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Okay, back to Romulus and Remus.   I'd first like to quote from the Wikipedia article about them, since I think it gives a pretty good summary.  The think to remember is that there are many versions of the myth.  This doesn't reflect all of them.

Wikipedia quote...Collapse )

In all versions of the myth, there are strong parallels between the birth of the twins and the birth of Moses in the Torah.  Both were meant to die but were saved.  Both were placed in baskets in a river, in this myth on the Tiber instead of the Nile.  Both were saved from the river.  Moses was found and raised by a princess, whereas Tiberinus, the river deity, directed the twins' basket to the reeds where they were rescued and suckled by a wolf.  There are a lot of parallels between how the Jews view Moses and how Rome viewed Romulus, but I won't go there here.

Whether the myth is true or not, whether Romulus and Remus really lived, whether they really founded Rome, doesn't really matter, like it doesn't with most myths.  The myth, Romulus, is Rome and Rome is Romulus.  The myth shaped Rome and Rome shaped the myth.  You can't have Rome as it was without Romulus.  And you can't have the modern Western world without Rome, because it grew out of Rome.  Most of Europe and the New World are the result of Rome.  Basically what is identified as the Christian world is the modern Roman world.  The West is Rome and Rome is Romulus.  We, the modern world, are the results of this myth.  Romulus formed the Roman Senate in the myth, and Western government, and also Western religious structures, come from the Senate.  It is all the product of Romulus, Romulus the son of a god, Romulus raised by wolves, Romulus the shepherd, Romulus the warrior, Romulus the leader, Romulus the kinslayer.

But what of Remus?  There is no Romulus without Remus.  They are twins.  The story of Romulus is the story of Remus.  There's a reason why Remus, so mysterious to historians, is always part of the story.  But all the stories are either about both doing something or about only Romulus.  Who was this Remus?  Why is he important?

Seeing Romulus as the leader and Remus as the follower is easy with the focus on Romulus.  It's easy to think Remus just followed his brother's lead, never questioned, never argued, did whatever Romulus wanted.  But is this true?  The stories say they both proved to be excellent leaders and gained many followers.  It wasn't just Romulus the leader and Remus the follower.  This matches my dream with each of the twins leading a group.  But what more do we know about Remus?
Some versions of the myth tell of a disagreement.  The twins want to build a city, the city that would later be known as Rome.  They disagree on which hill to build it one.  They decide to use augury to decide.  Remus sees six eagles (or vultures) and Romulus sees twelve.  Remus claims it favoured him because he saw his six before Romulus saw any.  Romulus claims it favoured him because he saw more.  Romulus and his followers start building a wall (or a boundary, a trench, etc, depending on the version), while Remus watches, criticizing.  I'll finish this story in a moment, but first, what do we see here?  Is Remus just a follower?  Obviously not.  They disagreed, and Remus didn't just give in.

The end of this version is interesting, and gets to the root of where I've been heading.  Remus jumps over the wall as an insult to the defenses.  Romulus gets mad and kills Remus and says, so will happen to anyone who jumps over the wall.  This can, of course, be taken as talking about that anyone who tries to breach the defenses of Rome will be killed.  And this understanding would have been the one Romans saw in the myth.  And for a long time, anyone who went against Rome ended up losing.  But is there another way to look at it?

The wall, the trench, the boundary.  Liminal.  Crossing over.  Liminal space is important, because a boundary in the physical world reflects a boundary in the spiritual.  Witch lives in the liminal, one foot in each world.  Part of what makes Witch is the crossing over.  Some use the term jumping the hedge.  Is it a great stretch to compare this to jumping a wall?  Can we see Remus as Witch?<

Romulus is the one building, he is the establishment.  The government, the Church, order, the authorities.  Remus is on the sidelines, the outcast, Other, Witch.  Remus is a threat to Romulus, to what he is building, to his plans.  Other is always a threat to the establishment, whether the establishment is Christian, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, heathen, atheist, whatever.  Witch is always a threat.  Because the establishment doesn't like change.  Change can't be predicted, can't be controlled.  But Witch is change.  Change can't help but come.

