Child Miners, Mother Goddesses, and One of the Greatest Powers of the Bronze Age

Child Miners, Mother Goddesses, and One of the Greatest Powers of the Bronze Age


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In ancient times, metal ores such as tin and copper were hard to come by. So in 4,500 BC when the innovators discovered how to produce bronze from a mixture of the two, there was a mad rush to extract as much ore as possible in order to cash in on the booming bronze trade. One of the most productive- and thus most powerful – centers of activity was the British Isles. In the area surrounding the Irish Sea (Dublin, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, and western Scotland) large deposits of both tin and copper were discovered. Moreover, by this time an adequate shipping industry had sprung up that was able to transport the minerals from the British Isles to the powerful empires of Europe and the Mediterranean region. The small British mining communities became some of the most important outposts in the trans-European Bronze Age trade networks.

Mining and metalwork are difficult tasks even today. 6,000 years ago, it would take an entire village or kinship group to pull off a successful smelting operation. First the ore would have to be extracted from the ground- tools would have to be made, tunnels dug, minerals mined; then incredibly hot fires would have to be made in order to smelt the copper or tin – wood would have to be gathered, fires stoked, metal manipulated; finally, the finished products would have to be packaged and shipped to markets in France, Germany, Spain, and perhaps even as far as Denmark and Turkey. This difficult operation would mean that the whole family had to pitch in – children being no exception.

Primitive furnace of the bronze age (CC BY 2.0 )

In a forthcoming paper, Alan Williams of the University of Liverpool's Department of Archaeology in the United Kingdom discusses the mining colony that operated at the Great Orme in Wales.

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“The star in the crown was basically the Great Orme, which grew to be much bigger than all of the others and, in fact, is one of the biggest in all of Europe. It turned out to be the Stonehenge of copper mining," explained Williams in an interview with the BBC.

Tunnels at the site stretch across five miles (eight kilometers) and in some places go as deep as 230 feet (70 meters), the level of the water table. Estimates put the total amount of ore extracted from Great Orme anywhere from 25 to 1,760 tons. As the tunnels get closer and closer to hitting the water, the tunnels get ever narrower- far too narrow for even the most flexible adults to squeeze through. Williams argues that these parts of the mines were probably excavated by children.

"Children were probably scraping out these veins while their parents were nearby,” said Nick Jowett, the manager of the Great Orme site. “It was a different time. There's no school to go to. That's just the way."

The entrance to the Neolithic Copper Mine complex on the Great Orme ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Another striking difference was the role of women in these societies. During the Bronze Age, “inhabitants of the British Isles were mother right people, matrilineal in their descent, with the right to rule passing down from mother to daughter” (Campbell, 2015). These women undoubtedly played a key role in the mineral extraction and trade. The land in the western portion of the British Isles, such as Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and Cornwall, was largely spared from the corrosive force of the Roman Empire. This allowed the spirit and style of the Celtic Legends, with their powerful Mother Goddess figures, to remain intact well into the Middle Ages. Indeed, the fairy godmothers and magical queens that pervade many Celtic and European myths have their roots in this culture of feminine power.

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As a result of the incessant need for tin and copper, a matrix of civilized communities sprang up along the waterways of Western Europe. As Jowett explains, "If you're going to go all the way to Cornwall, there's no point showing up at the beach with two tons of copper. There must have been meeting times. They must have communicated." Incredibly, this level of sophisticated trade arose at nearly the same time, if not before, the art of writing was invented.

Two women wearing bronze bracelets. ( www.quantockhills.com)

Modern science has allowed researchers to track down the tin and copper extracted from the British Isles. These minerals have several variables that allow them to be differentiated from the ore extracted on the Continent of Europe or in other parts of the world. The so-called fingerprints are “the ore's trace elements, and the ratio of different lead isotopes” (Ruggeri, 2016). However, researchers also look for cultural artifacts that may have been shared during this time. One of the most remarkable finds is a marble carving of a Gaelic warrior unearthed in Turkey. The Hellenistic period figure, known as The Dying Gaul, depicts a naked man wearing an Irish torque- a traditional Gaelic necklace with two heavy ends meeting.

The Dying Gaul ( CC BY 2.0 )

Over time, the mining communities dwindled until the enterprise was altogether abandoned and ore was imported from the Continent rather than exported to it.


Biography

Early life

Rowena Ravenclaw was born sometime in the tenth century. She was from the glens of Scotland, ΐ] and was either born or married into the Ravenclaw family. Rowena was a close friend of Helga Hufflepuff, from the Welsh valleys. Η]

At an unknown time and by unknown means, Rowena acquired a wand. ⎖] It is possible she purchased it from the Ollivander family, who had been in the wand-making business since 382 B.C., ⎗] or made it herself.

Hogwarts founder

United by the common goal of creating the world's best magic school, Η] Rowena Ravenclaw and her good friends Helga Hufflepuff, Godric Gryffindor, and Salazar Slytherin built Hogwarts Castle together and established Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Γ] sometime around 993. ⎘] It is a popular historical theory that the location and name of Hogwarts were both chosen by Rowena, who dreamt that a warty hog was leading her to a cliff by the lake. ⎙] She also came up with the ever-changing floor plan. ⎚]

Rowena selected her students according to intelligence and wisdom. Η] Ravenclaw House therefore values a sharp mind, wisdom, creativity, and cleverness in its members. ⎛] At some point, Rowena bore a daughter, Helena, Ε] who was taught by Rowena herself at Hogwarts. ⎜]

After a time in which the school enjoyed great prosperity, Rowena's fellow founder Salazar Slytherin proposed a controversial action in which Muggle-born students should not be admitted to Hogwarts based on their heritage. Ironically, a large percentage of Ravenclaw's own house were of Muggle descent. She and the rest of the founders refused Slytherin's plan and the problem escalated to such degrees that Salazar ultimately left the school permanently.

Later life and death

At some point after her graduation from Hogwarts School, her daughter Helena stole Ravenclaw's diadem, which was said to enhance the wearer's wisdom. Helena was jealous of her mother's famous intellect and took the diadem with her to Albania, far away from her mother's reach, in hopes of surpassing her. Ashamed of her daughter's betrayal, Rowena opted to keep her daughter's treachery a secret from others and denied it even from her fellow founders. Ε]

Shortly afterwards, Rowena fell fatally ill. Disregarding her treason, she asked the Baron, who was in love with Helena, to go and find her daughter, merely wishing to see her one last time. He eventually tracked her to a forest in Albania but when she refused to return with him, the Baron flew into a fit of rage, furious at her refusal and envious of her freedom, and stabbed her. Immediately overcome with guilt, he then took his own life. The two would later become, respectively, Ravenclaw and Slytherin house ghosts. Ε] Thus, Rowena apparently didn't get the chance to reconcile with her daughter before their untimely deaths, unless her daughter's ghost returned to the castle before Rowena's own death. Legend had it that a "broken heart" added to her early demise. ⎝] This story may have had origin in her estrangement with her daughter. Rowena was the first of the founders to die ⎞] .

Legacy

Rowena's stolen diadem would remain hidden in its lonely locale for centuries until the mid 1900s, where her daughter's ghost was charmed by Sytherin student Tom Riddle into revealing its location. Acting on this information, Riddle took the diadem from its hiding place and defiled both it and the memory of Ravenclaw by turning it into a Horcrux. The defiled artefact was then hidden within the castle Rowena had helped build for years more until it was indirectly destroyed by Harry Potter during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.

According to the questionable publication The Quibbler, Rowena also developed a strategy for traversing the tricky stairs of the Grand Staircase. ⎟]


Child Miners, Mother Goddesses, and One of the Greatest Powers of the Bronze Age - History

The Wiccan Triple Goddess

The Goddess represents the feminine, nurturing side of Deity -intuitive, creative, and magical. She is the inner nature of Deity -the origin of the external Universe.

Thus the Goddess is the Creator, the Source - the God emerges from Her, when She sets the Universe into motion. The God is the Goddess’ Divine Child, formed from Her inner nature, Her “Other Self” as the Vangelo delle Streghe puts it. The God is also the Divine Consort, Whose union with the Goddess describes existence as we know it.

In this sense, the Goddess and the God are the polar forces also termed Yin and Yang. Yin, the Feminine, spiritual, emotive aspect of Deity which is within all things and Whose presence gives all things life. Yang the Masculine, physical, volatile aspect of Deity which manifests in motion and action and Whose permutations build up the outer form of things.

In Wicca, the Goddess is primarily revered through Her form as the Triple Goddess. As the God is often represented by the Sun, the Goddess is often represented by the Moon, and its three phases are taken as instructive as to the nature of Her being the Waxing Moon representing creation and inspiration, embodied in the Maiden Goddess. The Full Moon representing fruition and sustenance, embodied in the Mother Goddess. And the Waning Moon representing fulfilment and endings embodied in the Crone Goddess.


/> The Maiden is the Young Goddess of Spring and new beginnings. She is the Goddess of the Dawn, of youthfulness, the anticipation of life and fresh potential. The Maiden is the Goddess of art, creativity and self-expression of beauty, intelligence, and skill. The Maiden is manifest in action and self-confidence, exploration and discovery. She is sometimes called the Virgin. The term virgin in this instance does not mean physical virginity, it means that the young Goddess is independent - She is responsible for Her own actions, She knows who She is and does not answer to anyone but Herself. The Maiden is aware of Her sexuality and can either hold it at bay or abandon Herself to it. As the Huntress and Mistress of the Woodlands, She is both a friend and companion to all young creatures and a skilled hunter. She is the armed keeper of the Universal Laws of Balance and can mete out punishment swiftly and dispassionately if needed.

You may experience the Goddess in Her form as Maiden when you look upon a newborn child or experience a beautiful sunset. She is the continuation of all life, gifting us with the ability to find delight in the simple pleasures of the world – a butterfly in summer, sunlight on water, the stillness of a forest – all are within the realm of the Maiden Goddess. The Maiden’s magick is strongly connected to Nature and natural magick She can inspire you with new ideas or lead you along a path that is new to you. She can give you a fresh new way to look at something. The Maiden may make Her presence known to you mentally without warning when you least expect it. She shows us the way to spiritual centeredness, running ahead of us enticing us to follow Her down the path that we fear the most - the way that leads us through the labyrinth of our minds into our own subconsciousness.

The Waxing Moon is the Maiden's Moon. Her colours are white and pink symbolic of innocence and newness. The Maiden loves wild flowers especially white ones. The Maiden's animals are all wild animals, especially the Owl and the Deer.

Maiden Goddesses:

Artemis - ( Greek) eternal Virgin Goddess, Lady of the forests and hunting, and also of birth.

Blodewedd - (Celtic) This Spring Goddess was created by magic from nine spring flowers to be the wife of Llew Llaw. This got around the curse Arianhod had placed upon her son preventing him from taking a human wife.

Brigid - (Celtic) In her maiden aspect this Goddess is honoured at the festival of Imbolc which celebrates the first stirrings of Spring.

Chalchihuitlicue - Wife of Tlaloc, the God of Rains for the Aztec, was called the Precious Jeweled Lady, and had in her aspects associated with the Maiden like flowers, spring and the beauty of youth.

Diana - (Roman) Goddess of the Crescent Moon and the Hunt. She is the virgin Goddess of childbirth and women. Oak groves are sacred to Diana.

Flora - (Roman) The Goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bore fruit. Her festival, the Floralia, took place in April or early May and was marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers.

Freya - (Nordic) This Nordic fertility Goddess is linked with spring growth and flowers.

Hebe - (Greek) The Goddess of eternal youth and Spring.

Kore - (Greek) Kore is an alternative name for the Greek Goddess Persephone.

Ostara - (Celtic) Painted eggs and white rabbits are sacred to Ostara, the Celtic Goddess of Spring, fertility and rebirth. Her symbols have been incorporated into the Christian celebration of Easter.

Ninniane - Also called Nimue, in the Arthurian myth. She was Merlin's protege and was courted by him. Nimue locked Merlin in a cave to ward off his constant advances.

Parvati - ( Hindu) Maiden of affirmations and love, She became Shiva's, the Lord of Destruction, mate.

Persephone or Proserpina - Persephone means maiden. She was the daughter of Demeter, who was kidnapped by Hades and reigns with him in the Underworld, for the dark half of the year. Spring arrives when Persephone leaves Hades and joins her Mother.

Rhiannon - ( Celtic) Maiden who is the "Divine Queen of the Faeries". She is a Goddess of movement and change, who remains steadfast and comforting in times of crisis and loss.

The Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess is perhaps the easiest for humans to understand and identify with. The image of the physical mother caring for, nurturing, protecting and loving her children is easily translated to the Mother Goddess. She is associated with confident adulthood and parenthood, She is summertime and the ripening of crops, She is procreation of all things earthly and universal, She is the highest point of all cycles and the sustainer of the Universe. She is the fullness of life, She turns the Wheel of all the seasons, and is the repository of all knowledge. She is the Earth Mother and the Sky Mother who walks beside us into the Labyrinth of Mysteries. The Universe is Her child and She loves and cares for it, providing it with inexhaustible resources from within Herself, even as a mother nurses Her infant from the milk of her breasts.

Her colour is red, the colour of blood and the life-force that courses through us all. Her season is summer and Her Moon is Full. Her symbol is the Cauldron, the churning pot of regeneration. The Mother Goddess rules the Sabbats of Beltane, Litha and Lammas. She shares Winter Solstice with the Maiden and the Crone.

The Mother Goddess teaches us to accept responsibility and to understand the consequences of our own actions. She will guide us towards self-discipline and patience, so that we may grow spiritually into balanced adulthood. She teaches us to reach out to others with loving energy, and to spiral into our Divine centre to both give and receive love. All acts of love are Her rituals. She does not want us to live lives filled with deprivation or chained to addictions, excesses or other forms of self- harm. The Mother Goddess actively works magick to bring us into harmony, happiness and freedom. Just like a human Mother, she wants the very best for us and will help us. All we need to do is reach out to Her. The Mother Goddess nurtures all creation and is filled with love for all, yet, like a real mother, She will not hesitate to mete out discipline when necessary. Work against Her laws of Universal balance, portray yourself as one who has all the answers or is spiritually enlightened without having done the background work of self-discipline, self- understanding, and responsibility, and She will bring you back to reality!

Mother Goddess magick is most powerful at the Full Moon. Call upon Her for spells involving fruition, protection, healing, protection, guidance, marriage or life partners, gardening, animals, choices, peace, psychic direction and spiritual awakening.

Mother Goddesses

Aka (Turkish) Ancient Mother Goddess.

Aphrodite (Greek) Represented fertility.

Arianrhod (Welsh) Associated with fertility

Artemis (Greek) Despite being a virgin goddess she also presides over childbirth due to the ease of her own birth.

Bast (Egyptian) Bast the cat-headed Goddess was associated with both fertility and childbirth.

Ceres (Roman) Goddess of crops and agriculture.

Corn Mother (Native American) Responsible for the fertility of the land and people.

Cybele (Roman) Cybele was the goddess of fertility based on Anatolian Goddess Kybele.

Danu The mythic Mother Goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Celtic tribes that first invaded Ireland.

Demeter (Greek) The Goddess of grain and bringer of fertility to the earth.

Frigg (Nordic) Frigg was the Odin wife she protected a man's marriage and made him fertile. Her name was invoked to bring children into a conjugal union.

Gaia (Greek) Ancient Greek mother goddess who gave birth to the land and the Titans.


Hathor (Egyptian) Mistress of the West, who welcomed the dead into the next life. Sky-goddess of love,music, dance, foreign lands and fertility who helped women in childbirth, as well as the patron goddess of miners. Hathor is often depicted wearing a headdress made of a pair of cow horns with a sun disk.

Hera (Greek) Goddess of women and marriage. Sacred to her are the peacock and the cow.

Isis (Egyptian) Goddess who was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife and as the patron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, Isis is also known as the protector of the dead and Goddess of children

Juno (Roman) Often called upon by infertile women.

Macha (Irish) Fertility goddess who primarily concerned with male virility.

Nile Goddess - One of the prehistoric fertility Goddesses worshipped in the Nile Delta. She had the head of a bird.

Rhea (Greek) Replaced her mother Gaia as the earth and fertility goddess. She gave birth to the first Olympians


Venus (Roman) Roman equivalent to Aphrodite. She represented one of the main fertility Goddesses.


The Crone represents the Goddess in Her aspect as Elder. The Crone is the Wise Woman, the Witch, the Matriarch. The Crone is the Goddess of Death, and magic, and the Spirit realm. She is the Goddess of Wisdom, visions, and guidance. Hers is the height of spiritual power, for She is the Great Sorceress Who creates Her will through magic. Goddess of Transformation, the Crone is the Destroyer Who dissolves outmoded forms, allowing new growth to occur.

The Crone Goddess aspect of the Triple Goddess may be the least understood and feared of the three aspects. The Crone deals with the end of cycles and death She has been called the Terrible Mother, the Dark Mother, the Hag and the Wise One. She is the gateway to death and re-birth, Her wise council teaches us spiritual completion, and the deepest of all mysteries - that without death there is no rebirth. Her cauldron awaits each of us, “All things living are mine own, from me they come, to me they go.” The Crone Goddess is winter, night, outer space, the abyss, menopause, and the advancement of age. She is the natural end of all cycles.

Her colour is black, the absorber of all light, and the colour of darkness where all life rests before rebirth. Her season is winter and Her Moon is the Waning Moon. Her symbols are Lantern of truth and wisdom which She uses to guide us, and the Key which is symbolic of unlocking the deep mysteries. The Crone Goddess rules the Sabbat of Samhain. She shares Winter Solstice with the Maiden and the Crone.

The Crone teaches us prophecy and will guide us to remember the past and see into the future. She is the Keeper of the Akashic Records, which are the details of our past lives. Her guidance through trance work and the spirit world can lead us to past life memories so that we may focus our energies into learning the lessons of this life before passing into the next one. The Crone dispenses justice with love and sorrow, keeping the balance and upholding the laws. To have a relationship with the Crone you must seek Her out. She will offer you a comforting hand when, as with all living things, we must face the death of a loved one or the ending of our own life. She will bring to you the deep understanding that death is the necessary phase that must happen before rebirth.

Crone Goddess magick is most powerful at the Dark Moon. Call upon Her for spells involving harvesting, resting, past life meditations and pathworking, endings, ageing, divorce, rest, retribution, death, protection from physical or psychic attacks, trance work to communicate with the Spirit world.

Crone Goddesses

Annis (Celtic): A frightening old woman, keeper of wisdom and old ways.

Badb : (Irish) A shape-shifting warrior Goddess who symbolizes the cycles of life and death, wisdom and inspiration.

Baba Yaga (Russian): In Slavic mythology, she is the wild old woman the witch and mistress of magic.

Hecate (Greek): Goddess of the underworld and magic

Ceridwen (Celtic): The Keeper of the Cauldron.

Cailleach (Celtic): The hag and destroyer Goddess who ruled over disease, death, wisdom, seasonal rites and weather magic.

Elli (Nordic): Goddess of old age, she defeated Thor.

Grandmother Spiderwoman (Native American): An old wise woman who gave man the sun and fire.

Kali (Indian): Goddess of destruction and rebirth.

Kalma (Finnish): Underworld Goddess of death and decay.

Lara (Roman): Mother of the dead

Libitina (Roman): Goddess of funerals and pyres.

Lilith (Hebrew): Adams first wife and guardian of women's mysteries.

Macha (Irish): The wild woman who battles against injustice to woman and children.

Morrigan (Celtic): Crow Goddess who understands the nature of death.

Mother Holle (German): The Wise Queen of Winter

Nicneven (Celtic): Goddess of Magic and winter.

Nephthys (Egyptian): A funerary Goddess associated with death, magic and reincarnation.

Sedna (Inuit): Mistress of life and death

XochiQuetzal (Mexican): Goddess of the cycles of life celebrated on the Day Of the Dead.


Tuatha Dé Danann Explained and List of Gods

The Tuatha Dé Danann (“People of the Goddess Danu”) were one of the mythical races who settled in Ireland before the arrival of the Milesians, the ancestors of modern Gaels. The Dananns were descendants of the goddess Danu. Her son Dagda was their most powerful leader of the Dananns.

The Tuatha Dé Dananns were a race of deities as well as race of heroes. They were skilled in art and science, poetry and magic.

They were said to come from four mythical cities: Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias. When they came to live in Ireland, the Dananns received four magic treasures or talismans, one from each city. Before the Tuatha Dé Danann migrated to Ireland, they had learned all their skills from for four wizards/bards (druids) from these four cities. Morfesa from Falias, Esras from Gorias, Semias from Murias and Uiscias from Findias. (See the Druids of Danu)

After the Milesians defeated the Dananns, the Dananns either retreated to Tir na n-Og (“Land of Youth”) or they continued to lived on the land with the Milesians, but their homes (subterranean palaces) were hidden by magic from the eyes of mortals. Their homes were commonly called Sidhe (síd or sídh) or the Otherworld. Another name for the Tuatha Dé Danann was the áes sídhe or the “People of the Sídhe”.

In the Otherworld, the Danann remained young and seemingly immortal. Immortal in the sense, they can live a very long life and remain young, but they can be kill and destroy, just like any mortal.

There were frequent visits of the Dananns with the mortals. Sometimes they aided mortals, while other times they seek their destruction. Sometimes they sought marriage with mortals. Most of the times, the Dananns would come to the surface and meet their lovers, other times the mortals were allowed to live with them.

In the Ulster Cycle, the Tuatha Dé Danann was still seen as Celtic deities. However, in the Fenian Cycle, the Dananns had degenerated into nothing more then fey people in another words, the Dananns became the “Fairy People”. The Tuatha Dé Danann became frequently associated with fairies. Because of the Christian influences in the myths, some of them died in old age when they leave the Otherworld that they were baptised before their death.

