Surplus of Tricksters

A Surplus of Tricksters: Eris (or Discordia) Part 2 of 2

This is part two of Trickster #1 in a series of trickster posts. No clue how many I’ll write because the freaky dudes and dudettes keep popping up out of the woodwork. There’s a cache of tricksters awaiting us, an assortment, quite a batch, an assemblage, a cluster, a regular caboodle, a glorious assortment. Absolutely tricksters galore, a lavish abundance, overflowing and concealed. We have tricksters plentiful to pick from, soak in, and learn from.
Strap in crazies, we’re in for a strange, sometimes odd, but always fun ride. It’ll be entertaining at worst. At best, you might meet a beastie you like.




(Reminder: I use the names Eris and Discordia interchangeably, as they’re the same goddess with two different names.)

Children
Eris is credited with mothering multiple horrid children who caused destruction and pain for humans worldwide.


Strife, her son, who tags along when she accompanies Ares into the battlefield during wartime.
A daughter, Dysnomia, the personification of lawlessness. She’s called a demon in some versions.


Eris has a third child, a daughter, named Ate, or Folly. This child is the one I find interesting and the most telling. Ate is seen in two differing lights.
One, as a creature who leads others to make very bad decisions. When she did this to Zeus, he banned her from living among the gods.
Two, Ate was seen as an avenger of evil deeds. She justly punished the bad guys. So let’s recap here. Ate or Folly, known as a dual being. Cruel and just. Sounds kinda sorta like a trickster, no?


Which leads me to the possibility that Eris isn’t so bad after all. Rather, trapped in a mythos that was always going to see her as a villain, because she was a female.

 

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Feminist Possibilities
Yep. It’s true.
I’m one of “those people”.
You know, the ones who think men and women are different but of equal value?
Now don’t get your panties in a bunch, this isn’t going to be an anti-male rant. Which has nothing to do with feminism or equal rights, as it is. But let’s not get into that. I might resort to throwing gold apples at people’s heads.
I wonder, as I often find when peering deeper into myths, if some of the women of mythology were painted in a bad light compared to their male counterparts, on purpose.

(Don’t get me started on the Medusa myth. We might be here for a while.)


Going back to the etymology from part one, you’ll notice one of the root meanings is “strife”.
As one author pulling apart Eris’ intricacies pointed out, use another tense of “strife”, and you have “striving”. He goes on to further add that during change, a person strives to improve their life, their situation, or their atmosphere, community, etc.

When a man is a good leader, he’s called a good leader. For a woman, however, they’re being “aggressive”, “bossy”, “bratty”, or a handful of cuss words.
My bet?
That’s a good way to describe a lot of strong females in mythology. Not that there aren’t nasty women. But when they all crop up either nasty or helpless or raped…. Well, I’ll stick with my bet on the subject matter.

Eris is no exception. She’s seen as a goddess who causes issues.
When women want to compete with men, they’re seen as aggressive or just plain stupid.
Discordia causes strife, discord, war.  She threw a golden apple into the mix, which started a competition which then led to a war.
I wonder if she was depicted this way not because she wanted to cause bloodshed and misery, but because she wanted to compete and was thrown to the dogs for it.

Then again, I could totally be reading into what isn’t there, as there are plenty of chicks who are goddesses of war in mythology.
*shrug*
Totally up to you. *cue Reading Rainbow theme song*

Eris and Disney’s Maleficent
Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty is rumored to be fashioned after Eris of Greek mythology.
Seeing the similarities?

During the Apple of Discord incident (also called the Judgment of Paris), Eris wasn’t invited to a wedding and thusly created conflict, which led to war.
In the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent wasn’t invited to the King’s daughter’s christening and was thusly offended. She then cursed the daughter, which ended up creating an unconscious kingdom.

Maleficent is now a movie wherein she’s the hero. Wronged and wrongly accused, hated and demonized, she is in truth, an enraged victim who eventually finds her way back to who she always was, and rules her kingdom with justice and love. Becoming Sleeping Beauty’s true protector.
Maleficent, or Eris, is demonized in typical fashion for characters of myth and folklore. And yet, in the current cultural shifts, we’re allowing strong women to appear as something other than evil or bloodthirsty. Showing them rather as another human being who has the potential to lead and/or create a situation where people can strive to become better.

