What do the Moon and Followers signify? That symbolism is disputed by the cultures of Janspar.
In the frozen highlands of Iame, the land of sunless days and ancient glaciers, they see the Moon and the Followers as a great beast of prey, pursued by hunters. Most commonly described as one of the great tusked loxons populating that country since antesermal times, the Mammoth-Moon proceeds endlessly across the sky, with the hunters doggedly following after. The bountiful mammoth is a creature of great importance to the Iaman, and this lunar tale represents their seasonal hunt and the constant struggle against the harsh lands they inhabit.
Look, child, the Mammoth-Moon marches
And the hunters shall follow
To chase the prey, to catch the pray
The hunters follow the Moon.
-Extract from an Iaman Cradle Song
In Pyrcho, the moon is often described as a bird: a goose or a crane followed by its chicks. The Moon and Followers dominate the sky, and in comparing their transit to the seasonal migration of the birds, these nomadic people teach their children to look at nature and to read the sky to learn about the world around them. This story emphasises too the importance of family and kinship that binds the Pyrchoan tribes together.
Look at the moon, the great bird moon!
Look at her chicks, the squabbling chicks!
Follow the sky and you’ll never be lost.
-Pyrchoan Children’s Rhyme
In the great city of Silaka, the moon is a great beauty, pursued by a crowd of suitors. The Silakese are famed for their passion and their love of love. The moon as a metaphor for captivating and often unattainable beauty is a common theme in Silakese poetry since their very earliest writings.
Once you were slender
the fragility of youth
a wisp of beauty unadorned
Time passed and you blossomed
and in this bloom
the promise of youth at last fulfilled
Time will pass and you will wane
yet in weakening days your beauty remains
lesser but no less lovely
-Silakese love poem circa early Ar1300
To the brutal and warlike people of central Oisindo, the moon is a mighty general, and the Followers are its retinue marching to battle. The moon is a symbol of courage and perseverance – conquering forever in its passage across the sky, never ceasing its campaign. The greatest warlords of this land fly banners with lunar motifs, drawing their armies to their wake as surely as the Followers troop loyally behind the Moon.
The Lord of Strmono is proclaimed as Conqueror, witnessed this day by the assembled priestly caste of the Provinces and Holdings. The Lunar Banner shall fly above his army, and command will be granted to him by all assembled lords and generals of the Sietv conference.
-The Proclamation of Supremacy of Strmono, Sietv Conference, Ar1540
These four examples show how the same part of Janspar may be seen by diverse people and interpreted according to their own beliefs and needs. Creation is a text; and as with scripture or poetry, many meanings may be drawn from the contents of that text. This is fundamental to the study of theology.
Lecture notes, Luoan Theological College