Once there was a beautiful bright star named Sothis, as fine as any goddess. She had long held a dominant position in the sky and been admired by all for her beauty. But of late she had felt unwell; indeed, it distinctly seemed to her that she felt her life ebbing away. Night by night she fell further from her high, proud place in the sky - closer to the skyline and what must surely be her certain death.
Failing, failing, she clung to any companion star she could find, only to discover that they too felt this deathly weakness, and were sinking into a kind of sweet sleep. What was she to do ? She felt her strength going nightly; she could hardly shine the way she wished. Once she had been as glamorous, as scintillating a queen of the night sky as ever had been seen.
And now she felt she was as worthless as any old woman, her position at the centre of things gone, and her beauty fading steadily. . . . Towards the end she wept bitterly and her eyes reddened with the shame of her coming eclipse. She was so ill, her discomfort so acute. She was almost glad to welcome her fate, and that terrible line of earth and hills which she had dreaded, at last devoured her brilliant presence entirely. The night came and she was no more. Beneath the earth she rested in the balm of death.
But because this queen of the sky had been good during her ascendancy and had not been too haughty or vulgar, there were many admirers of her beauty to mourn her passing. Down on the lowly earth moved less brilliant mortals. Many nights they had stood in awe of the beautiful Sothis when she was in her prime.
Some, indeed, had watched her birth when, red as a baby from the womb or as the Sun when he rises daily, this bright and beautiful immortal (or so she had seemed) had first flashed the most piercing and glittering rays of her incomparable presence sideways across the earth seeming almost to scorch the very ground with her flaming beauty. This first appearance had been brief, for immediately behind her had come the all-engrossing grandeur of the great Sun himself. Heedless of Sothis, he soon washed the sky white with his splendor.
All the stars dissolved like tiny drops of milk, lost when their bowl is suddenly filled to overflowing. So great was the Sun, so irresistible his presence - he whom some compared to a great wild bull bellowing and lording it over the heavens and the earth alike. But every night the Sun retired to his resting place, and night by night the flaming goddess Sothis entranced and bewitched mortal men, as she rose steadily higher and grew to great perfection. And further and further ahead of the Sun she rose each night.
But with her absence, how barren, how bleak, the sky now seemed. The disappearance of this renowned beauty from the vault of the heavens seemed such an unbearable deprivation. How the goddess was missed! Many mortal men shed bitter tears not to see the beauty who had infatuated them with her glancing eyes, her winsome smile, her slim waist and delicate feet. Were they never again to see her light tread in the celestial round dance of the stars ?
Day followed night, and the sorrow of many became soothed by time's healing wings, which slowly fold themselves around the sufferer in invisible layers of sleep, forgetfulness, and the new interests which life must bring. The beautiful Sothis, though mourned, was lost only to the sight. For all remembered her, and that image of her burned into memory was so glorious, that to expect her actual presence came to seem almost too much to ask of many-hued, shifting, and various Fate.
The shepherd stood transfixed; his eyes were seared by this fresh star, dripping it seemed, with the waters of life, and aflame also with the fiery resurgence of its renewed existence. As the quick Sun behind her moved up to erase Sothis's tantalizingly brief appearance, the shepherd turned and ran to the nearest settlement. 'Awake! Awake! The goddess has returned! She is reborn, immortal, come back from death!' And all the devotees assembled with excitement and renewed hope. They heard the tale, saw for themselves the next morning, and they instituted a yearly celebration.
This celebration exists to this day, and many are the temples, many are the priests, who gather . . . to witness the much-heralded yearly rebirth of the great Sothis, Mother Isis, bestower of concord and blessings to her people. (The Sirius Mystery)
"Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep."
|REX HAIRY SON.|
The main argument of the book may be summarized as the claim of an early (Neolithic) discovery of the precession of the equinoxes (usually attributed to Hipparchus, 2nd century BCE), and an associated very long-lived Megalithic civilization of "unsuspected sophistication" that was particularly preoccupied with astronomical observation. The knowledge of this civilization about precession, and the associated astrological ages, would have been encoded in mythology, typically in the form of a story relating to a millstone and a young protagonist—the "Hamlet's Mill" of the book's title, a reference to the kenning Amlóða kvren recorded in the Old Icelandic Skáldskaparmál. The authors indeed claim that mythology is primarily to be interpreted as in terms of archaeoastronomy ("mythological language has exclusive reference to celestial phenomena") . . .
