• Editorial: The Goddesses of Equestria Part 2

    Hanwi, Metxtil, Anumati, Selene, Chang'e. All goddesses of the Moon from cultures and religions all over the world. Welcome to Part 2 of our discussion of The Goddesses of Equestria and that explores if the alicorns of the Sun, Moon, Love, and Friendship are indeed goddesses among mortals or just supremely gifted. Part 1 of this series discussed the power, abilities, and definition of a god. I encourage you to read that first before part 2.

    So join me, We Are Borg, after the break for a further look into the theology of a polytheistic Equestria or the apotheosis of head canon.

    (title source)

    So in Part 1 we went over the definition of a god that one might find in a dictionary. Starting us off this time I'd like to mention a few traits that are normally attributed to gods. One of the most common is immortality, which I mentioned in Part 1, and all of you discussed the difference between being unable to die and living forever. Another god ability is the power over life itself. Life, death, creation: powers reserved for the most feared of deities.

    In most monotheistic religions, where a sole being carries the title of god, or even the name God, the one god carries the ultimate of powers. As well, there are gods in polytheistic cultures that also wield these traits: Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence. These being, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere at once respectively.  Some of these cause huge debate and are logically full of paradoxes but that's okay because none of our alicorns display these powers, but they kind of do...

    Celestia is Omnipresent...kinda

    Now all of us were caught up in the moment. We knew when Twilight was blown into the ether and Celestia started singing, we knew this was the moment Larson was about to strap on the wings. We were slightly terrified, and a bit excited. But we glossed over just what Celestia was doing during her singing. She was pulling from thin air Twilight’s life history in stunning high definition in a scene with more screens than a Target’s electronics section. Celestia didn’t just stick her faithful student on the path to join her as a peer of untold power, she played Twilight like a fiddle since before she ever met her. It’s not like they pass out dragon eggs to every candidate of Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. With the Magical Mystery Cure episode we are shown the true power of Celestia in that she probably look anywhere unto any moment. While not true omnipresent in that the definition for it allows no choice in the presence of the being, Celestia can no doubt put on some pony life Netflix whenever she desires. While it was not Faust’s intention for this alicorn sister to know everything, she also never intended for Twilight to be an alicorn. Speaking of sisters...

    Luna is All-Knowing...kinda

    She is straight up in your head via your dreams. She knows your deepest desires, fears, and your twisted fantasies involving her and four socks. There is no distance she can’t cover to be in your head and she’s one door away from knowing anything about anypony. While protecting her subjects from nightmares has been stated as her duty, it’s probably just a minor note of her power over the dream space. Let’s try and fathom the knowledge you can learn from someone when you’re the one who is lucid and they aren't, unless you tell them. And maybe the biggest revelation to this dream world of the Night Princess’s is that it may work outside time itself. Picking random ponies to check on for nightmares doesn’t sound very effective, so she is either going full Santa Claus and checking in on each pony of Equestria or just knows where find the nightmares. What if she is drawn to nightmare’s because maybe she can choose to be drawn to criminals? With this kind of power what can’t Luna know? And nothing says she only has to end the nightmares. She could be quite good at creating your greatest fear. She’s certainly good at creating her own…

    The Gift Of Life

    The definition of life can be as complex as anyone would like. There can certainly be a philosophical discussion of what constitutes life but let’s start simple and say thinking, sentient creatures are alive but so are plants, animals the myriad of other simplier organisms in this world. So what did Luna create in her nightmares? The Tantabus, a manifestation of fear, pain and darkness created by the Princess of the Night to punish herself. While at first appearance it looked as the mindless mind creation was just that, a creation of the mind locked in the mind, it decided it needed to break free. Self-aware much? The Tantabus clearly fed off Luna’s guilt, grew in strength, and reacted to environmental stimuli. All part of the definition of life with the only qualification we didn’t see complete being reproduction.

    And Luna’s not the only one. As we discussed Twilight was reincarnated, brought back to life in the form of an alicorn by Celestia. Set her on a path, controlled almost every facet of her life, killed her and brought her back to life as if she were playing god you might say.

    The Final Piece

    So back to our definition of a god;

    “a supernatural being, who is worshipped as the controller of some part of the universe or some aspect of life in the world or is the personification of some force” 

    A supernatural being with extreme abilities in controlling critical parts of the world is only half of it. For any of the discussed alicorns to be a god they must be worshiped. While such logic appears circular, it is the key element that separates a supernatural, otherworldly powerful creature who could be anywhere and know everything and grant life, from a god. They must be revered for that which they are.Well, at least one form of, often synonymous with worship, is celebration. A celebration of a god is indeed recognizing one as such. One such example is Nightmare Night: A celebration of Nightmare Moon and offering of candy to appease her. While it looks more festive than religious, the origin of many festivals was religious. An ancient looking stone effigy of Nightmare Moon goes a bit outside the norm for say how we celebrate our modern commercialized Halloween. There may indeed have been an older time when something more than candy was sacrificed at her feet to keep her locked away in the moon, or perhaps in prayer to release her. Either way, when Luna returned the one Nightmare Night, the ponies didn’t bow to a Princesses as much as they kissed the dirt and were fearful in front of the 1,000 year legend.

    Nightmare Night isn’t the only celebration of an alicorn we’ve seen. In ancient Egypt the Pharaohs were considered gods on Earth, a living connection to everything of a higher power and as such led religious ceremonies. Celestia and Luna are perhaps then, like Equestria’s Pharaohs, providing over ceremonies like the Summer Sun Celebration, another 1000 year old tradition that celebrates Princess Celestia and her Sun. In the second half of “Princess Twilight Sparkle” the Royal Sisters engage in the ritualistic lowering of the Moon and raising of the Sun; an event that literally happens daily captivates all those attending into wide eyed amazement. This celebration showcases the awesome power of Celestia and later, Luna and Twilight, in front of huge idols of the heavenly bodies. It’s a ceremony without equal in Equestria that we know of. Does this mark it as Equestria’s most important religious holiday?

    So those are my observations and evidence of the Goddesses of Equestria. While Cadance and Twilight Sparkle are indeed powerful alicorns, perhaps the status of deity can only be applied to Celestia and Luna, the immortal avatars of the Sun and Moon; living gods shaping the world and the destinies and lives of ponies everywhere. Does this jive with your headcanon or are you convinced they are not divine? Discuss below!