Sorceresses of Rossak

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chanilover
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Sorceresses of Rossak

Postby chanilover » 16 Mar 2008 17:17

I'm not sure if this belongs here, so you can move it if you like.

Were the Bene Gesserit formed on Rossak by that woman in the magic puddle? I wasn't convinced by this explanation in the Legends books, although I remembered something about Rossak and sorceresses in Dune.

I've now finished Dune and the only references I can find are these.

In the scene where Jessica transforms the Water of Life and shares with Ramallo, Jessica sees the past line of RMs and is surprised at how old the Fremen culture is. It mentions how the Fremen’s history was passed down orally from Sayyadina to Sayyadina until the poison drug was discovered on Rossak, when OM presumably first became possible and since then refined by the Water of Life.

It seems that the poison drug on Rossak was used by the ancestors of the Fremen and THEIR Reverend Mothers, and not by the people who formed the Bene Gesserit.

As for the sorceresses, they are only mentioned in the Appendices. Reference is made to the sorceresses "whose powers were real" and mention is made of the Bene Gesserit banding the sorceresses. The same Appendix also says that the time was one of struggle between beast-demons on one side and the old prayers and invocations on the other.

I don't think Frank Herbert was thinking about sorceresses with real magical powers any more than he was thinking about the universe being filled with beast demons. He seems to be speaking figuratively, although who knows? Maybe we can look forward to a trilogy of Beast Demons of Dune in the future.

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Postby orald » 16 Mar 2008 17:37

Immediately, space gave a different flavor and sense to ideas of Creation. That difference is seen even in the highest religious achievements of the period. All through religion, the feeling of the sacred was touched by anarchy from the outer dark.
It was as though Jupiter in all his descendant forms retreated into the maternal darkness to be superseded by a female immanence filled with ambiguity and with a face of many terrors.
The ancient formulae intertwined, tangled together as they were fitted to
the needs of new conquests and new heraldic symbols. It was a time of struggle between beast-demons on the one side and the old prayers and invocations on the other.

It's only telling us on the different beliefs that sprang up then or were renewed, and "their" struggle for dominance.

It was a time of sorceresses whose powers were real. The measure of them is seen in the fact they never boasted how they grasped the firebrand.

This has always made me wonder a bit, but FH never seemed to introduce anywhere near the level of powers P&B churn up.
I think it was more of the way BG's are seen as witches to the broad public(and probably nobility as well).
After all, OM is quite the thing to call witchcraft if you're uninformed on the mundane biological mechanics behind it.

I think FH was refering more to the "witches" before those first "real" ones as just not being real- being charlatans, hoaxes.
Those first were then the first to poses actual "witchcraft".
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby SandChigger » 16 Mar 2008 18:31

THERE WERE NO SORCERESSES ON ROSSAK!!!!!

Ugh.

There is nothing in the originals to suggest there were. This is either P&B bullshit or something in FH's notes that they've misread. (The Dune Encyclopedia describes Rossak as a frozen hellhole, IIRC. Whether that was McNelly and/or his authors' imaginations at work or based on something FH mentioned/told them is anybody's guess.)

And the origins of the BG are older than the Jihad, based on the fact that they had Mother Superiors and OM and Archives by the time of the Battle of Corrin. (It was the MS at the time of the BoC that initiated the secret, mutual assistance relationship with the Jews.)

Kevin and Brian either cannot read or changed things to their liking. Period.

(If FH intended something different, let them prove it by releasing the relevant materials.)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Tleilax Master B » 17 Mar 2008 08:26

SandChigger wrote:(If FH intended something different, let them prove it by releasing the relevant materials.)


Word!
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Postby chanilover » 20 Mar 2008 03:05

No, there weren't sorceresses on Rossak in Franks's writings or notes, but I think the two fucktards put two and two together and made five million with the references to sorceresses in the Appendices to Dune and the mention of the poison drug on Rossak used by the ancestors of the Fremen Reverend Mothers, NOT by the BG's ancestors.

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Postby Davaro » 29 May 2008 17:07

I always thought that the power of the "sorceresses" were the nascent begins of such abilities as Voice, Truthsay, Other Memories, Prana-Bindu control, etc. They didn't wield magic and fly about on brooms, like P&B would have us think.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 29 May 2008 17:54

They put 2 and 2 together and got 5 when they decided that the Bene Gesserit form after the Jihad. From Chapter House:

"The masking system (the crystal continued) did not succeed with us. We have
our own well-recorded Jewish heritage and a fund of Other Memory to tell us
reasons for secrecy. We did not disturb the situation until I, Mother Superior
during and after the battle of Corrin (Very old, indeed!), saw that our
Sisterhood had need of a secret society, a group responsive to our requests for
assistance."


