The first of the Hypogeic Powers, in any given traditional “Order,” has always been Anthuor. The importance of Anthuor across Quatrian culture cannot be overstated. As Guardian of the Hypogeum and psychopomp for entire civilizations during their downfall, Anthuor is the “Power that Withstands.”
Anthuor’s antlers depict the path back to the origin of “all Things.” One antler is covered in mosses, representing dampness and decay, and the other in rose family blossoms (hawthorn, cherry, apple, wild rose, etc.), representing life and generation. (In other illustrations of Anthuor, the antlers are pictured devoid of vegetation in winter, when the Life Force is underground.) The forking path of the antlers was a common trope in Quatrian society; “All Things Depend Upon Anthuor’s Antlers” was a favorite Quatrian saying.
During the seasons at which the Hypogeum is open (equinoxes, solstices, dream-times, “thin” times, etc.), Anthuor is the first to enter and the one who Closes the Door. During the Harvest Season, around First Frost, a host of theriomorphic monsters escape from the Hypogeum. In the Cold/Storm Season, Anthuor and his Magicians ride from the bright chthonic realms in a great hunt, rounding up the monsters and binding them, returning them to the Hypogeum twelve days after the darkest day of the year.
Anthuor is often pictured with starlings — starlings remove pests from deer in the wild. Their uncanny mimicry ability was considered an “echo” of messages from the underworld. As such, starling murmurations were considered messages from Anthuor during the times of year when the Hypogeum was closed. Quatrian Augurs would “read” messages from the Liminal realms according to the shapes in the sky created by the flocks of birds.
Another common symbol associated with Anthuor is the dandelion. Quatrians considered the dandelion the “World Herb,” or BUORTH. It became associated with Anthuor due to its ability to withstand even the harshest of environmental conditions.
An Anthuorian “Mystery School” existed, echoes of which appear in the Greek myth of Actaeon and Diana.
Anthuor’s People often use the term “Helmoquinth, Anthuor!” as a kind of “Praise be!” The origins of the phrase are lost, but some scholars think “helmoquinth” may be a derivative of/related to the word “harlequin,” itself derived from the Old English “Herla Cyning,” or King Herla, said to have lead the “Wild Hunt.”
The Symbol in Magical Practice
When traced with a Spell Stick, the ANTHUOR sigil granted the user protection from a wide variety of dangers. It was used to bless the bows of hunters, to strengthen the foundations of buildings, and to assist foragers of wild plants. It could be used in dark times, when everything seemed chaotic and unknowable, to help the caster “withstand.” It was also traced daily on the stomachs of pregnant women to help ensure their child would be healthy and strong. The symbol could be used on “inner journeys” to summon Anthuor.
When divining, ANTHUOR represents wild energy and potential, but the kind that the diviner has no control over. The symbol can also represent a system which persists in the face of great turmoil or trouble. It can also represent the origin of a thing or situation (symbols in the Quatrian Oracle are read in pairs, which will be explored in further detail later).