Re: Pentan shamanic tradition

From: salimondo <martinglass_at_...>
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2012 19:38:57 -0000

If it were me, the old "Tale of the Horse" in which Hippogriff was dismembered and reconstructed always read like a textbook Central Asian shamanic initiation rite. The apprentice endures "a series of painful and humiliating experiences" designed to forcibly sever him from his old life in the tribe. Limbs and organs are removed and god provides magical replacements. Roll abstracted POW vs POW (or whatever) to succeed.

The twist here is that the apprentice identifies with both horse and horsebreaker at various points in the ritual -- Hippogriff and Hyalor -- and the result should be a composite entity who can function simultaneously in both worlds.

This has the Gloranthan Fun dividend of making the shamans weird and transgressive even in Pentan society where men always ride horses. Normally the newborn shaman is considered the rider and the fetch is the spiritual "horse." But not always. Sometimes the fetch rides you. (For more Asian flavor, the famous zen "ox herding pictures" provide a nice sequence.)            

Powered by hypermail