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Seven Days in New Crete, also known as Watch the North Wind Rise, is a seminal future-utopian speculative fiction novel by Robert Graves, first published in 1949. It shares many themes and ideas with Graves' The White Goddess , published a year earlier.
Robert von Ranke Graves, known as Robert Graves, was a British poet, historical novelist, critic, and classicist. His father was Alfred Perceval Graves, a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival; they were both Celticists and students of Irish mythology. Graves produced more than 140 works. Graves's poems—together with his translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths; his memoir of his early life, including his role in World War I, Good-Bye to All That; and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess—have never been out of print.
The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth is a book-length essay on the nature of poetic myth-making by author and poet Robert Graves. First published in 1948, the book is based on earlier articles published in Wales magazine, corrected, revised and enlarged editions appeared in 1948, 1952 and 1961. The White Goddess represents an approach to the study of mythology from a decidedly creative and idiosyncratic perspective. Graves proposes the existence of a European deity, the "White Goddess of Birth, Love and Death", much similar to the Mother Goddess, inspired and represented by the phases of the moon, who lies behind the faces of the diverse goddesses of various European and pagan mythologies.
The novel takes place in a future society (first established on the island of Crete, but later spreading through much of the world) in which most post-medieval technology has been rejected, and a Triple Goddess religion is followed. The book is narrated by a mid-20th century poet, Edward Venn-Thomas, who is transported forward in time by the New Cretans. Society is organised into five "estates" or social groups: captains, recorders (scribes), commons (by far the most numerous), servants, and magicians or poets (the least numerous), which are analogised to the five fingers of a hand.Different villages practice different marriage customs (strict monogamy, non-strict monogamy, or polyandry), worship different local "godlings", and specialise in various local handcrafts and foodstuffs, but share the common values of the New Cretan civilisation and devotion to the Goddess.
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065.
The Triple Goddess has been adopted by many neopagans as one of their primary deities. In common Neopagan usage the three female figures are frequently described as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, each of which symbolizes both a separate stage in the female life cycle and a phase of the Moon, and often rules one of the realms of earth, underworld, and the heavens. These may or may not be perceived as aspects of a greater single divinity. The Goddess of Wicca's duotheistic theology is sometimes portrayed as the Triple Goddess, her masculine consort being the Horned God.
The estates of the realm, or three estates, were the broad orders of social hierarchy used in Christendom from the medieval period to early modern Europe. Different systems for dividing society members into estates developed and evolved over time.
Some of the social customs are somewhat matriarchal. There is no poverty in New Crete (money has been abolished) and little dissatisfaction. War is only known in the form of controlled local one-day conflicts between neighbouring villages, similar to the old game of village football or Shrovetide football. The poets or magicians of New Crete are an integral part of a religion centred on a sometimes capricious Goddess worshipped in three aspects: the maiden archer Nimuë, the goddess of motherhood and sexuality Mari, and the hag-goddess of wisdom Ana. (The names of the last two are similar to those of the Virgin Mary and her mother Saint Anne in Christianity.)
Matriarchy is a social system in which females hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of males — at least to a large degree.
According to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition, Saint Anne, of David's house and line, was the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels, but is mentioned as the daughter of Faqud in Quran. In writing, Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Gospel of James seems to be the earliest that mentions them.
The only masculine elements of New Cretan religion are the rival twin demi-gods (the star-god of the first half of the year and the serpent-god of the second half of the year) who compete for the Goddess's favour, and the local village godlings, who are all far below the Goddess as Queen of Heaven. However, the failings of past fallen civilisations are remembered and personified as an anti-trinity of evil gods (the "three Rogues"): Dobeis, god of money and greed; Pill, god of theft and violence; and Machna, god of science and soulless machinery.
The Holly King is a speculative archetype of modern studies of folklore and mythology which has been popularized in some Neopagan religions. In his book The White Goddess, the author Robert Graves proposed that the mythological figure of the Holly King represents one half of the year, while the other is personified by his counterpart and adversary the Oak King: the two battle endlessly as the seasons turn. At Midsummer the Oak King is at the height of his strength, while the Holly King is at his weakest. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox, the tables finally turn in the Holly King's favor; his strength peaks at Midwinter. Graves identified a number of paired hero-figures which he believes are variants of this myth, including Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Gronw Pebr, Gwyn and Gwythr, Lugh and Balor, Balan and Balin, Gawain and the Green Knight, the robin and the wren, and even Jesus and John the Baptist.
The New Cretan language is derived from Catalan, modified by heavy English-language influence and apparent minor Slavic and Celtic influences. The writing down of words is considered to be too sacred an act to be profaned by ordinary every-day uses, and paper is banned in New Cretan society,and only members of the scribal estate and the poet-magician estate are commonly literate. However, numerical tally-marks are allowed to be used for everyday purposes, and many people of other estates learn to read in later life, after they retire into elder status, and some of the ordinary taboos of New Cretan life are relaxed when in the presence of other elders.
Catalan is a Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin and named after the medieval Principality of Catalonia, in northeastern modern Spain. It is the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia. It also has semi-official status in the Italian commune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the eastern strip of Aragon, in some villages of Region of Murcia called Carche and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. These territories are often called Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".
Though Venn-Thomas has been moved in time, he is still in the same area of southern France where he lived before and after World War II, and he compares the conditions in his own time to those under the New Cretan civilisation (mostly to the disfavor of the 20th century, though some things seem "too good to be true").
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
In this apparently idyllic utopian setting, Venn-Thomas begins to realise that he has been chosen by the Goddess to inject disruption into a society that is becoming static and in danger of losing its vitality. A symptom of trouble is that over the course of the week described in the novel, the five poet-magicians of the "Magic House" of the village of Horned Lamb all die or lose their status as members of the poet-magician estate.
