Seeking the Mystics
Western culture and innovation are driving humanity towards an exciting future. Just take a look at our technology; if one really thinks about it, it is a marvel what we are capable of. We can, in essence, hold the sum knowledge and experience of the world in the palm of our hand. Pick up a smart phone, search the internet, and find the answer to whatever problem, ailment, or quandary one may have. One hundred years ago, if we were to tell someone that this is an everyday reality, it would be unbelievable.
And yet, with all of the discoveries and innovations we have made, we still cling to the past. Our past is important: we need to know where we came from, from what we grew, and to learn from our mistakes. But some of what we cling to can be harmful.
Our society has a tendency to see the unfamiliar or the ancient as being magical, in a sense. That there is wisdom that humanity has forgotten, intangible secrets that can be drawn from other cultures, and are made mystical in our mind. We reject medicine and scientific research in favour for the ancient techniques of other cultures. We lose sight of the wonders that the western world has wrought, and instead seek the wonders in backwards and outdated tradition.
This is not to say that western culture is inherently good, and that there is nothing to be learned from other cultures and ancient tradition. We must simply be wary.
This is what Lacerta is exploring, in part. Mitena, the main character, is desperate for comfort and solace, and so she turns to folks tales and mythology to find it. She picks and chooses her favourite pieces from a host of Native American cultures, Chumash, Cree, Aztec, anything and everything, and forms her own mythology. The harm comes when she starts to believe that her new mythology is truth. She adopts a destructive belief system that tells her she will die, and quickly rushes down a suicidal path to fulfill her destiny.
It is easy to fall into the same mistakes, but it is not necessarily a life-or-death fate, as Mitena faces. It is as simple as falling victim to con artists who would have one believe that ancient medicines will cure your ailments, or bring you fortunes, or find your love.
Learn from the past, seek the wisdom of other cultures, but do not look to them as mystics of the supernatural simply because that worldview is fresh and new compared to the drab business of the western world.