Magical Mix'n'Match: Henotheists, devotees.

From: Alex Ferguson (
Date: Thu 02 Sep 1999 - 03:37:00 EEST

Peter Metcalfe:
> I think this is the wrong way to treat henotheist magicians. Their
> magicians will concentrate on one form or the other with Clergy and
> Sorcerers of the Invisible God and his Saints and Priests of Orlanth

> etc.

Hrm. You mean you get both, distinctly, inside a single tradition?
(Or that in different henotheist sects you get one or the other?)

> Greg reckons it is very difficult to reconcile theistic and sorcerous
> magic (unlike Theism/Shamanism that the Orlanthi do).

To neither agree nor disagree with Peter here (unless he diagrees
that I'm agreeing or disagreeing), I'd like to opine that the
Orlanthi method doesn't necessarily reconcile theism and animism[*],
as such. Henotheism pretty much takes two pre-existing traditions,
and 'combines' them (with as Peter says, more or less success);
'Orlanthism' is a tradition unto itself, which exists in a God Learner
sense at an 'intermediate point' between the two idealised modes of
magic, pure theism, and pure animism. Maybe this tradition is
somehow synthesied from these destinct elements, but the _Orlanthi_
don't think so, and if so it was long enough ago, and the cracks
are well polyfilla'd in by now. Maybe it's possible to better
reconcile theism and materialism: you just need to Try Harder,
for an Age or four?

[*] Shamanism isn't my favourite term for what the Orlanthi are
'one-thirds', but animism isn't a heckuvalot better, if at all
My understanding is that what this boils down to is having a
personal, devotional relationship with _a_ god, over and above
the 'correct' theist approach of a sacrificial relationship,
with the whole pantheon.

This doesn't really relate directly to Kolatings, btw. They're
just a bunch of crazy old fellahs out in the woods.

> So it would be meaningless to think of a henotheist sorcerer that
> worships Gods.

Not meaningless, as such, but strongly predisposed to the materialist
take, and hence basically 'reducing' gods to 'saints', or whatever,
which doubtless isn't very magically effective. Or contrariwise,
if your approach is primarily theistic, it means your relationship
with the Invisible God, and the magical method of sorcery, is Odd.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 18:51:46 EEST