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What does the wind in the title of Ursula LeGuin's The Other Wind refer to?

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It's mentioned in the book's inscription

Farther west than west
beyond the land
my people are dancing
on the other wind.
-- The Song of the Woman of Kemay

It seems to refer to the process of traveling to an astral plane rather than the mundane death of a character. Note that we see certain individuals come back when sufficient magic is used:

"Life immortal," Seppel's soft voice took the word. He spoke smiling a little. "In a great land of rivers and mountains and beautiful cities, where there is no suffering or pain, and where the self endures, unchanged, unchanging, forever ... That is the dream of the ancient Lore of Paln."

"Where," the Summoner said, "where is that land?" "On the other wind," said Irian. "The west beyond the west." She looked round at them all, scornful, irate. "Do you think we dragons fly only on the winds of this world? Do you think our freedom, for which we gave up all possessions, is no greater than that of the mindless seagulls? That our realm is a few rocks at the edge of your rich islands? You own the earth, you own the sea. But we are the fire of sunlight, we fly the wind! You wanted land to own. You wanted things to make and keep. And you have that. That was the division, the verw nadan. But you were not content with your share. You wanted not only your cares, but our freedom. You wanted the wind! And by the spells and wizardries of those oath-breakers, you stole half our realm from us, walled it away from life and light, so that you could live there forever. Thieves, traitors!"

In context, characters (especially dragons) claim to travel on the other wind to a mystical land of milk and honey. It's not especially clear if this is a metaphorical place or a literal place.

"Do dragons die?" asked Onyx, musing. "Not as we do, I think." "They don't live as we do. They move between the worlds. So says Orm Irian. From the world's wind to the other wind."

  • Think Valinor / Heaven – Valorum Dec 9 '14 at 17:55
  • More details about the Song of the Woman of Kemay can be found in book 4 of the Earthsea cycle, Tehanu. – ImaginaryEvents Dec 9 '14 at 17:59
  • @Richard Do you mean LORE OF PALN? – Lexible Dec 10 '14 at 1:40
  • @lexible - Sorted. Don't forget that you can make edits + corrections yourself by clicking the edit button. – Valorum Dec 10 '14 at 7:41
  • @Richard Quite… but you are diligent and active, so I meant it as a question, in case there was some subtle point you were making that escaped me. – Lexible Dec 10 '14 at 8:17

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