Author Archives: Admin

Animal Aspects of the Janyati

FoxesIn “The Adventure of the Crystal Staff”, a story set in the Motherland, mention is made of Shearwind, fox aspect of Nimwë the Enchantress, who in turn is an aspect of Sai Mati.  This raises the question of what other animal archetypes belong to the Janyati. In fact, there are many such associations, though they can be variable according to circumstances. Here are some of the better known correspondences:

The lion and eagle are especially associated with Sai Raya
Deer, hares and cats with Sai Candre, as well as many water birds
Elephants, horses, swans, pavanelles (peafowl) with Sai Thame
Wolves, tigers and hawks with Sai Vikhe
Doves, geese, sometimes hares and rabbits, shellfish and sometimes fish in general with Sai Sushuri
Goats and horned animals, ravens, crows, burrowing animals like moles with Sai Rhave

Animals are not actually avatars of the Janyati, but they do manifest aspects of the Janyati, and once we mention an aspect of a pure thing, we are often speaking of some admixture. Roses, to take a very commonly used example, are the quintessential Sushuric flower, but they have Vikhelic thorns. Correspondences are thus by no means exclusive. “In mold is no thyng unmelded” — in the sublunary realm, nothing is “pure”. Even physical fire is not pure elemental fire, but contains the other elements also.

In traditional Tellurian astrology the same complexity is found. Eagles, for example, are attributed by William Lilly [see the note below] to Sai Raya, Sai Vikhë, Sai Thamë, and Sai Sushuri. For a Herthelan the primary association of the eagle is with Sai Raya. For some traditional Western Telluri, it is with Sai Thamë, and most probably the reason for this is that the eagle is always acknowledged as Queen of Birds, and for the Classical West in patriarchal times, the Thamic “Jupiter” or “Zeus” was the “king” of the “gods” (unlike the related Teutonic “polytheism” where that position was held by the Matic “Odin” or “Woden”). Herthelan angelology, though, has always maintained (as earlier West Telluri angelologies did) the primacy of Sai Raya.

Horses belong to Sai Thamë, partly because of the “music” of their rhythmic gait, and their association with the sky in Herthelan tradition. Lilly attributes them to Sai Raya, and this association is also part of the Herthelan tradition. In fact, it is alluded to in the Imperial Anthem where the lines:

O Rayan’, thy rule doth run
As coursers of the sun

refer to the traditional analogy of the sun’s rays as horses galloping out from the Center.

Another approach to animal symbolism, which could tentatively be called the “Totemic” approach, is a shade different from that of the Western “Doctrine of Correspondences”. By “Totemic” is meant a whole range of animal symbolisms in which maids participate very closely and ritually. The “Totemic” approach will actualize in depth a particular aspect, rather than standing back and saying, “Well, in this aspect it is this and in that aspect it is that”. It is less to do with “using” correspondences and more to do with ritually “realizing” or even “becoming” them.

Just as with the physical world, the Archetypal realm operates according to fixed and technically predictable laws, but also, just as in the physical domain, those laws can create an almost inexhaustible wealth of different “landscapes” and possibilities. The Doctrine of Correspondences is necessarily schematic (like physical science itself) and would not be very useful if it were not, while the “Totemic” form of traditional activity is more experiential. In some ways it could be likened to reading a map on the one hand and visiting the territory on the other.

The map actually has some advantages over the visit — one can see the whole area and how it fits together, while the visit is likely to show us particular aspects. Also the visitor (if she is part of a tradition) will not be without maps of her own — but they are likely to be larger scale maps of the particular area she is visiting, showing individual features much more distinctly and being less “general” and in some cases less widely applicable. But what the visit lacks in breadth as compared to the map it makes up for in depth.

The two are not in any way opposed but they do constitute two distinct perspectives that may, at least superficially, look as if the thing seen (the Archetype) is quite different according to the two approaches, when in fact it is simply the same thing seen from different angles and experienced in very different ways.

To return to “The Adventure of the Crystal Staff”, we see how the two approaches were not really separate, certainly earlier in the Motherland’s history, and not entirely today. Queen Mayanna house, the College in the story, was originally a temple to Sai Mati/Nimwë, and the Maybridges, the Countesses and hereditary heads of the College were originally the High Vixens of the Order: a “Totemic”  function. Matic correspondences as well as participation (not at this stage direct and “Totemic” but still vestigially so) still permeate the hereditary culture of the College among those who actually belong to the old families. Both the Queen who founded the House (Mayanna) and the location and its leading family (Maybridge) are named for Sai Maia/Maya — the great Enchantress who creates the illusion of this world and the mother of Sai Mati — just as Maia is the mother of Greek Hermes and Maya the mother of the Buddha.

Perhaps because in the Tellurian West the “planets” were no longer part of the “religion”, this natural marriage between Correspondences and “Totemism” was somewhat lost, but it continued alive in the Motherland much later and is still there in some aspects.