So, we see Romulus as the establishment, and Remus as Witch.  Romulus isn't evil, nor is Remus.  But neither are good, either.  The Church isn't evil, the government isn't evil, science isn't evil.  Witchcraft isn't evil, either.  There is no inherent good or evil in either.  But both may do evil or do good, or more accurately do harm or help.  Romulus kills Remus, not because Romulus is evil, and not because Remus is evil, but because Remus is a threat.

But what is Romulus without Remus?  The important parts of the story are done with Remus' death.  And what is Remus without Romulus?  They are twins, they are one.  Romulus is Remus' reflection, and Remus is Romulus' reflection.  They are each others' soul.  So too with the establishment and Witch.  Without Witch, there is no change.  The establishment becomes stagnant.  And without the establishment, Witch becomes complacent.  You see this in today's witchcraft.  It has grown in numbers in the last sixty years, but so has the number of "witches" who aren't serious, who just think it's cool, who never dig deep.  The establishment and Witch, like Romulus and Remus, are two sides of the same coin, the outside expression and the inside expression.

Okay, back to my dream.  In my dream, both Romulus and Remus were obviously leaders as they each had large groups of people.  I only one I actually encountered was Romulus.  Was Remus already dead by then?  I don't know.  But as important as he is in myth, as important as he is in the discussion above, he must not have been important in the dream.  It was our interaction with Romulus, with the establishment, that mattered.

Romulus was the large group, the majority, as the establishment always is.  Or, I should say, followed by the majority.  We were the small group, the minority.  Romulus' people seemed like followers, lackeys.  It was him and those who followed him.  Our group felt like a team, one.  There was a leader, the secular leader, the representative.  And there was me, the priestess, the spiritual leader, the Bridge.  But we weren't above the rest, superior to the rest.  We were all equals even if we had different roles.

Romulus tries to force himself of the leader.  She is the physical, I am the spiritual.  She is this world, I am the Otherworld.  She is human, i am divine, fey.  Together, we are whole.  Together, we are Witch.  He forces himself on her, because he can touch the physical word.  He can touch the body.  But he can't touch the spiritual, he can't touch the soul.  I aid her in trying to fight him back.  We are one, so we fight together, the spiritual aiding the physical, the soul aiding the body.  It's only together we can fight back.

There is a lot more in my dream, though some of it is personal.  And there is a lot more to the story of Romulus and Remus.  But I'll leave both be for now.

