Divination: A Comprehensive Guide
A Comprehensive Guide to Divination in Elanthia is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
A Comprehensive Guide to Divination in Elanthia
I write to you, my colleagues, to express my joy in my completed work, A Comprehensive Guide to Divination in Elanthia, and to provide you with a copy of it. I have dedicated a great deal of my life to its creation. The work has been extensive, my travels, in observation of the various forms of divination used by religious orders, races, and cultures in Elanthia, amazing, and my studies rewarding. It is my hope that a better understanding of divination can be a bridge between the peoples of Elanthia and, as some of the wandering seers of the lands believe, a neutral ground where we can all meet to share our ideas.
The art of divination has long been in the lands of Elanthia and has followed us through many changes. It can be said, and is often debated upon, that the first prophet of the lands was an elf in origin, which is usually immediately followed by an argument in relation to the Lord Jastev being its originator. The debate can then further devolve into a religious discussion whereby Gosaena's name will be brought up and, with fervor, those mentioning her will point out that it is her ability to divine which soul passes to her at what time that can be considered the foundation of divination. Others will interject that Lady Lorminstra is also granted this power by her ability to decipher which souls are worthy of return, but then more still will interject that Arkati as a whole use divination as a tool by which to share their otherworldly wisdom, advice, and influence. And yet still, some small faction of individuals will claim that Zelia too had a hand in fashioning the first seers, for aren't most seers touched by her loose grasp on the reins of sanity? They will also argue, though none can provide proof, that she has a day of warning, surely she must have warned against something.
The word divination is fashioned of two parts. It is easy for us to see that -tion has a standardized meaning throughout Elanthia and means "the act of", while divina- means the divine. Whether this means that we gain this ability from the Divine Arkati or that the very act of using the ability and study is divine can never been found to be clear. Searching through many tomes and manuscripts, both new and old, provides no clear answer on the source or originator of this art.
Yet, the fact remains that divination is alive and certainly has been proven to be accurate and reliable. This can be noted by examples of prophets speaking out in our history. If you look at the very distant past you can find the name of the elf Noi'sho'rah, who is given credit for prophesying the coming of Despana. In more recent years, the Oracle Urutei Meigeath of the giantman clans prophesied the arrival of the comet in the year 5102, and Lord Ulstram Chanerser, the prophet of Lorminstra, foresaw the coming of the Gryphon Sword War.
It should also be noted that those who use the Art - often referred to as those that are "gifted" with the ability, or simply referenced as "he or she has the gift", - seem to be drawn together by a bond of camaraderie that spans religion, race, culture, and even war. They are many times joined together by their common belief that their ability can aid, though they may often be persecuted or condemned as doomsayers. Indeed, many times those that receive visions are labeled "insane," "misguided," and a number of unsavory epithets. Yet, at every corner you can find a practitioner and clients that flock to them for answers.
A wide variety of names have been assigned to those that use this art and can range from oracle to prophet, seer to diviner, scryvner to gypsy. In the end, it doesn't matter what name they go by because no matter where you are in Elanthia a practitioner of the art of divination can be found.
Learning the art, or craft as some call it, varies from culture to culture, land to land, and sometimes even family to family. There are those of the giantman clans that train the art of divination as a craft. It is due to this unique perspective that the clans are the first race that will be discussed in this tome.
Nomadic are the clans of the Giantmen and their secrets run deep. History is shared by oral recitation and their lores are their own. Methods of Divination among the clans can vary, with some experiencing visions, as in the case of Oracle Urutei Meigeath, while others can utilize simple means of divination by using a rod that will guide them to water.
One particular method of Divination is something called Ikarrak - simply put Vision Rock - and is employed by certain members of the Ariame Clan. This art is taught by the pairing of a mentor with an apprentice and follows various stages as any other craft does. Those interested, or those gifted as is usually the case, are paired with their mentor at a relatively young age and begin minor tasks that will guide them on a path to understanding the runestones. The apprentice learns through observation, study, and by the completion of tasks set forth by the mentor. The process can take many years and be filled with tasks whereby the apprentice never knows if they have achieved their mastery until they are specifically given that title.
Indeed, in this unit there is no rank other then mentor and apprentice. When an apprentice is finally given the title of mentor it can frequently be said that the bond between the pairing has grown to such a degree that the apprentice will only accept the title of mentor when his or her own is no longer able to complete the task of divination. It is only then that the apprentice will become the mentor and take on an apprentice of their own, while frequently providing care for their own mentor in the case of old age.
Part of learning this art is not confined to the ability to memorize what each rune on the stones mean, but in the ability to create the runes and their place in clan life. Typically, the mentor will provide services for the band they travel with that range from inscribing runes on items of value to blessing and then, of course, the service of divination.
Typically, and most frequently, the runestones are found contained in a basket woven of natural, yet stiff, material. Fronds, river reeds, sea grasses, and other pliable but firm items are used in its creation and then dyed to colors that are appealing to the practitioner. The stones are also natural and it can be understood that a mentor and apprentice will search their entire lives for smooth stones that are uniform to one another. Once a set of forty-two identical or nearly identical stones is accumulated they are painted with symbols that fall into four categories - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Translation of the stones varies very little amongst the Ariame Clan, though many of the other clans have either their own complete set of translations or an adaptation of the base translation that the Ariame use. And while there are forty-two stones painted for this use, it is not confined to only forty-two translations, for if the rune is drawn upside-down, or inverted as the practitioners favor, then there is a completely different meaning for the stone. This allows that there are a grand total of eighty-four possible outcomes for one basket.
However, to further complicate the matter, the runestones are never drawn alone. Depending upon the elemental magics used to bond a basket to its owner, the runestones are frequently drawn in groups of three, six, and nine. Each of these groups is read as a whole and not alone.
Amongst the elves, the Art of Divination has wildly different schools of thought and varies from house to house and from city to city. A fine example of this can be seen by the difference in the reaction that an individual might receive from an elf of Ta'Vaalor and one from Ta'Loenthra. While the Loenthran elf may wish to sit and have a cup of tea with you, the Vaalorian would rather bid you leave for believing in such nonsense.
Indeed, it is by the use of tea that the Loenthran elf practices the art. It is believed that the future of an individual can be discerned by the remains left within a cup of tea that was properly brewed and consumed by the individual seeking an answer. When translating the tea leaves, the practitioner must consider a wide variety of symbols, letters, and images that can be found within the cup. However, before any of that can be done, there are certain rituals that must be observed.
