I’ve been reading Avalon Within by Jhenah Telendru and am thinking about using mythology as inspiration.
A long time ago, when I started reading grown up copies of the greek myths as oppose to the watered down illustrated kiddy versions, I decided I Did Not Like Greek Mythology. Let me sum it up for you:
“Rape rape rape what a bitch rape rape get in your place woman rape rape fight rape.”
This is sad, as I grew up on a healthy diet of kiddy mythology. I just can’t read stuff where women are treated so so badly. I just can’t. It makes me angry. I can’t do it.
I remember reading Laurie Cabot’s The Witch In Every Woman which uses tales from celtic mythology – here the poor goddesses are having a horrible time too. Rhiannon is accused of eating her baby (never mind that that is an INSANE excuse as to why the baby dissapeared) and is forced to carry people to and from the castle for twenty years as punishment. How rubbish is that. Branwen is forced to marry some irish dude who treats her like crap and has to ask her brother to save her, creating war between the kingdoms. Meanwhile, she is still being treated like crap by her husband.
Avalon Within encourages us to look to the Mabinogi to learn about the Goddesses of ancient Britain, (The Mabinogi is a book of Welsh mythology – it was in every bookshop when I lived in Wales) but says all the stories in it have been twisted by patriarchy so that the goddesses are treated badly and look crap. Whenever you research goddess myths guided by goddess peeps (or even by regular peeps occasionally) it always comes with the warning: This is not an accurate representation of Goddesses – these myths are written by a mysocgynistic culture and thus do not reflect the goddess’ original power, purpose or mythology.
I’m beginning to wonder if there is any point using mythology as research in that case, if every time we read a story we have to basically re-write it from the ground up.
Perhaps we need to re-write the goddess stories to mirror how they may once have been, or create new ones honouring their true gifts and powers. Because the old ones just ain’t cutting it. And they are making me angry.