Toradellin Official Websitehttp::http://toradellin.com.au
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I am the artist known as Toradellin Danaan. The name chosen by my parents is Roger Thomas.
The name that I go by online is symbolic of who I am and my principled beliefs. The first name is a compound noun from the artificial language, Ailinta, which I’m creating for literature I wish to write. Toradellin means “Forest Voice”. I chose the name as, like my mother, I’ve always had a quiet voice like the whispering of leaves in a forest. Also, I’ve advocated for our Earth mother and her protection since I was a kid and a member of the now defunct Australian Wildlife Club, thus I like to think that my voice is one of the many speaking for the defence of our remaining forests.
I chose the second half of my moniker, Danaan, aspirationally. If we go back in time we all have a common human origin; even further back, a common amoebic origin; even further back, a common origin as ‘star stuff’, as Carl Sagan put it. But more recently my ancestral origin is Celtic. Thus my interest in the Tuatha De Danaan, (pronounced too-ah je dah-naahn, (the Children/ Tribe of Dana.)).
Dana, otherwise known as Don or Danu, [from Proto-Celtic *Danona]) is the mythological Mother Goddess of the Celtic world. She is the matriarchal ancestor of all Celtic people. In the surviving Celtic myths, the Danaans are referred to as a godlike race similar to the Norse Vættir clans such as the Æsir and Vanir or the Álfar (Elves). They were a race of people who valued wisdom and intellect and were masters of all the arts, sciences, medicine and the forces of nature. I like to think of them as a race like the Elves of Norse mythology who represented a more evolved aspect of humanity. A humanity that is less warlike, more in tune with the natural world, more compassionate and wise. Of course if you read the mythologies you’ll realize this is a very idealistic view as they were prone to commit the same evils as the rest of humanity from time to time. However, even when they transgress there is a strong message of justice being delivered in the outcome. The myths are not in their original form sadly, as the Celts had an oral culture where the written word was only for use in Druidic ceremony. Thus since Christian subjugation of Celtic culture the vast majority and original form of Celtic Druidic knowledge has been lost. One of the criticisms of the Christian era retelling of the surviving mythologies from Ireland is that a conquest tale (the Milesian conquest), was woven into the myths in order to separate the contemporary Christian population, at the time of writing, from their pagan ancestry.
In identifying myself as “Danaan” I’m not suggesting in any way that I am “godlike”. As an atheist, that would be quite ridiculous. What I am saying is that I am a person who aspires to be an evolved and good human being that values peace over war; knowledge over ignorance; compassion over bigotry; virtue over self-interest; and living in a way that is in harmony with the planet that provides us with the opportunity of life. All of us, regardless of race, can choose to become a Child of Dana by choosing to live in such a morally principled way. If we don’t, we are little more than trolls, to use another mythological analogy.
On a darker note, I feel that I need to explain a major impediment that I’ve had to overcome in life, particularly as I make reference to it in some of my work. I have suffered severe depression and social anxiety since I was little due to a number of reasons, particularly negative experiences with people. A lot of people try to hide the mental illnesses that are inflicted on them due to the discrimination and personal derision that they are otherwise subjected to. I guess because these conditions have had such a major damaging influence on my life, it just seems a bit counterproductive to try and hide it so I’ve chosen to be an advocate on the issue through my artwork. If you’re interested in viewing my emotionally challenging work you will find it on my “Toradellin” Redbubble account. If you prefer my work that is purely artistic and intellectual expression then head for my “Ranger Roger” Redbubble account. http://www.redbubble.com/people/rangerroger
My recent history since 2000 is as follows. I was a care worker working with adults with severe autism and intellectual impairment. I was also studying psychology. Then my mothers health declined and I started caring for her part time. She then had an accident that crushed her L4 and L5 vertebrae so I gave up work and started caring for her full-time. I’d switched to studying externally until mum’s faculties started diminishing. Unfortunately, when I arranged respite while I went to residential school she thought I was dumping her. That was too much trauma for both of us so I gave up study and just focused on mum. I’m very glad that I got to spend those remaining years close to her. I just wish we hadn’t been tormented by the wicked people in the town where we were living. (See my written work, “A Disgrace – poster for my neighbours” for more detail.
Mum passed away in 2010 leaving me shattered. I’ve been on a gradual path to recovery since.
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