The body is
not a stone structure, it is a fusion of six elemental spirits which knit us
together and are in constant flux. Each constituent is swayed by a pair of the
Twelve Gods, thus each impels our personalities in different ways. A balance of
these influences is necessary for our livelihood; however, too much of one can
lead to an affliction of body and spirit.
Posit of the Six Bodily Constituents. Philosophy of the composition of the body hosts many contentions and disagreements. Still, one posit which has many proponents is that of the six bodily constituents. Just as Caelereth is composed of four elements - Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire - our bodies are intricately constituted of many elements. As we are children of the Gods, it is natural that we should be constituted from their influences, in a vital and delicate balance of each. Without this balance, we are swayed too easily toward a particular influence, which in extreme may infirm us, leading to sickness or even death.
The manner in which we balance the constituents is a further point of contention. Some propose that when one influence is too strong, the ideal remedy is to withdraw that element and thus recompose the body toward a more neutral position; an example of this is application of leeches to extract bad blood. Others believe that by infusing a small amount of an influence which, if given in large amounts, would make a normal person sick, the sick person will thus be "realigned" toward balance. However, most rational thinkers of our day believe that herbal supplements and elixirs are proven methods to treat illness and contagion, encouraging the bodily constituents to flow in a more healthy way and thus remedy the imbalance of the influences.
We may describe people's personalities by the influences which are strong in them, such as 'he is of customary phlegm', 'her sanguine vitality', or 'one's bilious temperament'. At the same time, when one is obviously under the sway of a particular influence, and they appear to be out of composure because of this imbalance, we make reference to their affliction by the influence which is in excess, as in, arvean or foiroan, alluding to the God which impels that particular constituent.
Myth/Lore. Mythology of the divine influences on our spirits has been passed on by oral tradition for millenia. The first woman to give shape to this lore and teach this wisdom to her students was the Quaelhoirhim sage Ypherén Quelthén’vashenár. In the year 1052 b.S., she penned "Influences of the Aviaría", a treatise on the bodily fluids derived from the Twelve Gods. She starts by explaining that we are composed of six bodily constituents, these being choler, phlegm, blood, bile, ichor, and animá. The word animá was coined by Sage Ypherén, a composition of "ánh" (adv.) meaning "at once" or "immediately", and the verb "imán" meaning "ignite", "arouse", or "spark". "Imán" is derived from "imáj" (f.) meaning "act", "action", or "deed". The Styrásh word, "ánh'imáj", signifies "idea" or "inspiration" (lit. "immediate action"); in Tharian writing and speech, this is reduced to animá, signifying "spirit".
Ypherén described that each of these constituents is necessary for life to continue, thus the Gods are constantly reshaping our bodies in many ways, on a daily basis. She further explained that when one of these constituents is out of balance with the others, that influence then grows too powerful and shifts a person's inner balance in undesirable ways. To restore health and proper working of the body, balance of the flow of the constituents must be found.
Herbalist mage Dalmac Brandivere, a learned scholar of our day, has composed a diagram representing the alignment of these harmoniously-existing constituents, provided here to illustrate the principle of counterbalancing spirits working toward an ideal neutral composition of our bodies.
Two Schools of Practice. The six constituents are acknowledged by most to exist in harmony, and intervening in their harmony is difficult, if not detrimental in most instances. This dilemma sparked the schism of healing practices into two schools of practice, the Rebalancers and the Constituants. Healer-Astrologer Iollan the Long-Sighted wrote the "Heterodoxy of Medicine", or "The Discord in Healing Practices of Our Time" which delineates the two theories:
Rebalancers ("Hypocreans", "Fixed Sixers")
Iollan summarizes the first approach: "The leeches and chirogeons who believe that each type is assigned before birth by the relevant Gods and that it could be considered blasphemous to tamper aggressively with those types, would argue that 'from observation we see that people's personalities are fixed and unalterable - as every woman who has ever wed a man hoping to change his ways will testify - all that we can hope to do is redress minor imbalances that result from a way of living which tip a person into untenable situations, such as long-term melancholia or excessive argumentativeness...
This camp is often known as ''Fixed Sixers' in popular parlance, though they prefer to refer to themselves as 'Rebalancers' or 'Hypocreans' (after a famous physician of the time of Thar). Their treatments are comparatively non-aggressive, generic, and holistic, preferring as they do to consider circumstances and way of life in a patient's condition. On the other hand, this means that Rebalancers will pry into every aspect of a person's life in order to determine the best treatment. They may prescribe herbal treatments, massages, art lessons, counseling, prayer, physical training such as swordplay, scholarly classes, the complete redecoration of one's primary abode, or a course of gnomish draughts. One never knows what to expect when one is being treated by a Hypocrean."