The book's project is an examination of the "relics, fragments and allusions that have survived the steep attrition of the ages". In particular, the book reconstructs a myth of a heavenly mill which rotates around the celestial pole and grinds out the world's salt and soil, and is associated with the maelstrom. The millstone falling off its frame represents the passing of one age's pole star (symbolized by a ruler or king of some sort), and its restoration and the overthrow of the old king of authority and the empowering of the new one the establishment of a new order of the age (a new star moving into the position of pole star). ("Hamlet's Mill")
This sharp distinction between the sacred and the profane is Eliade’s trademark theory. According to Eliade, traditional man distinguishes two levels of existence: (1) the Sacred, and (2) the profane world. (Here "the Sacred" can be God, gods, mythical ancestors, or any other beings who established the world's structure.) To traditional man, things "acquire their reality, their identity, only to the extent of their participation in a transcendent reality". Something in our world is only "real" to the extent that it conforms to the Sacred or the patterns established by the Sacred.
Hence, there is profane space, and there is sacred space. Sacred space is space where the Sacred manifests itself; unlike profane space, sacred space has a sense of direction:
In the homogeneous and infinite expanse, in which no point of reference is possible and hence no orientation is established, the hierophany [appearance of the Sacred] reveals an absolute fixed point, a center.
Where the Sacred intersects our world, it appears in the form of ideal models (e.g., the actions and commandments of gods or mythical heroes). All things become truly "real" by imitating these models. Eliade claims: "For archaic man, reality is a function of the imitation of a celestial archetype." . . . each thing on Earth corresponds to a sacred, celestial counterpart: for the physical sky, there is a sacred sky; for the physical Earth, there is a sacred Earth; actions are virtuous by conforming to a sacred pattern. . . .
Further, there is profane time, and there is sacred time. According to Eliade, myths describe a time that is fundamentally different from historical time (what modern man would consider "normal" time). "In short," says Eliade, "myths describe … breakthroughs of the sacred (or the ‘supernatural’) into the World". The mythical age is the time when the Sacred entered our world, giving it form and meaning: "The manifestation of the sacred ontologically founds the world". Thus, the mythical age is sacred time, the only time that has value for traditional man.
Origin as power
According to Eliade, in the archaic worldview, the power of a thing resides in its origin, so that "knowing the origin of an object, an animal, a plant, and so on is equivalent to acquiring a magical power over them". The way a thing was created establishes that thing's nature, the pattern to which it should conform. By gaining control over the origin of a thing, one also gains control over the thing itself.Eliade concluded that, if origin and power are to be the same, "it is the first manifestation of a thing that is significant and valid". The Sacred first manifested itself in the events of the mythical age; hence, traditional man sees the mythical age as the foundation of value.
Eliade's theory implies that as the power of a thing lies in its origin, the entire world's power lies in the cosmogony. If the Sacred established all valid patterns in the beginning, during the time recorded in myth, then the mythical age is sacred time — the only time that contains any value. Man's life only has value to the extent that it conforms to the patterns of the mythical age. . . .
The mythical age was the time when the Sacred appeared and established reality. For traditional man, Eliade argues, (1) only the first appearance of something has value; (2) only the Sacred has value; and, therefore, (3) only the first appearance of the Sacred has value. Because the Sacred first appeared in the mythical age, only the mythical age has value. According to Eliade’s hypothesis, "primitive man was interested only in the beginnings … to him it mattered little what had happened to himself, or to others like him, in more or less distant times". Hence, traditional societies express a "nostalgia for the origins", a yearning to return to the mythical age. To traditional man, life only has value in sacred time.
Eliade also explained how traditional man could find value for his own life (in a vision of where all events occurring after the mythical age cannot have value or reality); he indicated that, if the Sacred's essence lies only in its first appearance, then any later appearance must actually be the first appearance. Thus, an imitation of a mythical event is actually the mythical event itself, happening again — myths and rituals carry one back to the mythical age:
"In imitating the exemplary acts of a god or of a mythic hero, or simply by recounting their adventures, the man of an archaic society detaches himself from profane time and magically re-enters the Great Time, the sacred time."
Myth and ritual are vehicles of "eternal return" to the mythical age. Traditional man's myth- and ritual-filled life constantly unites him with sacred time, giving his existence value. As an example of this phenomenon, Eliade cites church services, by which churchgoers "return" to the sacred time of Scripture:
"Just as a church constitutes a break in plane in the profane space of a modern city, [so] the service celebrated inside [the church] marks a break in profane temporal duration. It is no longer today's historical time that is present—the time that is experienced, for example, in the adjacent streets—but the time in which the historical existence of Jesus Christ occurred, the time sanctified by his preaching, by his passion, death, and resurrection. . . ."
