A rambling essay on the origins of the names of the Seven Sisters, according to the perspective of a College Esoterica textbook.
(Ashdod) (Babel) (A Dream of Seven Sisters) (Ur) (Writings)
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For each of the Seven Sisters' names, there is an "opposing name" from the Creation Ballad – a name that represents the "enslaved" version of that Sister. Here is a list of the names of the Seven Sisters and their most common translations:

  • Sunala (Death) / Rinala (Life / Perpetual Life)
  • Inala (Pleasure) / Dinala (Love)
  • Blakat (Conflict) / Baphesa (Peace / Harmony)
  • Rephath (Vengeance) / Rephesa (Mercy / Concord)
  • Gorphat (Disease) / Gephesa (Health / New Life)
  • Zakaro (Sorcery) / Zarana (Wisdom / Soul)
  • Barada (Secrets) / Barana (Revelation)

  • NAME COMPONENTS – Sunala and Inala:

    At the root of Sunala/Rinala and Inala/Dinala is the base word fragment, "Nala". "Na" by itself means "to be" or "to happen", and creates a verb. "Nala", however, suggests a "state of being", but more importantly, it suggests permanence or at the very least, remaining in this state for a very long time.

    There are some relationships between the ancient language of the Gigis (which is derived from Aeztepan) and that of the Babelites. The Gigi goddess "Nala" has a name that is basically equivalent to "I Am" or "I Am That I Am". It implies that Nala is a pervasive, universal deity by the name alone. That in Gigi theology she is positioned as equal to and opposite of Amena actually detracts from the status that would be inherently implied by her name.

    On a related note, "Amena" makes use of the "-na" fragment, but the "Ame-" prefix means to prevent from happening. Nala, therefore, is the one who is – who lives – and Amena is the one who causes not to be – the one who destroys. Nala's name implies a state of being – something eternal and constant, whereas Amena's name is a verb, on the one hand implying that she is temporary, but it can also be read as suggesting that Amena is the more active of the two: she is on the offensive.

    The Babelite goddesses of Sunala and Inala, however, are both named in such a way as to imply states of being, and permanence. The differences between Sunala, Inala, Rinala and Dinala can all be found in the meanings of the prefixes attached to "state of being":

    "I-" is a prefix that specifies "for the self". "Inala", therefore, is "the state of being for the self", which is equated with pleasure.

    "Di-" is a prefix that specifies "for others". "Dinala", therefore, is "the state of being for others", which could either be translated as "love" or as "servitude", depending upon one's philosophical leanings.

    "Su-" is a negating prefix, so "Sunala" means "the state of not being", which is interpreted as death. "Suna", as a verb, means "to die".

    "Ri-" is a reinforcing prefix, and as it reinforces the concept of "to be", "Rinala" means "to be alive", and "Rina" means "to live".

    "Sri-" is a blurring of "Ri" and "Su" that was once considered "slang", since it doesn't properly follow the rules of combining concepts – It's actually a contraction of "Suri-", as in "Surinala", which would imply "to be alive and dead". This is a contradiction that is used to apply to the unfortunate comatose entities known collectively as "Srinala". It is important to note that "Srinala" is not properly used to refer to the "undead". In the Babelite mindset, zombies are not alive, merely animate. (There's a difference. Srinala are alive, but not animate.)

    "Ame-" is a prefix that means "to oppose" or "to prevent", and "Amenala" would mean "the state of destruction", which in many cases is an oxymoron, or else it would imply a strange state of constant destruction without end.

    Since the word structure for Inala and Sunala is totally different from the names for the other "Seven Sisters", there has been some speculation that their origins are apart from the others, and some more obscure myths hint at this, by only making mention of Inala and Sunala, without so much as a reference of the Seven.

