This is a fictional essay of Goddesses/Aspects and ether/magic in Ethereal Seals. It elaborates on the Aspects or elemental goddesses that constitute reality. Each represents a particular facet of the primal Goddess, Etherea. In sum, they are the Ether or Her influence. Of the Aspects, there are seven. Five form the primordial elements: fire, water, air, earth, and spirit. The other two, light and shadow, bring balance, order, and expression to the primordial five. Below is a detailed description of terms and the theory behind the ether.
Etherea – The primal Goddess who constitutes reality. She is Source, the Cosmic Dreamer, conjuring the omniverse with her divine will. All reality spins from her cosmic clock. Ether is her energy, which turns the clock, giving rise to the Aspects, or minor goddesses and facets of herself. A mortal can channel the ether through the process of shifting. See a list of Aspects below.
Fire(Ignis) – The raging passion of the Goddess. This represents Her destructive capacity, be it to destroy or purify. The flames of Ignis are unrelenting, forever turning Etherea’s cosmic clock and inviting astronomical cycles while nulling stagnation.
Water(Aqua) – The soothing grace of the Goddess. Aqua refreshes and maintains. Its polar opposite is Ignis, acting as cosmic preserver against goading destruction. Aqua ensures cycles are adequately renewed and never lost.
Air(Ventus) – The enabling zone of the Goddess. Ventus acts as a medium for the other Aspects to function. Its role as provider allots dimensional space, encouraging the elements to flourish and invigorating them. Without Ventus, the Ether would have no place.
Earth(Terra) – The bedrock of the Goddess. Terra is the substrate that develops solid form, a symbol of growth from the abstract to the material. From Terra, the Aspects evolve and give rise to elemental shapes and entities. Unlike its counterpart, Ventus, Terra is more concrete.
Spirit(Animus) – The breath of the Goddess. Animus unites the Aspects, granting them intelligence, and leading to sentience and sapience from the Aspects’ derivatives. Animus is a return to the abstract after the concrete establishes itself, symbolizing unity among all.
Light(Lumas) – The order of the Goddess. From the chaotic void of nothingness, Lumas brings law and wisdom to the five fundamental elements. The goddess Lumas acts as the rational brain behind the Ether, weaving purpose into the Aspects.
Shadow(Umbra) – The chaos of the Goddess. Umbra grants the Aspects freedom and will to choose. This wild autonomy mixes with the order of Lumas, developing an open reality based on spiritual law.
With the law of the Goddess interwoven with the free will of reality, the Aspects mature within dimensional space, utilizing Ignis as the destructor, Aqua as the preserver, and Ventus and Terra as providers and creators. Animus unites the pieces together, giving rise to worlds, planes, and civilizations. Hence the cycles of reality turn with the passing of Etherea’s cosmic clock.
The Aspects are each divine deities in their own right, whom practitioners connect with at a mental and spiritual level. In this regard, the Aspects serve as conduits between practitioners and Source. Anyone in Ethereal Seals is a potential wielder of these abilities, as long as they clear their mind and harness their connection with Source. Individuals to accomplish this practice forms of meditation. It is easier to begin this process by focusing on a single and specific Aspect of the ether. Expert practitioners may call upon more than one Aspect at a time. Adept practitioners are shifters.
Realization occurs when one finally achieves perfect connection with a particular Aspect. Similar to a state of enlightenment, at this point, it is impossible for the practitioner to forget how to form the link, as it is stored on a subconscious level. The connection does not signify dependence of the individual on the Aspect, but rather a merging of the two as the former accesses a portion of the divine. There are many levels of spiritual awareness, most which take several lifetimes to achieve.
More straightforward shifting is nigh instantaneous, while more complex shifting require rituals or lengthy preparations while in trance states. Shifting is viable while moving, as long as the mind focuses on the task. If the state of the mind fractures without much resistance, then shifting fails. The process of shifting draws from the wielder’s spiritual and mental reserves. Overuse leads to exhaustion and death. Endurance varies on the shifter.
Essential shifting rituals:
- Mudra – Hand gestures that evoke the neurons within the fingers that actively connect to the Aspects and mimic sacred symbols. Mudras range from simple to complex. Complicated shifting requires a series of consecutive mudras.
- Mantra – Vocalizations that vibrate throughout reality, evoking liaison to the Aspects. This includes chanting to melodious singing. The foundation of Atlasian language makes heavy use of this divine law. To the ears of an Earth human, refined Atlasian accents sound melodious, flowing from one word to the other seamlessly. One might get the impression of ‘pleasantly melting’ from Atlasian syllables. While cruder languages on Atlas exist, the ancient Highborne variant often finds a place in shifting.
- Vir’gol – While not required, virgal are useful for the inexperienced, or for conserving energy. They include but are not limited to wands, staffs, gemstone baubles, swords, and so forth. Helps a shifter channel the ether around them. Vir’gol can vary in strength, depending on the nature of the vir’gol.
- Astol – A reproduction avatar of the practitioner. Severely drains the shifter, but adds an additional vector for shifting. The astol is tangible as the original and may perform shifting without its counterpart doing so. An astol cannot maintain form for long without damaging its owner’s soul, as the spirit splits between two bodies. Exceptions include those who harbor a secure connection with a particular Aspect or those who have surpassed their mortal limitations and have reached enlightenment.