As I sit in my office cluttered with notes, sketches, and fragments of stories that I am trying to arrange, edit, and complete so that they can be published, I happily acknowledge that Greg Stafford has influenced by professional and personal life more than anyone else. Greg was my mentor, my teacher, and such a profound influence on me that I can’t even imagine how to delineate where Greg ends and I begin. Greg introduced me to my wife (even gave us the key to a castle eyrie before we knew we’d need it); he was my business partner, writing partner, and friend. Greg entrusted me with his world – a world made up of fragments of his dreams, fantasies, nightmares, anxieties, hopes, and fears.
With just 24 magical symbols (two fewer than the Latin script, two more than the Major Arcana), Greg assembled an entire cosmos, large enough to contain multitudes. Greg’s cosmos was deeply personal but also reflected universal human themes. Themes that embraced both our best and our worst aspects – hope and hubris, humanity’s desire for unity combined with our drive for division and destruction, the need for each new generation to overthrow the last. The cycle of birth, new hopes, old fears, death, and rebirth. Greg did the monomyth better than Campbell, the Matter of Britain better than Mallory. Greg’s mythology is both new and as familiar as half-forgotten dream. Greg Stafford is now part of the God Time. The God Time, for those unfamiliar with Greg’s mythology, is that part of the cosmos that is endless and eternal. In the mundane world we are ephemeral – we all will die and disappear from the earth; but in the God Time we endure as part of the fundament of the cosmos. So although Greg the Mortal is no longer with us in Time, Greg the Immortal exists eternally, because Greg helped make our universe.Maybe that is all just a metaphor for Greg’s boundless creativity. Greg’s works, his love, his thoughts, his dreams – they continue to inspire. Not just the stuff he’s rightly celebrated for – Glorantha, RuneQuest, Pendragon, Nephilim, a lifetime of game design, and so much more – but all of it. Greg’s thoughts on shamanism and the invisible world, discussions pre-Clovis habitation in North America, interpretation of Huichol art, thoughts on life and love, and so much more. All of that is still with us – part of the God Time.
Greg once told me shamans and heroes exist simultaneously in our ephemeral world of Time and in the immortal God Time. Like so many of the things Greg has told me over the years, even when I have been able intellectually grasp the concept, it takes experiences to truly understand it. In this case, it takes Greg’s passing for me to truly understand the difference between Time and God Time. Greg’s mortal self – that part of him confined by Time – is gone, but his immortal self is with us always in the God Time.