    The concept of Inala and Sunala shares its origins with that of Amena and Nala of the Gigi – Originally, it was Rinala and Sunala, goddesses of life and death, their names indicating more permanence and power (in the Babelite mindset) than "Nala and Amena". Rinala's worship centered around carnivals and festivals and practices intended to ensure fertility. In time, encouraged by the close relationship between "Rinala" and "Inala", "Rinala" went from being a goddess of life to a goddess of pleasure, along with the name change. There were still old references to "Rinala", but the Ballad of the Creation puts this into context by erroneously making this a former name of Sunala … but appropriately assigning "Rinala" as an opposite to "Sunala" in the process.

    With the falling away of the duality concept of Rinala/Sunala, the "Creator/Creation" duality of Bael and Vael has filled this role instead.


    GORPHAT AND REPHATH

    "-Phath" or "-Phat" is a root that suggests to inflict or impose, implying a negative connotation upon the recipient. (The two forms are roughly equivalent, but the difference in spelling/pronunciation of the goddess' names is a tradition largely due to a long ago problem with people confusing the two goddesses due to the similarity.)

    "Rephath" reinforces this concept, and is associated with the idea that whatever is dished out, the recipient deserves, so it is associated with "vengeance". "Gor-" implies the body or physical being, so "Gorphat" means to inflict upon the body (diseases).

    "-Phesa", however, means to comfort or show favor to. "Re-" to reinforce "Phesa" is, again, redundant, and the implication is that it must not be deserved, thus "Rephesa" comes across as "Mercy" or "Concord". "Gephesa", on the other hand, indicates to bring comfort to the body. ("Gor-" is the "aggressive" form of the prefix "Ge-".) The "show favor to" interpretation has also led to the alternate usage of "Gephesa" to mean "Creation of New Life (Bodies)".

    While one might associate "comfort to the body" or "showing favor to the body" with something Inala would be interested in, it really means to bring healing and health to the body.


    BARADA AND ZAKARO

    "-Rana" means "knowledge", and "-Karo" means "power". "Za-" implies special value, so "Zakaro" is special power, and "Zarana" is special knowledge (or wisdom).

    (Incidentally, "Karo" and "Kara" are fairly popular names for the Babelite underclass, in a bit of wishful thinking in the process of naming infants. "Karo" is actually the male form of the name, which hints at "Zakaro"'s origin as a deity apart from the concept of the "Seven Sisters" – once a powerful sorceror, along the lines of Dagh. Babel is still a patriarchal culture for the most part, and it's acceptable to give a female a male name, though it pretty much brands her as a "tomboy" for life.)

    "Ba-" as a prefix means "to reveal". "-Rada" is the opposite of knowledge, which means, "a lie", though it could also mean "mystery" or "lack of knowledge". "Barana" means "to reveal knowledge", or "revelation". "Barada", on the other hand, means to "reveal lies", which is an oxymoron of sorts; it is used to mean, in a double-negative sort of way, to "conceal truth" – or to keep secrets. The roundabout way of saying this is meant as a clever play to suggest Barada's indirect way of revealing anything.


    BLAKAT

    "Blakat" is composed of roots that are related to those that comprise "Zakaro" and "Barada". "Bla-" is the aggressive form of "Ba-", and "-Kat" is the aggressive form of "-Karo"/"-Kara". "Blakat" means to "reveal power", and both instances have aggressive tenses, so that is associated with conflict and war. The flip side, "Baphesa" goes back to the root of "bringing comfort", in this case "revealing comfort", which becomes not merely "Peace" or "Harmony", but implies peacemaking.


    DRONNEL

    As a matter of trivia, "Dronnel" is a word with unknown entymology, leading to one of the theories that Dronnel may actually have been an Exile that came to Babel. It's believed that it is mere coincidence that there is also a Mount Dronnel in Himar, as it's thought that, at the time these names were given, it was before the present age of global airship travel. (Still, given that the Aeztepans traversed the Stygian Sea from the Savan, there's always a possibility of some prehistoric contact.

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    GMed by Greywolf

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