First, the tea must be properly brewed by bringing a kettle or pot to a rolling boil. An infuser filled with the tea of choice must be added and then allowed to steep to a potency that is pleasing to the individual that is seeking the divination. While this all seems terribly simple and ordinary at first glance, when in the company of a Loenthran Diviner it is easy to see that it is truly an art form fashioned of style, grace, and dedication to genuinely aiding others.
Once the tea has been consumed, the cup is carefully examined for where the tea leaves are located. If they are found to be high within the bowl of the cup, then the time of the prediction is to be in the distance, while low in the cup means that the time is nearer to hand. Is there a place where the bottom of the cup is clear? If so, then it is suggested that the querent needs to find time to relax and rest. Clustered leaves can mean busy days, while a single leaf floating means that a friend will be at the forefront of the prediction.
The elven term for this type of divination roughly translates in common to "intention left in leaving", meaning that the drinker leaves behind clues to his future in the leavings at the bottom of his or her teacup. There are literally thousands of combinations to be considered when this method is used. A base of one-hundred and five symbols is looked for which can provide up to two hundred and ten possible translations, as each symbol can also be translated for a completely different meaning. A brief translation is provided herein, though there are many gaps in the chart.
Also clinging to a more naturalistic approach to the Art, the Ardenai have developed a method of Divination called Wind-sight. The manner in which this particular form is employed is rather simplistic and involves a querent drawing near to mind the question or matter that they seek to have resolved. After careful meditation, the individual must go outside to a clearing and carry with them some manner of natural debris. Dirt, leaves - oak leaves are popular for this - or even flower petals are lifted above the head and then released into the air; the answer comes in the pattern or means by which the debris reaches the ground. Things that are noted in particular involve the speed that the items travel at, the distance, and whether or not they remained clumped together. Unlike the Loenthran, the Ardenai hold close to them the means to translate this method and it is passed down from mother to daughter and from father to son. Some speculate that there are even different translations based upon the sex of the translator, thus making it difficult to pinpoint any one meaning.
In contrast to the three Houses mentioned above, the House of Nalfien has their own twist on divination that is more tailored to their conspiratorial natures. At some point in the history of the House, an artist gifted one of its noblewomen with an elegant deck of paper-thin, teak cards. Painted upon one side of each wooden card was the ebon rose of the House, while the other had elaborate images of various flowers and plants that could be found throughout the whole of Elanthia. It is speculated that the gift was intended to be a means of divining the future from an artist of House Loenthra. The noblewoman, however, scoffed at the thought that anyone but she could predict, and facilitate, her own future and thus the deck took on an entirely different purpose.
Ladies of the House can frequently be seen to employ use of the deck during women only functions, teas, or other gatherings as a means of communicating their feelings towards another woman. The two-hundred and eighteen cards would be shuffled and artfully arranged with skill and panache into the sequence that the shuffler wished and then flipped upon the table, while all present would feign their ignorance that the cards had fallen in anything but random patterns.
This is the reason behind the famous elven saying, "playing a Nalfein's hand", which is to say that any hand dealt by a Nalfein is arranged. This phrase is frequently seen in games where one player seems to be favored by the odds.
It is believed by many true practitioners of the Art that a Black Rose Deck could still provide a true prediction if properly employed, but there isn't a Nalfein alive that would give it any credibility, though I have provided a translation chart herein.
Lastly, amongst the elves are those of House Illistim. The practice by which they study is difficult to pin down to one question one answer. Indeed, it takes an Illistim practitioner years and cycles of study to come to a single answer. However, when an answer is discovered - typically by studing years of weather, climate, migration, and global changes - it is more along the lines of a doctrine or almanac in its length and can frequently span a great distance of time.
Each of the tribes of the Truefolk have a unique method of foretelling the future, with the exception of the Paradis who are both from every tribe and yet belonging to none in their search for peace. While the "Homeless," as the tribe's name means in the Halfling tongue, do not lay claim to their own particular brand of scrying, they are not without, either, in that they brought into their self-exile the method of whatever tribe they belonged to originally.
Due to the Horse Wars between the Truefolk and the Ardenai, the method of scrying favored by the Brughans has been lost to the annals of time. Their method was simplistic at best, but involved a process by which they would split a single horse hair with a piece of flint. Unfortunately, and understandably, there is not a Brughan alive that is willing to share how this particular method worked, nor will any of the other Tribes break their trust in sharing it with what they term "Outsiders."
The Mhoragians, being a nomadic lot, spend plenty of nights beneath the stars as they wind their way through the plains of their homeland, and their method of scrying is a reflection of the nature that they find as a daily part of their life. Amongst this tribe, the children are closely watched, and if one among them shows signs of the "Sight," the family unit, and those they travel with, take it upon themselves to nurture that gift.
Fashioning a plain rectangular box, very similar in design to a handfasting case, the tribe will paint it to the child's favored colors and then wrap it in weather-treated leathers to create an air-tight seal. A single slit is cut down the center of the top, from short side to short side, and each member of the family unit begins to work on various slats to place within it. Typically, the pieces are not only carved, but painted, and fashioned of various types of wood as well. As each slat is completed, the child is taught its meaning and allowed to play with it using rhymes and hymns to remember the various pieces. In this fashion, the child is able to learn each piece separately at a very young age and, obviously, the easiest pieces are the first gifted. By the time the child reaches maturity, she will have a complete set that she is not only comfortable with, but has grown up with her like a childhood friend.
The way this method works is very basic: a question is asked of the case, and the child, reportedly using her gift, calls for the answer from the piece. Tilting the case back and forth, a single slat falls free, and she lifts it clear to read its translation. While this may sound simple, the translations can be rather complex as each wood, color, animal, and combination thereof has a meaning. A simple chart is provided below.
Probably not surprising is the method in which the Malghavans practice their art. Blindness is a rarity amongst the Malghavans and considered to be not a curse, but a gift. This gift is their own version of the "Sight," and thus once someone becomes blind they are gifted with a special set of tools. These tools are an awl, a lathe, and a smoothing pumice, which are used to create tiny, rounded beads. It is believed by the tribe that a blind person has given up their ability to see worldly things for the ability to see other-worldly things, and so the loss of their sight is not a hardship.
Using the instruments she is given, the Seer will take any gemstone handed to her and work it with these tools in a method that is not readily clear. She then will gaze, though she is blind, at the results of her workings and feel the surface of the stone. Having witnessed this method myself, it is amazing to me the accuracy in which she can craft a rounded object each and every time. However, I have been told, though I have not been allowed to touch, that there are imperfections in her bead, and through them she can tell various things about a person, an event, or a time. It is unclear whether this is from what she feels and associates with that feeling, or from the use of her "Sight." Whatever the answer may be, the resulting method is remarkably accurate.
