Art of the North
The spiritual traditions of Northern Europe--Celtic and Germanic--are alive in the myths of the ancestors. However, the myths are incomplete--told through the equivalent of a sacred telephone with time and signal warping and distorting elements into new useful forms most compatible to modern minds. This forces an overlay of dualism, symmetry and cleanliness on stories and deities that defy categorization.
The existing historical literature is a translation of sacred oral stories by outsiders of the traditional culture--Romans, Christians. Additionally, like much of the rest of his-story, the myths are most often told from a dominant male perspective. What remains between the woven lines is the warp and woof of imagination, etymology, folk traditions, and personal gnosis--that is, information received directly from the spirits, the ancestors, the Goddesses and Gods.
Several contemporary authors have inspired my journey through the mythic: Max Dashu's book Witches and Pagans has been a remarkable resource for understanding the potent feminine roots of ancient myth. Ralph Metzner's The Well of Remembrance addresses the elephant in the room: the reluctance of descendants of European ancestry to pursue investigation of their pre-Christian spiritual lneage due to its corruption/co-option by racists, and the psychic holes we all bear as a result. The work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas has contributed substantially to my understanding of ancient Europe, specifically reverence for the sacred creative female. The field of archaeomythology, as introduced to me by Dr. Mara Keller, has helped me to synthesize art, spirit, archaeology, mythology and root my artistic journeys in academic resources.
This art is all completed in ritual, some of it rooted in communal gnosis, some personal, some attached to lore, some drawn from the deepest well, that of trance and journey.