Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 185/ 7
Will Sun Shine Again?
© Eso A.B.

If as the following link claims, Europeans share a common ancestor as recently as one thousand years ago http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/350267/description/Europe_is_one_big_family then all the talk about ‘fringe’ and ‘pseudo’ history by establishmentarian historians and ecclesiasts is hog wash’, a fairy tale cooked up and preserved in an ‘academic’ pickling jar. If the ‘history’ of the parents of most Europeans does not go further back than a thousand years, then Catholic Christianity does not go back two thousand years.

So much for the ‘morality’ of ‘religion’ in our time and the ‘spiritual’ house of cards it has built. So much for ‘literary criticism’—a fish that walks on water with its head underwater. So much for ‘deconstruction’ living with the conviction it has been imprisoned in the Eifel Tower, while the next mile high tower is already off the drawing table.

In a small country in the northeast of Europe there live a people who still have a tradition of offering to the Sun a celebration. The celebration occurs on Midsummer’s Day, which is also known as Johns Day. Traditionally, John was the son of the Sun. He does not, however, have a ‘sacred’ function anymore, because the story permitted for Latvian ears by the Catholic Church took it away, and replaced it with one where the ‘sacred’ was replaced by ‘glory alleluia!’

The story once told among Latvians of why the Sun may not rise and why it needs to be encouraged to do so is, but for the guessing, lost. Yet some little hints remain. One is a statement of fact: of all the nights of the year, Midsummer’s Night is the shortest of them all. Behind the statement of fact hides the knowledge that if you or I were to move north, the Sun would not set https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhIJO0_lrGg .

Then there is another fact: there is a fire. The fire is, so to speak, to tide the Sun over the gap of darkness, while it is under the horizon. Ideally, the fire would be lit the moment the sun sets and the sacrifice makes his or her quantum leap to rebirth. Mind you, this is not a leap to resurrection, but to rebirth. In this manner, the Latvian psyche resembles that of the Tibetan Dalai Lamas: when one dies, all the monks go and search the land for a baby born at the precise moment of his predecessor’s death. The Tibetans believe in giving a life worn down to boredom another try, though ideally meditation brings them to such perfection that they need not ever be reborn.

For most of the celebrants of the Sun’s high point on summer solstice, these are anxious moments, because this is also a day when—if there is to be sacrifice—this is when it happens. The celebrants need, like it or not, contemplate death, and whether they can weather it. Many celebrants rather pass the time getting drunk, because alcohol simplifies thought. On occasion, when wannabee self-sacrifice fails, being drunk helps the executioner do his job.

In the long ago, before the days of festivals as spectacles, an explanation for the ritual was available through a story told by a poet. In our time, silly girls and boys prattle about jumping over a bonfire and the fun this is. No one believes that a day will come, probably at old age, when one may have to see one’s life in the perspective of a hologram. It is then that the Devil’s daughter may put the Devil’s boot up one’s crotch—as she does in the story below.

For over half a century, Latvian churches have been hoisting on the folk tradition of Midsummer in place of Latvia's own story, one and the same comedy, a humorous play of country life during the Midsummer festival. The evangel machine insists that Johns Day is a ‘family’ day. Some festivity organizers even propagate the notion that Midsummer need not be celebrated on Midsummer, but at any time summertime is fine. This last message results from ‘globalization’ efforts at the Vatican of politicians in Brussels and thins ever further the traditions of the past to suit the urban desert. The Sun, after all, keeps rising according to scientific theory, the stories of old myths to the contrary notwithstanding.

In one Latvian story that has to do with the Sun, seven brothers turn seven crickets into seven horses and ride to seek for themselves brides among the daughters of the Sun. Clever John gets to ride the nag and arrives at the party late, long after his brothers are already under the table. Not surprisingly, Clever John gets to choose Crazy Jane, the not so pretty Sun’s oldest daughter.

Like his brothers, Clever John also behaves in a high-handed manner. Nevertheless, when the morning nears and it is time to go to sleep, Crazy Jane—in spite of a number of rejections--whispers to John that her mother did not take a liking to the brothers and is likely to turn into a hag and when all are asleep come to cut off the heads of everyone who sleeps on the outside isle in the hayloft. Jane also offers John two pairs of her father’s (the Devil’s) boots, if John promises to take her with him when he rides home. The Devil’s boots, when put on the legs of the nag will enable Clever John to ride at double normal speed.

Clever John listens, then does as he likes. He makes for all the Sun’s daughters Valerian tea http://www.gnet.org/ease-your-worries-and-drift-off-with-valerian-root/ and arranges it so that all the daughters (including Crazy Jane) go to sleep on the outside of the isle.

After a while a hag comes to the loft with a big knife and chops off the heads of all who sleep in the outer isle. As the hag leaves, the hayloft is enveloped by a blinding darkness. Nevertheless, the brothers manage to jump from the hayloft out of a hatch. While six of the brothers are agreed that they have had enough of experiences and are ready to ride home, Clever John announces that he would rather go seek after the Devil’s own daughter and only then come home.

Clever John then puts on his nag in the Devil’s boots, and—Surprise! Surprise!—Rozinante, the nag, takes him to the Devil’s castle. The Devil tells John that he can have his daughter, but not before he brings him a pile of gold as payment.

After a series of adventures that include a flight  on the back of a raven, Clever John—Wonder of Wonders!—learns that the pile of gold is in the backyard of the Sun. Unfortunately, the Sun has set and is on the other side our planet, and to get there the raven has to fly through a landscape in perpetual dusk so great that it cannot determine in which direction the Sun is closest.

The entire story is too long to tell here, but Clever John does eventually discover the pile of gold. When he brings it to the Devil, he also discovers that the Devil’s daughter is none other than Crazy Jane, who is also the daughter of the Sun. Of course, by this time Crazy Jane has recovered from Clever John her father’s boots, which she insists both she and John wear to bed on their wedding night.


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