Gloranthan Magic and Synchronicity

In Glorantha, synchronicity is the rule. Events that are meaningfully related occur without a causal relationship. Argrath sails to the Homeward Ocean and meets Harrek the Berserk; Argrath befriends Mularik, a descendant of Arkat who recognizes Argrath as the incarnation of his ancestor; Harrek and Argrath show up in the Mirrorsea Bay just in time to fight the Lunars in Esrolia. These are not mere expressions of chance or random coincidences – they are meaningful coincidences, synchronicities. Perhaps they express the will of Arachne Solara, the Cosmic Spider whose web holds the universe together.

Jung would rightfully object to the misuse of his term synchronicity – for in Glorantha, these “coincidences” have a cause in the patterns established in the God Time. Frayed and rent as it is with the Hero Wars, the Compromise seeks to reassert itself. Calling upon the power of a Rune* can summon both ancient enemies and allies of that Rune. Using that Rune may well trigger seemingly unrelated connected to conflict from the Gods War. The more powerful the use, the more powerful the event triggered. Heroquesters thus find rivals and friends drawn into their quests; Nysalor results in Arkat; Jar-eel in Harrek (or perhaps Argrath). Perhaps these are not coincidences but part of the Cosmic Spider’s web that mortals and even gods find it difficult to perceive.

*It is generally believed in Glorantha that the Runes pre-exist mortals (and many believe they pre-exist the gods) and were not invented. They are not only concepts but autonomous entities which are more than concepts or symbols.