Friday, 27 December 2013

And Death Says...

In the previous post, I quoted one goddess, Ishtar, and two of the Endless, Dream and Destiny, on what happens to gods. Dream mentions dying and Destiny mentions Death but I forgot to quote the remaining member of the elder three, Death herself. In Volume 3 of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Death illuminates the stage between a deity's return to the Dreaming and his or her death there:

"Rainie, mythologies take longer to die than people believe. They linger on in a kind of dream country that affects all of you."
- Dream Country (New York, 1995), p. 109.

Thus, Ra can keep creating metamorphae like the suicidal super-heroine, Rainie, aka Element Girl, and Rainie can address Ra by looking at the Sun.

There is also a stage between losing full divine power and returning to the Dreaming:

Ishtar and Pharamond have diversified;
Bast is old and impoverished but still receives a few prayers;
for the Aesir, it seems to be business as usual with Odin in Asgard, Loki bound and the Ragnarok anticipated.

Do all these mythologies fit into a single, consistent framework? Well, they never really did so Gaiman addresses them appropriately by leaving their boundaries vague.

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