*****************

Note

Traditional Tellurian astrology, which incorporates much ancient wisdom, recognizes animal correspondences to the planetary powers. As planetary associations are practical and earthly, and Janyati associations are spiritual, it may at first seem to mean that they are different things. However, the entire premise of traditional astrology is that the spiritual informs the material, “as above, so below.”  What is happening on the spiritual level is shown in the movements of the planetary bodies, which becomes manifest in the material world.  So, the archetypal Janyati rulers and the planetary associations should align, and when they do not, it is a matter of reconciliation, not discarding one or the other.

The seventeenth-century astrologer William Lilly compiled an account of such correspondences from older sources . This modified list may be instructive from a Herthelan point of view. Such traditional sources should be treated with respect. They can add to our knowledge, because after all, we only have a limited amount from the Motherland.

Sai Rhavë
Beasts:  Donkeys, cats, hares, mice, moles, elephants, bears, dogs, wolves, basilisks, crocodiles, scorpions, toads, serpents, adders, hogs, all manner of creeping creatures breeding of putrefaction, either in the earth, water, or ruins of houses.
Fish:  Eels, tortoises, shellfish.
Birds etc:  Bats, crows, lapwings, owls, gnats, cranes, peacocks, grasshoppers, thrushes, blackbirds, ostriches, cuckoos.

Sai Thamë
Beasts:  Sheep, harts or stags, does, oxen, elephants, dragons, tigers, unicorns, those beasts which are mild and gentle, and yet of great benefit to Maidkind, are appropriate to Her.
Fish:  Dolphins, whales, serpents, sheath-fish or river whales.
Birds:  Storks, snipes, larks, eagles, stockdove, partridges, bees, pheasants, peacocks, hens.

Sai Vikhë
Beasts and Animals:  Panthers, tigers, mastiffs, vultures, foxes, of living creatures, those that are warlike, ravenous and bold, beavers, horses, mules, ostriches, goats, wolves, leopards, wild donkeys, gnats, flies, lapwings, cockatrices, griffins, bears.
Fish: Pikes, sharks, barbels, fork-fish, all stinging worms, scorpions.
Birds:  Hawks, vultures, kites, all ravenous fowl, raven, cormorants, owls, (some say eagles), crows, the magpie.

Sai Raya
Beasts:  Lions, horses, rams, crocodiles, bulls, goats, nightworms or glowworms.
Fish:  Sea calves or sea foxes, crabfish, starfish.
Birds:  Eagles, cocks, the phoenix, nightingales, peacocks, swans, buzzards, the fly cantharis [a beetle], goshawks.

Sai Sushuri
Beasts: Harts, panthers, small cattle, coneys, calves, goats.
Fish:  Dolphins
Birds:  Stockdove, wagtails, sparrows, hen, nightingales, thrushes, pelicans, partridges, little birds feeding on grapes or figs, wrens, eagles, swan, swallows, ousels or blackbirds, the magpie.

Sai Mati
Beasts:  Hyenas, apes, foxes, squirrels, weasels, spiders, greyhounds, all cunning creatures.
Fish:  Fork-fish, mullets
Birds etc:  Linnets, parrots, swallows, the magpie, beetles, ants, locusts, bees, serpents, cranes.

Sai Candre
Beasts or birds:  All such beasts, or the like, as live in the water, frogs, otters, snails, weasels, rabbits, all sea fowl, cuckoos, geese, ducks, night owls.
Fish:  Oyster, cockles, all shellfish, crab, lobster, tortoise, eels.

The metaphysical explanations for these Tellurian correspondences are not available. Some are evidently different from Herthelan correspondences, the correspondences given for Sai Rhavë  being particularly obscure. However, as a student of traditional astrology says:

In studying these matters, a maid is studying Dea, in all of Her Wonder and Glory.  It is important to never forget that a Maid is always a student with respect to the Divine. William Lilly called himself a “Student of Astrology,” and there are some who consider him among the greatest astrologers in Tellurian history. That is why I avoid speculation as much as possible in these matters, and why I am hesitant to substitute my judgment for that of the tradition, even when I do not understand it.  Of course, there are matters in which the tradition contradicts itself, and because of the unbalanced Vikhelic principle in Telluria, there is tradition that goes against the Universal Law of Love, which must be discarded.  As a general rule, however, when I do not understand a part of the tradition, I will assume that there is something that I just do not understand, rather than assuming the tradition is wrong, as many modern thinkers do.

The Stowaways

An old, unfinished story rescued from the archives and presented for your reading pleasure. Perhaps a forerunner to The Flight of the Silver Vixen.

the-stowawaysThe warm air was filled with a sound like that of a thousand crystal wind-chimes in the light breeze. It was in fact caused by the crystalline husks of the chentil-nuts that hung in clusters on the tall trees. The sunlight shimmered among them, and the faceted shells refracted the light, while the chrome-like silver leaves reflected them, so that the trees seemed clothed in robes of iridescent rainbow.

“The air seems rather delightful,” said Lieutenant Sindra, stepping out of the wasp.