It of course dosn't say that the Battle of Corrin was during the Jihad, but KJA and BH certainly decided it was. They can't have it both ways, either that battle was post Jihad, or the Bene Gesserit existed already at that time.
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Postby SandChigger » 29 May 2008 20:05

Davaro wrote:I always thought that the power of the "sorceresses" were the nascent begins of such abilities as Voice, Truthsay, Other Memories, Prana-Bindu control, etc. They didn't wield magic and fly about on brooms, like P&B would have us think.

Exactly! :D

For sorceress, my Dictionary app gives "a female sorcerer; a witch." Continuing upstream, sorcerer, "a person who claims or is believed to have magic powers; a wizard"; witch, "a woman thought to have evil magic powers." So, finally, magic, "the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces."

In FH's time (when he wrote Dune) as now, we associate "soceresses" with magic powers...which no one (with a working brain) really believes in. Which is why FH went to the trouble of adding that their "powers were real."

I don't believe he meant that the way Pinky and The Brian ("...Ah'm Braahn...Dune 2!!! Can I go home now, Kevin?" "This is your home, you idiot!") have interpreted it, either. He obviously meant that they had abilities which would appear uncanny, even supernatural or...magical...to the uninintiated. But which were perfectly explicable and the result of intense training and practice.

DUNE IS IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT!

And the Bene Gesserit were DEFINITELY around before the Battle of Corrin, and probably had their origins long before the Jihad as well. They were already organized enough to have Mother Superiors and records. AND they already had Other Memory.

Mark my words: there will be retcons coming for these things!
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby orald » 29 May 2008 20:16

SandChigger wrote:Mark my words: there will be retcons coming for these things!

Mark my words: there will be rectums from which these things will come!
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 29 May 2008 20:28

What does retcon mean? Newb here.
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Postby SandChigger » 29 May 2008 20:31

Um...what was it again?

Retrorocket condom?

No, that's not it.

Ah!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retcon :wink:

Retroactive continuity (or informally retcon) is the deliberate changing of previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. The change itself is informally referred to as a "retcon", and the act of writing and publishing a retcon is called "retconning".

Retcons are common in comic books, especially those of large, long-established publishing houses such as Marvel Comics and DC Comics, because of the lengthy history of many series and the number of independent authors contributing to their development; this is the context in which the term was coined. Retconning also occurs in soap operas, movie sequels, professional wrestling, video games, radio series, series of novels, and can be done in any other type of episodic fiction. It is also used in roleplaying, when the game master feels it is needed to maintain consistency in the story or to fix significant mistakes that occurred during play, often under the synonymous (in this context) term "reality shift".
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Pardot Kynes » 29 May 2008 21:39

SandChigger wrote:
Davaro wrote:I always thought that the power of the "sorceresses" were the nascent begins of such abilities as Voice, Truthsay, Other Memories, Prana-Bindu control, etc. They didn't wield magic and fly about on brooms, like P&B would have us think.

Exactly! :D

For sorceress, my Dictionary app gives "a female sorcerer; a witch." Continuing upstream, sorcerer, "a person who claims or is believed to have magic powers; a wizard"; witch, "a woman thought to have evil magic powers." So, finally, magic, "the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces."

In FH's time (when he wrote Dune) as now, we associate "soceresses" with magic powers...which no one (with a working brain) really believes in. Which is why FH went to the trouble of adding that their "powers were real."

I don't believe he meant that the way Pinky and The Brian ("...Ah'm Braahn...Dune 2!!! Can I go home now, Kevin?" "This is your home, you idiot!") have interpreted it, either. He obviously meant that they had abilities which would appear uncanny, even supernatural or...magical...to the uninintiated. But which were perfectly explicable and the result of intense training and practice.

DUNE IS IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT!

And the Bene Gesserit were DEFINITELY around before the Battle of Corrin, and probably had their origins long before the Jihad as well. They were already organized enough to have Mother Superiors and records. AND they already had Other Memory.

Mark my words: there will be retcons coming for these things!


I believe in magic. Some of it, anywho. Its more like Chi, and meditation, and your own ability to interact with nature. But some still refer to it as magic.
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What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.
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Postby orald » 29 May 2008 22:42

...

Retconning also occurs in soap operas, movie sequels, professional wrestling, video games, radio series, series of novels, and can be done in any other type of episodic fiction.