Constituants ("Flow Physicians", "Juggers")
Those who hold the opposing viewpoint are generally called "Constituants" (note spelling!), "Flow Physicians", or more deprecatingly, "Juggers" - from their well-known analogy quoted below.
Healer-Astrologer Iollan the Long-Sighted puts it that way: "The sentient being is comprised of six qualities or characteristics in various amounts which can vary randomly throughout the course of that being's life dependent upon the vissisitudes of fate. Those same qualities can be visualized as various fluids - wine, oil, beer, vinegar, and so on - in a marketstall, poured in and out of their respective jugs as the day passes. Excesses or deficiencies of certain fluids must be remedied..." - and Iollan continues after a description of the various problems that may arise - "...it is thus our task as physicians to redress those imbalances with the appropriate treatments, in effect replacing deficient levels of fluids and tipping out the jugs which are too full..."
And Iollan adds the following advice: "If you are a patient of a Flow Physician, be sure that you will feel you are getting your money's worth. Treatments will have immediate results - though not always what either doctor or patient expects - and may range from magical intervention to drastic fasts and purges. Potions, lotions, drinks, emetics, bloodletting, and clysters are all employed as a direct parallel of 'moving fluids' from place to place. One's various bodily fluids, in the same rational, are regularly examined closely to discern what changes are taking place in the Constituents; if you are employing a moderate Jugger, he will be content with frequent urine samples, and some blood once in a while. Only the most hypochondriac avail themselves of the services of the more aggressive and traditionalist Flow Physicians - you have been warned..."
The Flow of Vital Energy.
Healer Brynna of Hillsglow, an esteemed Rebalancer of
Voldar, teaches students of medicine in the
flow of vital energy, a corollary to the theory of the six bodily constituents.
This tradition, introduced by the Fixed Sixers, identifies not only 6, but
rather 12, vital constituents of the body. The Rebalancers acknowledge a
connection between the principal constituents and six complementary essences of
the body: saliva, effluvium, courses, whey, semen, and sweat. The flow of these
complementary essences is vitally linked to the flow of the first six. The
Juggers also acknowledge these essences, but do not address the alleviation of
improper flow of these.
Hence, the bodily fluids derived from the principal six and the complementary essences, are outlined here:
Choler forms the stool, from the intestines, which corresponds with semen, from the testicles.
Phlegm forms the sputum, from the lungs, which corresponds with whey, from the nose.
Choler is the forceful, willful influence of the body. Moreover, whereas Sanguine is the cheery and youthful component within us, Choler is the driven, stubborn, even spiteful spirit within us. A healthy dose of choler imparts our unique character and gives us free will; an excess can lead to wrathfulness or even wanton destructiveness.
Sanguine forms the blood, from the heart, which corresponds with courses, from the womb.
Bile forms green bile, from the gall bladder, which corresponds with effluvium, from the genitals.
Anima forms urine, from the kidneys, which corresponds with sweat, from the skin.
I. Choler. Choler is the
forceful, willful influence of the body. Moreover, whereas Sanguine is the
cheery and youthful component within us, Choler is the driven, stubborn, even
spiteful spirit within us. A healthy dose of choler imparts our unique character
and gives us free will; an excess can lead to wrathfulness or even wanton
Appearance. Choler is derived from the intestines and bathes the liver. Choler is black and viscous, like the blackness of anger or the dark spite within our souls.
Physical Embodiment of Choler. People typified as choleric are seen to be energetic, ambitious, and driven. They exert themselves, and tend to be bold in their statements and presence. Choleric temperament connotes a steeled character, resilient to shifting opinions and influences. When these influences are overrepresented, we talk of a choleric affliction. One who is swayed in excess by choler is violent, ill-tempered, and wrathful.
Spiritual Representation of Choler. The Gods who dominate the constituent of Choler are Armeros, a Fire God and the God of War, and Queprur, an Earth Goddess and the Goddess of Death.
Armeros represents conflict, struggle, and judgment, yet his Truth-Splitter chooses sides and metes out justice. He is both a wrathful and a righteous influence.
Queprur, Goddess of the Scythe, is the harvester of life. She brings both the freezing stillness of death and the inevitable return to the Earth. There are many Gods and Goddesses who oppose her, defending life; yet, she is undeterred and most often alone in her path of reaping souls of the living.
II. Phlegm. Phlegm's influence over the body is peaceful conviviality and awareness of one's surroundings. It encourages gentility, amicability, and serenity. Phlegmatic moments are ones of enjoying good company, sharing smiles and simple pleasures, and delighting in routine everyday affairs.
