Alternating Ascension

Twine | RecentChanges | Preferences | Login | Logout | Help

The principle of 'alternating ascension' is a theme seen quite often in Instarrian culture. It is not referred to by this name by Instarrians, or indeed thought of as a distinct principle, but is rather something considered quite natural and obvious to the culture.

Alternating ascension has to do with chirality ("handedness", either left vs right or clockwise vs anticlockwise). The usual example given to foreigners to help them understand it is the image of someone climbing a ladder, using one hand and then the other to grasp the next rung up.


Many situations on Instar - for example, business, politics or the military - are strictly hierarchical and depend on the members or employees knowing their position relative to one another. This is reinforced in various subtle ways, as in some of the following examples.

Examples of alternating ascension in society


Passing hands is a common form of greeting on Instar, and the choice of hand matters. To greet someone one position above herself, an Instarrian would use a certain hand (the choice depends on other factors as well as status, so we can't specify which). For someone two positions above herself she would use the opposite hand, for someone three positions above she would use the original hand, and so on.

Top buttons

It is the convention for slaves to fasten their shirt collars on the left, citizens on the right, the political class on the left and the sovereign on the right. See Instarrian fashion.

Twine | RecentChanges | Preferences | Login | Logout | Help
This page is read-only | View other revisions
Last edited March 30, 2009 5:23 pm by Mutt