the Harlequin Eldar
"Harlequins are a unique subset of the Eldar race, who split their time between being talented battlefield fighters and theatrical performers. They exist outside of normal Eldar society and hold no allegiance to any Craftworld, Kabal, or other form of authority other than to their own belief in the Eldar deity Cegorach, the Laughing God.”
The Rogue Trader universe (later became Warhammer 40K) done properly is stylistically a medieval universe replete with knights, castles, heraldry and overrun by demons. It owes a lot to Tolkien. Essentially the Games Workshop put Tolkiens races in space and gave them sci-fi weapons and technology. They mixed it up with Hermetic symbolism and of course with war - or as the Space Orks call it, WAAARGH! I love Space Orks. Their attitude, culture for want of a better word, and adobe dwellings, they ethos of recycling everything to see how many components can be removed while it still works, to use the items on other ‘projects’; simplification and experimentation.
|by lAutio on deviantArt|
But mostly I love the Eldar. These are Space Elves. Their ornate, soul-jewel encrusted body adornment, flamboyant fashion styles, slender agile bodies, their runic script and the organic nature of their craft worlds, does it for me. Obviously as a young teenager the sexiness of the imagery in the study drawings was an attractively powerful impact. Of the Eldar, mostly I love the Farseer (which is a purer translation of the Aegyptian word Pharaoh than is ‘king’, it means 'sorcerer') and Aspect Warriors whose life cycles are epitomised by living and breathing all things pertaining to that particular aspect (of life), they are totemic, shamanic. Their heraldry is astropathic.
But mostly I love the Harlequin Dancers. They dance the dance of death. They worship it. For them, it is being alive. They perfect this study obsessively. Of the Harlequin, mostly I love the gothic Death Jesters, and of the Harlequin, mostly I love the Solitaires.
“Some dance with the troupe, others dance alone.”
So, obviously, I usually got to play a Harlequin, Death Jester - Solitaire. The character progressed until I was outcaste; both for taking my role as Slaanesh the demon of lust too far in our meta-theatre, and for changing my study to Tzeench the chaos god of magick, which notably affected the whole of my troupe. A limited amount of hedonism is permissible, including instigating the group tau as a sensual relief from war and from the multi-faceted roles we must play. Yet to break through into magickal realms was something few even amongst the much older and specialist castes could cope with nor had seen. I insist it to be natural mythepoesis and signifier that I was ready to assume the next cycle of my life journey. At my hearing, I insulted the Eldar as decadent and ignorant of the true and hidden meanings encoded into the Tau, that their failing to recognise myself as cultivating ability beyond their own was a mark against us all and a talon of the Fall. The extant Warlock did not like competition from one so young and still too close to Slaanesh. So they banished me.
|SLA steal ideas and sue the fans|
Had things progressed naturally, I would have taken up the inherent hinted suggestions that I pursue alone the Black Library, a craft world where all the secret studies of the Eldar into the Chaos.
We just did not know enough about it; GW had not developed and published the Eldar to such extent and between us all we could to afford to pursue it, our pocket money went toward more mature, darker role-play games, White Wolfs Vampire, Wraith, Werewolf, Mage and Changeling (the one from the original pentacle I never had a copy of);
Meteropolis Games cabala-based Kult rpg ("which explores the dark side of the human soul; some may find this disturbing.”); Nightfall games early 80s inspired dystopian SLA Industries.
|by Frik111 on deviantArt|
I later bought fire-poi and similar devices to dance with and my respect for the skill of the Harlequins grew immensely. The second is not for the Aspect Warriors nor Harlequins specifically, it is a more advanced progression of the Eldar cycles, belonging to the psychotropic Farseer, Wych and Warlocks; the Faceless mask called an Agaith. It is a direct allusion to the Face Dancers of Frank Herbert’s Dune (the latter books of the sextet).
It worked multi-level on me which is evidence that I always had a multi-level mind capable of discerning and interpreting more than one level of meaning at the same time, living in split realities, different versions of the same thing, different relationships between cause and effect as the multiversal layers shifted, kaleidoscopic. To me, this was what a Harlequins garb was all about, what it refers to.
|Death Jester by mattokenzi|
The mono-filament cord became the kundalini, specifically the triple-coiled serpent of the base chakra, that which seeks, once tamed and trained, that which draws source energy up through the chakras; the rainbow fetish of standard Harlequins clothes revealed precisely for what they mean. Monofilament, deadly and sharp, concise; invisible as it is a stalker, a hunter predatory and it hides, protective, something so adept at avoiding detection it must therefore by necessity have become so. Later all this would make sense to me. Later, the ritual sex-magickal training of the Order of the Morning Star became a life passage, eros aspect (sexuality) of Thanateros, followed by the longer phase of thanos (death). Later I would understand the Chakra system as the Rainbow Feathered Serpent of the Maya and Re, the rainbow winged goddess of Egyptology. It requires spirit-work to know the whole interconnectedness; of how spire, orgone and Prana the life-flow, can be used in harmony with astrological mechanics to connect holistically to the external universe and its denizens. That is a big topic beyond the scope of this teething insight.
|uploaded by Christopher Kay|
The Eldar worship a goddess called Isha (harvest), their co-creator along with the hunter Kurnuos. The names of these resonate through celtic and far-eastern cultures. It has taken me decades of study to assimilate the depth of this information, that the Wahammer / Eldar cosmology and pantheon are speaking about the same energies, the same entities, as were our ancestors. It is a living tradition; updated as a modern mythology.