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Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn and Mythological Humanoid #27 – Zombies


Seasonal Mythology – Autumnal Equinox had just passed and the post from the Vernal Equinox has some important thoughts about the balance of day and night and the opening of the gates to the other world, that I won't reiterate here.

This time starting with the Autumnal Equinox until the cross quarter day of Samhein, called Halloween in the US or All Hallow's Eve, is a time of beautiful change in the natural world.

Some people get depressed as the year dies. The lessening of daylight's generated Vitamin D can cause a dread of winter and general depression. Some hate this time of year because they think of death.

How do you feel about fall, winter, and death?

But death and dying in nature is not only unavoidable, it is the time of completion. It has the potential to be a time of fulfillment and in the case of hibernation or dying back of plants, it is the initiation of the time of rest, like a yearly bedtime. [I love bedtime too.]

 
In mythology, death is a time of terror and of thrilling humor. Laughing at fears, especially the fear of death, is a proven method to meet fear head on with confidence and strength. So bring on the Halloween ghouls and goblins.

What is your favorite or least favorite ghoul?

Mythological Humanoids # 27 – Zombies

Zombies are an African Voodoo myth that made its way to America by way of the horrible slave trade victims bringing their culture to the Caribbean, specifically Haiti, and then onto the US after the occupation of Haiti.

Zombies are created by necromancers, sorcerers or witches acting outside the accepted Voodoo religion to act as mind controlled slaves. They are either animated corpses or bewitched/drugged humans. The way to cure a zombie is to feed them salt. [I suppose a cured animated corpse would be unanimated and leave to rest in peace.]

I'm not a fan of rotting flesh. When I see a zombie I remember poking road kill and dead animals to autopsy them to determine the cause of death as a child. [“Why?” You may ask. Who knows what goes through the mind of a six year old child. Maybe first hand experience and research is my way of facing my fears.] Maggots and flies emerging from my poking, along with stomach turning stench, made this a short lived phase. But now my imagination kicks into overdrive when viewing zombies and I get a queasy stomach. So these are not my favorite mythological humanoids, but I seem to be in the minority. Boy are zombie popular!

My sole preparation for the zombie apocalypse is to struggle to figure out what endearing facets of zombies I'm missing.

Can you name any endearing facets of zombie life to help me understand their appeal?

Maybe an appealing facet to zombies I'd been missing is the humor of these shambling, limb dropping, moan-for-brains, never-say-die creatures. [I guess determined might be a more appropriate description than never-say-die, since they're already dead.] I guess, if I turn off my amateur autopsy inspired imagination [try saying that three times fast], zombies are funny and scary at the same time, and they help people deal with their fears of death and dying.

If this is the case then we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave souls who used humor to face the very real fear of death on slave ships and under cruel whips. I imagine being packed like sardines in the hold of a slave ship chained next to a dead body was a terrifying enough experience to have left emotional scars that had to be dealt with some how. The belief in zombies may have offered strength and courage to people, and a way to deal with a scarred imagination gone wild.
 
There was also mention of zombies symbolizing protest against dehumanizing masters or society. Maybe that is fueling the modern popularity of the zombie apocalypse.

Featured picture

 
The inside of a covered bridge - chosen for the stark darkness fitting the mood of the post and the patterns of light and in the wood demonstrating beauty found in dark places that may be harder to see in the light.
Writer's tip – Be concise. Write Tight, by William Brohaugh

Learn to pack your fewer words with more punch by cutting out unnecessary words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs. [I love NaNoWriMo, but working hard to increase your word count has the possible negative side effect of making a writer verbose rather than effective. Once NaNo is done, it's essential to edit with a critical eye towards cutting out the fluff, even clever fluff.]

Plans for future changes
Next week I'll post October's Survey. I'm getting close to my personal theme summary or brand platform to use marketing lingo. Next month I'll include a personal writing update, a website/blog recommendations/review and a book recommendation. You can read more my reviews on Good Reads.

Question Summary
  1. How do you feel about fall, winter, and death?
  2. What is your favorite or least favorite ghoul?
  3. Can you name any endearing facets of zombie life to help me understand their appeal?

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