My film The Coming of Cindy Claus introduces a new mid-winter tradition, with honouring the new mid winter Goddess Cindy Claus at its center. Who helped inspire her?
First, a little history about Santa Claus, aka Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was the saint of sea-farers. The men of the sea were surrounded by sex-workers when they came back to port, and so Saint Nich was also the saint of the sex-workers. So Saint Nich was surrounded by sex-workers, who he transformed into maidens that could get married again. Because being unmarried in the past, was considered the same as being a sex-worker.
Looking at it from only a slightly different light, perhaps a red-colored light, Saint Nich was a pimp. And so hardly a saint at all, just someone with a clever cover-up backed by the Church. Well now, who are the real heroes?
In The Coming of Cindy Claus, it is instead the womxn that make Saint Nich surrender to a transformative experience, and he chooses a feminized transformation of his appearance.
In origin stories outside of Christianity, there are often holy people and figures that walk the line of good and bad, and thus have a more human feel. Even Gods and Goddesses have moods. There are also plenty of female figures and Goddesses, some of whom have been transformed into figures in the Bible such as the holy Maria as a fertility symbol in Catholicism.
Image by www.reinilde.com | Zina Berlin as Cindy Claus
Hel was not a Goddess as such, but in Norse mythology she is the guardian of the underworld. Her appearance is described as half very beautiful woman, and half decaying corpse. So Hel is at the same time intimidating and attractive. The underworld is where people who died of sickness would go, otherwise said, those who didn’t die as heroes. Those who died as heroes in combat would go to Walhalla, waiting for the final battle to be fought. As many other figures in Norse mythology, she isn’t all good or bad. She does the good job of cleaning diseased areas.
Cindy Claus, played by Zina Berlin. Costumes by Tanya Kuznetsova. Bodypaint by Jess Graham
In Greek mythology, Iris was a messenger Goddess, depicted with rainbows in the sky, or even being the personification of a rainbow. In Spanish, the word for rainbow is ‘arco iris’ or the arch of Iris.
Zina Berlin as Cindy Claus. Body paint and costumes by Jess Graham
In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of fertility, love and beauty, and she rides through the sky in a carriage pulled by cats.
It is possible that the day of the week Friday is named after Freya, but it could have been named after the mother Goddess Frigg as well.
While we are not always educated about goddesses and interesting women from mythology, it’s never too late to be inspired.
The Coming of Cindy Claus is available online at Reelhouse: https://www.reelhouse.org/cindyclaus/thecoming104
Tell us about your favourite Goddesses in the comments.
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