(It should be noted that the fairies in Celtic myths (especially Irish, Welsh and Arthurian myths) had nothing to do with tiny pixie with wings that are found in folklore and children fairy tales, like Tinklebell in Peter Pan or the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. The fairies found here were human with supernatural power. Modern interpretations of fairies tend to prettify them, particularly during the Victorian period (19th century) in Britain.

In early Irish and Welsh literature, they could be tall or short, beautiful or ugly. They can be benevolent beings, but at other times they can be frighteningly cruel or malign. Morrigan and Morgan le Fay would not be considered fairies in the modern sense.)

If you are interested in the mythical history of people who settled in Ireland, read the Book of Invasions.

Please note that I have limited the number of Tuatha Dé Danann who appeared in Irish myths. I have only provided description for those who play an important role in Irish mythology, because there are just too many Dananns for my small page.

The number three was important to all Celtic tradition. Gods and goddesses were usually grouped in three or they represent three different aspects of the same deity.

Here you will find a list of triple goddesses and other goddesses found in Irish mythology.

Ernmas was the mother of a son, named Fiachna, and three daughters who were the three sovereignity goddesses of Ireland – Banba, Fodla and Eriu. According to one version, her son impregnated her with these three daughters. Sometimes, Eirnin was said to be the mother of the three goddesses.

Ernmas was possibly the mother of the three war goddesses: Morrigan, Badb and Macha she was also the mother of Dana (Ana). Their father was Delbáeth, son of Angus Og and Eithne.

Danu was widely worshipped mother goddess throughout Europe. She was known under various names, such as Danu, Dana and Anu in Continental Europe and Ireland. In Wales, she was called Don.

Danu married her consort Bilé (Bile), and was the mother of Dagda, who was the chief leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her other offspring probably were Dian Cécht and Nuada.

With Dagda, Danu was also the mother of Ogma. Her other possible sons were Cian (Kian), Sawan and Goibhniu by Dian Cécht.

Danu was also known by another name – Brigit. Here, as Ana or Brigit, she was known as the daughter of the Dagda. She was mother of three sons all of them were named Ecne.

In some of the sources, Danu or Ana was the proper name of the war-goddess Morrigan.

Goddess of war and fertility. Her name, Morrígan (Morrigan), means the “Queen of Demons” or the “Phantom Queen”.

Morrígan was the daughter of Delbáeth and Ernmas. Morrígan was the sister of Badb, Macha, and possibly of Nemain.

Morrígan was one of the wives of Dagda. During the festival of Samhain, held on November 1, she would sleep with Dagda, to renew the future prosperity of Ireland. In this role, she was seen as the Sovereignty of Ireland.

Morrígan was also the godddess of divination and prophecy.

In Cath Mag Tuired, she was washing clothes at the ford in Unshin in Corann, near Dagda’s house at Glen Edin, when Dagda encountered her on eve of Samhain festival. One foot was at Allod Echae (water in the south) and the other foot at Lisconny (north of the water). She nine loosened tresses on hair. After Dagda slept with her, she advised him of where the Fomorians were gathered and what she would do in battle. It was from Morrígan that other Celtic folklore had derived the Washer at the Ford. The Washer was sort of like a banshee, who was able to predict who would die.

In several sources, Morrígan had children, some by Dagda, and sometimes the father or fathers of her children were never named.

Morrígan had also been identified with the goddess Danu or Anu, or that Danu was Morrígan proper name, since both were named as the daughter of Delbáeth and Ernmas. And both were the mothers of Brian, Iuchar and Iurbarba, through incest with own father.

Morrígan was one of the strangest deities in Irish myths. She was tripartite goddess of war: goddess with three separate personalities or aspects. The three morrigans were Morrígan, Macha and Badb. Some say that there are three separate goddesses (morrígans) with the same name, or that her three aspects were combined into a single goddess.

In the Second Battle of Mag Tuired (Moytura), Morrígan helped the Tuatha Dé Danann, causing fear and confusion in the Fomorian ranks. With the single combat between Ogma and Indech (one of the Fomorian kings), Morrígan drained the strength from Indech.

At the end of the book, she proclaimed that the Tuatha Dé Danann won a great victory over the Fomorians.

In the tale of the Destruction of Da Derga, Morrígan caused Conaire Mor to break his last geis. Morrígan was also in love with Cú Chulainn, and appeared as a young beautiful maiden to the hero. However, Cú Chulainn rejected Morrígan’s love. In the Cattle Raid of Cooley, Morrígan was one of the opponents who attacked Cú Chulainn at the ford, but each time, Cú Chulainn subdued or defeated her.

Though, she had become Cú Chulainn’s enemy, in the end, she tried to save the hero. She sent a warning to Cú Chulainn, of the hero been lured away to a death trap set by his enemies, by breaking the pole of his chariot. When Cú Chulainn tied himself to a rock, dying from his wound, Morrígan in the form of raven, sat perch on his shoulder, which kept the enemies at bay. Only when his life slipped away that Morrígan flew away.

She was known as Macha, the goddess of fertility – a mother goddess. Macha appeared several times in Irish myths. In her first appearance, she was the wife of Nemed, leader of the Nemedians.

Macha also appeared as the wife of Nuada of the Silver Hand, king of Ireland and leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Here, Macha was the daughter of Delbáeth and Ernmas, and sister of Badb, Morrígan, and possibly of Nemain. As a tripartite goddess of war, Macha was one of the three aspects of the Morrígans. Macha died with her husband in the Second Battle of Mag Tuired (Moytura) they were killed by Balor’s destructive eye.

However, Macha was most popular and active in her roles in the northern province of Ulster (Ulaid). Macha appeared twice in the Ulaid Cycle.

She was once known as Macha, the red war-goddess. Macha was the daughter of Áed Ruad. Macha married her uncle Cimbáeth and became queen of Ulaid (Ulster). It was she, who founded the city that was named after her: Emain Macha. The name Emain Macha means the “Brooch of Macha“, because she marked the boundary of hill-fortress with her brooch.

In the second story of Ulster, Macha appeared again, this time as the second wife of the wealthy farmer Crunnchu. This Macha placed the curse upon the men of Ulaid, for their mistreatment of her, during her pregnancy. The curse was that during Ulster’s hours of greatest need, the men of Ulster would suffer the pang like those of a woman giving birth. In this story she was the goddess of horses (See Curse of Macha).

Badb and Other Aspects

Badb was the daughter of Delbáeth and Ernmas, and sister of Macha, Morrígan, and possibly of Nemain. Badb was the wife of Neit. As a tripartite goddess of war, Badb was one of the three aspects of the Morrígans.

As Badb, Morrígan was the goddess of war, and was often referred to as Badb Catha, which means “Battle Raven“. She had the ability to shift-change to a young beautiful girl or an old hag, as well a raven or crow. She was also called Banbha and Fodla.

Finally, as Nemain, Morrígan was goddess of strife and panic. Her name means “Panic”. Nemain was also said to be the wife of Neit, like Badb. Nemain had been associated with the British goddess Nemetona, the goddess of the sacred grove.

Badb and Nemain appeared in Táin Bó Cuailnge on the eve of the final battle between Ulster and Connacht. They entered the camp of Connacht and her allies, where a hundred warriors died in fright. The goddesses inspired terror in the night.

Eriu was possibly another aspect of Morrigan. Again, Eriu appeared as the goddess of fertility. Eriu was the sovereignty of Ireland wedded to a mortal king. Like all her previous aspects mentioned, Eriu was also a war goddess and had the ability to change her shape from a girl to a hag, or to bird or animal. Eriu was the patron goddess of the province Meath. Ireland was probably named after her (Eire). (See Eriu.)

Morrígan was also associated with Medb or Maeve, queen of Connacht, married to a mortal king Ailill.

Eriu and her sisters had been named as daughters of Fiachna and Ernmas, in the Lebor Gabála. Fiachna was actually Ernmas’ son by a Danann named Delbáeth, who was the son of either Ogma or Angus. While in the same work, she was called the daughter of Dealbaeth (Delbáeth). This means that Eriu and her sisters were also the sisters of Morrigan, Badb and Macha.

As Eri, Eriu fell in love with Fomorian king, named Elatha, the son of Fomorian Delbáeth (son of Neit). Most Fomorians were ugly and deformed. Elatha was a beautiful son of Delbáeth and the grandson of Neit (this Delbáeth should not be confused with another Delbáeth, who was a Danann and son of Ogma or of Angus). Elatha was described as having golden curly hair. Elatha seduced her, and she became the mother of Bres. Elatha gave her a ring, so that he would later recognise his own son.

Bres became a king of Ireland, when Nuada lost his right hand, but her son’s oppressive rule, the Danann had Bres expulsed. Bres took the matter to his mother. Eriu took her son to see her former lover. Elatha recognising his son, because Bres worn the ring that the Fomorian king given to Eriu. Elatha and the other Fomorian kings raised an army against the Danann.

After the Danann defeated the Fomorians in the second battle of Mag Tuired, it seemed that Lugh Lamfada married Eriu. Lugh seemed to have many wives. An unnamed wife had affair with Cermait, the son of Dagda. Out of jealousy and revenge, Lugh killed Cermait. The sons of Cermait killed Lugh, in turn. Note this contradicted that Lugh was alive to father of Cú Chulainn. (See Lugh)

Then Eriu married MacGreine, the son of Cermait. Her other sisters also married the sons of Cermait: Banba was married MacCuill, while Fodla was the wife of MacCecht. Their husband ruled Ireland after the war, until the Milesians invaded. The Milesians named Ireland – Erin, after Eriu.

She was the warrior goddess as well as the patron goddess of craftsmen.

In the Irish myths, Brigit was daughter of Dagda. Brigit was sometimes identified with the goddess Danu, the mother goddess of the Danann, but this would cause even greater confusion in already confusing genealogy.

Birgit was normally said to be the wife of Senchán Forpeist, though in another version, she had mated Bres, one of the Danann kings, and became the mother of Rúadan.

Her son Rúadan tried to murder Goibhniu for his father, but the smith killed the youth. Her lament for son was the first kenning to be heard in Ireland.

Brigit was also the mother of Brian, Iuchar and Iurbarba. Some say she was the mother of Creidhne (artificer), Luchta (carpenter) and Goibhniu (smith), the three master-craftsmen, though Goibhniu was usually called the son of Danu and Dian Cécht, and Luchta was the son of Luchad. Brigit was also said to have a grandson named Ecne.

Her name was also spelt, Brigid, means “High One” or the “One Who Is Exalted“. During the time of Roman power, Brigit was identified with Brigindo or Brigandu in Gaul, while she was called Brigantia, after the Celtic tribe living in northern England.

Brigit
(Sorry, no information available)

Boann had an affair with Dagda (usually referred to as Eochaid Ollathair), during her husband’s absence. Dagda had her husband on a mission. Elcmar thought the journey took only one day and one night, when actually nine months passed, because Dagda used his power to hide Boann’s adultery and pregnacy from Elcmar. By Dagda, Boann became the mother of Angus Óg (and possibly of Brigit). Elcmar unknowingly became foster father of Boann’s son.

Flidais was the mother of several daughters, who were druidesses or witches, such as Bé Chuille, Dianann (Dinand), and Bé Téite, and Fand the last daughter being the wife of Manannán Mac Lir. Both Bé Chuille and Dianann aided the Tuatha Dé Danann against the Fomorians, in the Second Battle of Mag Tuired. They used their sorcery to create illusions.

Ainé (Aine) was the daughter of Eógabal and She was the sister of Fer Í. In some other texts, she was the daughter of Fer Í and Eógabal was her grandfather.

She appeared as the patron goddess of the province Munster, where her festival was celebrated on Midsummer Eve at Knockainy (Hill of Aine).

Please note that the genealogy of the Tuatha Dé Danann is rather confusing. (Okay, downright chaotic.) I have relied on the Lebor Gabala Erren and Cath Maige Tuired, as my sources. These sources can be conflicting. The Lebor Gabála can contradict and conflict with itself in different passages, sometimes giving different parents to a Danann.

Another reason of the confusion is that the Lebor Gabála survived in several different manuscripts, and the book I used tried to put all the translations together in one volume. See Bibliography on the Lebor Gabála and Cath Maige Tuired.

The only Danann I am certain of Lugh (son of Cian and Ethlinn), and Angus, Bodb Derg and Brigit were the children of Dagda.

The point is that with the genealogy of the Tuatha Dé Danann, accuracy is not possible. So please don’t take this out on me (about the three different family trees), if you are confused. I’m a little confused myself.

Some say that he was the ancestor of Mils, the ancestors of the modern Gaelic Irish.

Unlike like his son, Lir was merely a personification of the sea. Manannán appeared as more real character than he did. His role in Celtic myths was minimal.

The only tale of note about Lir is actually about his children, who were changed into swans by his third wife. This tale is titled Oidheadh Chlainne Lir or the Death of the Children of Lir.

His second wife is named Aeb, and his children are Fionuala, Aed, Conn and Fiachra. When Aeb died, Lir married his third wife Aiofe, who was actually Aeb’s sister. Aiofe was jealous because she was childless and Lir loved his children.

Manannán also seemed to have control over the weather, but his powers was probably confined to the sea. Manannán was also a healer and a mighty sorcerer.

Manannán probably had a daughter named Tailtiu (Taillte), who became the foster mother of Lugh. Usually Tailtu was said to be the daughter of the King of the Great Plain and the wife of Firbolg king, Eochaidh Mac Erc. Manannán was also believed to be the father of Mongán, the reincarnation of Finn Mac Cumhaill.

Manannán married a beautiful Danann woman named Fand, who had affair with the Ulster hero, Cu Chulainn.

Manannán was also married to Aife (Aiofe), who had being transformed into a crane. Aife was killed and her skin was used to create a magic treasure bag, which would later belong to Finn and the Clan Bascna in the Fenian Cycle.

Manannán was either a lover or husband of Aine, the sun goddess of love.

Manannán lived in the “Land of Promise” or “Land of Youth”. Manannán possessed the ship called “Wave-sweeper” a vessel that can steer itself by his thought, and move without the needs of oars or winds. Manannán can also drive his chariot over water, drawn by two magical horses. Manannán sometimes wielded the “Answerer”, the sword given to Lugh Lamfada.

Manannán was the patron god of the Tuatha Dé Danann. When the Dananns were defeated in battle against the Milesians, it was Manannán who led either led to the “Land of Youth” (Otherworld or Sidhe). The magic swine that Manannán owned, and kept the Tuatha Dé Danann young. Each day, the swine was killed and roasted for the Dananns to eat, and at the end of each day, the swine return to life, only to be kill and eaten the next day.

Manannan mac Lir riding Enbarr
Illustration by JJP

There is some confusion over his parentage. Dagda was the son of the goddess Danu and Bile. He had also being called the one of the seven sons of Ethliu.

He was the father of many of deities, among them was a son Angus Óg (Oengus or Mac Oc) by the river-goddess Boann. By his mother Danu, Dagda was the father of Ogma. Some other writers say that Ogma and Dagda were brothers in this version they were the sons of Elatha and Eithne. Dagda was also known as the seven sons of Ethliu, which would make him the brother of Nuada, Dian Cécht, Goibhniu, Credne, Luchta and Lug Mac Cein.

Dagda was the chief leader and god of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and was the father of many children. Other sons included Bodb Derg, Aed Minbhrec (or Aed Cáem), Cermait Milbél (“honey-mouthed”) and Midir. He was also the father of two daughters: Brigit and Ainge.

Dagda was described as a huge and stocky man, with superhuman strength as well as superhuman appetite. The Fomorians once held Dagda prisoner. The Fomorians threatened to kill him, if he did not eat the entire porridge in a deep pit. Dagda was said to have used an enormous wooden spoon, in which a man and a woman can sleep together in.

Dagda possessed several magical objects. One of them was the great treasure of the Tuatha Dé Danann: the magic cauldron from a magical city of Murias. The cauldron was never empty of food, and it was called Cauldron of Dagda. Dagda also had a large club or hammer so heavy that it needed wheels. This club could kill and give life. The club and cauldron bear striking resemblance to the ancient Gallic god, Sucellus.

Another object he owned was the magic harp known as Uaithne. Dagda used the harp, to change the seasons and weather. When the Fomorians stole his magic harp, Dagda along with Ogma and Lugh went to retrieve it. They found the harp in a hall of the Fomorian camp. When Dagda chanted a spell, the harp flew into his hands, killing nine Fomorians along its path.

He was either married to Macha or Nemain, or even both. These two women were both associated with Morrígan (Morrigan).

During the first battle of Moytura (Magh Tuiredh), the Dananns defeated the Firbolgs, killing Mac Erc, king of the Firbolgs. However, Nuada lost his right hand in the fighting. The people had a law that stated the mutilation of his hand prevented Nuada from ruling Ireland as their king. So the Dananns chose Bres as their king. However, Bres’ rule was so harsh that the Dananns felt oppressed.

Dian Cécht (Dian Cecht) was the great physician, who had replaced Nuada’s hand with magical silver hand. Nuada became known as Nuada Airgedlámh (Nuada of the Silver Hand). With a new hand, the Dananns willingly accepted Nuada as king, and had Bres stepped down from the throne. Bres however reconquered Ireland, aided by his grandfather Balor, the Fomorian leaders.

The Dananns then had to suffer from oppression from the Fomorian overlord, until the arrival of Lugh, son of Cian (Kian). Lugh sided with Nuada, and in the second battle of Moytura (Magh Tuiredh). During the battle, Balor killed Nuada. The Fomorians were defeated when Lugh killed Balor with his sling.

Nuada was said to be father of Murna of the White Neck, mother of the hero Finn MacCumhaill.

There are no clear indication of who Ogma’s parents were. In one version, Ogma was considered to be the son of Dagda and the goddess Danu, but in others, Ogma and Dagda were brothers in this version they were the sons of Eithne. Ogma had also being called the son of Elatha (or Elada), the king of the Fomorians.

Ogma was one the seven champions in the First Battle of Moytura (Mag Tuired), but when Bres became the king of Tuatha dé Danann, Ogma was degraded into working on humiliating manual job of gathering firewood.

When Lugh went to Nuada, asking for a place to serve the king, Ogma seemed to be Nuada’s foremost fighter. During the second battle of Moytura, Ogma had killed one of the Fomorian leaders, named Indech, the son of Domnu.

Ogma had married Etain, the daughter of Dian Cécht. Ogma had a son named Caipre. Some say that he was the father of MacCuill, MacCecht and MacGrené (MacGrene), the three Danann kings who ruled Ireland, during the Milesian invasion, though other say that Neit was their father.

There is a lot of confusion over his parentage. Dian Cécht was said to be the son of Esarg and grandson of Neit. This makes Dian Cécht the brother of Goibhniu, Luchne and Creidne. He had also being named as the son of Dagda. In another work, Dian Cécht was the son of Echtoigh and grandson of Esoirc. While in the Lebor Gabala, he had being called one of the seven sons of Ethliu. This would make him the brother of Dagda, Nuada, Goibhniu, Luchta, Credne and Lug Mac Cein. In one poem in the Dindshenchas, Dian Cécht was even called the son of Dagda, but this was clearly a mistake, because another poem in the same work, stated differently.

Through the goddess Danu, Dian Cécht became the father of Goibhniu, Cian (Kian) and Sawan.

When Bres grew oppressive, the Dananns wanted Nuada to become their king. However, Nuada was disqualified from ruling Ireland because he lost one of his hands in battle against the Firbolgs. Dian Cécht replaced Nuada’s hand with a silver hand, enabling Nuada to replace Bres as king.

Dian Cécht was not an ethical healer, because he was jealous with anyone who surpassed him as a healer, even his own children. When Miach had shown to be a greater healer than him, by restoring Nuada’s original arm, Dian Cécht murdered his own son. When Airmed, his daughter, began categorying the herbs used for healing, Dian Cécht jealously mixed catalog so the results came out wrong.

Cian possessed a magic cow that had endless supply of milk. When Balor deceived Sawan (who was guarding the cow), Cian took revenge upon the Fomorian captain, by seducing Balor’s daughter, Ethlinn. Ethlinn bore Cian three sons.

It was prophecised that Balor’s grandson would one day kill him. Balor had Ethlinn (Ethnea or Eithliu) imprisoned in the tower. When her sons (triplets) were born, Balor threw each son from the tower into the sea. Only one infant was saved by Manannán (Manannan) and a Druidess named Birog. Birog brought the child to Cian. Cian put the child, whom he named Lugh, into the care of his brother Goibhniu.

Cian’s death was only briefly given in the Lebor Gabala Erren, saying that he was murdered by the sons of Tuirill Biccreo – Brian, Iuchar and Iucharba. The story was greatly expanded a lot later, in the Oidheadh Chlainne Tuireann (or the “Death of the Children of Tuireann”)

When Lugh manhood, he became the Deliverer of the Tuatha Dé Danann. When the Danann gathered an army to oppose the Fomorians. Cian was sent to enlist fighting men from Ulster. On his journey, he transformed himself into a pig to avoid the sons of Turenn, whom he had blood feud with. However, the sons of Turenn weren’t fooled by Cian’s disguised and mortally wounded the pig (Cian). Cian pleaded with the sons of Turenn that he wished to transform back to a man, they granted his boon.

Goibhniu was known as the son of Dian Cécht and Danu. Goibhniu had two brothers: Cian or Kian (father of Lugh), and Sawan. Sometimes, Goibhniu was called the son of Esarg and grandson of Neit, which make him the brother of Credné, Luchta and Dian Cécht. Goibhniu was also known as the son of Ethliu, which make him the brother of Dagda, Nuada, Dian Cécht, Credne, Luchta and Lug Mac Cein.

Goibhniu raised Lugh, teaching the boy many different skills in his crafts.

During the second battle of Moytura, Goibhniu and other craftsmen, Credné (artificer) and Luchtainel or Luchta (carpenter or wrights quickly repaired the damaged weapons for the Dananns. The three craftsmen were a triad of gods of skills called “Na tri dee dana”. Some say that the other two craftsmen were his brothers.

Goibhniu killed Rúadan, the son of Bres and Bríg (Brigit), who had tried to murder the smith.

