Kennexions: Tables of Correspondence

Esteemed Lusores:

It has often been remarked on Magister-L 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 ontological commitment in Mark
Line's Waldzell Game. 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

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"


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

3. Lay out the following columns in succeeding rows so that the elements of
each fall below corresponding elements in the kenning analogy.

3. 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

4. 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.


If this post was lost on you, I assure you it is not slapdash and
ill-thought-out; it has formal integrity and will repay contemplation.
Again, check the Kennexions URL in my signature for more information on the
game. I think I can say that Kennexions is the most complex Glass Bead Game
variant that I know of at present, and it will continue to grow.


p.s. For further Tables, I refer you to _777_ by Aleister Crowley and _The
Key of It All_, vols. 1 and 2, a massive occult 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.

Ron Hale-Evans
Founder, Center for Ludic Synergy
Gamemaster, Kennexions
Charter Member, Bamboo Garden of Seattle

Kennexions GBG | Center for Ludic Synergy

Ron Hale-Evans

Last modified: 23 September 1999