Way back in 2007 or so I had quite an interesting little conversation on LiveJournal. I wanted to capture and save it all in one place. As each "speaker" adds their tidbit, their name/ID is shown.
The whole thing was spawned by Xot: But why can't I get this image of a Disney alter out of my head? Disney doesn't qualify as a pantheon does it?! Please tell me it doesn't... In spite of what archaeologists in the far future will discover... large temple complexes and personal shrines to the mouse god...
SongCoyote: The true Lord of the Pantheon is Walt, the Creator, whose Vision Enacted the Universe. Chief of His children is The Mouse, whose name shall be Mickey among mortals, and who shall show us the way with good cheer tempered with a sense of playful mischief.
The Duck, who among Mortals shall be called Donald, is a vessel of learning in spite of His outward appearance of Anger. He shall show us the ineffectiveness of Rage as an approach to life.
The Consort of The Mouse shall be Minnie, whose essence is femininity, though She shall not always bow to Mickey's wishes.
The Consort of The Duck shall be Daisy, whose patience with Donald shall be an example to us all.
The Walker on the Path, the Fortunate One, O yea, the Fool, shall be named by mortals Goofy, and he shall show all that Walt the Creator loves His children, and though he may drop heavy things upon them, their good natures and faith in their Path will not be harmed.
EmberLeo: A great deal of evidence has come through in the temples of the Mouse King that suggests usurpation by the Cult of Princesses. This resurgence of old germanic folklore bears surprisingly little resemblance to the movement known as "Asatru", focusing instead on the variety of colored dresses an adolescent female may wear, and how they reflect as a symbol on her personality.
First the bright, primary colors of childhood reflecting a pure heart and hopeful mind overshadowed at times by fear.
Pink reflecting a contemplative nature, and innocence.
Pale blue reflecting a desire to please, and help others.
Aquamarine, reflecting curiosity and a sense of adventure.
Gold, reflecting intelligence, and patience.
Purple, reflecting creativity and independance.
Cream, reflecting strength, and intuition.
And Green, reflecting courage and determination.
The colors seem to vary somewhat by season and location, however. This was the most complete set we have been able to find. It should be noted that the last three are only available in some instances, and do not appear to derive from Germanic folklore at all. This may be connected to a phenomenon from the late 20th century known as "Political Correctness".
SongCoyote: What an interesting interpretation; I've always held that the so-called "Cult" was an accepted denomination of the primary Church - perhaps with occasional differences of opinion, but overall moving in the same direction. Most of the anecdotal evidence, as well as the few original documents we've unearthed, seem to support this.
Though I have nothing solid, my gut has always told me that the Princesses were more akin to Seraphim, in that they were extensions of the will of the High Lord Walt, and not entirely separate entities (though certainly their worship seems to have taken a life of its own at times).
If only we could see more clearly....
EmberLeo: I believe it depends on the perspective from which one studies. The evidence available from messages passed within the cult suggests that while the overall church officially allowed for the existence of such subset practices, the formal practice within the cult rarely if ever acknowledged a direct connection with the Mouse King.
Progressive evidence shows that the primary symbol of the cult - a fairy-tale castle - later became the dominant symbol of the church, though the familiar tri-circle of the Mouse King remained relevant in all other areas of worship.
SongCoyote: This cycle of separation and reconnection seems parallel to a smiliar cycle seen in classiscal story archetypes. One wonders if it was all planned - the apparent schism based on essential dogma (or mousema, if you will) could actually have been a cover planned by the very hierarchy of the Mouse Church. It made - or was the result of making - a lot of important figures in the pantheon less significant as time passed, yet those figures were never really gone - they just faded into the very fabric of the Church's being. This is very similiar to many of the Catholic and Christian sects that sprang up around specific saints or manifestations of the Great Mother Mary. No one was ever able to figure out whether that was a plan of their hierarchy, either.
In the end, planned or not, what began as a schism actually appears to have strengthened The Mouse. As we continue to piece together evidence we'll get a better picture of what happened in the Great War with Pixar.
EmberLeo: It does appear to have been an allowance of the Church for greater feminine empowerment. Such a movement would require at least nominal detachment from the patriarchal images of the original church. Many have pointed out the prominent roles of the Minnie and Daisy as embodiments of female power, but the argument seems to have focused on how their roles are essentially supportive to the dominant male figures of the Mouse and Duck. It should be noted that The Mouse never refers to Minnie, nor does The Duck ever refer to Daisy.
Though some heretics have argued that The Duck could, in fact, be Daffy, a symbol appropriated from a more mature, archaic pantheon by the dominant, reconstructionist culture, this theory is generally discarded. Nevertheless, images of a rabbit called "Roger" later appear to compete with the provincial images of "Bugs", though with little success. This holds no significance within the Cult of Princesses at all, but seems far more significant relative to the more benevolent Sects of Anthropomorphism centered on the Lion King and those talking Side Kicks considered to be more accessible to the common man, or main character.