Sometimes, Credne was called the son of Esarg and grandson of Neit, which make him the brother of Goibhniu, Luchta and Dian Cécht. Credne was also known as the son of Ethliu, which make him the brother of Dagda, Nuada, Dian Cécht, Goibhniu, Luchta and Lug Mac Cein.

Since Credne was gold smith, he assisted Dian Cecht in make the silver arm for Nuada Airgetlám.

Credne assisted Goibhniu and Luchta in making new weapons and repairing damaged weapons.

After the war against the Firbolgs, Bres became king of Erin (Ireland), when the Danann leader Nuada lost one of his hand Nuada could not become king because of the mutilation.

Most Danann kings were gifted with leadership, fighting, poetry, learning, or magic, but Bres lack the skill of leadership. Bres became a tyrant. So when Bres ruled became so harsh that Dian Cécht replaced Nuada’s hand with one made of silver, the Dananns immediately accepted Nuada’s rule, expulsing Bres from the throne.

Since Bres was half Fomorians, Balor aided Bres to regain rulership. War broke out between the Dananns and Fomorians. The Fomorians defeated the Dananns. The Dananns suffered from Fomorian oppression, until the arrival of Lugh Lamfada.

Bres was the father of Rúadan by Bríg (Brigit), the daughter of Dagda. His son died when the youth tried to murder Goibhniu.

Lugh was a popular sun god, worshipped throughout the Celtic world. In Gaul, he was identified as Lugus or Lug. Because Lugus was identified as the solar god, the Greeks identified Lugus with the sun god Apollo. In Wales, he was called Lleu, while in Ireland, he was called Lugh or Lug.

Lugh was considered as a later arrival of deity to Ireland, who probably originated from Gaul (France and northern Italy). Lugh probably displaced the ancient tribal god named Tograin. Lugh was associated with a Celtic autumn festival called Lugnasad, held in August 1. It was also dedicated to Tailtiu, Lugh’s Firbolg foster mother.

He was popularly called Lugh Lamfada – “Lugh of the Long Arms”, as well as Lugh Samildánach – “Skilled in All the Arts”. Caesar and the Romans associated with Roman god Mercury (Greek Hermes).

Balor, Lugh’s maternal grandfather had learned that his daughter’s son would one day kill him. Balor tried to unsuccessfully confine his daughter Ethlinn, but Cian with the help of a druidess, Brióg, managed to seduce Ethlinn. Ethlinn gave birth to triplets. Balor tried to have his grandsons killed, but either Brióg or Mananán saved one of the infants (Lugh).

Mananán or his father Cian left Lugh with his foster father Goibhniu, who taught Lugh all the skills, or Tailtiu, who was formerly the wife of Firbolg king, Eochaid Mac Eirc. Tailtiu and her second (Danann) husband Eochaid Garb Mac Dúach became Lugh’s foster parents. Lugh nine foster fathers who were met to protect from battle included Echdam, Eru, Fedlimid, Fosad, Ibar (Iubor), Minn, Rechtaid Finn, Scibar and Toulusdam.

Lugh have many servants serving him. His cupbearers were named Dathe, Drucht, Glan, Gle, Glesse, Taé, Talon and Trog. Below is the list of charioteer, including the names of the horses, chariots and goads:

chariots charioteers goads horses
Luachta Medol Fes Can
Anagat Medón Res Doriadha
Achad Moth Roches Romuir
Feochair Mothach Anagar Laisad
Fer Foimtinne Ilach Fer Forsaid
Golla Tenda Canna Sroba
Fosad Tres Riadha Airchedal
Cráeb Morb Búaid Ruadar
Carpat Allriadha
Rocedal

Lugh possessed the magic sword called Freagarthach (the “Answerer”), one of the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann from the city of Findias. Lugh also possessed an invincible spear, from the city of Gorias.

As revenge for death his father, Lugh refused to heal the mortally wounds sons of Turenne with magic pigskin.

Lugh gained or borrowed Mananan’s magical ship, Wave-sweeper. Lugh’s dog was called Failiais.

At the end of the war, Lugh had become king of Ireland and ruled for 40 years. Cermait, the son of Dagda, had seduced Lugh’s unnamed wife. Lugh killed Cermait for adultery with his wife. Cermait had three sons – MacCuill, MacCecht and MacGrené (MacGrene). They avenged their father death, by killing Lugh, at Uisnech.

Lugh was said to have four other wives: Búi and her sister Nas Echtach and Englic.

His most famous son was Cú Chulainn (Cu Chulainn), the greatest hero in Irish myth. Lugh abducted Dectera, daughter of the Ulster’s chief druid, Cathbad. When Conchobar and his warriors founded Dectera, she gave them the infant, whom they named Sétanta (Setanta).

Angus appeared as Mac Oc in the Book of Invasions and the Second Battle of Mag Tuired, where his wisdom saved Dagda from starving to death. See Tyranny of Bres.

The best known story about Angus was the Aislinge Oenguso (Dream of Angus). Angus fell in love with a beautiful maiden that he had seen in his dream, near a lake, surrounded by fifty companions. He became ill with his longing for this unknown girl. His parents were concern with his health, sought the identity of the girl.

Her name was Caer Iborméith (Caer Ibormeith), daughter of Ethal Anbúail, the Danann king in Connacht. Angus found out that Caer could take on the form of swan in one moment and human shape the next. Angus went to lake, to declare his love for her. He was transformed into a swan, where they flew off together. Obviously, Caer accepted his love.

Angus Og
John Duncan, 1908
National Gallery of Scotland, Edimburgh

Bodb Derg seemed to have ruled several different sidhes, depending on which tales you are reading. Bodb was king of the Sid ar Femen and Sid na mRen (Sileveramon.

In the story of Aislinge Oenguso (Dream of Angus), he was the king of the Sid Mumu. While in the Togail Bruidne Da Derga (Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel), his domain was in Sid ar Femuin (well at least Bodb’s swineherd lived there. In the Acallam na Senórach, Bodb Derg was the king of Bruig of the Boyne (Newgrange), an Otherworld domain. Bodb lived with 150 sons of kings. Though Bruig was usually said to be his father (Dagda) or his brother Angus’s domain.

In the Battle of Ventry, Bodb Derg was the king of the Danann, who aided the Fianna in the war against the invaders, led by Dáiri Donn, the King of the World.

Midir seemed to appear more frequently during the time of the Ulster and Fenian cycles than before the arrival of the Milesians.

The most important story he was involved in, when Midir appeared as the Danann husband of Etain, his second wife. His first wife’s jealousy caused her to changed Etain into a butterfly. Eventually, Etain became mortal and married the mortal king, Eochy. Midir tried to win her back, but Etain finally remained with Eochy. (See the story of Etain for full story, in the Ulaid Cycle.)

Neit may have been the consort of Morrígan. Neit was married to Badb and Frea. Neit was also said to be the father of Esarg, who was the father of the Danann physician, Dian Cécht.

Neit was the Danann king of Ireland before the arrival of the sons of Mil (Milesians). He was killed in battle against the Fomorians.


The Mistress’s Daughter

Christmas, 1992, I go home to Washington, D.C., to visit my family. The night I arrive, just after dinner, my mother says, “Come into the living room. Sit down. We have something to tell you.” Her tone makes me nervous. My parents are not formal people—no one sits in the living room. I am standing in the kitchen. The dog is looking up at me.

“Come into the living room. Sit down,” my mother says.

“There’s something we need to talk to you about.”

“Just tell me now, from here.”

“Come,” she says, patting the cushion next to her.

“No one died. Everyone’s fine.”

“Yes, it’s you. We’ve had a phone call. Someone is looking for you.”

After a lifetime spent in a virtual witness-protection program, I’ve been exposed. I grew up knowing one thing about myself: I am the mistress’s daughter. My birth mother was young and single, my father older and married, with children of his own. When I was born, in December of 1961, a lawyer called my adoptive parents and said, “Your package has arrived, and it’s wrapped in pink ribbons.”

My mother starts to cry. “You don’t have to do anything about it—you can just let it go,” she says, trying to relieve me of the burden. “But the lawyer said he’d be happy to talk with you. He couldn’t have been nicer.”

“Is he sure she’s the right woman?”

“I think he’s fairly certain that it’s her. Do you want her name?”

I shake my head. “Where does she live?”

In my dreams, my birth mother has always been a goddess—the queen of queens, the C.E.O., the C.F.O., and the C.O.O. Movie-star beautiful, extraordinarily competent, she can take care of anyone and anything. She has made a fabulous life for herself as ruler of the world, except for one missing link—me.

In the morning, my mother comes into my room with a scrap of paper she sits on the edge of my bed and asks me again, “Do you want the name?”

“It’s the same name as a friend of yours,” she says, as if trying to warm it up, make it more palatable.

“You can just leave it on the desk,” I say.

Her name is Helene. (I have changed some names and locations to protect privacy.)

I call the lawyer. “I’d like a letter,” I say. “I want information: where she grew up, how educated she is, what she does for a living, what the family medical history is, and what the circumstances of my adoption were.”

I am asking for the story of my life. There is an urgency to my request I feel I have to hurry and ask everything I want to know. As suddenly as she has arrived, she could be gone again.

Ten days later, her letter arrives with no fanfare. The postman doesn’t come running down the street, screaming, “It’s here, it’s here! Your identity has arrived.” It comes in an envelope from the lawyer’s office, with a scrawled note apologizing for not having got it to me sooner. It’s clear that the letter has been opened by the lawyer, presumably read. Why? I am annoyed but don’t say anything. I don’t feel I have the right. This is one of the pathological complications of adoption—adoptees don’t really have rights, their lives are about supporting the secrets, the needs, and the desires of others.

The letter is typed on Helene’s stationery, simple small gray sheets of paper, her name embossed across the top. Her language is oddly formal, less than artful, grammatically flawed. I read it simultaneously fast and slowly, wanting to take it in, unable to take it in. I read it and then read it again. What is she telling me?

** <: .break one>** At the time I was carrying this little girl it was not proper for a girl to have a child out of wedlock. This was probably the most difficult decision of my entire life to make. I was 22 years old and very naïve. I was raised very sheltered and very strict by my mother. I remember being in the hospital with her and dressing her the day we both left the hospital. I have never forgotten the beautiful black hair and the blue eyes and the little dimples in her face. As I left the hospital with the lady who was picking up the little girl, I can still see myself in the taxi and her asking me to give her the baby. I did not want to give her the child, however I did realize, I did not have the wearwithall to take care of her myself. Yes, I have always loved this little girl and been tortured every December of my life from the day she was born that I did not have her with me. **

She writes that watching television shows like “Oprah” and “Maury” gave her the courage and the confidence to come forward. She lists the facts of where she was born, what street she lived on as a child, how she grew up. She includes the names of her parents and when they died. She says how tall she is and how much she weighs.

Each bit of information swims through me, then takes root, digging in. There are no filters there are no screens. I have no protection from this.

She closes her letter by saying, “I have never married, I have always felt guilty about giving this little girl away.”

I call the lawyer and ask for another letter, with more information, a medical history, a more detailed explanation of what happened, what she’s been doing since, and a photograph of her.

A day later, in a panic, I call the lawyer again. “Oh,” I say, “I forgot. Could you ask her who the father is?” Not my father but the father. “What is his name?”


Contents

Starting with The New 52 relaunch, the origins and initial adventures of Wonder Woman in the world of men were changed. After DC Rebirth, it was revealed that Diana's origins and life in Themyscira, and also some of her experiences in the world of men, were false memories implanted by Deimos and Phobos. With the Superman: The Final Days of Superman storyline and then the events of Wonder Woman: Rebirth, Diana was able to discover this and started to gather her true memories back, including the truth about her origin. She also found out she left Themyscira later than she thought, exploring the world of men in the modern era.

After the events of Doomsday Clock, it was revealed that Doctor Manhattan manipulated the timeline of the whole DC Multiverse, and one of the consequences of this manipulation was that Diana came to the world of men in a different era. In the end, Manhattan re-established the correct timeline, making Wonder Woman part of the history of men's world since the verge of World War II.

New 52: False Memories

When the two deities Deimos and Phobos, sons of Ares, started planning how to free their father from the prison of Themyscira, Diana was victim of a manipulation perpetrated by them that changed all the memories Wonder Woman had about her past, from her birth to travelling out of Themyscira to live in the world of men, she was also manipulated into believing she lived certain adventures after she left her home. Until later, Diana was convinced that this memories were true.

In her false memories, the Amazons traditionally procreated by raping and then murdering sailors who happened too close to their island. Hippolyta was barren, and legend told that Diana was born of her mother's strong desire for a child, a lump of clay brought to life in the form of a girl the perfect Amazon, as she was born of no man. ΐ] The truth, though, was that Hippolyta had had an affair with Zeus, and Diana's real parentage was hidden in order to protect the Queen and her daughter from the wrath of Zeus' notoriously jealous wife Hera. Α] Unbeknownst to Diana, her mother also gave birth to her twin, a brother named Jason. Β]

Blood

While in London, Wonder Woman was summoned to help a young lady called Zola from the minions of the goddess Hera and after Diana defeated the enemies, she was informed by Hermes that Zola was pregnant with Zeus's child, which caused Hera's wrath. Γ] Diana then took took Zola and the injured Hermes to the island of Themyscira, home of the Amazons, where Hera's wrath reached them in the form of her daughter Strife. Wonder Woman used the Lasso of Truth to stop Strife from hurting the Amazons, but it caused her to reveal the fact that Diana and her were sisters. ΐ] The next day, Diana learned from her mother that she was in fact Zeus' daughter and, hurt by her existence being a lie, she decided to renounce the name Diana, and swore never to return to the island again. Α]

Unfortunately, not long after Diana left, Hera came for her vengeance, and though she could not bring herself to kill Hippolyta, she could not forgive her either. Feeling regret at giving up the only real family she had, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira to find the Amazons absent, and her mother turned to stone. Δ] Shortly after, Wonder Woman encountered Lennox, a man who claimed to be another of Zeus' bastard children. After learning that Zeus has gone missing, they confronted the Gods of Olympus, Poseidon and Hades, in order to prevent them from taking over Zeus' throne. Ε] To prevent a war between gods, Diana proposed that the two brothers share Heaven with one ruling during the day, and the other at night. Hera angrily interceded, which was what Diana had planned, and using Hermes' staff she transported herself to Mount Olympus to face Hera alone. She warned that she would make Hera regret what she had done to her mother before returning to Earth. Unfortunately, by the time she had returned, Hades had kidnapped Zola with the warning that Diana would need to make good on her bargain or Zola and her child would die. Ζ]

Preparing to get Zola back from Hades, Wonder Woman and her male companions sought out Eros in Italy. She hoped that he could lead them to Hephaestus, who might have been able to arm them appropriately for battle with the ruler of Hell. He lead them to Mount Etna, where the blacksmith agreed to arm them. As retribution for his aid, though, Hades sent a monster to kill them all, which had to be dispatched by Diana. Η] Afterwards, Hephaestus armed Diana with new weapons, insisting that she take Eros' guns of love with her to Hell.

Upon arriving, Diana and Hermes found themselves under attack by Hades' minions. Though they fought them off, they were surprised to find that time for Zola had passed much more quickly than for them. Her pregnancy was nearly at the end of its term. When they attempted to leave with her, Hades appeared, warning that one of them must stay behind - and if Diana was unprepared to make Hera his wife as promised - she would do. However, upon Eros' pistols, he instead agreed to let them all go in exchange for them. When Diana's back was turned, he fired them at her, and she fell under love's spell to him. ⎖]

Despite their displeasure at Diana's capture, Hephaestus was able to bring Lennox and Eros to Hades with him as guests to the wedding, without the aid of Hermes' staff. As the wedding drew nearer, Hades grew annoyed that few of his relatives had agreed to come. Diana's friends were the only attendees, aside from Strife, who merely wanted to cause her namesake emotion. Before the wedding ceremony took place, Hades insisted that Diana should prove her love by wearing his ring. The ring was a noose fashioned with the Lasso of Truth, and if Diana did not truly love him, he would kill her. ⎗]

Hades attempts to force Wonder Woman to marry him

Though Diana was able to admit honestly that she did love Hades, she escaped her bonds anyway, explaining that she could still love him and refuse his proposal. Angrily, Hades sent all of the forces of Hell to kill her, but she and her friends were rescued by Strife. Confronted by her fiancé again, Diana explained that she had not lied. Wonder Woman has the capacity to love everyone - a concept that could never be understood by one incapable of love, such as he. The realization that he was loved unconditionally disgusted Hades so much that he sent them all away. Before leaving, Hephaestus gifted Hades with a mirror, and shot him with Eros' pistols, allowing, at least, for Hades to love himself. ⎘]

With Zola's pregnancy reaching full term, she insisted on seeing her own doctor in Michigan. While there, they were all attacked by Artemis and Apollo. Unprepared, Diana and her companions were defeated, and Zola was taken to Mount Olympus to be delivered to Hera in exchange for the throne. Apparently, Hera was willing to give up her throne for the sake of revenge. ⎙] However, she had expected Zeus to return as soon as his rule was threatened, which he did not. When Apollo sat on the throne, he was crowned ruler, and when he learned of Hera's deceit, he exiled her from Olympus.

With Wonder Woman arriving in pursuit, Strife warned of the prophecy Apollo and Artemis feared: a child of Zeus would kill a god to take the throne. That child could be either Diana or Zola's child. Sending Zola back with Hermes to have her baby in peace, Diana warned that if they were not left alone, she would fulfil the prophecy herself. Unfortunately, upon her return to Michigan, Diana found that Hermes had betrayed them, and once Zola gave birth to her son, he whisked the child away, and gave it to Demeter. Diana swore to get the boy back and bring Hermes to justice. ⎚]

After recruiting a newly mortal, but still very bitter Hera into her group of companions, Wonder Woman retreated to London. Lennox revealed that there had been seven bastard children of Zeus. He and Diana were two, two others had been killed, and three remained. He suggested that for information on where the baby had been taken, Diana should contact their sister Siracca in Libya. ⎛] Her encounter with Siracca did not begin well, but after Wonder Woman appealed to her sense of family, she suggested that Diana seek out their brother Milan in New York City. ⎜]

Meanwhile, the New God Orion had learned that a great danger was to be found on Earth in the form of the child of a god. He sought out his old friend Milan for help. Nearby, Diana and Lennox decided to seek Milan by themselves, leaving Zola and Hera to bicker with one another in the meantime. They found him in the old subway system with Orion. Though their encounter began violently, Lennox managed to explain that they had accounted for six of the seven children of Zeus. ⎝] Orion believed that one of those seven was the child that he had been sent to kill. Lennox and Diana concluded that he was referring to Zola's kidnapped son, and so they convinced Milan to search through the ether until he located the boy in the arms of Demeter. ⎞] When they all returned to Manhattan to find Zola and Hera in a bar with War, Diana managed to convince her uncle to lead her to Demeter's domain. ⎟]

Hermes attacked Wonder Woman there, refusing to simply give up the child, but during their battle, War ripped the baby from Demeter's womb and disappeared. Unable to let a grave wound such as that go unattended, Diana saw to Demeter first, and the goddess warned that War could not be trusted. Worriedly, Diana and Orion returned to Manhattan to find that War had returned the baby to Zola. At last, the baby and his mother were reunited - and Orion would not have to look any further for the child he needed to kill. ⎠]

With the boy safe, Zola decided to name him Zeke. Diana shared a drink with War, who congratulated her in uniting a dysfunctional family and converting it into a strong band of allies. Orion began hitting on her, but left after being violently rejected by Wonder Woman. ⎡]

Wonder Woman protecting Zeke

Suddenly, Zola and the others were attacked by Artemis, who was sent by Apollo to kill Zeke, Zola's son. While Zola and the others escaped with Zeke, Wonder Woman took on Artemis by herself. Diana defeated Artemis and went to protect Zola and the others, while Ares took the defeated Artemis back to Apollo. ⎢] However, the First Born and Cassandra, two of Zeus' illegitimate children, attacked Zola. Wonder Woman, Lennox and Orion worked together to fight the First Born, but he proved to be stronger than they had anticipated. Orion's Astro Harness incapacitated Cassandra, and Orion opened a Boom Tube so that Wonder Woman and her allies could escape. The First Born attempted to pry the Boom Tube open, but Lennox sacrificed himself so that the others could escape safely. Wonder Woman and her allies arrived at the other side of the Boom Tube and were greeted by Highfather, who explained that they were on New Genesis. ⎣]

As her injuries healed, Wonder Woman and her friends spent some time on New Genesis. She spoke to Highfather, who agreed to let her return to Earth. As soon as Diana and her friends returned to Earth, Orion decided to go with them. Arriving to London, they realized the First Born had wrecked the entire city and killed Lennox. The First Born summoned an army of hyena men to kill the intruders but Ares arrived to help Wonder Woman in the fight. ⎤]

Flesh

Wonder Woman engaged the First Born, but he quickly gained the advantage and attempted to kill Zeke. However, War challenged the First Born to a fight while Wonder Woman recovered. Then, Wonder Woman grabbed a spear and impaled both Ares and the First Born. As he died, Ares congratulated Wonder Woman for being a great warrior. Wonder Woman spared the First Born's life and went with Hades to take Ares' body to the River Styx. ⎥]

As Wonder Woman returned to her apartment, Hermes brought her to Olympus, where the gods declared her the new Goddess of War. Diana asked Apollo to restore Hera's godhood, but Apollo refused. Diana returned to London, and Apollo told her that she would not be able to ignore her responsibilities as Goddess of War for long. Diana was still angry at Hermes for his betrayal and asked him to leave, with Hermes stating that, just like she forgave Hera, perhaps in the future, she would forgive him. ⎦]

