The Thirteen Houses Project: Gentian

[Once a month for the next twelve months, I will be doing a post on the 13th of each month based on one of the Thirteen Houses of the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers from Kushiel’s Legacy.]

It’s the thirteenth and there’s a storm brewing, not exactly the most optimal time to be posting about Gentian House, but I can deal with it.

Gentian House’s canon is mystic purity of spirit, and it’s motto is “Truth and Vision”. Gentian adepts hold that Naamah was filled with such when she lay with the King of Persis. Phedre visits this house in Kushiel’s Chosen in order to seek help with understanding her dreams. Adepts of Gentian House often join Elua’s priesthood upon making their marques (although the one representative of Gentian House we see in the books joins Naamah’s Order).

Gentian House is tied with Balm for my favourite house. They are the house of diviners, seers, and mystics. All the Houses honour Naamah, but for Gentian House, mysticism, that ecstatic way of connecting with the Powers, is its bread and butter. Gentian House is basically the High Priestess in the tarot deck, a mysterious figure who keeps secrets close to her breast. Gentian and Alyssum share this sense of mystery IMO, though they do very different things with it.

And I’m not just saying this because I like to think of the High Priestess as “my” card.

I’ve written about mysticism and how some people just don’t seem to get it before on this blog. I recommend reading it because it seems like a “Gentian” kind of post. Funnily enough, I would label myself as much more mystically inclined (as opposed to historical or lore-based) but at the same time I am not a mystic, I haven’t had moments of ecstatic communion with my deities, and that’s okay. There needs to be room for all kinds of people in our communities: the mystics, the history buffs, the people who pour out offerings regularly but don’t really do anything special, the people who combine these roles, the people who fulfill completely different roles, the ones who take risks, the ones who play it safe. The Servants of Naamah all honour her in different ways, but they are all united in her worship. That is not to say that there aren’t issues with the Night Court, but that, ideally, all adepts have different things that they are good at, but they are all adepts and respected as such.

I was supposed to be talking about tarot and look what happened.

Mountain Bog Gentian, from here:

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