Table of Correspondences

This page describes the use of tables of correspondences in Kennexions.

It has often been remarked that the Glass Bead Game can find one of its roots in the Hermetic magickal tradition of correspondences. Actually, the practice of correspondences is worldwide, but of the texts available to us in English, the Hermetic (Western occult) tradition is the most familiar. I have discovered a way to employ the vast body of correspondences available to the researcher as part of the Kennexions game.

One of the hoariest tools for studying correpondence is the Table of Correspondences, which contains any number of columns and a fixed number of rows. Each column in the Table shows a particular "system," such as the planets, the Greek Gods, or plants and herbs, and each cell in a particular column represents an element of that system. The cells of each column are aligned so as to display corresponding elements in each system; that is, each row of the table may be thought of as representing a certain archetype which is embodied as a symbol or cell in each column. (See table below.)

The following table is broadly excerpted from 777, as compiled by Aleister Crowley:

PLANET       ROMAN        NORSE         METAL        PRECIOUS
              GOD          GOD                        STONE
------       ------       ------        ------       ---------

Saturn       Saturn       Frigga        lead         pearl

Jupiter      Jupiter      Wotan         tin          sapphire

Mars         Mars         Thor          iron         ruby

Sun          Apollo       [N/A]         gold         topaz

Venus        Venus        Freya         copper       emerald

Mercury      Mercury      Loki          mercury      fire opal

Moon         Diana        [N/A]         silver       quartz

This table is debatable and far from complete. Other compilators have shown other correspondences. One particular version would have to be chosen for a particular game, perhaps with footnotes citing particular authorities (777, the Sepher Yetzirah, the Golden Dawn flying rolls, or what have you). This is analogous to the process of OntologicalCommitment? in Mark Line's WaldzellGame?. Perhaps over time, one Grand Table of Correspondences would arise in the Game Archive.

Nevertheless, the table above makes sense in its general outline, and for the moment, that is all we need. For example, we can draw an old friend of a kenning analogy from it:

  Sun       Moon
 ------ :: ------
  gold      silver

This is enough to let us form four kennings (gold moon, sun silver, silver sun, and moon gold) and two difrasismo (sun and moon, gold and silver), as I have shown in earlier posts.

"Gold" and "Sun" are in the same row of our table, as are "silver" and "Moon". If we extend the kenning analogy to include all rows of the above table, we get

  Saturn     Jupiter     Mars     Sun        Venus     Mercury     Moon
  ------ :: --------- :: ----- :: ------- :: ------ :: -------- :: ------
   lead        tin       iron      gold      copper    mercury     silver

Reading the top row across, we obtain a sort of mega-difrasismo with not two but seven elements (Saturn & Jupiter & Mars & Sun & Venus & Mercury & Moon), and similarly for the bottom row (lead & tin & iron & gold & copper & mercury & silver). You might think of the first mega-difrasismo as "summing" to the term "planet", and the second as summing to "metal". By no coincidence, each column heading is a superset of the terms in that column: the meaning of the mega-difrasismo, or their tertium comparationes (hereinafter "TC").

One of the newest rules of Kennexions is that you can substitute the TC for any base-term of a kenning. For example, instead of saying "gold moon" for "Sun", which is a little obscure, we can now say "gold planet". We can extend this so that "Moon" becomes "silver planet" and "Mars" becomes "iron planet", which I think everyone will agree is clearer than, say, "iron Saturn."

Let's try getting a novel kenning from the table. "Thor" and "ruby" correspond, so we can say that:

ruby = Thor stone [1]

     = Thor among the stones [2]

     = stone of Thor [3]


  1. An abbreviation for "Thor precious-stone", which is not as euphonious. 2. Cf. the alchemical saying "Gold is the Sun among metals," which has been quoted here before. 3. Making a genitive out of a kenning is a common gambit in the Skaldskaparmal and is used interchangeably with the shorter "Thor stone" form.

Hm. Thor-stone. Kind of has a Skaldic ring to it, doesn't it?

As a first pass at a procedure, then, we can say that to get a kennexion from a table of correspondences, you take the following steps:

  1. Select the columns you want to use. 2. Transpose the first column of the table to a row in a complex kenning analogy. 3. Lay out the following columns in succeeding rows so that the elements of each fall below corresponding elements in the kenning analogy. 4. Find the TC or superclass of each row by checking the column header in the table or "summing across" each row of the kenning analogy to get a mega-difrasismo. 5. Mix and match kenning analogy elements to get kennings by using the familiar "across, then diagonal" procedure, then substituting the TC for each base-term.

For further Tables, see 777 by Aleister Crowley and The Key of It All, volumes 1 and 2, a massive reference work by David Allen Hulse that shows correspondences between such disparate systems as the Tarot, the I Ching, Tibetan Buddhism, and Enochian magick. Well worth the $60.00 or so outlay.

-- RonHale?-Evans [[DateTime?(2005-04-29T21:04:33Z)]]