“Almost the same as Sai Herthe,” said Dr. Carice: “a touch more oxygen and a little phentrastomine, which some people find invigorating.”

“Oh, of course. I trust your analysis or I should never have left the wasp and stepped onto an unknown planet without breathing apparatus. I was referring to the gentle warmth and the delicate scent of the chentils – that sort of thing.”

“Most idyllic, I am sure. But is this the sort of place where we are likely to find a low-latency V27 fuel-crystal?”

“One can’t be thinking about business all the time, Carre-chara. One must take the adventure of life as it comes; enjoy the beauty of each fleeting moment.”

“‘Business’ is not precisely the term I should employ for the question of survival, and of whether we shall ever return home.”

“Grim business, eh? Sorry. Mustn’t call it business. What about wirelessing the Imperial Princess and asking them to send another wasp after us?”

“I think we may have warped.”

“Really? That was careless of us.”

“If we hit an aethyr-crease we may be light years from the Princess. Wireless waves wouldn’t reach her certainly not in our lifetime.”

“Well, why don’t you give it a whirl. Perhaps we didn’t warp.”

“All right, I’ll try it. It seems like the first thing to do.”

Dr. Carice returned to the wasp while Lieutenant Sindra strolled over to the small lake and admired her reflection in its still blue water. She cut a rather dashing figure in her double-breasted red tunic with two rows of dark buttons, her high military collar and gold-braided undress epaulettes. Her blue flared above-the-knee skirt was perfectly pressed as always, and her high, slender military boots polished to a pleasing gleam. Being marooned on a deserted planet did not strike panic into her as it did into Dr. Carice, but she did worry slightly about the practicalities of keeping her uniform immaculate if they were to be here for any length of time. She recalled her blonde mother saying “Military brunettes are as vain as blondes half the time”. Perhaps it was true; but after all, it was important to keep up appearances.

Dr. Carice came rushing out of the wasp in a flap. Technical brunettes are as fussy as blondes half the time, thought Sindra.

“There’s someone in there!” said Dr. Carice.

“In where?”

“In the hold of the wasp.”

“How remarkable. Have you seen her?”

“No, but there is banging and yelling coming from in there.”

“Why didn’t you open the portal?”

“Who knows what is in there? It could be aliens.”

“Aliens in our hold? Hardly likely.”

“They might have teleported in. Who knows what aliens can do.”

“In that case, why wouldn’t they teleport out instead of banging and yelling? Are you sure the hold was empty when we left the Princess?”

“Of course I’m sure.”

“Did you actually check?”

“Not just before we left,” admitted Dr. Carice; “but why would anyone be in our hold?”

“Without opening the portal we are unlikely to find out. Now do go and open it like a good girl.”

Dr. Carice hesitated.

“Don’t worry,” said Sindra soothingly, “I’ll come and protect you from any aliens.”

Gingerly, Dr. Carice turned the lock-wheel. She stood back as the portal swung open. Sindra stepped slightly forward, at the ready.

“Sindy-chei!” shouted a high, blonde voice. “Don’t be cross, Sindy-chei. Promise you won’t be cross. I really couldn’t bear it if you were cross.”

“Lady Prudence Mereton-Vasilhe, may I introduce Civilian Technical Officer Susanna Carice.”

“How do you do, Miss Carice. Is it Miss Carice?”

“How do you do, Lady Prudence. Doctor Carice actually.”

“Well, you can just call me Poppy. But not Prudence. It makes me feel as if I’m at school.”

“Call her Prunes,” said Sindra. “Everyone does.”

“Oh, not Prunes. I hate Prunes. I’ve just about stopped everyone using it, except my beastly little sister. Poppy for preffers. Prudence if you really must.”

“Prunes,” insisted Sindra. “It shall be your punishment. You are a bad girl. What on earth were you doing in the hold?”

“Well, you’ve promised me for ages you would take me out in a wasp, and you never do. So I thought I might bag my own ride.”

“It is an offense to take unauthorized personnel in the wasps,” said Dr. Carice gravely.

“How did you know we should be taking the wasp out?” asked Sindra.

“Ah, well. I was meaning to tell you about that bit. You see, I knew you were on duty…”

“Yes?”

“Well, that alert that was put out about an unidentified craft – it was a bit of a frog. I got one of the girls to broadcast it over the announcement-thingy after I was snugly in the hold. I was going to get you to let me out as soon as we were off the Princess, but then I heard all that shouting, and it all sounded so serious. I thought you might be cross. And then there was that big bump.”

“I suppose you realize it is a serious offense to simulate an alert,” said Dr. Carice.

“Do you?” asked Lady Prudence.

“Do I what?”

“Suppose I realize it is a serious offense to simulate an alert, of course. Does she always lose track of the conversation like this, Sindy-chei?”

“I don’t think she is used to the blonde style of talking.”

“Poor thing.”