I wonder. If Eris/Discordia was created today, would she be Maleficent in the newest telling of the story?

Tricky to Pigeonhole
Then again, Ares, the god of war, was hated, even more so than Eris. So perhaps I’m looking for something that isn’t there.
When it comes to tricksters, it’s completely up to you. To each of us.

They are whatever we need them to be. They are the outer limits of the box, walking the fence, they are exactly what we don’t know we need, but often do. There’s typically a lesson within each of them, even if it’s only a cautionary tale of where we ought not go, what we needn’t do, what decisions we’re better off not making.

That’s what’s so exciting about tricksters.
Like Pocahontas suggested, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Tricksters are always ever so willing to point out to us what we’re lacking and where we have room to grow as individuals, families, and societies.

 

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Eris as a Trickster
In a sentence, Eris was known as the cause of violent woe and bloody destruction.
This trickster begins insignificant, certainly not a major player. Eventually, however, Eris becomes quite the foe to tackle. Pretty soon she craves bloodshed and war and is constantly causing issues among humans, so she can realize her desires.
She’s known as a scourge on humankind and none of the other Greek deities want her around, except Ares, god of war, and occasionally, Zeus, when he can use her destruction.

But perhaps the best part of this tale is left to a few lines, tucked away in “Works and Days”, the Greek epic by Hesiod.
Perhaps you only make it to the best part of this trickster if you stick around and keep your ear to the ground, waiting, watching, believing there is something a little more to be gleamed.
Some consider Eris the daughter of Nyx (or Night). Others consider her the child of Zeus and Hera. This is where things get really interesting. According to Hesiod, there are two forms of Eris.

Did you bloody hear that?! Two forms! Two sides to strife, discord. Two forms of Eris.
The only form of Eris we ever hear about is the evil one, the woman who creates pain and bloody deaths for her amusement.

The second form of Eris is more competition than bloodlust. This is what the author I was talking about touched on when he referenced to striving. To strive for betterment, more, an increase of good things in life.
This form of Eris, when she is (rarely) spoken of, brings joy and hope to humans. She inspires within them to become the best versions of themselves.

To be honest, Discordia is offering two sides of a coin. People typically pick the negative, the drama, the bloodlust. So they can hate, jeer against, and throw all their problems on someone else. Eris might very well be the result of supply and demand. Story consumers want conflict, pain, nastiness, people to hate. Story creators create what their audience will buy, absorb.

That’s a pretty simplistic view of course. But it begs the question; what are we demanding of our stories? What do we want to see in the world, in our world?
After all, the best stories hold a mirror up to the person reading them.
What do you see when you look at, and really see, absorb, understand, Discordia, the trickster with a hidden dual nature?

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Sources

https://nameberry.com/babyname/Eris

https://www.etymonline.com/word/eris

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discordia

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discord

https://www.etymonline.com/word/discord

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/dwarf-planets/eris/in-depth/

https://www.space.com/28379-eris-dwarf-planet.html

https://www.nga.gov/features/joachim-wtewael—a-closer-look/the-wedding-of-peleus-and-thetis.html

https://public.wsu.edu/~hughesc/stories.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/a/ate.html

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/apple-of-discord

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/judgment-of-paris

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/p/paris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/e/eris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/d/discordia.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eris-Greek-and-Roman-mythology

http://www.classicsunveiled.com/mythnet/html/lessgods1.html#Eris

http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Eris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/d/dysnomia.html

https://genius.com/Walt-disney-records-colors-of-the-wind-lyrics

https://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Eris.html

Stream of Consciousness

I Change My Mind – Black Lives Matter

That title makes me sound like I was a racist at one point.

Oops.

0.o

Nope! Never have been. Racism is one of those things I never understood.

But anywho – I have changed my opinion on one part of the racism issue.

