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From: James Jordan <jbjordan4@home.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Silk as toy of mother
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2002 11:12:48 -0600

This was a really interesting post, and I don't know what to make of it 
(yet; I'll wait for others to interact).
	But I have a thought: Wolfe expressed to me that Mother Goddess worship is 
the essence of paganism. Those weren't his words, but the gist of our 
conversation. If you want to see Wolfe's understanding of this in action, 
think of the castration scene in the "Soldier" books. Philosophically, 
Mother Goddess worship is simply pantheism in action: the universe as 
Mother Earth is the ultimate thing in existence, so that violence and 
"evil" are as "natural" as peace and goodness. The true God is the 
Outsider, the Creature of nature.
	From Wolfe's standpoint, Mother Earth is created by Father God, and 
because of human sin, is fallen. Mother has her role, but as a creature of 
Father. Sin means disorder, while redemption means the restoration of 
proper order. Paganism means to ultimatize and worship the creation 
(nature) rather than the Creator.
	Based on the evidence as you present it, I'm thinking that this kind of 
conflict is in the background of the Short Sun Books. Perhaps PATERA Silk 
continues to be the Father's Agent, sought by Horn, but there is also the 
Mother and her agent Seawrack contending for his allegiance. Idolatry was 
arguably the major theme in the Long Sun books, but expressed as 
polytheism. It would make sense for Wolfe to continue that theme in the 
Short Sun books, while going deeper behind polytheism to Nature/Mother worship.
	Horn searches for Father Silk in the heavens; while Mother dwells below, 
in the Deep. In between in the land, where the contest is joined.
	Which side are the Neighbors on? Evidently in their own history they 
experienced the same kind of contest, sometimes falling into Mother-Nature 
worship; but in the main, the Neighbors seem to be like tutorial angels 
rather than seducers. That is, the Neighbors don't seem to be puppeteers, 
seeking to enslave humanity (as a puppet is enslaved or ensorceled); but 
rather they seem to be encouraging free and mature decision-making on the 
part of humans.
	Along these lines also: wind and storm are surely powers of Mother, but 
they are also manifestations of theophanies of the Creator. Thus, 
Windcloud's name may not indicate that he serves the Mother, but that he 
serves the Outsider. One would have to weigh the evidence to see if both 
aspects of this imagery are present in the books.
	Just some thoughts. Nothing in stone here!


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