Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Not everything we know about djinn is thrown out in Burnt Amber. Lots of the Disney business is, ixnay with the three wishes and all, but I hold true to some of Scheherazade's basic principles. Who is she? She's the narrator of the 1001 Arabian Nights...the woman who the king is planning to kill when she finishes the story, so she stretches it out to last longer...kind of the original cliff hanger at the end of the chapter, if you will... (Tangent: If I could have a cat, I would name her Scheherazade. Just love to say the name!) Anyway, back to....
Important principle number one: Djinn live in a parallel universe and can possess animals in this one. They are also bound to the capabilities of whatever animal they choose. So say they choose a bird, that means they can fly, but they can't open doors or talk (unless it's a parrot).
Variation: They don't have to be black. Why? Because black is associated with evil and I already mentioned djinn can be either good or evil.
Variation number two: There are different levels of djinn (remember Marid and Ifrit) and each one has different abilities as to the creature it can possess. Some don't do it at all. Some don't need a host at all. The arabic word for crazy is majnoon (using the english alphabet here of course). Literally it means "with a djinn" or "having a djinn", i.e. there is a belief floating out there that some djinn can even possess people.

These actually aren't my own variations btw because Scheherazade isn't the only source for djinn lore out there. There are myths and legends all over the place in the Middle East which, as an American, I did not grow up knowing. But I'm having the best time explaining it to you now :)

If you've got the time, here's a short story about water djinn from the New Yorker.
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1 comment:

LTM said...

totally cool, and I love the cat's eye. Scheherazade is she? ;p

Possession is always just incredibly creepy! Fun stuff~ :o)


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