Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Seven Keys of Destiny

In the writings of the revered sage Da'ar T'ken, (literally, "Old Man", a term of endearment used by his disciples) there is a verse which reads:

Da'an na parn ba'el balarn, ferr ahl labarn.
Ma'a na kesh paree do resh, fesho daharn.
Labarn far na ahl koree sha.
Ma'al toree na po lora:
Zha Na, Vee Sa, Paha No, Desh,
Par Na, Hee Lafa, ae Toresh.

Sometimes referred to by scholars outside the devotional cult as "The Na-Na Verse" or "The Looky-Looky Poem", for its inclusion of the syllable "na", meaning to see or look, in every line, this verse forms the basis for many of the more extreme cultic practices of splinter groups, including the Journeys of the Keys, that have arisen from Da'ar T'ken's original discipline of contemplation and service.

An approximate translation reads:

The seeker sits in the center courtyard, surrounded by gardens.
They appear full of ripe fruit, just out of reach.
The gardens are guarded* by seven gates.
Their names seem simple:
Foresight, Knowledge, Courage, Devotion,
Imagination, Compassion, and Will

(*Literally, "watched over")

The "Complete Commentaries", composed and sanctioned by the Councils of Folly (the official ecclesiastical body responsible for doctrinal soundness) in the two centuries following the first known publication of Da'ar T'ken's collected verses, has this to say on the subject of this verse:

The prudent person seeks to unlock his destiny.
Where can the seeker find seven keys?
None can help you, if you cannot find them for yourself.

It seems clear that even at this early date, "Seekers" were beginning to look outside of themselves and outside of the teachings of the monastic order for the keys to unlock the gates of destiny. This search for external means of achieving the goals of the Seeker coincided with a decided shift in the common (if not the official) interpretation of the nature of those goals. This shift eventually culminated in the folkloric designation of a number of rituals, places, and artifacts throughout the Nine Worlds, some clearly material, and others possibly legendary, mythical, or purely spiritual in nature, as elements of the Seven Keys to Destiny, capable of unlocking the potential of one or more of the Gates, initiating the Seeker into dramatic personal power and prodigious material, magical, or spiritual achievement.

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