Later, Diana, Zola and Hera had lunch while they were watched by Hermes. Orion, believing Hermes had bad intentions, attacked him before being stopped by Wonder Woman, and at the same time Strife appeared. Back at the apartment, Strife gave War's helmet to Diana, even though Diana still felt uncomfortable at becoming the new Goddess of War. In that moment, Siracca entered the apartment and told Diana that Milan had been captured by Cassandra. Wonder Woman asked Hermes to take her to Chernobyl, and he accepted to help. ⎧]

Arriving at Chernobyl, Wonder Woman, Orion, Siracca and Hermes engaged Cassandra's forces to save Milan. Cassandra threatened to kill Milan if Wonder Woman did not reveal the First Born's location. Wonder Woman told her the First Born was in Olympus, but as she left, Cassandra strapped a bomb to Milan's chest. To contain the explosion, Orion took Milan through a boom tube. Returning home, Wonder Woman discovered Zola and Zeke had left, as Zola felt guilty that people were risking their lives to protect them. ⎨]

Wonder Woman and Hermes briefly returned to Themyscira so that Diana could pay her respects to her petrified mother. When they got back to her apartment, they found Hera crying and mourning the days when she used to be a goddess. As Diana comforted her, she realized she would need help in finding Zola and Zeke. Wonder Woman went to the Taiga, Siberia, where she asked Artemis for her help. Artemis agreed, on the condition that she and Diana have a rematch. Knowing they are in Artemis' realm, Diana threw the fight in Artemis' favor. ⎩]

Wonder Woman becomes the new Goddess of War

With Artemis' help, Wonder Woman tracked Zola down to a subway station, where they found a lock of fox fur. Realizing that Zola was with Dionysus, they went to Providence, where Dionysus was currently located. They found Dionysus captured by Cassandra's minion, the Minotaur. When Cassandra's forces were about to depart to Olympus, Wonder Woman ambushed them and hung onto their plane. When the jet arrived to Olympus, the mountain was hit by a massive explosion. ⎪]

Wonder Woman managed to stabilize the plane when it was hit by the shockwave. Hermes and Artemis also arrived at Olympus, where Artemis discovered that Apollo had died in the attack. Among the ruins of the tower, the First Born claimed the throne of Olympus. Wonder Woman confronted the First Born, but he gained the upper hand. However, Hera arrived at Olympus, having regained her Olympian powers, revealing that Apollo had restored them before dying. Hera teleported Wonder Woman and her allies to Paradise Island. There, Wonder Woman found Zola, safe. Hera had also restored the Amazons back to life. Wonder Woman chose to lead them to battle as the new God of War. ⎫]

Bones

Although the Amazons were back to normal, Hippolyta was still a statue, and Hera could not restore her back to life. Zola wanted to leave the island, but Diana told her she and her child were safer with the Amazons. Diana addressed the Amazons and declared her intentions to end the Amazons' isolation and that every Amazon must protect Zeke, a male child. ⎬]

Wonder Woman's social reforms were not initially accepted by the Amazons, even if they were morally necessary. Later, she had a training session with Artemis, who urged her to accept the Amazons' worship as a goddess, but Diana refused. Unfortunately, Dessa, a fellow Amazon, kidnapped Zeke and threatened to throw him off a cliff, for she disagreed with Diana's new perspective. Diana convinced her to return the boy to Zola. Shortly afterwards, the men of Paradise Island returned to their original home, with Diana welcoming them with open arms. ⎭]

Wonder Woman faces the First Born

As the men helped the Amazons prepare for battle against the First Born's army, Diana received news that the First Born had been attacking other gods' realms. With Eros and Artemis, Wonder Woman ambushed the Minotaur at Demeter's home. Unfortunately, the First Born had already defeated Demeter, so Wonder Woman sent her companions to safety while she confronted him by herself. ⎮]

The First Born imprisoned Wonder Woman in what remained of Olympus and ordered his forces to attack Themyscira. As they watched the confrontation, the First Born offered her a place in his goals of conquest, but she steadfastly refused, causing him to thrust a spike into her side. ⎯] As Diana lied mortally wounded, Eris dragged her to Themyscira, for she wanted Diana to see her home destroyed and humiliate her. Recovering her strength, Wonder Woman punched Eris down and took Zola and Zeke to Olympus. Her plan was to place Zeke on the throne, so that he could be the new king of Olympus and end the bloodshed, but before she could, Poseidon revealed his presence. ⎰]

As Zola defeated Poseidon, the First Born returned to Olympus and ordered the Minotaur to attack Wonder Woman. The Minotaur, however, refused to kill her and the First Born killed him instead. Upon seeing the unmasked Minotaur, Diana discovered her foe was the creature she had spared in the labyrinth. ⎱] Wonder Woman furiously threw the First Born into the abyss he was originally trapped in while Zola placed Zeke on the throne. Zola revealed herself to be Athena and Zeke to be another iteration of Zeus himself. Both had planned for Wonder Woman to fight the First Born and accept her destiny as a goddess. With the conflict ended, Athena planned to put an end to her human identity and become a goddess once more, but Wonder Woman convinced her to allow Zola and Zeke to live without godly interference. ⎲]

War-Torn

As Hippolyta was still a clay statue, Diana was forced to take the Amazon throne, at least until she could find a way to turn her mother back to normal. At the same time, the Justice League had discovered strange environmental events that had destroyed small villages around the world, leaving only vegetation behind. Furious, Wonder Woman attacked Swamp Thing, accusing him of causing such devastation, while Swamp Thing claimed innocence. Aquaman defused the situation before it could escalate any further. Later, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira, only to discover Hippolyta's statue had crumbled. ⎳] On a training session, Clark asked Diana if she wanted to talk about her recent experiences, but Diana replied that, as queen, grief is not a luxury she could afford. Later, Diana was called for a meeting by the Amazon council, which forced a choice on her: become permanent Queen or abdicate the throne. Before the discussion could continue, the island was attacked by Stymphalian Birds, Ares' pets who were now drawn to Diana as the God of War. Accepting her new responsibilities, Diana successfully defended Themyscira. ⎴]

Later, in London, Diana talked with Hessia about what being Queen really meant. Hessia told her the changes she was trying to impose were hard, and it might take a long time for the Amazons to accept them. Wonder Woman was called by the Justice League to look for the survivors of another missing village. As part of the operation, Superman explored the interior of a volcano until he was attacked by insects and lost contact with the League. ⎵] Wonder Woman and Batman were next to enter the volcano and found Superman safe and sound. Exploring the volcano further, the heroes found the missing villagers dead and their remains encased in cocoons by one of the volcano's insectoid denizens. Wonder Woman almost killed one of these creatures, until the League intervened and took the creature to the Watchtower for medical attention. Upon returning to Paradise Island, Diana spoke to the spirit of Hippolyta. Comforting her daughter, Hippolyta motivated Diana into accepting her duty as God of War. Diana also learnt that relations between Amazons and the Sons of Themyscira had gone sour and the Amazons had created Donna Troy from magical clay, an Amazon who sought to replace Diana as Queen. ⎶]

In order to prove her devotion to her people, the Amazons issued a challenge to Diana, one she would have to meet in two days. In the meantime, the Justice League had tracked the insectoid queen down to a remote mountain. The League journeyed deep into the mountain and encountered the queen. Diana condemned her for the lives she has taken, but the insectoid queen replied that it was Diana's actions, namely her throwing of the First Born into the depths of the Earth, that awoke the insectoids from their slumber. ⎷]

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Romance with Superman

After a mission which saw the Justice League rescue Steve Trevor from the degenerate David Graves, Wonder Woman talked with Superman about their individual similarities, leading to a kiss. ⎸] A fight with Cheetah led them to take the decision to be more open with their relationship. ⎹]

Wonder Woman became Superman's girlfriend.

Their first adventure together as a serious couple involved a battle with Doomsday, a monster of Kryptonian legend. ⎺] Superman, already familiar to the monster, explained that Doomsday was sealed into a pocket dimension called the Phantom Zone. Seeking preparation against enemies that could match them in power, Wonder Woman asked Hephaestus to forge weapons for them. ⎻] Later, the Justice League intercepted the arrival of General Zod, another Kryptonian survivor. Superman gave him shelter in the Fortress of Solitude, but the couple discovered their relationship was now public knowledge. ⎼] ⎽]

While Superman watched out for Zod, Diana visited the deserted Themyscira to speak to her mother, still a clay statue. In her absence, a demon from Tartarus had escaped from its prison and roamed free on the island. Wonder Woman destroyed the creature and sealed the gates to Tartarus with her lasso. Leaving the island, she received word from Batman that Superman was engaging Zod and Faora in battle. Reaching Superman's side, Wonder Woman steadily overwhelmed Faora until Zod threatened Superman's life. Wonder Woman was forced to let the criminals go. ⎾]

In order to defeat them, Superman and Wonder Woman collected the magic armor created by Hephaestus and intercepted Zod and Faora while they were building a portal to the Phantom Zone. At first, they defeated Zod and Faora by detonating their armor at point-blank range, but Zod and Faora were revitalized by a beam of sunlight sent by Apollo, which gave the criminals enough strength to beat Superman and Wonder Woman and trap them in an abandoned nuclear reactor. As a last-ditch effort to stop their enemies, Superman and Wonder Woman caused a nuclear explosion, but not before Clark told Diana that he loved her. The explosion trapped Zod and Faora back in the Phantom Zone, and Superman shielded Wonder Woman with his cape. ⎿] The two heroes barely survived the explosion and Superman took Diana to Hessia, who used a healing crystal to save her. ⏀]

Later, as Diana set out to discover the truth about her false memories, Superman faced up to Mr. Mxyzptlk in a battle that changed reality itself. A consequence of that change was that Diana never dated Clark and the adventures they had together did not take place. ⏁]

New 52

While her history about her own origins and her past on Themyscira was manipulated to grant Phobos and Deimos the opportunity to free their father, Diana lived several adventures in the world of men, including becoming a founding member of the Justice League, that were true.

Justice League

Wonder Woman fighting Parademons

Upon becoming a super-heroine, Wonder Woman became a founding member of the Justice League. Her ambassadorial duties required her to visit Washington D.C., with army officer Steve Trevor as her liaison. When Parademons stormed Metropolis, Wonder Woman resolved to defend the city, meeting the heroes Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman. ⏂] They also met the young hero Cyborg, who attempted to warn them against the evil alien conqueror Darkseid. Unfortunately, Cyborg's warnings were meaningless, as Darkseid had already arrived. ⏃] Although Darkseid had initially beat them without effort, Green Lantern rallied them in order to confront Darkseid as a team. ⏄] Wonder Woman proved crucial in Darkseid's defeat, stabbing him in one of his eyes to prevent him from using his Omega Beams. This gave Superman and Cyborg enough time to throw Darkseid back into his home-world. ⏅]

Trinity War and Forever Evil

The Trinity War was a major conflict between the three Justice Leagues.

After taking Despero to the authorities, Wonder Woman and Superman came across the mysterious Pandora, someone Wonder Woman was familiar with. She believed Superman could use her box to trap the evil she unleashed in ancient times but when Superman touched it, he was overwhelmed by its power. While Pandora took the box and left, the two heroes received news that a new superhuman, Shazam, was entering the borders of Kahndaq. Their confrontation with Shazam turned violent until the rest of the Justice League and the Justice League of America intervened to defuse the situation. Suddenly, Dr. Light lost control of his powers and began absorbing Superman's solar energy, unleashing an energy beam at Wonder Woman. In a fit of anger, Superman killed Dr. Light with his heat vision, an action that caused a fight between the two Leagues. ⏆]

Superman begged his fellow heroes to arrest him, and while he was taken to the A.R.G.U.S. facilities, Diana expressed disapproval at Steve's secret Justice League. Wonder Woman travelled to the Temple of Hephaestus and demanded Hephaestus tell her about what the box really was. Hephaestus answered that the box was not created by the Gods of Olympus and the truth was a mystery even to them. Wonder Woman decided to seek help from the Justice League Dark. ⏇] Suddenly, the three Justice Leagues converged at the House of Mystery, where the heroes were divided, one side led by Wonder Woman, the other by Batman. Zatanna, having taken Wonder Woman's side, teleported the group away. ⏈] Wonder Woman's group tracked Pandora's box to Lex Luthor's prison cell, where Pandora was offering the box to Luthor. Wonder Woman grabbed the box but was overwhelmed by its power. ⏉]

A fight broke out among the heroes for possession of the box and was only ended when John Constantine took the box, being the only one capable of doing so without being corrupted. Zatanna and Constantine took the box to the temple of Hephaestus, where the three Justice Leagues had converged again. ⏊] After yet another battle between heroes, the box went dormant and the Justice Leagues discovered a Kryptonite sliver in Superman's nervous system, placed there by the Atomica, a traitor working for the Outsider, leader of the Secret Society. Then, the Outsider used the box to open a path across universes, allowing the Crime Syndicate to enter the Justice Leagues' world. ⏋]

The Crime Syndicate imprisoned the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix ⏌] which psychologically placed them in situations that depicted their greatest failures. Wonder Woman was placed in a situation where she was forced to do battle against both Amazons and humans for the lives of Superman and Steve Trevor. Martian Manhunter and Stargirl attempted to break her out but Wonder Woman ignored them. ⏍] ⏎]

Wonder Woman and the other heroes were finally released from the Firestorm Matrix when Batman used the Lasso of Truth on Firestorm. Superman was still infected with the Kryptonite shard inside his nervous system, but Lex Luthor was able to extract it, saving Superman's life. Luthor also assembled a group of villains that defeated the Crime Syndicate. Later, at the Batcave, Wonder Woman and the Justice League talked about the enemy that destroyed the Crime Syndicate's world and came to the conclusion that Darkseid would return. ⏏]

Rebirth

After the death of Superman, Wonder Woman became depressed and began to remember her origins differently, questioning aspects of her past such as whether she truly was mocked as a child and her relationship with Ares. In a fit of rage Diana crushed the helmet of War. Realizing that she shouldn't have been able to do that, she used the Lasso of Truth on herself and discovered that she had been deceived. Diana traveled to Olympus for answers, but found it abandoned. She also found herself unable to return to her home of Themyscira. ⏐]

True Origins

Diana is visited by the Gods of Olympus in their animal forms, who bestow upon her great powers

Born to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Diana lived a serene and joyful life until the intervention of Steve Trevor upon the island of Themyscira. ⏑] A tournament was held among the Amazons to determine the representative that would return to Man's World along with Trevor. Diana defeated the other Amazons but was tasked with the final challenge, deflecting a bullet fired from a gun by her mother. After winning the contest Diana was awarded a suit of armor and the Lasso of Truth and left for the United States, ⏒] though upon her arrival she was arrested and detained in a cell. Falling into despair, Diana was visited by the Gods of Olympus in their animal forms: a peacock, deer, owl, mouse, eagle, dove and tortoise, who granted her the gifts of strength, speed, endurance, empathy and flight. ⏓]

Shortly after coming to the outside world, Diana interrupted a terrorist attack and was named "Wonder Woman" by the press. ⏔] She continued to use her gifts to fight for peace and justice in Man's World. ⏕] She later fought who she thought to be Ares, though in truth it was Phobos and Deimos who were disguised as their father. Fearing that she would eventually discover the truth and free Ares from his prison beneath Themyscira, the Gods of Olympus sent Phobos and Deimos to erase all memory of Themyscira from Diana's mind. The twin gods were unable to erase the memory, so instead they later implanted false memories regarding her home to deceive Diana, leading to a completely separate origin story and causing her to hallucinate new adventures. Diana was unaware that her memories had been tampered with, and believed the falsifications until her search for the truth led her to Ares himself years later. ⏐] ⏖]

The Lies and The Truth

Wonder Woman travels to a "Themyscira" that she does not recognize

Seeking answers, Wonder Woman sought out an old friend that she believed could provide the way to Themyscira: Barbara Minerva, the Cheetah. ⏗] Cheetah agreed to help, under the condition that Diana kill the plant-god Urzkartaga and free Barbara from her curse, which Diana agreed to do. ⏘] When she located Urzkartaga, however, she discovered Steve Trevor and some of his fellow soldiers had been captured by Colonel Andres Cadulo, who intended to become the embodiment of the god and sacrifice Steve in the process. Wonder Woman freed dozens of Cadulo's captives and, with the help of Cheetah and the women he had captured, succeeded in destroying Urzkartaga and freeing Barbara from the curse of the Cheetah. ⏙] With Barbara's help, Diana and Steve were able to find "Themyscira", though Diana was surprised to find her mother alive and well despite remembering her as dead at the hands of Hera. After removing her bracelets Diana realized that her past interactions with these representations of the Amazons and her home were in fact an illusion, and that she may have never returned home since she originally left to escort Steve to the United States. ⏚] Upon this realization, Diana suffered a mental breakdown. ⏛]

Having learnt of Wonder Woman's inability to return to Themyscira, Doctor Veronica Cale, a wealthy and powerful woman, set into motion a plan to use Wonder Woman to find Themyscira. Years earlier, Cale's daughter Izzy had her soul stolen by the gods Phobos and Deimos. They told Veronica that they would only return her daughter to her if she helped them find Wonder Woman, and got the location of Themyscira from her. Seeing no other option, Cale had formed a team called Godwatch, dedicated to locating Diana and Themyscira.

Veronica Cale employed the toxicologist Colonel Poison, who led Team Poison, a team that attempted to capture Diana and Steve. In order to protect Diana in her vulnerable state, Steve had her admitted to a mental hospital in London. ⏛] Team Poison continued to pursue Steve, Barbara and Commander Etta Candy, however. Barbara, who had been a member of Godwatch when she was Cheetah, decided to speak to Veronica herself. Cale and Doctor Cyber showed Barbara footage of Team Poison, who were about to kill her friends, and Barbara agreed to become Cheetah again in exchange for Veronica calling off the team and sparing their lives. ⏜]

Diana quickly regained her sanity and was taken out of the mental hospital's care. She immediately noted the absence of Barbara and set out to locate her. However, when she arrived at Empire Enterprises, she was greeted only by Doctor Cyber. ⏝] Cale set Team Poison onto Wonder Woman once again, and Colonel Poison managed to shoot Diana through the chest. Diana and Steve quickly overcame their forces and followed Veronica Cale and Cheetah to a gateway that led to Themyscira. Wonder Woman and Cheetah fought, and a drop of Diana's blood fell onto the gateway which opened the portal to Ares' prison beneath Themyscira. Phobos and Deimos, whom Cale had turned into dogs with the help of Circe, entered the portal, along with Diana and Veronica Cale. Veronica found her daughter beside Ares. ⏞]

Diana and her mother, Hipployta, are reunited for the first time since Diana left Themyscira

Ares told Diana that he had been imprisoned by the other Gods of Olympus and bound in chains that were secured by Aphrodite through the power of her love. He also told her that years ago, Phobos and Deimos had implanted false memories of Themyscira into her mind, and these had caused her to imagine aspects of her past that had never happened in reality. Meanwhile, Phobos and Deimos entered Themyscira and battled with the Amazons. Diana knew what she had to do, and called Ares to unite her with Phobos and Deimos. He teleported them to her, and using her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman bound them through the power of her unconditional love for them, as Aphrodite had done to Ares. With the twin gods defeated, Diana attempted to leave Ares' prison along with Veronica and Izzy, however Izzy's essence had been attached to the realm and could not return to Earth. Izzy was forced to either live out the rest of her days in the prison or live in Themyscira as an Amazon for eternity. She chose the latter and Veronica said goodbye to her daughter. Diana was briefly reunited with her mother, for the first time since she left the island. ⏖]

Cheetah sought revenge upon Veronica Cale for abandoning her, and attempted to murder her, but was stopped by Wonder Woman. ⏟] Cale refused to transform Cheetah back to her human form, and Cheetah herself decided that she no longer desired to be human. Having left her Lasso of Truth binding Phobos and Deimos, Diana was given it back by the Olympian Gods and reunited with Steve. ⏠]

Heart of the Amazon

After preventing a terrorist attack at a refugee camp in Greece, Wonder Woman returned to a government facility in the United States and was examined by a sickly doctor, Dr. Shannon Crawford. That evening, Diana attended the wedding of Etta Candy's brother, where she discovered a bomb seconds away from detonation hidden underneath one of the tables. ⏡] She was able to contain the blast, but Etta was injured by a piece of shrapnel. She returned Etta to Dr. Crawford who removed the shrapnel, before touching Wonder Woman with an Amazon-strength sedative she had developed, leaving Diana too weak to fight back. Dr. Crawford told Diana that she had a rare genetic illness, and that she intended to use Diana's Amazon blood to develop a cure, saving her life as well as providing life-saving treatment for others afflicted with the same disease. Diana awoke to discover Crawford had developed Amazonian strength as a result of the blood transfusion. She was able to bind Dr. Crawford in the Lasso of Truth, which rejected the lie and restored Crawford to her previous state. Having lost hope for a cure, Crawford injected herself with the sedative, killing her. Wonder Woman was too late to stop her, but she understood Crawford's decision to end her pain and held her as she died. ⏢]

Wonder Woman and Etta Candy fight off assassins

Later, Etta was released from hospital and Diana accompanied her to her home. She was shot by a sniper, but deflected the bullet and interrogated the attacker, who called herself Mayfly. She revealed that she had attempted to assassinate Wonder Woman in return for a bounty that had been placed on her. ⏣] Shortly afterwards, Diana was attacked by five more assassins: Cat Eye, Cheshire, Abolith, Baundo and Plastique, the latter of whom revealed that she had planted the bomb at the wedding. Wonder Woman was able to defeat them all with the help of Etta, and they returned to an A.R.G.U.S. facility. There, Sasha Bordeaux informed her that another scientist, Hamilton Revere, had heard of Dr. Crawford's attempts to harvest Diana's DNA, and had apparently hypothesized that it could be used for the treatment of numerous diseases. Wonder Woman was intrigued and decided to seek out Revere of her own accord and hear out his plans. ⏤] When she arrived, Revere informed her that in truth, he sought to use her DNA to create an army of super-soldiers. He had also used samples of Diana's blood to grant some of his goons super strength, who attacked her. Etta and Steve Trevor arrived to assist Wonder Woman, and together they bound the attackers in the Lasso of Truth, which once again removed the lie within their bodies. Revere was arrested, and Diana returned home with Steve and Etta. ⏥]