As mentioned previously, many of the Paradis carry with them some form of the methods of their brethren and, while they learn new methods from the world that they roam through, they still manage to maintain the traditions of their people and honor them as they can.
Author Note: If a child is born sightless then she/he is taught by an elder and is considered very precious to the tribe as a whole. There is a superstition among this tribe that something of great import will happen during her/his lifetime, and it is that child's duty to prepare their family and tribe for it.
Contrary to the other races of Elanthia, dwarves find divination to be both a mixture of nonsense and humor. It would not be unheard of for a dwarf to say something along the lines of, "I make my own luck, ill or will, let the pointy ears try to figure out what their tea leaves mean. I drink ale."
There are rumored types of divination amongst the dwarves, most of them in mockery of the other races. For example, it is rumored that in the Bawdy Bard Inn in Zul Logoth that Gnerp, the barkeeper, has witnessed several drunken miners interpreting the depth, aroma, length, and resonance of a belch in order to determine the fate of the belcher. Unfortunately, the accuracy of this technique could not be verified by this writer as her fortitude could not reach the drunken state of her companions, and thus, she was not able to witness the stage at which one would divine.
Another rumored type of divination, which has never been witnessed but often whispered about in dwarven gem shops amongst snickers, is that of the "Cracking of the Geode." Taking fist-sized geodes, dwarves hurl it against a large stone wall with as much force as is dwarvenly possible. The resulting fissures, fractures, pieces, sizes, and shapes are reportedly measured and, based on their specifications, a future can "supposedly" be divined. No dwarf of repute will verify, or even acknowledge, the validity of this practice.
At first glance, the attitude of the burghal gnomes in regard to the art of the divination is very similar to that of the dwarves. Though they don't label it as a "pansy elf" art, they truly do not practice it either. Their dislike of fortunetellers, however, departs from the dwarven philosophy completely. Where the dwarves mock the art by the methods that they tell outsiders about, most burghal gnomes show outright distaste instead of humor.
To the tinkering, scientific burghal gnome, the art of divination is fanciful and unpredictable. It strays completely from a pattern that they can discern and upsets them that anyone could "grasp at straws" to tell them what their future would or should be like. Almost every burghal asked of divination will give the same time honored response, "You might as well just spin a flywheel around and see where it stops. It’s just as random!" As a result, the majority of burghal gnomes not only dismiss seers, oracles, or fortunetellers, but have also been known to reroute their pathways in order to avoid them and would prefer that diviners left them alone as well.
There is, however, one noticeable exception to this line of thinking and that is the unique tradition of mystics of Bloodline Winedotter. Using both the elven maps of the constellations and thumb-sized polished starstones, the mystics of this bloodline are able to accurately perceive a patron's past, present, and future. In more recent years, it is thought that the teachings of Sister Lemandria D'Verethin are also taken into account.
The maps used by these mystics are crafted of highly prized vellum, usually of sheep skin, and carefully oiled for preservation sake. Each piece is dyed a unique blue that is difficult to find in clothing, nature, or any other dyed materials. Seasonal maps are used to display the constellations of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, which means that each mystic owns, at the very least, four maps. Maps are often elaborately and artistically inked, and many of them have holes driven through the vellum so that when unfurled and spread before a light source, the constellations will shine onto any surface.
Some collections of antiquated maps have silver embroidery in place of drawn and punctured constellation designs. This style is frequently accompanied by highly detailed images displaying the physical body of the named constellation. For example, the Wagon constellation is marked by large, intricate stars fashioned of embroidered knots at all the appropriate places, but in brown, black, and yellow the threads will create the individual boards of the wagon, the wheel, the tether for the mule, and so forth until a masterfully created image is portrayed.
Once a map is present, the mystic will draw starstones from a collection and place them in various locations upon the map based upon what year it currently is, what year the patron was born in, and a wide variety of different locations based on important dates in the patron’s life. It is hard to say exactly what the mystic is doing during a scrying, or even why, because the secrets of their art are not shared. Though they are free to provide, and even eager to perform, a scrying for anyone at any time, they are not forthcoming with exacting methodology, translation, or steps to take to attempt the practice.
There are some scholars that speculate that the Winedotters attempted to avoid answering questions by providing the various races with small stargazing trinkets in the year 5101 (and perhaps even earlier as well, but reports are varied and inexact enough to defy research). Adventurers and commoners alike were affected by the distribution during the one confirmed year in living memory. Each piece held trapped within it a single image of one of the northern sky's constellations and when manipulated would randomly show another. Though the Winedotters will not comment on the truth of this speculation, several scholars have been able to provide proof that the written letters of inquiry to the mystics to request information on their method and translations significantly decreased in the years following the arrival of the strange items.
Therefore, scholars hypothesize that this, or similar, methods have been utilized in the past, whenever the mystics of Bloodline Winedotter feel the questioning grows too frequent or persistent.
In complete contrast to their city dwelling cousins, the forest gnomes find the art of divination perfectly suited to their poetic mindsets. As a result, their method is well in tune with their practices of landscaping the area around their compounds and is very much connected to the area they live in.
Called "ohoc nuu", which loosely translates to patterning the future, the methodology of the forest gnome's divination is one of extreme observation. Specifically, they look for an area where particular kinds of moss or lichen grow. Most popular is the arctic reindeer moss, found in swamp regions. Other options are mountain moss, found in pine forests; marine lichen, found in coastal regions; and oak moss, found in deciduous forests. The gnome will locate a rock or tree with heavy growth on it and claim it as their own. It should be noted that other gnomes respect a seer's choice and will not travel near or around the area that they have claimed.
Using anything from a simple knife, a large clam shell, or a favored bowl, the forest gnome scrapes the lichen or moss from the area where it has grown, effectively shaving it like a man shaves his face. Then, throughout several days of observation, the gnome will take note of how the moss or lichen grows back. Does the moss grow in concentric rings? Does it grow in a cluster? Does it grow in piles or flat? Does it grow left to right or up and down?
The answer to all of these questions, as well as many others, will lay the basis for the foretelling that the seer will provide to whomever he/she is currently working for. Though, it should be noted that many times the forest gnome seer doesn't work for any particular person or goal but to further their own curiosity. Sometimes, the practice is simply done to teach a new generation of seers. Remarkably accurately, the forest gnome seer is frequently intractable with the details of the whys and hows of the practice and strictly shares this information with those of his/her race only.
