Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vreski Warding System #4

The Elements (part 2)

'Polotcefta': the domain of Around
We live in a world that changes and evolves, often in unpredictable ways. But Polotcefta is also a world we can change and shape to meet our needs: fields can be carved out of forests, or forests replanted where fields used to exist. We build our homes and towns in the world around us, we make our friends and build our businesses here. Polotcefta is the realm of the pragmatic approach to life.

'Maha' - the element of Water
Dark blue is the colour of the great oceans, and long and twisting the course of the rivers and streams: these too are the colours and shapes of Maha. Just as water is clear when poured, so the clear glass is used to represent the element. Water is shared between friends, and frendship is central to Maha's purpose and meaning. It is the element of the eyes, and sight, and also of what lies behind the eyes: intelligence. The questioning mind is the driving emotion, always investigating actions and situations, always on the lookout for friends old and new. But care must be taken that inquisitiveness doesn't turn into a more controlling, bullying attitude towards friends and aquaintances.

'Luexna' - the element of Clay
As the water settles, so the clay settles out of the water. The orange of the well-tilled earth colours this element, and potsherds are its commonest material. Luexna goes beyond the friendships of Maha to encompass the whole community, just as the great cooking pots can feed whole neighbourhoods on celebration days. Individuals may die, but the community continues; Luexna is the element responsible for successful reproduction. Hunger and satiety are its senses. As the opposite of Maha, Luexna covers the emotions of negation and demurral, which can sometimes turn into stubborn refusal.

'Polocieva': the domain of Flesh
The realities of life may be harsh, but they can also be beautiful: it is our approach to life that determines our well-being and enjoyment of the world. Polocieva is the domain of pleasure and also of pain; to the Vreski mind one cannot be experienced without experiencing the other in due course. The flesh is the medium through which we experience the world, it represents life in all its glorious forms, but also death - for nothing lives forever.

'Kyopla' - the element of Wood
The most versatile of materials, Kyopla includes not only wood, but also leaves and roots, flowers and seeds, and even the flesh of those creatures that feast upon the world's bounty. Often represented by a swatch of cotton, this element's natural colour is the colour of life: green. In the human body, Kyopla is responsible for the skin and nerves, and for the sense of touch. Joy is its emotion and pleasure its purpose, though an overabundance of joy and pleasure can often leave a person insensitive to the needs of others.

'Koga' - the element of Bone
No flesh can survive without support: Koga is the element of the skeletons and scaffolds that support all living things. Taking the colour white as its emblem, more discerning people will substitute wool for the obvious bone in their daily wards. Overtly, Koga talks of death: it presides over the realm of pain, though some pains can be beneficial - such as the warning pain that causes the child to lift her hand from the hot pot. As sound is so often heard through the bone, sound is the natural sense of this element. The emotion of surprise is Kaga's gift, though surprise can so easily turn to shock in the unwary.

'Polosusa': the domain of Below
The land on which we live - and the seas we sail across - may change over time, but the change is so slow that we barely notice it. Even so when change does come it can be violent and deadly: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis. Polosusa represents the domain of the philosophers; it is the place where our deepest, most constant thoughts and beliefs are formed and reformed. It is also the realm of the long endeavour: wealth, status and respect - none can be gained without hard and constant work, and yet these things can be so easily lost, just as the city can be laid waste by the earth's tremor.

'Yooka' - the element of Rock
As grey as the granite pebble so often used to represent it, Yooka is the surface on which we all stand. Keeping our feet on the ground requires balance, this element's native sense. And surviving on its surface needs a strong stomach and digestive system. It is on Yooka's solid foundation that a person can build their status, though status can only be earned by gaining the respect of a person's peers and heirs; this element is the natural home for trades and skills. Yooka talks not so much to the individual, but to the generations, and to posterity. Yet status means nothing on its own - the keystone emotion of this element is sadness, which can often spiral into depression among the unwary.

'Dxaevma' - the element of Metal
The heaviest element, Dxaevma can be both the brightest and the dullest of all the elements. While its metals, worked from the rock, may be shiny its natural colour is black, for all metals tarnish when neglected. It takes much rock to produce metal, thus Dxaevma is the element of the bladder and anus - for every endeavour results in waste: the wise person will realise that there's money amid the muck. The natural sense of this element is vibration - close to sound, yet often unheard, deeper. Fear is Dxaevma's emotion, though a little fear, controlled, can be healthy. Uncontrolled, fear so quickly turns to terror, that darkest of emotions. Remember that while the coin may glitter and promise so much, many wealthy people have lived the last of their days in fear - even of their own children.

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