Five Breaths and Initiation

From: Douglas Seay <douglas-seay_at_ccKVEhqlAq-LflXyBh7_e0uvWdlPM1JyQDpwF11L2t_wGlX9nJbbCFcG2cvSXDn>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 22:49:16 -0500

Greg Stafford wrote:
> Nonetheless, I share it here in its raw and unfinished form in the hopes
> that it may provoke discussion that will provide me with the insight
> that I want. So in advance I ask the people to speculate, reason and
> intuit on this; and share that! And also, to those whose ideas might be
> rejected, please forgive that.

OK, I'll bite. My line of reasoning isn't the same as what Boris posted last week.

> The Five Souls
> g Shadow, Darkness
> i Blood, Water
> h Body, Flesh & bones & organs, earth
> j Heat, fire
> f Breath, Air

This got me thinking that clan initiation should do something to awaken/test each of these 5 breaths. Stations, if you will. For Darkness, the Second Son myth seemed pretty obvious. Air could simply be meeting Orlanth and proving yourself worthy. Likewise Earth might be meeting Ernalda and learning about life. Not everything has to be difficult. I just don't have any obvious ideas for Fire and Water.

For Fire, something involving the Lightbringers would be cool. My first thought was witnessing the First Dawn, but that sounds kinda dull and pointless. Maybe being a spectator at the Great Compromise? That sounds pretty tough for a 15 year old. The other thing that came to mind was Elmal, but what would that cover that Second Son doesn't? What does that leave? Orlanth slaying the Evil Emperor? The battle of Night and Day?

Water is even worse. As "blood" it could be "meet the ancestors and have them accept you", but that isn't very watery. Heler is mentioned for 1) switching sides and 2) personal loyalty to Orlanth. Not much to go with.

Another idea I had was that Fire and Water are two "open ended" tests. The would-be adult must react to two situations, vaguely related to water and fire. If the initiate grabs a sword, the a warrior life is in the works. Saving people, avoiding monsters, solving riddles, or whatever could give hints as to the future life of this child. But again, how would that be awakening/testing a breath?

Does this seems completely off base? If not, does anyone have any ideas to fill in the blanks?

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