I suspect all reconstruction starts with a pull. There’s something there that you can’t stop thinking about or trying to reconcile, maybe a sense that there was clearly so much more behind what we know. In religious recon, this often leads to the rabbit hole of academia, since that’s where the fine details get picked apart.
For fictional recon, well, these days you’re probably starting with a wiki.
I’ve been thinking for a while now about writing a series of posts about fictional reconstruction and how it works best for me. Most of my attempts tried to talk about how I got started, but everything seems harder to quantify in retrospect, so I decided that what I needed was a fresh start. Over the years I’ve played with a variety of fictional pantheons in different ways, some of which I learned from and moved on, some of whom I still work with now. Finding something to use as an example that both had a pull for me and yet was not something I’d touched on spiritually at all was surprisingly hard.
Then the first images from the new She-Ra adaptation dropped and I was reminded just how many feelings I had about these worlds. I figured it would be an interesting challenge, since there was some worldbuilding in the old cartoons but I didn’t remember there being a lot.
And yes, I started by hitting up the Wiki Greyskull to see how much of what I remembered matched up. Now, if you were coming at this – as I sometimes have been – as someone who’s getting some kind of spiritual push from a distinct being, there’s nothing wrong with starting by talking to them instead of with the research. Since I was going on feelings and a half-remembered idea about the Sorceress being like a power incarnate, I went for the book learning.
What I learned, first of all, is that there is so much more canon than I thought.
It’s amazing how often it turns out that there’s much more to something than you see. Maybe, as in the case of He-Man, there was at least one entire comic book run I hadn’t been aware even existed. Maybe you start getting into Sailor Moon and you realize there’s a lot of symbolism, astrology, astronomy and mythic references baked in. Sometimes you pick up something new and realize it’s much older than you realized.
The Wiki Greyskull has a handful of articles about Eternian religion, mostly referring to a Goddess who has ties to the Sorceresses – plural! And there’s at least two variations of this goddess worship, the line of falcon sorceresses (shades of Freya?) and another line practiced by the long-banished snakemen. That definitely gives us something to start with!
Now that I have an idea what I’m looking for, what’s next? Research!
The library as the 1200-page omnibus collection of all the He-Man and She-Ra minicomics. I don’t expect great literature, but I do feel obligated to give it a go.
Let’s see what happens!