Methods of divination throughout the various cultures of the dark elf race are not as diverse as many of the other races. For example, while the seaports of the Turamzzyrian Empire have their small niches of the art, the Sisters of the Hidden Eye have an extremely different style and take on the art. The same, however, is not true of dark elves. There is a common thread throughout seers within this race, and it is that of smoke.
Frequently restricted to females, and typically those that are sorcerers, divination within the Faendryl culture is accomplished through the use of a demon called the igaesha. Known as an Igaeshian Reader, the sorceress in question will pull the demon through the Valence and trap them within a flat, cylindrical vial that is then fused closed. Some readers will house hundreds of these vials within their study chambers at a time and have incantations, or basically alarms, set to each piece. Because of their nature, the mist-like igaesha can escape through the vial; this is what causes the alarm to be triggered. Instantly, the reader will be notified and is able to discern distinct patterns in the smoky residue that the igaesha leaves behind. These patterns are recorded, time-stamped, and then translated immediately. All such translations are stored in a central library.
It is not uncommon for someone of nobility to seek out an Igaeshian Reader. The Reader, upon request, will store the demon in a vial as she always does, but instead of leaving it upon a shelf in her study, she will place it in a special vault that has a time, date, and name stamp set upon it. When the igaesha escapes and the pattern's translation recorded, the document is handed to the requester and not interred among the library's records.
Among the common, working class dark elves, the divination form that is used is fundamentally the same. Though devoid of demons, the Smoke Seers of the dark elves will utilize candles bathed in oils, heavily smoking incense or smudge sticks. When removed to a quiet place, the seer will contemplate the lazy spirals and patterns of the smoking object to determine their meaning and will also record what they see. Though not regarded as highly as an Igaeshian Reader, the Smoke Seers are frequently sought out by the commoners for readings.
Highly suspect of any form of divination, though some have expressed a passing curiosity, nearly all Dhe'nar are highly opposed to any who claim to be seers. When asked to explain why they do not believe in divination, Dhe'nar throughout history have frequently recited that there has only ever been one prophet and to believe otherwise is to dishonor his name.
Through the hardship of the half-krolvin existence there have been specific and clear differences in the way that they interact with the world that they have found themselves thrust into. Various historical facts point out those half-krolvin that have decided to follow in the footsteps of the more barbaric forefathers of Glaoveln, while the colonists of Krint have a legacy of following in their non-krolvin ancestors' footprints (which, while once a slave practice, perhaps forbidden by the krolvin has over the centuries of their freedom become just a part of their everyday lives). This can easily be seen by the two extremely different ways that the race as a whole views the art of divination.
Isle of Krint Oracles
Revered and respected, the half-krolvin oracles of Krint are reverentially called "Apso gno Koask", which literally translates into "She of Sight". One such woman can be found within any large community upon the island and is always held with the utmost respect, superstition, and fear. Frequently, she will be housed at a distance from the main body of the village or community for fear that the taint, her ability to use her "Sight," will somehow reflect poorly on those within the village. It is believed that her sight comes from her touch with the Divine, a guardian of the afterlife, and that by having the woman close she will somehow change or taint the fates of those close to her. Always attended to by a young woman, the Apso gno Koask is frequently a woman well into her dotage who is on the path to blindness. Some say that she is frequently also on the path to madness, though many more will argue that she only speaks of what she sees. She is well cared for by her community and never wants for anything. However, she is not a rich woman either, owning no possession that couldn't easily be reabsorbed into her society for another to use. Her dwelling is simple and never more than one room.
Known to have visions, the half-krolvin woman is also frequently known to employ an "aun'hoont", which translates to "bowl of care". Within this bowl are pieces that she has gathered through the course of her life. Ptarmigan, puffin, and penguin feathers are prevalent, as are moose teeth, walrus tusks, bones of small animals, incisors from various small animals, sharks teeth, and whale bones. Even small, irregular stones may be of importance to her and can be added to her aun'hoont.
If the Sight is required, and the Apso gno Koask has had not recent visions or ramblings she will be asked to use the aun'hoont to provide a foretelling for her people. Sitting within her dwelling, the woman will gather a handful of the items at random from her bowl and toss them onto the ground in front of her. Murmuring to herself, she will lower her face close to the items and translate them from where they lay.
The complexity of this is enormous. Each item houses a different meaning, frequently a different meaning for each Apso gno Koask. The way in which they fall either together, on top of one another, separated, or alone can vastly change the course of a translation.
While crude and simplistic to the extreme, the translation provided here for very minor things was obtained from the caretaker of an Apso gno Koask on the Isle of Krint.
In recent years, the attendant of the Apso gno Koask has become almost violently the successor at the elderly woman's death. Oddly enough, the items of the previous oracle are neither bequeathed to the successor nor buried with the predecessor, but instead are returned to the youngest child of the family that the predecessor hailed from. This item is held with the utmost of respect and becomes a cherished family heirloom, especially if the woman was exceedingly good at her duties.
While the oracles of Krint are respected and revered, the wandering shamans that frequent the larger raiding vessels or traveling ships of some half-krolvin fleets are mostly held with a great deal of dread and respect born of fear. Called "Apdo Gno Burzka'ask", which literally translated means "He of Corpse Sight", the shaman is always a male of significant stature who has some sign of facial marring. He is surrounded by a handful of fervent followers that not only answer to his will, but also bow to his prowess.
Often a captain who is trying to change his stature among his crew or fleet will employ such a man and house him within his ship. The Apdo Gno Burzka'ask will almost never come above deck during the normal day-to-day activities of the ship; however, he can be frequently seen to prowl the decks at night. This causes him to be "pritza gno goortpritz" or "moondark" in the common, which means that he is paler then the average half-krolvin.
Also known to have visions, the Apdo Gno Burzka'ask must frequently find his answers by hunting down an animal and eviscerating them. Frequently, this hunt cannot take place at sea, and the shaman can, and will, force the crew of the ship to land and hunt out an animal large enough to meet his needs. Digging through the various lengths of its intestines, the shaman will find the answers he seeks by determining the length, the width, what the creature last ate, and various other grisly details.
Much of the fear and respect that surrounds this shaman is based upon his possible ability to be a conduit for the Divine. Again, this causes the half-krolvin that surround him to grow concerned with his ability to draw disfavor from the guardians of the afterlife. As means of instilling fear, respect, and cooperation from all crewmembers, a captain will often threaten insolent crewmen with the duty of being "Burzka gno Koask", which literally means "Corpse belongs to Sight". Such a task would cause them to be in the presence of the shaman for such a long time that they may inadvertently draw the eyes of the guardians of the afterlife and thus be condemned with eternal disfavor.
