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Author Topic: Sorecerer & Sword Q: Spiral Dynamics?  (Read 1940 times)
Ben Terry

Posts: 12

« on: January 24, 2004, 02:08:26 PM »

This is just a simple question about a small piece of text at the bottom of page 52 in Sorcerer & Sword.  In the description of Xar Demonics, Ron says that if he were to make a map of the world, "If one were to rate a province of Xar by religion, the center of the continent would be "blue" or monotheistic, with various shades of magneta or lavender to indicate the presence of older, animistic or demon worshipping cultures, and with only a few scattered, far-flung provinces being crimson."

I was wondering, why these colors?  Where do they come from?  It seems crimson is used without referring to what it means.  I happened across this Spiral Dynamics social/developmental theory through reading a book by a kind of Buddhist/Psychologist guy by the name of Ken Wilber, and in the Spiral Dynamic theory they associate colors with various levels of development like so:

Beige - Archaic/Instinctual: Basic Survival, etc.
Purple- Magical/Animistic: Tribal, Spirits in everything, superstitious, etc.
Red- Power Gods:  Feudal, Archtypal Gods/Goddesses, might makes right
Blue- Mythic Order:  Early Nations, Absolute morality, monotheism, John Wayne...
Orange- Scientific Achievement:  Enlightenment era, investigation of claims, meritocracy
Green-  The Sensitive Self:  Postmodernism, eliminate hierarchy, feminism, etc.
Other Colors-  Some other colors that point the way to higher, more integrated stages of development.

(The above is just a quick hack summary of the general idea of the theory...)

So, as you can see, those colors seem to align with that bit of text from Sorcerer & Sword, and I was wondering if Ron was familar with that theory when he wrote that passsage, or if those colors are associated with different ideas I am just totally unaware of.


Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2004, 02:57:44 PM »

Hi Ben,

Nah, I didn't know a thing about it, and it sounds pretty flaky to me, actually.

If you were to go by that scheme, my Xar map would be blue where I say blue, but purple where I say red.

As for the text itself, the red refers to the older, animistic traditions of Xar which for the most part exist as secondary or subsumed elements of the dual-god culture (which is really monotheistic, if you squint), except in minority or radical forms in patches far from the center of the Empire. I just picked blue and red because they're visually distinctive from one another and have a nice recognizable, shaded range of blends.

Interestingly, back when I first wrote that stuff in 1991, the Glorantha material I was most familiar with had a distinctive Graeco and semi-medieval flavor to it (very 1970s Glorantha), rather than Persian and animistic. So I didn't think of Xar and Glorantha as having much in common. But now, Xar seems to me to be much closer to today's versions of published Glorantha.

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