The bones – And suddenly they are back – The gods!
Thinking beings, so also the human being, deal with their environment because they have to do it or because it is beautiful. We have to survive this and we also like to do it for pleasure and for love. At the very least, we sometimes get the impression that something bigger, inexplicable and powerful must be behind this experience. In the beginnings of the history of mankind this was animated nature. Soon, gods emerged, which in antiquity usually appeared as a community. Thus we know the Greek and Roman pantheon. Less known is the Nordic world with the godfather Wotan, an inquisitive, cunning war god. This starts the first episode in American Gods.
The Vikings land 813 AD. Somewhere in North America and are hostile to its inhabitants. A volley-arrow struck down the first brave. She’d never seen such weapons-something unexplainable. Every time, the person needs God’s help, if he is thus placed on his own and what is unexplainable happens. From this situation, the Vikings are taking drastic measures and intersecting each other an eye. Wotan also did this and gave one of his eyes as a prize for a drink from “Well of Wisdom”. They want to draw their God’s attention to them. Wotan is in the far north of Norway and probably will not see her, so her guess. Correct; This measure has helped little. Now they begin to kill each other because their god is a god of war. That finally helped, the wind came back and she could set the sails and start the ride with the vow “Never again to return”. What they leave behind is a war god – the coming world power USA.
We know more or less of past worlds of gods. It almost exclusively depends on which medium people used to communicate with the other world. In the case of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, it was symbols carved in stone so as to survive the millennium. The industrial culture, probably the oldest high culture, has already used HighTech in the form of burnt mud bricks. They are all rotten. None of them is there anymore and their gods have disappeared. They will not resurrect in American Gods either. One of the new gods “The Technical Boy” writes his information in silicone and uses a very simple symbolism, the zero and one.
“The Technical Boy” is the first self-created God of the USA. He was born in a garage, outside San Francisco, in poor and distressed conditions. At the time of the birth, there were some politicians who took care of their flocks but did not understand why angels were cheering. Only sixty years later the digital god is a global and even in the northern lands. Until the end of the Cold War, around the 1980s, Wotan was the only and omnipotent God in the US. Especially his two ravens Hugin (CIA) and Munin (NSA) have always supported his war loss. A God does not need to be justified. But the faithful have always told us that the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars were all for our benefit only. In the course of time, Wotan has served more and more of the digital services and did not know that he was helping a new god into power.
Now that Wotan realizes that the Technical Boy might be pursuing his own interests and become too powerful, he sets up a counter-attack and follows the old gods.
So he travels through the country as Wednesday and tries to find allies for his project. He is still very, very powerful and can still choose his followers. Although, in choosing for his bodyguard, it takes some persuasion. Shadowmoon represents the American who exactly knows what he wants – takes for it also opposites, falls even and comes into the construction. But also take advantage of this opportunity to get physically and spiritually to a higher level. He reads 813 books – that is, a large part of a thousand books, which anybody should have read anyway. He also learns coin tricks, simply without knowing what for. Also something should make today’s performance man – something useless with which one can have a joy. In his dreams he sees himself walking through an orchard, whose trees were made of bones and their fruits were skull bones. He recognizes that something terrible, absurd and unknown would come. All situations in which the presence of gods is to be expected.
Gods receive their power insofar as they were attributed to them by humans for the causality of the unexplainable. Thus, thunder and creation gods can be explained. But what if the unexplained passes by? From the thunder a lightning-induced sound wave and from the Creation Turtle becomes a big bang? Then Gods still have to care for their power. To this end, they develop human social and physical abilities that exceed humanity. Something like Posthuman in a pre-rational world. There are god messengers, who become e-mails and love goddesses, who become sex robots. Sexuality is the most effective power tool in all religions and cultures because every person depends on it. So there are the most diverse love goddesses.
In American Gods it is Bilquis, an incarnation of the “Queen of the South”. It gives man infinite pleasure. The customer of Bilquis had never had such a sexual experience in his life as with her. It was, however, his last. Gods are asking for sacrifices. No sex before marriage, no meat during menstruation, circumcision, and much more. Bilquis consumes the men, pulls them into their vagina and lives on their energy and rejuvenates themselves. The sacrifice of men against their gods is used by the world’s powerful people for their own benefit. Whether they were building pyramids, sending believers to crusades, or advancing colonialization with Christ’s help-always gods were commissioned to do so.
People can only think with their brains, which corresponds to a sensory input. These are seeing, hearing, feeling, etc. God can only be represented in this way. In Judaism, “the punishing bearded man”, among the Christians, “the Jesus walking on the water” and among the Greeks “a flying messenger”. Islam makes a distinction in that “do not make a picture of God”, which is too great for it. Instead, there are the 99 most beautiful words for God, with which, in turn, its qualities are sensually described. Also in Hinduism, a monotheistic religion with God Brahman, there are millions of gods.
For the sake of God, it needs figures. Neil Gaiman uses the legends and figures from different pantheons to show the intellectual development of the US. He does not allow real men and organizations to compete against each other, but gods who represent them.