Fairy Chess: Castling and Queening

In a standard chess game, there’s a special combination move called Castling. When performing this move, the player may move two pieces in one turn, specifically the King piece and the Castle piece. The conditions are:

  • Neither the King nor the Castle should have moved before
  • The squares between the King and Castle are not occupied nor under threat of occupancy from any of the opposing side’s pieces
  • The King is not under threat of capture at the time that this move would be made

This combination move is the only time that the player is allowed to move two of their own pieces in one turn, and the only time that the King is allowed to move more than one square, and the only time that a piece other than the Knight can jump over another piece.


This is a protection spell. The element of the King is that which is valuable, vulnerable, precious but powerless and must be protected. The element of Castle must already be present for it to be active, and it is the element of protection. It is the Castle that then sets the boundary between the King and everything else that could be identified as a threat.

Some individuals would recognize the need for protection intuitively.

Other individuals would consider this procedure selfish and immature, ironically going by the philosophy that we shouldn’t make value judgments: all the world is here to be experienced, and the concept of a threat to one’s own self is illusionary, it relies on illusionary constructs and conditioning that if we would just go about it the right way and transcend such nonsense then “protection spells” and “personal boundaries” would show to be unworthy of consideration as well.

For the latter individual, the only protection ever needed is personal empowerment as a developed notion, which then supposedly defeats the rudimentary idea of protection.

I believe that such a procedure can be demonstrated by the move of promotion, or Queening the Pawn.


Pawns can only move in one direction: forward, and usually only by one square at a time, and Pawns can only capture other pieces one square diagonally. Ifwhen it gets to the opposite end of the chess board, then, it can be promoted (that is, the Pawn’s rules can change) to that of any other piece* that the Pawn may continue to play for its own side. It would have no possible actions to take if it would remain a Pawn, only given to move forward, on a board where there is no more “forward” to move.

* The exception to this is the King, except maybe in some fairy chess variant.

The chosen promotion is usually a Queen, allowed even if the original designated Queen of the Pawn’s own playing side still remains active and uncaptured on the board.

The Pawn is the least valued piece, and the Queen the most powerful piece. That makes quite a change.

The Pawn entered enemy territory, even with its vulnerable nature and not even valued within the ranks of playing pieces. Yet, at the end of the board, the Pawn knows (or, at least, I project this awareness and relate to it wishcraft) its situation, its nature, and its potential. The potential to be Queen is realized in promotion.


In wishcraft, I consider these the same process. The Pawn only knows (or, at least, I project this ignorance) its own path. It doesn’t consider how the circumstances played out across the whole board just so that enemy pieces failed to capture it when they would likely have captured other Pawns, Pawns with the same nature and the same potential but only slightly different situations. It doesn’t consider how all of the other pieces of its own side had essentially been Castling the Queen within the Pawn.

The metaphor breaks down into ideas, now: It is defensiveness that leads to sovereignty in one whose sovereignty has remained latent or been undermined.

This is not to say that there is no other way leading to actualized sovereignty, nor that there is no such thing as people so awfully situated that perpetual defensiveness is the only option and becomes a doom in and of itself. There is, there are. Maybe.

What I propose is an expanding understanding in a process that we trust each individual more to take…if we can. It might be a good idea to trust ourselves at least as much, that ifwhen blaming and bootstraps of another go to more extremes than we can abide, above all we must feel free to move, limited as that movement might be to the rules of a paradigm that we can reject or repress but can not truly or honestly escape.

This entry was posted in Ogdoad.