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Author Topic: Alternate Versions of Myths  (Read 182 times)

Zlote Jablko

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Alternate Versions of Myths
« on: January 14, 2019, 12:03:44 am »
Hello everyone. I’m searching for Goddesses in Slavic folklore, due to their relative scarcity in medieval chronicles about Slavic paganism. I’ve retraced the steps of a number of scholars who say folklore contains remnants of a struggle for the Goddess Mokosh between two male suitors.
The link below alludes to the relevant work by Ivanov/Toporov and Belaj.

It looks like a struggle between the underworld God Veles and the celestial Perun for the “hand” of Mokosh. In some stories she is abducted, but in others she is portrayed as a traitor. In the outskirts of Moscow, the term for the Goddess survived as a word for a promiscuous woman (Mokosja). The Mokosha also appears as a vengeful spirit in north Russian folklore who punished women for spinning flax on her holy day. She seems broadly similar to the Lithuanian Laume and Laima, female figures associated with spinning and fate. This is a familiar archetype for me of course, but in other ways I find her difficult to pin down.


I feel I am coming to appreciate her, but I’m struggling with stories that seem to portray her as adulterous whereas others are more favorable.
What do you recommend for contradictory stories like this?



http://sms.zrc-sazu.si/pdf/06/SMS_06_Marjanic.pdf

ehbowen

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Re: Alternate Versions of Myths
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 01:42:01 am »
I feel I am coming to appreciate her, but I’m struggling with stories that seem to portray her as adulterous whereas others are more favorable.
What do you recommend for contradictory stories like this?

Even with human girls, it's not unusual for jealousy and envy to spawn vicious, unfounded rumors. I can't weigh in on this either way, no data, but if you feel a connection maybe you could look closer to "the source" to get a better idea of which stories are true and which are malicious gossip.
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Altair

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Re: Alternate Versions of Myths
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 06:42:55 am »
Hello everyone. I’m searching for Goddesses in Slavic folklore, due to their relative scarcity in medieval chronicles about Slavic paganism. I’ve retraced the steps of a number of scholars who say folklore contains remnants of a struggle for the Goddess Mokosh between two male suitors.
The link below alludes to the relevant work by Ivanov/Toporov and Belaj.

It looks like a struggle between the underworld God Veles and the celestial Perun for the “hand” of Mokosh. In some stories she is abducted, but in others she is portrayed as a traitor. In the outskirts of Moscow, the term for the Goddess survived as a word for a promiscuous woman (Mokosja). The Mokosha also appears as a vengeful spirit in north Russian folklore who punished women for spinning flax on her holy day. She seems broadly similar to the Lithuanian Laume and Laima, female figures associated with spinning and fate. This is a familiar archetype for me of course, but in other ways I find her difficult to pin down.


I feel I am coming to appreciate her, but I’m struggling with stories that seem to portray her as adulterous whereas others are more favorable.
What do you recommend for contradictory stories like this?



http://sms.zrc-sazu.si/pdf/06/SMS_06_Marjanic.pdf

Myth is fluid. They change over time, with the storyteller, etc.--and sometimes end up in contradictory places. Why not run with the interpretation you're most comfortable with? Or if you can wrap your head around it, maybe there's a way embrace the contradiction, to reconcile the opposing elements of the various myths to reveal something about us and our world?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

arete

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Re: Alternate Versions of Myths
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 01:27:39 pm »
I feel I am coming to appreciate her, but I’m struggling with stories that seem to portray her as adulterous whereas others are more favorable.
What do you recommend for contradictory stories like this?
I can tell you about the greek gods. Orthodox Christians accuse us pagans that the Gods we worship all have vice. According to christian morality, the greek gods are petty. So we don't evaluate the greek gods with christian morality. So we approach the myths of our gods with a free clear and true perspective. I suggest to reapproach freely the myth of the goddess and see what the myth really teaches, in my opinion  :)

Pickle

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Re: Alternate Versions of Myths
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 03:41:16 pm »
I’m struggling with stories that seem to portray her as adulterous whereas others are more favorable.
What do you recommend for contradictory stories like this?

I've a similar issue, though not exactly the same.

I've been feeling drawn to Cerridwen over the past year or so (who I don't necessarily view as a goddess, but nevertheless an important figure).  But initially I rejected the fact that she's portrayed as both vengeful for chasing down the person who mistakenly spilled (and consequently used up) her magical potion (who is in most versions of the tale a young boy) and then later as pretty much murderous for having resolved to kill the infant she bore (who wasn't killed afterall, and later became Taliesin).

I guess that now, I'm working toward seeing her more in her aspects as the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge/inspiration, and as symbolising creativity & transformation.  (And recalling that in the tale, although she may have resolved to kill the infant she didn't actually go through with it -- and thought & deed are different things.)

I'm not sure if that's any help to you at all?

Edit: added a final line
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 03:43:05 pm by Pickle »
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Eastling

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Re: Alternate Versions of Myths
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 06:24:59 pm »
Even with human girls, it's not unusual for jealousy and envy to spawn vicious, unfounded rumors. I can't weigh in on this either way, no data, but if you feel a connection maybe you could look closer to "the source" to get a better idea of which stories are true and which are malicious gossip.

I think this is a good idea.

Given the nature of myth and story as well as our own fragmentary information about past religions, whenever we attempt to reconstruct a given Power's myths, we're going to run into conflicting versions. This is especially true of goddesses, which isn't surprising because so many cultures throughout history have had (and still have) complicated problems with women, and goddesses are often expected to carry a lot of that baggage.

I suggest giving up on getting a quick answer to these questions about Mokosh from any specific academic source. Instead, settle in for a long haul of getting to know her while letting her incongruities and different versions exist side by side in your mind. Eventually, you'll likely develop a better feel for what deeper truths the contradictions point to.
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