Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan's Tsunami: Gods and Giants, Old and New

For the last week or so, a lot of the news has been on the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan. Footage of entire villages and even cities that were washed out to sea have plastered tv screens. People ask how it happened, and others have answered, with the belief that it was plate tectonics, or the wrath of god, or any number of things.

Over on patheos, there's an article talking about why bad things happen to good people/pagan/etc. After all, if sacrifices and prayers are given, why would the gods and goddesses bring destruction? Why such death and destruction when we have done nothing to provoke?

Some reply that the gods are distant and do not care about us humans. I cannot speak for everyone, but in the Norse path, our gods do care deeply for us, though they do become angry with the children of Midgard at times. Yet, we must remember that our gods and goddesses are not like the Abrahamic god. They are not all powerful and do not control everything that happens. There are other forces out there.

Two of these forces are the Norse Giants and the Greek Titans. Primal, elemental, chaotic forces that exist often at odds with those of Asgard and Olympus. The avalanche, the earthquake, the tsunami, the hurricane, the floods, are they the work of Gods, Giants, Titans, or other spirits? Do they come the interactions of these forces when they come together?

Was the Japanese tsunami the work of an angry kami? A youkai? Was the work of the ash cloud from tiny Iceland that shut down air traffic over the US, Canada, and Europe the work of an angry God or Goddess, a slumbering giant roused for some reason, or an act of protection given. Planes have been used as weapons before, yet they could not fly then, perhaps someone was watching out for somebody, somewhere.

The simple fact is that we don't have the answers to these questions, and those that do are not likely to be believed. It is no secret that the earth has certainly started acting up more and in weirder ways.Perhaps the tsunami was the angry act of YHVH striking back at a world that is turning away from him and his power, as the Christians say. Perhaps the Green people are right and the planet is angry with us for squandering what we have taken. Perhaps with the rise of Paganism and Heathenism, the old gods, goddesses, giants, and other spirits are waking up and we are now seeing them walk the earth again after being suppressed for the last fifteen hundred years. Perhaps under the Christ, YHVH, Allah the world was tamed and enslaved to man, and now that the old ways are coming back, breaking free even as most of the world turn secular and atheist, those natural forces are stretching their limbs and moving again.

Perhaps we are seeing a return to the days when a man or woman's success was wrought by the sweat of their brow, the strength of their back, and the will of their heart. Perhaps, like Barbosa, we have freed Calypso and the other forces of primal past, and shall see a return to olden days, fair and terrible.

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