An oneiros, who achieved apotheosis through the desire for power. The original Acanthe was a matriarch, the behind-the-scenes head of a supposedly patriarchal clan. She brought her family to the pinnacle of a complicated and dangerous political system by dissimulation, magic, and the employment of ruthless Machiavellian tactics. So thorough was her triumph that her family was left in undisputed supremacy for a century after her death. Since Acanthe’s avatars tend to be subtle and work in secrecy, they do not figure conspicuously in legend, and their part in history is understated. When they do appear, they are often portrayed as villains.

In art and iconography, Acanthe is depicted as a crone on the verge of decrepitude, wrapped in the mauve mantle of a widow. Her symbols are an owl, a spindle, and the plant ginseng.

Acanthe is not widely worshipped, but her avatars are found in most hierarchical systems—ambitious people in all guises, worshippers of all gods.

Acanthe’s major realms are cunning, politics, and spellweaving. Her minor realms are knowledge, the Moon (especially the new moon), death, and law.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.