 

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You see – I went off on Twitter a little while ago about how I wouldn’t carry a sign reading, “black lives matter”, but I would carry a sign reading, “all lives matter”.

I thought to carry a sign that said only one race of human beings mattered was, in fact, racist.

Now, I’m not saying I didn’t care about black people, nor am I saying that I now don’t believe all lives matter.

The difference between then and now is, I would now carry a sign stating, “black lives matter”.

 

What changed my mind?

A woman.

An honest, open woman, who happens to be black, and also happens to be willing to talk to white people like they aren’t scum. She talks to all people like we’re… all people. *gasps* What a thought! 😉

 

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You see, I watched this video on Youtube, with Franchesca Ramsey and the host, Marie Forleo. (And totally fell in love by the way.)

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I will link to it in the bottom of this post.

 

I’ve only watched it one time but I remember the metaphor she gave that changed my mind.

It went something like this.

If I am doing a breast cancer walk, no one is going to come up to me and go, “hey! What about thyroid cancer? You should support and talk about thyroid cancer too!”

Because when we’re supporting breast cancer or the end of something like animal abuse or domestic violence – we are taking a slice of our time out to focus on one specific thing. But going on a walk for women’s rights doesn’t mean we hate men. Supporting breast cancer doesn’t slight thyroid cancer.

In the same vein of thinking, when I hold a sign reading “black lives matter”, I am not saying that I only believe lives of black people matter. What I am saying is.

They.

Matter

 

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I still believe all lives matter. But I don’t have to approach every situation or moral issue in a black or white mindset.

I realize that saying one person matters, doesn’t mean that is the only person I care about.

 

I also realize that before I watched this youtube video, I wasn’t entirely comfortable talking about racism. I believe we need a safe place to talk about these things, without people yelling in our faces or telling us we’re evil or ignorant.

We might be ignorant. But we’re never going to change if all anyone brings to the table is hate.

What do you think? 

Would you hold up a sign that reads, “Black Lives Matter”? I would.

 

 

 

Stream of Consciousness

Honestly, I have Nothing to Offer, Except…

HONESTLY, I wouldn’t wash my hair if I didn’t have to. It’s so annoying, hair gets all over, I have to wait eight millennia’s  for it to dry, and brush it out at just the right time or it sheds  more hair all over and drives me insane. But, if I don’t wash it I begin to look like I could squeegee my hair out and oil your truck… so I figure it’d be a good idea to wash it. Plus, I look less naked-mole-rat and more human when it’s clean. But Jeeze! I’d love it if hair just stayed clean.

 

I absolutely love waking up sore from a good work out. Absolutely love it. So then, of course you see me walking around all weird-like, stretching limbs out in odd places, stretching my back, arching my back, leaning forward, stretching my legs out to the side…. Randomly. Because it feels good.

Because that doesn’t totally look strange.

 

“Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it just makes me free.” Anonymous

 

So, would someone like to give me the recipe for this?
So, would someone like to give me the recipe for this?

 

I love going to therapy! That probably makes me sound like more of a crazy person than I am, but it’s so true. If I could joyfully yell it from a hilltop, head thrown back, arms stretched skyward, I would. Except, then people would probably wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have left therapy, and I don’t want people thinking I’m a different kind of crazy than I am.

But yeah. I love therapy. I don’t want to stab people as often. 😉

 

Humans are so impressionable. No wonder it’s so easy for the monsters to win us over, to get us, to sneak up and slip into our skin or rip it open.

But humans are the monsters.

Exactly. There’s one in all of us. And we let it take over without much of a fight, now don’t we?

 

HONESTLY, the truth of the matter is really quite funny.

It’s the reality so many don’t want to accept. Don’t want to see. We They don’t want it to be real as they cling to their chains and shriek out the pain, woe is me, where is the answer? as they hug the cold metal harder.

There are no rules.

Where does this puritanical urge come from to believe I must be miserable, suffering, in pain – or I must be doing something wrong? If I’m not in agony, I’m not a good person, I’m not fighting the good fight. If I don’t burn with the angst of never-to-triumph fire, I must not be trying.