Children of the Gods and Swan's Song

Wonder Woman faces Darkseid

After defeating Giganta in battle, Wonder Woman was approached by a lawyer who informed her that she had inherited the estate of Hercules, who had been killed. ⏦] Shortly thereafter, she was told by A.R.G.U.S. that Hercules' body came from an area containing traces of energy unique to Apokolips. Diana visited Hercules' home and found a letter addressed to her, informing her of the location of her twin brother, Jason. She found him in Greece, ⏧] and the two seemingly began to bond, only for Jason to turn against Diana after the arrival of Grail, who he had secretly allied himself with. ⏨] Grail had begun killing children of the earthly gods in order to use their divine power to restore her father Darkseid to adulthood, as he had been turned into a baby at the end of the Darkseid War. Jason allied himself with her in order to exact revenge on Wonder Woman, as he resented her for not seeking him out after she learned of his existence some time ago and was envious of her. However, as Darkseid was about to drain Diana's life force, Jason regretted his actions and joined Wonder Woman in battle against Grail and Darkseid. Then, Hercules' lawyer revealed his true identity as the King of the Gods himself, Zeus. ⏩] Zeus fought Darkseid while Wonder Woman took on his daughter, Grail. Ultimately, Zeus was defeated and his life force was drained by Darkseid, restoring the Apokoliptian to his full adult form. The Justice League arrived, forcing Darkseid and Grail to retreat through a Boom Tube. In the aftermath of the battle, Diana forgave her brother for his deceit. ⏪]

Wonder Woman battles Silver Swan

Wonder Woman was soon faced with a new threat. Some years ago, Diana saved a young girl, Vanessa Kapatelis, from death at the hands of Major Disaster. She continued to visit Vanessa for many years as she recovered from her injuries, and encouraged her to undergo experimental treatment involving nanites, which allowed Vanessa to walk again. Eventually, Wonder Woman's superheroics forced her to cease her visits. During Diana's absence, Vanessa's mother Julia died, and Vanessa was left alone and felt that Diana had abandoned her. She began to resent Wonder Woman and declared herself her enemy, using the nanites in her blood to create a metallic, winged suit of armor and adopting the name Silver Swan. ⏫] Silver Swan murdered a family of people that Diana had recently saved, causing Wonder Woman to fight her alongside Jason. Diana managed to drown Silver Swan until she lost consciousness, causing her to revert to her human form. She left Vanessa to recover in the care of A.R.G.U.S. ⏬]

Amazons Attacked

After Darkseid and Grail's retreat, they returned to a base in the Amazon Rainforest, where Darkseid was setting his mysterious plans into motion. He tasked his loyal Female Furies with tracking down a godly relic he needed, but they were unable to do so thanks to the intervention of Steve Trevor and his A.R.G.U.S. forces. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman fought a number of villains that had been recruited by Veronica Cale: Zara of the Crimson Flame, Blue Snowman and Anglette. As Diana caught up with Steve at A.R.G.U.S. HQ, Jason returned wearing a suit of armor gifted to him by the gods, but with no knowledge of its purpose. ⏭] As news came in of an attack by Grail, Wonder Woman and Jason immediately responded just in time to prevent Grail from killing another demigod. Wonder Woman bound Grail in the Lasso of Truth and forced her to reveal Darkseid's plans. Grail explained that Darkseid was looking to build himself an army of Amazons. Due to her half-Amazon blood, Grail was able to break free from the Lasso's grip and retreated. ⏮]

Wonder Woman and Jason take on Darkseid

The final remaining relics Darkseid needed were being guarded by A.R.G.U.S. at their HQ, so Darkseid decided to use a Boom Tube to transport the building and all its contents to his base in the Amazon Rainforest. The Female Furies retrieved the relics and put them into place while Wonder Woman fought Darkseid. With the relics' power, Darkseid was able to open a portal to Themyscira. As it is impossible for one who has set foot on Themyscira to return after leaving, Diana was unable to follow Grail through the portal. Grail invaded and began transforming the Amazons into creatures resembling Darkseid's Parademons. ⏯] As Jason had never actually set foot on Themyscira, he followed Grail and met his mother Hippolyta for the first time since his birth. While Jason and Hippolyta fought off the transformed Amazons, Wonder Woman was able to defeat Darkseid through her love for her deceased father, Zeus and her half-siblings, calling their spirits out of Darkseid's body and destroying him from the inside. The Amazons captured Grail and imprisoned her in the prison beneath Themyscira, alongside Ares, while Darkseid re-emerged somewhere on Earth. Jason was gifted a magical spear from his mother and returned to Earth. 𖏜]

The Dark Gods

Since her attack on Veronica Cale, Cheetah had been captured by Cale and held in the basement of Empire Industries, where she was being experimented on by Doctor Poison. Cheetah suddenly dropped into a coma, before waking and massacring Empire Industries' staff, while screaming about the return of the so-called 'Dark Gods'. She attempted to kill Cale once again, but was restrained due to the timely intervention of Wonder Woman. Steve Trevor informed Diana that all over the world, people had begun acting strangely and warning of the Dark Gods. As she flew through the skies of Washington, she was suddenly attacked by a deranged Supergirl. 𖏝] After a lengthy battle, Wonder Woman was able to defeat Kara and restrained her in the Lasso of Truth, which knocked her unconscious. Jason returned after learning from the Fates that the armor that had been gifted to him by the gods was originally created for Diana, but had been mistakenly given to Jason after Zeus' death. It also allowed Jason to channel the power of any member of the Greek Pantheon, though he could only use one god's powers at a time. Jason began to explain his discoveries to Diana, but they were interrupted by a group of giant monoliths appearing in the sky, which began to activate. As soon as the siblings began to investigate, Wonder Woman was taken by a pair of Star Sapphires who needed her assistance due to an emergency on Zamaron. As Diana was forcefully teleported, Jason was left alone before the activating monoliths. 𖏞]

The Dark Gods arrive on Earth

Wonder Woman was taken to Zamaron where the Star Sapphires informed her that a Dark God had taken hold there, too. Diana fought the newly-emerged Karnell, Dark God of Love, who informed Diana that he and his brethren had come from the Dark Multiverse, which the Justice League had recently encountered. When Diana wore the Tenth Metal during the climax of the Justice League's battle with Barbatos, Diana had wished for the gods' return. Though she had meant the Gods of Olympus, the Dark Multiverse's gods were chosen instead, and thus she had unintentionally caused their invasion. Together with the Star Sapphire Corps, Wonder Woman was able to defeat Karnell, who retreated back to Earth. Wonder Woman left the Corps and returned home. 𖏟] In her absence, Jason had united with the Justice League and fought the Dark Gods, who had plunged Earth into chaos. Suddenly, the Dark Gods disappeared, only for them to return with Jason at their side. 𖏠] Jason fought Wonder Woman, but after he led her away from the Dark Gods, he revealed that he was using his armor to channel the power of Dolos, God of Deception, and was in fact deceiving the Dark Gods. Using the wisdom of Athena, Jason developed a plan to convince the Dark Gods to retreat back to their reality. He offered himself, along with the power of the Greek Pantheon, in exchange for the Dark Gods leaving Earth. The Dark Gods accepted the proposal and Diana tearfully said goodbye to her brother, who was taken with them to the Dark Multiverse. The planet was saved and its people returned to normal, but Diana was distraught over the loss of her brother. 𖏡]

The Last Age of Magic

After the Justice League fought the threat of the Omega Titans, the Source Wall was broken with many consequences that shook the foundations of the Multiverse itself. Once back to Earth, Wonder Woman felt that the dimension of magic was different, almost troubled, after the battle with the Titans, especially since the Tree of Wonder appeared in the city of Salem. Without knowing why she felt this dissonance, as she wasn't a practitioner of magic, Diana reached out to a friend who could know more: Zatanna Zatara. Finding her struggling to control a simple enchantment while performing in her father's theater, Wonder Woman asked the sorceress to join a division of the Justice League she was creating to investigate the current instability pervading magic. Zatanna acknowledged the fact that magic was unstable, acting with a dangerous behavior, but sustained that it was a matter that magical creatures, and magical creatures only, would have to look into, refusing Diana's offer.

Back in her new headquarters, the amazon told her only two recruits, Detective Chimp and Man-Bat, about her failure in bringing Zatanna into the fold. Soon though, problems started to manifest: the corpses of many magicians killed by their own magic came back to life and attacked the team,who was there for Kirk Langstom's studies, as the scientist was trying to figure out the effect the unstable magic had on the magician themselves. While fighting against these mutated zombies who talked about a mysterious race of beings called the Otherkind, Zatanna and Swamp Thing teleported inside Diana's headquarters, helping defeating the enemy. Zatanna then told Diana what she was doing before joining the fight: she was with Swamp Thing, trying to talk to the Tree of Wonder, when the Tree itself, in the form of her father, showed her a prophecy that completely changed her mind about what she offered to her earlier. 𖏢] With the formation complete, the new Justice League Dark decided to head back to Salem to contact Doctor Fate, trying to find out if he knew something about why the whole system of magic was breaking apart.

Diana and Zatanna were the only two admitted to the presence of Fate, but soon they both found out that Fate's host, Kent Nelson, was not in control of his body: the Lord of Order himself, Nabu, was currently possessing Kent's body. Nabu revealed to both of them that h was tired of magic, as it was something that has got completely out of control, causing chaos and especially destroying Order, which is what Nabu swore to serve and protect. He then confessed he planned to let the Otherkind and their leader, the Upside-Down Man, come to Earth to bring magic back to its original place, so that the Order of the universe could be re-established. Without even the chance to fight him, Diana found herself in front of the horrific Upside-Down Man himself. 𖏣]

The fight begun, but soon all members of the team and another magician, John Constantine, learnt that the creature was too strong for any of them. When all seemed lost, Diana got imbued with a mysterious and completely unknown kind of magic, coming from a mark on her forehead. This magic somehow hurt the Upside-Down Man and, thanks to the suggestions of Zatanna, Diana was able to banish the creature away, also restoring the damage he caused. Still, no one understood anything about this new power Diana awakened, with the threat of the Otherkind not extinguished, but just delayed. 𖏤]

The Witching Hour

When she was twelve, Diana witnessed a rite performed on Themyscira to honor the witch-goddess Hecate: while there, she remebered being marked on the forehead by the deity herself. After the memory resurfaced in her mind, Diana went with Zatanna to a meeting with the Justice League to inform them of the threat of the Upside-Down Man and the Otherkind. When the discussion moved to how Diana's new team was able to contrast and banish an enemy so powerful, Diana was visibly struggling to hide a truth she did not want her comrades to know, and so Zatanna intervened, shifting the topic to something different. Back in the Justice League Dark headquarters, Zatanna and Diana confronted each other on the matter, with the amazon telling the sorceress she didn't want to make any of her League teammates worried about her condition, a condition even her found mysterious and incomprehensible.

As the team gathered, Hecate manifested herself, trying to take control of Diana. Zatanna managed to help her resist as long as necessary, as Detective Chimp opened a portal to a safe place: the Oblivion Bar. Once there though, John Constantine informed them they just missed a massacre at the hands of another of the witch-marked of Hecate, and that the time for the Witching Hour had come. 𖏥] After Constantine joined the team, they all travelled to the island of Aeaea to talk with Circe, a protege of Hecate, in an attempt to find out how to contrast the deity and also control Diana's power.

Even if Zatanna disagreed, Circe and Diana both thought that Wonder Woman would be able to utilize her new power against Hecate herself. Soon she had the opportunity to do it, as Deadman informed everybody that Manitou Dawn, possessed by the witch-goddess, was tearing Nanda Parbat apart. 𖏦] Once there, Diana soon realized Zatanna was right, as Hecate took full control of her body, with her soul now imprisoned in Hecate's home dimension, the Collective Unconscious. As last resort, Zatanna and Constantine tried to exorcise Hecate's power outside of Diana's body, but thanks to the instability in magic and the unknown nature of Hecate's power, the rite ended unexpectedly: the other two active witches possessed by Hecate were freed from her grasp, but all their power converged inside Wonder Woman. 𖏧]

Hecate, using Diana's body, took then control of Nanda Parbat and moved out to take a final step towards controlling all of magic: making the Sphere of the Gods hers. While tearing Olympus apart, the soul of Diana travelled through the Collective Unconscious, finding hospitality in the two dormant aspects of Hecate herself. They told Diana the real story of Hecate and they also told her that now the Crone, Hecate's hateful and angry aspect, was in control. Diana had to make a bold choice to defeat the powerful goddess, but a choice which was necessary: with the other aspects of Hecate offering her a window of opportunity, Diana got back in control of her body, then using her power to open a portal for the Upside-Down Man who, as the Dark Multiverse counterpart of Hecate, came down and ate the goddess alive. After restoring the Sphere, Diana lost all her magical power with Hecate defeated. Back to the Justice League Dark headquarters, Diana and Zatanna started planning about a counterattack against the Otherkind. 𖏨]

Lords of Chaos

After helping Bobo fixing problems he created inside the world of Myrra 𖏩] , the team continued its battle against the Otherkind, with Diana and Zatanna receiving a message from Zatanna's father, Giovanni, imprisoned by the Upside-Down Man. 𖏪] In the message, Giovanni told Zatanna to find Mordru and also delivered her the Ruby of Life: trying to find a trail that could lead them to the powerful sorcerer, Diana first tried to obtain information from Papa Midnite, but with no success. 𖏫] Her and Zatanna later headed to Aeaea, the island of Circe, to talk about the Ruby and Giovanni's message with the witch. 𖏬]

Circe reveals to Zatanna that her father plotted every minute of her life, leading her to an encounter with Mordru at the right time, also using John Constantine as his pawn. The witch then told both the sorceress and Diana that they would never find Mordru, but that he would find them instead. 𖏭] Knowing this, Diana and Zatanna teleported back to the Hall of Justice, finding there a construct resembling an old inn that was never there: it clearly was an invitation from Mordru, so the two heroines entered it.

Even if Mordru was clearly an evil creature, going as far as disgusting Diana who saw no trace of good intentions in him, the two women had to obtain his help: using his powers and the Ruby of Life, Mordru gave both Diana and Zatanna power over Chaos, transforming both in Lords of Chaos. 𖏮] Reuniting with the team, who was meanwhile in a conflict against the Lords of Order, Diana and Zatanna gave to their comrades the same powers they obtained from Mordru and thanks to them, they defeated Nabu and his allies. In the end, Zatanna understood that the Ruby his father gave her was needed to perform a titanic task: reshape magic from scratch. Now that Order was in shambles, the perfect opportunity to rewrite magic from the start appeared, with Zatanna also understanding that only someone who was not born a magical creature would be able to truly reshape magic as something better. So, Zatanna gave the Ruby to Wonder Woman, who performed the ritual herself, revitalizing but also changing the entire structure of the magical system. 𖏯]

The Witching War

After the League defeated Hecate, the power of the deity was not destroyed but converged inside the last of the witch-marked, Circe. The witch tricked Diana and her allies into defeating the goddess to take all the power for herself, never revealing she was marked. After this, Lex Luthor approached her with one of his offers to lead the Universe towards Doom: a personal team to rival the might of the Justice League Dark itself. 𖏰]

Meanwhile, Diana was sleeping in the Hall of Justice when she was contacted inside her dreams by Giovanni Zatara: he wanted to warn her about her pivotal role for the destiny of magic and also told her she should watch out for an enemy hiding in plain sight. The dream was abruptly stopped by the appearance of the Upside-Down Man, capable of entering inside it when Diana mentioned his name. Once awakened, Diana tried to reach Zatanna to find out what would she think about the experience she just had. As the team was missing due to a problem with vampires, Diana talked about the matter with John Constantine, who counseled her about keeping an eye on Circe. Wonder Woman also told the Hellblazer that she knew he was hiding something as well, and she would keep an eye on him going forward. 𖏱]

The three aspects of Wonder Woman!

Reuniting with the team, Diana asked Bobo and Swamp Thing to keep track of Circe, while she privately talked about the vision she had of Giovanni with Zatanna and Kent Nelson. Then, she also explained them a dangerous plan she developed to take Circe by surprise: accessing the Collective Unconscious, Hecate's home dimension, through the Black Diamond, prison to the evil Eclipso. 𖏲] While Wonder Woman succeeded in entering the dimension, she found out Circe was already there, waiting for her. Imprisoning her there and taking control of her body, given that only souls can access the Collective Unconscious, Circe revealed that her plan involved freeing Eclipso all along, as he was key to control all magic. 𖏳]

While inside another dimension, Diana got visited by the Upside-Down Man and stroke a deal with him: if he would help her defeat Circe now, she would re-establish the missing power of Hecate, giving to the Upside-Down Man once again a counterpart in the Multiverse. The monster accepted the deal, warning Diana that if she was going to fail, he would consume the whole Multiverse with the Otherkind. 𖏴] Maybe condemning the whole world while doing it, Diana came back and closed Circe inside the Collective Unconscious together with the power of Hecate, making her a prisoner similarly to Eclipso, ending the Witching War. 𖏵]

Teaming with Artemis

After helping former mercenary Moon Robinson change life 𖏶] , Diana helped the new Aztek in stopping an invasion that Tezcatlipoca was arranging, also discovering that her aunt, the legendary Atalanta, had been rebuffing the evil god assaults for years. Given the involvement of Atalanta, Wonder Woman also sought out the help of Artemis of Bana-Mighdall, as Atlanta was one of the founders of the rebel branch of the Amazons. Entering the realm of the Mexican Gods, called the Thirteen Heavens, Diana, Aztek and Artemis were able to combine their powers to defeat, at least temporarily, the god Tezcatlipoca. 𖏷] 𖏸]

With the mission completed, Wonder Woman offered to bring both Artemis and Atalanta back home, in the deserts of Qurac. Artemis was eager to reintroduce the founder of her people back home. Once in Qurac though, the three Amazons were not well received, as the new queen of Bana-Mighdall, Faruka, wanted to transform Bana-Mighdall's culture, changing from nomads to permanent residents of the state of Qurac. Counseled by local rebel Rustam, Faruka wanted to start a conflict with the government of Qurac. Atalanta was imprisoned while Artemis, having to respect her duty, followed the orders of her queen. Diana was attacked by Rustam, but soon after she tried to free Atalanta. The legendary Amazon though told Diana that freeing her would be a bad move: she should wait for the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall to ask for her freedom.

Following the counsel of Atalanta, Diana still did everything to stop the conflict between the Bana-Mighdall and Qurac, and succeeded when, with the Lasso of Truth, she was able to bring Artemis to reason. After the two defeated Rustam, they also made Faruka confess she used Rustam to trigger the conflict even if it was unnecessary, because she believed the Amazons should have made Qurac their home. In the end, the Bana-Mighdall decided to still let Faruka being queen, but assisted by Atalanta. This led Artemis to decide to abandon her tribe and travel the world by herself, in the mold of Diana. Wonder Woman is touched by Artemis decision, that reminded her of her own decision of leaving Themyscira, and decided then to give her the Lasso of Submission, telling her to redeem it and renaming it as the Golden Promise. 𖏹] 𖏺]

Olympians Exiled

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Return of the Amazons and Loveless

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Doomsday Clock

Diana had disappeared from the public eye for some time before the events of Doomsday Clock and was thought to have returned to Themyscira. After the inciting of global tensions due explosion of Firestorm in Moscow and the rumours of the "Supermen theory" alleging creation of metahumans by the United States government to serve as tools, she returned to address the United Nations and call for peace. She was attacked at the United Nations Building by Creeper, Giganta and Black Adam who had turned against the world leaders for their oppression of metahumans. The Amazons brought her back to the island after the Oracle prophesied that she will be injured if she continued fighting. 𖏻] 𖏼]

After Dr. Manhattan undid the alterations he had done to the timeline, the Justice Society of America had been restored. Another result of the undoing of the alterations was that Diana had fought alongside the JSA during World War II. She later arrived at Washington, D.C. in order to assist the JSA, the Legion of Super-Heroes and Superman in stopping the ongoing battle between metahumans. She later called for the re-establishment of the Global Guardians in its aftermath. 𖏽]

Following alterations to the timeline, Diana's debut on the global stage was shown to have occurred much earlier, during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. She interrupted an assassination attempt on the American president by a Nazi sleeper agent in New York City and subdued the attacker. Diana also warned Roosevelt that a great evil was coming and asked him to let her help them. Following this, she continued her heroics and thus became a national icon as well as the world's first superhero. This and her ability to see the greatness each human was capable of inspired the "Golden Age" of superheroes as well as the Green Lantern Alan Scott. 𖏾] More effects of this included that Diana did romance Superman and Donna Troy was created as a weapon to destroy the Amazons. 𖏿]

The Four Horsewomen

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The Return of Maxwell Lord

After establishing the Amazon Embassy on Earth, Diana transferred back to Washington D.C. and there met her new neighbor, a girl named Emma who Diana learned suffered from memory problems, related to the death of her parents in an incident with a drunken driver. Bonding with the girl, Diana went with her to buy some furniture for his new apartment: while there, Wonder Woman saved a mother and his young son from certain death, as the woman was driving her car into a truck. Diana discovered that the woman was suffering from some sort of hallucination, thinking she was going together with his son to buy some ice cream.

Later the same day, Diana was tasked to help sedating a revolt inside Stryker's Island Penitentiary, and while in there she found out Maxwell Lord was one of the prisoners in custody. 𖐀] Finding the resurgence of Lord disturbing, Diana was afraid Lord could have been behind the hallucinations who started to hit several men and women around the country. Trying to find out if she was right in suspecting Lord, Diana went to Etta Candy, now director of the Disaster Relief department in Washington, with her friend assuring her Lord was collaborating since the Justice League and the Sucide Squad arrested him, taking him into custody. Getting back home, Diana once again passed some time with Emma, talking about how much tiringly was the life of a superhero.

