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Twilight of the Gods: Page 736
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world-ash today, the fir must serve to fasten the rope (:(#@: c or d?) = #3 vari): ([[ #147: ]] [or #15 vari? - alternating chords: Dunning previously called this #147 but now describes it as #15 vari – is there any #58b influence?]) Sing, my sister, - I cast it to you (:#147 or #15 vari?) (#88:) do you know what will become of it (:#88)?

The World-Ash having withered and died since Wotan broke off its most sacred branch to make his Spear from it, the Norns must attach their rope to any branch or rock which comes to hand. As they prepare to wind the rope of fate we hear #15, the variant of the Rhinedaughters’ “Rhinegold! Rhinegold!” which tells us that Bruennhilde’s protection of Siegfried from the unhealing wound of knowledge transpires through a figurative return of the Ring to the Rhine: Bruennhilde, Wotan’s unconscious mind, who holds the Ring’s power safe, represents that surrogate Rhine and temporary redemption from Alberich’s curse, and also therefore temporary redemption from the fate the Norns spin. As the Norns proclaim they weave the rope for good or ill, we hear #44/#101, motifs in the family associated with the cunning of the world, man’s gift for distorting the truth (man as trickster) which includes Loge’s Motif #36, and #27, the inaugural motif of this family, which stands for Wotan’s intent (inspired by Loge’s cunning) to break the social contract he engraved on his spear of divine authority. It is this cunning which has tainted nature’s innocence with self-deceit. By the way, though #36 is a Loge motif, its harmonic basis is #19, Alberich’s Ring.

As they sing of the sacred days when they wove their rope at the still living World-Ash, we hear the World-Ash Motif itself, #146. Cooke describes it as a swaying, dance-like variant of #53. This genealogical relationship is logical because both the World-Ash and #53 represent the natural course of events, nature’s necessity, as Feuerbach describes it. However, as they sing of these ancient, sacred times we also hear #20d, the last segment of the Valhalla Motif, which Cooke describes as lending an air of nobility to anything seen or heard while it sounds in the orchestra. Its presence here in association with that pre-Fallen time before Wotan broke off the World-Ash’s most sacred branch to manufacture his Spear, is somewhat mysterious. But we must remember two things: first, religious man, though guilty of the sin of denying nature, is a part of nature (just as Wotan’s spear of divine authority he made from the most sacred branch of the World-Ash, i.e., from that branch of animal genealogy which produced man through the evolution of species); second, the poetic intent of religious man is to strive to restore man’s pre-fallen innocence.

We hear the first three of the Valhalla Motif’s five segments, #20abc, as the Norns recall how Wotan sacrificed his now missing eye (which he identified earlier with Siegfried) in order to gain wisdom (“Weisheit,” the same wisdom - Erda’s “Weisheit” - which Wotan told Erda wanes before his Will, their daughter Bruennhilde), from the sacred spring which flows out from the roots of the World-Ash. Is this sacred spring the source of the Rhine? Is #20d Wotan’s missing eye? Wotan had to sacrifice his instinctual knowledge, or aesthetic intuition, his eye which looks inward (which is restored to him in Siegfried’s love for Bruennhilde), in order to gain the power of reflective thought, just as Alberich had to renounce love to forge his Ring from the Rhinegold in order to obtain world-power through the acquisition of symbolic consciousness and language. Presumably Wotan’s sacrifice of one eye for the sake of the sacred spring’s wisdom was also required in order to break off the World-Ash’s most sacred branch to manufacture the spear engraved with the social

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