“Possibly. The alert may have been fake,” said Sindra, “but there was definitely something out there. We got on its tail and then something hit us. I thought it was a concussion-beam, but Dr. Carice thinks we warped.”

“We what?”

“Hit an aethyr-crease. Just as a two-dimensional surface, like that of a piece of paper, might be folded in the third dimension, so three-dimensional space might be folded in a fourth dimension. That is the theory, anyway. We can’t perceive these folds because we only see in three dimensions; but if one hits one, one could end up light years away from where one started.”

“How exciting.”

“It is rather, but it could also be a bother.”

“Can someone please tell me what is going on?” called a rather faint voice from the hold.

“Who is that?” asked Dr. Carice.

“Miss Varndean,” said Lady Prudence. “My governess.”

“Where are we?” asked Miss Varndean severely, emerging from the hold.

“On an unknown planet, madam,” replied Dr. Carice, “possibly light-years from Sai Herthe and the Imperial Princess and with no means of even getting the wasp back into aethyr.”

“But this is terrible!”

“Indeed it is, madam; as is the fact that you and your charge have stowed away on a Royal Defense Craft.”

“I did no such thing! I entered the craft in order to bring my young lady out of it.”

“So why did you not do so?”

Miss Varndean looked uncharacteristically vague as she tried to retrace the steps that had led her here. “I followed my young lady down the launching channel into the wasp. She was already in the hold, but had not shut the door. She tried to hide from me, but I followed her inside. I said ‘Come along, dear, the game is over’, or something of that sort, and she took a scent-spray from her purse and sprayed me with it. That is all I remember until a few minutes ago…”

“Oh Prunes,” said Sindra. “You snuffed your governess.”

“I don’t deny it, but…”

“Well, you can’t deny it, can you? You snuffed the lady who is teaching you the Fourteen Accomplishments of a high-born blonde, to whom all reverence is due, to whom…”

“Oh, stop talking like an Arkadyan priestess.”

“I can stop talking if you want,” said Sindra genially, “but you are in a quite ridiculous amount of trouble.”

“We are all in much more trouble than you seem to care to admit,” cut in Dr. Carice. “Do you mind if I use some of our remaining myriapulses sending out a scout?”

“Not at all. Very sensible idea,” said Sindra.

Dr. Carice disappeared into the wasp, and a few moments later the scout, or ‘floating eye’, glided slowly over the lake and away out of sight.

“So what do we do for food if we are stranded here?” asked Lady Prudence.

“There are lots of chentil-nuts,” said Sindra. She cast her eye over the ground, which, under the trees was covered in fallen chentil-leaves in various stages of turning from sheening silver to dead, crinkly white. Within a few minutes she had gathered a number of crystalline chentil-nuts.

“What does one do with them?” asked Lady Prudence, “Break them open?”

“No, they shatter into very sharp pieces. Watch.” Sindra knelt by the lake’s edge and placed a crystalline nut in the shallow water. It made a splintering sound, like very cold ice placed in warm water, only more musical, and the shell opened gently into three shining segments. In the centre was the plump, white kernel which Sindra handed to Lady Prudence.

“Try it,” she said.

“No!” said Miss Varndean “Don’t you know it is dangerous to eat the fruits of an unknown planet.”

“Of course, madam,” said Sindra, “but these are chentil-nuts. They grew all over Chandraya where I was born. I have eaten more chentil-nuts than Prunes has had ice-cream.”

“But, my dear captain” began Miss Varndean.

“Lieutenant, I fear,” corrected Sindra.

“My dear lieutenant; one scarcely finds the same fauna on different continents of the same planet. How can the same species of tree grow on two planets possibly light-years apart?”

“I am not sure madam. There are, in fact, more cases of morphological co-incidence than you may be aware of; after all, things are not what they are by accident.”

“You mean, the same Archetypes may come to manifestation on different planets?”

“You are wiser than I, madam, but that may be the case. Alternatively, someone, at some time, may have brought chentil-nuts here from Chandraya and they grew into these great chentil-forests. What I am sure of is that these are chentil-nuts and perfectly edible. Let me show you. Prunes-chal, pass that nut, will you.”

“Was she addressing somebody called ‘Prunes’?” Lady Prudence asked the world in general. Sindra, to Miss Varndean’s horror, took the nut from her ladyship’s hand. She broke off a piece (it was segmented into three) and ate it.

“Perfectly delicious,” she said. “Brings back the old childhood like the Imperial Courier Service.”

“There are animals!” cried Dr. Carice, leaning out of the wasp. “There are definitely animals on the planet!”

“Of course there are, you g’doinker haven’t you been hearing the birds in the trees. The question is, are there people?”

“There must be,” said Dr. Carice.

“Why?”

“What do they teach you in these military schools?” asked Dr. Carice vengefully. “Maid is the axial being; the one with the power of choice; all other animals are peripheral. You can’t have a planet with peripheral beings and no axial being. That’s basic metaphysics.”

“Does that mean there are maids here somewhere?” asked Miss Varndean.

