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Tell Me About Invisible Orlanth


dumuzid

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12 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

I refer your honour  to Exhibit A — which has Orlanth outside the universe, though they didn’t go there: it is just what they are.

As I — feebly! — grasp it, IG has at least two functions: (a) to be removed from Creation; (b) to be top god, above mere saints and burtae. So I made Yelm/top god the Inside and Orlanth the Outside. The One and the Zero. Then Orlanth’s blow against Yelm was reimagined as an act of mutual benefit, an opening of communication between Inside and Outside, rather than a murder. None of this would be accepted by orthodox Malkioni, Orlanthi, or Yelmies, of course; they would rightly say that it does violence to their subtle, beautiful, and true cosmologies.

All the astrological/astronomical stuff and the stepping outside of the universe fits with the plundered Mithraism, too. (Though, again, not in-keeping with real Mithraism, whatever the hell that was like.)

And we all know what we find outside the universe … [cue spooky music]

Mmm. I think I would say that the functional role of the Invisible God in a Malkioni context is to distinguish between the demiurgic Malkion and the greater being that all Malkioni (including Brithini) agreed must have created the ultimately flawed Malkion. But of course in the Revealed Mythologies material, creation proceeds through the various manifestations of Malkion, all of whom have their own names, except for the initial progression from 1 -> 3 (Matter, Energy, Intellect). So in this Malkioni context the Invisible God is invisible because it predates any means of detecting its existence. 

And by the time that the Carmanians are engaged in their anabasis, the broad split over whether to understand the demiurge as good or evil is already taking place, and Syranthir's people are firmly on the Irensavelist/"evil demiurge" side, which they assign the name Makan (in response to the Makanist propositions of certain God Learner groups yada yada). Once they've developed their own religious identity, though, they reframe matters so that there's a good demiurge and a bad demiurge who are initially equals, and then the Revealed Mythologies Malkion the Seer/Sacrifice is reframed as a servant of the good demiurge. 

So I think that equating Yelm = Idovanus and Orlanth = Ganesataurus doesn't really work, because nobody else in Glorantha sees them as initially social equals/twin siblings, Yelm really isn't depicted in a demiurgic role of creating the material world, and of course, there's that whole Truth and Lies thing with Idovanus and Ganesataurus. I think that Lodril and Dayzatar are both better equations for Idovanus (Dayzatar probably somewhat better as a truth-associated deity and an abstract being of light, but Lodril does make things with his hands) and Ganesataurus, if you have to equate them with anybody, would probably be best-equated with Kazkurtum = Basko, a celestial entity of Darkness with the Illusion Rune, and so associated somewhat with lies and deception. Or with Trickster, if you want to make Trickster malevolent enough, and then the Yelm and Orlanth battle would be an example of the kind of lesser skirmishes between Truth and Lies where it may be unclear who's on what side, just enough to satisfy sun-worship and storm-worship and get the Light and Dark phases in. 

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

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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17 minutes ago, Eff said:

So I think that equating Yelm = Idovanus and Orlanth = Ganesataurus doesn't really work … Yelm really isn't depicted in a demiurgic role of creating the material world, and of course, there's that whole Truth and Lies thing with Idovanus and Ganesataurus. I think that Lodril and Dayzatar are both better equations for Idovanus … and Ganesataurus, if you have to equate them with anybody, would probably be best-equated with Kazkurtum … and then the Yelm and Orlanth battle would be an example of the kind of lesser skirmishes between Truth and Lies where it may be unclear who's on what side

Dayzatar–Yelm–Lodril is collapsible or telescopic entity like Humakt–Orlanth–Urox and Ernalda and her sisters, right? All also with the possibility of “really” being the previous generation — if you squint and if there’s an “R” in the month.

The binary I have gone for is Yelm is Everything (you don’t have to create the world if you are it, so no demiurge rôle on offer) and Orlanth is Nothing. And Orlanth was always Yelm’s shadow, right? (The Shadow of the Sun is an odd rôle.) And to confront one’s shadow is to confront oneself, no? But who needs to tell this story as a murder and (something of) a reconciliation, again? Hence the two mini-myths telling the same story from the Inside and the Outside and the poaching of bits of Mithras who maybe only looks a bit like Iranian (Carmanian/Malkioni) Mithra but is “really” a Roman invention (Dara Happan–Theyalan mash-up) in a Phrygian cap and a nice frock.