Appearance. Phlegm is the essence of the lungs and throat. It is the green of a young gurgling pond, a new spring morning, or the colour of the first leaves on the silkel trees.
Physical Embodiment of Phlegm. People of phlegmatic character may be seen in a positive light as self-content, shy, and kind, remaining stolidly calm, tending to resilience in the face of mental strain or shock. They seek to please others and promote compromise by the most uninjurious means possible. An innkeep attending his guests when they complain about service, and a farmer guiding her hired help in sowing crop when they groan about toiling under the burning midday sun are both moved by the phlegmatic influence. When the phlegm dominates the balance, and excess of phlegm withdraws one from life, then Arvean affliction appears as being reserved, guarded, torpid, slothful, and plodding.
Spiritual Representation of Phlegm. The Gods who impel the phlegm are Arvins, an Earth God and God of the Hunt, and Eyasha, a Wind Goddess and Goddess of Peace.
Arvins is the Huntlord, both reigning over the Hunter and the Hunted, teaching the Children of Avá how to heed the beauty and balance of nature. It is said that He taught the first elves about Avá's forgiveness, goodness and kindness which shines through all living things. He provides calm and reassurance in the midst of the storm, the unemotional assuredness and estimation of one's self-sufficiency in the face of life's tribulations.
Eyasha is prayed to for many causes: Peace and unity, harmony, tranquility, contentment, friendship, hearth and hospitality. She is at times described as "The Uniter", causing people to forget their differences and come together.
III. Sanguine. Sanguine is the boundless, youthful spirit of the body, the essence of love, romance, and passion. Though all the constituents impel us to hope, the sanguine influence is a zealous, almost childlike fervor, at times blinding us to imperfections and flaws which would otherwise give us pause to speak or act.
Appearance. Sanguine is the coursing surge of life in the blood, heart, and veins. Red like the aura of the rising sun, glowing like the red tint of the R’unorian rose, and hot like the melting wax from a candle, it flows and ebbs like the tides of the ocean. As lava bubbles up from a volcano, hot, roiling, and churning, the sanguine constituent effervesces up, inflaming our hearts, and at times drowning out the quiet musings of our minds.
Physical Embodiment of Sanguine. To call someone sanguine is to describe them as cheery, fun-loving, and exuberant. Often praised by bards and stage players, this influence paints the world in rosy hues and stimulates us to sing melodious ballads which entrance and captivate an audience. However, this powerful capacity to influence our hearts may consume us, afflicting us with Ethereal excess. In this process, we are transmuted, becoming feverish, wanton, inflamed, and incensed.
Spiritual Representation of Sanguine. The Gods who draw forth the sanguine constituent are Etherus, a Fire God and God of Excess, and Jeyriall, a Water Goddess and Goddess of the Harvest.
Etherus, the lascivious God of Desire, Lust and Love, is spontaneous and unpredictable. His works, seas which flood the land and volcanic eruptions which destroy vast territories, are awesome and terrifying. He is worshipped in leaving behind traditional virtues in favour of excessive gorging and carefree lovemaking.
Jeyriall, the Goddess who breathed life into the created earth and its occupants, represents divine provenance among the Gods. Because of Her, this mortal disk is blessed with fecundity, abundance, and reproduction, whether of plant or animal. By nature, She is generous, embracing and nurturing life.
IV. Bile. Bile gives us pause to reflect upon what we see, feel, hear, and touch. It is the gentle muse which stirs introspection and wonderment. It is bile which impels us to repose and share tales with friends after a banquet, and bids us to reminisce as we watch young children at play.
Appearance. Bile is a pearlescent styruine green fluid, collected in the gall bladder, which washes our innards with tranquility and satiety. It is not the proud, impressive sognastheen of deep summer; rather, it is the quietly magnificent green of the seaweeds swaying just beneath the surface of the ocean.
Physical Embodiment of Bile. One who is of a bilious composure is seen as intuitive, artistic, and introspective. He or she may seek truth by searching inward to probe their feelings. Playwrights and poets may call upon their bilious proclivity to delve into deeper meanings to common experiences. Yet, when one is drowned by the bilious influences, he or she may succumb to melancholy, becoming sullen, dark, and somber.
Spiritual Representation of Bile. The Gods who favour the bile are Urtengor, an Earth God and God of the Forge, and Seyella, a Water Goddess and Goddess of Destiny.