“Not maids necessarily. On some planets the axial beings are saurians, for example, lizard people – but there will be an intelligent being with the power of choice and volition, equivalent to maid.”

“Well it makes a bit of a difference, doesn’t it?” said Sindra. “Some of those saurians are miserable types; and who knows what else the old cosmos may have in store for us? Why don’t you go back to your scout-screen and find out what type of axials we are dealing with?”

Dr. Carice disappeared back into the wasp.

“So there may be people here?” asked Miss Varndean with the first hint of a smile she had shown so far.

“Don’t get too hopeful, madam. They may not be people in any sense we understand by the term. Have a chentil-nut.”

“Oh, but…”

“You really should, madam. It is advisable to keep up your strength.”

Miss Varndean was slightly puzzled by Lieutenant Sindra. On the one hand she seemed like a flighty young raihiralan just like lady Prudence. On the other she seemed genuinely observant of all proper protocol, and to treat her with respect as a teacher, or ranya, in the most traditional manner.

She nervously took a segment of firm, white kernel from the lieutenant’s hand and nibbled it. “It really is rather good,” she said.

“And very nourishing, too. With these and good fresh water, we can live indefinitely if we need to – not that we are likely to need to,” she added, in response to Miss Varndean’s involuntary grimace.

Dr. Carice emerged from the wasp again. “Come here! I’ve got a town!”

Sindra ran over to the wasp and boarded. Carice was staring at a small screen, and there, sure enough, in the distance were the white towers of a town of some sort.

“Where is it?” asked Sindra.

“About twenty miles north-west,” said Dr. Carice, “taking the nearest pole as north. I am approaching fairly rapidly.” The towers were indeed getting closer on the screen-view. At first they had been hard to discern among the trees. Now they were larger and much clearer.

“Can you use the telescopic?” asked Sindra.

“I am. It’s only 10x though. We could do with one of those big zoom-jobs, but this is a fairly rudimentary eye. After all, one doesn’t really expect to be using an eye out of a wasp. Thank Dea for Ministry thoroughness that we’ve got one at all.”

“All right. Fly it in then. But carefully.”

“Very traditional towers,” said Carice. “No Art-Neo-equivalents. Going on normal cultural-morphology assumptions they shouldn’t have the technology to track us. But of course, you can’t really tell about that.”

“First indications, low-technic society, then. Not so good for fueling prospects.”

“There – you can see the town walls now. High, stone-built, large, heavy town gates. Wooden, reinforced with ornamental iron. How do you read that?”

“Fortifications. Would indicate conflict on the planet. Confirms low-technics. If they had any artillery – even powder-canon – those walls and that gate would be useless.”

“What sort of conflict, though? Do they fight each other? In that case they can’t be human. Saurians, perhaps, or something else. Or is there another axial on the planet?”

“Can there be two axials on one planet?”

“The point is disputed. In any case one might not be native. And intelligent enemies need not be axials. They might be demonics. Who were the Outlanders on Sai Herthe after all?”

“Well, there’s no point speculating. Better take the eye over the wall.”

“Beautiful town. Perhaps a small city. High-level architecture, low-level technics. Angel-statues in niches in the buildings.”

“Hmm – humanoid angel-statues. That’s promising. Bring her down a bit.”

“Town square. Ornamental fountain – but it’s dried up. Not many people about. Several statues, all badly broken. One large statue in the centre. Intact. Looks new.”

“Get in close to that and examine it.”

“Great Dea! What is that thing. It looks human, but then it looks inhuman. Or like a parody of humanity – angular and coarse looking. What do you make of it, Lieutenant?”

“It’s a mascûl.”

“A mascûl. Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure. We saw a lot of pictures of them at the academy.”

“Then the axials here must be schizomorphs?”

“It would seem so. That would also account for the fortifications. Schizomorphs fight among themselves.”

“What are these schizomorphs?” asked Miss Varndean who had come up to the wasp’s portal and was listening intently. “Are they maids?”

Lieutenant Sindra stepped out of the small craft. “It all depends what you mean by a maid, madam.”

“Well, are they human or aren’t they?”

“Humanoid, certainly,” said Dr. Carice, climbing out, “but with very significant differences from us.”

Lady Prudence came running up from the water’s edge. “Did you say there are people?” she asked.

“That is what we are trying to explain,” said Dr. Carice. We are not certain yet, but they appear to be schizomorphs.”

Please tell us what a schizomorph is,” begged Miss Varndean anxiously.

“Let me explain what we know of alien humanoids,” said Dr. Carice calmly. Obviously there are non-humanoid aliens, but we have encountered a number of humanoid types as well. Now, in theory they could, for example, be any size. They might be several miles tall or sub-microscopic; but we have found them to be mostly in the same general size-range as ourselves. They conform to broadly the same biology and morphology as well – two eyes, two arms and so forth”

“Though there are the four-armed entrescii,” put in Sindra.

“Yes, but generally speaking their similarity to us is striking – even in such cases as the entrescii, the differences are not that radical, considering what they might be.”

