Sunday, October 16, 2005

Morgan and Merlin

Tonight, for the third time, I watched the movie Merlin – with Sam Neill playing Merlin and Isabella Rossellini playing Nimue. Bittersweet: it’s a good script and serious acting, and I cried when Merlin and Nimue finally got together in the end (always to me at least, a sign of a “good” film).

But the take on the Arthurian legends is pure god-tripe. Morgan Le Fay is bad; The Lady of the Lake is physically weak; and Guinivere is morally weak. End of story about the women. The men are (as always in patriarchal society) the shining stars, here.

I’ve been spoiled by Marion Bradley Zimmer’s The Mists of Avalon. In Zimmer’s book, Morgan is the central character. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, but in my memory, Morgan is strong, complex, compassionate, good, and Goddess centered. Avalon is a magic island where the last of the goddess religion resides. Morgan is a priestess there. The book stands out like a shining star among books I’ve read over a lifetime.

If you haven’t read Mists of Avalon, please do. I promise – you won’t be disappointed. You can get copies at for under $2.00, plus S&H. And I just discovered that Zimmer has written sequels to Mists! Oh, goodie, goodie!!! I ordered them, and when they arrive I’ll be in Goddess Heaven!


ursa said...

Favorite goddess pieces. words of Bridged
..... I put songs and music on the wind before ever the bells of chapels were rung in the West or heard in the East ....... And I have been the breath in your heart and the day has its feet that will see me come again like a flame upon dry grass- like a flame in the great wood.

old Irish, author unknowen

Also I love Icantation 55 in the Egyption book of the dead . The knot of Isis , The Normandi Ellis version. I haven't read the mists of avalon but its now on my list.

Athana said...

I can see why the first is a favorite, ursa! On top of the good poetry (it's sensually beautiful and it makes me see things in a new way), there's that exquisite promise that Bridged will "...come again like a flame upon dry grass...." Thanks; I'm going to take that fire-running-thru-dry-grass vision with me for the rest of the day, and more I'm sure.

Morgaine said...

Make sure you read the book Mists of Avalon and don't waste time on the miniseries - what a load of sacrilege that was.