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18. What does fertility mean to you?
This comes up a lot because fertility is a major domain for the Vanir as a group, and several of Them individually.
[T]he fertility we’re referencing is not a placeholder for creativity in general. We’re not raising energy to fuel our art projects, inspire fantastic ideas, or bring us more money (at least not directly – if everybody ends up going home and redecorating their temples in a creative flurry, I’m not going to complain). What we’re doing is raising energy to make more life happen.
Now yes, sometimes the life we’re aiming to promote is a human life… The rest of the time, what we’re promoting is the fertility of the land, the plants, and animals. We’re raising energy to encourage our living resources to multiply, because last time I checked, everyone needs to EAT, and all of our sustainable resources are, in some way, tied into the ecosystem of living organisms.
THAT is what fertility is. The thriving interaction and reproduction of living organisms. All of them.
That is indeed my working definition most of the time. But I had a dream a couple years ago wherein Nerthus explained the domains of fertility, and how a Sacred King is responsible to and for them. In that dream, She referenced some metaphorical aspects of the concept of fertility that I don’t usually include in my more literal definition:
We call it “Economics”, and describe huge enterprises like automatons, as though they are entities unto themselves. Perhaps they are. If so, they are fertile entities, creating and exchanging and destroying, much as the animals and plants and insects and microbes beneath them in scale.
A Sacred King must be responsible for all of these things, for a people cannot thrive in a dead land, without thriving plants, without thriving animals, without thriving trade. And all of these sorts of fertility belong to Nerthus.
There is another kind of fertility, another ability to create, to reproduce, to spread far and wide, to destroy, to deconstruct. It does not belong to Nerthus, for it has no physical form, but it does depend on those of physical form to thrive. This is the fertility of ideas, and it is as much the responsibility of a Sacred King to be certain that this form of fertility is encouraged in the land as any other, if a people are to thrive.
I may not easily work with these abstract definitions, but who am I to tell Nerthus the true nature of fertility?
Still, when I think about it – memes and companies aren’t exactly alive, sure, but the behaviors that Nerthus is pointing out are fertile of them aren’t metaphors. They really ARE being born, growing, spreading, making more of themselves, blending with others, changing, dying, feeding new ones, and so forth. So while it might not always about organic entities, fertility is still about this cycle of being, isn’t it?
Lon’s answer: Happy Birthday, Life!