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Picking apart the Gloranthan calendar's weeks


PhilHibbs

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Working on the wheel thing (which I should have posted here, not in RuneQuest) has started me thinking.

The Gloranthan season is 8 weeks long, and each week corresponds to a Power Rune. I knew that.

Each pair of weeks is an opposed pair. Not sure if I had noticed that before. Disorder, Harmony. Death,Fertility. Stasis, Movement. Illusion, Truth.

What can we say about the order of the runes within the pairs though?

Based on certain assumptions, the "bad" rune is first, and the "good" rune is second. Harmony, Fertility, Movement, Truth. These are good things. Disorder, Death, Stasis, Illusion, these things are associated with negative ideas. This is of course subjective, don't tell any Humakti I said this!

What else? Is the order related to Gloranthan cosmology? No, because harmony came before disorder, and fertility before death, but stasis did come before movement. Illusion and truth? Not sure. But there is no consistency in that respect.

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One possibility: the procession of the Powers is related to the basic mechanics of seasonal change. As the season changes, the old season needs to be broken up via Disorder, leaving behind Harmony. The remnants of the old season are cut away with Death, allowing Fertility to emerge. Now, we are at the midpoint of the season, when it is at its strongest, and this creates Stasis- but as the season begins to weaken, Movement dominates. The Illusion that the season will go on forever pops up, but the Truth that all things come to an end closes the season out and the cycle starts up again. 

(There's no Moon Season because the Moon is preoccupied with making sure this delicate balancing act runs reasonably well. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

but as the season begins to weaken, Movement dominates. The Illusion that the season will go on forever pops up, but the Truth that all things come to an end closes the season out and the cycle starts up again. 

Or as the I Ching* might say


Movement is accomplished in six stages and the seventh brings return
The seven is the number of the young light
It forms when darkness is increased by one.
Change returns success

* and Pink Floyd was given to add...


Going and coming without error.
Action brings good fortune.
Sunset.
The time is with the month of winter solstice
When the change is due to come.
Thunder in the other course of heaven.
Things cannot be destroyed once and for all.
Change returns success
Going and coming without error.
Action brings good fortune.
Sunset, sunrise."

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/5/2020 at 8:50 AM, PhilHibbs said:

Working on the wheel thing (which I should have posted here, not in RuneQuest) has started me thinking.

The Gloranthan season is 8 weeks long, and each week corresponds to a Power Rune. I knew that.

Each pair of weeks is an opposed pair. Not sure if I had noticed that before. Disorder, Harmony. Death,Fertility. Stasis, Movement. Illusion, Truth.

What can we say about the order of the runes within the pairs though?

Based on certain assumptions, the "bad" rune is first, and the "good" rune is second. Harmony, Fertility, Movement, Truth. These are good things. Disorder, Death, Stasis, Illusion, these things are associated with negative ideas. This is of course subjective, don't tell any Humakti I said this!

What else? Is the order related to Gloranthan cosmology? No, because harmony came before disorder, and fertility before death, but stasis did come before movement. Illusion and truth? Not sure. But there is no consistency in that respect.

You make a really good point Phil.

The runes of the weeks are set up in terms of duels in my mind.  These runes effectively merge into each other.  Disorder produces the need for Harmony.  Harmony ends in death.  Death is defeated by rebirth.  Life forms habits with stasis but becomes complacent.  Movement shakes up that stasis but creates misunderstandings of Illusion.  Misunderstandings are sorted out by Truth but then the damage is done and disorder asserts itself.

I like to see this as "the dance of the Net".  That when the gods used the net to trap Kajabor, they set themselves into oppositions, holding the net, and that net itself became both a trap and a garment for the new god.  The trap orders the entropy and turns it into the more manageable collapse of Time, and the tendency to fall apart is mitigated by these oppositions.  Disorder gives way to Harmony.  Death gives way to Life. etc.  Of course the real world is not like that, and everything is harder to comprehend and predict, or every year would be a mirror of every other year as the day orders are always the same, yet clearly history doesn't care and does what it wants on whatever day is convenient.  

Remember also that this whole calendric order is a God Learner construct.  Do the runes really affect the world in this order or is that just confirmation bias?  We hear harmony, we look for harmony.  We hear death, we look for death.  Is this all just an elaborate imposition of order where none intrinsically exists?  We might well ask why every year in Glorantha IS different.  I'm sure Mostali see this as a failure of the movements of the world machine.  And of course the answer is simple.  Entropy is caused by heat, so we need to put out the Sun until the mechanism is properly restored.  Oh wait, we tried that...

Edited by Darius West
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