Oh, now I see...wait, what?! :?
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby Omphalos » 29 May 2008 23:00

orald wrote:
...

Retconning also occurs in soap operas, movie sequels, professional wrestling, video games, radio series, series of novels, and can be done in any other type of episodic fiction.

Oh, now I see...wait, what?! :?


Unfortunately orald (for us, not for you) the term "professional wrestling has a vastly different meaning here than it does in your part of the world. Google WWE and you will see what I mean. Its such a fucking joke my 6 ear old kid doesn't like it.

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Postby SandChigger » 30 May 2008 01:08

Pardot Kynes wrote:I believe in magic. Some of it, anywho. Its more like Chi, and meditation, and your own ability to interact with nature. But some still refer to it as magic.

But I bet you haven't turned invisible or stopped a marauding food processor by exploding your head or looked around the universe and seen the back of your head or rebuilt your body into that of an attractive young woman, have ya? :P

I've had a few weird experiences over the years...enough to make me think that we don't have quite the last word yet on everything that's possible when it comes to perception. But I draw the line at telekinesis until someone shows me the energy source, how it's directed and focused and (most important) the MATH.

The problem with the new Dune books is Kevin: everything is Star Wars, ultimately. :roll:
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Omphalos » 30 May 2008 02:07

Magic as a mystical force, applied as a tool to accomplish one's goals? Nah. Buncha crap. But the universe being weird anyway, and strange shit happening all the time? Sure. Ill buy that for a dollar!

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Postby orald » 30 May 2008 06:19

SC wrote:or rebuilt your body into that of an attractive young woman, have ya?

Trannies of Dune? :lol:

How do you feel about prescience, Chig? I know from my own experience that it's real to some extent.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby SandChigger » 30 May 2008 09:52

That's essentially the nature of the "weird experiences" I mentioned earlier. Nothing consistent or reliable enough to go to Vegas with, though. ;)

(My paternal grandmother always claimed she had the sight a little. I never saw any evidence of it, though. We all just figured she was "tetched" in the head.)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby Pardot Kynes » 30 May 2008 10:16

Communicating with animals, ghosts, all that.

Paranormal ftw!
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What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.

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http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/451/451.html

http://omacl.org/

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Postby orald » 30 May 2008 13:48

SandChigger wrote:Nothing consistent or reliable enough to go to Vegas with, though. ;)

Yea, tell me about it. :(

SandChigger wrote:(My paternal grandmother always claimed she had the sight a little. I never saw any evidence of it, though. We all just figured she was "tetched" in the head.)

She was one with the force! :o

Unless she was craving attention I don't think she would've lied. After all, letting people know about that sort of thing only really draws bad attention your way.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 30 May 2008 13:50

It's not about lying, I know a guy who 100% beleives that he has powers and communicates with ghosts. In his case it's about being an unmedicated Schizophrenic.
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Postby orald » 30 May 2008 14:00

OK, I forgot about those. I pay more attention to attention-grabbing assholes than outright lunatics.

But I'm neither craving attention nor a loony. Well, unless you say "bloodthirsty" is something loony. :P
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby chanilover » 02 Jun 2008 04:22

orald wrote:
SC wrote:or rebuilt your body into that of an attractive young woman, have ya?

Trannies of Dune? :lol:

How do you feel about prescience, Chig? I know from my own experience that it's real to some extent.


I had a chat with Byron about that because we both had similar experiences of dreams that came true. I asked Byron if he'd ever spoken to Frank about it, but he hadn't.

I'd love to dream just once about the winning lottery numbers, but no such luck.
"You and your buddies and that b*tch Mandy are nothing but a gang of lying, socially maladjusted losers." - St Hypatia of Arrakeen.
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Postby orald » 02 Jun 2008 06:01

chanilover wrote:I'd love to dream just once about the winning lottery numbers, but no such luck.

Hehe, yea. Though for me it'd have to be a dream about the numbers themselves, not winning, because I don't play the lottery normally, so there's no likely scenario short of getting the numbers in a dream that'll get me playing.

Of course, even if I do it's gonna be a month or a few at the least(up to half a year I think) of filling out the forms, because that's my "heads-up" with such dreams.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby Tleilax Master B » 05 Jun 2008 15:21

Omphalos wrote:Magic as a mystical force, applied as a tool to accomplish one's goals? Nah. Buncha crap. But the universe being weird anyway, and strange shit happening all the time? Sure. Ill buy that for a dollar!


There you go. That pretty much sums up my view too.
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