Monday 18 January 2021

Ask the Stars - The Positions

Onto the second part of my exploration of the Signs and Positions from Ask the Stars.

While the Signs give you a sense of the core of the issue, the Positions tend to act as a modifier of that, a secondary theme, or a sense of how that core is changing. Often they ask you questions that give you more context.

The Signs represent general shapes formed from the stars, while the Position represents their shifting form and relationship to their surroundings. Nothing is permanent, and nothing exists in isolation from its neighbours.

As with the Signs, sometimes the meaning is more literal than symbolic. Reflected can mean reversal or vanity but could also be referring to an actual mirror. 

1 - RISING (Growth/Possibility)

The Sign is moving upward from the horizon or other large reference point. Things often start small, and call for patience or nurture, assuming you want them to grow.

Think about what could be, and how this could just be the start of something so much bigger. What factors are causing this growth. What would happen if it were left untended, and what is your place alongside it?

2 - ENTOMBED (Memory/Death)

The Sign is tightly surrounded on all sides. It cannot be touched, the tomb cannot be broken, but its image remains clear.

Are you looking at something real, or just a shadow of the past? Our memories define us, but they can hold us back. It can be difficult to come to terms with an ending, but even those that die leave an imprint on the world. 

3 - TWINNED (Intimacy/Dependency)

The Sign is repeated nearby. It is strengthened by its twin, but both are dependent on each other. Often when one leaves the skies the other will follow.

What relationships are strengthening this sign? Are they actually a source of strength, or is the co-reliance holding things back? An enemy could use this to exploit an alternative angle of attack, removing the Queen to trap the King.

4 - WANING (Hunger/Decay)

The sign is closing in on itself or its light is fading. All things must pass, but this sign is clinging onto its light, fighting against the darkness.

Consider how this inevitable decline changes things. What would allow things to remain for just a little longer? What desperate things we would do to survive in these last throes?

5 - ROOTED (Stability/Plenty)

The Sign is interlocked with the horizon or another large point of reference. A position of safety, but immobile.

What foundations are holding things in place here? What is providing this position of strength? What source of abundance is allowing things to flourish?

6 - BOWED (Submission/Mercy)

The Sign is small and sits below a much larger object. It is content in its position below a greater power, simultaneously dominated and protected by it.

Consider the power dynamics of this situation, who is submitting to whom? What structures are in place that allow the weak to survive here? If there is a dominant power here, why is its hand steadied? 

7 - COLLIDING (Change/Violence)

The Sign is moving towards another object, or has already begun to meet it head-on.

Great change often comes from a clash of two opposing forces. What are the opposing forces here, and what change would come from their collision? If the clash is inevitable, which side will you take?

8 - BURNING (Honesty/Pride)

The Sign is displayed clearly, brightly, and seems to be growing more intense. Such a roaring flame surely cannot burn forever.

Something is proclaimed loudly here, or perhaps a declaration is needed. What will be the outcome of such plain honesty? Is truth the ideal at play here, or are these declarations a display of self-importance? If pride comes before the fall here, what truth would bring things crashing down?

9 - VEILED (Faith/Deceit)

The Sign is difficult to see, partially obscured by another object. Maybe you can't see it at all, but you feel it's there.

What unseen powers are at work here? Not necessarily malicious forces, but the invisible hands moving the pieces. They could be impartial to us, or perhaps we like to think they're on our side. The veil could be concealing those hands, or blinding our own eyes, asking us to step into the unknown in a trusting stride.

10 - EXILED (Guilt/Autonomy)

The Sign sits alone in a sea of darkness, even the nearby lights appear to be slowly drifting away.

We crave the support and approval of others, but sometimes we must embrace ourselves. What sits alone here, and how does it survive without support? Was it banished, or did it seek solitude?

11 - CROWNED (Ambition/Ruin)

The Sign is capped with a brighter star, its luminance making the Sign appear duller by comparison.

A great achievement can bring rewards, both material and otherwise, but it is rarely enough. What achievement is being recognised here, and what comes next? Who is climbing the ladder, and how far left before they run out of rungs? All towers must fall. 

12 - REFLECTED (Reversal/Vanity)

The Sign is mirrored in another part of the sky. They appear identical at first, but time reveals subtle differences.

When we observe ourselves we must acknowledge our flaws as much as our strengths. Focusing on either one alone presents a distorted reality. Is there another way of looking at things here? What boon could actually be viewed as a bane, or vice versa? For every action there is an opposite reaction, where can this be seen? 


So now we have all of the Signs and Positions fully fleshed out, let's put it to work with three rolls, asking for a character, location, and event.

Character: 10/11 - The Fleet, Crowned
Somebody striving toward their ambition relentlessly, to hell with the cost. Perhaps the wreckage they left in their wake is slowly amassing to drag them back down to earth.

Location: 3/1 - The Cage, Rising
A place where growth is simultaneously protected and nurtured, but destined for a set purpose. A walled city that appears at first as a thriving metropolis, but is working towards a selfish goal.

Event: 9/10 - The Elder, Exiled
The old faith is thrown out, kept alive by a few hermits. Where will they retreat to find safety?

1 comment:

  1. I'm super fascinated by this project, it's uncannily similar to the philosophy I've been approaching my own games with recently. Really inspiring stuff; I think I'm going to try working on a similar tarot/divination table of my own. Creating hyper-setting specific tables seems like a really interesting opportunity.