Re: Grimoires and sorcery

From: Greg Stafford <glorantha1_at_5fBIxTVOIfgSPGJ6uFNzy8gmpBiKLrSoZBC2VYLXKl0G4p9s4e82MarXGO2BgLiVy>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 19:49:06 -0700

YGWV On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM, Ian Cooper <>wrote:

> wrote:
> >
> > It is widely held in Western thought that the answer to everything is in
> the Abiding book. It may be in plain sight, it may require a metaphorical
> understanding, or it may be in a complex code, but most Malkioni believe
> that within the Abiding Book are the keys to understanding the Laws of
> Creation.

Except in Loskalm, of course.
But mostly true nonetheless.

Would saints really be the teachers of 'readings' of the Abiding Book then.

Sure, some of them.
Not among the Rokari, though; who attempt to keep everyone except the(ir) Church illiterate and ignorant.
Surely there are several among the Hrestoli, though.

> Less formal than some sorcerous school, based on insight instead of
> academic study, but 'revealed' in how that reading lets you shape the world
> through magic - the spells. Of course most people would be unable to read
> exactly as their saint has done, every reading being a slightly new
> interpretation, in most cases their being weaker as a result, but in some
> cases gaining new insights that might lead to their being regarded as saints
> in turn if they can popularize their raiding.

"Reading" surely.
And this is how I see it to be, some times.

Wizards would presumably belong to sorcerous schools that had a far more
> systematized approach to 'revealing' the secrets of the book, looking for
> approaches that maximized the number of spells that could be learned. This
> could be Peter's thesis.

Peter's approach using the Thesis is wonderful. I like the idea that it is likely from, ultimately, Sog City teachings. This is a great idea for a specific organization to utilize and promote, to test and exploit.

> Presumably using the school's approach scholars would try to create a
> thesis that can wring the greatest or most useful number of spells from a
> reading.

That is one presumption, but not everyone is a mini maxer, and I always try to remember that most people are not, nor are they especially logical. I can imagine grimoires dedicated to the growing of blue flowers, to internal decorating, hair styles, poison control, etc.

The western mystic presumably sees all such readings as stunted visions of
> the all - the truth that can be gained by understanding the whole revelation
> of the Abiding Book.

I'd have to call this guy an Abiding Book mystic.

Now, my reason for picking and picking here is that there is no one way that sorceres do it, wizards, priests and so on; any more than there is one way for us on Earth.

Look at all the crazy theories that exist for us today, ranging (for instance) in Creation between from the Big Bang to the manifestation of an abstraction through less subtle rays of energy to The Word to a benevolent goddess, a malicious god or an genderless entity masturbating while sitting on the Rock of Existence.

Now, anyone would be hard pessed to tell what these all have in common, and so it would be really, really difficult for us today to say "People who are intrested in the Creation of the world (fill in the blank)."

If it was a thought process insgead, could we say, "Everyone who places logic before intuition (fill in the blank)" or even "Everyone who believes in the preeminence of Science (fill int he blank.)"

However, we can easily say, precisely if we know the jargon, "Physicists agree on the speed of sound, and therefore (fill in the blank)" or "The Society of the Golden Dawn believed (fill in the blank) or "The Neoplatonists believes (fill etc)."

I would really, really love to see some of this debate energy going to concrete Gloranthan constructs, whether they are philosophies, dogmas or speculative heroquesting cults.

Then some of the debate and discussion could be around, "What would this mean in (my) Glorantha..." and we could see some of the philosophies and debates in the West emerge from this.

I don't mean that the scripture need to be written, but it might be fun to start with what other Scriptures state (Dream of Snodal, etc.) and work out its philosophical ramifications, which might have ramifications in the social world (what they wear or eat, where they say, customs and superstitions, who they like and dislike, etc.) Then the West will become fleshed out, and the intracies of some of their feuds and magical strife be visible for play, for publication.

Just a constant idea I keep having while watching the debates...

Greg Stafford
Game Designer

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