Vetus

Terms and Concepts


Sorceror

魔術師 majutsushi

The term used by Nodoka to refer to Dunamis, denoting a user of “magic as a technique”.

Will

精神力 seishinryoku

A term variously translated as “willpower” or “spiritual strength”. It refers to essentially ‘mental prowess’ – energy derived from the mind alone.


Spirit World

異界 ikai

A place not of this world, but simply a few steps removed from it – an ‘alien realm’ overlaid onto the real world, separately existing on the same space. The land of fairies and spirits; heavens and hells; all of these are considered to be spirit worlds.

A spirit world must be anchored onto the physical world. Thus, a large spirit world also requires a physical mass of sufficient size. For example, the legendary Dragon Palace (竜宮城 ryuuguujou) of Japan would overlap with a specific space on the sea bed, even if it doesn’t physically exist.

The premodern definition of “spirit world” is not a defined location, but rather a mythological ‘place’ – in other words, an explanation for inexplicable natural phenomena. In Greek mythology, the existence of the Underworld is not used to describe the man-eating monsters 3,657,830,400km below the earth, but to answer the question of why human beings cannot be brought back to life.

Illusionary World
幻想世界 gensou sekai

Phantasmagoria – “moving shadows”. A type of illusion magic which creates a spiritual, dream-like world existing within one’s mind. Thus, the world can be molded in any way its creator sees fit, even rewriting the laws of reality.

These worlds are not simply a ‘trick of the light’, but are ‘real’ and ‘physical’ in the sense that they can be interacted with.

Magic World
魔法世界 mahou sekai

Mundus Magicus – an illusionary spirit world created using Mars as a catalyst, existing as an overlapping existence on its surface, and possessing its own cultural systems: magianitas, a magic realm (魔法界 mahoukai).

This world is implied to have been created by the Lifemaker about 2600 years ago, during the Age of the Gods. It belongs to a highly unique group of worlds mainly found in Celtic and Chinese mythology; a type of spirit world which can be enter with a physical body.

World

世界 sekai

The universe as it is normally understood. More specifically, it can be used to refer to Earth. However, many worlds exist in a magical sense, with the ‘physical world’ serving as a foundation and basis.

Real World
現実世界 genjitsu sekai

Mundus actualis – ‘reality as we know it’. However, it would be a misnomer to apply it to our world as it would imply that the others are in some way ‘fake’.

Old World
旧世界 kyuu sekai

Mundus Vetus – our world, our cultures, and the space we inhabit. In other words, Earth.

However, although our world has been demythicised, it has always and continues to preserve esoteric and mythological systems of thought; it is not yet appropriate to call it an “unmagical world” (非魔法世界 himahou sekai).

The reason our world is called “the old world” is similar to why the Americas are referred to as “the new world”.


Breasts

マンマ

Mamma. Large breasts are the “sole reality” according to Erich Neumann. Nurturing and protecting, “basic traits of a female being”, come with the fullness of breasts -yo.

But that basic ‘trait of nurturing’ is not the only one -yo. There is also an important ‘trait of changing’ -ne. For example, ancient statues of flat-chested women, representing their youthfulness and vitality, their great spirit, and more than anything else, their dynamism -yo.

The members of Ala Alba demonstrate this well -ne. For example, the splendidly full and splendidly flat chests of Nagase and Sakurazaki -yo. Nagase’s large breasts hint at her ‘basic womanly trait’, and her wish and tendency to protect others -ne. By contrast, Sakurazaki’s size represents the ‘trait of change’, her sweet naivete and softness -yo. That’s why the two of them so easily fell into a trap when a hostage was involved -ne.

White Crow

白烏 byakuu

Beyond the region of our common and familiar things lies another one, filled with unknown powers and unknown dangers. A thing belonging to this field is marked off but (…) it may be taboo by its superiority or inferiority, by its virtue or vice, by its excellence or depravity. (…) To be seen by a tabooed person, by a priest or king, is as dangerous as to look at him.

– Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man

Japan, since ancient times, has held white beasts as good omens; in discussing the matter of good fortune, the Nihon Shoki gives “the phoenix, the kirin, the white pheasant, and the white crow” as examples of lucky signs. However, according to the Engi-shiki, the white crow was not simply a good omen, but a “spirit of the Sun”, a spiritually powerful being.

These spiritually powerful beings were feared and kept at a distance – in anthropology, they are referred to as ‘taboo’, and for better or for worse, they were avoided. The Japanese terms imiji (いみじ, abominable) and yuyushi (ゆゆし, grave), as well as the proverb sawaranu kami ni tatarinashi (触らぬ神に祟り無し, essentially “let sleeping dogs lie”) illustrate this concept well.

Setsuna had no choice but to leave her tribe because she was marked as taboo, a “white crow”, a sign of unrivaled spiritual strength – an indication of the strength Setsuna possesses.

Note that the byakuu is considered a good omen of the same level as the souu (blue-feathered bird), while the shouu (green-feathered bird), shakuu (red-feathered bird), and the mitsuashi no karasu (three-legged crow) are believed to have even greater strength.


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