In the beginning, the universe swirled and flowed without pattern. It - as in the universe - all began with a tapping foot, a strong rhythm like a heart beat. The Silent One began to play his flute or beat his drum or insert musical instrument of choice. Other began to follow his tune and dance. Rings of dancers ooccurred following the path the tune called. The first ring of dancers were those of the sky - first stars, then others. When one song ended, the Silent One began another similar tune. Several songs down, a new ring formed. The next ring was that of the elements - building of things. The elements made the celestrial manifest. As the universe took hold, a new dance began. It was sweet and wondrous The beauty of the dance (friction of its divines presence) spawned Life. Finally the celestrial and elemental rings joined, creating smaller rings all dancing in a new pattern, manifesting the seasons. The dance continues. The patterns are copied and copied in smaller and more intricate forms, until the dance of humanity follows the great dance.
Each God or Pathkeeper manifests a different cosmic force or place in the cycle of things. Each keeps its part of the pattern/ dance in its proper place. The attunement to the right deity at the right time is key to harmonious living.
The Pathkeepers - Gods
AKA The Great Dancers.
The Silent One
Key Points: The mystery of beginnings The plans yet made manifest. In the center of everything, yet alone.
Manifestations:The caller of the dance - he who might not know everything that will happen, but knows where the dance is going. He who knows and does not tell.
Commonly depicted as: He is the tall hooded figure. He is often seen carrying a flute or simple musical instrument.
Cohorts: There are various other spirits that were part of his “band”, adding to the silent one’s song. The Drummer, the keeper of order and the pattern is the most important one. Two others mentioned are The Fiddler (added verve to the dance) and The Deep Horn (added a melancholy note to the song, with a low base underpinnings adding to the song).
Key Points: Innocence, new beginnings, the origin point.
Manifestations: The Child is the novice. The child or novice sees the world as a wide eyed wwanderer They make their way with luck and pluck. Others often take care of them. The very start of things. Is actually Life itself
Commonly depicted as: Large eyed, moon faced child, in nothing but baby wraps.
The Cohorts: Often a guardian figure, either a mother figure or a mentor. Many others see The Child as a cohort for various other Pathkeepers.
The Spring Maid
Key Points: Fertility, youth, and motherhood/ guardianship.
Manifestations: Despite being seen as carefree, she is the path of crafting and making. Her expression is showing that “work” should be fun. She is the potential made manifest. Thus while not a mother yet, she is a caregiver. One of the four Patrons of Life.
Commonly depicted as: Laughing beautiful young woman with flowers in hair. Sometimes she is seen as a first time mother.
The Cohort: As girls travel in packs, so does a pack of spirits travel about her. In addition various muses (spirits of inspiration and motivation) which are too numerous to name (those only tedious scholars know them), there are a few additional ones that are actually named. They fit the archetypes of girls (the vain pretty one, the nice one, the smart one, etc). There are four of note and name. Petal, the lusty girl with a green thumb. Bree is the crafty girl, skilled but easy to distract. Rose is the one who is always playing with the boys and dragging the Spring Maid along. The last one is Sister, the older sister of the maid, who is related to children and child birth.
Key Points: Eternal Blanket. Spirit, Thought, and Motion are all interrelated.
Manifestations: A foundation, for all things came from the sky. Untouchable, yet everywhere. Scholarly pursuits. Spirit is motion. Patron of civilized Civilization.
Commonly depicted as: An older, refined woman, in a whispy gown. Often has a hawk on her arm or shoulder.
The Cohort: All the various sky phenomena. She is the center of the pantheon in many ways, linking everyone.
Key Points: Power through the summation of many little things. Mapping and Planning are important. Distant goals are often the best guides. The Group has the greatest strength, especially if all know their place and their part.
Manifestations: - Pin Points of existence Multitude of powers. Maps, Roads, and Patterns. Laws are the roads of society, the pattern of force. The Dance that repeats. The Star that Guides.
Commonly depicted as: A conservatively dressed man, wearing seven stars in a necklace.
Cohorts: Often depicted with a crowd behind him, representing all the other stars.
The Summer Man
Key Points: The Fullness of life. Living in the Now. Contentment
Manifestations: Both a motivator and supporter of people. Leading in the crowd instead of iin frontof it or behind it. Comfort for all. One of the four Patrons of Life.
Commonly depicted as: A handsome and young looking, mid aged man, in a toga. Often he will be carrying a load of flowers or grains.
Cohorts: These are various spirits of mirth, merriment, and mischief. They are numerous and often hang around with Spring Maiden’s cohorts. The only one that is worthy of a name is “The Sleeping One” or “The Master of the Nap”, expressing the lazy side of summer… relaxing perhaps even to the point of avoidance.
Key Points: Much of everything is hidden. Knowledge of the unknown is the greatest power. Keeping too much hidden leads to madness (or at least oddness).
Manifestations: - She is the mistress of guile and hard won knowledge. Associated with Madness (madness being not knowing the common world, but only the mysterious one). Worry occurs when one knows what others do not. The Moon is the one of the patrons of the Arts.
Commonly depicted as: A dark haired, white eyed woman wearing robes, with the moon at her belt.
Cohort: None. She is always alone.