Eliade attributes the well-known "cyclic" view of time in ancient thought to the eternal return. In many religions, a ritual cycle correlates certain parts of the year with mythical events, making each year a repetition of the mythical age. . . . By periodically bringing man back to the mythical age, these liturgical cycles turn time itself into a circle. Those who perform an annual ritual return to the same point in time every 365 days: "With each periodical [ritual] festival, the participants find the same sacred time—the same that had been manifested in the festival of the previous year or in the festival of a century earlier."
According to Eliade, some traditional societies express their cyclic experience of time by equating the world with the year:
"In a number of North American Indian languages the term world (= Cosmos) is also used in the sense of year. The Yokuts says 'the world has passed,' meaning 'a year has gone by.' For the Yuki, the year is expressed by the words for earth or world. [...] The cosmos is conceived [of] as a living unity that is born, develops, and dies on the last day of the year, to be reborn on New Year's Day. [...] At every New Year, time begins ab initio."
The New Year ritual reenacts the mythical beginning of the cosmos. Therefore, by the logic of the eternal return, each New Year is the beginning of the cosmos. Thus, time flows in a closed circle, always returning to the sacred time celebrated during the New Year: the cosmos's entire duration is limited to one year, which repeats itself indefinitely.
These ritual cycles do more than give humans a sense of value. Because traditional man identifies reality with the Sacred, he believes that the world can endure only if it remains in sacred time. He periodically revives sacred time through myths and rituals in order to keep the universe in existence. In many cultures, this belief appears to be consciously held and clearly stated. From the perspective of these societies, the world
"must be periodically renewed or it may perish. The idea that the Cosmos is threatened with ruin if not annually re-created provides the inspiration for the chief festival of the California Karok, Hupa, and Yurok tribes. In the respective languages the ceremony is called 'repair' or 'fixing' of the world, and, in English, 'New Year'. Its purpose is to re-establish or strengthen the Earth for the following year or two years."
To some, the theory of the eternal return may suggest a view of traditional societies as stagnant and unimaginative, afraid to try anything new. However, Eliade argues that the eternal return does not lead to "a total cultural immobility". If it did, traditional societies would never have changed or evolved, and "ethnology knows of no single people that has not changed in the course of time". The mere fact that traditional societies have colonized new lands and invented new technologies proves that the eternal return hasn't suppressed their sense of initiative.
Far from suppressing creativity, Eliade argues, the eternal return promotes it:
"There is no reason to hesitate before setting out on a sea voyage, because the mythical Hero has already made [such a voyage] in the fabulous Time. All that is needed is to follow his example. Similarly, there is no reason to fear settling an unknown, wild territory, because one knows what to do. One has merely to repeat the cosmogonic ritual, whereupon the unknown territory (= 'Chaos') is transformed into 'Cosmos'."
According to Eliade, traditional man has endless creative possibilities because "the possibilities for applying the mythical model are endless".
"Terror of History"
According to Eliade, this yearning to remain in the mythical age causes a "terror of history". Traditional man desires to escape the linear march of events, empty of any inherent value or sacrality. In Chapter 4 of The Myth of the Eternal Return (entitled "The Terror of History") and in the appendix to Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, Eliade suggests that the abandonment of mythical thought and the full acceptance of linear, historical time, with its "terror", is one of the reasons for modern man's anxieties. Traditional societies escape this anxiety to an extent, as they refuse to completely acknowledge historical time. Eliade describes the difference between ancient and modern man's reactions to history, as well as modern man's impotence before the terror of history, as follows:
"In our day, when historical pressure no longer allows any escape, how can man tolerate the catastrophes and horrors of history—from collective deportations and massacres to atomic bombings—if beyond them he can glimpse no sign, no transhistorical meaning; if they are only the blind play of economic, social, or political forces, or, even worse, only the result of the 'liberties' that a minority takes and exercises directly on the stage of universal history?
"We know how, in the past, humanity has been able to endure the sufferings we have enumerated: they were regarded as a punishment inflicted by God, the syndrome of the decline of the 'age,' and so on. And it was possible to accept them precisely because they had a metahistorical meaning [...] Every war rehearsed the struggle between good and evil, every fresh social injustice was identified with the sufferings of the Saviour (or, for example, in the pre-Christian world, with the passion of a divine messenger or vegetation god), each new massacre repeated the glorious end of the martyrs. [...] By virtue of this view, tens of millions of men were able, for century after century, to endure great historical pressures without despairing, without committing suicide or falling into that spiritual aridity that always brings with it a relativistic or nihilistic view of history"
Terror of the eternal return
In general, according to Eliade, traditional man sees the eternal return as something positive, even necessary. However, in some religions, such as Buddhism and certain forms of Hinduism, the traditional cyclic view of time becomes a source of terror:
"In certain highly evolved societies, the intellectual élites progressively detach themselves from the patterns of traditional religion. The periodical resanctification of cosmic time then proves useless and without meaning. [...] But repetition emptied of its religious content necessarily leads to a pessimistic vision of existence. When it is no longer a vehicle for reintegrating a primordial situation [...] that is, when it is desacralized, cyclic time becomes terrifying; it is seen as a circle forever turning on itself, repeating itself to infinity."
