During Sisko's visions, we see him surrounded by people he has encountered in his life. Quite a few people, often more than half a dozen. Incidentally, there are said to be ten Orbs.

I noticed that after a Pah-Wraith possessed Dukat (somehow) beamed into the Bajoran shrine, murdered Jadzia, attacked the Orb and sealed the wormhole, only one prophet ever appears to Sisko in his visions again... After, the Orb of the Emissary is found.

We're also told that after Dukat's actions, all the Orbs go dark. But I don't recall hearing anyone state the Orbs had returned to normal after the Pah-Wraith is cast out of the wormhole.

To me this implies that the orbs have some direct connection to the wormhole aliens... Are the Orbs physical manifestations of the Prophets? Can they only communicate with corporeal beings if they have their Orb counterparts?

I suspect it was always intended to be mysterious and unexplained, not to mention the writers were definitely enjoying the use of more epic religious/mythological style story telling, but does anyone have any answers?

And speaking of Time and the Orbs... they all look like frozen hourglasses.

Just realized that... Kai Winn tried to contact the prophets with an Orb in Season 7 to beg for forgiveness, so perhaps the Orbs did all light up again.

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    The orbs appear to be aspects of the wormhole aliens (time, prophecy, contemplation, etc). – Valorum Feb 3 at 23:30
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    How are the Prophets connected to the Orbs? Very carefully. – Paul D. Waite Feb 3 at 23:45
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    @Valorum: Did it really become clear that this wasn't just what Bajoran clerics called them? The only really strong association with such an aspect I can remember was the orb of time (with "time" being an aspect of the wormhole aliens exactly how, given that they seemed to struggle with understanding the very concept in "Emissary"?), which was indeed used for a time travel. But the way the orbs were depicted, I wouldn't rule out other orbs could somehow be used for the same purpose. – O. R. Mapper Feb 3 at 23:49
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    @O.R.Mapper I never considered that about the 'Time' Orb... doesn't really make sense when the Prophets are unfamiliar with the concept. Having said that, if they truly live outside of time, it would mean that knowledge the Prophets gained in the future would also be known to them in the past. So they have always known about time, just as they have never known about it... Unless it doesn't work that way! I'm still not clear on their relationship with the unfurling events in the corporeal universe. – HotSauceCoconuts Feb 4 at 9:59
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    @HotSauceCoconuts "they have always known about time, just as they have never known about it... Unless it doesn't work that way" - sounds like the DS9 writers were taking a continuity clue from the Doctor Who writers... – FreeMan Feb 4 at 14:05

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