At one time in the West of Aristasia Pura the system of the Estates was more predominant and each Estate had its own kind of education. The Magdala, or “makers”, went to something like grammar schools where they received a sound basic education. This was particularly the case when they were actually “sellers” – merchants and entrepreneurs rather than craftmaids. For the craftmaids, the Guilds undertook much of their education, which took many forms but centred on the “mysteries” of the craft which were something much more than mere “trade secrets” and had both an effective magical application (with relation to craft practices – for the making of things was and is less a purely physical matter than it is in Telluria) and also constituted a Spiritual Path.

The Raihira, or Noble Estate, received a raihiralan education, which, in early times consisted of learning many “accomplishments”, such as languages, singing, mathematics, drawing, poetry (every accomplished Raihira should be able to produce well-constructed verse) and so forth. In some cases there was a primary stress on the Vikhelic (martial) arts. While blondes and brunettes learned many of the same things, there were often certain subjects specific to blondes and others specific to brunettes.

Later, as the Estate system weakened and moved closer to the modern Western form (which is more akin to the vaguer system known in Telluria as “class”) the great Royal Schools were founded – akin to the Tellurian British Public School (not to be confused with the American public school, which is a very different thing). These were very traditional, concentrated much on Estrenne languages and ancient Raihira tradition. They were the ultimate foundation of the modern rayalin education, but they were still something quite different.

The Haiela, or Priestly and Intellectual Estate, was educated mainly in the Temples. The more secular Haiela went to Temple Schools. They learned most of what the Raihira learnt, and also many higher things. Some were highly skilled at philosophical enquiry. The highest, of course, pursued Realisation through the path of Pure Intellect, transcending earthly reason, yet even these received a thorough grounding in “speakable philosophy” – that wisdom which can be spoken and is therefore not the highest. Philosophy in the end is a preparatory stage. Etymologically it means love of Wisdom, for it is that which prepares us for Wisdom. It is not Wisdom Herself.

The training of the Haiela, at all levels, was extremely rigorous.

This, then is the Old System, described rather briefly. Of course it took different forms in different times and places, but this, essentially was its structure. In the West in more recent times, the system of the Estates became weakened, and the raihiralan education of the Royal Schools became a more general rayalin education (which properly means “education for a titled lady” but nowadays means just “education for the higher sort of person”). The Royal schools are now attended by the Raihira, much of the Haiela and the upper Magdala, while the lower Magdala (and some less accomplished Raihira) use the grammar schools.

The system of Estates is much less marked in the modern West, and many people only vaguely associate themselves with their Estate, having a much less specific “class”-based view of life.

In parts of the East, however, the Old System prevails, and even older systems are found in many places.

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