Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Augustus Knows

In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Volume I, we see the Gates to the Dreaming. Many lying dreams come through the Gate of Ivory whereas a few true dreams come through the Gate of Horn. In Volume 6, Augustus speaks of these Gates and we know that he speaks the truth if we have read the series in order. He also claims to have seen the gods (p. 107).

Ishtar says in Volume 7 that gods no longer worshiped return to the Dreaming and do not know what comes after. Morpheus reveals one more stage when he tells Augustus:

"All gods begin in my realm, Caius Octavius. They walk your world for a span, and when they are old they return to my world, to die." (p. 116)

But to die, whether in the waking world or in the Dreaming, is to leave either of those realms and to enter instead the realm of Death. Thus, the life-cycle of a god comprises successive periods spent in:

the Dreaming;
the land, where they are worshiped;
the Dreaming for a second time;
Death -

- and somewhere in the series it is added that the last stage is complete non-existence.

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