Unlike many of the other races, the newest race of Elanthia, the aelotoi, has a divination method that does not require seeking their fortune externally or with a device. Because of their years of captivity and their inability to retain any possessions, the fortunetelling method of the aelotoi is the interpretation of dreams.
Frequently, a Mrae'ni that is too old to work and a youngster that is yet too young to work will be paired together by the main community. It is this Mrae'ni's task to teach the youngster all that there is to learn of the interpretation of dreams, and from this moment on that community will come to the pair and request this service.
Extreme importance is placed upon the meaning of the dreams, and thus great care is taken in providing the meanings without scaring the person seeking an interpretation. Because of the fear and apprehension of their past, the interpreter is always gentle and kindly in their methods of translating and will frequently set the seeker to ease before a translation is provided. The method of this is much like a ceremony.
Unfortunately, it is unknown to this writer what the methods were prior to the aelotoi's arrival here, and none have wished to speak of that time. However, there is an interpreter in Cysaegir who has been willing to share his methods.
The interpreter will admit the seeker to his tent, which is placed at a distance from the bustle of the city. The location is important to promote solitude and tranquility; often if a person cannot relax the interpreter will use "wing song," the low droning of their wings, to calm or soothe the seeker. Once relaxed and in tune with their environment, the seeker is asked to lie down upon a simple pallet. The attendant to the interpreter will then continue the "wing song," while the interpreter prepares for the session. Once fully prepared, and with the seeker completely relaxed, the interpreter will kneel at the head of the seeker and massage his temples. The seeker will then be asked to bring forth the vision from their dreams, also called "True Dreams" by the aelotoi.
It is a very soothing process. The seeker never has his eyes open and thus can't be frightened by what they think they may see within the face of the interpreter and his attendant. Once the seeker has shared the entire dream, the interpreter will leave for a small period of time while the attendant provides a small snack and beverage for the seeker. When the interpreter returns, he will provide the seeker with a written document containing the translation of his (or her) dream. Out of respect for the interpreter, the seeker will wait to read the scroll until he has returned home.
Since coming to the new world all interpreters keep a copy of each translation they write. Dream interpretation is taken extremely seriously, and thus there is only one true set of translations amongst the people of the aelotoi; I've provided what little I was able to glean from them here.
Some aelotoi will actively seek, under the guidance of an interpreter, to do what they term "Dream Dancing." By ingesting a mixture, its origins deeply guarded by the interpreters and their apprentices, an aelotoi is able to actively seek the dream and dance within it. Depending on the potency of the mixture, the seeker is able to glean anywhere from 2 to 9 visions. However, even the interpreters caution against too much use as the mixture can be extremely potent if improperly handled. Other races are unable to gain more than a mild headache from the mixture, and the interpreters claim this is due to the chemistry of the aelotoi and its variance from the other races.
Tranquil and patient, the divination methods of the erithians is as graceful and artistic as the mating rituals of herons and equally as complex. Called "aganiri" (from "agan" - old and "iritan-la" - sight) ", the art of scrying takes years of patient practice and at first glance appears to be a simple practice in horticulture. In order to understand the depth and breadth of the method one must start at the beginning as any apprentice would.
In the early years of study in aganiri, the apprentice is presented with an agate bowl. This bowl is the principle piece that will be used throughout the student's life as a seer and is not only functional but filled with symbolism. The type of agate used in the piece represents the path that the student had to depart from in order to bring them to this line of study. The exterior texture represents the difficulties that the student has met with in order to change their paths. Sometimes, multiple colors and/or types of agate are used, and sometimes a revolving texture upon the exterior is generated. Each of these things conveys a multitude of memories that are meant to attune the student with their device. Attunement is very important because this device will become an extension of the seer, or shioni-aga, meaning disciple of aganiri (from "shioni" - disciple and "agan" - old), for the remainder of their days. The size of the bowl is also important. While not as large as a serving platter for a great house, the bowl is still relatively large and rather deep, able to hold several ewers of water.
Water is one of the important components in this method of scrying, though not in the way that it is important to a sylvan. Here, water is placed in the bowl and then the bowl is tapped. The erithi will study the waves that the tapping generates and will practice various types of tapping. They will be taught to study previously noted methods and are expected to recite the name of each type of internal wave created. There are names for each cross wave, rebounding wave, and initial wave, as well as the point that the waves meet the sides.
To make the method more complex, the apprentice will grow into journeymen status when they can begin to recite patterns (accurately) while there are physical objects within the bowl. While at first this may start with a pebble, eventually it grows to the point that miniature trees, highly prized and cultivated specifically for this purpose, are grown on little islands within the bowl. Other plants and stones may be added to the bowl as the shioni-aga grows in skill and confidence. Items are not always added, and if they are, they are not always kept in there. Different readings may require different configurations.
By the time that an erithi gains master status in the aganiri, they are expected to have several bowls that they tend to on a regular basis. Some even go so far as to create bowls as large around as a small pond, while others prefer to tend to bowls that are large enough to be set upon a table for observation.
Steeped in ritual, the act of seeking a master shioni-aga for advice, and more frequently for a yearly scrying, is usually an all day affair that starts with a cleansing ceremony in the early hours of the morning. The petitioner will travel on foot, shunning all other forms of transportation on the day of the ceremony. If they must travel a great distance, travel is done a few days in advance and lodgings within walking distance of the shioni-aga are taken. From an hour before sunrise until an hour after sunset, the supplicant may only travel on his or her own two feet. For the elderly or infirm, accommodations are made, wherein an honored proxy, typically a close relative, walks for them or supports them for the walk. The reason for this is that the opening ritual, spoken entirely in their native tongue, loosely translates to "I come to you of my own will, by my own breath, and by the power of my own body. No man compels me, no spirit possesses me, and I seek your wisdom for guidance alone."
Once these traditional words are spoken, the petitioner is admitted to the shioni-aga's residence by an apprentice or servant. They are offered comfortable accommodations, and immediately offered warm water to bathe in and fresh clothing to change into. This too is symbolic. They are removing the trappings of their life and being presented to the shioni-aga as a clean slate to read.
In a garden attached to the shioni-aga's home, the shioni-aga and petitioner will meet for the first time. They will share tea, small desserts, and the shioni-aga will observe the petitioner. While this small meal is taking place, the shioni-aga is gesturing to his/her apprentices in a subtle fashion to indicate which bowls, what urns for water, and a multitude of other smaller necessities that are required for the scrying session.
