Astronomy and Astrology, Runman-Style

A Supplementary Post for the Roots of Rookeri

For readers unfamiliar with Rothi-jaw, and the runmen’s talk of Svara and Verth and triple eclipses, here in outline is the astronomy underlying their astrology, followed by an outline of the implications.

The Moons

Unlike our world, the New World of Kalamite, Sifadis, Eshe and Boddy has 3 moons:

  • Stheino, with an orbit of 26.33 days
  • Euryale, with an orbit of 54.33 days
  • Medusa, with an orbit of 76.5 days

The 12 Decans

However, the moons’ orbits have not given rise to the divisions of the solar year (as happened Earth-side). That year has an exact 348 days (no additional hours and seconds). Which is rather fortuitous since that works out at 12 x 29 days, exact.

Instead of using a moon’s orbit, the astrologers

  • Divided the celestial equator into 12 Decans (what we would call the Zodiac Belt, each of 30°)
  • Named those Decans – inspired by the ‘Good Book’
  • Applied the 12 Decan-names to the 12 divisions of the year as determined by the passing of Heli (their sun) through said Decan (or segment of sky)

The Decan-Names (No prizes for whence the inspiration):

  1. The Goat
  2. The Rainmaker
  3. The Fishes
  4. The Ram & Lamb
  5. The Cow & Calf,
  6. The Discords, aka the Twins
  7. The Crab & Shore
  8. The Cat
  9. The Maiden
  10. The Witan
  11. The Unicorn
  12. The Hunter

The divisions of the year are therefore named:

  • The Goat’s weeks
  • The Rainmaker’s weeks
  • The Fishes’ weeks
  • And so forth

The Planets

Apart from the 3 moons, there are 5 planets:

  • Verth, the Accursed
  • Svara
  • Murag
  • Dizpeter alias the Good King
  • Stup, alias the Wicked

As with Earth-side astrology, people and places are said to be ruled by the planets, the behaviour of the ruling planet held responsible for the behaviour of their ruled persons and places. For example:

  • Svara rules Runman House and the Citadel Lecheni
  • Verth, the Accursed, rules Two Boars House, where currently sits the legere-chair
  • Medusa, the outermost moon, rules Old Shore House, where Sifadis Lafdi is heiress
  • Murag rules the entirety of Luban, the land south of the Ridge where Boddy is Raselstad’s chorus master

One Implication

When Svara and Murag conjoin – says the runmen – there will be invasion, bloodshed and war. Svara shares certain qualities with Earth-side Venus; Murag with Earth-side Mars.

The Runmen’s Event

On the 15th day of the Witan’s weeks, a triple eclipse of the moons will occur. An exact eclipse. A rare event, disregarding astrology.

Since one of the Houses at Citadel Lecheni is also called the Witan – being the council chamber of the Lafard Legere – this could prove additional cause for concern. Particularly since four days prior to the triple eclipse, and in that same Decan (the Witan), Svara and Murag conjoin, and linger a while in tight embrace.

Meanwhile, in the days preceding this, Verth the Accursed turns Retrograde i.e. he backtracks; a notoriously difficult time.

In truth, no one knows yet what will happen. But these multiple conjunctions (for an eclipse also is this) are definitely portentous.

At the start of the story, as Kalamite says, there are 31 weeks before these events. But the clock is ticking. By the time Runman Ffika finds what Kalamite wants from the records, and Eshe prepares for her trek to Rothi, already six weeks have passed.

If you’re not already a reader of The Roots of Rookeri, why not begin now and follow the countdown through the 31 weeks.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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7 Responses to Astronomy and Astrology, Runman-Style

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    I am answered . . . 🙂


    • crimsonprose says:

      I appreciated your queries on this. In the traditional, submit to publisher, situation the editor would have said, ‘You need this, this and this.’ As a blogged book we work in a vacuum but for the comments of readers such as yourself.
      I have now decided to post more ‘Supplements’, not vital to plot but helpful in understanding the world. This, of course, would not be possible in book-form, unless squeezed between chapters, as I have occasionally seen. So, you can look forward to reading of how these clearly humans from Planet Earth arrived on this New World – and why. The ‘why’ is important as it helps explain certain aspects of their behaviour.


      • Brian Bixby says:

        While I have to admit I’m torn between asking for more information, and knowing that in many cases you’re withholding it as part of the plot development. So I try not to rush your fences, but sometimes do have to ask just what is going on.

        I’ve seen my readers do the same to me. Do I need to clarify something, explain something, or just tell them to wait? Sometimes it depends on just how they phrase the question.


      • crimsonprose says:

        The problem is, if the reader is given it all in one go, where is there story? And can we justify the reader knowing what’s to happen before the characters discover it? This is the other side of the Neve-FF dilemma, where things revealed in Neve were preempting their uncovering in FF.
        And surely it is the readers gripping desire to know/understand what the flipping ‘eck is going on that keeps them reading – the page-turner effect.
        Yet, against that, we have to ask ourselves whether we’re being too obscure with what little we reveal. A delicate balance. The self-acclaimed experts who write the how-to type books will have it that you reveal only as much as is absolutely necessary. Keep them guessing. If the character hasn’t a clue, then the reader oughtn’t to have one either.
        So, while I am concerned to clarify where possible . . . I cannot tell you what is going to happen. Only . . . something. And since we none of us really believe in astrology’s ability to foretell and predict, that throws the ball into Kalamite’s lap. It is his anxiety, his fantasy, if you like, rather than an actuality. But of course, there is the theory that through worrying we attract the enactment of our fears (dread it enough, and it happens.)
        Does that answer?


      • Brian Bixby says:

        And, for all I know, maybe astrology DOES work in your story!


      • crimsonprose says:

        I’m more of the opinion that Kalamite attracts it by his own actions 🙂 And that isn’t given too much away 🙂


  2. Pingback: Roots of Rookeri 43 | crimsonprose

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