Sokhta

Sokhta, also known as Phoebe to some, is the planetary incarna of Luna, spirit of the Moon. However, she is only one of many of Luna's guises.

Always present in the Aetherial, and because she is the nearest, she appears larger than the moon does from earth. Like all the other Incarnae, she is free to appear as her true self, and that self may have many forms. To the Star Gazers she is the Lambent Lady. From her silvery light the Garou construct moon bridges and moon paths to ease their travel.

Sokhta can appear either in human, cat or wolf form or as a sphere made of Moonsilver. She is said to be Luna's daughter, a being of less power than the Celestine herself.

During the different phases of the moon, Sokhta reveals other aspects of herself:

  • During the New Moon she is the cryptic riddler, who can also be playful.
  • At the Crescent Moon she often grants prophecies or awards those who win through to her realm with Gifts.
  • While the Half Moon reigns supreme, she is a wise counselor, listening to visitors' travails and offering judgment or helping us reach an understanding of what we need to do.
  • The Gibbous Moon calls to her bardic facet during that time, she tells stories of times before and inspires our Galliards to compose glorious songs or teaches them the howls that will open Moon Bridges as they become more obscure.
  • During the Full Moon she is at her most warlike, during this time her roads are clearest and least dangerous. And while she herself seems ready to battle the Wyrm, she may provide the Garou with either knowledge or some weapon they may use against Anthelios.

Though she is counted among the signs most beneficent to Theurges (due to her great knowledge and wisdom and the mysteries she engenders), and though she is the special patron of the Star Gazers, Sokhta is one of the best-known of the Incarnae due to her influence over all Garou. She welcome all the changing children to her court and turns away no one who truly needs her and is willing to undertake quests on her behalf.

On the Moon

As one approaches the Realm of Phoebe, moon beams come rushing towards travelers in the from of Lunes. These spirits guard the realm. If there isn't a Star Gazer within groups traveling to Sokhta's realm most would try to turn the group away from the path they are taking. Once reaching the realm however, all travelers' Gnosis will be replenished, as being this close to such a spiritual place saturates the body with Gnosis.

From this place come Pathstones, fetishes that are used to connect Caerns together via moon bridges. It is up to Phoebe wither or not a petitioner will be granted a Pathstone or not though.

The Sphere of the umbral moon is composed entirely of Moonsilver. Although it usually inflicts terrible damage on Garou and other changing breeds, here in the Aetherial Realm it will not cause anyone harm. Should Sokhta allow travelers to take some of this prized substance, it can be formed into weapons of great power and spiritual resonance. However Moonsilver is not without its cost. One must sacrifice a little of their own spiritstuff so that Sokhta's generosity does not deplete her own supply.

Whether in return for a Pathstone or Moonsilver, she requires a quest from those who wish to receive her gifts. Most of the time she is rather fond of sending supplicants to recover lost Moonsilver or Pathstones rather than granting new ones and letting the old ones lie where they fell.

The Moon Garden of Sokhta

In the physical world the moon is a barren orb, however in the Aetherial Realm, Moonsilver serves as fruitful soil. Sokhta's garden creates a haven of life and growth for all who see it. Surrounding a mirror bright pool, night-blooming flower and silver-white hedges form an intricate maze. Pastel cosmos, moonflower, white echinacea, satin flowers and evening primrose combine with plants that have no earthly counterparts. They shimmer softly, glowing and twinkling like miniature starts in Sokhta's own light.

Their sweet, heady sents perfume the air. Sokhta's throne rests in the center of the garden alongside the Moonsilver pool where pallid swans drift lazily among the translucent waterlilies. The whole garden echoes in the calls of night birds. It is said that the trails through the garden are constructed from linked Pathstones. When the Lambent Lady allows a worthy recipient to take a Pathstone, she dips her hand into the pool and creates another to take its place.

In her more martial phases, it is said that her labyrinth becomes a testing ground for Garou who seek her favor, with hidden obstacles and spirit foes to test their resolve. Those who win through to the center attain Phoebe's special favor. This maybe in the form of a Pathstone or some advantage granted to them the next time they enter battle.

Dangers of the Realm

Dark Roads - When the new moon phases dominates, moon paths become less stable and harder to read. During that time, it is possible for travelers to stumble onto Dark Roads in the mistaken belief that they have found a functional moon path. Dark Roads seem to lead in directions the traveler wishes to go, but soon diverge and enter dangerous territories inhabited by Banes or worse.

Once it becomes clear to the traveler that they are not on the right path, it disappears behind them. They must remain on the forward path or become lost within the Aetherial vault with no guarantee that they will find their way back to any domain they recognize. Further, once on the path, whatever twisted denizen awaits the traveler is alerted to their presence and may seek them out.