It should be noted that it is considered a great honor to be given a scrying with a shioni-aga's first bowl.
The actually scrying may take anywhere from several moments, depending upon how many objects are within the water, or several hours. Some shioni-aga, to ease the comfort of their petitioner, will keep an instrumentalist on hand that can play soothing music while they work. When the shioni-aga is done observing the movement of water, they will transcribe everything that they have observed to scroll and seal it with wax. The petitioner will be sent on their way, with the scroll and will not open the scroll until they are safely within the confines of their home.
Tranquil and graceful, the entire method is beautiful and artistic to observe.
Graceful and earthy, the sylvans are in tune with the natural world that they live in and move through. Many of the secrets that encircle them are kept close to their hearths, and thus it has been difficult to find any one person that would be willing to document a specific style or method by which the sylvans divine.
Through massive amounts of rumor and speculation, two distinct forms of divination have surfaced enough times that they are worthy of mention.
Whether it be basins purposefully filled with water or pools crafted of rain water, sylvans have the ability to gaze deeply into the depths of the still waters and find visions of life. Some have reported that the experience is akin to stepping through a window into another time and watching that time play out. Oftimes, the person who gazes into the waters hears, smells, and sees exactly what is happening in the other time, while in the eyes of all around them, the person seems motionless and trapped in a trance.
Communion with Nature
Finding an isolated place, and often seeking the aid of a friend to act as a guardian, a sylvan will turn to nature to divine the future. This particular method is done by finding a place removed from others and preferably in a glade that has various forms of plant life. Trees at the edges, a brook somewhere near at hand, flowers, vines, bushes, and grasses are the many things that are looked for in a place to commune. Once this is found, the sylvan will kneel within the glade and focus on a single, comfortable object. This can be anything from a pebble found the previous day, to a feather that has fallen in their path, or even a favored item.
Without any type of preamble, the sylvan will implore the item to speak what it knows. Sometimes nothing will happen for a very long time, other times an answer can be found almost instantaneously by the actions of the item.
While some witnesses dismiss this form of divination as a mere trick of wind on a feather, others have witnessed larger items, like rocks or heavy vases; move about with a will of their own. The communing sylvan is typically vague on the exact method of the communication that passes between the item and the seeker; however, all have mentioned that they simply "knew" what was being said.
Divination within the human empire ranges in variety dependent upon culture and is as different from one another as are leaves on a tree. The art is practiced throughout that land from seaport to seaport, and mountain range to mountain range. Primarily, the most talented and respected diviners of the Turamzzyrian Empire are those of the Sisters of the Hidden Eye who reside in the County of Seareach within a city called Phannus.
Sisters of the Hidden Eye
Treasured and revered for their abilities, the Sisters of the Hidden Eye typically recruit potential candidates from the populace at an early age. This search is performed primarily in Seareach, but has been known to expand beyond those borders into Oire, Vornavis, and the Sea of Fire.
Sisters of the order, known as Visionaries of the Eye, travel to the various villages of the area and perform small, simple tests upon girls who are of the tender age of five years. These tests are simple, noninvasive exercises that allow the sisters to note if the child may have an ability the order can use or if they have the potential to be a seer. If a child is found to be without ability, then the child is never bothered again throughout her life. However, should the child be found to have some ability, her name is recorded and in three years she is retested. At that time, should she show ability, she is adopted into the sisterhood. It is important to note that within this region becoming a Sister of the Hidden Eye is an especially honorable and much sought after path for a young girl. Many mothers and fathers would be proud to have their daughter taken into the sisterhood rather than relegated to the manual labor that many of the people in this region find themselves destined to perform.
Once a young girl is adopted into the sisterhood, she spends her young life in education. Akin to the education of a mage, the potential seer is taught all manner of history, writing, reading, arithmetic, and magical applications. On top of those, the child is also expected to learn of every known method of divination, the history of divination, the religious pathways of divination, and the application of divination. Once the child reaches the age of sixteen she is expected to begin testing to see just how strong her ability is.
The ranking within the sisterhood is as follows:
Visionaries of the Eye
Broken into two paths, the Visionaries are both teachers and testers. Those with amazing mental memorization will become the core group of teachers to the children that are brought to them, while those who have the gift of finding things will be sent out into the region to find those children who were gifted. It is easy to recognize these sisters by the copper seer-stone that adorns their brow and is fitted with a cabochon-cut mermaid's tear sapphire.
Seekers of the Eye
Seekers are those women who have only a modicum of ability. Primarily dressed as pilgrims, they often find themselves in places within the region where someone has lost something or needs something to be found. These women are most common and well-respected amid the working class. Often found with divination rod in hand, the Seekers have often been sought out to find the best land for new crops, to search out hidden water, and when local healers are baffled by an ailment of one of their patients, a seeker will be sought to find the appropriate herb. It is easy to recognize these sisters by the silver seer-stone that they wear which is adorned by a cabochon-cut red spinel.
Diviners of the Eye
Though never graduating much beyond the rank of journeywomen, these sisters rarely travel much beyond the home of the sisters in Phannus. Responsible for minor blessing, simple dispute resolution, and marriage proposals, these sisters are often taught diplomacy along with their divination arts and encouraged to follow their instincts. It is easy to recognize these sisters by the silver seer-stone that adorns their brow and dangles a cabochon-cut Kezmonian honey beryl.
Mediums of the People
Often comprised of master and journeywomen diviners, the Mediums of the People are frequently found wandering amid the towns and villages of Seareach, Oire, Vornavis, and the Sea of Fire; though on rare occasions they are found beyond these regions. These sisters are given leave to follow their visions, or in many cases the paths laid before them by their chosen device of divination. Tasked with following their fortune to the best of their ability, it can often be said in these regions that these sisters have performed miracles, when in fact they have only offered the proper advice or warning at the most opportune time. It is easy to recognize these sisters by the silver seer-stone adorning their brow, usually fitted with a cabochon-cut selanthan bloodjewel.
Augurs of the People
Ranking twelve in all, though they are ofttimes followed by up to three or four assistants of apprentice to journeymen status, these women handle the day-to-day petitions made by the common and noble people of the region to the tower in Phannus. They determine, through the use of their gifts, which petitions require the aid of one of the lesser seers and which need to be presented to those higher in station. It is easy to recognize these sisters by the electrum seer-stone that adorns their brows and the cabochon-cut mermaid's tear sapphire that it dangles.
