>Not too ancient - didn't Lawrence of Arabia end up on the wrong side
>of this equation once?
Lawrence of Arabia himself or the actor who played him? Actually,
perhaps he was just wearing to much makeup in that movie -- That
wouldn't make him "gay" necessarily, just a crossdresser :P
>Is Glen refering to that whole bundle of things including, among much
>else, the Loki sexual ambiguity idea, and the supposed feminine
>aspect to shapeshifting and certain sorts of magic in general? It
>smacks a little to me of the odd position of the Siberian shaman, in
>his female attire.
Well done, Ben. I was thinking of all of these things you mention,
right down to the Siberian shaman! Maybe you read some previous
post of mine. Otherwise, that's spooky.
The way I interpret it all, I would see "fire" as an entity that exists
in all worlds -- above (the sun), below (fire in the waters) and on
earth (Richard Simmons... that guy is just one big flame, let's face
it). Fire can be viewed as a shape-shifter because, of course, it
has no form of its own. So since it is a shape-shifter and can travel
between worlds, there is a lot of power in it as well as danger.
The connection between "fire" and "deception" is a simple one,
since fire can be quick at destroying everything if one isn't careful
or respectful of this element. Hence, one finds a lot of "respectful"
traditions given to fire in various cultures. It calls to my mind of a
Guyanese friend whose mother, following in Hindu tradition, never
blows a candle out. She claps or snuffs it out because blowing on
it is "disrespectful". (I mean, how would you like someone to
blow you?? Oh wait, maybe we should save that question for the
*pesos thread). In all though, a fire can still turn on you because
it has no feelings. Hence, it can be seen as a trickster without
loyalties to anyone.
So we have "shapeshifting" and we have "deception" attributed
to fire. Another form of shapeshifting is crossdressing. Let's face
it. Changing one's sex is a way of becoming something different...
and then also, this is where a deception lies. A man becoming
a woman or a woman becoming a man is becoming something
that one was not born being.
While some cultures are totally okay with crossdressing, something
tells me that crossdressing in IE cultures was considered a
deception -- "Becoming as a wolf" (cf. Hittite law) in sheep's
Just to fully clarify, in modern times, we know that crossdressing
is a seperate behaviour from homosexuality. Personally, I don't
wish to ever crossdress except on Halloween or if some really
hot guy comes into the bar who only digs trannies :)
However, if I'm even vaguely correct about the general attitude
of crossdressing in proto-IE cultures, then I have to think that
anal sex would be tainted with similar machismo attitudes that see
a penetrated man as a woman, and as such, a lesser creature
from a "true" man who always makes sure to penetrate. (Let's
not even get into the cultural attitudes on cunnilingus, though.)
The debate is whether "deception" is something that was
actually associated with crossdressing in IE cultures or not.
Otherwise, I could see it similar to the Siberian shamans wielding
otherworldly gender-bending to the fear and admiration of their
But in the end, whether crossdressers or not, all men are
the same! Pigs! Pigs! Pigs! >:P
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