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I haven't seen anything to the contrary, so... yes?

Presumably there's something about the moon there in some of the older cultures. Earth probably has some important myths. There may also be connections to Hykimi traditions.

Maybe someone knows if there's anything in the Esrolia book on this? I can't off the top of my head remember whether the Entekosiad mentions it, though it would make sense if it did, as a major gynocentric text.

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In the article about Ernaldan Initiation there's a discussion about menarche and menstruation.

I'm not sure about any mythology about elsewhere. I did like Scott Martin's connection of Shelpelkirt to niddah, which would presumably make the name's usage in a pre-Lunar context as a demon who causes women menstrual cramps, migraines, depression, and other negative conditions during menstruation.

Of course, assuming the menstrual cycle isn't particularly different in Glorantha, it wouldn't be associated with any of the moons. The Red Moon has a cycle of every 7 days, while the Blue Streak takes even less time. And while there's been some discussion of associating it with Entekos/Moskalf in the past, that would put the cycle at 62 days.

Interestingly, the menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days long. which is also roughly the planetary cycle of the red planet, Tolat/Shargash.

When the red planet is visible, it's sometimes said to be a good time to have children (others say it's a good time to make war instead) which could point to a connection as well.

Unless there's any other connection, I'd suggest that there may be a mythological origin based around the red planet.

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Firstly, although this may not be true anymore, Greg said that Feminine cycles and Moon cycles; pregnancy and menstruation etc. are not connected to the Moon, except insofar as the Moon is perceived as female. 


Date Thu Sep 16 11:42:17 2010
To: WorldofGlorantha@yahoogroups.com
From: Greg Stafford <glorantha1@...>
Subject: Re: [WorldofGlorantha] Re: Pregnancy in Glorantha


On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 2:22 AM, x@...> wrote:

> Sorry, didn't realise there had already been a discussion on the issue of
> pregnancy. However, I still have questions not previously answered. How long
> is the menstrual cycle?

28 days average

> At what point in time would the woman know she is with child?

depends on the woman
ranges from immediately to upon birth of child

> She is Ernaldan, can she maybe feel the new life differently?

differently from what?
All pregnant women I have spoken to on the subject feel different from being not-pregnant

> Does anything special happen during childbirth biologically and cultural?

Biologically, the seemingly impossible takes place: a new person is created
Culturally, your question is too vague.
Culturally, the entire community recognizes a miracle may take place if all goes well, and they have regular and special ceremonies, rituals, tabus and offerings made to the woman and her unborn child. These vary immensely from
culture to culture.
> Do the runes show immediately or only upon initiation into the clan?

Upon Initiation.
A child is exposed to the magical world as a spectator during his dependency upon his parents, and around the time of puberty boys are taken to a sacred site and exposed directly to the magical world, protected by their initiated kin. Through this process the reality of the mythic world is experienced, perhaps learned, by the not-men. Upon completion of this initiation rite boys are magical beings. Their inner essence (runes) are probably clear, but for the next year the not-man takes the role/worship of any deity that he wishes. The year afterwards his elders choose the cult to follow. After that year, the runes are pretty clear, and the man is allowed to follow whomever he wishes, as usual among Orlanthi. Girls, upon first menstruation, are isolated by her kinswomen. Since women are stronger and more important than men, and the role of the goddesses different from that of men, their methodology is always very different from the mens' rites. Among orlanthi The women spend a year at the edge of the sacred world, almost fading back and forth between worlds. They are extremely dangerous to others at this time, and are carefully tended by their kinswomen and initiated men. During this time she learns her essential magic. In the second year she takes a more active role, choosing more and as much of her spiritual self as possible.
Greg Stafford
Game Designer



my favourite quote comes from the unpublished Harnmast Saga. Harmast meets Ernalda and they talk:


"What good is my peaceful farm when every nearby house is full of swords and spears?"
"Harmast, if you give my gift I will bend every harvest, every marriage, every menstruation to make the peace. You shall be a
man of power, and if you choose this now you will help make this true." 

Womens' magic is surely powerful.

As for the mythical reason, I would suggest that it only came into being when the cycle of life and death came into being and is a part of that duality. Fertile and not, perhaps part of Ernalda's journey with Yelm to the underworld. I would certainly shy away from some of negative Earthly myths involving impurity, shame, etc.

Would any women out there like to comment @Ellie?

Edited by David Scott
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Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

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5 hours ago, Tindalos said:

Interestingly, the menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days long. which is also roughly the planetary cycle of the red planet, Tolat/Shargash.

Well, that certainly adds credence to Tolat/Alkor* as fertility (or rather, *virility*) deities in some sense - which the whole Tolat, Blue moon thread which was resurrected a bit earlier discussed in depth.

(*But possibly not Shargash, as I've come to understand.)

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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I posted this on the facebook thread but the DenegEria myth [daughter of Lodril and Oria ~ Voria] in Entekosiad shows signs of being about menstruation being the result of the Third Error, of bringing Death into the world.

I also intuit that the Moon and menstruation are connected, for the following reasons:

1. Spelelkirt means 'Poison Blood', which may indeed contain a root Kor/Gor ~ Kirt relating to blood and earth. 'Unclean Blood' sounds a lot like male fears of menses. The Cyclical pattern is also suggestive.

2. Natha, the blood moon goddess is clearly connected to shedding blood and 'balance'/purging.

3. Hon-Eel. Red-headed fertility goddess who fertilizes the soil with blood.

The whole mystery of the Red Goddess, the Turner, Sedenya, smacks of Pelorian women's mysteries that are ignored/suppressed by the Dara Happans. I suspect that the DH would have enforced menses-based taboos, as do many real cultures, and the resulting isolation of women's magic would be an ideal focus for understanding menses as an abeyant power, perhaps even the power to make life without Men.

Among the Earth gods of Kerofinela, of course, we see the Kor/Gor motif of holy bloodshed, one marking 'not motherhood', but that capacity, again deferred, in abeyance.

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I kinda like the idea of the Red Moon at least being partially a long built-up smack back at Dara Happan patriarchy and chauvinism. I mean, clearly not JUST that, and clearly it's gone far, far beyond that - but certainly it can be seen as a very useful source of pent-up power and alternative knowledge - not to mention alternative means of proselytizing, communication and finance early on.

The Provarian Age strikes back, except it's changed and embittered.

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20 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, that certainly adds credence to Tolat/Alkor* as fertility (or rather, *virility*) deities in some sense - which the whole Tolat, Blue moon thread which was resurrected a bit earlier discussed in depth.

(*But possibly not Shargash, as I've come to understand.)

So it's Shargash, Jim, but not as we know it?  The notion of the Tolat link to the Amazons becomes more clear however. 

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