As I’ve written before, I believe Giants in every pagan religion (non-animist), represent the Land themselves, the clans of the land, the vast diversity of watersheds and manyscapes.
But even more than that, I now perceive for myself that Giants embody something even deeper than this – they embody the great underpinning of all memories, that birth the great embodied past and the unmanifested potentials of the future.
They exist in Deep Time, enmeshed in a layer more real, more foundational, a place of time and space that in story “came first” (In The Beginning…), and must “come first” in every moment for a physical reality to lay upon it. They exist as vast embodied memories, some as species memories – all things human beings have done or thought – and others as memories of the land, layed out before us.
Since we live on an island of now, the only place where anything happens, where the strands of all possibilities come together to weave a moment, a moment seated in the bone-dust layed down underfoot from past stories – knowing all this, the influence and vitality of these giants laps up on the shores all around us on this island of now. They represent both an inheritance of how things happened before, and express how things will happen next. They in fact provide the small infinity of yarns for the weaving of any moment.
The killing of giants, as told over and over again in the old stories of modern amnesiac farming religions, tells therefore at the same time of the attempted killing of memories, of how we once lived, of how the land once looked.
The killing of giants also means killing our futures – future possibilities we try to break off at the bud, snapped strands that will never weave any more now-moments.
Imagine 7 billion humans, all trying to forget something – imagine the size of this gigantic helpless remembering, pulled together and embodied across all these hearts and minds, moving, alive and breathing, influencing.
Can we ever truly kill these giants? Can we ever snap those strands? I don’t know. I do know we can smother, entomb, deny these beings, and we do this every day, in fear of finding out the very secrets that we ourselves hid away – and this feels just as awful, just as much a violation.
When we remember these Giants, as Martín Prechtel constantly reminds us, we re-member them…we put them back together, fitting every body part in place, that once we scattered, and which ten thousand sacred outlaws hid inside their treasure-caves insuring that at some possible future we could do this very re-membering.
Out comes the column of pilgrims, out comes the nomads with every part, every hair and finger-nail, every echoed word and heart-beat that hushed through hidden canyons in ancient mornings.
Out comes the unwelcome unwashed, with gap-toothed grins, open palms laden with vast powers that glitter gem-like with wild vitality – the medicinal herbs, the food plants, the secret bones, fibers and glands of every animal, the smell and taste of every weather, the origination power of every conceivable thing.
Whether we will, or will not see it, when we make things the old way, with fur and fiber, stone and bone, when we talk to these beings and sing them back into our camps and living rooms, we re-member the forgotten Giants. We put Her back together, we put Them back together, we return to the places where our greatest-grandparents buried our belly-buttons.
For me, when I hear a story about a Giant, it wakes me up and I listen deeper, for some lost wanderer who needs re-membering. And so I find myself.