> I still find the Xeotam dialogues very surprising. I always conceived of Western sorcerers using their personal magic to manipulate impersonal runic powers that effected the world, and had a very different understanding of mythic history. Instead, the Xeotam dialogues are very specific that Western sorcerers use their personal magic to manipulate anthopomorphised powers that they understand as gods, and actually the Westerners have a very similar understanding of many events of mythic history (differing on their interpretation and significance, sure).
Yes, that is correct.
> Western magic as described here sounds a lot like Neo-Platonist theurgy (which conceived of the pagan gods as subordinate lesser gods to the one true god), rather than like Kabbalah or Hermetic systems like planetary sorcery etc that conceive of the powers they manipulate only as impersonal, emanations of the one true god. Henotheism and orthodox sorcery seem a lot closer - a matter of making a misunderstanding of how to interact with the same entities.
Again, this is correct. That being said, some henotheist sects replace the Invisible God with another Supreme, Allpowerful God. For example, the most dynamic sect in Ralios is the Henotheist movement of Surantyr the Nonheretic. Surantyr posits that Orlanth is the one Supreme Deity, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all, and that other deities are important and deserve worship for their aid and protection.
Other Ralian (and Fronelan) sects revere the Invisible God, but worship other deities for their aid and protection. The line between monotheist Malkionism and henotheism can get blurry and has been a source of great problems in the past. For example, Hrestol's own Brithini father married a goddess and sired a dynasty of demigod kings who worshipped the native gods of Seshnela along with the Invisible God.
> I'd also like to mention John Dee's angel magic here - his system, where you can conjure up angels with very specific attributes and powers from lists of hundreds, by virtue of calculating their name in the one true language in complex charts, also seems to resonate as a model for this more anthropomorphic version of sorcery.
Absolutely. And this is something many Malkioni do. So a typical spell may summon and compel a magical entity to perform a specific task (such as making a sword sharp, making someone fall in love, making it rain, or whatever). Why else do you think the God Learners spent so much time studying the myths of other people?
> There is also the odd little revelation that the Westerns feel that any hero who descended to the Underworld and is reborn is a form of minor god, and usually capable of shapeshifting and more or less astral travel as 'standard' powers. This is a pretty interesting revelation to say the least. Would other Gloranthans regard this as true?
That's a more common belief than people might suspect.
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