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What role should lunar eclipses play in a religion that practices witchcraft?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Erebus, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. Erebus

    Erebus Minstrel

    This takes place on a world similiar to ours, with one major exception. The moon is made up of a substance called warpstone. This rock is solidified Mana compressed into physical form. Pieces of the moon will sometimes fall to earth, which contain magical properties and are used in spells. Due to this, the moon has religious significance in world religions, as a sign of God's gift to humans. Occasionally, an event known as a solar eclipse occurs, when the moon, sun, and earth align with each other. During this event, witches see an increase in magical power, allowing them to perform spells they otherwise wouldn't be able to perform at all, or without assistance. A special religious celebration called the Sabbat takes place during the eclipse, in which special rituals of worship are conducted to take advantage of the power increase.

    In our world, a solar eclipse is visible from the planet a few times a year, in certain locations. However, a total solar eclipse that can be seen across the planet generally happens every three or four centuries. What I need is for a total eclipse to happen once every year, at the six month mark. To accomplish this, I have made the earth a little smaller and put the moon farther away, with a slightly altered tilt. While this creates the scenario that I desire, it also has the side effect of increasing the amount of lunar eclipse to about once a month.

    The solar increases the power of witches, leading to the sabbat celebration. The lunar eclipse should have some significance in this religion as well. What role should it play in witch society?
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    The easy answer is: any role you want it to play.

    What ideas do you have so far?
  3. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

    There's between 2 and 5 eclipses per year in our world. Total eclipses happen about every other year (there have been / will be 3173 total eclipses between 2000 BCE and 3000 CE). As far as I know, there has never been a total eclipse that was visible by the entire world. The track where the total eclipse is visible as total is less than 300km wide and 7000km long. Partial eclipses will have a bigger track but even they should not be visible across the whole world.

    Making the earth smaller would have very little effect for the overall visibility of the solar eclipse. Putting the moon further out only works if you also make the moon bigger. If you just move the moon further out then the effect will be that total eclipses disappear simply because the moon will also be smaller in the sky while the sun stays the same size.

    Sorry, I know this isn't answering your question. But the physicist in me got out. (in case you want some data, check out nasa

    As for an actual answer. As skip.knoxskip.knox says, you can have it mean whatever you need.

    For me the most obvious answer is that if a solar eclipse increases their power and it's linked directly to the moon, then a lunar eclipse decreases (or even removes it completely) their power for the duration.

    Though of course, a lunar eclipse occurs at full moon, so it could also increase their power, just to a lesser degree.

    As a side note, if you're thinking about publishing this story I would consider renaming Warpstone. It's a term common in the warhammer game / lore from Games Workshop. And they tend to be a bit protective of anything they consider to have invented...
  4. R.H. Smith

    R.H. Smith Minstrel

    I like the premise man. If it's religion based, then the solar eclipse can be correlated to some powerful god of the witches. The lunar can have the opposite effect and take the guise of, for example, When the Gods Solar and Lunar were waging war across the sky, each factions power waned and waxed much like the lunar seasons. Solar, being the "good" God and Lunar being the "witches" God. In a Solar eclipse, the witches Lunar God gets in front of the Solar God, blocking that gods power and accentuating the witches power. In a Lunar eclipse, the opposite. Witches power is severely drained. Add some backstory your religions and it will flesh out exactly what you are looking for. Once you have that backstory, you can use that to guide you through your process of how to represent the Lunar eclipse in a way that satisfies you. Hope this helps!
  5. Radav

    Radav New Member

    Think of our real life moon's very real and powerful effect on the Earth. It brings tides in the sea. Much like the moon, tides are predictable. It also moves towards or away from us in a predictable fashion. People deriving magic from a moon would likely have its effects very well predicted presuming there are many hundreds of years of tradition behind it. If they don't they would be obsessed with doing so.

    So even away from major events like an eclipse powers would fluctuate much like tides. Any cross planet interaction would have one practitioner feeling more powerful than another. Even malignant non practitioners would adjust and adapt themselves to these tides of magic to the best of their actions.

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