Lughnasad 2005 Isian News - Issue 117
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Reflections by: Olivia Robertson
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THE MATTER OF ARTHUR
Reflections on Heroes
Why, oh why, do we choose heroes who have such a Puritanical attitude to women? The righteous God, King Rama of India, knew his wife Sita was innocent of the charge of adultery with the Demon Ravanna, who had abducted her. Yet because of his judicial duties as King, he had her put in a fire before all the people. Miraculously she survived, thus proving her innocence. But later – after she had retired rather understandably to a jungle – he desired to reinstate their two sons as heirs. But to satisfy protocol Sita had to be burnt all over again. To try and burn your wife once and fail looks like carelessness. To fail a second time savours of incompetence. Sita survived. In a rage she stamped her feet on the ground and returned to her Mother the Earth Goddess Prithivi.
Then there is our European hero Arthur who, for some inexplicable reason, is hoped will make a dramatic return, after being dead for 1,500 years. Why? He lost his last battle – and also failed to burn his wife, Gwynivere. It was possibly a little unfair that he should condemn her for adultery with Launcelot – when his own son Mordred suddenly turned up as his illegitimate son. However, there was a happy ending. Sir Launcelot galloped bravely into the arena, amidst the interested spectators - and rescued Gwynivere from the flames. She ended up in a convent, and all the knights, pro or anti-Launcelot, got killed – all except the virtuous King Arthur who was deemed to lie in stasis in the Isle of Avalon guarded by three Queens. Why do we want him back?
I did have one psychic experience about the Return of the King. A Wiccan clairvoyant described Arthur as in a deep coma and refused to “wake up” because of the infidelity of his wife. I was angry and said “tell your King he is suffering from self pity.” And the clairvoyant retorted grandly: “I shall convey no such message to The King!” There we were. Victim Stasis.
That night I had a vision. Arthur appeared. He was very tall and looked like Henry of Navarre, whom I had once seen. He was the epitome of good nature. His hair was golden and he had black eyebrows and laughing blue eyes set deeply – indeed, he had the aquiline features one often sees in the Scottish Highlands. He was laughing heartily, showing strong white teeth – again, laughing like Henri IV of France. Arthur was awake!
Then my vision switched to an outside scene from my window. Arthur was walking down the long tree-lined Avenue and out into the world! He was holding the hand of my small niece Lucy… Now I think I see the symbolism. The Piscean Fisher King of the Waste Land is being alchemically reborn. He will stop burning, beating, beheading or stoning wives! He is being brought into the new Age of Aquarius by the spiritual truthfulness of a young girl.
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