While sleeping, Diana started seeing visions of gigantic robotic constructs and Parademons attacking her: without realizing she was victim of an hallucination, Diana attacked and almost severely hurt a troop of army soldiers she exchanged for enemies. 𖐁] Taken into custody by Etta, Diana recovered thanks to the intervention of Lord himself, who was able to let her get back to reality thanks to a mind trick. Soon, it was discovered that the mean by which people started having hallucinations was an app called Odypix, developed utilizing a server structure Lord created, called Odysseus. Lord swore, while wrapped in the Lasso of Truth, that he wasn't behind the catastrophes, but also told he was sure he would be able to stop the effect from working, as after all Odypix was based upon his creations. 𖐂]

Travelling with Diana to stop several cases in the whole country, Lord and Wonder Woman soon found out that the mind behind the whole mess was the one of Emma herself, not just Diana's new neighbor, but a powerful psychic and daughter of Maxwell. She was trying to impress her father, giving him an opportunity to kill Wonder Woman once and for all. 𖐃] Thanks also to the fact that Max Lord did not side with Emma, Diana was able to defeat the girl, calling herself with the alias Liar Liar, taking her into custody. Determined to be able to change Emma's life, offering her a path at redemption, Diana also found out that her path with Maxwell Lord as a comrade and ally was not finished with stopping his secret daughter. 𖐄]

Justice/Doom War

Diana took part to the fight to conquer the power of the Totality, fighting against the Legion of Doom. She took on a mission with Aquaman and Flash inside an underwater base of the Legion, where she found out someone was experimenting on Martians using genetic material from both the Amazons and the Atlanteans. While there, she was tricked into fighting Aquaman thanks to Grodd's telepathic powers. After the League won the battle thanks to Kendra, Diana and Arthur guessed that Cheetah and Manta were soon going to make their move, which started with the murder of Poseidon. To find the dead Olympian and question him, Arthur and Diana went on a mission in Antarctica , to find the legendary key for the Graveyard of Gods.

After finding the key, both Diana and Arthur were transported in the Blood Reef by the Triumvirate of Sea Gods, who then attacked the Earth. While Arthur was captured, Diana trifted inside a space ocean, and was able to find his comrade and save him from death. Learning that Arthur was stripped of his power, Diana decided to try and reach the Graveyard of Gods, as the key was still in her possession. Reaching Poseidon, Diana and Arthur learned of Arion's true story, and came back to Earth where Arthur sacrificed himself to defeat the Triumvirate and Manta. Still, Diana felt that Aquaman was not dead, but just unreachable by them in that moment.

Later, Diana took part in the League expedition inside the Sixth Dimension and, once back, discovered together with his comrades that Lex Luthor was inches away from awakening the evil goddess Perpetua. Following the plan of Starman, which was to retrieve two shards of the Totality lost in time to create a Justice Totality for the League to use, Diana travelled to the future together with Batman and Superman. Once there, they found themselves in a world ruled by Brainiac, where only one human being lived: Kamandi. Helped by the kid and several other Leagues coming from Brainiac's bottled futures, they were able to defeat the enemy and bring to the present their shard of Totality.

Still, the plan failed, and Lex assaulted the Hall of Justice with his Apex Predators, winning the war. As Perpetua tried to kill all the core members of the Justice League, they were saved and transported to the Moon by the Quintessence. Once there, they accepted to embark on a mission to gather Anti-Crisis energy and defeat Perpetua. Diana was the one who absorbed the energy, and she fought against Perpetua in a duel, but lost when the evil goddess made her uncertain: a victory could mean all her friends would die, as the Hands would come to destroy the Multiverse. Diana then removed this memory from her mind due to the trauma, and came back to Earth with the other Leaguers. Together, they found out their planet was now property of the Batman who Laughs, the new right hand of Perpetua.

Death Metal

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Contents

Greater Gods [ edit | edit source ]

Brahma (Father of the Dragonborns):Brahma is the creator deity of the Dragonborn back in their original world.  Brahma is the creator deity who provided the Spirits for the Intelligences that became Dragonborn.  He provided the bodies through sex with Tiamat.  The Dragonborn acknowledge him as their father.  He represents the Masculine principle.
Alignment: Brahma is Neutral Good
Portfolios:Abundance, Creation, Men, Prophecy
Domains Creation, Glory, Good, Knowledge, Strength
Paladins: No.
Inquisition: No.
Depiction: A mature Dragonborn with a manly physique.
Symbol: A cloud of seven colors.

Sasashi (Father of Wisdom): One of the Triad (Bahamut and Erakax being the other two), Sasashi is the Father of Wisdom and Truth. He advises Bahamut in his quest to defeat their brother, Erakax. The creator of the Way to Wisdom, he is the God of Truth. Sasashi is credited with inventing writing, astronomy, paper, marriage, music, and husbandry. He is married Yrdalynn, the Lady of Science.
Alignment: Lawful Good.
Portfolios: Husbands, Summer, Truth, Wisdom, Writing
Domains: Community, Good, Knowledge, Law, Sun
Symbol: A lit golden lamp.

Tiamat (Good mother): Tiamat is the Creator goddess, she represents the Feminine principle.  She represents fertility, the growing, green Earth and is the Mother goddess. 
Alignment: Tiamat is Neutral
Portfolios: Agriculture, Childbirth, Family, Home, Wives, Women
Domains Animal, Community, Earth, Plant
Paladins: No.
Inquisition: No.
Depiction: A young looking rust colored Dragonborn matriarch.
Symbol: A nude mother dragonborn holding her child.

Typhon (Lord of Storms): An unruly child of Brahma and Tiamat, Typhon has come to represent everything wrong with nature. He represents the powerful, destructive force of Nature itself through the power of weather. A barbarous Dragonborn, Typhon usually does battle against all order in the Universe. He is married to Echidna.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral.
Portfolios: Chaos, Destruction, Earthquakes, Floods, Storms
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Earth, Fire, Weather
Paladins: No.
Inquisition: yes.
Depiction: Typhon is depicted as a raging black barbarian Dragonborn, wearing barbarian armor or wearing nothing at all. He wields either a sword of lighting, or an axe of fire, wrecking havoc where ever he and his 100 followers go.
Symbol: Three storm clouds and a bolt of lighting.

Vrakzire ( The Archmage, the High One, Patron of Mages ): Vrakzire is a magical god who is the first born of Brahma and Tiamat.  The Dragonborn is the Mage of the gods, and has green scaly skin.  He is often depicted as a Dragonborn who wears Azure robes, and with cosmic power. He was the first to teach the Dragonborn the secrets of the Art. He is married to his sister Lorashann.

Alignment: Vrakzire is Neutral Good.
Portfolios: Magic, the Sky, the Stars Domains Air, Good, Knowledge, Magic, Rune, Void
Paladins: Yes.
Inquisition: No.
Depiction: Vrakzire appears as a green scaled dragonborn clad in loose dark azure garments. Shimmering golden runes move and change cover his attire.
Symbol: An open eye, to represent seeing the unseen.

Intermediate Deities [ edit | edit source ]

Bahamut (The Knight, the Invinicible, the Righteous): Bahamut is the deity in charge of upholding and sustaining the Law. He is also a god of Valor to the Dragonborn, and represents justice tempered by mercy. Bahamut is advised by his brother Sasashi, and does battle against their tyrannical brother Erakax. Bahamut is married to Rashigassa, the Brave (who is also his niece).
Alignment: Bahamut is Lawful Good.
Portfolio: Justice, Chivalry, Mercy, Redemption
Domains: Good, Law, Liberation, Luck
Paladins: Yes.
Inquisition: Yes, but they are secretly sponsored by Erakax.
Depiction: Bahamut appears as a Golden dragonborn that gleams in the sunlight. He wears red robes and carries a sword of glory to strike down his foes.
Symbol: A Shield covered in Azure with an Argent Dragon's head.

Erakax (The Tyrant, the Lord of Fear, the Lord of Darkness): Erakax is the Lord of Tyranny to the Dragonborn, and it is he that directs terrible war with the intention to conquer. Those that follow Erakax happen to be corrupt politicians, petty tyrants, and dictators. He is locked into eternal strife with his brother Bahamut. The Lord of Darkness is the black sheep in the first generation of Dragonborn gods. Erakax is married to the Dragonborn half-fiend Nemeia. His sons are Baxiros and Qelmash. His daughter is Drysyassa.
Alignment: Lawful Evil.
Portfolio: Hatred, Tyranny, and fear
Domains: Evil, Destruction, Law
Depiction: Erakax appears as a Black scaled Dragonborn wearing blackened Armor with two mean swords.
Symbol: Heater shield covered in Or (Gold), with a Black Dragonborn fist.

Echidna (the Mother of all monsters, Mother of the Koboldian Brood) Echidna is Typhon's wife, and is responsible for birthing many monsters into the world. But what are considered to be her best known offspring are the diminutive Kobolds and Urds, and the warlike raiding Khaasta. Lesser races compared to the Dragonborn, all born of Echidna's corruptive touch from Dragonborn. Her other offspring include: Basilisks, Behirs, Chimaeras, Hydras, the Sphinxes, the Gorgons, Aurumvoraxes, the Stymphalian birds, Minotaurs, and Harpies. She hates Bahamut and Sasashi, and does not trust Erakax.
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Portfolio: Corruption, Fecundity, Kobolds, Ugliness
Domains: Artifice, Chaos, Evil, Luck, Plant
Depiction: The dragonborn believes she is a combination of Dragonborn and Serpent.
Symbol: A serpent dragonborn.

Freyr ( The Giddy One, the Muscled One, the Warrior of Honor ) -- Freyr represents the personification of Dragonborn honor and is a war deity.  Freyr is the Son of Bahamut and Rashigassa.  He represents the spirit of Freedom, unfettered and also the spirit of honor through battle.  He is also the god of athletics and competition.  He has a lot in common with the Norse God Thor -- as he is also the God of storms and a lot in common with Hercules. 
Alignment: Freyr is chaotic good.
Domains Chaos, Good, Nobility, Strength, War, Weather
Paladins: No.
Inquisition: Yes.
Depiction: Freyr is seen as a muscled bound blue scaled barbarian with a sword in one hand, and a shield in the other, doing battle in glorious combat using his breath weapon.
Symbol: Heater shield with field of Gules (Green) and an Argent sword.

Liorina (Goddess of Beauty, Love, and Lovers): Liorina is the representation of Dragonborn female beauty, while her brother is the representation of male Dragonborn beauty. Her bright red scales and alluring smile attracts all who see her. The daughter of Bahamut and the mercurial Rashigassa, Liorina takes after both her father and her mother.
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Love, beauty, spring
Domains: Charm, Good, Weather
Depiction: A female Dragonborn with bright red or blood red scales, nude or in a modicum of clothing.
Symbol: Smiling red Dragon face.

Lorashann (Goddess of bards, history, and Death): Lorashann is a thin Dragonborn deity in white, blue, or black robes. Black is the color of mourning, while white is the color of historians. Lorashann is the Goddess of music, as all musicians call to her for inspiration. Her husband is Vrakzire.
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Bards, death, music, time
Domains: Knowledge, Magic, Repose, Rune
Depiction: Supermodel thin Dragonborn in a white, blue, or black robe carrying an hourglass.
Symbol: Papyrus scroll, Hourglass, and quill pen.


Child Miners, Mother Goddesses, and One of the Greatest Powers of the Bronze Age - History

Paganism in Provence:
How the Mother-Goddess Became the Mother of God

<One>
The true dark ages of Europe are not the centuries after the fall of Rome, but the millennia before its appearance as a belligerent republic on the Italian peninsula. The megalithic Beaker People, who constructed major standing stone temples and other geomantic structures along the northwest coast of Europe at roughly the same time period as the rise of Egypt’s Old Kingdom, left us little but the mute relics of archaeology. More survives from the Celts, at least in the way of an oral tradition, but the subsequent displacement of their culture by the Romans left us only a distorted view of their spiritual beliefs. [1]

Even more shrouded in darkness are the cultures, such as the Etruscans, which formed part of what was called Liguria by the Romans. This was a somewhat broad region, from northern Italy along the Mediterranean coast to the Pyrenées, composed of many non-Celtic tribes and federations with a similar language and religious practices. From the archaeological and linguistic evidence, the Ligurians appear to be descendents of a central European Neolithic culture, not directly connected to the Beaker People and the megalithic culture. They also attained a rather high degree of cultural sophistication. [2]

In a linguistic sense, what we now call civilization spread across the Mediterranean from east to west. The Neolithic cultures, for all their complex astronomy and megalithic constructions, were pre-literate and this caused their long slow decline and disappearance. A variant of a hieroglyphic or ideographic depiction of language developed in the far west of Europe, as it did the Middle East and in the northern valleys of China, but by the 5 th millennium BCE, it had disappeared. [3] This lack of a written language was the primary reason for the darkness. In the pictoglyphs of the Camonica valley of northern Italy and Switzerland, we see the recapitulation of such a linguistic process, but many thousands of years after, and therefore behind, the progress of other cultures to the east. [4]

Semitic civilisation arrived with the Phoenicians in the middle of the second millennium BCE and forced the Neolithic Ligurians into the Bronze Age. Along with the trade goods and bronze weapons came a new idea, an alphabetic script in which language could be transliterated. The Etruscans adopted the idea for their now virtually indecipherable language, as did the ancestors of the Romans and cultures as far a field as the isolated Neolithic farmers on Malta. A written language allowed for vast advances in culture, and the civilizations in the western Mediterranean started on a long growth spurt that would reach its climax with the triumph of Rome in the Third Punic War. [5]

It is of course to Rome that we are indebted for the very word and concept of pagan. To the civic-minded Romans of the early republic, slaughtering its way to power on the peninsula, a pagan was literally a “country bumpkin” or rural person as opposed to one who lived in a city. Their worship was not that of the civic priesthood, a fairly orderly affair of tutelary deities and propitiation of natural forces, but that of "the Old Time Religion," the ancient pre-literate nature worship surviving as a folk, and therefore distinctly rural, tradition with both ecstatic and shamanic elements.

This pagan tradition would have a long history perhaps because of its pre-literate, non-linguistic origin it survived from the dark ages of the pre-Roman world on through both Empire and Christianity, only succumbing at last to urbanization and industrialization in the 19 th and 20 th centuries. Charles Leland, in his Aradia [6] , stumbled on traces of its survival as Tuscan witchcraft in the 1890s and as early as 1566 the ideographs of the Neolithic Camonians were featured in the Arbatel of Magick where they were called the Olympic spirits. [7] The ancient mythic structure, and its shamanic techniques, survived because it connected directly to the land and to nature, making it in the truest sense, pagan or of the countryside.

The strega of Leland's Aradia and the sigils of the Arbatel represent a minority and distinctly non-mainstream thread of the ancient tradition’s survival. They survived by hiding and becoming occult . In other places, the tradition survived by absorbing other influences and adapting them into a truly popular culture. At times, this method brought whole populations into conflict with the authorities, such as the Church of Rome, and the pressure of time and politics produced a superficial uniformity that allowed for the tradition’s survival only as a folk memory.

But it did survive. And traces of it can still be found, sometimes in the oddest of places.

<Two>
The center of the region the Romans labelled Liguria fell on the delta of the Rhone River in southern France. Just before the Rhone splits into its two main channels, a last straggling arm of the Luberon range, the Alpilles, reaches westward, ending in a jumbled and rocky promontory a few miles from the river. This protective line of hills forms the baseline of a triangle with the upper lines created by the confluence of the Durrance and the Rhone. Within this secure and fertile triangle, successive waves of ancient cultures established their communities and towns. [8]

Neolithic farmers, the Ligurian ancestors, arrived early in the seventh millennium BCE, and dwelt in Arcadian simplicity until Bronze Age trading cultures, such as the Egyptian, Mycenaean, and most significantly the Phoenician arrived in the second millennium. A thousand years later, Celtic tribes began to filter down the river from their European homeland north of Lake Geneva and conquered or integrated with the local cultures. Just as this cultural upheaval was beginning, more than half a millennium before the birth of Christ, Greek traders arrived and built a fortress at the point where the Rhone forks. They called it Theline, but to the Romans it became Arelate (from the Celtic Arlaith), or Arles in French. [9]

As the two communities, Greek and Ligurian, mixed and grew, a new and larger city in the protected delta north of the Alpilles, near the present-day town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, was founded. Nestled in a narrow valley to the north of its sacred mountain stood the ancient spiritual center of Liguria, the city of Glanon, Romanized as Glanum Livii. Glanum's authority throughout Liguria depended on its closeness with the shamanic priesthood at Les Baux and in the Valley of the Ancients at Cordes. This closeness would continue until Glanum’s eventual abandonment in the 4 th century CE, and beyond. [10]

Glanum Livii as looks today, near St. Remy-de-Provence. © Vincent Bridges 2003

Even as Arelate grew, after 49 BCE, into a smaller version of Rome, Glanum adhered to its old ways, absorbing first the Greeks, then the Romans, and then in the middle of the first century CE, an influx of Jews from Palestine and other parts of the new Roman Empire. Some of these Jews were followers of a rabble-rousing magician, Jesus the Nazorean, who had just claimed the ancient throne of David in Jerusalem, and been executed for treason by the Romans. The fleeing followers included, perhaps, members of Jesus' immediate family. As they spread throughout the region preaching their Gospel, the cultured and thoroughly Hellenized Ligurian philosophers were also converted to the new faith. From this unique blend of spiritual influences would grow an alternative version of what, a century or two later, would be called Christianity.

The accretion of spiritual influences in the region began long before the arrival of Christianity. The Egyptians of the 18th and 19th Dynasties arrived more than a millennium before Glanum was founded at the foot of its holy mountain. The Egyptians built trading forts off what was then mouth of the Rhone, near the present day Ste. Maries-de-le-Mer, and traveled up the Rhone as far as Lyons. The Phoenicians followed, bringing bronze and an alphabet, and in the Greek era, trade flowed freely from Alexandria by way of Massilia (Marseille). [11]

With the trade came a new influx of ideas and philosophies from the east. In the late third century BCE, Buddhist missionaries arrived, dispatched by King Asoka in India to preach the Eight-fold path to all the ends of the earth. For the next three centuries, small enclaves of Buddhist hermits could be found living in the ancient grottoes and caves of the region. Hellenized statues of the Buddha have been unearthed in the caves near Lamanon, and in at least one grotto reportedly used by Mary Magdalene, north of Nimes. [12]

This unique overlapping of influences created the very cosmopolitan and syncretic context from which the new faith, early Christianity, emerged. It appeared suddenly and full blown with the fervour of a Jewish messianic cult, the compassionate techniques of the early Buddhists, and an emphasis on the Mother-Goddess that is pure paganism, recognizable all the way back to the first Neolithic hunters. While Glanum held to its ancient pagan beliefs almost to the very end, it was at Arles that the old Ligurian paganism was most completely transformed into a unique version of the new "Christianity."

When Hannibal crossed the Rhone at Ernaginum, a few miles west of Glanum in 218 BCE, the Gallo-Greek settlement to the south that would become Arles was already a trading post of some note. The earliest versions of the Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts suggest that they sailed west from Argos, around the heel of Italy and through the Strait of Messina to the mouth of the Rhone then up the river, founding the trading center of Theline at the head of the Rhone delta on their way to the land of the Golden Fleece. This was located, according to proponents of this theory, around the source of the Rhone at Lake Leman. Traces of this early Greek exploration remain in the local Herakles legends, depicted on the very Christian 12 th century CE church of St. Trophime. [13]

Three hundred or so years after its founding, when the Romans arrived in the first flush of their empire building, the Greeks of Theline were cultured philosophers who had dwelt in peace so long they had virtually forgotten the art of war. Rome saved them from the more barbaric tribes of Celts sweeping down from the north, but at the price of their independence. The Salian confederation of Greeks and Ligurians were defeated by the Romans within a generation of their rescue and soon thereafter the entire region was annexed as Rome's first province, the Provincia Narbonesis. A century later, Augustus and Julius Caesar having made safe the roads back to Rome, the first province, Provence, became the center-piece of the transalpine empire. [14]

Under the Romans, Arelate retained its commercial status and flourished. Its rapid rise can attributed to its siding with Julius Caesar against Pompey in 49 BCE, for which it was rewarded amply. By the late first century CE, Arles had also become an ecclesiastical center, a position it would retain for the next millennium, partly on the strength of its legendary cemetery, the Alyscamps, and its association with the early church and its relics. Perhaps the most famous necropolis of the Dark Ages, the Alyscamps (from Elisii Campi, or Elysian Fields), was built outside the city walls, as were all Roman cemeteries, and along the Via Aurelia, the main road to Italy and Rome. By the late first century CE, it was famous as a meeting place for Christian mystics.

In 314 CE, Constantine came to Arles to swear before the Church council, and on the Alyscamps’ relics, that the Christian God was his personal protector. All of this attention made the Alyscamps famous, and it became so desirable as a final resting place that bodies were shipped from all over Europe for burial in its holy grounds. The twelfth-century Chronicle of the Pseudo-Turpin informs us that the peers of Charlemagne, Roland, and the other fallen heroes, were transported with great difficulty to the Alyscamps. [15]

Arles therefore was the focal point for whatever version of "Christianity" swept the region in those early years of the Common Era. We must be careful, as the quotes around Christianity in the last sentence indicate, because while this new spiritual collective would be later seen as distinctly and uniquely Christian, it is not clear that this was so in its origins. As we will see by looking at the survivals of an ancient paganism embedded in the early layers of the new faith, this version of "Christianity" drew heavily on the ancient traditions of Our Lady Underground or the Goddess of the Springs, the Neolithic Mother-Goddess and her successors.

