No i read it because Qudshu is very much of interest to me with regards to the Mandaean Ruha Qudshu tradition, but the connection to nature in such a
case would be much deeper than establishing harmonious relationship, all natural life on Earth would be expression of the spirit of Ruha in such
Those Mandaeans are a highly elitist bunch aren't they? Anyway, I am not sure what you mean really, but in the Mandaean context it provides an
interesting example of how the morphology works as the society gets more complex and removed from nature. Once religious ritual moved into Fertility
cults with the emergence of the Neolithic, you then get the Earth Mother figure, as exampled by Ruha, becoming increasingly negatively perceived, she
is still necessary, in order to gestate the seed and produce new life, but her spiritual-wisdom aspect if rejected, as 'evil'. The Earth becomes
merely a receptacle for the corpse, not as a conduit of the afterlife and a source of renewal. In such a way, not only is she removed from the human
afterlife, but her role in providing the plants with spirituality are all but removed too. The Mandaeans are quite unique in retaining her, and in
some ways feeling sorry for the fact that she is left with only materialistic properties, and recognising her bereavement from the power of wisdom
giving. Kind of tragic.
The important relationship that is established then is the romantic one between the shepherd and the Goddess that personifies the natural terrestrial
spirits, he will no longer hunt her but work in conjunction with, thus there is a clear ideological break from the traditions of the past, from the
Good golly...why was he hunting her?
You have some interesting kinks Missy! I wouldn't really describe the Shepherd/Goddess relationship as
romantic, domestic yes, but he is more of the Earthly intermediary of the God. He cleaves her vulva with his plough after all...not my idea of pillow
talk. The Shepherd, as human emissary serves more of a Heirogamus role, 'Tupping' for God, and directing the semen/seed for the best results. Much
later, under the Hittites, it becomes even more functional, and the Shepherd is sacrificed, giving his blood to appease the Goddess and make her more
receptive to fertilisation. So while previously, the God and Goddess worked in equality to produce the natural world, engaging in the creative act as
equals, God needs a helping hand to 'hit the spot', hence the Shepherd as intermediary, or tupper. Much as plant cultivars often need help with
pollination, domestic animals need tupping, the soil needs fertiliser...the development of fertility cults reflect that need and apply ritual
accordingly. That they dress it up in ribbons and bows, is perfectly understandable really, and the storytelling that the poems provide are mnemonic
tools for ensuring that everyone knew what they had to do to help things along. Interestingly, the Sumerian word for shepherd, SIPA, is
interchangeable with 'king' and the King was seen as the shepherd of his people, SIPA also means 'stretched horn' or erect penis. In Fertility
cults, much like in domestication, the female assumes a much more passive role in the creative process...the Goddess is depicted as not liking that
all that much...just as the Ewe might put up resistence...she does too...and good on her, it's a pity it is taking us so long to understand that she
had a point.
Sooo...I am going to stick with Master/Mistress of the Animals...the Hunt thing seems to be causing too much confusion, and it is largely dependent on
locale...all things considered, given the equality of the images, I would still go with the ones I highlighted as referring to them, not your shepherd
and Goddess...which is a much more facilitating relationship, rather than an joint act of creativity. The Mistress becomes, later, more synonymous
with the moon...but the Master is harder to pinpoint evolutionary wise, so study has avoided him largely, but in my opinion, he can be equated to some
extent with the Shepherd, but to do so, relegates his divinity, so he is more usurped by the Shepherd.
He varies, stylistically, in time and place, but the basic themes, in keeping with those you posted, which are largely environmentally dependent,