SongCoyote: One of the fascinating side effects of the rise of the Sect of Anthropomporphism is its manifestation in the shamanistic and animistic worship of idealized animal traits, such as manifested in the Society for Creative Anthropomorphism, or SCA as it was called. Their habitual dressing in ritualized garb that "transformed" them into human-animal hybrids seemed both a celebration of the sort of symbolism that The Mouse Church idealized and a return to some well-documented conceptualization of "our animal brothers" practiced in ancient American aboriginal tribes.
Archival evidence suggests that The Mouse Church used these images to bring their holy Spirits to life at their Meccas in what was once Anaheim (now merely part of the State of Los Angeles) and in what is now the Sunken State of the Southeast. By allowing their clergy to invest themselves with "the spirit of the Mouse" or other holy beings they sought to offer (or at the very least, portray) a bridge between the Divine and the Seeker. It was effective, as well, and I believe it made the believers of the time even more fervent, especially as such images appeal so well to young hearts and minds.
EmberLeo: Let us not forget the more dedicated monastic orders of "Furries", who formed entire communities living together in intimate brotherhood. Their methods were not, of course, for everyone, but the depth of understanding they brought to the Anthropomorphic Sex Sects was indispensible once it's nature was understood.
It is truely unfortunate that so many of those orders were later excommunicated during the Dark Times.
SongCoyote: Indeed, let us not forget them! I had meant to get to them in my example, but one only has much time.
The Furries' struggles to be understood were very hard on them, especially (as so often happens in any subculture) it was the more extremist factions among them that got the most attention - such as those subsects whose rites looked more like bacchanalia than shamanistic journeys. Our findings of personal records have done a lot to dispel some of the myths surrounding the Furries (for example, tales of actual transformation appear to be rarer than believed, or at least hoped for) but they still remain one of the more misundertsood members of the Great Church.
There were a few among the Furries who did not seem to mind their excommunication - perhaps even welcomed it - but that was before they learned what it mean to be cut from the Church.
EmberLeo: It sounds like you have done more research in this area than I. I would love to compare notes between the practices of the orders of Furries - especially the Order of the Lion King, the Order of the Lady and Tramp, and the Order of Companions.
I have often seen elements of their practices within the Princess Cult - especially amongst those dedicated to Ariel of the Water, but I have not had the research materials necessary to form a true thesis on the subject.
Returning to the topic of the Great War, EmberLeo said: Ahh, Pixar. Their structuralistic tendancies never quite suited the Church, did they? But their popularity was undeniable.
I believe "war" is a misnomer, however, preferring "schism". The true jihads were with PDI/Dreamworks and the Brothers Warner. I am at times amazed at the lack of insight on the part of these other factions that it did not occur the elder to pair with the younger, but instead they fought in all directions at once for dominance that they could not hope to seize.
SongCoyote: Now I consider it I must concur: schism is a much more appropriate term. A true alliance between Dreamworks and Warner might have prevented the Scourge that Mickey's Inquisitors brought about during the Dark Times of Disney. To imagine those once beloved characters becoming so dark! ...but they didn't believe they were doing wrong, only that their vision was the best for all. Sometimes I think the only reason Pixar remained alive is the fanatical ground troops they appeared with after their separation from the church. Truly it seems as if they were suddenly inspired by something far greater than themselves, and though they tried The Church never did rein them back in once they cut their ties.
So much got better once The Dark One was routed out of the Mouse Church's hallowed halls. Things started to look better, even as more secular events got worse.
EmberLeo: Now that you mention it, there are those who theorize, though with little proof, that the underlying support for Pixar came from sources not unrelated to the supporters of Warner. They cite such ambiguous connections as the similarity in humors, and moral standing.
While it is true that neither group has ever been as puritanistic as The Mouse even at his most liberated, such conspiracy theories are not to be considered as more than idle chatter.
SongCoyote: The Secret Alliance? I agree - I think it was little more than a rumor. The fascinating thing is when the Church actually seemed to reflect the mores and imagery of some of its fallen sects. Their success was mixed, but for all their apparent desire for dissociation with those who once stood within their hallowed halls they certainly seem to have embraced some... interesting ideas, no doubt quite out of keeping with some of the older Church members' ideals.
Still, better that they play at being good animists than burn them, eh?
EmberLeo: I believe that, like the Princess Cult, the church merely came to understandings that their hold on the spirit of the people would not last if they could not find ways to meet the needs of more of the people. Such jihads and schisms may initially have served to establish their power, but in the long run only proved their limitations.
Ultimately, I think it was a healthy thing for the church to embrace some moderation of the ideals that they previously rejected, if their intent was truly to bring mirth to all.
SongCoyote: It got bad when there were bands of roving youth dressed in shorts and Polo shirts with Mouse-ears over their hearts, wearing Mouse-ear hats and brandishing Mouse-ear-engraved baseball bats, chanting...
"Hail, hail, fire and snow!
Only through the Mouse you'll know
Peace and joy, love and play
From all others turn away!"
...and dragging the heretics from their homes, breaking their heirloom Magic Mountain and Great America keepsakes. Anyone found with a Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk item is "snowed" to death - killed with thrown snowglobes - and their house burned.
Thus did the Great Mouse Church fall to the dark times....
And the first Mouse Pope, who had been immaculately conceived, then later born, on the It's A Small World ride, hung his head in shame....