“The feast was held with all manner of splendour, and when it came to an end the wise Women bestowed their magic gifts upon the baby: one gave virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and soon with everything in the world that one can wish for.
When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She wished to avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even looking at any one, she cried with a loud voice “The King’s daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead.” And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the room.
They were all shocked; but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said “It shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall.”
-Briar Rose, the Brothers Grimm
The world is weaving itself out of events from moment to moment, each happening passing into the great tapestry of Wyrd, with its own being-ness influencing yet more happenings and events yet to occur.
In other words, the future isn’t usually immutably fixed, at least not until it crystallizes from a possibility into the present. When the reader lays the cards, the Vitki throws the runes, or the Seeress looks out over worlds from the High Seat, they are looking for things that are likely to occur. Events that are pretty certain, in most cases, but here’s nothing to say that an unforeseen element couldn’t arise and change the course of things. A little foreknowledge can be a great help, then, since the future isn’t fixed until it happens . Usually.
Does a storm arise in Australia if a butterfly in Kansas flaps its wings? No, probably not. At least I don’t think so. The threads of Wyrd influence most strongly those other threads which are most relevant to or closest to each other. Of course the influence of any thread spreads like a ripple through the weave, but unless the individual thread is of great might, it is unlikely to have any real influence over things that are far off.
Among some Seeresses, it is common practice to go in trance to the gates of the Land of the Dead, the Well of Wyrd, or another potent place, and there ask the relevant spirits for answers to questions or information about the future.
I myself have never done this. Instead, I was taught to draw my spirit allies to me, and listen in a trance state for the necessary information. The spirits would come to the Seeress, not the other way around.
When the Seeress in her Seat looks out across the worlds to give oracle, she is, in one way or another, looking at the possibilities that lie along the weave. Some Seeresses, I have heard, can look at the web of Wyrd directly and read the possibilities from its weaving. This seems like it would be incredibly complex work; I myself have only glimpsed the presence of the Web once, and fleetingly at that.
What if a Seithkona was of such skill that she could not only see the weaving of Wyrd clearly, but could also touch it? This is where I think we enter the realm of true Prophecy. The Seeress perceives what the future is likely to be (or, for her purposes, needs to be) and reaches out to influence it in a certain manner. She proclaims aloud what the future will hold, bringing her intention into firmer being in the Middle Garth with her voice, and with each person who hears her proclamation and repeats the prophecy, its solidity grows.
Is such a thing even possible? I know that both seeing and touching the threads of Wyrd are an advanced (and dangerous) aspect of Seithwork. I think that if a Seithkona was of sufficient might, and had sufficient need, she may well be able to change the weaving of Wyrd. It seems like the kind of thing that would have many unforeseen consequences, and would be as dangerous to the one doing the touching as to those touched. I can’t help but think that the Wyrd Sisters themselves might notice such goings on and raise an eyebrow. So, if anyone ever had the skill to speak Prophecy in this manner, to use it would require a damn good reason.
Perhaps the fate of kingdoms, or the birth of a hero…