Re : What Greg said about the mixed world

From: Simon Hibbs <>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 06:31:32 -0800

Chris Lemens :

>First off, there are (at least) three types of trees in an Aldryami Forest:
>just plain trees, trees with their own spirits, and trees with their own
>gods. However, the elf religion allows elves to participate in spirit
>practice with both animist and divine trees without the misapplied worship
>For humans, this would not normally be possible. However, things are
>different for the Elder Races. The Uz and Aldryami otherworlds "are part of
>the Underworld." (His words.) The Underworld need not differentiate
>between things as being animist, divine, or sorcerous in nature.

I think the key to this puzzle is mystical in nature. Aldryami transcend the differences between animist and divine (and perhaps sorcerous) magic through mystical means.

>So, I guess everything in the inner world is a mixture, except when its not.
>I think he might have meant that the _entirety_ of a thing must be a
>mixture, but _portions_ of things may be purely one or the other. Here, of
>course, the Forest (the entirety) is a mixture, but the tree (just a
>portion) may be purely spiritual.

I think it's more fundamental than even that. Fire, earth, air, water and darkness are suspended in an equal balance between the animist, divine and sorcerous worlds, and are equaly susceptible to forces emmanating from them. The base matter of which the world is composed is neutral to these forces, but an specific object or place may manifest one of these forces more than another.

In our world, if you remove a single atom from an apple, that atom has no 'appleness' about it. It is no different from an atome of the same element taken from a chair, or a sword. This is not so in Glorantha, where archetypical form, function and purpose are part of the world and are not just figments of our imagination.

>I wonder if part of what he meant is that the mundane material of the world
>(e.g. dirt, apart from the Earth daimon or spirit inhabiting it) is a
>combination of all otherworlds that cannot be separated into parts, so is
>kind of a common point to all....

I think so.

> ... I think this would be different from the
>Underworld, where things may belong to a particular otherworld, but that
>classification is sort of irrelevant.

Remember that everything in the underworld is dead. A thing that is alive can change, grow and transform itself. Dead things are fixed, defined and unchanging (at some fundamental, archetypal level). Sorcerous, spiritual and divine power are agents for change in the mundane world. Things and beings of the underworld can manifest animist, sorcerous or divine attributes, but they are not dynamic in the same way.

>I can't imagine what a mystic tree would be, so I doubt that one, unless it
>is Aldrya herself.

I believe so.

Simon Hibbs

End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #308

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