~Muninn's Kiss

Romulus and Remus: Establishment and Witch

Back a while, I had a dream that I wrote about where there were four groups, two large, two small, and the two big groups were led by Romulus and Remus.  Later dream, we (the group I was in, one of the small ones) met Romulus and a small group of his people.  I don't remember them, but I remember a sense of his people (the small group of them, not all of them) behind him and our people (once again, not all of them) behind me and the leader of our group.  I was a priestess in the dream, and the leader was also female.  I think we were on a couch or something similar, and it seems like the encounter took place in a parking lot.  Our leader was sitting on the right hand side of the couch and I was sitting on her left, pretty close to her.  Romulus was standing, bent over her trying to sexually assault or maybe rape her.  She had her knee up trying to push him away and I was grabbing at his arm, trying to stop him.  He was dressed all in tight black leather that covered everything but his hands and head.  I woke up in the middle of the struggle.
It had been a very long time since I did any reading on Romulus and Remus, so earlier this week, I read up on them to refresh my memory.  The following are my thoughts on the story, some of the themes, how it relates to the craft, and some thoughts about the meaning of the part of my dream I expanded on above.
Before I get into the details of the legend, I'd like to talk about twins.  Romulus and Remus are of course twins, and this is very important.  Twins are very common in legends, myths, and folk lore.  There's something about twins that people find magical, unusual, mystical, or frightening.  Twins hold a special place in our psyches, and in the secrets of the universe.  What is a twin?  Our other half?  Our reflection?  Our doppleganger?  Some cultures see twins are evil, bad omens, demons.  Others see twins as a sign of favour from the gods.  In some cultures, twins, or the second twin, are killed, in others, revered.  A twin that dies can haunt their sibling or be a guide or protector.  But regardless of the cultural views, twins capture our imaginations, because they reflect spiritual truths and we know, whether we "know" or not, that these are important.
To look at a few sets of twins, I'll start with Cain and Abel, the first two children of Adam and Eve in the Torah.  Though I don't see anything in the Hebrew to show whether they were twins or not, traditionally, they have been seen as such, and I think the parallels with Romulus and Remus are important.  Everyone's heard the story.  Cain raised grain and Abel raised livestock.  Abel makes an offering to G-d or the first born of his stock and G-d accepts it (probably with fire from heaven).  Cain makes an offering of the first of of his crops and G-d doesn't accept it.  There's a lot of debate on why G-d doesn't accept it, but that doesn't matter for this post.  Cain gets upset and kills his brother.  Abel's blood from the land cries out to G-d, and G-d comes and asks Cain where Abel was.  Cain says he's not his brothers' keeper.  G-d makes him a wanderer.  Cain says everyone will try to kill him, so G-d puts a mark on him to protect him.  Many witches claim descendence from Cain, but I'd like to look at this a little differently.  You can parallel Cain with Romulus and Abel with Remus.  Depending on the version of the legend, Romulus killed Remus like Cain killed Abel.  I will talk later about Romulus being the Establishment, the Orthodox, those in control, and Remus being Witch, the source of change in the world.  Remus is a challenge to Romulus' control.  Likewise, Abel being accepted by G-d was a challenge to Cain.  And, of course, Abel's blood in the earth crying out has echoes in spirits of the land and of the call of the ancestors, of the Mighty Dead.
Another set of twins were Castor and Pollox.  I don't know a lot about them, so I can't say much.  They were the children of Leda.  According to some versions of the story, even though they were born as twins, Castor was the son of Tyndareus and Pollox the son of Zeus (in swan form).  Pollox was immortal and Castor mortal.  They were raised by Tyndareus in Sparta.  There's no story of a twin killing a twin here.  Castor dies in a cattle raid and Pollox goes to Zeus to intercede for him.  There are a lot of things that could be explored in this story, but not really anything I can relate to this post.

I'm not going to go into much detail here, but the Divine Twins are very important in Feri.  I've made a lot of posts about them in the past.  They appear in many different guises, but they can be seen as the two sides of the same thing:  the Summer and Winter King, life and death, creation and destruction, past and future.  The big thing related to this post is the interconnectedness.  Romulus and Remus, Cain and Abel, Castor and Pollox, you can't have one without the other.  The story is about the twins, not about on or the other.  It's the interaction of the two that makes the story.  Witch moves in relation to the world around her, not just the natural world but the social world.  Sometimes he works against the world, sometimes with it, but change needs something to interact with or it isn't change.  The stillness interacts with the movement of the Cauldron.
Robert Cochrane calls two of the Wind Gods, Lucet and Tettens twins:
(Lucet and Tettens are the Twins, the Children of Night and the Serpent, brothers and some say one and the same person. Fire and Air, growth and decay. One looks forward, the other backward. One creates, the other destroys, Castor and Pollox.)
Lucet is the King of Light and the Child.  He is the day, the sun.  Tettens is the god of witches, the winter, the night.
In Voudou, you find the Marassa, the twins.  There's a secret here, because the two become three.  the Marassa are mischievous and can be dangerous.  There's a lot that can be said about the Marassa, but I'll move on for now.

To be continued...
~Muninn's Kiss


I had this dream back a few weeks and forgot to post it.  It's still as fresh in my mind as when I awoke.

There were four groups of people, two large and two small.  The two big groups were lead by Romulus and Remus, even though it was modern day.  I was in one of the small groups, and at the beginning I became a priestess (I was female in the dream; I'm female in about half my dreams and male in the other half, so it's important to me to remember which it was in each dream) and yellow tribal patterns were painted on me, both on my skin and the clothes I was wearing.  I remember having something sticking up above my head, like wings or something.  There was a sense of chaos to being a priestess.  The next thing I remember is that we ended up interacting with Romulus and he was trying to sexually assault the leader of our group, who was female, and I was trying to stop him.  Other things happened in between and there were more details, but that's what I remember of it.

~Muninn's Kiss


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Muninn's Kiss

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