Ioskeha and Tawiscara: The forces of Good and Evil

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Ioskeha and Tawiscara are complex figures in native American myth. They are first brother’s  They are also polar opposites, Ioskeha the creator, representing life and growth and his brother Tawiscara, representing death, night and winter. Finally, like many Gods they are forces of nature and are depicted as good and evil.

In native American myth these two forces are in a state of constant flux, battling each other to a sort of detente. In both western and eastern mythology, from Cain and Abel, to Vishnu, to the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, they are universal.

In a recent study, over half of Harvard’s graduates have admitted to cheating. Harvard also grade inflates. If you hire someone from the words most prestigious colleges, you have a 50% chance of getting a cheater with bogus grades. It’s not intelligence that rules the world, or hard work. It’s deception but the key is to not get caught. The devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, battling your psyche for control of your actions.

The Celts had a goddess of plague, disease and sorcery called Cailleach. She is the Goddess of winter and death and brings snow until Brigit, the goddess of fire arrives to turn her into stone. To the the Celts (or Druids) winter was death. Trees and plants would “come to life” with the fires of Brigit in the spring.

The early Celts intertwined Jesus with their myth and created Camelot, the perfect kingdom, destroyed by sin, Guinevere’s lust for Lancelot. In the end, Arthur killed his own son to rid his kingdom of evil and good, the Grail, was lost forever.

My second novel in the Trifthauser series is named after the Greek goddess of evil, Eris, or as I name it in Latin, Discordia, or discord. Her Greek opposite is Harmonia, or Concordia in the Latin.  It’s not men or enemies that Trifthauser fights. It’s evil. A battle he can never win, but can only contain. Evil never dies, it just changes names.

It been recognized since the dawn of time that good and evil exist together in men. The battle between the gods was a battle of forces within a person. The desire to create discord (or Discordia) is always and will always be with us. These forces manifest in wars, economic battles and political upheavals. Like in the atom, the world is dieing and being reborn every nano second.

It’s a story as old as man and woman.

Paul Schwartzmeyer

Medellin, Colombia

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