<Three>
The Neolithic Ligurians, from the scanty evidence of the Camonica valley pictoglyphs, seem to have worshipped a mysterious Mother-Goddess of the kind described by anthropologists such as Marija Gambustas. [16] Part of this larger complex of beliefs was the tradition of the Mother-Goddess as the animating spirit of grottoes and sacred wells or springs. Our Lady Underground, a common label given to the Black Madonnas so popular in the 12 th and 13 th centuries CE, derives from these ancient Mother-Goddess traditions.

The Ligurians of Provence also worshipped a version of Our Lady Underground. This was first Hellenized then Romanized into a local cult of Diana as patroness of the springs, or the nympheum. Remains of these temples can be found in the temple of Diana at Nimes and at the very ancient nympheum of Glanum, but the traditions associated with the worship of Our Lady Underground all but disappeared as she merged during the early Christian era into the Virgin Mary. [17]

Curiously enough, it is the name, Mary, which provides us with the broader connection. The last of the ancient Neolithic people to be overwhelmed by the eastern cultures, in this case Rome in the late third century, were the Basques of the southwestern coast of France and northern Spain. In Basque folklore there survived prominent traces of the Neolithic goddess religion. The pagan Basques worshiped the natural world they thought of the sky as a kind of thunder god, Ortzia, and the earth was a mother goddess known as Mari.

This rather shadowy figure, usually conceived as a tall, beautiful and kindly woman with some kind of magical or semi-divine powers, is familiar even today from one end of the Pyrenees to the other, from the White Lady of Chateau Puivert near Rennes-le-Chateau to the Virgin of Lourdes. Mari is associated with certain locations such as the grottos and springs under La Rhune, the sacred mountain of the Basque, and anthropologists have seen her as a continuation of the ancient pagan mother-goddesses once associated with those locations. Mari's associations with the sacred and secret places in the geography of the Basque country as well as her association with spinning, springs, grottos and megalithic monuments, mark her as a unique preservation of the ancient European goddess figure. [18]

But the name itself is Semitic in origin. To the Egyptians, Bronze Age Cyprus was known as Ay-mari or the land of Mari, because of the island’s devotion to the ancient goddess. And the name Mari appears in the most unexpected places. Ma-ri in Sumerian means fruitful mother. There is a city of Mari on the Euphrates and the Hebrew name Miryam, which is the origin of Maria, is a contraction of Marat-Hayam - Lady of the Sea. Why these names appear among the Basques, of all people, is anyone’s guess. It points perhaps to a very old connection, those Phoenician traders again, between all the peoples around the Mediterranean. It might also explain why the name Maria occupies a prominent position in Christian mythology, and why St. Jerome called the Virgin Stella Maris - Star of the Sea. [19]

We do not know if the ancient Ligurians also called the goddess of the underground springs Mari, but it seems likely given the early and rapid change over in the attributions of certain sacred sites to the Virgin Mary, the mother figure of Christianity. By the early third century CE, as Christianity became the Imperial faith, the sacred grottos and springs across Provence changed their patroness, adopting the new version of the Mother of God in place of the older Mother-Goddess. That their names were perhaps the same can only have helped the transition.

While the nypheum at Nimes became a very classical shrine to Diana, at Glanum the nypheum retained its ancient essence. Located at the foot of its sacred mountain, the spring was already old, enclosed by massive ashlars and provided with broad stones steps leading down to the sacred pool, when Glanum was founded in the 6 th century BCE. Facing east across the sacred pool was a terraced sanctuary to the Ligurian Sun-God, complete with kneeling heroes and elaborately carved skulls, and a massive stone rampart enclosed the sacred complex of sun temple and spring. The Greeks rebuilt the ramparts, adding an impressive gate leading from the new town to its sacred center, and repaired the ancient and deeply worn stone steps of the spring. [20]

Even the Romans, who added to the town substantially, left the sacred center virtually undisturbed. One curious early Roman addition, dating from the first century BCE, is a large stone near the nympheum with a worn image of a goddess, or the patroness, above the letters DM. This became in Christian usage the Deus Magnus, or Great God, but before that it was Dea Matrona, or the Mother-Goddess, to the Romans. And perhaps to the anonymous patroness who had the stone carved, it meant Dea Mari, the Goddess Mari, the Neolithic Our Lady Underground. [21]

Glanum also had other, more exotic connections to the Mother Goddess. In the late first century BCE, a part of a private dwelling was converted to a shrine to Cybele, the Anatolian Great Mother of the Gods brought to Rome in the form of her mystereion , a black meteorite stone, at the height of the Second Punic War in 204 BCE. The presence of this shrine, and its related "mystery school," suggests that at Glanum there existed a deeper and older aspect of the ancient Goddess, one that later fragmented into individual, and some times mutually contradictory, forms.

The worship of the Mother of the Gods was common to all the ancient traditions of Europe and the Middle East. The cult of Cybele, however, developed into what almost certainly was the first "mystery school," and as such traveled from Anatolia to Rome and on to Provence. The major temples of the "mystery" of the Mother Stone of the Gods were located on the island of Samothrace, off the coast of Lydia in Asia Minor, Memphis in Egypt, Thebes in Greece, and at Nimes in Provence. The oldest and most important center remained at Pessinus on Mount Dindymus, where the cubic stone, the mystereion that contained the essence of the goddess, was kept. [22]

The stone remained in the temple of Cybele on Mount Dindymus until the turn of the third century BCE. The tale of how the stone that fell from heaven became the stone of exile, to use Wolfram’s pun, was one of the grand yarns of the ancient world. In the depths of the Second Punic War, with Hannibal and his elephants rampaging at will on the Italian Peninsula, the Roman Senate lost faith in its gods. As they were tribal deities from Latinum and Etruscia with Greek glosses, they seemed unhelpful and insignificant in the face of the threat posed by the international power of the Carthaginians. The Roman Senate decided to fall back on that "old-time religion," the worship of the Mother of the Gods. [23]

Consultation of the Sibylline Books guided the Romans to seek aid from the same Great Mother known to their reputed ancestors of Trojan fame. The Delphic oracle agreed that it was time for Cybele to come to Rome. The king of Pergamus, under whose control the temple and stone at Pessinus lay, was not so enthusiastic. It took an earthquake and a comet or a brilliant meteor shower to convince him. Accompanied by the Gallae, the priestesses of the shrine, the stone departed by ship for Rome. Miracles occurred along the way, including an interval of divine navigation and an escort of dolphins. The noblest lady of Rome, Claudia Quinta, personally welcomed the entourage of Cybele at Ostia and pulled the ship ashore when it grounded on a sandbar with her own virtuous strength, an episode considered to be another miraculous sign. [24]

At Rome, the Mother of the Gods was appropriately housed in the temple of Victoria, an echo of the shrine to Nike, victory, on Samothrace, in the five hundred fiftieth year after Rome's semi mythical founding. From distant Phrygia came her essence, the silver-and-black meteoric stone from the starry heavens, with a conclave of the Galli, male-born priestesses whose order had served the goddess for millennia. Rome initiated a thirteen-year construction plan to honor Cybele with a worthy Temple on the Palatine Hill. From Claudia's own lineage would come many of Rome's greatest, including Julius Caesar, as the fortunes of Hannibal, and Carthage itself, withered like a dying branch.

The temple was called the Matreum, and the worship of the new civic goddess, the Magna Mater or simply Matrona, spread rapidly throughout the Empire, blending along the way all the older forms of the Great Goddess. The stone remained in its domed temple until at least the mid fourth century when Julian the Apostate wrote a hymn dedicated to it and the goddess.

Compare this to the anonymous fifth-century hymn to Mary:

As the Church labored on into the Dark Ages, the ancient statutes and shrines of Our Lady were dedicated to the Virgin. The most sacred and venerated of these statues depicted the Mother Goddess as black, echoing the stone itself, and they became the Black Virgins. Their sacred sites and shrines are in the same places: springs and wells, caves on mountaintops, and grottos of all kinds. The Black Madonna of Lyons is enshrined on a hilltop in a church built from the ruins of the former temple to Cybele, a case of direct transfer still visible to the modern tourist. The crypts of many Gothic cathedrals, including Chartres, retained their Black Madonnas and shrines to Matrona. The Black Virgin of Chartres, Our Lady Underground, is still there. All of these cave sanctuaries echo the caves, grottos, and caverns that riddle Mount Dindymus in Phrygia. [28]

Glanum also echoes this arrangement of sacred mountain, grottos and springs, and The Goddess of the Springs remains a vital element in the folk life of the region, although for the most part completely subsumed into a Christian framework. Each village was built around a nypheum and a spring, and even now every village has its spring and fountain, along with its church and forum like central-square. In St. Remy, just a kilometre north of Glanum, the mother-goddess, in her latest form as the Madonna and Child, watches over every major intersection. Whether She is seen as the Mother-Goddess or the Mother of God, Her presence is still felt. [29]

<Four>
By the 8 th century CE, as Europe began to pull itself together after the fall of Rome and the invasions of barbarians tribes from the east, the cults of the Mother-Goddess had been almost completely absorbed into the new cult of the Virgin Mother. Glanum disappeared at the beginning of the fourth century, and, while Arles retained its importance into the late medieval era, the significance of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, faded into the background of folk tradition.

Arles favoured the local Sun Hero/messiah figure, Hellenized as Herakles. But just a few miles north, near another ancient Ligurian city, the local folk tradition retained a vivid glimpse of a curious confrontation between the old pagan beliefs and the new faith. In the legends of St. Martha, the sister of Mary Magdalene who travelled to France with her, we find the point of overlap between old and new perhaps even the exact spot where the conversion of the local pagans began.

Although the tales weren’t written down until the 12 th century CE, when they were collected as part of the newly emerging Magdalene legend, [30] they reflect an ancient local tradition that goes back, apparently, to the Neolithic Ligurians. At least two hundred years before Hannibal forced his way across the Rhone nearby, a small town of boatmen and marsh dwellers had formed. Called Ernaginum by the Romans, a name that reflects a Celtic or Indo-European origin derived from, perhaps, ur-naga , or primeval serpent, the locality seems, from early on, to have had a connection to dragons. This suggests that the local cult was the Lady of the Serpents, common to both the Neolithic Ligurians and the later Celtic tribes. Examples have been found in various places from La Tene in Switzerland to southern France, so we are on safe ground supposing that the dragon of Ernaginum was of this type. [31]

However it was to Ernaginum that Martha, Mary Magdalene’s sister, headed to begin her ministry. We are told in the 12 th century Vita Biographica Marie Magdalene, the VBMM, [32] that the region was "a wilderness of fierce and venomous reptiles," located "between infertile groves and the gravel of the river bank." This is so curious, in and of itself, as to require an explanation. We are not given one, and indeed the Magdalene legends that include Martha’s miracles are all strangely silent on the point.

Ernaginum, instead of an infertile wilderness, was an important city on the Via Aurelia linking Arles, and points to the west on the Via Domitia, with Rome. The Romans had built a fort on an island in the Rhone, which increased Ernaginum’s significance. This was no backwater town, but a key defensive position for the region, and perhaps also a center of the local paganism. The cult of the dragon had classical as well as Neolithic roots, and, as can be seen from the mosaics found at Arles, this one was at least linguistically connected to the dragon that guarded the sacred cauldron of Medea, the Nerlac. [33]

We can then see the choice of Martha as one of "sending in the big guns." Martha, as Mary’s sister and possibly the sister-in-law of Jesus, was the most spiritually advanced, save the Magdalene, of the disciples in Gaul, and so she was dispatched to demonstrate the power of the new faith to the most unrepentant of pagans, the dragon worshiping people of Ernagium. If they could be converted, then the whole region would be impressed. While this is not explicitly expressed in the surviving versions of the legend, it is certainly the subtext of the encounter.

Martha arrives, as we are told in the VBMM, during a market day or festival to propitiate the dragon, at least everyone is talking about it, and begins to preach. They immediately challenge her: If her new god was so powerful, why not take on the dragon? Martha agrees to the test and with the whole town following her, proceeds to the dragon’s lair, where she subdues it with the sign of the cross. She binds it with her girdle, and invites the fearful townspeople to tear it to pieces, which they do with gusto. For this feat, we are told in the VBMM, the entire province converted to Christianity. [34]

The VBMM goes on to state that before Martha’s subjugation of the dragon, the region was called niger focus , which can be translated as the "heart of darkness." It became Tarascon, based on the name of the Dragon, the Tarascus. This is very curious. The Golden Legend, a re-working of the same material a century later, referred to it as Nerluc, id est niger locus , or "Nerluc, it is the place of darkness." The VBMM down plays the connection, drawn by the author of the Golden Legend, to the legend of Medea and her guardian dragon. The idea that is substituted is equally odd, but based on the long lasting tradition of the local name, Tarascon.

The Golden Legend tells us that the monster, a winged half serpent half lion, came from Gallicia and was the offspring of the two ancient world serpents, Leviathan and Onacho, the Mesopotamian Oannes. This certainly matches the concept of a primeval serpent, and in the late mix of Greco-Roman mythologies we do find a sea serpent son of Neptune called Taras. Curiously enough, this was also one of the names of the Minotaur, in the Greek form of Tauriskos, who was also considered to be a child of Poseidon, or Neptune. [36]

Whatever lay in the "heart of darkness," once it was expelled, Martha claimed the region as her own. The VBMM goes to state that she founded her own establishment there, filled with virtues and miracles, and has protected the region ever since. It also tells us that on January 17 th , the date of Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead, in a year that must have been before 60 CE, a spontaneous gathering of the elite of the Christian community happened at Martha’s establishment. At this gathering, according to the VBMM, a miracle of water changing to wine occurred, echoing the marriage at Cana. The gathered elders then declared that January 17th would be remembered for this miracle and the founding of the church or chapel where it took place. [37]

In the middle ages, this site would be located at the new 12 th century church dedicated to St. Martha in Tarascon. But Tarascon didn’t exist until after the destruction of Ernaginum by the Vandals in 480 CE, so a site chosen there in the 12 th century is obviously incorrect. But apparently, someone remembered.
All that remains today of Ernaginum is a Romanesque chapel to the angel of the Annunciation and the Apocalypse, St. Gabriel. This enigmatic chapel, preserved and maintained despite its isolation, focused, as can be seen in the relief carvings of its western front, on the Archangel Gabriel as the harbinger of salvation. By adding a Daniel in the lion’s den scene, it also suggests that salvation’s foreshadowing in the Old Testament. The overall sense of the chapel is of a monument to angelic intervention in human affairs, a curious theological point to be expressed in such a manner, one that is virtually unique in western art.

The St. Gabriel Chapel points to many mysteries, and supplies very few answers. The exact date of the chapel’s construction is unknown but can be no later than the last half of the 12 th century. The western front was designed to be reminiscent of a late Roman sarcophagus, and the crude relief work suggests a Dark Age origin. It possible that the chapel preserves in a fashion an original structure, dating perhaps to the fourth or fifth century CE, as it seems obvious that the gabled arch and tymphanum date from an earlier period than the 12 th century over-gabling portico. Why it was built, and why it was so carefully restored and maintained, remains officially unknown.

However, this curious chapel at the original site of Ernaginum is the only choice for Martha’s establishment, and this connection, kept alive through certain local families, would account for its preservation and conservation. If that is correct, and it seems almost certain, then the chapel is also the first mystery school of the new faith in Gaul. It attained its new, although private, notoriety at almost the same time that the new legends of Mary Magdalene and Martha were being written and circulated. This is not likely to have been a coincidence, and between the two we catch a brief glimpse of a community attempting to hide a secret in plain sight, while obscuring the connections so that only someone who knew the secret already could follow the meaning.

From our perspective, with the aid of archaeology and anthropology, we can reconstruct the thread of meaning. The ancient dragon cult, Our Lady of the Snakes, was a component of the Mother-Goddess, one that had power over the forces of death, as well as knowledge of magical plants, and the keeping of the elixir of life, as in Medea’s cauldron. Martha overcame the dragon, and gained, as the VBMM goes on to relate, the ability to raise the dead, and, equally significant, to change water into wine. [40]

This, as Leland informs us, is one of the gifts of Aradia, the Goddess of the Witches, in her form as Queen of the Snakes. Aradia is the daughter of Diana and Apollo, her son/brother/father, which is to say the Sun God and the Moon Goddess. In late Italian witchcraft, the ancient Snake Goddess became the model for the Diana of the Witches, echoing a connection between serpents, the moon and feminine energy that is as old as mankind. Her daughter Aradia (Herodias in Greek) combines these qualities, but is seen as a human, a semi-divine being who took on human form for the sake of the oppressed and down trodden, according to Leland’s sources. [41]

The curious legend of Martha and the Tarasque, and the foundation of a teaching school marked by the sign of Aradia/The Lady of the Snakes’ grace, the ability to change water into wine, leaves us wondering just exactly how "Christian" this form of the new religion actually was. Perhaps at the very core of the movement in France in the first century CE was the direct absorption of these traditions into the most basic level of the tradition. That "Christianity" was originally a Goddess religion, perhaps even with a female, Aradia-like messiah figure, would have been a powerful secret to have in the medieval era. [42]

Those who knew that secret in the late 12 th century were well on their way to becoming heretics. Instead of allowing the ancient traditions of an early and distinctly un-Roman Christianity, heavily flavoured by the Old Time Religion of the Neolithic Mother-Goddess, to become occult and marginalized, the basic instinct toward absorbing spiritual components of the region kicked in and produced a popular version of Christianity that drew directly on all of these elements. By the turn of the 13 th century, Provence was a hot bed of Troubadours and Cathars, and by the end of the century, after the Church’s crusade against the heretics, much of it lay in ruins. [43]

By then, whatever miracle it was that happened in Ernaginum in the middle of the first century had long been forgotten, except in the local folk traditions. In Tarascon, according to Sabine Baring-Gould’s voluminous Lives of the Saints , the festival of the dragon continued into the late 19 th century.

[1] Colin Renfrew, Archeology and Language (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987).

[2] Attenbourough, David. The First Eden, The Mediterranean World and Man . Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1987.

[3] Marija Gambustas, Civilization of the Goddess , San Francisco, Harper-Collins, 1991, chapter eight, "The Sacred Script."

[4] Emmanuel Anati, Camonica Valley . Trans. Linda Asher. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961.

[5] Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick. A History of Pagan Europe . New York: Barnes & Nobles, 1995.

[6] Charles Leland, Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches , Custer Washington, Phoenix Publishing, 1990

[7] Andrew McCall, The Medieval Underworld . New York: Barnes & Nobles, 1979.

[8] Christian Freigang, Provence. Art, Architecture, Landscape . Trans. Paul Fletcher, Debra Nicol, Brian Malley, and Susan Kunze. Cologne: Kˆnemann Verlagsgesellschaft, 2000.

[9] Camargue. Florence: Casa Editrice Bonechi, 1988.

[10] Christian Freigang, Provence. Art, Architecture, Landscape .

[12] The statues are in the Musee Borely in Marseille and were found in the 1920s and 1930s in the caves near Salon-de-Provence, in the hills north of Marseille. Otto Rahn, in his 1933 Kreuzzug gegen den Gral (published in Freiburg), reports the find in 1930 of a Ligurian-Greek Buddhaís head in a burial chamber near Nimes. For a discussion of the possible Buddhist influences on early Christianity, see Elmar R. Gruber and Holger Kerstenís The Original Jesus: The Buddhist Sources of Christianity , Elements Books, London, 1995.

[13] Jean-Pierre de Dufoix and Yacine Azzoug, Domanique Rigaux and Andreas Hartman-Virnich. Le Portail De Saint-Trophime D'Arles . Arles: Actes Sud, 1999.

[14] Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966.

[15] Archibald Lyall, The South of France (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1963) and Catholic Encyclopaedia , Internet edition (2002), s.v. "St. Trophime" and "Alyschamps."

[16] Marija Gambustas, Civilization of the Goddess , San Francisco, Harper-Collins, 1991.

[17] Christian Freigang, Provence. Art, Architecture, Landscape .

[18] Mark Kurlansky, The Basque History of the World (London: Penguin, 1999).

[19] Barbara G. Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets , San Francisco, Harper-Row, 1983 and Martha Ann and Dorothy Myers Imel, Goddesses in World Mythology , Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1993.

[20] Lyall, The South of France .

[21] Christian Freigang, Provence. Art, Architecture, Landscape .

[22] Sir James Frazer, Adonis, Attis and Osiris (London, 1907).

[23] Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity (London, 1928).

[24] Franz Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism (New York: Dover Books, 1956).

[25] Quoted in Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity , (London, 1928).

[26] Peg Streep, Mary, Queen of Heaven (New York: Book-of-the-Month Club, 1997).

[28] Ean Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin (London: Arkana, 1996).

[29] The Alpilles , English Edition. Trans. Lorenzo Prieto. Arles: Societe Ajax, 2001

[30] See Jacopo de Voragine, The Golden Legends , trans. William Caxton (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1914) for the basic version of the Magdalene legend. See also Etienne-Michel Faillon. The Life of Mary Magdalene and of her Sister Saint Martha . Trans. David Mycoff. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1989 and Susan Haskins. Mary Magdalene. Myth and Metaphor . New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1993.

[31] Marija Gambustas, Civilization of the Goddess , San Francisco, Harper-Collins, 1991.

[32] Etienne-Michel Faillon. The Life of Mary Magdalene and of her Sister Saint Martha . Trans. David Mycoff. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1989

[33] Robert Graves, The Greek Myths , London, Penguin Books, 1960.

[34] Etienne-Michel Faillon. The Life of Mary Magdalene and of her Sister Saint Martha .

[35] Jacopo de Voragine, The Golden Legends .

[36] Graves, The Greek Myths .

[37] Etienne-Michel Faillon. The Life of Mary Magdalene and of her Sister Saint Martha .

[38] Christian Freigang, Provence. Art, Architecture, Landscape .

[39] Marija Gambustas, Civilization of the Goddess .

[40] Etienne-Michel Faillon. The Life of Mary Magdalene and of her Sister Saint Martha .

[41] Charles Leland, Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches , Custer Washington, Phoenix Publishing, 1990.

[42] Margaret Starbird, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar. Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail . Rochester, VT: Bear & Co., 1993.

