Symbology for Mythnium
There seems to be a bit of a debate among fantasy writers on the proper use of sigils, runes, and symbols in general.
Granted, every fantasy world has its own magic system, and every fantasy author's prerogative is to use whatever the heck they want to, because um.. it's fantasy. Made up. Not real. Still, a great number of fantasy authors who have any real world experience with and knowledge of earthly magical components (ie. Wiccan, New Age, etc) have very strong opinions on creation, reference to, and use of these tools.
I am not Wiccan, but have long been interested and fascinated by symbology especially related to magic, mysticism, and mythology from Egyptian, Babylonian, and Biblical times to Celtic, Gaelic, Nordic, Germanic influences. In world building Mythnium, I am STILL working out how magic really works in Mythnium, but in "Echoes of Dragons" I refer to magical currents, and magic users can use sigils to help focus their use of this magic.
A Beta Reader pointed out that sigils and runes are not the same - and she suggested I change the terminology from "sigil" to "rune". Obviously, I was confused, so I had to dig in and do some research.
Sigils are "a sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic." (According to Merriam-Webster.)
Runes are "any of the characters of any of several alphabets used by the Germanic peoples from about the 3rd to the 13th centuries." (Also according to Merriam-Webster)
That appears to be pretty cut and dry. One is inherently tied to magic, while the other is inherently tied to language. Right?
Not so much. And this is where the debate begins.
In our world history, runes were also often associated with magical properties, though not as common as the use of sigils. Plus, sigils tend to be used as a process to magic casting, while runes' magical properties tend to lie in helping the user gain greater understanding of something. (Think tarot cards)
Now, the way I use sigils in Mythnium leans more towards runic style magic, but not completely as the use of sigils in Mythnium may offer greater understanding of a thing, but they also allow the user more power, focus, and so on depending on the sigil, the intent, and the casting.
In any case, in this instance, I will keep referring to the symbols I use in Mythnium as sigils. At some point, runes may come into play as well because of the history of Mythnium, but I intend that they will be entirely of a linguistic nature.
I have been sketching out sigils for over a year now. Yesterday, I finally sat down and made them official with the help of my biggest fan. These are the basic sigils for Mythnium, but there will be more sigils to come. ::wink:: I'm having fun creating these little things to incorporate into Mythnium and her peoples.
**Note: Inda and Sola are the two suns of Mythnium.