Seer of the Unwavering
Often thought of as the true ruler of the sisterhood's tower in Phannus, this sister manages the day-to-day running of the tower. She meets with all educators on a regular basis to determine the status of the students, hears petitions that the Augurs of the People find to be of value, and deals directly with the courts of Seareach and the Guardians of the Sighted. It is important to note that a Seer of Unwavering rises to this rank due to her ability to master several forms of divination, her completion of several years of pilgrimage, and her excellent memorization skills. She is easily identified by the gold seer-stone that rests upon her brow that is fitted with a cabochon-cut star-of-Tamzzyr diamond.
Oracle of the Eye
Rarely ever seen, the Oracle of the Eye is kept separate from the daily activities of the tower. Always blind, and always accompanied by three equally blind seers of matching talents, the Oracle of the Eye is the most revered of seers within the tower. Believed to be a pure conduit to the great divine power that all seers tap into for their ability, the Oracle has been known to fall into talking trances. These trances are documented by those that sit within listening nooks around her chambers. Each carefully penned script is stored within the tower's library in hopes that they will one day provide guidance to the people. Though assigned a cabochon-cut, Eye-of-Koar emerald that is inlaid into a platinum seer-stone, it is uncertain if the Oracle or her sisters ever wear it.
The garb of a Sister of the Hidden Eye is rather plain in comparison to court attire. Preferring to not allow earthly riches to hamper their abilities to divine, the sisters often wear simple robes and sandals. Many of the sisters will wear colors that match the hue of the gem worn within their seer-stone, and it should be noted that a seer-stone is usually the only piece of jewelry they wear. Oftentimes commoners have mistaken the color as their sign of rank rather than the gem they wear.
Tasks that are frequently laid before the sister range from common tasks such as divining for water, predicting harvests, and studying almanacs, to courtly tasks such as presiding over treaties and helping arrange marriages. Many nobles within this region prefer to keep a sister at their court to preside over economic ventures, upper class marriage arrangements, and treaties between noble houses. The Count of Seareach, being an exceedingly superstitious man, refuses to do anything of import without first consulting a Sister of the Hidden Eye and has often used their ability to help decide matters of state.
Respected, but kept apart from the common populace of Seareach, the sisters are held to a higher standard of life. Taught at an early age the sacredness of their calling, no sister can be bribed or persuaded to shift her divination from anything beyond the facts of their reading. As such, they are often used in disputes because they are completely neutral in every way. Because of their utter neutrality, they are supported economically by the Courts of Seareach.
While traditionally those that are adopted into the sisterhood never leave, there are some situations that would justify a woman's departure from the tower. Those who have healing abilities, and only a small divination skill, are frequently released and encouraged to join the Stone-tenders of Aldora. Children who, upon reaching their sixteenth year, have been unable to master a second form of divination are often returned to their home village, much wiser than their peers and with a dowry equal to all that they may have earned from the moment they left the village. These women frequently become teachers in the towns and villages that they return to. It is important to note that women who will never leave the order are those that are blind, those who have visions without the means of a divination device, and those who learn a second ability. Should a woman be offered the chance to return to her home and refuse, she is allowed to remain and placed into a role of caring for those seers that have active, working roles within the tower.
Frequently those women who do only have a passing ability prefer to stay on at the tower. They are given the opportunity to continue to learn and additional responsibilities on staff as housekeepers, groundskeepers, cooks, and the like. Those who are in their childbearing years, and have properly sought a Medium of the Peoples advice, are free to marry and move off of the tower's grounds and into the surrounding town. In contrast, sisters who are blind or have visions without divination devices are strictly forbidden to touch anyone of the opposite sex. It is considered taboo and many believe that it could strip a seer of her abilities.
Beyond the borders of Seareach, the Sisters of the Hidden Eye are very careful where they tread. The Church of Koar has made a very strong stand, historically, against those who proclaim that their visions hold a higher authority than that of Koar's will. While no sister has been known to make such a claim, the church is frequently willing to perform a witch hunt to prove their strength and might. Those sisters who have had visions surrounding the Emperor or Empress, as has been the case in the past, have been persecuted to the fullest extent for presuming to try and intervene with the divine power of Koar.
However, as mentioned above, the Courts of Seareach revere the sisters and as such there is an entire garrison of an all-female militia that is trained specifically in the protection of the sisterhood. It is a strictly enforced protocol to have a Guardian of the Sighted assigned to each sister that goes out on pilgrimage.
Stone-tenders of Aldora
Known for their ability to heal and the excellent work and artistry skills with tapestries, the stone-tenders of Aldora have some minor ability with divination of their own. Known to carry a pouch of small uniform stones, a seer from Aldora will frequently draw a question to mind and pull a stone from her pouch. This stone is translated based upon a rhyme that has been passed down through generations. The rhyme is provided herein.
Aldoran Scrying Rhyme Mother told me to learn the words well- Mother told me to sit and listen a spell. Heed the seer-stone on thy brow - Learn its songs that answer why and how. Amber in your pocket, you'll always come home- Agate in your pocket, and to Gosaena you'll roam. To cure your diseases always see alabaster - Give sobriety an amethyst to avoid disaster. Sympathy and trust go to the aquamarine - And prosperity and strength to aventurine. If beryl gives you weakness of spirit - Then alexandrite gives you the peace to bear it. Bloodstone protects against all foul magic - While carbuncle is purely necromantic. Chalcedony is all about mercy and kindness - While chrysoberyl is the foul spirit that binds us. Chrysoprase will cure you of painful ailments- And coral will protect you from the elements. Cordierite is a weak-watered dish- But deathstone is an ill-begotten wish. Despanal will give you skill and power- Yet, it's diamond that allows it to flower. If demons you fear then of diopside beware- So too of black diopside for you'll despair. Blue dreamstone makes an understanding wish- And feystone speaks of only the foolish. Emerald can offer you poison protection- But firestone is disaster's prediction. Dark garnet is the tool of deep passions- While blue geode is an empathic distraction. If mental prowess you seek, then try glimaerstone- Find heliodor to gain control of your own. Brown jade gives you the Arkati's blessings- But black jasper is an unreliable assessing. A gift of jet is a blessing of shadow's dance- And labradorite is protection from chance. Lapis lazuli reduces fever or body ache- But always use malachite when forgiveness is at stake. In sapphire you'll find Niima's graceful elation- And in moonstone a hidden secret spells revelation. Morganite means a child is harmed- But in obsidian with Onar you are armed. Opal screams madness, and pyrite claims false- Quartz begs you to the shadows a-waltz. Use a black pearl to dispel sardonyx's troubled spirits. And blue peridot absorbs anything near it. Summon strength in rhodochrosite- And a ruby means your heart is in sight. A sard gives a false sense of security- While shimmertine speaks of your fragility. Tiny sapphire eases a lonesome mind- And violet spinel will heal it in kind. Tigerfang speaks of transformation- And white starstone of divination. Sunstone is strength, but topaz is cautious. And pale tourmaline which makes you nauseous. Find meaning in stones, she bade me to do- But always use your heart to find the one that's true. Her words I will pass down, in needle and thread. But her memory, I beg you, keep in your heart and your head.
