholic and I wonder, from allusions  
> in his writing, whether he
> might partially subscribe to some paganistic ideas. His statement  
> that he considers the gods of
> paganism to be real jibes with this idea. 		 	   		
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