“They are all expressions of the Human Archetype,” said Miss Varndean.

“Apparently so,” said Dr. Carice. “However these various humanoid species have been universally found to divide into two types: intemorphs, like ourselves, and schizomorphs. The fundamental difference lies in the area of sex.”

“Should Lady Prudence be hearing this?” asked Miss Varndean.

“I think she had better. We have two sexes, and so have the schizomorphs. However the schizomorphs tend to refer to their sexes, perfectly correctly, as opposite sexes, whereas our sexes are complementary. What that means in practice is that the schizomorphs have one sex, called feminine, which resembles humanity as we understand it, and another, called mascûline, which, while still humanoid, is rather different, both physically and psychologically, from us.”

“Show them the statue,” suggested Sindra.

They entered the wasp and Dr. Carice gestured at the screen, bringing up a still of the statue.

“What an ugly-looking creature!” exclaimed Lady Prudence.

“Indeed. This is a mascûl. They are stronger than femins, just as brunettes are stronger than blondes, but, as you see, the morphological differences are much greater. They are ruled by the vikhelic principle – ‘martial’ as some of their races would term it – that of war and discord, while the femins, who look much like ourselves are ruled by the sushuric principle – which some of them term ‘venusian’of love and concord. Opposite sexes, you see.”

“Fascinating,” said Miss Varndean. “What are these terms ‘martial’ and ‘venusian’?”

“They come from Mars and Venus: planets in a solar system where a schizomorph race is found. But of course, the principles are universal. They are equivalent to our Vikhë and Sushuri. Only their Sai Vikhë is a mascûl.”

“So, with two opposite sexes,” asked Lady Prudence, “which characteristics predominate in the race?”

“That can vary,” said Dr. Carice, “but generally speaking in the earlier phases of their Historical Cycles – their Golden, Silver and even Bronze Ages – the femins prevail, while in their Iron Ages the mascûls become predominant.”

“Vikhë being the ruler of iron,” put in Miss Varndean.

“Exactly,” agreed Dr. Carice. “Now since we are in our Iron Age, we tend to encounter schizomorphs in their Iron Ages, or at most in their late Bronze.”

“Why should that be?” asked Lady Prudence. “Surely historical cycles are not synchronised across the universe.”

“Probably not,” said Dr. Carice, “but you must understand that, while the lay-mind tends to see ‘space’ – more properly aethyr – as what we might call a random-access medium in which any part of it should be as accessible as any other, in fact symbolic and metaphysical factors govern space just as they govern all forms. We have lost our connexion with the earlier and higher Ages, so we are unlikely to encounter them in other civilizations. Indeed it is often considered that, since they are less descended into gross manifestation, they would be imprehensible to us.”

“Anyway,” said Lieutenant Sindra, “staying with the practical implications, the point is that any schizomorphs we encounter are likely to be dominated by the mascûls, both practically and symbolically. This also means that they will be warlike and prone to fight their own kind. In some cases it may also mean that they don’t like to see femins running about loose, which could be awkward for us.”

“But we aren’t femins,” protested Lady Prudence.

“Not in their sense, no. But we look like femins, and we are incarnations of the feminine principle.

“Are we?”

“Yes.”

“But what is the feminine principle?”

“That is very hard to explain. You can only really understand what it is when contrasted with its opposite, the mascûline principle. To us it is – well, everything we know. But if we get to know the schizomorphs, you will have more of an idea what it is.”

“I am not sure I want to know the schizomorphs.”

“Well, there lies our question. We are going to have to decide what to do next.”

Japanese and Novaryan Culture – The Way

tea-ceremonyRayati and welcome to class!  Today’s topic is The Way, and I would like to start with a quotation from our own dear and wise Sushuri-chara.  She is talking about Novaryan culture here but I think what she says is very applicable to Japanese culture as well:

Herthelani – and particularly Novarians – tend to be “passive” in the sense of looking for the “right” thing to do and expecting a consensus of some sort . . . There tends to be a “way things are done” rather than a “way I do things”.

. . . Being a “passive subject” sounds negative from the Western – or the Westernised – Tellurian point of view. From a Novarian perspective it is reassuring. It is the surety of following the right way rather than having to invent a way for oneself that will probably be wrong. Ultimately, it is the sense of acting in harmony with the universe and its Creatrix rather than against it. Of treading the steps of the Cosmic Dance laid down from eternity rather than ambling in one’s own random fashion.

In describing The Way, Dr. Condon [John C. Condon, the author of With Respect to the Japanese] gives the example of U.S. and Japanese teachers’ responses to children’s requests for help in drawing their families:  “The Japanese teacher would usually assist the child, not infrequently taking the child’s hand and guiding the crayon . . . In the American schools, the teachers encouraged the children in words:  ‘Just do your best.’  ‘It’s your father and your picture and you should try to draw him the way you see him.’”