In the last section of the book, Venn-Thomas makes a trip to Dunrena, the town which is the capital of the local kingdom, to witness the twice-yearly ceremony of the changing of the king, carried out as a solemn religious-theatrical performance culminating in a ritual sacrifice similar to those described in The Golden Bough . At the end of the book, Venn-Thomas unleashes the whirlwind which will prepare the way for the transition to the next phase of history, and Sapphire (a young woman for whom he has had unsettled feelings) returns with him through time to be reborn as his daughter.
Poul Anderson's 1965 novel The Corridors of Time shares many themes with Graves' book, also including a depiction of a future matriarchal world dominated by a Great Goddess religion seen through the eyes of a traveller from our time. However, Anderson's version of such a world is far more harsh and dystopian, leading the plot to a conclusion very different from Graves'.
A Utopia is an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia. One could also say that utopia is a perfect "place" that has been designed so there are no problems.
In Greek mythology, Amaltheia is the most-frequently mentioned foster-mother of Zeus.
According to the Greek mythology, the Korybantes were the armed and crested dancers who worshipped the Phrygian goddess Cybele with drumming and dancing. They are also called the Kurbantes in Phrygia. The conventional English equivalent is "Corybants".
Britomartis was a Greek goddess of mountains and hunting, who was primarily worshipped on the island of Crete. She was sometimes believed to be an oread, or a mountain nymph, but she was often conflated or syncretized with Artemis and Aphaea, the "invisible" patroness of Aegina.
Eileithyia or Ilithyia was the Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery. In the cave of Amnisos (Crete) she was related with the annual birth of the divine child, and her cult is connected with Enesidaon, who was the chthonic aspect of the god Poseidon. It is possible that her cult is related with the cult of Eleusis. In his Seventh Nemean Ode, Pindar refers to her as the maid to or seated beside the Moirai (Fates) and responsible for creating offspring.
When God Was a Woman is the U.S. title of a 1976 book by sculptor and art historian Merlin Stone. It was published earlier in the United Kingdom as The Paradise Papers: The Suppression of Women's Rites. It has been translated into French as Quand Dieu était femme in 1978, into Dutch as Eens was God als Vrouw belichaamd – De onderdrukking van de riten van de vrouw in 1979, into German as Als Gott eine Frau war in 1989 and into Italian as Quando Dio era una donna in 2011.
Labrys is, according to Plutarch, the Lydian word for the double-bitted axe called in Greek a πέλεκυς (pélekus). The relation with the labyrinth is uncertain.
The Goddess movement includes spiritual beliefs or practices which has emerged predominantly in North America, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand in the 1970s. The movement grew as a reaction to perceptions of predominant organized religion as male-dominated, and makes use of goddess worship and a focus on gender and femininity.
The King Must Die is a 1958 bildungsroman and historical novel by Mary Renault that traces the early life and adventures of Theseus, a hero in Greek mythology. Naturally, it is set in Ancient Greece: Troizen, Corinth, Eleusis, Athens, Knossos in Crete, and Naxos. Rather than retelling the myth, Renault constructs an archaeologically and anthropologically plausible story that might have developed into the myth. She captures the essentials while removing the more fantastical elements, such as monsters and the appearances of gods. The King Must Die was lauded by critics, with New York Times reviewer Orville Prescott calling it "one of the truly fine historical novels of modern times." Renault wrote a sequel, The Bull from the Sea, in 1962.
The Cretan Turks, Muslim-Cretans or Cretan Muslims were the Muslim inhabitants of the Greek island of Crete and now their descendants, who settled principally in Turkey, the Dodecanese Islands under Italian administration, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Libya, and Egypt, as well as in the larger Turkish diaspora.
"Snake goddess" is a type of figurine depicting a woman holding a snake in each hand, as were found in Minoan archaeological sites in Crete. The first two of such figurines were found by the British archaeologist Arthur Evans and date to the neo-palatial period of Minoan civilization, c. 1700–1450 BCE. It was Evans who called the larger of his pair of figurines a "Snake Goddess", the smaller a "Snake Priestess"; since then, it has been debated whether Evans was right, or whether both figurines depict priestesses, or both depict the same deity or distinct deities.
A matriarchal religion is a religion that focuses on a goddess or goddesses. The term is most often used to refer to theories of prehistoric matriarchal religions that were proposed by scholars such as Johann Jakob Bachofen, Jane Ellen Harrison, and Marija Gimbutas, and later popularized by second-wave feminism. In the 20th century, a movement to revive these practices resulted in the Goddess movement.
The Great Goddess Hypothesis is that in Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and/or Neolithic Europe and Western Asia and North Africa, a singular, monotheistic female deity was worshipped prior to the development of the polytheistic pagan religions of the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Having first been proposed as an idea relating to ancient Greek religion in 1849, it subsequently achieved some support amongst classicists. In the early 20th century, various historians began to postulate about the theory applying across Europe, and it was widely propagated by the archaeologist Marija Gimbutas in the 1980s. It has since been adopted by various feminist religious groups such as Dianic Wicca as a part of the mythology of their faith.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a 2010 fantasy novel by American writer N. K. Jemisin, the first book of The Inheritance Trilogy. Jemisin's debut novel, it was published by Orbit Books in 2010. It won the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for the World Fantasy, Hugo, and Nebula awards, among others. Its sequel, The Broken Kingdoms, was also released in 2010.
The Broken Kingdoms is a fantasy novel by American writer N. K. Jemisin, the second book of her Inheritance trilogy. It takes place ten years after the events of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and centers around a young woman named Oree Shoth, who lives in the World Tree-shrouded, godling-inhabited city of Shadow.