A Scribbled Note: The Seven Roots of Man - an esoteric elemental theory

The Seven Roots of Man - an esoteric elemental theory A random jotting on elemental theory in my writings, from my writing notes.

My settings' magical schools and natural philosophers don't describe four elements in the Classical sense - they never had an Empedocles or a Plato to describe them as such.

Their alchemists do speak of four Forms of matter, also known as Roots or Stoicheia, but these are described more as natural states - solid, liquid, vapour, plasma (fire, but also electromagnetic fields).

The word "stoicheion" means the smallest division, e.g. of a sundial; a unit, a single syllable, from which a word could be formed.

Beyond the Stoicheia of rude matter are two more Stoicheia - Life and Breath - Life being the force which drives living things to live, and Breath being the undifferentiated Ether or orgone which manifests as Magic Points and POW in living beings.

A seventh Stoicheion, Mind, is above all of them - and its teachings are among the most closely-guarded secrets of the sorcerous guilds, because all life requires Life and Breath, and all sentient life requires Mind, because the Stoicheion of Mind (also known as Data) is the Root of the information field, and the information, generated by living beings.

Plant life is Life on its own. Enchanted plant life - magic trees whose leaves concentrate magical power, for instance - have the Roots of Life and Breath.

Animal life has the Stoicheion of Life, and only enough of the Roots of Breath and Mind to survive on. Animals capable of expressing emotions, remembering their own dead and communicating with one another have a little more Mind; but not enough to have variable INT.

Spirits possess the Stoicheia of Breath and Mind - some with fixed Mind, some with sentience and high quality Mind - but being disembodied, they have no Life. Likewise the undead possess a tiny, guttering spark of Life, enough to hold the body together against decay and to move it about - but no Breath and perhaps a tiny flake of Mind, unless they are vampires or liches; and while both forms of sentient undead possess true sentient Mind, and liches can continue to exist indefinitely on the guttering spark of Life because that spark of Life is sustained indefinitely by a source of Breath to keep it going (from the enchantment which turned the being into a Lich), vampires need to consume the roots of both Life and Breath in order to continue.

Only in Man do the Stoicheia of Life, Breath and Mind come together in their fullest, highest expression, because these Seven Roots come together, all the Roots both Subtle and Gross, to produce Art and Philosophy, and the incredible learning machines that we call Human.

The Seven Roots of Man.

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