• Editorial: The Goddesses of Equestria Part 1

    Amaterasu, Hathor, Surya, Bast, Olwen. All goddesses of the Sun from cultures and religions all over the world. Names given not just to a cosmic ball of gas but also for its effects on a world of thinking creatures. Would Celestia’s name rank among them? What about Luna or Twilight? These alicorns, are they the most powerful of ponies? Are they avatars of the world or gods incarnate?

    Join me, We Are Borg, after the break in Part 1 of The Goddesses of Equestria for a look into the theology of a polytheistic Equestria or the apotheosis of fandom made gods.

    (title source)

    So, I always start with the basics, so let’s go over Collins Dictionary’s 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”

    An easy enough explanation as any. So does Equestria have gods? In our world we have so many ancient and modern religions of various beliefs, practices, and deities. Throughout history and today there are many cultures and religions that practice a polytheistic, or multi deity religion, and many others that celebrate a monotheistic religion, belief in one all powerful being such as Christianity and Islam. Well known mythologies of Greece, Rome, and Egypt (apart from others), and currently practiced religions such as Hinduism, all have many gods and/or goddesses for the Sun, Moon, love, fertility and other forces of the world. Some gods are described as more powerful than others. They are often described as immortal, avatars of the world, omnipresent, all knowing, and keepers of life and death. Throughout this article I will look into the evidence as it could be interpreted for how the alicorns of Equestria meet the definition and descriptions of being goddesses. So let’s start with knocking out the basics...

    What does the scanner say about his power level?

    Well, going back to that god definition, it kind of describes Celestia and Luna, doesn’t it? Let’s start with the first part: Supernatural. While pony magic is common enough among all ponies, the Alicorn’s embodiment of all three races of pony and the power they contain, certainly makes for an above average creature. We’ve seen some rather impressive magic come from the alicorns including maintaining a shield spell the size of a city for days Rarity as well, no, not the drama queen, is also a quality of supernatural, so with only four five alicorns in existence, that requirement is met. And it almost goes without saying that Celestia, and certainly Luna, are controllers of some part of their world...

    Is moving the Sun with a horn like using a Wiimote?

    To note a story in The Art of Equestria book, Lauren Faust tells of colleague who, during a brainstorming session, drew a picture of a pegasus jumping on a cloud and creating rain. This gave her the idea of ponies being “stewards of their own world.” Ponies raise and lower the sun and moon, change the seasons, take care of animals, grow plants, and control the weather as if planetary physics had ceased to exist. This theme evolved to be a core concept of the show, and was first introduced in the series pilot. While some fans may argue that the first episodes were rough, the dialogue unpolished, and the exposition poorly handled, a great deal of information about Equestria and its ponies and alicorns was shared. Upon entering the Everfree Forest, Applejack describes the environs as unnatural and that it “don't work the same as Equestria" meaning the plants, animals and weather get along without pony meddling.

    So does this flip our god definition on its head? Controlling aspects of the world was supposed to be for supernatural gods only, not literally everypony. Well, we’re still in the clear. Celestia, Luna and even Twilight and Cadance have unnatural power and talents compared to everypony else. While in the days before a unified Equestria, a group of unicorns would raise the Sun and Moon, Celestia can do both herself and did so for a thousand years. With the magic of ponies limited by their cutie mark and talents, the alicorns seem boundless in their power.

    Will Twilight outlive her Friends?

    Since before Twilight became an alicorn in the show, fans have explored the idea of her apotheosis and the power, the responsibility, the possible immortality and all the good and bad that goes along with it. One of the big questions regarding the fledgling alicorn is will she outlive her friends? After all that is one of synonyms of a god: Immortal. Despite reassurances that that won’t happen by Meghan McCarthy, that leaves us wondering if the Princess of Friendship will have a normal lifespan, will all the mane 6 become alicorns, or was that a placating answer because the show will never get around to her death? Regardless of the mysteries surrounding her life span, we do know of some ponies who have lived an extremely long time: The Princesses of the Sun and Moon.

    With a 1000+ years under their saddles, these two equines have not died, have not aged, and have not a scratch on them. Like some reptiles, they appear to just grow larger. The ultimate question is are they truly immortal or can they live forever? Well some cultures don’t make that difference and in fact have had gods that have died, usually killed by other gods. Regardless, with all the things they have locked away in Tartarus or imprisoned in stone, you’d think one of them would have gotten a lucky shot in. And maybe they did? What did Chrysalis’s desperately cast mega laser do to Celestia? Knock her over. Now granted we are dealing with a kids show so maybe we couldn’t have gotten it any other way. And yeah Bug Face did get the upper hand, but we can't expect Celestia to get all Sol Invictus on someone in the middle of a crowded wedding. Celestia is indeed fleshy and flesh has nerves, so no doubt she got hurt. But the question remains can the sun ultimately set on that big white flank? Maybe it did once...

    Twilight Didn’t Outlive Her Friends

    Now a lot of us already believe it, and the writers won’t come out and say it but when Twilight was turned into an alicorn, she was reincarnated. One of the prerequisites for reincarnation...is dieing. We’ve seen pony teleportation since the pilot and we’ve seen teleportation to alternate dimensions, and those indeed look magical and effect filled, but what happened to Twilight in her library was something else entirely. Five terrifying beams of Equestria’s most powerful artifacts blew her away, leaving nothing but a smoldering pile of pony dust and the smell of burnt hair. She was stripped of her mortal coil and existed only in a place the likes of an Alicorn can go. But while the spell was the catalyst, Celestia was right there waiting. She gave Twilight the book of Starswirl, she let her keep the Elements at the library, she was prepared with a song, and ignited the spark inside Twilight to continue the job. The white alicorn was not surprised, or concerned. She was expectant and proud. In the end, it was Celestia who, in the absolute very least, put Twilight on the path to becoming an alicorn as surely as she knew the Twilight was the element of Magic and gave her new life. But there was something else about that scene...

    ...that we'll talk about next time! I hope you've enjoyed part one of a two part series exploring the possibilities and evidences of the alicorns of Equestria being goddesses. Next time's section titles are Celestia is Omnipresent...kinda, Luna is All-Knowing...kinda, The Gift Of Life, and The Final Piece. Are you convinced yet or do you need to wait till part two to make up your mind? Discuss below!