Key Points: Power through consistent motion. Yielding (Yin) Power is the greatest one. Size can be power.
Manifestations: The Ocean, The Spirit, and Life are all one. Power comes in many forms (ocean, snow, ice, rain, mist, rivers, mist…).
Commonly depicted as: A young pretty man-boy with long hair wearing little or a toga. Often seen riding a horse.
Cohort: Each type of water body has its own spirit (Naide the one of rivers, Lathe the one of lakes, Pito the one of puddles, Llella the one of rain, Chuppa the one of cups and domestic containers, Zalll the one of the bilge). The animals of the water and with the water element (horses, snakes, hanging creatures) tend to follow him as well.
Key Points: Balance is a precarious thing, something to achieve, but not maintain. Every force has a counter.
Manifestations: - The moment of Balance. All things come in sets; from sets come new wholes. Deception and revelations are the same.
Commonly depicted as: A nearly nude man and woman, hand in hand, pulling in opposite directions.
Cohort: None. They are always a twosome. Sometimes seen as associated with The Moon.
The Fall Woman
Key Points: Preparation is the key. Acceptance of aging and death.
Manifestations: The mature mother of the spring maid (or whom the Spring Maid becomes). The warrior spirit to defend the young and that which is needed for life to continue. The HHarvesterof the Bounty. One of the four Patrons of Life.
Commonly depicted as: An older woman with a staff in one hand and an apple in the other. She is always carrying a side bag. Leaves are woven into her hair.
Cohorts: Spirits related to Hearth, Home, and Housecraft. They are mostly unnamed, doing a thankless duty quietly. Vesta, deity of the Hearth Fire, is one of the only ones mentioned by name. There is also the Eight Guides of The Fall, the spirits that lead one to the “Winter Place” of Death. Each one covers a type of death.
Key Points: Power emanates from The Sun, all other power is merely a reflection of that. (Power even makes elements move). Power is cyclic and waxes and wanes. Too much power is destructive, as is too little. Knowledge is power (utilized correctly).
Manifestations: All the trappings of power- the maker of crowns, the empowerer of signets, the chains of guildmaster, and the true sources of power. Knowledge and Libraries are in his pdomain as are the Arts. He is the other patron of the Arts.
Commonly depicted as: A tall, serene and beautiful man. He has a large sun medallion around his neck. He is either well dressed, or dressed in the clothing of power.
Cohort: The Chained King, Elder Craftsmen, the Young Scholar, the Crippled Mage, The Blind Scholar, and the Foolish Actor, are all part of his cohort. Each shows a type of power and its reality.
The Winter King
Key Points: Quiet Times are needed. Fear is good as long as it does not rule you. The world expands and contracts to The One.
Manifestations: Master of Weather and The Night. He is the teacher of lessons. He is the keeper of the promise of new life. The holder of the Dead. The Master of Fear. He is the lonely mentor of Humanity. One of the four Patrons of Life, but is the one that makes life precious by making it temporary and scarce. This point is confusing, as the Autumn Woman is the actually gatherer of death/ endings.
Commonly depicted as: Old Man with a long, long beard, wearing blue wintery garb.
Cohort: Various wintery spirits and manifestations of death. See the Winter as a Character article for example wintery spirits. One of the winter manifestations is the Silent Sorter. This one quietly does the ground work so when Spring and rebirth comes, everything is in the right place.
Key Points: Without an anchor, there can be no motion. Everything needs a solid component to “be”. All things come to a stop.
Manifestations: - Stability plus Power comes Life and Motion. Stability and moments of it are required for life. Motion and change are highly overrated. Patron of “Every Day” Life.
Commonly depicted as: An older taller woman of “good bones”, strong chin, and simple lines.
Cohorts: The Earth has a dozen spirits that are charged with “holding the world together”. The Twelve Aui perform the daily tasks that keep the world whole (and might do special tasks required to keep it safe).
The Comet AKA The Herald of Events
Key Points: The Cusp of Change is a powerful force and time of potential. Transitions are often complicated and messy, even if they are part of the Eternal Pattern
Manifestations: The Herald of The Forces. Patron of Riders, Musicians, and Heralds, especially those that wander. Watchdog of the Eternal Pattern, making sure things are in their proper place… and warning when they are not.
Commonly depicted as: A young woman dressed in fashionable male clothing. A comet motif is always at her belt. (Sometimes depicted as a young man dressed with feminine hair and female touches to his clothing… if not wearing feminine garb).
Cohorts: The Herald’s job is a lonely one. However there are watcher spirits that report back to her/ him. Some are even in the cohort of other Pathkeepers.
The Wheel AKA Wheel of time
Key Points: The Eternal Pattern is a cycle. Every beginning starts from some other beginning’s end.
Manifestations: Time is a spiral. The pattern is forever moving and weaving. While it might have variations, it is still the same pattern.
Commonly depicted as: The only non living manifestation. It is a wheel with seven spokes often with the icons of other Pathkeepers. More accurately, it is a water wheel, turning by the river of time. Sometimes it is seen with a mill or water powered loomery (weaving shop) attached to it.
Cohorts: None. Technically all other Pathkeepers are its cohorts, following the path that it keeps moving.
The old Wise Ones have given way to The Common Church