No one is holding a gun to my head, telling me I must suffer.

No one is threatening to burn my family alive and rip my heart out while I scream and thrash in some Mayan ritual.

So why the bloody hell do I feel the need to suffer?

Life isn’t fair because everyone plays by ‘life isn’t fair’ rules.

Human choice is an underappreciated privilege.

 

I looooooove chocolate. Does anyone else put chocolate in the fridge or freezer before eating it? That doesn’t count for things like oreos or hohos though.

Also… I no longer like cake. And who doesn’t like cake? Well, my papa doesn’t, but he likes pie and ice cream, so it all evens out. Anyway, I don’t like cake anymore, not of any kind. Really freaking weird.

 

I am finally understanding that no one is perfect. No one has it all under control or is at the point where they’re like people in story books, fairytales, or movies: 100% sure of themselves and handling challenges perfectly.

No one.

No one is, by my definition, someone I agree with and want to emulate 100% of the time.

Everyone makes mistakes.

It never occurred to me. Some people, I’ve been believing, are people they’re not.

For some ridiculous reason I thought they never royally messed up or lost their cool, handled things poorly or made mistakes. I thought they were agreeable all the time and never said or did (or even thought) anything I consider judgmental or careless.

I mean, I knew they had challenges and trials – every human being does.

But I honestly thought they never made the “I screwed up” kind of mistakes.

It’s finally sinking in that everyone one of us does this. We’re all totally human and struggling to do our best (well, those of us who are trying). We’re all messing up and trying to get back up and do better.

It’s helped me see more people as beautiful and good. They’re trying. But they’re human, just like me, messing up and learning. No one has got this thing called ‘life’, down.

No one.

 

Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with rocks, crystals, gemstones. When I was a kid, I had a huge tub I kept under my bed filled with rocks I found. I couldn’t even lift it towards the end there, it was so heavy. I don’t know what ever happened to all those rocks.

 

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I love geodes. Yet, I have none. The horror.

 

 

“Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers.”  – Charles Bukowski

 

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” Malala Yousafzai

HONESTLY, I am tired of this. I do not care that you are black and I am white. I do not care that you are male and I am female. I do not care that you are Mexican, Guatemalan, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Chinese, Persian, Apache, Russian, British… and I am white. I do not care that you are twenty-nine, seventy-eight, ninety-three, twelve… and I am in my early twenties. I do not care if you have less or more money than me. I do not care if you have red hair, dyed hair, or fake hair.

I do not care.

I do not care.

I do not care.

We are all human. I believe all human lives matter.

I am sincerely tired of hearing that only one kind of life matters.

I believe we should all be fighting for each other, fighting for humane treatment of human beings, regardless of color or gender.

We are all human.

 

Let’s just get this straight. When I refer to ‘monsters’, I’m talking about one of two kinds of monsters.

One, bad people.

Two, creatures from stories and movies and myths which are dangerous and I absolutely love.

 

“I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” Jack Kerouac

Stream of Consciousness

My Issue with some Romance Novels

I’m not too sure I can clarify this because it’s steeped in emotional response and growling noises. And maybe some duct tape because I overdid it with the knife.
Just kidding.

Why am I not big on novels that are mainly romance novels?
In a short, one sentence answer: Due to the way women are treated by men.
It makes me want to stab things. Preferably male things.

 

I'm female, I'm an idiot!
I’m female, I’m an idiot!

In much longer than one sentence, this is why I do not like most romance novels (keep in mind that there are romance novels I like. I think):

I don’t find a man bullying his way into a woman’s life because he decides she needs his help as “romantic”.
And then they magically fall in love even though he’s treating her like a uselss child that can’t fight, defend, or think for itself. And I say ‘it’ because apparently she’s not a human being with human rights, thoughts or justifiable emotional responses.
But hey, he is so hot that her knees buckle, she melts, she gets instantly turned on to the extreme level of all levels – every single time that she sees/glances at/think about him, so that’s really all that matters. Clear indicator that they’re meant for one another. That and the fact that she can’t think straight when she’s in his presence.