[43] Friedrich Heer, The Medieval World. Europe 1100-1350 . Trans. Janet Sondheimer. New York: The World Publishing Co., 1961.

[44] Sabine Baring-Gould, The Lives of the Saints , (16 volumes) London, 1897 ñ98.


Child Miners, Mother Goddesses, and One of the Greatest Powers of the Bronze Age - History

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Volume One - A Reckoning
Chapter I: In The House Of My Parents

TODAY it seems to me providential that Fate should have chosen Braunau on the Inn as my birthplace. For this little town lies on the boundary between two German states which we of the younger generation at least have made it our life work to reunite by every means at our disposal.
German-Austria must return to the great German mother country, and not because of any economic considerations. No, and again no: even if such a union were unimportant from an economic point of view yes, even if it were harmful, it must nevertheless take place. One blood demands one Reich. Never will the German nation possess the moral right to engage in colonial politics until, at least, it embraces its own sons within a single state. Only when the Reich borders include the very last German, but can no longer guarantee his daily bread, will the moral right to acquire foreign soil arise from the distress of our own people. Their sword will become our plow, and from the tears of war the daily bread of future generations will grow. And so this little city on the border seems to me the symbol of a great mission. And in another respect as well, it looms as an admonition to the present day. More than a hundred years ago, this insignificant place had the distinction of being immortalized in the annals at least of German history, for it was the scene of a tragic catastrophe which gripped the entire German nation. At the time of our fatherland's deepest humiliation, Johannes Palm of Nuremberg, burgher, bookseller, uncompromising nationalist and French hater, died there for the Germany which he loved so passionately even in her misfortune. He had stubbornly refused to denounce his accomplices who were in fact his superiors. In thus he resembled Leo Schlageter. And like him, he was denounced to the French by a representative of his government An Augsburg police chief won this unenviable fame, thus furnishing an example for our modern German officials in Herr Severing's Reich.
In this little town on the Inn, gilded by the rays of German martyrdom, Bavarian by blood, technically Austrian, lived my parents in the late eighties of the past century my father a dutiful civil servants my mother giving all her being to the household, and devoted above all to us children in eternal, loving care Little remains in my memory of this period, for after a few years my father had to leave the little border city he had learned to love, moving down the Inn to take a new position in Passau, that is, in Germany proper.
In those days constant moving was the lot of an Austrian customs official. A short time later, my father was sent to Linz, and there he was finally pensioned. Yet, indeed, this was not to mean "res"' for the old gentleman. In his younger days, as the son of a poor cottager, he couldn't bear to stay at home. Before he was even thirteen, the little boy laced his tiny knapsack and ran away from his home in the Waldviertel. Despite the at tempts of 'experienced' villagers to dissuade him, he made his way to Vienna, there to learn a trade. This was in the fifties of the past century. A desperate decision, to take to the road with only three gulden for travel money, and plunge into the unknown. By the time the thirteen-year-old grew to be seventeen, he had passed his apprentice's examination, but he was not yet content. On the contrary. The long period of hardship, endless misery, and suffering he had gone through strengthened his determination to give up his trade and become ' something better. Formerly the poor boy had regarded the priest as the embodiment of all humanly attainable heights now in the big city, which had so greatly widened his perspective, it was the rank of civil servant. With all the tenacity of a young man whom suffering and care had made 'old' while still half a child, the seventeen-year-old clung to his new decision-he did enter the civil service. And after nearly twenty-three years, I believe, he reached his goal. Thus he seemed to have fulfilled a vow which he had made as a poor boy: that he would not return to his beloved native village until he had made something of himself.
His goal was achieved but no one in the village could remember the little boy of former days, and to him the village had grown strange.
When finally, at the age of fifty-six, he went into retirement, he could not bear to spend a single day of his leisure in idleness. Near the Upper Austrian market village of Lambach he bought a farm, which he worked himself, and thus, in the circuit of a long and industrious life, returned to the origins of his forefathers.
It was at this time that the first ideals took shape in my breast. All my playing about in the open, the long walk to school, and particularly my association with extremely 'husky' boys, which sometimes caused my mother bitter anguish, made me the very opposite of a stay-at-home. And though at that time I scarcely had any serious ideas as to the profession I should one day pursue, my sympathies were in any case not in the direction of my father's career. I believe that even then my oratorical talent was being developed in the form of more or less violent arguments with my schoolmates. I had become a little ringleader at school I learned easily and at that time very well, but was otherwise rather hard to handle. Since in my free time I received singing lessons in the cloister at Lambach, I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal. For a time, at least, this was the case. But since my father, for understandable reasons, proved unable to appreciate the oratorical talents of his pugnacious boy, or to draw from them any favorable conclusions regarding the future of his offspring, he could, it goes without saying, achieve no understanding for such youthful ideas. With concern he observed this conflict of nature.
As it happened, my temporary aspiration for this profession was in any case soon to vanish, making place for hopes more stated to my temperament. Rummaging through my father's library, I had come across various books of a military nature among them a popular edition of the Franco-German War of 1870-7I It consisted of two issues of an illustrated periodical from those years, which now became my favorite reading matter It was not long before the great heroic struggle had become my greatest inner experience. From then on I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any way connected with war or, for that matter, with soldiering
But in another respect as well, this was to assume importance for me. For the first time, though as yet in a confused form, the question was forced upon my consciousness: Was there a difference -and if so what difference-between the Germans who fought these battles and other Germans? Why hadn't Austria taken part in this war why hadn't my father and all the others fought?
Are we not the same as all other Germans?
Do we not all belong together? This problem began to gnaw at my little brain for the first time. I asked cautious questions and with secret envy received the answer that not every German was fortunate enough to belong to Bismarck's Reich..
This was more than I could understand.


It was decided that I should go to high school.
From my whole nature, and to an even greater degree from my temperament, my father believed he could draw the inference that the humanistic Gymnasium would represent a conflict with my talents. A Realschol seemed to him more suitable. In this opinion he was especially strengthened by my obvious aptitude for drawing a subject which in his opinion was neglected in the Austrian Gymnasiums. Another factor may have been his own laborious career which made humanistic study seem impractical in his eyes, and therefore less desirable. It was hus basic opinion and intention that, like himself, his son would and must become a civil servant. It was only natural that the hardships of his youth should enhance his subsequent achievement in his eyes, particularly since it resulted exclusively from his own energy and iron diligence. It was the pride of the self-made man which made him want his son to rise to the same position in life, orJ of course, even higher if possible, especially since, by his own industrious life, he thought he would be able to facilitate his child's development so greatly.
It was simply inconceivable to him that I might reject what had become the content of his whole life. Consequently, my father s decision was simple, definite, and clear in his own eyes I mean, of course. Finally, a whole lifetime spent in the bitter struggle for existence had given him a domineering nature, and it would have seemed intolerable to him to leave the final decision in such matters to an inexperienced boy, having as yet no Sense of responsibility. Moreover, this would have seemed a sinful and reprehensible weakness in the exercise of his proper parental authority and responsibility for the future life of his child, and as such, absolutely incompatible with his concept of duty.
And yet things were to turn out differently.
Then barely eleven years old, I was forced into opposition for the first time in my life. Hard and determined as my father might be in putting through plans and purposes once conceived his son was just as persistent and recalcitrant in rejecting an idea which appealed to him not at all, or in any case very little.
I did not want to become a civil servant.
Neither persuasion nor 'serious' arguments made any impression on my resistance. I did not want to be a civil servant no, and again no. All attempts on my father's part to inspire me with love or pleasure in this profession by stories from his own life accomplished the exact opposite. I yawned and grew sick to my stomach at the thought of sitting in an office, deprived of my liberty ceasing to be master of my own time and being compelled to force the content of a whole life into blanks that had to be filled out.
And what thoughts could this prospect arouse in a boy who in reality was really anything but 'good' in the usual sense of the word?
School work was ridiculously easy, leaving me so much free time that the sun saw more of me than my room. When today my political opponents direct their loving attention to the examination of my life, following it back to those childhood days and discover at last to their relief what intolerable pranks this "Hitler" played even in his youth, I thank Heaven that a portion of the memories of those happy days still remains with me. Woods and meadows were then the battlefields on which the 'conflicts' which exist everywhere in life were decided.
In this respect my attendance at the Realschule, which now commenced, made little difference.
But now, to be sure, there was a new conflict to be fought out.
As long as my fathers intention of making me a civil servant encountered only my theoretical distaste for the profession, the conflict was bearable. Thus far, I had to some extent been able to keep my private opinions to myself I did not always have to contradict him immediately. My own firm determination never to become a civil servant sufficed to give me complete inner peace. And this decision in me was immutable. The problem became more difficult when I developed a plan of my own in opposition to my father's. And this occurred at the early age of twelve. How it happened, I myself do not know, but one day it became clear to me that I would become a painter, an artist. There was no doubt as to my talent for drawing it had been one of my father's reasons for sending me to the Realschule, but never in all the world would it have occurred to him to give me professional training in this direction. On the contrary. When for the first time, after once again rejecting my father's favorite notion, I was asked what I myself wanted to be, and I rather abruptly blurted out the decision I had meanwhile made, my father for the moment was struck speechless.
' Painter? Artist? '
He doubted my sanity, or perhaps he thought he had heard wrong or misunderstood me. But when he was clear on the subject, and particularly after he felt-the seriousness of my intention, he opposed it with all the determination of his nature. His decision was extremely simple, for any consideration of w at abilities I might really have was simply out of the question.
'Artist, no, never as long as I live!' But since his son, among various other qualities, had apparently inherited his father' s stubbornness, the same answer came back at him. Except, of course, that it was in the opposite sense.


And thus the situation remained on both sides. My father did not depart from his 'Never!' And I intensified my 'Oh, yes!'
The consequences, indeed, were none too pleasant. The old man grew embittered, and, much as I loved him, so did I. Ally father forbade me to nourish the slightest hope of ever being allowed to study art. I went one step further and declared that if that was the case I would stop studying altogether. As a result of such 'pronouncements,' of course, I drew the short end the old man began the relentless enforcement of his authority. In the future, therefore, I was silent, but transformed my threat into reality. I thought that once my father saw how little progress I was making at the Realschule, he would let me devote myself to my dream, whether he liked it or not.
I do not know whether this calculation was correct. For the moment only one thing was certain: my obvious lack of success at school. What gave me pleasure I learned, especially everything which, in my opinion, I should later need as a painter. What seemed to me unimportant in this respect or was otherwise unattractive to me, I sabotaged completely. My report cards at this time, depending on the subject and my estimation of it, showed nothing but extremes. Side by side with 'laudable' and 'excellent,' stood 'adequate' or even 'inadequate.' By far my best accomplishments were in geography and even more so in history. These were my favorite subjects, in which I led the class.
If now, after so many years, I examine the results of this period, I regard two outstanding facts as particularly significant:
First: I became a nationalist
Second: I learned to understand and grasp the meaning of history.
Old Austria was a 'state of nationalities.'

By and large, a subject of the German Reich, at that time at least, was absolutely unable to grasp the significance of this fact for the life of the individual in such a state. After the great victorious campaign of the heroic armies in the Franco-German War, people had gradually lost interest in the Germans living abroad some could not, while others were unable to appreciate their importances Especially with regard to the GermanAustrians, the degenerate dynasty was only too frequently confused with the people, which at the core was robust and healthy.
What they failed to appreciate was that, unless the German in Austria had really been of the best blood, he would never have had the power to set his stamp on a nation of fifty-two million souls to such a degree that, even in Germany, the erroneous opinion could arise that Austria was a German state. This was an absurdity fraught with the direst consequences, and yet a glowing testimonial to the ten million Germans in the Ostmark. Only a handful of Germans in the Reich had the slightest conception of the eternal and merciless struggle for the German language, German schools, and a German way of life. Only today, when the same deplorable misery is forced on many millions of Germans from the Reich, who under foreign rule dream of their common fatherland and strive, amid their longing, at least to preserve their holy right to their mother tongue, do wider circles understand what it means to be forced to fight for one's nationality. Today perhaps some can appreciate the greatness of the Germans in the Reich's old Ostmark, who, with no one but themselves to depend on, for centuries protected the Reich against incursions from the East, and finally carried on an exhausting guerrilla warfare to maintain the German language frontier, at a time when the Reich was highly interested in colonies, but not in its own flesh and blood at its very doorstep.
As everywhere and always, in every struggle, there were, in this fight for the language in old Austria, three strata:
The fighters, the lukewarm and the traitors.
This sifting process began at school. For the remarkable fact about the language struggle is that its waves strike hardest perhaps in the school, since it is the seed-bed of the coming generation. It is a struggle for the soul of the child, and to the child its first appeal is addressed:
'German boy, do not forget you are a German,' and, 'Little girl, remember that you are to become a German mother.'
Anyone who knows the soul of youth will be able to understand that it is they who lend ear most joyfully to such a battle-cry. They carry on this struggle in hundreds of forms, in their own way and with their own weapons. They refuse to sing unGerman songs. The more anyone tries to alienate them from German heroic grandeur, the wilder becomes their enthusiasm: they go hungry to save pennies for the grown-ups' battle fund their ears are amazingly sensitive to un-German teachers, and at the same time they are incredibly resistant they wear the forbidden insignia of their own nationality and are happy to be punished or even beaten for it. Thus, on a small scale they are a faithful reflection of the adults, except that often their convictions are better and more honest.
I, too, while still comparatively young, had an opportunity to take part in the struggle of nationalities in old Austria. Collections were taken for the Sudmark I and the school association we emphasized our convictions by wearing corn-flowers and red lack, and gold colors 'Heil ' was our greeting, and instead of the imperial anthem we sang 'Deutschland uber Alles,' despite warnings and punishments. In this way the child received political training in a period when as a rule the subject of a so-called national state knew little more of his nationality than its language. It goes without saying that even then I was not among the lukewarm. In a short time I had become a fanatical 'German Nationalist,' though the term was not identical with our present party concept.
This development in me made rapid progress by the time I was fifteen I understood the difference between dynastic ' patriotism' and folkish "nationalism' and even then I was interested only in the latter.
For anyone who has never taken the trouble to study the inner conditions of the Habsburg monarchy, such a process may not be entirely understandable. In this country the instruction in world history had to provide the germ for this development, since to all intents and purposes there is no such thing as a specifically Austrian history. The destiny of this state is so much bound up with the life and development of all the Germans that a separation of history into German and Austrian does not seem conceivable. Indeed, when at length Germany began to divide into two spheres of power, this division itself became German history.
The insignia of former imperial glory, preserved in Vienna, still seem to cast a magic spell they stand as a pledge that these twofold destinies are eternally one.
The elemental cry of the German-Austrian people for union with the German mother country, that arose in the days when the Habsburg state was collapsing, was the result of a longing that slumbered in the heart of the entire people-a longing to return to the never-forgotten ancestral home. But this would be in explicable if the historical education of the individual GermanAustrian had not given rise to so general a longing. In it lies a well which never grows dry which, especially in times of forgetfulness, transcends all momentary prosperity and by constant reminders of the past whispers softly of a new future
Instruction in world history in the so-called high schools is even today in a very sorry condition. Few teachers understand that the aim of studying history can never be to learn historical dates and events by heart and recite them by rote that what matters is not whether the child knows exactly when this or that battle was fought, when a general was born, or even when a monarch (usually a very insignificant one) came into the crown of his forefathers. No, by the living God, this is very unimportant.
To 'learn' history means to seek and find the forces which are the causes leading to those effects which we subsequently perceive as historical events.
The art of reading as of learning is this: to retain the essential to forget the non-essential.
Perhaps it affected my whole later life that good fortune sent me a history teacher who was one of the few to observe this principle in teaching and examining. Dr. Leopold Potsch, my professor at the Realschule in Linz, embodied this requirement to an ideal degree. This old gentleman's manner was as kind as it was determined, his dazzling eloquence not only held us spellbound but actually carried us away. Even today I think back with gentle emotion on this gray-haired man who, by the fire of his narratives, sometimes made us forget the present who, as if by enchantment, carried us into past times and, out of the millennial veils of mist, molded dry historical memories into living reality. On such occasions we sat there, often aflame with enthusiasm, and sometimes even moved to tears.
What made our good fortune all the greater was that this teacher knew how to illuminate the past by examples from the present, and how from the past to draw inferences for the present. As a result he had more understanding than anyone else for all the daily problems which then held us breathless. He used our budding nationalistic fanaticism as a means of educating use frequently appealing to our sense of national honor. By this alone he was able to discipline us little ruffians more easily than would have been possible by any other means.
This teacher made history my favorite subject.
And indeed, though he had no such intention, it was then that I became a little revolutionary.
For who could have studied German history under such a teacher without becoming an enemy of the state which, through its ruling house, exerted so disastrous an influence on the destinies of the nation?
And who could retain his loyalty to a dynasty which in past and present betrayed the needs of the German people again and again for shameless private advantage?
Did we not know, even as little boys, that this Austrian state had and could have no love for us Germans?
Our historical knowledge of the works of the House of Habsburg was reinforced by our daily experience. In the north and south the poison of foreign nations gnawed at the body of our nationality, and even Vienna was visibly becoming more and more of an un-German city. The Royal House Czechized wherever possible, and it was the hand of the goddess of eternal justice and inexorable retribution which caused Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the most mortal enemy of Austrian-Germanism, to fall by the bullets which he himself had helped to mold. For had he not been the patron of Austria's Slavization from above !
Immense were the burdens which the German people were expected to bear, inconceivable their sacrifices in taxes and blood, and yet anyone who was not totally blind was bound to recognize that all this would be in vain. What pained us most was the fact that this entire system was morally whitewashed by the alliance with Germany, with the result that the slow extermination of Germanism in the old monarchy was in a certain sense sanctioned by Germany itself. The Habsburg hypocrisy, which enabled the Austrian rulers to create the outward appearance that Austria was a German state, raised the hatred toward this house to flaming indignation and at the same time -contempt.
Only in the Reich itself, the men who even then were called to power saw nothing of all this. As though stricken with blindness, they lived by the side of a corpse, and in the symptoms of rotten-
ness saw only the signs of 'new' life.
The unholy alliance of the young Reich and the Austrian sham state contained the germ of the subsequent World War and of the collapse as well.
In the course of this book I shall have occasion to take up this problem at length. Here it suffices to state that even in my earliest youth I came to the basic insight which never left me, but Only became more profound:
That Germanism could be safeguarded only by the destruction of Austria, and, furthermore, that national sentiment is in no sense Identical with dynastic patriotism that above all the House of Habsburg was destined to be the misfortune of the German nation.
Even then I had drawn the consequences from this realization ardent love for my German-Austrian homeland state.


The habit of historical thinking which I thus learned in school has never left me in the intervening years. To an ever-increasing extent world history became for me an inexhaustible source of understanding for the historical events of the present, in other words, for politics. I do not want to 'learn' it, I want it to in instruct me.
Thus, at an early age, I had become a political ' revolutionary,' and I became an artistic revolutionary at an equally early age.
The provincial capital of Upper Austria had at that time a theater which was, relatively speaking, not bad. Pretty much of everything was produced. At the age of twelve I saw Wilhelm Tell for the first time, and a few months later my first opera, Lohengrin. I was captivated at once. My youthful enthusiasm for the master of Bayreuth knew no bounds. Again and again I was drawn to his works, and it still seems to me especially fortunate that the modest provincial performance left me open to an intensified experience later on.
All this, particularly after I had outgrown my adolescence (which in my case was an especially painful process), reinforced my profound distaste for the profession which my father had chosen for me. My conviction grew stronger and stronger that I would never be happy as a civil servant. The fact that by this time my gift for drawing had been recognized at the Realschule made my determination all the firmer.
Neither pleas nor threats could change it one bit.
I wanted to become a painter and no power in the world could make me a civil servant.
Yet, strange as it may seem, with the passing years I became more and more interested in architecture.
At that time I regarded this as a natural complement to my gift as a painter, and only rejoiced inwardly at the extension of my artistic scope.
I did not suspect that things would turn out differently.


The question of my profession was to be decided more quickly than I had previously expected.
In my thirteenth year I suddenly lost my father. A stroke of apoplexy felled the old gentleman who was otherwise so hale, thus painlessly ending his earthly pilgrimage, plunging us all into the depths of grief His most ardent desire had been to help his son forge his career, thus preserving him from his own bitter experience. In this, to all appearances, he had not succeeded. But, though unwittingly, he had sown the seed for a future which at that time neither he nor I would have comprehended.
For the moment there was no outward change.
My mother, to be sure, felt obliged to continue my education in accordance with my father's wish in other words, to have me study for the civil servant's career. I, for my part, was more than ever determined absolutely not to undertake this career. In proportion as my schooling departed from my ideal in subject matter and curriculum, I became more indifferent at heart. Then suddenly an illness came to my help and in a few weeks decided my future and the eternal domestic quarrel. As a result of my serious lung ailment, a physician advised my mother in most urgent terms never to send me into an office. My attendance at the Realschule had furthermore to be interrupted for at least a year. The goal for which I had so long silently yearned, for which I had always fought, had through this event suddenly become reality almost of its own accord.
Concerned over my illness, my mother finally consented to take me out of the Realschule and let- me attend the Academy.
These were the happiest days of my life and seemed to me almost a dream and a mere dream it was to remain. Two years later, the death of my mother put a sudden end to all my highflown plans.
It was the conclusion of a long and painful illness which from the beginning left little hope of recovery. Yet it was a dreadful blow, particularly for me. I had honored my father, but my mother I had loved.
Poverty and hard reality now compelled me to take a quick decision. What little my father had left had been largely exhausted by my mother's grave illness the orphan's pension to which I was entitled was not enough for me even to live on, and so I was faced with the problem of somehow making my own living.
In my hand a suitcase full of clothes and underwear in my heart an indomitable will, I journeyed to Vienna. I, too, hoped to wrest from Fate what my father had accomplished fifty years before I, too, wanted to become 'something'-but on no account a civil servant.


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