Sunday, December 2, 2018

Patterns Discerned 3: The Demons of Hrü'ü and Wúru

Twelve demons are somehow affiliated with the Supreme Principle of Change Hrü'ü and His cohort Wúru. However, in general this is a motley grouping, whose allegiances are often uncertain.

Only three (Durún, Ka'íng and Narkonáa) are categorically stated to be of the substance and essence of these Deities; Hrgásh supposedly is as well, but this is "hearsay," while the major demon Marássu is apparently "allied" to these two deities (and His glyph allegedly displays this alliance). Giritlén is ambiguously said to be of the substance and essence of Hrü'ü or Ksárul (or Their cohorts), while Gurushá is of the substance of Wúru but unknown essence, and Chríya is of the essence of Hrü'ü but unknown substance. The remaining four of these demons show mixed allegiances: Neré is of the substance of Wúru but the essence of Sárku; Mikoyél of the essence of Wúru but the substance of Chiténg; Zanátl of the essence of Hrü'ü but the substance of Ksárul; and Uní is of the essence of Ksárul but the substance of Hrü'ü.

With demons of such diverse (or mysterious) allegiances, we might hope to find some element diagnostic of affiliation with Hrü'ü and Wúru, but we would surely expect to see many enigmatic or unidentifiable elements. This is indeed the case; and if you think the demons of Lord Hrü'ü are obscure, wait until we start looking at Lord Ksárul! Holy Moley!

The "Wide-Opened Eyes" or "Errant Chusétl" Motif, Highlighted in Red

The most obvious common element in these glyphs, present in eight of the twelve (those for Ka'íng, Giritlén, Neré, Narkonáa, Hrgásh, Zanátl, Chríya, and Mikoyél), is a pair of vertical ovals, arranged side-by-side. In most cases, these are joined by two slender ligatures (although Ka'íng's glyph has four, while for Chríya and Mikoyél, the ovals are pressed close together with no space for any ligatures at all). In three cases (Hrgásh, Chríya, and Mikoyél), these ovals are further joined by one or more chevrons at the top. This odd double-oval element gives many of these glyphs a quality of wide-eyed staring faces, and indeed it is tempting to see them as depicting widely opened eyes. This may be what this element literally depicts, but it must represent something more. The design most strongly recalls the symbol of Drá, cohort of Lord Hnálla, but this cannot be. Can it? Instead, I am going to suggest that it represents the Chusétl, the "Shadow-Self," the self of dreams and visions, the ethereal counterpart of the Hlákme. Specifically, I believe that the "Wide-Opened Eyes" motif represents the "Errant Chusétl," actively wandering the Planes Beyond, seeking Truth in Darkness, and perceiving the glories of perpetual Change; this in contradistinction to the "Chusétl in Repose" or "Dreaming Chusétl" that we will see in a later post.

Examples of the "Emanations" from the "Errant Chusétl," Highlighted in Red

In all cases, additional elements emanate from the top or side of one or both "eyes" of the "Errant Chusétl." These emanations vary widely and each is unique, but there are broadly two types: exuberant plumed arabesques curling toward the left (Ka'íng, Giritlén, Neré, Hrgásh, and Mikoyél); or short, spindly "antennae" projecting to the left and right, and sometimes upward as well (Narkonáa, Zanátl, and possibly Chríya). We can guess that these projections from the Shadow-Self represent various forms of perception, learning, and manifestation by the Chusétl, but their precise meanings remain unclear.

Other elements, particularly in the lower register of each glyph, are also difficult to interpret. The glyph for Zanátl includes a closed-loop representation of the "Bákte in Death," which is unexpected, since Zanátl has no (known) affiliation with Lord Sárku. Neré, who does have some allegiance to Sárku, displays the right-hand end of the "Bákte," which projects from one side of the "Errant Chusétl." On the other side, apparently emerging from both the end of the Bákte" and the side of the Chusétl, is a plumed emanation. Even this is unexpected, since the Chusétl is not believed to survive the death of the Bákte. Perhaps this half-Bákte represents part of an open-ended living (or sleeping?) Bákte.

Possible "Portrait-Glyphs"

Three of these glyphs may consist of visual representations of demons, rather than abstract symbols. The name-glyph for Durún certainly appears to be a profile portrait of the demonic Beast which is the Steed of Lord Hrü'ü. The glyphs for Chríya and Mikoyél exhibit staring eyes that lack the connecting ligatures of other glyphs, and these may represent literal portrait eyes, rather than the symbolic "eyes" of the "Errant Chusétl" motif. Chríya's glyph certainly looks like the "frightening face" device employed on the shields of warriors. The glyph for Mikoyél looks rather like a portrait as well, of an entity holding a staff or scythe, but perhaps we should reserve further comment until we discuss the demons affiliated with Vimúhla.

Enigmatic Glyphs

Finally, three glyphs (those for Uní, Gurushá, and Marássu) display none of the common elements, and also do not appear to be portraits. Uní's glyph is dominated by what appears to be a variant of the Bákte-Hlákme-Worm combination (a variant identical to that found in Kurritlakál's glyph, discussed in the previous post). This combination should strongly indicate affiliation with Lord Sárku, but no such affiliation is indicated in Ebon Bindings. The glyph for Gurushá is simply perplexing; it contains no elements I can recognize (yet), with the exception of three (!) possible four-pointed Hlákme stars. Finally, there is the glyph for Marássu the "Ever-Nearing Pursuer." This looks vaguely like it might be another portrait, depicting a fanged face. However, the half-lidded eyes and the drooping mouth may be symbolic content, specifically suggesting affiliation with Lord Ksárul, as we shall see in a later post. While Marássu is not unfriendly to Ksárul, it is surprising that his glyph shows affinity to Ksárul but not to Lord Hrü'ü.

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