First let me apologize – I can’t access my spell-check. I’m not sure what the problem is. Please just bear with me. It won’t be the first time you find spelling errors and sadly it won’t be the last either.
Fiction writers take great liberties at times with bending the truth, creating truths, twisting the truths, or more often just making up stuff as we go along.
One of the more fascinating things to me is in science fiction where the start of the story, or premise is based on fact, then add on or play what if, or toss the known science out the door and put something else in its place. Actually it’s not just in science fiction. This method is used in romance, in westerns, in drama, in whodunnits, it’s even in classic literature.
Whether we start with the norms of proper society and delve into the life of miscreants and street urchins, or we ride along on Captain Nemo’s fabulous Nautilus, the magic of fiction is that it can transport our minds out of our circumstances into a magical dimension that we find stimulating, calming, exhilarating, or even terrifying.
There is a long-standing heritage as bards and storytellers of this. Each culture has their mythos, stories that are told about the aspects of our world that mortal man didn’t comprehend. Are they made up? Often, there is an element of truth in cultural mythology. This is why the different mythologies across the cultures have parallel stories, have numerous similarities, and why most have gone by the wayside.
Ancient cultures attributed everything to acts of the Gods. Modern Science has replaced a cultural heritage with factual data. I’m all for science, but don’t you find it rather dull at times? Instead of meteorological phenomenon, we would be running to the temple to make offering to Hera, Zuess, Horus, or Quetzalcoatl. Of course the sacrificial offerings might be a problem nowadays.
When studying mythos it’s easy to slip over into theory. Theory is defined as:
n. – A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
n. – An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
n. – The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.
n. – The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier’s theory of combustion; Adam Smith’s theory of moral sentiments.
About now, you’re looking at the topics of my blog and wondering where the heck I’m going with this, aren’t you?
Mythos and theory are at the heart of my WIP. It’s about faeries. Not the wee winged creatures that Disney likes to portray like Tinkerbell. Not the wee folk that Darby O’Gill ran into. It’s about a legendary race, the Tuatha De Danaan. In Irish-Celtic mythology, the Tuatha Dé Danann (“People of the goddess Danu”) are the Irish race of gods, founded by the goddess Danu. These gods, who originally lived on ‘the islands in the west’, had perfected the use of magic. They traveled on a big cloud to the land that later would be called Ireland and settled there.
Shortly after their arrival they defeated the Firbolg at the first battle of Mag Tuireadh. In the second battle of Mag Tuireadh they fought and conquered the Fomorians, a race of giants who were the primordial inhabitants of Ireland. The Tuatha Dé dealt more subtly with the Fomorians than with the Firbolg, and gave them the province of Connacht. There was also some marrying between the two races.
The Tuatha Dé themselves were later driven to the underworld by the Milesians, the people of the fabulous spanish king Milesius. There they still live as invisible beings and are known as the Aes sidhe. In a just battle, they will fight beside mortals. When they fight, they go armed with lances of blue flame and shields of pure white.
The Epic of the Tuatha Dé Danann is the first Cycle of Irish storytelling.
Fascinating material for a history buff that has ancestral ties to Caldonia and Ireland, but Miracle Gro for a creative mind.
This is a jumping off place. A beginning spot to which I stripped down some things, added on other things, threw on new garbs, tore off that bit there, added a bit more over here and wha-la! My own personal bent on a legendary race of immortal beings. I tried not to clash too much with traditional theory but then again it is just theory after all? Isn’t it?
Wouldn’t you wonder why, such a superior race that defeated the Firbolg and the Fomorian giants would be content to be exiled to the underground while humans roamed free on the surface? Why would they fight alongside these same humans?
Like I said, a jumping off place. As I sat on a high observation point, looking down over a valley of green lush spring grass, the Irish landscape came to my mind and the ideas began exploding like an internal fireworks display. Wish you could have been there it was magnificent! Then again, if you ask my daughter it’s a scary experience.
Soon, I will be on the final draft of this work and be ready to share it with everyone! In the meantime, you might want to invest in a little wrought ironwork around your home. Or a few pieces of galena might make an attractive investment.
Write on my friends, let the fireworks begin!
Wonderful post! Being a Greek mythos lover, I find all ancient mythology fascination to learn about.
I kn ew that you would appreciate this knowing your love of Greek mythology! There are surprising similarities that span across the cultures.
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Good post, Ellie. Like you, I take a common myth and tweek it to create my own realism. Thanks for the mythology lesson. There were several points I was unaware of regarding how the faeries came to be.
As with most folklore and mythology, there is a lot of fascinating information. i was recently researching about the Cherokee mythos and beliefs. Quite fascinating how each culture explains things. I also noted things in different cultures that are carried over into our lives.
“Miracle-Gro”–ha! Love it! This sounds fascinating!
Thanks! Glad someone got my little joke about miracle-gro. Most of my best ideas are somehow related to myths and legends.