Jack of Many Trades

Reconsidering the Good Earth

Originally posted: 2013-07-15

All signs point to "just do it," so I've spent the day trying to decide what I should just do. The best way to address the issue of names and gods for me is probably to step back and look at each of the fives I posted the other day, reconsider what is at the root of my relationship with each Power, and go from there.

I think the easiest place to start is with Mara. I've already made one major shift in how I understand her, since I first knew her as the Disneyland Mara and only found the Latvian goddess much later. I needed that at that time, since I was learning then to see Mara separately from how my ex had seen her. Going recon was about as far as I could possibly go in the other direction.

Variations on the name Mar* are pretty common in mythology. There's the Latvian Mara, the others I've written about on Mara's shrine, like Marzanna, and the fictional Maras from Disneyland and Skyrim, and still others I haven't considered, like the Christian Mary and the Basque/Feri Mari. I think Mara remains as good a name as any for the Good Earth.

What I know about her is that she is generous and bountiful. She gives freely, and what she asks in return is that we pass that generosity on to others in need. She has some hearth goddess tendencies, expecting me to keep house and learn to cook. She likes her shiny things, and expects to have the nicest altar in the house. She has high standards and a kindness to her, expecting much of me and picking me up when I fall.

I grow my garden for her, small and sad as it is. I give to charity for her. I shop secondhand and local at her request.

I know her and I have always known her. Whether I associate her with a "known Mara" or I admit that she is a lady unto herself, she is still my Dear Mara.

The rest of them will probably not be quite this easy.