Condon continues:  “The Japanese teacher’s direct guidance of the child’s drawing, in contrast to the American’s encouragement to ‘draw your picture the way you want it,’ suggests another important part of Japanese life:  learning the proper form.

“The suffix ‘-do‘ as in judo, kendo, bushido means ‘the way,’ but the idea of a correct ‘way’ extends far beyond traditional martial arts or flower arranging or calligraphy in Japan.  There is a right way to exchange condolences, a right way to greet one’s superior and a right way to greet the new year, and a right way to offer a drink, accept a gift and decline a compliment.  The way to learn the way, of course, is to be taught by those who are older and wiser, more experienced.  One’s elders and superiors command respect in part because they know a lot.”

In fact, the right way to do these things often involves a set phrase; in other words, the very words that are appropriate to say in a situation are often fixed.  In practice I found this to be surprisingly liberating.  It is something like participating in the Sacred Year:  there is a certain joy that comes from obediently following the way of thamë, and as our own Sushuri-chara has said, “while this CAN be ritual, it also, when things are going as they should, represents the reality of the situation.”  In other words, when thamë is achieved, the “right thing to say” is also precisely what one is feeling at that moment–it is truly magical!

The Way can also be tied in to our last topic of Collectivism.  In the last lesson I suspect it sounded like I was equating Individualism with selfishness, and indeed the two are not seen as separate in Japan, where the word for “selfishness”–wagamama–literally means “my way.”  To do things in one’s one way, instead of The Way, is a sign of autonomy in the U.S., where it is considered a good thing, but in Japan it is athamë at best and selfish at worst.  In fact, there in an expression, katte ni suru, which might be translated “do whatever you want,” and is quite a scathing insult as it implies that the recipient is no longer a member of the group due to being unwilling to follow The Way.  In a Collectivist culture, there could hardly be anything worse.

Is this simply a matter of different perspective?  Are there legitimate but differing traditions in the East and West?  It is possible, especially given that what we currently observe in the U.S. is something like hyper-individualism, or atomization, instead of whatever would be the legitimate culture.

Another perspective would be to associate Collectivism with the pole of Essence and Individualism with the pole of Substance.  Recall that in our last lesson I said that to a Japanese person, the feelings of one’s friends are “more concrete” than food.  And from a Déanic perspective, that is entirely true:  all of the manifest universe (including food, of course) is an illusion, and only Dea is real.  Our maiden’s souls are fragments of Dea’s Spirit, and therefore the only real things that we know.  So if we had a choice between creating harmony with our sisters or eating our own preferred food, clearly our sisters’ souls are the weightier consideration.  I shall expand on this subject more in our next lesson on External and Interpersonal Realities.

Comments

Avatar of Sushuri-chei

Honored Clovender-sensei – I am so adoring this series, even though it makes me blush to see myself quoted!

The part about “draw your own picture the way you see it” fascinated me as it touches not only of the question of individualism, but also on that of tradition in art. The traditional artist never believes she is “expressing herself”, but is simply expressing the True Form as her mistress has taught her to do.

But we know that styles of art do change over time even in the most traditional cultures, and that is because a maid cannot help bringing a little of herself, and of the particular sensibility or her generation, into her work, even though that is not her intention. Her intention is to express the pure Archetype in accordance with the Way she has been initiated into.

These two things, the vertical Way and the horizontal variations of time and person play, on a lower level, the role of Essence and Substance respectively, and the symbolism of weaving (where the still, vertical threads represent Essence and the moving, horizontal threads Substance) is often used to describe this twofold nature of all creation.

In A South Kadorian Romance, Destrine Roder expresses this doctrine in a somewhat bolder way than a traditional Estrenne artist would. She is something of a “modern” in Herthelan terms – in contrast to the North Arkadyan consevatism of Miss Kashnevya’s family, and indeed even her own brunette mother:

“That’s Miss Jilver-Mai Tarling there with the fiddle. She’s goin’ to play for us, I reckon. She makes her own tunes. They ain’t half bad either.”

“Her own tunes? How clever. Where I come from everyone plays the old tunes.”

“Nothin’ wrong with the old tunes. Sometimes, though we think there is something new that needs to be sung.”

“My ‘nettie says if it hasn’t been said by our great mothers then it can’t be true.”

“Yeah. My ‘nettie says that too. But y’know each age has its own art, its own music, its own life. It doesn’t replace the old ones – we still tell the old stories and sing the old songs – but we also feel new feelin’s and have new things to say.”

“Do you think so? Isn’t the old wisdom the true one?”

“O’course it is. But we live in time. The warp of life never moves – it descends down from Heaven to earth like the light-beams o’ th holy angels. But the weft is always moving across them, changing, turning, weaving in and out. You can’t live with only the warp or with only the weft. If you said everything is change and development and nothing is absolute, you’d be wrong. You’d be denyin’ the very Source of our existence. But if you said nothin’ ever changes and new things don’t arise, you’d be just as wrong. Then you’re denyin’ the weft and actin’ as though we don’t live in time.”