Cave–Universe–Underworld, Lightbringer quest (i.e. the solar cycle just-so story), Orlanth–Mithras picnicking with Yelm–Sol–themself — it can all be jiggled into place. This isn’t archaeology or the history of religion, this is making shit up. New religious movements should give the old myths — but not necessarily the old believers — a bit of a shoeing.

As for Truth and Lies, I will settle for True (1) and False (0). Happily, our line is supposed to be our Shadow and our circle our Sun, so we get the desired symbolic instability. And is our winged lion god the Sun — per Carmanian iconography — or Ahriman (Orlanth as Kajabor given a bit of the love they deserve) per Legge?

I used to think Kazkurtum was just dead Yelm. Was I always wrong (usually the best bet), or did things get unnecessarily complicated over the years?

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OK, a few thoughts on the Invisible Orlanth. We all know that the Invisible Orlanth movement holds that Orlanth is an emanation of Idovanus, sent to liberate the world of Ganesatarus. Orlanth is invisible because he is in hiding until it is time for him to strike against Ganesatarus. 

Although the Invisible Orlanth is inspired by the Theyalan Orlanth cult, it is not the Orlanth cult we all know - like the Roman Mithras its actual continuity with the Theyalan cult is debatable. It might provide some Rune magic to its initiates though, such as Summon/Command/Dismiss Air Elemental, Cloud Call, etc (I'm still uncertain about that). Or maybe it doesn't, and it is only a philosophical/prophetic movement. What matters is that it says that Orlanth is HERE but invisible (for now). 

The Invisible God movement is certainly politically problematic for the West Reaches. The Lunar Governor wants it proclaimed a heresy by the Heirophant, but Brostangian refuses. Many of the Carmanian viziers want it proclaimed a heresy as well, but again Brostangian refuses. Whether this is because of kinship, manipulation by his mother, or genuine belief that it is not a heresy, nobody knows for certain (best bet is all three).  

Invisible Orlanth gets tied into all sorts of mangled prophecies of the Hero Wars. Is this somehow a glimpse of Harrek and Argrath? Of the lifting of the Ban in Charg? Of the fall of the Red Moon or the demise of the Lunar Empire?

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4 hours ago, Jeff said:

OK, a few thoughts on the Invisible Orlanth. We all know that the Invisible Orlanth movement holds that Orlanth is an emanation of Idovanus, sent to liberate the world of Ganesatarus. Orlanth is invisible because he is in hiding until it is time for him to strike against Ganesatarus. 

Although the Invisible Orlanth is inspired by the Theyalan Orlanth cult, it is not the Orlanth cult we all know - like the Roman Mithras its actual continuity with the Theyalan cult is debatable. It might provide some Rune magic to its initiates though, such as Summon/Command/Dismiss Air Elemental, Cloud Call, etc (I'm still uncertain about that). Or maybe it doesn't, and it is only a philosophical/prophetic movement. What matters is that it says that Orlanth is HERE but invisible (for now). 

The Invisible God movement is certainly politically problematic for the West Reaches. The Lunar Governor wants it proclaimed a heresy by the Heirophant, but Brostangian refuses. Many of the Carmanian viziers want it proclaimed a heresy as well, but again Brostangian refuses. Whether this is because of kinship, manipulation by his mother, or genuine belief that it is not a heresy, nobody knows for certain (best bet is all three).  

Invisible Orlanth gets tied into all sorts of mangled prophecies of the Hero Wars. Is this somehow a glimpse of Harrek and Argrath? Of the lifting of the Ban in Charg? Of the fall of the Red Moon or the demise of the Lunar Empire?

It could simply be politics. The Lunars see Orlanth as a threat, so by dragging his feet on squashing an Orlanth manifestation the Hierophant gets to demonstrate independence, proves he is not a Lunar pawn, and maybe squeezes some concessions. 

The fact Invisible Orlanth leaders haven't suffered an unfortunate accident during a full moon IMO suggests they have access to some impressive magic.

