Re: Midsummer Madness

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@interzone.ucc.ie)
Date: Tue 17 Feb 1998 - 23:00:11 EET


Nick Brooke gets reductionistic, are at least, reduction-prone:
> The "Summer Stars" aren't worth bothering with,

Or if they are, making them a Special Case seems less egregious than
making the whole sub-Lower Circle Sky Dome an entity unto itself,
with previously unguessed-at powers of counter-rotation.

> having Yelm move blithely through Pole Position, twice, without
> any major festivities, seems unnecessary to me.

At least, the festivities that occur don't seem very Solar ones.

> You can keep the Perfect Midsummer and the "big and small quarters"
> (with associated Significant Dates) without succumbing to the dreaded
> Northern Tilt, IMO.

Oh, absolutely. Steve's model did give some excuse for the assymetry,
though.

> Sacred Time =3D/=3D Midwinter, for a variety of reasons. First up, it
> heralds the start of Spring, not the middle of Winter.

Certainly the Orlanthi one does, and I admit I was playing fast and
loose with the idea of a Universal Sacred Time by even mooting it.
But it does fit in with the idea of midwinter as Solar New Year,
hence the obvious place for a festival of rebirth.

> Second up, unless we junk the pleasantly-plausible "Yelm's HHD =3D
> Midsummer" equation (mine, I admit), it can't work.

Don't follow. That was part of the original reason I proposed it, in
fact. YHHD would be day 141 (or 140) of the calendar; Sacred Time
are the "unoffical" days of the calendar (and yet not of it!) (281-294).

> Third up, the comparable RW festivals (inc. Easter and Ramadan) are
> nearer the Spring Eq. than the Winter Sol. (IIRC)

Ramadan is between the two, but is closer to the WS, if we're going
to split weeks. Unless you mean Eid, the actual festival bit, which I
think is technically after Ramadan, which is about equidistant, really.
But this merely begs the question of which we should be "comparing" it
to. (Insert lengthy list of midwinter festivals.)

> Fourth up, Midwinter's Night becomes
> a whopping great Troll celebration, so we add to the jollity of
> Glorantha by distinguishing this from Sacred Time.

Not very convincing; the major Dark Season troll festival is several
weeks away from midwinter anyhoo.

Congratulations on resisting the Dark Side of 7-Up jokes. A weaker
man might have padded (even more!) shamelessly... (See Monty
Python for details... "4 up: There is no 4-up." "No poofters!")

> I'm not sure the Bendy Light theory need be taken much further than
> the "horizon effect" (and its concommitant "over-the-horizon Farsee
> spin-off").

For my money, I'm not sure it need be taken further than about three
miles offshore, and ceremoniously sunk! But if we're gonna have it,
we surely should try and have it semi-consistently. Having Celestial
Light be quantatively, provably different from any other sort --
including reflected Celestial Light, presumably, seems yet more goofiness
in an already goof-rich theory.

Is it, though, a Bad Thing to have pseudo-latitude type astronomical
affects? It spares us having the same sky monotonously everywhere,
and adds some more confusion to the "Round Glorantha" debate, which
has got to be good!

["Hamlet's Mill" and "Astronomy and the Imagination"]

I'm intruiged. Do you have any publication/availability dope on these,
and come to that, any precis cum capsule reviews?

Slainte,
Alex.

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