No one is sure why Dark Roads form: they may be influence of the Wyrm moving through the shadows between the stars, or they might be tests for the questing Garou. Their true nature even baffles the sagest of Star Gazers.

Sokhta/Phoebe as a Totem of Respect

While she goes by Sokhta, sometimes she will use the name Phoebe, either way both names please her. Star Gazers on the other hand are meticulous about calling her "Sokhta," however.

Sokhta is a lady tall and slender, with softly curling silver hair flowing to her feet, a pallid, rounded face with the palest of silvery blue eyes deep set under feathery brows. Her gaze seems to speak of both open innocence and the most deeply guarded mysteries. Her raiment is luminous white with folds of soft Dove gray and deepest shadow. It drapes about her like clouds on a full-mooned night. Her cloak of gray flows outward from her like moonbeams and in her hand she holds a silver goblet from with a luminescent mist arises.

Framed against the night sky, lit by her own radiance, she sits upon a dark gray throne with a silver back that is rounded and softly glowing. At her feet, a pool of moonlight reflects her lunar form, then flows outward along dozens of rivulets, each of which spreads across the sky, becoming moon paths and star roads. A sweet, guarded smile plays about her lips, yet by her side rests a silvered breastplate and spear. Whispers and the sound of myriad chiming bells echo through the chamber. A smell like the freshest ocean breeze after a violent storm wafts from her, bringing hope in its wake.

Sokhta grants those who follow her insight into many Enigmas, while at the same time a mystical understanding of their primal urges. What's more, the Incarna will allow anyone who is in a pack under her to use the Ragabash gift Open Moon Bridge.

Children of Phoebe/Sokhta are pledged to defend moon bridges and moon paths from the predations of the Wyrm.

Sokhta, the Lambent Lady: The Fourth Lunar Month

Aetherial Realm - Moon
Auspice - Theurge
Colours - Silver, gray, white.
Element - Spirit
Other Names - Luna, Phoebe, Artemis, Diana, Tauki-yomi, Seline
Quality - Mystery
Tarot Card - High Priestess
Tribe - Star Gazers
Vices - Envy, Madness
Virtues - Depth, Quiet
Zodiac Correspondence - Cancer

After laughter comes reflection. Thus, the fourth lunar month honors Sokhta, the Lambent Lady, whose umbral realm consists of the moon. Just as Eshtarra embodies one facet of Gaia, Sokhta, as a lesser Incarna of Luna, reminds us of the mystery of the moon. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so Sokhta holds up a mirror in which Garou can see the light of their spirit. Sokhta teaches us the importance of reflection, of looking within ourselves to find the calm center within the storm of our being.

Silver, gray and white, the colours of Luna, conjure up a sense of calm and tranquility. Spirit, the element associated with Sokhta, reminds us that we dwell in two worlds, the flesh bound realm of our physical bodies and the spirit-clothes world of the Umbra. The moon, which guides us through our changing forms, sheds her pale, lambent radiance upon us in both the physical and umbral realm. Sokhta represents all that is mysterious and and unknowable in the universe.

As the patron of mystery and magic, Sokhta honors the auspice of the crescent moon with her favors. Theurges born to the fourth lunar month feel an intense attunement to their Gifts, using them instinctively in response to their state of unconscious receptivity. Sokhta Ahroun demonstrate calmness in battle that belies the passion with which they fight. Ragabash born in Sokhra's month employ a subtle humor in their tricks and excel at evading censure for their rebellious acts. Galliards of the fourth lunar month seem to know how to evoke great emotions with delicacy and sensitivity, whiles her Philodox appeal to the unconscious motivations of those they wish to convince.

The Stargazers hold Sokhta as their astrological patron. The emphasis this tribe places on meditation and the unconscious unfolding of action and being endears them to the Lambent Lady.

Western Astrology attributes the fourth month to Cancer, the sky-crab. The Egyptians and Babylonians knew this constellation as the Gate of Man, the portal through which souls crossed into the world at birth. In a similar fashion, Sokhta acts as a spiritual portal, our link with the world of the Umbra. It is not accidental that we have come to call the action of entering the Umbra "stepping sideways," a favorite motion of the crab.

At best, those born under Sokhta's patronage Exhibit an inner depth and a calmness of mien indicative of those who possess knowledge of the many mysteries of the universe. At worst, Sokhta's children fall prey to envy, since they know not only what they have, but what they lack, and madness — the "lunacy" so often associated with the moonstruck.

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