Edited by EricW
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If Invisible Orlanth is really not very connected to the Orlanth cult, and sees Orlanth as an emanation of the Invisible God, it’s really ended up in quite a similar place theologically to Lokaymadon’s Tarumath cult, only via Carmanian/sorcerous reasoning, rather than mystical, hasn’t it? Taking the primal power of Storm that is bigger than Orlanth, because you understand it’s cosmic importance, without having to pay too much attention to those quarrelsome hill barbarians. If anyone wants to make it into part of a great world threatening conspiracy etc, that sounds like an element worth throwing in. Though I prefer the ‘embrace the dark side’ turn the tool of Ganesaturus to the ends of Idovanus interpretation myself, it’s always good to have a few competing interpretations for this kind of thing. 

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6 hours ago, EricW said:

The fact Invisible Orlanth leaders haven't suffered an unfortunate accident during a full moon IMO suggests they have access to some impressive magic.

Or Lunar magic, so there is no shift in relative power. On the other hand, if all the IO cultists are within the Glowline (are they?), is there a cycle to worry about. Most likely — due to my own ignorance — I miss your point.

6 hours ago, davecake said:

Though I prefer the ‘embrace the dark side’ turn the tool of Ganesaturus to the ends of Idovanus interpretation myself

Certainly embrace the complementary power if indeed it is not the same power — perhaps we are better off thinking of a Möbius strip or a Klein bottle than a two-sided coin. As for ends, perhaps they are the cultists’ and not the god’s, possibly making it trickier for the ruling class to manipulate. (And maybe we can nick a cell structure from Mithras, although that was not a subversive cult.)

6 hours ago, davecake said:

it’s always good to have a few competing interpretations for this kind of thing

The more, the merrier!

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From Jeff on Greg’s deep Lunar synthesis:

Quote

Zolathi source of the Mystical … shunned all magic use, and claimed to be in touch with the Gods beyond the Gods. They were immune to many magics …

new Carmanian Learnings, such as the recognition of Idovanus … to be the Universal Harmoniser …

a very old and simple form of Western philosophy which sees creation beginning with a physical form.

Hmm … IO as the balancer of the mystical and the materialist. Maybe another possible source of @EricW’s proposed Moonproofness. Something to toughen up what may be “only a philosophical/prophetic movement” — I would rather be a gyroscope than a hand grenade.

Edited by mfbrandi
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The effect for me of IO is twofold. As I said above, if Orlanth is on the side of righteousness, then we can be friends with Charg, and Talastar, and Brolia... And if Rebellus Terminus follows Idovanus, the Yelm hierarchy and the Lunar Empire are on Ganesatarus side, which justifies breaking up with the Empire, making friends with the Storm Pentans, and maybe with the Solar Pentans as well, if it can be justified Kargzant is the sun freed of Ganesatarus influence.

It is not the magic, it is the change of paradigm. 

 

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7 minutes ago, JRE said:

The effect for me of IO is twofold. As I said above, if Orlanth is on the side of righteousness, then we can be friends with Charg, and Talastar, and Brolia... And if Rebellus Terminus follows Idovanus, the Yelm hierarchy and the Lunar Empire are on Ganesatarus side, which justifies breaking up with the Empire, making friends with the Storm Pentans, and maybe with the Solar Pentans as well, if it can be justified Kargzant is the sun freed of Ganesatarus influence.

It is not the magic, it is the change of paradigm. 

 

There are certainly shake ups going on in the West Reaches. It (and its ambitions and threats) been locked behind the Ban for a long time and soon that is all going to be lifted. The Red Emperor has morphed from a Carmanian shah to a Dara Happan emperor in a little over a century. Treasures have been lost into pointless wars in Dragon Pass, while little is being done to defend the West Reaches for what happens when the Ban lifts.

Invisible Orlanth factors into that (remember the satrap of Bindle is a big supporter, as are his warriors), as does the machinations of the Taloned Countess.

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I read in one of the UFO books by Jacques Vallee that UFO contactees have several shared characteristics.  Among these are psychic abilities, and a compulsive need to write.  So I figure Saranko encounters the Lightning Chariot (his UFO), hears the voice of Invisible Orlanth, writes about it and suddenly he is the Carmanian Joseph Smith (Book of Mormon), or John Ballou Newbrough (Oahspe), and his as yet unnamed book is a hit with the local population. 

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