>> home > the seanchai> curse of men
 

Earthwizard's Realms of Faërie

January, 27, 2005

Earthwizard's Realms of Faërie

beauty's face of light...

	    
	
	    Artwork (c) Earthwizard
	       
	
	The Curse of Men
		
	The Witches' know the curse of men,
	the darkened course of those who chase
	the goddess in her shifting guise:
	to catch her they all follow
	down the hole to her sweet lies;
	for the goddess can never be caught:
	she is the Virgin Queen of Sparrows;
	a man should of his true self be
	for this queen of light to know him;
	only if he in troth and deed
	he rises to the challenge,
	will this Queen of Purity
	know him as he is and follow:
	this is her Light to give or take,
	a man can only hope for;
	for never can he hope to gain
	her favor if he chases after her;
	he must in word and thought,
	hold her by the art of speech:
	for only truth she sees;
	and if he is her chosen man
	then on him will she bestow the crown of Love.


	
	   - Earthwizard, aka, Steven Craig Hickman
	      (c) January, 9, 2004



On Outlaws and Criminals in Pagan Worlds.... earthwizard

In fact in ancient custom and tribal law both in Welsh, Icelandic
and many of the extant texts that relate such things (being at work
cannot unload all the scholarship this will be founde on ):

A man who committed such acts as child theft, molestation, and any
of the major Oath breakings of Troth against either Land or Tribe
would be summoned to the Great Councils and prononced dead henceforth
and banished from the circle of the tribe and lands: to be a Warg, an
Outcast and Outlaw, a wolfman who could only live in the wild
places... and, then, once declared, any member of the family that
had been offended had full pardon from the tribe to hunt the Warg
down and do with them as they liked...

Punishment among the barbarian peoples generally fit
the "crime." For civil crimes (tort, wrongful death, etc.),
barbarians established a system called "weregild" among the Teutons,
and the "eric-fine" among the Celts. These were monies paid for
wrongful or negligent death to the kindred of the victims by the
perpetrators. The victim(s) kin decided the weregild or eric-fine,
and this was approved by the council of the Thing. (In less remote
areas, it was decided by general consensus). This particular system
of settling civil cases was not flawless of course, but it did much
to keep the cycle of revenge and counter-vengeance from escalating
out of control.

In Anglo-Saxon communities, crimes were dealt with swiftly and
effectively. In the event that a person was harmed or stolen from,
that person could call to his neighbors to pursue the wrongdoer. If
the chase led from the village to another village, all those in
pursuit would call to the members of their neighborhing village to
join the chase, and so on until the culprit was captured. It was
then up to the injured party to decide the penalty (which was often
hanging). This method was known as the "Hue-and-Cry", a phrase which
we use to this day. It was by no means foolproof, as an unscrupulous
person with a grudge against his or her neighbor could create a false
hue-and cry and result in an innocent person's death or injury. This
was balanced by the fact that if a hue-and-cry was found to be based
upon a falsehood, the perpetrator was treated as an oathbreaker and
dealt with accordingly.

For worse crimes, such as oath-breaking (considered worse than
wrongful death or theft of property by the Norse and Germanics),
rape, treason, and willful murder (extremely rare in this culture),
the criminal was no longer considered to be human. He was made
a "warg"; meaning both wolf and outlaw, and became an outdweller,
living apart from the rest of humanity since, by his action, he had
set himself apart from normal humans. In the Volsung saga, both
Fafnir and Reginn become "wargs" after they murder their father for
the Rhinegold; Fafnir eventually tranforms himself into a dragon with
the use of the Tarnhelm (Helm of Awe), while Reginn dwells among the
Svartalfs (dwarves) and becomes one of them. Reginn does eventually
return to interact with humanity but, being a Svartalf, can never
fully regain his humanness. Both Sigimund and his son Sfinjolti live
as "wargs" in the woods, shape-changing into wolves and preying on
passing merchants and thanes of their enemy, Sigigaiar, husband of
Sigimund's sister Sieglinde.

Among the Celts, especially the Tuatha de Danaan, the
perpetrator of a foul or horrible crime had to become that which they
most feared. In the legend of Lir's children, their stepmother, out
of sheer jealousy, curses them by turning them into swans. For her
crime, the god Lugh forces her to reveal that which she most fears,
which is a "Spirit of the Air" (a Bain Sidhe, or "Banshee.") As soon
as she reveals this, she is immediately transformed into one, and
goes shrieking off into the night, never to be seen again. Much of
this is legend and allegory, but it does show the concept of
the "warg" again, the outdweller; one that, by their actions, has
trespassed beyond the boundaries of humanity and cannot return. In
actuality, greater crimes among the Celts were expiated by the laying
of a "geas", or the performance of a duty, that the criminal had to
complete in order to clear his/her name. Gradually, the term "geas"
came to mean "curse."


or return to earthwizard's home

		
Contact Us  |  Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy Copyright © 2003 - 2004 by earthwisdom.info All rights reserved.