Part I Multivalent Meaning of Mago Stronghold
Mago Stronghold (麻姑城, Mago-seong) refers to the center of the world (axis mundi) in the Magoist Cosmogony. It is a metaphor for the Source/Origin/Womb of Life for terrestrial beings. Mago Stronghold represents the forgotten paradise of the Great Goddess in patriarchy. In patriarchal times, it has become a code to unlock the hidden S/HE Reality. As one’s life in the body and mind is the very proof for the first mother, “Mago,” from whom one comes, the existence of Mago Stronghold in toponym and meaning is the very token to prove vital for the primordial home of terrestrial beings, also called the Earth. The Mago Stronghold talk, upon being fully deciphered, merits the bird’s eye view of human history from the cosmogonic beginning of the Great Goddess to this day. Its message is, among others, we are NOT locked out from the blissful time of S/HE beginning. We are NOT disconnected from our ancestors and deities. And we are NOT substantively different from our non-human sojourns. All in WE are found in Mago Stronghold.
I present my investigation of Mago Stronghold, rather than a new theory, as an alternative mode of perceiving reality. The Mago Stronghold talk answers the ultimate question of “who I am” as a person and why we are here in our life journey. It is meant to engender metamorphosis, the process of awakening and navigating in S/HE Reality, for both an individual and the collective. We realize that no one is bound to patriarchal reality except those who create it. WE are HERE/NOW.
However, the full-fledged implication of Mago Stronghold can’t be unveiled without naming the systemic working of mental blocks and lifting the limit. Official (read patriarchal) historiography is not the place where we nest our conversation. Linear thinking can’t help us arrive at the Scene. Thinking within ethnocentric and nationalist grids is among the mental blocks. We are invited to explore a whole new/old/original way of seeing and knowing matters. You and I across cultures, nationalities, and geographies have a lot in common to talk and think about. Precisely, the Mago Stronghold talk bridges the gap among moderns. Its implication is NOT confined to Korea or East Asia. One may wonder how it is so? The concept of Mago Stronghold, remembered by East Asian Magoists, concerns the common origin of all beings on Earth. Discourse on the Great Goddess/Primordial Mother/Creatrix can’t be parochial by nature. It maps out the gynocentric consciousness of WE, which redefines national/cultural identities as consanguineous. The Mago Stronghold talk works at multi-dimensions crisscrossing and connecting the personal and the collective, the local and the universal, and the physical and the symbolic.
Mago Stronghold found across Korea and China is no ordinary cultural or historical landmark. It is also equated with Mago Mountain or Triad Mountain. The extant toponym of Mago Stronghold is a door to the Other Realm of the Great Goddess. Precisely, it signifies the Primordial/Perennial Home for not only the Mago Clan (Mago and HER divine and human descendants) but also all terrestrial beings, according to the Magoist Cosmogony. “Mago Stronghold” is an eponym for such socio-natural-architectural variations as castles, citadels, mountain villages, fortresses, stone walls, earthen walls, and ultimately the Earth. It is etiological, explaining the gynocentric origin of the axis mundi and the sacred mountain reverence known in many ancient worlds.
Macrocosmically, Mago Stronghold refers to the Earth, the Splendid Land of the Primordial Mother. Residing in the Big Dipper (Seven Stars), Mago governs the solar system and chooses the Earth as HER Garden. S/HE delegates HER divine and human offspring to cultivate sonic resonance in harmony with cosmic music. In that sense, Earth IS HER Civilization. Its literal meaning, the Stronghold of the Great Goddess, conveys that all Earth’s civilizations are born of the Great Goddess. The Mago Civilization of Earth is aligned with the Law of Nature established by the marvelous working of the Great Goddess. Nature reflects HER Majestic Work.
When the Creatrix (Cosmogonic Matrix) is made unthinkable, if not erased, in the course of patriarchal mytho-history, Mago Stronghold stands as an enigmatic cultural icon. It comes to us as a code to decipher. Much is to be unveiled for HER Paradise to be reinstated in the collective mind of humanity. Euphemisms that are severed from the Magoist implication in the course of history are linked back to the original Magoist words. The Mago Stronghold Code enchants us to the holistic view of the Great Goddess, the WE consciousness in S/HE, that is tabooed in patriarchy. Reminding people of the common origin from the Primordial Mother, Mago Stronghold opens a new horizon of the gynocentric reality, WE/HERE/NOW. We have been part of the Grand Plan of the Great Goddess.
When it comes to the female, official historiography, which is after all a product of the patriarchal dominant group, offers little to, if not obstructs, the researcher. The history it calls is nothing other than a self-aggrandizing distorted view of the past events, or rather an imposed false view of the past by patriarchal colonizers. Patriarchal history should be called pseudo-history. It concerns not truth but domination and self-expansion. The history of self-sharers/altruists/Magoists never dies for it is about re-membering of all in WE. What happened is never left unanimated, according to the Law of Nature. It can’t be erased, for truth is the language of Life. As such, the collective memory that ancient (read pre-patriarchal) Magoists were the bearers of the Magoist royal lineage has survived official East Asian (read Sinocentric) historiography. It is imbued in such socio-cultural data as lore, literature, art, and place-names, as well as the so-called apocryphal texts. My task here is to decode the meaning of Mago Stronghold, unearthing non-official data and reading them between the lines of written records.
(To be continued)
 The Big Dipper (Seven Stars) is favored by Koreans. Triad Deity (Samsin), another name for Mago, is believed to dwell in the Seven Stars. The Seven Stars are depicted in rocks, the supporting board of coffins, the traditional board game Yutnori, and shaman paintings.
 Concerning Nine Magos, I have noted a parallel between the folktale and the cosmogonic account in the Budoji (Epic of the Emblem City). According to the folktale, Mago Halmi had eight daughters and dispatched seven daughters to neighboring islands and lived in the region with her youngest daughter. In the Budoji’s cosmogonic account, it implies that Mago’s eight (grand)daughters are sent to eight planets of the sun. See Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, The Mago Way: Reconstructing Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia (Mago Books, 2015), 180.