The Seaports of the Coastal Human Empire
In every little seaport that dots the Human Empire, there can be found a group of women known as "The Fishmongers' Wives." One will be good at herbology, another a midwife, with various other minor lores and tasks divided among the other wives and their daughters. It is not uncommon to hear in some of the poorer districts or on the docks, "That cough is bad, go see the fishmonger's wife for a cure." The person being spoken to will instantly know who is being spoken of and head off that way when their duties are done.
Among that group of women there is always a woman with her daughter who will tell fortunes for the others of the poor quarter. Her method is a simple task by which a deck of playing tiles is employed and she will foretell their fate based on which suit is dropped and how many numbers appear. The regularity with which this group of woman can be found in port towns is significant, as are the various translations that they employ for their methods. While visiting River's Rest once, I noticed that the tile drawn by one woman had an entirely different meaning than the same tile that was drawn by another woman in Solhaven. Unpredictable at best, many find comfort in actually seeking out the women who claims to be able to tell the future rather than the fortune she presents.
Divination among the Tehir people is divided by gender. While many beyond the deserts believe divination to be a predominantly female art form, the polar opposite is true of the Tehir people. Considered nonsense that the menfolk make-up to make themselves feel important, the women of the Tehir tribes pointedly ignore all predictions as idiocy. The women find that the future will come with or without fanfare, or warning, and that there is no need to go seeking that which you cannot avoid.
The men, however, put a great deal of spiritual stock into a divination. Those that are brave enough will remove themselves to isolated caves and, upon partaking of the ahmdir root, will fall into psychedelic trances. While trapped within these episodic lapses of lucidity, the ahmdir-influenced man will create elaborate, often highly detailed, paintings upon the cavern walls. Early explorers of the region thought that these paintings were historical renditions of the Tehir people's past, and were disappointed to discover the truth.
Carrying with them small trappings from their home, the Shakat's scrying method is that of a cone-shaped pouch of some kind of leather that has a cap at the end of it fashioned of metal. The round top is closed by a flap and then it is suspended from a long cord. Sand fills the pouch, and when the cap is removed, it is swung from the cord like a pendulum. As the grains of sand fall they create certain patterns.
|Two curved lines one on top of the other||The Crescent Moon||This figure signifies a journey, action and forward movement. There is an element of loneliness connected with this figure as well as a sense of slowness or delay. Change is eminent. However, it signifies being on the right path. This figure is generally unfavorable unless the question is about travel or progress.|
|Six wavy lines standing side by side||The People||This figure denotes family, friends, and group involvement and generally indicates that the outcome depends on others. It can also mean messages and news as well as the environment around us. Change within this social sphere is possible, though uncertain.|
|Four concentric rings interwoven with a fifth||The Layered Circle||This figure signifies love, friendship, sexual attraction, contracts, agreements and partnerships. It also indicates the recovery of lost objects.|
|A slender circle with four dots beneath it||The Shackle||This figure represents confinement, limitations, restrictions, delays, and reversals of fortune. Good for contracts and home ownership. Servitude is indicated, but also the need to accept the situation as it is.|
|A circle framed by two wavy lines on either side||The Eagle||This figure represents prosperity, promotion, benefit, gains from business or extension of existing property. Worldly success is indicated. Your difficulties are now behind you.|
|A triangle resting upon a circle framed by two wavy lines||The Hawk||This figure signifies loss of money, sometimes loss of love. Things lost or taken away by illness, theft, or financial problems. In general, there are negative outcomes in the near future. However, if you wish to lose something (weight etc.), you will be successful.|
|A large circle radiating wavy lines||The Sun||This figure signifies joy, laughter, happiness, good fortune, delight, beauty, good health, harmony, and peace of mind. It represents a favorable outcome for those who have creative endeavors in mind.|
|Two straight lines resting closely together||The Empty Waterskin||This figure represents unexpected disappointment, sadness, humiliation, loneliness, or a change for the worse. Loss and destruction of something that has been carefully built up is generally indicated.|
|A close knit series of dots radiating outward||The Spiral||This figure represents illumination, wisdom, or good results in business through moderation and careful decisions. Spiritual growth and harmony is also indicated. Patience, thoughtfulness, and the ability to balance all areas of life are granted by this figure.|
|A malformed circle divided by a wavy line||The Broken Circle||This figure signifies passion, vice, or temper. This is a warning for caution and a need for retreat. Negativity and upheaval are generally indicated. A need to stop and listen to your inner voice in order to find the correct path to follow is strongly advised.|
|A semi-circle capped at the top with a small triangle||The Scorpion||This figure signifies success, good luck, great fortune, celebration, property gains, and wealthy possessions. Honor and respect are also indicated.|
|Two perfectly identical circles side by side||The Twin||This figure represents smaller good fortune, assistance from others, and influence, as well as protection from misfortune and harm. You may have to work hard, but it indicates that success is yours.|
|A wavy line with four circles above it||The Girl||This figure represents a female, girl or woman. It also can indicate purity, cleanliness, and external appearances. It can be expanded to include superficiality, indecisiveness, and fickleness. It signifies a good relationship with women, or healing and nurturing. Appreciation of music or the arts is generally indicated.|
|A wavy line with four circles beneath it||The Boy||This figure signifies a male, young or old. It can also represent a person within your employ. Frequently it speaks of rashness and combativeness. Traditionally good for love and war, but negative for other matters, it indicates that a great energy needs to be harnessed. Initiative and leadership are often required, though impulsive behavior is also indicated.|
|A semi-circle that dissolves into a wavy line||The Stalking Asp||This figure represents a place of entry, a beginning. New starts are indicated, such as birth and innocence. Alertness and shrewdness can also come into play when the asp is present.|
|A circle with a triangle overlapping its perimeter||The Cobra Consuming Itself||This figure represents an exit, or a way out. Indicative of bad luck, a downward path, death, and the ending of all things, the figure is considered a reminder of evil. The warning that is issued with this is, "You need to walk away and start anew."|