Such a healthy relationship, totally based on mutual respect. Because real love equals submissive woman being bullied by a caveman with good looks, who knows how to handle every situation, takes command of everything and never had an emotional crack or vulnerability in his life. And if he does now, it’s all her fault and it’s definitely a bad thing.

 

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Emotions = bad, weak.
Women = too emotional. 
Everything they say can be written down to stupid female hormones. She doesn’t actually mean it. And if she does, she doesn’t know any better because she’s a silly emotional female.

 

And do you notice that most novels where the female main character is both strong and feminine – not losing the fact that she is a woman while still being intelligent and/or sturdy – are written by men? Women: what’s up with you? Why are you keeping this unrealistic and abusive crap up in your novels? Even the title reflects the woman as the object and the man the main character of the relationship.

Women are paraded out as strong and tough yet on the inside they are frightened and weak. And the man is strong, commanding, and an emotional bulldozer who never falters. So he discovers her vulnerability and has to protect her. Because she’s incapable of doing so herself on any level.

Man – uber strong, knows what’s going on, level headed, judgment not clouded by emotions, makes all decisions because he is wise and knows everything. Including what her decisions should be.

Woman – an idiot. Can’t make decisions. Needs to stay out of the bad guy situations because she doesn’t have male anatomy. Clearly this means she’s incapable of taking care of herself in any way.

 

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And I can’t stand how the man makes a big deal in some explosive scene, going on about how the woman is helpless and an idiot who can’t make decisions for herself. And even though it makes her angry – they never talk about this. And the chick subtly ignores and then becomes okay with this. WHAT?! Three pages ago she was fuming and rightly so, thinking straight and seeing it for the misogynistic crap it is. Next she’s all gooey and he’s saving her and she loves him. 
Or – and this one really doesn’t make sense – after the explosive caveman scene of her helpless, him protector/taking all your rights as a human being away, she saves the day and they still go along with the ideal that he’s the strong one. And she is not.
*stabbity stab stab stab*

This is all I see when I read a romance novel. I don’t want to only see this. I really would like to find romance novels that don’t spread this bad relationship brainwashing. I go into it thinking it sounds good and I might like this one. But nope. Still the same thing. 
And just so you know, I only pick up romances when they include a plot other than the romance. You know, like some mysterious illness making resident were-creatures freak out and kill random people and the main peeps must find out what’s wrong and fix it. So I am not setting myself up for failure by reading a straight romance. But still – I end up grrrrr!

I think the only romance I read that didn’t have this misogynistic undertone (or explosive in your face misogyny) was a young adult novel by Melissa Marr that I read like seven years ago. Major props to this chick.

And to prove that I’m not only seeing what I want to see – I did read a paranormal romance recently that I liked. The female was weak and helpless. The male was strong and in the know on almost every subject. The few pages of the whole “male, lots of sex = awesome / female, sex at all, =whore she better not have” issue showed up because the novel was set in the past but I ignored it. Because it was the time period and they didn’t bring it up more than once. I liked the book, I still have it. And it was very romancey.

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I find that most people don’t agree with my assessment of romance novels. Most chicks I ask love them.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s the whole “ignore the small issues even though they are subtly brainwashing everyone into thinking it is right and should not be protested” thing. Because I’m just over reacting. The men should always protect women by taking away their choices and deciding for them that they are weak and need protecting. A.k.a. bullying.
Hand me that knife please.

As a side note, I am not against romance. At all. Or love or being vulnerable, sweet, mushy or emotional. I’m just against it being treated as if its weakness or inferior.

But that’s the beauty of stories – they’re extremely subjective. What I cannot stand, someone else may love. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why they make vanilla and chocolate ice cream. It takes all kinds to make the world go round.
But you were asking, so there’s my reason. 😉

*stabity stab*

Do you like romance novels? Does this issue bother you or is it pretty shrug worthy to you? Is there something else that bothers you or that you particularly love about romance novels?
Any book recommendations where women aren’t treated this way?

Don’t believe I’m being fair toward male/female roles and the way society treats it? Read this.