“If you said everything is change and development and nothing is absolute, you’d be wrong.” But that, of course is exactly what the modern West Tellurian doctrine says. That is what its creation myth, the “theory of evolution” means, and all its associated social and cultural beliefs. The denial of the vertical threads and the belief that nature and culture are created by the horizontal threads alone is the fundamental doctrine of modern West Telluria. No wonder its fabric is falling apart!

It is interesting to see how the balance between tradition and innovation that is necessary to all art and culture that is deployed in time precisely mirrors a balance between individualism and collectivism, or between the Way and certain new directions which, in the very nature of time, must emerge.

To say that traditional society is purely collective or purely traditional would be to misunderstand the necessarily “bipolar” nature of manifest existence – it only seems so in relation to the aberration of West Telluria which really does deny the dual nature of being trying to reduce everything to the material/horizontal/individual dimension.

 

Avatar of Petite Sorcière

When Sushuri-chara speaks of the material/horizontal/individual dimension of existence, it may be initially a little unclear why “individual” belongs in this set as a synonym of the others. We know that explaining everything in terms of physical matter is equivalent to reducing everything to the horizontal or substantial side of existence, while ignoring the vertical or Essential side – but why is individualism SO closely connected to this?

The answer to that is that, as the logical corollary of materialism, West Tellurians must believe that the only consciousness in the universe is individual consciousness, locked up inside individual biological brains. That consciousness is not a part of any greater consciousness, nor is there any non-biological consciousness. It is for this reason that doctrinal materialism and extreme individualism have to go hand in hand.

Some Thoughts on the Japanese Concept of the House

Why the roof is the "root" of the house

Why the roof is the “root” of the house

The use of 屋 ya to mean a person of a particular character or profession is very interesting.

The root-meaning implies a house (部屋 heya = room, 屋根 yane = roof). The house is often spoken of as part of a threefold archetypal relationship – the cosmos (with, symbolically, the sun at the center), the individual (with, symbolically the heart at the center) and the house (with, symbolically, the hearth at the center). The three centers are equivalent and all reflections of the Supernal Sun, of which the physical sun is a reflection. That is why we Herthelani greet people with Rayati – “hail to the sun (in you)” referring to the solar heart.

However, the “house” does not merely mean the physical building or even the hestia taken in the modern sense, but also the group to which one belongs. English is terrible at expressing this, and the term “group” is very weak, very sterile-feeling, and really conveys nothing of the sense of words like 仲間 nakama -one’s own-people. The “in-group” to which one belongs (the common translation “in-group” is very akward because English really has no natural and customary term for it – since it has lost the concept) is called 内 uchi, which is closely related to 家 uchi or ie meaning house (very sketchily, the pronunciation ie is closer to “physical house” and uchi to “home”).

One’s uchi is essentially what one “belongs to” and one will introduce oneself as “[uchi] no [name]” – “Queen Mayanna House no Carleon” =  “[Lady] Carleon who belongs to Queen Mayanna house”. Similarly people belong to their vocation, an idea that in the world of Tellurian capitalism with its ideal of total interchangeability of persons and vocations has become meaningless (a very informative article on this from a non-West Tellurian perspective can be found here).

Interestingly the honorific -san attached after ya is regularly given to both shops and their owners. パン屋さん panyasan is both the baker’s shop and the baker (incidentally the use of the “san” for the shop is often dropped in modern Japanese male speech, but much less in feminine speech).

It is perhaps a little of a diversion to discuss why 屋根 yane – “roof” should literaly mean “house-root”. But let’s anyway! Thinking in purely material terms, West Tellurians would think of a house’s “root” as its foundations. Students may wish to compare the traditional concept of the “inverted tree” with its roots in Heaven (you will find more in this book if you scroll to chapter 53 – “The World Tree” and the following chapters). The roof of the house represents its connection with Heaven, and therefore its true root. It is through the chimney that the Star Fairy enters the house at the Northern Gate of the Year – the upper or northern gate of the house, being, of course, equivalent. The foundations of the house represent its pole of substance, while the roof represents the pole of Essence. While the material root of a house is indeed its foundation, its “superior root”, the source of its Archetype*, is symbolically the roof.

Thus, 屋根 yane = house-root = roof is metaphysically exact.

_____

* Note: the Essence of a thing is what makes it what it is, while substance enables its manifestation. Without substance a thing would be non-manifest but would still be what it is. Without Essence it would not be what it is. Therefore its Essence is the True Root. It is precisely the attempt to derive Form or Essence out of substance (and indeed not even substance itself, but merely the secondary substance called “matter”) via “evolutionism” and other forms of “accidental development” theory in physics, that unpinned the Rajasic spiritual economy of West Telluria and laid the ground for post modernism and the Eclipse.

 

PS – sorry for the horribly awkward term “spiritual economy” – as usual, English has no words for concepts it has so long discarded. I mean its essential narrative, its form-language its image-sphere connection to the roots of being.