When the world becomes desacralized, the traditional cyclic view of time is too firmly entrenched to simply vanish. It survives, but in a profane form (such as the myth of reincarnation). Time is no longer static, as for the Karadjeri, for whom almost every action imitates a mythical model, keeping the world constantly in the mythical age. Nor is time cyclical but sacred, as for the ancient Mesopotamians, whose ritual calendar periodically returned the world to the mythical age. Rather, for some Dharmic religions, "time was homologized to the cosmic illusion (māyā)".
For most of traditional humanity, linear history is profane, and sacredness lies in cyclic time. But, in Buddhism, Jainism, and some forms of Hinduism, even cyclic time has become profane. The Sacred cannot be found in the mythical age; it exists outside all ages. Thus, human fulfilment does not lie in returning to a sacred time, but in escaping from time altogether, in "a transcendence of the cosmos." In these religions, the "eternal return" is less like the eternal return in most traditional societies (for whom time has an objective beginning, to which one should return) and more like the philosophical concept of eternal return — an endless cosmic cycle, with no beginning and, thus, no inherently sacred time. ("Eternal return (Eliade)")
|THE DOUBLE-WANDED ONE.|
|(Michael Osiris Snuffin)|
Star Wars is Eternal Return to Mythic Time as A New Hope, and thus becomes a ritual rite re-enacting the same. Rey takes the Millennium Falcon and Darth Vader's lightsaber; i.e. the Aeon of Horus becomes the woman girt with a sword before the Hierophant.
Rey holds the Pole. Luke Skywalker as Mark HAMILL = HAMLET'S MILL turning the STARS around the pole. His mother Padme as Natalie Portman travels the World-Tree Yggradrasil in Thor; the Star of the heights as the Daughter is rescued from the depths and raised to the throne of the Mother.
Finn as the "runaway slave" of the ever-returning Nemi rite is but a platonic adorant of the Goddess with the Pole—he effectively goes from being a slave of the expansive blonde to a slave of the resistive brunette (Rey, RAEH or Rhea).
Finn is named after Mark Twain's narrative as much as James Joyce. His scene with Captain Phasma is the Union soldier pointing the bayonet at his old plantation mistress—"No more driver's lash for me, no more ..."
Stormtroopers are Pole Ice that become the garment of sin cast off by Finn as he approaches Rey—which is exactly what was said last year about Mike Brown (of the Left Banke and West Coast).
The Brits fought the Nazis, but now the Brits are the Nazis; the Other was always the Same in the new British Invasion. It's V for Vendetta British Fascists with the children of Natalie Portman. The Nazis are the "axis" of the Swastika turning around the pole; i.e. Spaceboy Bowie's Blackstar. The Republic of merciful liberal democracy has no center, but its severe core as a star-destroying planet (i.e. it's a "Star Destroyer," get it?) is the anti-center that is paradoxically the darkness as one approaches the true Pole; the Nazis at the South Pole. Something Sirius hidden and revealed when one finds that The Empire Never Ended.
|"Pink Laser Avatar"|
THE FOOL — Finn
THE MAGICIAN — Poe Dameron & BB-8
THE HIGH PRIESTESS — Rey
THE EMPRESS — Captain Phasma
THE EMPEROR — Kylo Ren
THE HIEROPHANT — Hux
THE LOVERS — Rey and Finn
THE CHARIOT — Starkiller Base
STRENGTH — Rey and Chewbacca
THE HERMIT — Luke Skywalker
The new Empire that is seen when the Force awakens is children playing at being adults. At puberty the psychopathic consciousness proffered by the phallus becomes a Weird as man's Other and that original nature is subsumed. Rey as Star wars with Ren as Not-Star as the Mask of the same. Rey being the "Mary Sue" misses that all of her evil is in Kylo Ren; she is Anakin Skywalker (pre-fall and post-redemption as the hermaphrodite Adam) and he is Darth Vader.
Since Star Wars is "The Monomyth" as eternal truth beyond time, it is the differences that should be noted, rather than the purely perfunctory plot that unfolds like Campbellian clockwork. The millennial children not being able to measure up to their parents is a metaphor for the movie not measuring up to its archetypal predecessor (i.e., the 'New Vader' not living up to the 'Old Vader' effectively lampshades the film's own writing). Remember—according to Mircea Eliade, Star Wars is realer than reality.