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  1. #136
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    My grand theory of Wikdiv.
    Or how Persephone changed the rules.

    Rule Two is clearly that there have to be 12 gods. It is added to by a third of the gods having to be used to create the ritual making four heads. (A wasted move because it wasn’t really part of the rules, it was an existing ritual). This thirds division has apparently created a more general rule of four (12 divided by three) that is still being explored in the story.

    The factions that appear in the pantheon appear to line up with the Maiden/Mother/Crone idea, with Mother being more than just creation but also creativity and youth culture. The rules divide the gods into three and present three generations.

    The three factions roughly align with the Strauss–Howe generational theory. It is approximately three generations of adults with a fourth being the children of the new cycle. The pantheon is on that cusp of this transition to a fourth generation. They are defining what the fourth generation will be. They are the influencers. The potential cultural heroes of the next age.

    Strauss–Howe theory is very post-modern as historical theories go, and IMO is probably more useful as general observation than a predictor of events, making it pretty redundant as a theory. As a story seed in a post-modern comic it is perfect.

    In this theory we have four generations in an 80 year cycle of Prophet/Nomad/Hero/Artist. But a generation technically combines a mixture of all four at various stages of life which is where it gets more complex.

    The Artists in Wikdiv seem to be those with the younger and more modern outlook. Post-Millennials by whatever the current name is. They represent the generation currently coming of age or younger. They suit the Anarchy group.

    The Heroes are the fighters. The millennials. Optimistic and energetic. Grew up sheltered. They suit the Fight group and represent the generation currently in Young Adulthood.

    Nomads are the Generation Xers. Currently middle-aged and pragmatic. They watched their parents attack the social order and were given a lot of freedom as children. They question things. They suit the Learn group.

    Prophets are the baby boomers. A generation protected by the previous generation. They were literally given the world. They are self-entitled.

    We can’t easily map four generations onto Maiden/Mother/Crone. Three into four won’t go.

    The Maid/Mother/Crone idea is actually an artefact of a particular strand of classicism. Usually attributed to Jane Ellen Harrison but championed most clearly by one of Gillen’s stated sources Robert Graves. Oh we could say so much about Graves!

    Let’s just say Gillen is probably nodding to Graves ironically. He doubtless knows as much as anyone how contentious Graves is, and yet how inspirational he is to adolescents looking for mythology to make sense. Gillen occasionally makes reference to The White Goddess in interviews and I believe his tongue is firmly in his cheek. Almost daring people to read it as a way of making sense of Wikdiv.

    Comics got stuck with this lovely mental image of Maiden/Mother/Crone during the Gaiman / Ellis era. It’s a beautiful thing but it isn’t necessarily real. It should be treated as a model and one way of looking at certain myths, not a key to making sense of mythology. With stories on the other hand, all bets are off. This lovely summary is all anyone really needs to see how Gillen is probably both using and playing with the idea. Note especially the Crowley section.

    The mother archetype in this traditional trinity is sometimes over-simplified to being literally about being a mother, when it is better referred to as Nubile, or of child-baring age. Part of the thrust of the narrative seems to be about the very real phenomenon of creativity in popular music being born of young adults / adolescents. It is not something we notice when we are in our early teens, but when we get older and look back, the true geniuses of pop culture are all so young! They exist at the transition between maiden and mother.

    This transition is best personified in myth by Persephone. Her myth is very much about becoming an adult. It is also so much more. See the modern Graves in Roberto Calasso, who I sincerely hope Gillen has read because The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony is utterly gorgeous, and so much more convincing than Graves that it would almost be an insult to compare them.

    (Graves is also a master of prose and a twisted genius so I don’t compare them with malice.)

    In The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Calasso delves deeply into the meaning of the Persephone myth, as well as a number of other related myths, as a central tenet of western culture.

    --

    How exactly we are supposed to divide the factions is a big question. In the story we have three divisions. Anarchy/Study/Fight with an unspoken fourth being Manipulate because nobody knows at this stage that Minerva is Ananke and still on course for her plan to divide and conquer.

    Anarchy:
    Crowley’s “do as thou wilt.”
    Study: Cass describes this as “Find all the truths” and conveniently lines up with Robert Graves. As if finding all the truths would actually be possible.
    Fight: Includes finding out things but only where relevant.
    Manipulate: Technically playing all of these off against each other instead of allowing them to act in concert.

    I tentatively think we can map them onto the Strauss–Howe model:

    Prophet/Manipulate
    Nomad/Study
    Hero/Fight
    Artist/Anarchy

    However the Maiden/Mother/Crone model lacks a generation, and Persephone seems to sit strangely. Anarchy was her choice but it is not quite representative of Persephone’s stated role of Mother. Perhaps because the proposed fight was not the right one? As The Destroyer she was fighting. We know she occasionally gets to fight back against Ananke over the course of history. Maybe she is still on the cusp? Indeed Persephone as a mythic archetype is always on this cusp. She is forever defined by the moment of her abduction. She brings the secret of life and death. She is a transitional deity.

    Demeter is the missing piece of the puzzle. Demeter breaks the MMC model open and exposes it as wrong. She is the mother of the maiden become nubile. Persephone/Demeter/Hekate always missed the obvious. Before her abduction Persephone is just called Girl. Girl is the Maid not Persephone. Persephone is the cusp between childhood and adulthood. Persephone is Nubile but she isn’t Mother. This brief cusp is what the modern world would call the young adult or teenager. This was but a moment in much of history but the modern world has turned it into something much longer.

    The rules in Wikdiv were made when there were only three roles, but the myth of Persephone was an innovation that occurred during ancient history and that role has only expanded since.

    In Wikdiv terms, the Eleusinian Mysteries (Persephone myth cycle) are generally considered to have been created somewhere on the page of #36 that starts in 1657BC in North America and ends in Hattusa in 1197BC. Perhaps around this period Persephone created them and turned her single role into a potential two. But this new cuspid role only really became an actual role in modern times. Leaving us with:

    Prophet/Manipulate/Crone/Baby Boomers/Ananke
    Nomad/Study/Mother/Persephone
    Hero/Fight/Teenager-Young Adult/Millennials/Persephone
    Artist/Anarchy/Maiden/Post-Millennials/Minerva

    Suddenly the contest is even for the first time in history. Persephone gets to be Mother and Nubile. Persephone choosing anarchy could be a potential winning move, encroaching upon the only remaining battlefront now that Ananke is dead. A battle for the future. A battle to break the cycle and claim the youth.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 05-18-2018 at 05:15 AM.

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