Urtengor, or TolGerKorim ("King of the Deep Earth") in dwarven tongue, is the God of metalworking, digging deep into the mountains and surfacing all the beautiful gems and minerals from which this world is crafted. It was Urtengor who brought the fabled sungems underground, placed the Stargems in the sky, and forged the moon, so that there might be light in the darkness.
Seyella, Goddess of Time, Being and Becoming, sees all reality in her mind. Deeply wounded by witnessing the immolation of the Tree of Life, She has blindfolded herself so as to not endure watching the defilement of Avá’s Dream. Now helpless to affect change in this world, She is the Goddess of contemplation, pity, and commiseration.
V. Anima. Anima roils, bubbles, shifts and swirls with graceful yet inexorable vitality. It is the unpredictably captivating influence which ignites change and sparks our imagination. The spirit of anima is ever in flux, finding new, untried ways to explore and express beauty and mirth.
Appearance. Anima is a light-coloured lyth’be pollen yellow fluid, thin and watery to the touch. It runs through the bladder, but it also likes to enliven other parts of the body, such as the nerves and the spine, giving them their suppleness and vigor. It is the colour of the first rays of the sun emerging in the daybreak, the fire dancing atop a candle wick, and the golden sunspark of topaz.
Physical Embodiment of Anima. An animated soul is one who is vigorous, dynamic, multitalented, and revolutionary. These people tend to be lighthearted, though, at times, fragile when faced with criticism. Anima springs forth creativity in myriad forms. The lissome performance of a ballerina, the seraphic brushstrokes of a masterful artist, and the ineffable joy in a child’s laughter all resonate from the influence of the anima. Yet, as anima is often impelled without direction, one who is carried away by these wanderings of the soul may be lost to a Grothan affliction. Such a person is fickle, adrift, or protean, never finding an aim to their purposeless energy.
Spiritual Representation of Anima. The gods who epitomize the anima are Baveras, a Water Goddess and Goddess of the Sea, and Grothar, a Wind God and God of Weather.
Baveras defies singular description: She is simultaneously the Cold and Deadly, the Helpful and Caring, and the Playful and Joyful One. She supports all life with the ebb and flow of the waters which spring from her, yet She destroys and drowns in her vast, cold waters. She is mysterious and yet perfectly transparent, incomprehensible to any mortal.
Grothar, the lover of Baveras, is the King of the Skies and the Cloudmaster. He loves and cares for the people of Caelereth, though His moods are capricious, and His favour can rapidly veer without warning. He brings wind to propel sea vessels and rain to grow crops; both are unpredictable, thus He must be constantly placated to garner His attention and good will.
VI. Ichor. Ichor leads us to discern evidence through isolated observation, and glean truths through disciplined analysis and insightful deduction. The extension of this influence is to distance oneself from preconceived notions and heated emotions, with the intent to conceive of the abstract, guiding design or principle underlying real, worldly instances of objects or conditions.
Appearance. Ichor is clear blue in aspect, thin and unctuous between the fingers. It is the colour of the glaze of ice over a frosty lake, and has the cool luster of a polished opal.
Physical Embodiment of Ichor. One who is portrayed as having an ichorous disposition is thought to be cerebral, philosophical, and contemplative. He or she will likely hold the opinion that truth is absolute, waiting to be assayed and comprehended. A scholar buried in his tomes of knowledge, a magistrate weighing the merits of disputing arguments, and an alchemist determining the potency or composition of an alloy are prevailed upon by the influence of ichor. In superfluity, however, one may be overcome by Foiroan affliction, that is, reclusive, inscrutable, and abstruse.
Spiritual Representation of Ichor. The Gods who preside over ichor are Foiros, a Fire God and God of the Sun, and Nehtor, a Wind God and God of Healing.
Foiros is often seen as the God of Justice, and is called upon when inner strength is needed to resist desire and lust. He was one of the first Gods who put the world of Caelereth to order. He caged the blazing flames on the earth and placed them in the sky, calling this light Injèrá, or the sun to humans, that it might illuminate the world, display the beauty of creation, and depict the virtues of humility, compassion, honesty, and love.
Nehtor is referred to in ancient texts as the God of Concern, Mourning and Sorrow, as He grieves for what has been destroyed and the pain that is inflicted upon the world that He cares for so deeply. It was not so in the beginning, as He was the most joyful and carefree of the Gods, dancing and singing out of delight at the creation. When Queprur and Etherus deigned to blot out the beautiful creation, Nehtor taught all living things how to hold death at bay. It was not until the Tree of Life was put to flame that Nehtor severed relations with the other Gods, retiring to the far edge of the world, only visiting the rest of the world once a year to dance and melt the winter snow.