I spend a lot of time there. It’s primal, it’s bizarre – and for a wierdo like me, it’s damn near home. Although, it’s frightening, mind-fucking, and dangerous – hence why it won’t BE home. I either have a good journey there, or I get the living shits scared out of me. Either way, I learn so much each time I go.
I do view Arta, my Bear Goddess, as an Underworld Deity. So many people view the bear as a flint and buckskin kind of Goddess, and I suppose in a way She is. But, I do view Her as a metalworker, healer, damned fierce warrior (don’t piss Her off), a very wise Goddess, and a Mother amongst so many other things. I don’t believe Her to be some gentle, teddy-bear kind of Mother either. Like I’ve said in previous posts, Her cubs are tough for a reason.
The Underworld is not only the primal place many cultures believed that made the crops grow and animals to breed, but where metals come from and those associated with the Underworld had an association with it either directly such as the blacksmith Gods and Goddesses, metalwork, or indirectly with wealth. Ever heard of Plutocracy?
Want a modern media example? Iorek Byrnison from the Golden Compass. I really don’t know why so many people ask for a media example… But there it is.
Gods? How about Brighid? Her name comes from the word for ‘bear,’ though I STILL can’t fucking find it. I’ll keep snooping though. She is a blacksmith, and has her origins with the bear. She’s called ‘Daughter of the Bear,’ and has associations with the Underworld. Is a metalworking Bear Goddess that outlandish? Really?
I won’t ever argue that Arta isn’t a warrior. Nope, she gave me strength in the Army. I won’t argue Her healing prowess. I won’t argue Her connections to the
constellations Ursa Major and Minor. She’s these too.
Arta is just a bad-ass.
A few quotes:
In Prehistoric Religion, written by Ariel Golan says “The bear was considered as the patron of healers … because in ancient times the bear was fancied as one of the earth god’s incarnations. Similarly, the belief in the healing powers of blacksmiths and the forge was induced by the fact that the underworld god, pictured as a blacksmith, was also considered a healer. “
To quote The Continuum Encyclopedia Of Animal Symbolism In Art written by Hope B. Werness, “In Neolithic cultures, and possibly earlier, the Great Goddess’ creativity extends beyond procreation and to the crafts. Inventor and patroness, the Great Goddess was associated with metallurgy, spinning, weaving, and music.”
This same author speaks of the Bear as one of the main symbols of ‘The Great Goddess.’ No, I firmly believe there to be MANY ‘Great Goddesses,’ and also ‘Great Gods;’ I do believe Arta to be one of them.
So please, stop telling me you know more about the Gods than anyone else, because that’ll make you a dick in my eyes. I don’t think any human can know everything, and I also think that’s the point. What purpose would there be in the pursuit of wisdom if there wasn’t anything new to learn?