Ariadne: I am Many. I am One.

Ariadne writes of herself:

I am many.
I am one.
One is My Godhead,
Many are my manifestations:
This is the way of the gods.
The feet of many gods walk the clouds.
But my feet are upon the Earth,
And under the Earth,
And in the deep belly of Tartarus.
I am Grace Ascending and the Two-Fold Flower of Redemption
I choose to share your fate again and again,
That I shall never forget the plight of my mother,
And her mother,
Even until the Mother of All.
Many is Ariadne
But One is the Snake Goddess
Whose dagger is the asp

Behind the Cut, See Me Go All “English Major” on This.

If you prefer to render your own interpretation, don’t click.

Interpretations

This was basically just a rant she let loose with, which I lined as a prose poem, Ezra Pound style. Like ya do. When I write my own poetry, I let it stand. As I think I mentioned before, Ariadne can be particularly difficult for me to understand. I wanted to do some interpretation of this … You know what? I’m going to call it a Rant Poem. It’s like a Prose Poem, but Ranty.

“I am many.
I am one.
One is My Godhead,
Many are my manifestations:
This is the way of the gods.”

So, here, Ariadne is referencing an idea I have seen elsewhere, and even myself espoused. The idea is that each deity may have many aspects, but only one sense of self. This is how a hard polytheist makes sense of the truism that many people experience a single god in a myriad of ways.

Of course, many people present at the same crime scene give conflicting accounts, too, and we don’t need to posit multiple manifestations of the crime scene, but that’s a separate issue.

“The feet of many gods walk the clouds.
But my feet are upon the Earth,
And under the Earth,
And in the deep belly of Tartarus.”

Here is what is really interesting: she’s talking about being incarnate. Now, in the extant Greek mythology, we see many Ariadnes. In fact, we see that Theseus, according to some traditions, knew two distinct Ariadnes. We know that Ariadne has a chthonic aspect, similar to that of Dionysos. She, like Semele, dwelt in the Underworld until she was rescued by Dionysos. She seems to be saying that, in some senses, she still has a presence there. The living story of her presence in the Underworld remains a part of who she is.

“I am Grace Ascending and the Two-Fold Flower of Redemption”

So, the two titles here are both references to my names, one to my Hebrew name, and the other to my legal name. So she is saying, “I am all women, even you, even the parts of you that you think have nothing to do with me or my pantheon(s).” More: “I might be anyone. Do not claim to worship me and then fail to treat a person with the same dignity you would if you thought they were an incarnation of me… even yourself.”  If you thought you might secretly be an incarnation of Ariadne, would you take an oath to a deity wherein you sell them your immortal soul? No. It is obvious that deities are not to be bought and sold. To Ariadne, it is just as obvious that a human soul belongs, should belong, to no one. If you are going to say to yourself, “Well, sure, that’s true of Pagans, but not of Monotheists,” nope. Ariadne states that essentially, all people, period, are sacred to her, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

But yet, when framed as poetry, I also see a different meaning here. Grace Ascending — that is, when Ariadne ascends to life, she brings the presence of the divine with her. She does not see incarnation as low at all. Rather, she sees it as being an exalted status where she can do her true work as a divinity. Two-Fold Flower of Redemption? The gifts she offers come from both Above and Below, from her manifestations as well as her godhead.

Now what does she mean by “Redemption?” I really wish I could say, but if I had to guess, I think she means it in the sense of, “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt” or reclaiming something. In the other thing I channeled from her, she talks about deities and mortals who engage in “the abrogation of will” and “slavery.” Really, I suspect she means saving people, not from sin, as a Christian might mean it, but from spiritual oppression.  Whatever debt you think you owe, Ariadne will clear it. Whatever contract you signed, she’s offering to buy it out for you. She is married to Dionysos, sometimes called “Liber” or Freedom. Her commitment to Freedom transcends all impossibility, is more precious than any cost.

“I choose to share your fate again and again,
That I shall never forget the plight of my mother,
And her mother,
Even until the Mother of All.”

So here, she makes it clear that she didn’t stop incarnating, and that she never will.

Next, she explains why she lives. This going to take some explaining. So, as stated elsewhere, Ariadne is interpreted by some classical scholars to be a rendering of the Snake Goddess. The Snake Goddess is a manifestation of Magna Mater — The Great Mother Goddess.

So… Ariadne is saying, my mortal mother’s mother’s mother’s (insert a bajillion generations) mother is The Mother. IE, Magna Mater. So what she is trying to remember is the plight of all mortal women and the labor of the Great Mother who is the origin of all women. Again, “I am all women… even The Woman.” What connects Ariadne to Asasara to Magna Mater is the generations that separate the Source from the Manifestation. She’s also sort of implying that the souls of all maternal ancestors are linked, spiritually, connecting back to Magna Mater.

She is also claiming that she is self-generating. That she is the origin of herself. That… sounds a lot like Phanes. Wasn’t there something about a self-generating two-fold egg?

“Many is Ariadne
But One is the Snake Goddess
Whose dagger is the asp”

Ok, here she drives it home. Whereas the previous passage makes it clear that Ariadne incarnates in numerous generations, this makes it clear that Ariadne, herself, as a phenomenon, is plural. I believe this means that her manifestations are here, in the world, right now, sitting in many different people. This hammers, with particular emphasis, on the point I drew out earlier. She is all women.

And the asp.

The asp was used as a dignified way of executing royalty. She’s not fucking around. Evil Rulers? She hates them. She wants them dead. Oh? But this particular power is special and deserves respect? Fine. She will kill them respectfully.

And now I’m done talking about Ariadne for a while, because my mind sort of hurts.

3 comments

  1. Pingback: Ariadne and Emptiness | Light [Ning] Illuminates
  2. owanderer

    She’s contacted me since reading your first post. She is as furious as you describe.
    What puzzles me is, many deities have overlapping duties. How does that work? Ariadne is all women but other goddesses have a similar responsibility right? Or are They all hyper specialized?

    • Thenea

      The gods are specialized, but not hyper specialized. Take Hermes for example. He shares his role as god of the phallus with Dionysos, is a god of poetry and music which he shares with Apollon, shares seduction with Aphrodite, partners with Pan as a god of flocks, is a god of the crossroads and travel alongside Hekate, and there are many more examples, just with Hermes. In a polytheistic pantheon, cooperation is key.

      No deity is an island. No deity ever does a job alone.

      You might ask, “why bother having more than one god of a thing?”

      Often times, two deities will bring a very different perspective to the work. Apollon is the classically trained musician, but just as sacred is the bumpkin’s tooting on his rustic pipe, which falls more in the court of Hermes. Often it’s the intersection of Hermes and Apollon, in music, which brings about new genres and musical innovations that stick. Lose Apollon, and you kick the well-considered, well-crafted complexity to the curb. Lose Hermes, and you lose accessibility and crowd appeal.

      I like this. I like how it defies the notion that some people have that it’s better to have people who think alike working together, or that a difference of perspective is an obstacle to cooperation.

      What other goddesses were you thinking about?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s