Friday, October 29, 2004

Saturn, then Jupiter

Saturn, whose name in the heavens is Lurga, stood in the Blue Room. His spirit lay upon the house, or even on the whole Earth, with a cold pressure such as might flatten the very orb of Tellus to a wafer. Matched against the lead-like burden of his antiquity the other gods themselves perhaps felt young and ephemeral. It was a mountain of centuries sloping up from the highest antiquity we can conceive, up and up like a mountain whose summit never comes into sight, not to eternity where the thought can rest, but into more and still more time, into freezing wastes and silence of unnameable numbers. It was also strong like a mountain; its age was no mere morass of time where imagination can sink in reverie, but a living, self-remembering duration which repelled lighter intelligences from its structure as granite flings back waves, itself unwithered and undecayed but able to wither any who approach it unadvised. ...

Upstairs his mighty beam turned the Blue Room into a blaze of lights. Before the other angels a man might sink: before this he might die, but if he lived at all, he would laugh. If you had caught one breath of the air that came from him, you would have felt yourself taller than before... Kingship and power and festal pomp and courtesy shot from him as sparks fly from an anvil. The pealing of bells, the blowing of trumpets, the spreading out of banners, are means used on earth to make a faint symbol of his quality. It was like a long sunlit wave, creamy-crested and arched with emerald, that comes on nine feet tall, with roaring and with terror and unquenchable laughter. It was like the first beginning of music in the halls of some King so high and at some festival so solemn that a tremor akin to fear runs through young hearts when they hear it. For this was great Glund-Oyarsa, King of Kings, through whom the joy of creation principally blows across these fields of Arbol, known to men in old times as Jove...
~ C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, Chapter 15: Descent of the Gods (1945)

2 Comment(s):

At Fri Oct 29, 01:13:00 PM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

Just out of curiosity, what colors do you all imagine the different eldil to be? I know that they're supposed to be colorless, but the human mind simply can't think without color.

I've always thought Lurga was purple (and even before I knew about! re wearing a large Gandalf-y hat and cape. He is the only one (for some reason) that I have a clear image of.

Again, as in the poem, the bowing down of the younger to the old, and, while Saturn is death, Jove is revelry. Father and son are opposite.

At Fri Oct 29, 10:32:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

I found it interesting that the description of Saturn here is not as "derogatory" as that in his poem. Here it seems that Saturn is very ancient, with a spirit as strong as a mountain, with the heavy weight of antiquity. But he isn't described as:

"Stoop'd and stumbling, with staff groping,The lord of lead, Old and ugly. His eye fathers Pale pestilence, pain of envy, Remorse and murder."

Which sounds just awful, doesn't it?

That's all. I'm tired--past my bedtime!


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