So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

27 November, 2007

Hiding the Lion

The promised sequel to Hiding the Cow, which I got around to because of Renegade Evolution's latest nony, who fancies spewing about how women are all gentle and nurturing and how that shows what's wrong with people today.

A mythological interlude:

A long time ago, back when the world was forging legends, humankind got kind of pissy and uppity and disrespectful of the gods, as humans have done from before time immemorial. This time was sufficiently bad that Ra, who was having a sensitive day, asked His daughter, named Gold, to go explain to them the error of their ways and instruct them in proper respect.

And Gold gathered her power together, and went among the humans to apply proper chastisement, and was known as Sekhmet, Whose Name means "The Powerful One".

And after She had been explaining things for a wee bit, the other gods went to Ra and said, "You know, if She doesn't stop explaining, we're going to run out of humans." And Ra sent to His daughter and said, "I think they have the idea now, you can come home." And She said, "You can never be sure. And besides, I'm enjoying myself." And her enjoyment ran red across the land.

So the gods did as the gods will do in such circumstances, went to wise Djehwty (Who the Greeks called Thoth) and said, "Djehwwwwwwty, you're smaaaart. Fix it! Pleeeeeeeeaaaase?"

And Djehwty had many jars of beer brewed, vast numbers of them, and dyed them with red ochre. And He went to where Sekhmet, replete with the day's slaughter, was sleeping, and poured out the beer until the land ran red with it around Her. And when She woke, she saw the red liquid, and grinned, and dipped her head to drink, and got completely smashed, and ran away to Nubia.

And eventually that caused problems too, and Djehwty was sent to fix it, and bring Her home, and as She bathed in the Nile at the cataract of the border, the bloodlust washed out of her, staining the waters red, and She was again Gold, the beautiful daughter of Ra.

And these two ladies, Hetharu and Sekhmet, They have Their own lives, their own natures, and yet, if you dig deep enough down, you find that the lady Who loves and celebrates all that is good and beautiful has a rage in Her if that beauty is defiled; the lady Who avenges, purifies, and cleanses taint does so out of that same deep, profound love. The one slides into the other so easily when the balance is tipped. The Lady of Intoxication in both Her Names will share a draught of beer with you, especially if it's red, but there is also the madness of music and the madness of blood, and they are not so far apart as some would like to think. Ask your local maenad.

End mythological interlude.

When I wrote 'Hiding the Cow', I wrote about how I kept running into people who just couldn't imagine me as a Hathor kid, couldn't see me as someone who would revere Her first among goddesses. Too cranky, too abrasive, not nurturing enough, or something. But the face I show the world is much more Setian than rooted in Mother's sister-self; the outsider, the alien, the border-walker and challenger. Not the surgeon, not the plague-bringer, not the cauterising flame, Whose kindness can be so cruel.

I don't show that either, when I can help it.

And one can say that it's because it's not kind to perform brain surgery on random passers-by without getting proper consents first, or that it's not nice to be cruel and one should strive to not make other people's lives that much more difficult.

But really, mostly, I'm afraid of power.

Sekhmet, The Powerful One.

Who can get just as drunk on the joy of slaughter as She can on a shot of something. Who enjoys inflicting the pain and terror. Who ...

... if you live long enough with someone who hoards information, ideas, notions about a person, hones them to a point, to a razored, jagged edge ...

... it's hard to not get good at knowing where to put the knife.

... and now to twist it.

It's so easy.

It feels so satisfying. To take whatever is inside, all the pain at things not being right, at beauty defiled, whatever outrage I suffer or the world around me suffers, and turn it around, and drive it back into someone's gut.

And there are clean ways of doing the surgery, and there's the slide into dipping one's shaggy leonine head to drink the blood from the landscape, and it's not easy, and it's not clean, and there's a line somewhere but it's hard to know when one's crossing it.

And because I fear it, I fear myself, because I hold that potential within me, just as much as I do the potential to nurture and heal. They are not disparate things, cleanly separated, either; the surgeon is a healer, cutting out the cancerous. The mother must defend, and must not smother with overkindness. Joy can be marred. Rightness can be restored. It's all a seamless flow from colour to colour, red and gold mingled together, thread by thread.

Dua Sekhmet.

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