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Saturday, June 7, 2014

New Worlds - School's out, Library reading and Other worlds, Mythological Species of Humanoid # 21 - Gods

School's Out!

Rough draft of Stacy Lynn Stimpletin, MC
School is over at our house for the summer. (As much as it's ever over with a teacher in the house. (Wah! Hah! Hah!) Now is the time to get all those project nobody had time for during the school year done. I have started a MOOC (Massive Open On-line Class) on Writing For the Web for June.

Hopefully, I'll improve this blog to make your reading experience better than ever. Also, I will be doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July. And in my down time, I will focus on finally finishing my illustrations for my picture book Who Took My Tomato? 

I hope to submit it for publication soon. So I have a lot of work to do on it.

The other thing that is very popular at my house is summer reading time and trips to the library, where we encounter new worlds in our reading.

Here's a piece I've adapted from one that I wrote a while ago for our library about getting a library card for summer reading when I was younger.

Desperate Deception

Out of desperation, I forged the application for my first pubic library card. (I hope this admission of a 31-year-old deception doesn’t jeopardize my current card.) Ridiculous as it sounds, it’s true. I was desperate for the liberation that only a library could give. It was the first day of my summer vacation. I foresaw long hours alone that summer, as my best friend had just started her first summer job, but I lacked the necessary social contacts to procure employment at 14-years-old. Fortunately, I had recently acquired an insatiable appetite to read, especially in bed until the wee hours. This new passion had developed the previous school year during a required, twenty-minute wait in the school library each morning between the high school class and my middle school classes. I typically read a book a day, sometimes two. But on the first day of my vacation from school, I was left book-less, library-less and essentially friend-less.

Faced with that desolation, I resolved to immediately acquire my first public library card. During an early heat wave, I biked the 1.5 miles to the nearest library, where I gathered up my courage (I had just been voted the shyest girl in my eighth grade class of 312 students) and questioned the librarian about getting a card. I lacked proof of my address. Preplanning was not my forte at 14. But determined, I biked home and then back again in the heat.

Upon returning with proof, I filled out the application. Reaching the bottom, I discovered that I needed a parental signature. Being certain that I had not brought a parent with me on my bicycle, I despaired. I did not want my 6-mile bike ride in the heat to become a 9-mile one, but I refused to go home book-less. So I screwed up my courage again and tried to convince the librarian that, at 14, I was responsible enough without a parent’s signature. The librarian wouldn't budge. I ached to fill my mind with all those books sitting there, but without a card, I couldn’t take home even one.

Then the forgery idea hit. Previously, on bringing forms, the morning they were due, to my second shift working mother’s bedside, she ordered me to forge her name so she could drift back to sleep. Forging a library application would be similar, but my stomach clenched at the thought of performing this deception without permission. So, I searched, for over an hour, in the heat, for a public telephone. Finding my mother out, I explained the situation to my grandmother. She reluctantly gave me permission to sign my mother’s name again, and offered to cover the cost of lost books. I accepted the generous offer, but never needed to use it. With my new library card, I checked out as many books as I could carry on my bike. I planned ahead and brought a backpack the next time.

Other worlds and Mythological Species of Humanoid # 21 – Gods

Here are some other worlds you could encountered this summer in folklore and mythology along with gods that might inhabit them. There are many mythological systems that have pantheons of gods. In a pantheon there is usually a head god, leader or father figure. There is often a mother figure or consort as well. There is usually a sea or water god and an underworld god in charge of the dead, and a messenger or trickster.

These roles can be combined in many different ways. This summary isn't as accurate as I would like, but nice neat charts are not usually true to reality. So I've forced some gods and goddesses into boxes that aren't really the best fit for them, but it looks good and is a jumping off point for people who would like to research further.

Origins Father / air /war Mother / hearth / birth Sea/Water Dead Fertility Messenger / Trickster / Fire/Wisdom Other worlds
Greek Zeus / Ares / Apollo Hera / Demeter Poseidon Hades Aphrodite Hermes / Athena/ Hephaestus Olympus, Hades
Roman Jupiter/ Mars / Apollo Juno/ Demeter Neptune Uranus Venus Mercury / Minerva / Hades
Norse Odin /Thor / Tyr Frigga / Freya Njordr

Hel Freya / Frey Loki / Bragg Valhalla, Hel, Dvar Heim, Mudspell, Elf Heim, Vana Heim, Nifelheim
Anu/ Enlil/ Enki Nammu


Nergal Astarte

Baal/ Ea

Irish /
Welsh / Celtic

Danu / Don Manannan mac Lir

Morrigan / Arawn Etain

Lugh / Bride

Tir na Og

Hindu Vishnu / Brahma/ Shiva


Indra / Varuna

Shiva / Rudra / Yama




Many mythological systems have fewer gods than a pantheon. In these systems there is usually a good god and an evil god / a creator and a messer-up god. Often there is also an ambassador or messenger / trickster god that sides at least in part with the humans. But I look at those another time.

What's your favorite other world from mythology, folk lore or fiction to visit?

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