Catherine Thoms

Catherine Thoms

Elemental Magic in the Briarverse: Aether

If you’ve been following our narrative since The Monarch Papers, or even just over the course of the past few months, then it’s likely you’ll have come across the six magimystic elements: Light, Aether, Ore, Tides, Thought, and The Wilds. The Briarverse elements are intertwined with all forms and manifestations of magic, from the alchemical symbols to the guilds and the six magimystic houses. Whether Calling the Corners for protection or simply calling upon the raw elemental energy woven into the fabric of our universe, the elements, in some form or another, have been the core magimystic tenets of the Briarverse since its very inception. While they may seem familiar to anyone acquainted with the traditional four-element breakdown (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), the six magimystic elements combine the tangible with the intangible and dive deeper into the natural world and our own creativity for the source of their power, and can be harnessed with reasonable control by practicing magimysts for both large spells and smaller, everyday charms. 

We’re going to be doing a series of posts exploring one element per week, and while Aether is actually second in magimystic order, in light of recent world events, we thought it was a more fitting element with which to begin the series. 


Element: Aether

Associated Guild: Gossmere

Associated House: Humanity

Associated Time of Day: Morning


Aether is one of the trickier elements for new magimysts to wrap their minds around, being unique to the Briarverse and the most intangible of the six. And yet, it is one that some—most commonly, new Gossmerim—find that they have always known in a sense, even if they have not yet been able to name it. In a literary sense, “aether” often refers to the skies, the heavens, that faraway unreachable place that encompasses everything, even if it is never truly seen. As the associated element of Gossmere, that logic is extended to the interpersonal as well, which is unsurprising for a guild ruled by the House of Humanity. Aether is at once all around you and within you, it is the space we move through and our means of connection to others, the airwaves to which the sound of the Common Drum beats along in its efforts to reach us all. 

In discussing which locations to use as foci during the Elemental Disruption chapter of the Search for Magiq narrative last summer, the most immediately relevant seemed at first to be places of healing—which speaks volumes about the individual contributions of our resident Gossmerim to our greater magimystic community. And yes, a sense of humanity does seem strongest in places of healing, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and surgeries, but when the Mountaineers began to think beyond the literal, they saw the healing power of humanity extended far beyond the medical and the physical. They saw that it lives also in places of worship, places of charity, in all places of gathering and celebrations of community. There is immeasurable strength in the human connection, and that connection, at its core, is Aether. 

I know that many of us have been turning to virtual sources of connection in the past couple of weeks, and even more may be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. Now more than ever is the time to call upon Aether: its healing properties for those who are ill and for their caretakers, its reminder of humanity during these unprecedented times, and its power of connection, its Call to Hearth, for all of us who may be lacking that connection in our daily lives just now. Call a friend, keep singing and dancing, and remember to take pleasure in the joy of living and being connected to the natural world if you can, and hold in your hearts all of those who cannot. 

We’d love to hear how you are keeping Aether in mind these days, especially if you’re cooped up indefinitely like we are. If you have any ways you’ve found helpful in maintaining those important human connections during this time, we’d love to hear those too!  We’ve always known that the true magic of the Briarverse is our community, so once again, we’re calling upon that magic.